Research is much easier these days with the help of Google, which takes away the necessity of visiting libraries and museums.

Research can be a great distraction (such a lot of interesting information that has nothing to do with what I am looking for! How about all those advertisements in old newspapers?!) so I soon learned to conduct research as I write, because I don't know what exact information I need until then.

For Part II of Bron, this included spending an afternoon in a blacksmith's forge, where I helped to make an ornamental log poker, of which I am very proud! The shaft should have had many more twists in it than it has because the blacksmith and I were chatting so much that the iron got too cold to work!

He told me that in former days, the young ladies of the village who wished to get pregnant would go to the smithy and drink from the quenching tank (where forged items were plunged in to cool them down), and this often did the trick. This could have been because the water contained iron and, if the would-be mother was anaemic, it could cure her condition – at least, that was the blacksmith’s story and who was to say otherwise?!