Feeling it and telling it, with Emyr Humphreys

Emyr Humphreys joined the SoA in 1948, and has been a member ever since – our longest-serving member. Candida Clark interviewed him on the brink of his 99th birthday, at his house in Anglesey. This interview can also be read in Welsh.

Emyr Humphreys photo © Sion Humphreys

Author of over 20 novels, collections of short stories and poetry volumes, Emyr Humphreys has been variously described over the last three quarters of a century. His friend R. S. Thomas pegged him early on as ‘the supreme interpreter of Welsh life in English.’ He has subsequently been labelled a ‘Protestant’ writer, then taken up as a ‘post-colonial’, even as someone liable to ‘deconstruct colonial meta-narratives’, latterly as someone writing ‘protesting fiction’ – all descriptions which make him frankly gape, when I put them to him. Then he laughs.

‘I don’t much like any of those. I follow Montaigne: “We are, I know not how, double in ourselves, so what we believe we disbelieve, and cannot rid ourselves of what we condemn.” That struck me from the very beginning. It’s very useful for a novelist, because you’re a creator of different kinds of things – and you use whatever helps you. Help in the way of technique in telling a story. That’s the most important thing of all. You’ve got to have a good story. You’ve got to feel it, and tell it.’

I insist: there is a seam of dissidence running through Humphrey’s work. Characters who are professional protesters. And he himself was a conscientious objector during WWII, something that fuelled his writing of Outside the House of Baal (1965).

‘Of course, those other things might occur, naturally, in the practice of your craft, but writing has nothing to do with politics or any of that. So while on the one hand I’m an ardent Welsh Nationalist, I wouldn’t be so foolish as to let that interfere with composing.’

Humphreys grew up in Flintshire, with a mother who was one of 12. Early memories are of visiting his uncles’ farms in the uplands. ‘Great fun, though food was scarce. This was wartime.’ And of roller-skating on the promenade at Rhyl. ‘We’d play truant in the pleasure gardens and go roller-skating the whole length, two miles, along the sea front. I probably shouldn’t admit that. But everyone has gone now anyway.’

An early move to the south proved fortunate.

‘I was very lucky. My first publisher was Graham Greene. A delightful chap. I can’t imagine how it happened. I went to live in London, thinking that was the right thing to do, and I started teaching at a school in Wimbledon. And Graham said what you need to do is get an agent, and he will help you with placing whatever you write, and that was a very good start. And you must join the Society of Authors. So I did that, too, and I was probably the youngest member at that point, I expect. [He was 29.] Then I won a prize. The Somerset Maugham award [for Hear and Forgive, 1952], and I wrote to thank Maugham, and met him, in the men’s toilets, funnily enough, of the Athenaeum. He was a member, and I was there as a guest of a nice American publisher, Frank Morley, a friend of T. S. Eliot’s.’

In London, Humphreys worked at the BBC, as producer of drama for BBC Wales. I mention Louis MacNeice, another BBC producer at the time. ‘He was a good friend. I can remember some of his lines.’ He beats out the opening verse of Bagpipe Music (1938), the metre intact, though he is a bit sketchy on the precise words: ‘It’s no go the merry-go-round, it’s no go the rickshaw,/ All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow.’

‘He was an awfully nice man, older than me,’ Humphreys continues. ‘He was coming from radio and I was coming from nowhere.’

The Louis MacNeice connection is interesting. I mention to Humphreys a parallel I feel to be there – that MacNeice hitched himself to Classical poetry as a way of delivering the freight of his particular vision. Did Humphreys do something similar with Welsh ancestral voices? It was not his mother tongue: he learnt it aged 20. But certainly if he is at ease with any of his many tags, the title of bard is the one that rests most happily on his shoulders. I am thinking of his definitive The Taliesin Tradition (1983), an exploration of what people now prefer to call Welsh narrative, but which is more accurately a kind of song-line from the 6th century to the present day.

‘The Welsh literature of the Middle Ages was the greatest – the Mabinogion, a fantastic collection of stories. The 15th century was poetry; the 16th was prose; the 20th saw a huge revival of the literary tradition and did away with the rubbish of Victoriana so that the 15th century blossoming became the standard.’

I am impressed by his way of talking in spans of centuries, a mode that evidently is entirely natural. Our conversation flits back to his London life and early friendships, when ‘aprés-guerre London was wonderful. We all had free orange juice, great for making gin and orange, which was what we all did then. I remember once, when I was with Patrick Heron [who designed the cover for A Change of Heart, 1951, and became a good friend], we were high up, Hampstead probably, and were all having a drink while there opposite us were thieves stealing lead off the roof. Broad daylight! Certainly we did have some fun then, after the war.’

Later, with Heron in St Ives, he had tea with Barbara Hepworth, ‘in her delightful garden. She was lovely,’ and made friends with Bridget Riley, Terry Frost, and later, on Anglesey, with Kyffin Williams.

I wonder at other influences. ‘My favourite novelist is Henry James. His novels, some of them, are perfect. The Portrait of a Lady is my favourite. I much prefer him to the more popular English storyteller, Thomas Hardy. He’s a wonderful poet but his storytelling is really an excuse for his poetry, rather than the creation of character. Under the Greenwood Tree and all the rest of it is fairyland, really – very fairy-like.’

I suggest that Hardy’s best characters are often his landscapes, and mention Faulkner, who I think shares some common ground with Humphreys. In particular there’s a similarity of idea concerning memory, which the American writer once described as ‘momentary avatars... the one red instant’s fierce obliteration.’

The idea of avatars occurs in one of Humphrey’s later stories, Three Old Men, in a description of the menhirs, thickly distributed across Anglesey, as avatars – cosmic transports, almost, to another time. The story takes place partly inside a burial chamber, Barclodiad y Gawres – ‘only about 6,000 years old’, Humphreys laughs. And when I question the significance of place in his work, of a native landscape: ‘The most stimulating thing, in the end, is the land. It speaks. It takes long enough! Man is simply the one who has the responsibility of telling the story. The author of it.’

On the subject of time, and conscious of how supremely well Emyr Humphreys seems to be ‘doing’, I remark that ageing has been a definite theme of his work, even from the early days. Is this why he has entered into the spirit of it with such apparent joy? To have set his characters off on that journey ahead of him, as torch-bearers, perhaps? Is that the way to do it?

‘I suppose there is a lot of that, come to mention it. Outside the House of Baal was certainly to do with it. It’s the one I’m most proud of, perhaps. Also of A Toy Epic [winner of the Hawthornden prize, 1958], and A Man’s Estate. House of Baal sold the most.’

But now Humphreys has gone on record as saying that he has written his final work, with The Woman at the Window, a collection of short stories published in 2009. ‘My useful life is over,’ one of his characters remarks. I question this. Is it how he himself feels? Is it possible for a writer ever really to lay down his pen?

‘I haven’t written anything of worth since my wife died. I’ve scaled down. Things are perhaps more concentrated now. The big thing I wanted to do was a series from the cradle to the grave – I suppose I did that in Land of the Living. The heroine, Amy, is the polar opposite of me: a career girl. Why is that? Perhaps an interest in power?’

And then he surprises me with another laugh – and I think I must have mis-heard, but he repeats, so there is no doubt. ‘There’s one thing. I certainly know less now than when I started.’ Is this the secret of growing old brilliantly? Not to suffer the burden of an accretion of time – all those labels and scholarly studies, received opinions about identity and culture, but most of all about oneself, vexed questions of ‘who you are’. But for old age to be in fact a kind of shedding, a whittling down. Is that the key? And is it really possible to reach a state of almost Buddhist lack of attachment. Does he not fret about the books he might not now write?

‘Not at all! My mission, such as it was, is complete.’

His son, Sion, a benign, occasionally mnemonic presence throughout our conversation, gently interposes. He and his brother have made a wonderful discovery: unearthed from their father’s papers, written over the last few years, are quantities of short, unpublished poems. ‘Oh there are still those, yes,’ Humphreys smiles. ‘Scraps of paper with poems on them. About a hundred and thirty of them. They’ve been compiled. It’ll come out soon, I think. It’ll be called Shards of Light.’

Humphreys smiles broadly at this, considering. ‘Yes, they’re like little cakes. Just one thought at a time. A bit like the way the French do those meditations. Not always sweet. More like intellectual savouries! That’s what they are. Savoury cakes.’

Humphreys settles back into his seat. He has given me a lot of time. The noonday sun crowns him momentarily, and I am reminded of another of his friend MacNeice’s lines. It is in ‘Precursors’, and describes people who, as it were, carry an emerald lamp behind their faces, and ‘the light comes shining through.’

I take my leave, full of gratitude, and with that abiding impression of sunlight: more than the sun has made this author’s life appear illuminated.

Emyr Humphreys was advised to join the SoA by his first publisher – Graham Greene. We asked him how he felt about his membership now, as the Society’s longest-serving member. ‘I get a stipend* every quarter’, he replied, with a twinkle, ‘which has been very useful because in the past I had to work most of the time to make ends meet.’ We also asked him what he’d like to see in The Author. He said he’d enjoy reading obituaries of the people he’d outlived.

Read more about the P. D. James Memorial Fund.

Candida Clark is the author of six novels, and has also written screenplays, poetry and criticism. She has just launched a botanical drinks business, Positive Potions.

Candida Clark photo © Guy Hills

Welsh interview below translated by Alison Layland.

Ymdeimlo a dweud

Ymunodd Emyr Humphreys, nofelydd a bardd, â’r SoA ym 1948, ac mae wedi bod yn aelod byth ers hynny, sy’n golygu mai ef yw ein haelod mwyaf hirhoedlog.

Dyma gyfweliad rhyngddo a’r awdur Candida Clark ar drothwy ei ben-blwydd yn 99 oed, yn ei gartref ar Ynys Môn.

Fel awdur dros 20 o nofelau, casgliadau o straeon byrion a chyfrolau o gerddi, mae Emyr Humphreys wedi ennill sawl disgrifiad dros y tri-chwarter ganrif diwethaf. Yn gynnar, bathodd ei gyfaill R. S. Thomas y disgrifiad ‘prif ddehonglwr y bywyd Cymreig  yn Saesneg.’ Cafodd ei labelu wedyn fel ‘Protestant’, ac yna cafodd ei ystyried yn ‘ôl-drefedigaethol’, a hyd yn oed fel un sy’n debygol o ‘ddadadeiladu meta-naratifau trefedigaethol’, ac yn fwy diweddar, un sy’n ysgrifennu ‘ffuglen wrthdystiadol’ – disgrifiadau oll a’i gadawodd yn gegagored pan soniais wrtho amdanynt. Chwarddodd wedyn.

‘Dwi ddim yn or-hoff o’r un o’r rheiny. Dwi’n dilyn Montaigne: “Rydym, ni wn i sut, yn ddeublyg ynom ein hunain, felly ni chredwn yr hyn rydym yn ei gredu, a ni allwn gael gwared o’r hyn rydym yn ei gondemnio.” Fe’m trawyd gan hynny o’r dechrau cyntaf un. Mae’n ddefnyddiol iawn i nofelydd, am eich bod yn creu mathau gwahanol o bethau – a’ch bod yn defnyddio unrhyw beth sy’n eich helpu. Cymorth mewn ffurf techneg i ddweud stori: dyma’r peth mwyaf pwysig ohonyn nhw i gyd. Rhaid cael stori dda. Rhaid ei theimlo a’i dweud.”

Mynnais: mae gwythïen o wrthwynebiad sy’n rhedeg trwy waith Humphreys. Cymeriadau sy’n brotestwyr proffesiynol. Ac roedd ef ei hun yn wrthwynebydd cydwybodol yn ystod yr Ail Ryfel Byd, agwedd a borthodd ei ysgrifennu yn Outside the House of Baal (1965).

‘Wrth gwrs, mae’n bosibl i’r pethau eraill ddigwydd, yn gwbl naturiol, wrth ymarfer eich crefft, ond does a wnelo ysgrifennu â gwleidyddiaeth na’r un o’r pethau hynny. Felly, er ar y naill llaw dwi’n Genedlaetholwr tanbaid, fyddwn i ddim mor ffôl â gadael i hynny ymyrryd yn fy nghyfansoddi.’ Fe magwyd Humphreys yn Sir y Fflint, yn fab i fam a oedd yn un o ddeuddeg. Mae ganddo atgofion cynnar o ymweld â ffermydd ei ewythrod yn yr ucheldir. ‘Roedd yn hwyl, er bod bwyd yn brin. Cyfnod y rhyfel oedd o.’ Ac atgofion o rôl-sglefrio ar bromenâd y Rhyl. ‘Mi fydden ni’n chwarae triwant yn y gerddi pleser, gan dreulio’r amser yn rôl-sglefrio ar hyd y dwy filltir o’r ffrynt. Efallai na ddylwn i gyfaddef hynny, ond mae’r lleill i gyd wedi mynd erbyn hyn, beth bynnag.’

Fel y digwyddodd, roedd symud i’r de yn ffodus.

‘Ro’n i’n lwcus iawn. Graham Greene oedd fy nghyhoeddwr cyntaf. Boi hyfryd iawn. Fedra i ddim ddychmygu sut digwyddodd. Mi es i i fyw yn Llundain, gan feddwl ei fod y peth iawn i’w wneud, a dechreuais ddysgu mewn ysgol yn Wimbledon. Ac yn ôl Graham, roedd yn angenrheidiol imi ddod o hyd i asiant, a fyddai’n fy helpu i ddod o hyd i gyhoeddwr ar gyfer beth bynnag a ysgrifennais. Mi brofodd hynny’n ddechrau da dros ben. A rhaid ichi ymuno â’r Society of Authors, meddai. Felly hynny a wnes i, hefyd, ac mae’n debyg yr o’n i’r aelod ieuengaf bryd hynny, mi dybiaf. [Roedd yn 29 oed]. Wedyn enillais wobr – gwobr Somerset Maugham (ar gyfer Hear and Forgive, 1952), ac ysgrifennais ato [Maugham], a chwrdd â fo yn nhai bach dynion yr Athenaeum, fel mae’n digwydd. Roedd o’n aelod, ac ro’n innau yno fel gwestai cyhoeddwr hoffus o America, Frank Morley, ffrind i T. S. Eliot.’

Yn Llundain, gweithiodd Humphreys i’r BBC, fel cynhyrchydd drama ar gyfer BBC Wales. Crybwyllais Louis MacNeice, a oedd hefyd yn gynhyrchydd i’r BBC bryd hynny. ‘Roedd o’n ffrind da. Dwi’n cofio rhai o’i linellau hyd heddiw.’ Mae’n curo’r rhythm wrth adrodd ‘Bagpipe Music’ (1938), gyda mydr perffaith, er bod y geiriau eu hunain ychydig yn fylchog ganddo: ‘It’s no go the merry-go-round, it’s no go the rickshaw,/ All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow.’

‘Roedd o’n ddyn hynod hoffus, yn hŷn na fi,’ aeth Humphreys rhagddo. ‘Daeth ef o’r radio, a des innau o nunlle.’

Mae ei gysylltiad gyda Louis Macneice yn ddiddorol. Crybwyllais wrth Humphreys cyffelybiaeth sy’n fy nharo – bod MacNeice wedi clymu ei hun i farddoniaeth Clasurol fel modd i gyfleu llwyth ei weledigaeth neilltuol. A wnaeth Humphreys rywbeth tebyg gyda lleisiau cyndeidiol Cymraeg? Nid oedd y Gymraeg yn famiaith iddo; fe’i dysgodd yn 20 oed, ond serch hynny, os oes yna un o’i fyrdd o labeli y byddai’n fodlon i’w dderbyn, bardd yw’r un sy’n fwyaf addas iddo. Ro’n i’n meddwl am ei waith diffiniol, The Taliesin Tradition (1983), sy’n archwilio’r hyn y mae pobl bellach yn ei alw yn naratif Cymraeg, ond sydd mewn gwirionedd yn fath o linell cân sy’n ymestyn o’r 6ed ganrif hyd heddiw.

‘Llenyddiaeth Gymraeg yr Oesoedd Canol oedd y gorau oll – y Mabinogi, casgliad gwych o straeon. Nodwedd y 15ed ganrif oedd barddoniaeth; rhyddiaith yn y 16eg; gwelwyd adfywiad enfawr o’r traddodiad llenyddol yn yr 20fed ganrif, gan gael gwared o’r sothach o Oes Fictoria er mwyn gadael i’r blodeueo yn y 15fed ganrif ddod yn faen prawf.’

Fe’m trawyd gan y ffordd y siaradodd yn nhermau canrifoedd, modd sy’n ymddangos yn hollol naturiol yn y cyfnod hwn o’i fywyd. Gwibiodd ein sgwrs yn ôl i’w fywyd yn Llundain a’i gyfeillion yn y dyddiau cynnar, y dyddiau ar ôl y rhyfel pan roedd Llundain yn lle ardderchog i fyw ynddo. ‘Roedd sudd oren ar gael am ddim, a oedd yn wych ar gyfer jin ac oren, fel wnaethon ni i gyd yfed bryd hynny. Dwi’n cofio un achlysur, pan ro’n i gyda Patrick Heron [a gynlluniodd clawr A Change of Heart, (1951), ro’n ni’n rhywle uchel, Hampstead mae’n debyg, ac yn mwynhau diodydd, a dyma ladron cyferbyn, yn dwyn plwm o’r to! Yng nghefn dydd golau! Yn wir, cawson ni hwyl bryd hynny, yn y cyfnod ar ôl y rhyfel.’

Yn nes ymlaen, gyda Heron yn St Ives, cymerodd te gyda Barbara Hepworth ‘yn ei gardd godidog. Roedd hi’n hyfryd’, a daeth yn ffrindiau â Bridget Riley, â Terry Frost ac, yn nes ymlaen ar Ynys Môn, â Kyffin Williams.

Gofynnais ynglŷn â’r dylanwadau eraill ar ei yrfa hir. ‘Fy hoff nofelydd yw Henry James. Mae ei nofelau, neu rai ohonyn nhw, yn berffaith. The Portrait of a Lady yw fy hoff un. Mae o’n llawer gwell gen i na’r storïwr Saesneg mwy poblogaidd, Thomas Hardy. Mae hwnnw’n fardd ardderchog, ond iddo fo, mae adrodd hanesion yn gyfrwng i’w farddoniaeth, yn hytrach na chreu cymeriadau. Mae Under the Greenwood Tree a’r gweddill yn arallfydol, mewn gwirionedd – yn hollol dylwythtegaidd.’

Awgrymais mai’r tirweddau yw cymeriadau gorau Hardy, a chrybwyllais awdur arall, Faulkner, sydd â rhywfaint yn gyffredin â Humphreys yn fy marn i. Yn bennaf, mae’r ddau awdur â syniadau tebyg ynglŷn â’r cof, y mae’r Americanwr yn ei ddisgrifio fel ‘ymgnawdoliadau’r ennyd... difodi ffyrnig yr un eiliad coch.’

Ceir y cysyniad o ymgnawdoliadau yn un o storïau diweddaraf Humphreys, Three Old Men, yn y disgrifiad o’r meini hirion, sydd mor fynych ar draws Ynys Môn, fel ymgnawdoliadau – cludiant cosmig, fel petai, i oes arall. Mae rhan o’r stori yn digwydd tu mewn i siambr gladdu Barclodiad y Gawres – ‘dim ond tua 6,000 oed,’ meddai Humphreys dan chwerthin. Holais am arwyddocâd lleoliad – tirwedd brodorol – yn ei waith.

‘Y peth mwyaf ysgogol, yn y pendraw, yw’r tir. Mae’n siarad. Er ei fod yn cymryd ei amser! Yn syml, dynoliaeth sydd â’r cyfrifoldeb o ddweud y stori. O fod yn awdur ohoni.’

Wrth ystyried amser, a’r ffordd mor arbennig o dda y mae Emyr Humphreys yn ‘byw’ oedran hybarch, nodais bod heneiddio wedi bod yn thema bendant yn ei waith, hyd yn oed yn y dyddiau cynnar. Ai hyn yw’r rheswm ei fod wedi cofleidio henaint gyda chymaint o lawenydd ymddangosiadol? Efaillai am ei fod wedi danfon ei gymeriadau o’i flaen ar y daith honno, megis fflamgludyddion? Ai dyna sut dylid ei wneud?

‘Mi dybiaf fod cryn dipyn o hynny, gan eich bod yn sôn amdano. Roedd Outside the House of Baal yn bendant yn ymwneud â’r syniad. Dyma’r un dwi’n fwyaf balch ohoni, efallai. Hefyd A Toy Epic [a enillodd wobr Hawthornden, 1958] ac A Man’s Estate. House of Baal a werthodd fwyaf.”

Ond mae Humphreys nawr wedi dweud yn gyhoeddus ei fod wedi ysgrifennu ei waith olaf, sef The Woman at the Window, casgliad o straeon byrion a gyhoeddwyd yn 2009. ‘Mae fy mywyd defnyddiol drosodd,’ mae un o’i gymeriadau yn ei ddweud. Cwestiynais hyn. Ai dyma sut mae ef ei hun yn teimlo? Ydi hi’n wirioneddol bosibl i awdur roi ei ysgrifbin o’r neilltu?

‘Dwi ddim wedi ysgrifennu dim byd o werth oddi ar farwolaeth fy ngwraig. Dwi wedi lleihau ar bethau. Mae pethau efallai’n fwy cryno bellach. Y peth mawr ro’n i am ei wneud oedd cyfres o’r crud i’r bedd – mae’n debyg y gwnes i hynny yn Land of the Living. Mae’r arwres yn honno, Amy, yn wrthwyneb llwyr ohona i: mae hi’n ferch ei gyrfa. Pam felly? Efallai bod ganddi ddiddordeb mewn grym?’

Ac wedyn gwnaeth o fy synnu gan chwerthin eto – a meddyliais efallai ei fod wedi fy nghamglywed, ond chwarddodd am yr eilwaith, felly doedd dim amheuaeth. ‘Un peth, dwi’n sicr fy mod i’n gwybod llai erbyn hyn na phan dechreuais.’ Ai hyn yw’r gyfrinach o heneiddio’n llewyrchus? Peidio â dioddef baich amser yn cronni – yr holl labeli ac astudiaethau ysgolheigaidd, barnau derbyniedig am hunaniaeth a diwylliant, ond, yn fwyaf, amdanoch eich hun, y cwestiynau dyrys hynny o ‘bwy ydych chi’, ond gadael i henaint fod mewn gwirionedd yn fath o ddiosg, o naddu. Ai dyna’r allwedd?

Ac a ydi hi’n wirioneddol bosibl i gyrraedd cyflwr o ddiffyg ymlyniad sydd bron yn Fwdaidd? Doedd o ddim yn poeni am yr holl lyfrau efallai na fydd yn eu hhysgrifennu bellach? ‘Dim o gwbl! Mae fy mherwyl, fel ag yr oedd, wedi’i gwblhau.’

Mae ei fab, Sion, sydd wedi bod yn bresennol heb ymyrryd, ond i brocio’r cof yma a thraw, yn ystod ein sgwrs, yn cyfrannu’n dawel fan hyn. Mae o a’i frawd wedi darganfod rhywbeth hyfryd ymysg papurau eu tad: nifer o gerddi byr, wedi eu hysgrifennu yn ystod y blynyddoedd diweddar, heb eu cyhoeddi. ‘O, ie, mae’r rheiny’n bod,’ meddai Humphreys gyda gwên. ‘Tameidiau o bapur â cherddi arnyn nhw. Tua chant a thri deg ohonyn nhw. Maen nhw wedi gwneud casgliad. Caiff ei ryddhau’n fuan, dwi’n meddwl. Shards of Light fydd y teitl.’

Gwenodd Humphreys yn llydan wrth ystyried y peth. ‘Yn wir, maen nhw fel cacennau bach. Un syniad ar y tro. Tipyn bach fel mae’r Ffrancwyr yn gwneud y myfyrdodau hynny. Dim bob amser yn felys. Yn hytrach, maen nhw fel danteithion sawrus deallusol! Dyma beth ydyn nhw. Cacennau sawrus.’

Swatiodd Humphreys yn ôl yn ei gadair. Roedd wedi rhoi cryn dipyn o’i amser i mi. Ffurfiodd yr haul canol dydd goron iddo am eiliad, gan f’atgoffa o linell arall ei ffrind Louis MacNeice. Llinell o Precursors, sy’n disgrifio pobl sydd megis yn cario lamp y tu ôl i’w hwynebau, ac mae’r golau yn disgleirio trwyddo. Dwi’n canu’n iach, yn llawn diolchgarwch, gydag argraff parhaol o heulwen: mae mwy na’r haul wedi bod yn goleuo bywyd yr awdur hwn.

Mae Candida Clark yn awdur chwe nofel; mae hi hefyd wedi ysgrifennu sgriptiau, barddoniaeth a beirniadaethau. Mae hi newydd lansio busnes diodydd botanegol, Positive Potions.