John Alex Taylor

The World of Apples in the Dark

Apples in the Dark is set in present-day Cardiff. Rachel’s house and office and Beth’s gallery are fictional, but the reader can trace their footsteps in the real city, mostly in the Roath area, but also to Queen Street, the Central Market, the National Museum, Chapter Arts Centre, Forest Farm Country Park (Granddad Joe’s Velindre Woods, the name we used in the 1960s) and along the coast to Porthcawl.

Roath is one area of Cardiff that has hardly changed since I lived there in the 1970s. There are far more coffee shops now, but the area still has the same Victorian and Edwardian terraces, and they’re still mostly flats and shared houses full of students. Rachel can afford to live at the more affluent northern end of the area – Beth can’t. It was natural to give Rachel a house in quiet Morlais Street, a stone’s throw from the gardens in the middle of Roath Park.