from our holiday in south-west Wales.
That was a lovely little break, mainly spent going around gardens (Colby Woodland Garden on Friday and the National Botanic on Sunday, not forgetting the Hywel Dda Gardens and Interpretive Centre) and towns (Narberth and Tenby) and eating curry in unlikely places with unusual implements.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales has really come on over the last few years, by the way.
Another minor point: Whitland is an great place – it’s like time stopped in the 1970’s, in a good way. Two butchers in the High Street, a bank with no ATM, and a pub with middle-aged gents watching the racing while people pop in and out for a chat. I think they preserved it back then and only get it out of storage every once in a while, like Brigadoon. The place even smelled slightly of mothballs.
A bit behind the times on this one, but as I’m actually in Wales, I thought I should mention this video that’s been doing the rounds. A bunch of shepherds in Wales with LEDs and a video camera doing… well, just watch. It’s amazing.
(Of course, a tiny, cynical part of me suspects that large bits of it are After Effects, but it’s still awesome).
Next time we drive up to Catrin’s parents, we’ll be going past a mountain that wasn’t there before. Here it is on Google Maps. Note that there are no pictures of Mynydd Graig Goch (note that it’s always been a mountain in Welsh), just a generic picture postcard image of Llyn Mymbyr and Snowdon. Probably because they think it’s just not exciting enough. Anyway, here’s a picture of the summit for you. UPDATE I see they’ve fixed that now.
And we saw:
- KotoGo – Japanese koto playing in a jazz idiom, but to be honest we could have done with less of the guitar.
- Brigyn – lovely little gig, and an awesome version of Cohen’s Hallelueia in Welsh.
- Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog – good, but better last year – Mrs Glaw works better at speed.. Odd to see Gwyneth Glyn rocking out with them.
- Ember – lovely many-tinted folk from this Welsh/American duo and their Dutch percussionist.
- 9Bach – bloody excellent daring interpretations of classic melancholy Welsh ballads, fronted by the ethereally lovely Lisa Jên Brown.
- Johnny Dickinson – fine slide guitar blues from Northumbria
As usual, we didn’t spend much time on the Marian itself.
This story’s got legs, hasn’t it? If you haven’t heard it, the Welsh Assembly Culture Minister announced the wrong winner at the Wales Book of the Year awards ceremony on Tuesday night, despite reading it off a piece of paper – Tom Bullough, who thought he’d won, got as far as the stage before he was told it was actually Dannie Abse. Mind you, Bullough’s blog has now exceeded its bandwidth, so maybe he’s got some useful publicity out of this. Probably not enough to make up for the public humiliation, mind.
I was at this ceremony last year, as our friend Robin was one of the contenders, and I remember thinking it was unusual in being one of the few awards left where the winners didn’t know in advance. I had no idea that not even the presenter knew either – I’m sure that’ll change now.
But what on earth did that card say? "The winner isn’t TOM BULLOUGH! He’s one of the runners-up along with Nia Wyn. The actual winner is Dannie Abse."
Is this real life or a sketch show?
Two police officers have been forced to resign over claims they took patrol cars on seaside trips while on duty.
Newspapers reported the Pcs were caught when a vehicle broke down on the way to Weston-super-Mare, after previous visits to Barry Island and Porthcawl.
It was claimed colleagues dubbed the group, four men and a woman, "the seaside five".
According to newspaper reports, the unnamed constables dared each other to see how far they could travel away from their station, reaching resorts including Barry Island and Porthcawl – both outside the Gwent force area.