Black boys

June 16, 2019 0 Comments
Black boys

On the way to give a talk in Killay Library in Swansea last week I passed a pub I remembered seeing before.  It struck me as odd the first time.  Not because of its building or location, but because of its name – The Black Boy. Years ago such a name might not have raised […]

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A foxy visitor from Ceredigion

June 9, 2019 1 Comment
A foxy visitor from Ceredigion

Receiving post through the letterbox doesn’t give the anticipatory thrill it once did.  Personal messages are rare.  They’re outnumbered by personalised but corporate ones.  Today came a special invitation to view a retirement home in another part of Swansea, and the offer of discreet equipment to improve my hearing.  Neither of them arrived in response […]

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The Monster is us: Mary Shelley on disability

June 2, 2019 0 Comments
The Monster is us: Mary Shelley on disability

The charity shops of Mumbles are an unending supply of serendipitous reading.  Often I pick up books in them that I should have read years, even decades ago.  (Another source of overlooked books, by the way, is the excellent podcast Backlisted.)  My latest find, from Tenovus, is Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein, in a Penguin […]

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‘Very infuriating, never quite right’: Kyffin Williams yr awdur

May 25, 2019 0 Comments
‘Very infuriating, never quite right’: Kyffin Williams yr awdur

Diolch o galon i Ymddiriedolaeth Kyffin Williams am y gwahoddiad i draddodi Darlith Flynyddol Kyffin Williams eleni.  Rydw i’n ymwybodol o’r darlithoedd rhagorol gan gyfres hir o siaradwyr eraill ar Kyffin.  Maen nhw wedi treulio blynyddoedd yn ymchwilio ac yn meddwl am gelf a bywyd Kyffin.  Ni allaf honni fy mod yn un o hoelion […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 8: Kington to Knighton

May 22, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 8: Kington to Knighton

It’s the last day of the first ‘semester’ of our Offa trip.  And it dawns like most of the others, sunny and warm.  We buy some sandwiches: there’s nowhere to eat or buy food along the Path ahead.  In fact, we won’t go through a single village, just green fields, open land and a few […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 7: Hay-on-Wye to Kington

May 22, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 7: Hay-on-Wye to Kington

Yet another sunny, warm day.  This will be a three-water-bottle day, since it’s fifteen miles to Kington and there won’t be anywhere to eat or buy food en route.  C and I pick up supplies from a shop and cross the Wye.  Instead of carrying on along the road to Clyro, the Path turns immediately […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 6: Longtown to Hay-on-Wye

May 22, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 6: Longtown to Hay-on-Wye

Another sunny morning.  We pick up some sandwiches from Hopes, Longtown’s village shop.  This must surely be the best village shop in the UK. It’s like a mini department store, and stocks almost everything you’d ever want; it even has micro-bookshop, and it acts as a post office, with a sorting office in a metal […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 5: Llangattock Lingoed to Longtown

May 21, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 5: Llangattock Lingoed to Longtown

Another morning of complete stillness and no clouds (just a criss-cross of high vapour-trails).  Today Ca and Ch leave us, and C and I leave the rolling lowlands behind and head for the bare heights of the Black Mountains.  First, there’s a bit more of the green country we’ve come to love in Monmouthshire.  On […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 4: Hendre to Llangattock Lingoed

May 21, 2019 1 Comment
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 4: Hendre to Llangattock Lingoed

A perfect May day: not a cloud in the sky, not a breath of wind.  And no traffic noise, just birdsong in stereo.  Swifts, the first we’ve seen on this trip, flash around the house, and a pair of Canada geese carefully guard their young near a pond.  Today our host is going to Malvern […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 3: Bigsweir to Hendre

May 21, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 3: Bigsweir to Hendre

The morning’s chilly and overcast, and at first a low mist flows downstream, blocking the view of Llandogo.  We march briskly along the riverside drive to Bigsweir Bridge, where G and A are waiting for us.  The iron bridge makes an elegant low curve across the water, with metal latticework beneath and a tollhouse on […]

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