The Londonification of Cardiff

April 21, 2019 0 Comments
The Londonification of Cardiff

It’s a commonplace that the UK has the least well-balanced economy in Western Europe.  While London and its region, dominated by financial and allied services, continue to grow and thrive, the rest of the country is bogged in post-industrial depression, suffering still from the effects of George Osborne’s planned ‘austerity’ (still very much with us, […]

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Three paintings in Vienna

April 14, 2019 0 Comments
Three paintings in Vienna

In the Leopold Museum in Vienna, a long wall is covered with small panels that show photographs and short lives of dozens of cultural figures who were active in the city at the start of the twentieth century: Freud, Mahler, Schoenberg, Musil, Wedekind, Klimt and many others – almost all of them well-known today.  Only […]

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Walking with windmills

April 7, 2019 0 Comments
Walking with windmills

The Heart of Wales line train leaves me at the station in Ammanford.  It’s still, sunny, and warm, the second day of summer time, with an extra hour of daylight walking.  My plan is to cross Mynydd y Betws and Mynydd y Gwair and drop down the Lliw valley to Gowerton, completing the Gower Way.  […]

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Up the Ely river

March 29, 2019 0 Comments
Up the Ely river

Where we start happens to be in south Cardiff, but could be anywhere in the world in 2019.  Apartments are stacked in Duplo’d piles, each block with a ‘concierge’ and a primary colour.  Sheds, with metal roofs shaped in shallow arcs, are home to companies that shelter behind opaque titles, usually including the word ‘global’.  […]

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Abaty Cymer, abaty dirgel

March 24, 2019 0 Comments
Abaty Cymer, abaty dirgel

Faint o weithiau dych chi’n gyrru’n gyflym ar hyd yr A470 o Lanelltud tua Dolgellau, gan anwybyddu’r lôn fach i’r chwith, yn syth ar ôl croesi afon Mawddach, sy’n arwain at Abaty Cymer?   Y dydd o’r blaen ymwelais â’r Abaty am y tro cyntaf.  O’r maes parcio, tro bach yw e lawr i’r afon, a’r […]

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Catullus in the Kingsway

March 16, 2019 0 Comments
Catullus in the Kingsway

Here comes Tommo the TeethMr White, the dentist’s dream.Flashes ‘em at every man jack,Everywhichway. In the courtroom he sits,An intern for the defence team.While Counsel jerks the jurors’ tears,he just grins. In the crem up at Morriston, a mum weeps for her dear boy, her one and only.But he just grins. Whenever,Wherever,Whatever he’s up to,he […]

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‘Y tu mewn’ T.H. Parry-Williams

March 9, 2019 0 Comments
‘Y tu mewn’ T.H. Parry-Williams

Yr ysgrif fyrraf gan T.H. Parry-Williams yn ei gasgliad Lloffion (1942) yw ‘Y tu mewn’.  Y fyrraf, ond nid yr ysgafnaf.  Mae iddi ddau fan cychwyn: sylw ar ddau air Cymraeg (‘perfedd’ ac ‘ymysgaroedd’), a delwedd weledol: … aeth modurwr hwnnw dros gyw bach melyn ac aros i edrych ar yr alanas a chydymdeimlo â’i […]

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Why isn’t visual art a big thing in Wales?

March 3, 2019 3 Comments
Why isn’t visual art a big thing in Wales?

How healthy are the visual arts in Wales?  Not just in the sense of how many or how good are the artists, but other, more contextual questions, such as:  How are they valued?   How are they supported?  How are artists encouraged and trained?  How are the arts used to bring new life to depressed communities?  […]

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Edward Thomas in Swansea

February 24, 2019 0 Comments
Edward Thomas in Swansea

Killed by a shell, a year short of his fortieth birthday, on 9 April 1917, at the start of the Battle of Arras, after seventeen years as a prose writer and a mere two years as one of the twentieth century’s finest poets.  The bare facts of Edward Thomas’s life conceal a complex character and […]

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August Kleinzahler’s mother

February 15, 2019 0 Comments
August Kleinzahler’s mother

One of the benefits of being able to wander round a really big bookshop – I was in London, in the huge Waterstones in Piccadilly – is that you come across books that you’d be very unlikely to stumble across in a smaller shop – let alone on the imaginary shelves of the appalling Amazon. […]

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