Photo of a gate

February 11, 2018 0 Comments
Photo of a gate

On the wall almost opposite the foot of the bed, my home for a few days last week, was a thick frame containing a mounted colour photograph.  Since it was one of the few unnecessary objects in the room, and the only occupant of its wall, I found myself giving it my full attention several […]

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Popeth yn Gymraeg, yn llythrennol

February 2, 2018 0 Comments
Popeth yn Gymraeg, yn llythrennol

Beth sydd ei angen er mwyn cyrraedd miliwn o siaradwyr Cymraeg erbyn y flwyddyn 2050?  Llawer o bethau, heb os, ond un ohonynt yw cynnydd mawr iawn yn y maint o’r deunydd yn Gymraeg sydd ar gael i bobl – pethau i’w darllen, i’w gweld, i’w glywed. Ystyr ‘ar gael’, y dyddiau hyn wrth gwrs, […]

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Dr Thurley crosses the border

January 28, 2018 10 Comments
Dr Thurley crosses the border

Last year Ken Skates AM, then the Cabinet member responsibility for culture, commissioned a museum director from London, Dr Simon Thurley, to make recommendations on the running of the National Museum of Wales.  (Technically the Museum’s latest English title is Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, a clumsy formulation which shows what trouble you get […]

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Orwell’s toads

January 20, 2018 3 Comments
Orwell’s toads

On 12 April 1946 the magazine Tribune published a short piece by George Orwell entitled Some thoughts on the common toad.  It’s not perhaps his most original essay – its central theme is the coming of spring, and how ubiquitous it is, even in the centre of a large city like London – but it […]

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A waxwork opens an embassy

January 13, 2018 0 Comments
A waxwork opens an embassy

Like many people – or at least like many non-Londoners – I was only dimly aware that the American government was building a new UK embassy in London, when Mr Donald J Trump kindly drew our attention to its imminent opening. According to a recent tweet it seems Mr Trump was planning to come and […]

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Morfydd Llwyn Owen a Ruth Herbert Lewis

January 6, 2018 2 Comments
Morfydd Llwyn Owen a Ruth Herbert Lewis

Faint o bobl sy’n ymwybodol bod un o’r mynwentydd gorau yng Nghymru i’w gweld oddi ar Newton Road, Ystumllwynarth?  Ac o’r rheiny, faint sy’n gyfarwydd â’r gofeb urddasol sy’n llechu mewn cornel anghysbell o’r fynwent, fel na fyddai ymwelydd sy’n troedio’r llwybrau yn sylwi arno?  Cyfeirio ydw i at fedd y gyfansoddwraig ifanc Morfydd Llwyn […]

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Philip Pullman and the revival of fascism

January 1, 2018 3 Comments
Philip Pullman and the revival of fascism

One of the sweetest memories of reading books to our daughters when they were young was narrating Philip Pullman’s ‘His dark materials trilogy’ to E. in the 1990s, not long after the books were published.  One of them, Northern lights, carries a message to E. from the author on its title page.  Sometimes I’d continue […]

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Walking to meet heroes

December 22, 2017 1 Comment
Walking to meet heroes

In October 1705 Johann Sebastian Bach set out on foot on a journey of 260 miles.  He was twenty years old.  He’d recently been in a brawl with a musician he’d insulted in the market place of his home town of Arnstadt in Thuringia, central Germany.  The church authorities who employed him as organist in […]

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Brasil: dwy long, dau fardd

December 10, 2017 1 Comment
Brasil: dwy long, dau fardd

Un o’r cyfnodau allweddol ym mywyd a barddoniaeth T.H. Parry-Williams oedd ei fordaith, ar ei ben i hun, i dde America yn 1925.  Ar y pryd bu cryn ansicrwydd, nid y lleiaf ar ran y bardd ei hun, am y rheswm pam penderfynodd adael Cymru a’i deulu yn Rhyd-ddu – roedd ei dad mewn anhwylder […]

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