Archive for 2015

The Eagle flies again

December 26, 2015 0 Comments
The Eagle flies again

On our coastal walks C and I have discussed most things under the sun. One of them, on a Gower trip in early September, was the Eagle comic, which we both read as young lads. Now C has lent me his battered and beloved copy of the Eagle Annual Number One to read over Christmas […]

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Sport is not the answer

December 19, 2015 0 Comments
Sport is not the answer

According to the NHS Britain is the most obese nation in western Europe. A quarter of adults are obese. Levels of obesity have risen threefold on thirty years, and if trends continue half the population will be obese by 2050. Diabetes, heart disease and cancer are just a few of the diseases that can follow […]

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Glenn Gould’s ‘The idea of north’

December 12, 2015 0 Comments
Glenn Gould’s ‘The idea of north’

This week, as part of its Northern Lights season, Radio 3 broadcast an hour-long documentary made by the pianist Glenn Gould for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1967 called The idea of north. It turned out to be as absorbing as his piano playing. By 1967 Gould had famously turned his back on performing in […]

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Pembrokeshire Coast Path, day 20

December 5, 2015 0 Comments
Pembrokeshire Coast Path, day 20

8:30am on a dark December Friday, and we’re driving west, three of us. Rain, unforecast, runs into us from the west. The stub of a rainbow over St Clears soon erases itself. At Llanddowror the Tâf has burst its banks and flooded dozens of fields, metres deep. Everywhere the land is bloated with the rains […]

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The Home Rule All Round movement

November 28, 2015 0 Comments
The Home Rule All Round movement

To get a swift appreciation of the whole sweep of Welsh history for a current project, I’ve been re-reading John Davies’s great Hanes Cymru / A history of Wales (rev. ed. 2007). It’s a big book but the pleasure of reading it is even bigger. Especially when you pause in your reading to remember John […]

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Hwyl fawr i’r byd cyhoeddus?

November 22, 2015 0 Comments
Hwyl fawr i’r byd cyhoeddus?

Ar ddydd Mercher nesaf bydd y Canghellor George Osborne yn cyhoeddi’r canlyniadau o’i adolygiad o wariant cyhoeddus. Mae’n argoeli bod yn achlysur tyngedfennol. Fel dywed William Keegan, y newyddiadurwr economaidd, yn gyson, daeth y Ceidwadwyr i rym, yn 2010 ac eto yn 2015, ar sail dau Gelwydd Mawr: taw’r llywodraeth Lafur, yn hytrach na’r bancwyr a’i […]

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Moby-Dick and the poor devil of a Sub-Sub

November 15, 2015 1 Comment
Moby-Dick and the poor devil of a Sub-Sub

Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick (1851) is a book that, once read, will never leave you. Its themes are as close as a book’s themes can be to the essence of being human. Its symbol – ‘symbol’ is a poor choice of word – of the great white whale will stalk your imagination, waking or asleep, for […]

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Two Svalbard flights

November 7, 2015 1 Comment
Two Svalbard flights

The most remarkable place on the planet I’ve visited, in the summer of 2005, is the Svalbard archipelago. Svalbard lies half way between the northern coast of Norway and the North Pole, between 74 and 81 degrees north, far within the Arctic Circle. About 60% of its surface is covered with glacial ice, and ice […]

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Peter Lanyon’s gliding paintings

November 2, 2015 0 Comments
Peter Lanyon’s gliding paintings

If you want to escape from the madness of central London – a frequent need, in my experience – you could do worse than visit the Courtauld Gallery. It’s usually quiet, its home is a handsome and quirky corner of Somerset House, and its permanent collection is exceptional for its quality and holding power. You […]

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Croeso, Ioan Tan, welcome!

October 24, 2015 2 Comments
Croeso, Ioan Tan, welcome!

A long bare road, Ioan bach, you’ve tramped, Dark months at sea, to meet us in this flash Of sudden day. You fled the lost land, and camped On deck through China, Red and Middle seas, dashed By Biscay storms to ground on Scottish stones. Picked up the accent, trekked south in Pennine rain (Millstone […]

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