E.M. Forster invents the iPad

September 30, 2022 3 Comments
E.M. Forster invents the iPad

Years ago my friend C and I challenged each other to read, all the way through, a Classic Long Book.  My challenge was Moby-Dick, and his was Bleak House.  Whether C ever reached Melville’s majestic final line, ‘… and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago’, I […]

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A coast-to-coast walk

September 23, 2022 2 Comments
A coast-to-coast walk

I’m no Alfred Wainwright, and this is no marathon journey like the one he devised across northern England, but on 19 September I made up my own coast-to-coast walk. It’s worth sharing with you, since in its small way it’s a fine walk, and you won’t find it listed in guidebooks.  ‘Coast-to-coast’ is stretching the […]

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John Singer Sargent in Morocco

September 16, 2022 0 Comments
John Singer Sargent in Morocco

In 1879, years before he became known as the world’s most famous society portrait painter, John Singer Sargent left Paris, where he had trained as an artist in the studio of Carolus-Duran, and travelled south, to Spain and north Africa.  Carolus-Duran idolised Velasquez, and Sargent’s first stop was Madrid, to study paintings by Velasquez in the […]

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‘Rhyngom’ gan Sioned Erin Hughes

September 9, 2022 2 Comments
‘Rhyngom’ gan Sioned Erin Hughes

Pan enillodd Sioned Erin Hughes y Fedal Ryddiaith yn Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Tregaron ym mis Awst am ei chasgliad o straeon byrion Rhyngom, roedd yr ymateb gan ddarllenwyr yn gynnes ac yn frwd.  A dim syndod, achos bod y llyfr yn dod â llais newydd, hollol ffres a chyffrous i ffuglen Gymraeg gyfoes. Teitl cywir a […]

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Poor boy long ways from home

September 2, 2022 3 Comments
Poor boy long ways from home

Has a song title ever said so much in so few words?  This one has the reputation of being one of the oldest blues songs.  That’s a claim that’s hard to substantiate, but this song certainly has a long history, and it’s still alive and well today. ‘Poor boy long ways from home’, often shortened […]

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Stephen W. Williams, engineer, architect, archaeologist

August 26, 2022 2 Comments
Stephen W. Williams, engineer, architect, archaeologist

His name’s been familiar to me for years, but it’s only in recent months that I’ve got to know him better.  In May this year I happened to stay the night in Penralley House, his home in Rhayader, and earlier in our walk up the Wye we passed Bryn Wern, a country house he designed […]

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Hospital notes

August 19, 2022 4 Comments
Hospital notes

1 When I arrive, the ward is full.  I’m redirected to where the ophthalmology patients wait.  It’s a poor fit: my body part for attention is some way south of the eyes.  The surgeon comes, to tell me briefly what could go wrong.  A nurse tells me to undress, and leaves two items of hospital […]

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Against sport

August 12, 2022 8 Comments
Against sport

My title will offend, I know.  Almost as much as would a blog of 1800, if one existed, that carried the title ‘Against religion’.  But bear with me, even if sport is your religion.  I want to argue, why, contrary to a virtually unquestioned consensus, I think the current fetishisation of competitive sport is a […]

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Lasseter’s last ride

August 5, 2022 3 Comments
Lasseter’s last ride

Our school was just across the road.  I could have left our little brick house, Corton Cottage, at one minute to nine and still have been in time for lessons.  The school building was small, built of warm stone, and handsome in its modest way.  It dated back to the 1860s.  At first not much […]

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R.J. Derfel ar lyfrgelloedd

July 29, 2022 0 Comments
R.J. Derfel ar lyfrgelloedd

Cofir R.J. Derfel heddiw yn bennaf fel y dyn a fathodd y term ‘Brad y Llyfrau Gleision’, teitl ei ddrama a gyhoeddwyd yn 1854, saith mlynedd ar ôl yr adroddiad drwg-enwog gan y llywodraeth ar gyflwr addysg yng Nghymru.  Ond dylen ni ei gofio hefyd fel un o’r rhai cynharaf i ysgrifennu am sosialaeth trwy […]

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