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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Clearing out

July 22, 2022 5 Comments
Clearing out

I’ve been clearing out.  Clearing cupboards in the front room, full of books, files, magazines, papers, photos, games, maps and other detritus.  Many of them have been there since the cupboards and the bookshelves above them were built some thirty years ago.  There’s nothing special about such a task, especially for one trained as a […]

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The poet and the mapmaker

July 15, 2022 0 Comments
The poet and the mapmaker

As the Russian government continues its murderous and destructive war on Ukraine, it seems a good time to turn to a voice for peace.  Here’s a poem from the time of what is still called, mistakenly, the English Civil War, by an obscure poet from Norfolk, Ralph Knevet.  Entitled ‘The vote’, it is a simple […]

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Mysteries of Paraclete

July 8, 2022 6 Comments
Mysteries of Paraclete

Five minutes’ walk away, where Summerland Lane reduces to a narrow neck of tarmac to meet Newton Road, is Paraclete Chapel.  In every respect it’s unremarkable, except for one thing, its highly unusual name.  Till recently I’ve not thought much about the word ‘paraclete’, beyond knowing that it was vaguely connected with the Holy Spirit. […]

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The bookseller of Stromness

July 1, 2022 3 Comments
The bookseller of Stromness

Hanging on a wall in the public library in Stromness, where you can sit in an easy chair and enjoy a view of the waterfront through the picture window, is an oil painting called The bookseller of Stromness. It was painted in 2005 by a self-taught artist from Stornaway, Calum Morrison, who had long settled […]

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Heirloom

June 24, 2022 2 Comments
Heirloom

It’s made out of a single piece of oak and sits upright on the window sill, though its planed rear and central hole suggest it was originally intended to hang on a wall.  The head of an adult man or a woman.  The face framed by stylised hair locks, long, straight and deeply incised, and […]

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Tlodi, nawr a ddoe

June 17, 2022 0 Comments
Tlodi, nawr a ddoe

Beth yw tlodi?  Am flynyddoedd bellach fe’i diffinnir yn y wlad hon fel ‘tlodi cymharol’.  Hynny yw, dych chi’n dlawd os ydych chi’n derbyn incwm sy’n 60% yn is nag incwm cyfartal pobl eich cymuned.  Dyw hi ddim yn syndod clywed fod tlodi o’r math hwn yn cynyddu ers blynyddoedd, wrth i anghyfartaledd godi, a […]

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Conscience wakes?

June 10, 2022 2 Comments
Conscience wakes?

Of the many analogies used to make sense of Boris Johnson’s inglorious reign, the circus is probably the commonest.  No ordinary circus, of course, but one where witless acrobats fall headlong from their tightropes, lions run amok and maul defenceless children, the ringmaster sulks in his tent, surrounded by cans of lager and lines of […]

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Mr Bebb’s dislike of the motor car

June 3, 2022 3 Comments
Mr Bebb’s dislike of the motor car

Not many people these days have heard of Ambrose Bebb.  Maybe some Welsh speakers, especially following Robin Chapman’s 1997 biography, but very few others.  His son Dewi Bebb, the rugby player, and his grandson Guto Bebb, the former MP, are probably much better known.  In the interwar period, though, Ambrose Bebb was known for his […]

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