The art of the political apology

November 27, 2020 0 Comments
The art of the political apology

Most politicians are egotists.  (All right, I can think of a few exceptions, but as a general rule the proposition stands.)  The bloodstreams of those who reach positions of real power contain dangerously high levels of egotism, or they would not have succeeded as they have.  One of the results of such self-regard is that […]

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Richard Owain Roberts’s ‘Hello friend we missed you’

November 20, 2020 0 Comments
Richard Owain Roberts’s ‘Hello friend we missed you’

Hello friend we missed you is Richard Owain Roberts’s first novel.  Published by Parthian, it was nominated for this year’s Guardian ‘Not the Booker’ prize.  It duly won the award in October 2020 after a readers’ vote. In the book Roberts sets himself a big challenge: how to engage us as readers with a protagonist […]

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Nôl i normalrwydd?

November 14, 2020 0 Comments
Nôl i normalrwydd?

Pob heol yn wag ac yn ddistaw.    Ceir yn segur y tu allan i dai eu perchnogion.  Y  rheini yn celu y tu mewn i’w cartrefi.  Ychydig iawn o bobl i’w gweld yn yr awyr agored.  Gallech chi blannu eich traed, pe baech yn dymuno, ar hyd y llinell wen yng nghanol y ffordd, a […]

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Thomas Traherne goes walking

November 7, 2020 0 Comments
Thomas Traherne goes walking

Today Thomas Traherne is counted alongside George Herbert and Henry Vaughan as one of the great ‘metaphysical’ poets of the seventeenth century.  All three, interestingly, were men of Welsh and Welsh Borders origin.  Herbert was born in Montgomery, Vaughan came from Llansantffraed near Talybont-on-Usk and returned there to live, and Traherne was probably born in […]

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Kate Bingham and the rotten state

November 3, 2020 2 Comments
Kate Bingham and the rotten state

If the case of Dido Harding has become a prominent symbol of the degradation of public life in the UK, few until recently were aware that it has a close second, in exactly the same field of Covid policy: the case of Kate Bingham. Boris Johnson appointed Kate Bingham in May 2020 as the chair […]

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The Black Flag

October 30, 2020 1 Comment
The Black Flag

The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery is closed for ‘firewall’ fortnight, but when it reopens you could do worse than pay it a visit.  There are several excellent temporary exhibitions, as well as some seldom-seen items from the permanent collection, including a small display of art on the theme of protest.  Its centrepiece is a striking […]

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The Republic of Wales

October 23, 2020 3 Comments
The Republic of Wales

A few days ago a distracted weather presenter on Sky News, missing out a few words of her script, uttered the phrase ‘Republic of Wales’.  The news spread quickly round Twitter.  There was wide agreement that the phrase had a highly appealing ring to it.  So, too, the Welsh version, Gweriniaeth Cymru.  Since then I’ve […]

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‘Ymharadwys’: Pentre Eirianell

October 16, 2020 0 Comments
‘Ymharadwys’: Pentre Eirianell

Yn ddiweddar digwyddodd imi fod mewn sgwrs ebost â thenant presennol Pentre Eirianell.  Hwn yw’r hen dŷ fferm ar ymyl Bae Dulas ar Ynys Môn lle magwyd ‘Morysiaid Môn’ – Lewis, Richard, William, Elin a Siôn (neu John) Morris – yn gynnar yn y ddeunawfed ganrif. Gwelais i’r tŷ am y tro cyntaf ym Medi […]

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Sophonisba’s game of chess

October 9, 2020 0 Comments
Sophonisba’s game of chess

Not before time, the seventeenth century painter Artemisia Gentileschi is now receiving just acclaim, in response to the National Gallery’s new exhibition in London (alas, out of bounds for those of us who are locked down).  Even if her ultra-violent ‘Texas chain-saw massacre’ dramas are too much for you, you can always admire her picture […]

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In praise of Kathleen Jamie

October 2, 2020 0 Comments
In praise of Kathleen Jamie

The half of me that’s Scots lies buried, and usually dormant.  It comes to life when visiting Scotland.  But since my parents died, there’s less obvious reason to go, and we’ve not been there for a few years.  Sometimes I daydream about moving to live in a newly independent Scotland, released from bonehead, vicious British […]

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