Archive for 2019

Television, books and lists

November 8, 2019 0 Comments
Television, books and lists

Television is scared stiff of books.  It’s different on the radio, and it used to be different on television in the distant past – remember Melvyn Bragg’s excellent Read all about it In the 1970s? – but those who decide what we watch on the box today seem to think that to make a programme […]

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Greening Swansea: a forgotten pioneer

November 1, 2019 0 Comments
Greening Swansea: a forgotten pioneer

Greening cities and towns, we might imagine, is a contemporary concern – a response to the realisation that we’re rapidly destroying the earth’s environment and depleting its non-human lifeforms.  Swansea has its share of green activists and agitators working to raise awareness and press for action. It would be fair to say, though, that those […]

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Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn, selenophotographer

October 29, 2019 0 Comments
Thereza Dillwyn Llewelyn, selenophotographer

If you visit the Penllergare Valley Woods, as we did last week, you can’t leave without developing a strong respect for the estate’s chief creator, John Dillwyn Llewelyn.  Photographic pioneer, astronomer, botanist, orchid collector, landscapist, inventor – he used his wealth, leisure and connections, after inheriting the estate as a boy from his grandfather in […]

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The hunt for Twrch Trwyth

October 18, 2019 0 Comments
The hunt for Twrch Trwyth

The other day I walked down to Mumbles to get my hair cut (a no. 8 shave all over, in case you’re interested).  In my normal barber’s there was one customer in the only chair, and four others waiting.   The cutting pace there is slow, so I moved down to another, newish shop I’d never […]

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Sebon glan, sebon budr

October 11, 2019 0 Comments
Sebon glan, sebon budr

Daeth newyddion da o Lyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru‘r wythnos yma: bod y Llyfrgell wedi prynu un o’r ddau fersiwn gwreiddiol o’r llun dyfrlliw enwog Salem gan Sydney Curnow Vosper, cyn arwerthiant yng Nghaerdydd.  Mae’n hollol briodol bod llun a ddisgrifir yn aml fel ‘eicon’ o gelf Gymreig yn cael cartref parhaol mewn sefydliad diwylliannol cenedlaethol.  Fel […]

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Edgar Degas does some more ironing

October 8, 2019 0 Comments
Edgar Degas does some more ironing

A while ago I drew attention to the pictures Edgar Degas made of women ironing.  I tried to show how this unusual theme brought out the best in him as a painter.  This week, in Avignon, I came across another fine example that I hadn’t seen before. It’s on display in the Musée Angladon.  This […]

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Werner Herzog’s pilgrimage to Paris

September 28, 2019 1 Comment
Werner Herzog’s pilgrimage to Paris

Many think Werner Herzog our greatest living film-maker.  His major fiction films of the 1970s and 1980s will always find new viewers.  Aguirre, Wrath of God, a study in conspiracy, tyranny and madness, has a claim to be one of the most powerful ever made.  Once you’ve seen it the first time, with its dense […]

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After Offa: Mercian Hymns

September 20, 2019 0 Comments
After Offa: Mercian Hymns

We weren’t just following his Dyke on foot.  We were also tracking its maker, Offa, king of the Mercians. Or so it was said.  We’ve no contemporary evidence that Offa was the one responsible.  The first person to make the claim was Asser, a Welsh monk from St Davids (his original name may have been […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 15: Bodfari to Prestatyn

September 16, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 15: Bodfari to Prestatyn

No kindness from the Path in the first section of today’s walk (we’re now reduced to three walkers).  From the road, opposite a disused pub, the fingerpost points straight up a steep hill, before we’ve a chance to wake up the limbs.  As the guidebook puts it, the Clwydian hills have not yet done with […]

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Offa’s Dyke Path, day 14: Clwyd Gate to Bodfari

September 16, 2019 0 Comments
Offa’s Dyke Path, day 14: Clwyd Gate to Bodfari

This was the day we were not looking forward to.  For a while the weather forecast was adamant: heavy rain in the morning, lighter rain for the rest of the day.  But the heavy rain cleared early, and it was just spitting when I went out into the streets of Ruthin in search of a […]

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