literature

Y postmon

January 27, 2023 0 Comments
Y postmon

Un o’r ychydig swyddi sydd heb newid yn ei hanfod dros y blynyddoedd yw postmon.  Mae rhywbeth sylfaenol, anostyngadwy am gerdded o ddrws i ddrws lawr yr heol i ddanfon llythyrau a pharseli i’r trigolion, a thorri gair cyfeillgar â nhw ar y ffordd.  Daeth y gair ‘postmon’ yn gyffredin yn yr 1860au, ac ers […]

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Dorian Gray discovers world music

December 16, 2022 0 Comments
Dorian Gray discovers world music

In the cosy light of our post-colonial glow-lamps we tend to imagine that ‘world music’ was discovered, and given its long-deserved recognition, by our own generation.  We still have dozens of LPs and CDs of Indian and west African music, rooted out in Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus in the 1980s.  We kept an eye […]

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Battle of the buildings

November 4, 2022 0 Comments
Battle of the buildings

Felicia Hemans, the leading woman poet of the Romantic period in Britain, came to Wales in 1800 when she was seven years old.  (Felicia Browne was her original name: her father, George, owned a wine-importing business.)  Her first home was a cottage near Abergele, before the family moved in 1809 to St Asaph to live […]

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Lasseter’s last ride

August 5, 2022 5 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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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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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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Trais yn y pentra

May 20, 2022 0 Comments
Trais yn y pentra

Yn gynnar yn Afal drwg Adda, hunangofiant Caradog Prichard, daw brawddeg sy’n codi ael y darllenydd: Hyd yma [canfod ei fam yn mynd yn ffwndrus] yr oeddwn yn eofn a hunan hyderus, yn ymladdwr ffyrnig ac wedi ennill enw fel tipyn o fwli yn yr ysgol ac ymhlith hogiau’r ardal. Yn ôl pob sôn, cymeriad […]

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John Thelwall at Llyswen

April 29, 2022 0 Comments
John Thelwall at Llyswen

Next week we’ll be completing the Wye Valley Walk, and one of our stops will be the Griffin Inn in the village of Llyswen, on the banks of the Wye half way between Brecon and Builth.  Years ago, my colleague Jean Dane and I would often pause there for a coffee on our way from […]

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Y Lôn Goed a’r beirdd

April 22, 2022 7 Comments
Y Lôn Goed a’r beirdd

Rhodfa lydan â dwy linell o dderw a ffawydd oedd y Lôn Goed, a dim mwy na hynny, i ddechrau. Enw yn unig oedd y Lôn imi tan y ddiweddar, pan ddarllenais gyfrol ddifyr Rhys Mwyn, Real Gwynedd, a darganfod mai lleoliad go iawn yw hi.  Ac yn wir, lleoliad hanesyddol.  Fe’i lluniwyd gan John […]

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Funeral notes

April 15, 2022 4 Comments
Funeral notes

It’s been a bad six months for funerals.  Maybe the Grim Reaper has been busier than usual lately.  More likely, I’m now entering that danger zone of an age when I can expect him to visit my friends and acquaintances more often.  One consolation, if you can call it that, is that experiencing so many […]

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