The soul of a blackbird

July 9, 2021 0 Comments
The soul of a blackbird

The other day, as I was coming home from an evening walk, a strange thing happened.  I was nearing a place where the road narrows and the pavement gives out and you need to take care before crossing to the safer side.  On a small patch of grass, outside the gate of the house called […]

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Remembering Camille Claudel

July 2, 2021 0 Comments
Remembering Camille Claudel

The Auguste Rodin exhibition now at Tate Modern takes you beyond easy assumptions about the artist, based on the best-known works and a few fragments of biography.  Rodin’s escape from the conventional beauties of classicism into reconstructing real human bodies came in 1876 with The age of bronze.  Its realism scandalised the critics.  But that’s […]

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Cwm Cadlan

June 25, 2021 0 Comments
Cwm Cadlan

At the centre of Penderyn is the Lamb Inn, with its blue plaque commemorating ‘Lewsyn yr Heliwr’, one of the leaders of the 1831 Merthyr Rising.  Almost opposite, there’s an ancient signpost labelled ‘Cwm Cadlan, Brecon County’.  It points to a lane off to the east.  After climbing gently for four or five miles across […]

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Four quarters

June 18, 2021 0 Comments
Four quarters

If you move to live on the coast it doesn’t take long to discover that your world, enriched as it might be by the presence of the sea, has been reduced.  You can no longer travel in all directions, but only, at most, in three.  I learned this lesson late.  I was brought up in […]

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Erasmus Lewis: spad, spy, friend of Gulliver

June 11, 2021 0 Comments
Erasmus Lewis: spad, spy, friend of Gulliver

This small corner of Carmarthenshire is new to me – the point where the Cothi flows into the Tywi, just west of Llanegwad.  A track leaves the village, passes a cottage, Penygoilan, and a farm, Llwchgwyn, and then turns into a narrow lane that leads down to the banks of the Tywi and a large […]

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Cwm Ysgiach

June 4, 2021 0 Comments
Cwm Ysgiach

Yma ar y groesffordd yn y bryniau, ymddengys fod pob peth yn bosib.  Gallwch chi gymryd unrhyw ffordd o’ch dewis: nôl i Bontlliw, ymlaen i Felindre, i’r gorllewin i Bontarddulais, dros y mynydd i Garnswllt yn Sir Gâr, neu lawr i Gwm Dulais a phentref bach Cwmcerdinen.  Fy newis heddiw yw cerdded i Felindre: ddim […]

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Eagle

May 28, 2021 0 Comments
Eagle

In summer 1972 I made two happy discoveries within the Roman fortress that had occupied the centre of Exeter.  One of them was human.  That encounter changed my life for good.  The other was inanimate.  Its impact on me wasn’t as great, but it did earn a small place in the history of research on […]

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Yr hen lwybr i eglwys Llangelynnin

May 21, 2021 3 Comments
Yr hen lwybr i eglwys Llangelynnin

Roedd yr haul yn dechrau disgyn wrth imi gychwyn, ar ôl swper, o hen dafarn Y Groes.  Cerddais ar hyd y lôn sy’n troelli ar draws gwastadeddau Dyffryn Conwy tuag at bentref Rowen.  Cymylau sirws uchel yn unig yn yr awyr glas, a dim argoel o’r glaw trwm sy wedi britho mis Mai eleni. Tu […]

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Walters: gwallter’s top 10

May 14, 2021 3 Comments
Walters: gwallter’s top 10

Walter was already an old-fashioned forename in 1952, when my parents donated it to me.  To be fair, they were anxious about the commonness of my surname, and eager to load me with as many other names as they could, to avoid misidentification (later, my brother suffered the same fate).  By the time they reached […]

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Happy birthday Michael Rosen

May 7, 2021 0 Comments
Happy birthday Michael Rosen

When I consider how the government of our country – I mean the one with the satirical name ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’ –  has fallen under the control of a set of unscrupulous and heartless gangsters, who lack any kind of moral standard or basic competence, and when I consider that […]

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