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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Dear Rowan, dear Laura

April 8, 2022 0 Comments
Dear Rowan, dear Laura

What sort of country do we want Wales to be in future?  Rowan Williams and Laura McAllister have recently invited us to answer that question.  They are the joint chairs of the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales, a group set up in 2021 by the Welsh Government to come up with options […]

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Making an impression

April 1, 2022 2 Comments
Making an impression

In Aberystwyth last week I called in the School of Art to see an exhibition, arranged by Mary Lloyd Jones, and organised by Neil Holland and Phil Garratt, as a tribute to her husband, John Jones, who died last year aged 89.  Surprisingly, this is the first time he’s had a show to himself.  As […]

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In praise of bookmarks

March 25, 2022 2 Comments
In praise of bookmarks

If you’re like me, at any given time you’ll have several half-read books lying about, probably in different parts of your house or flat.  Each book will have a place-holder inserted to remind you where to resume reading.  Unless you’re one of those people who turn down the edges of pages to keep their place […]

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Rhwng dau fae

March 17, 2022 3 Comments
Rhwng dau fae

1 Concrit Llwybr newydd sbon, ei wynebau goncrit yn sgleinio wedi’r glaw.  Aeth y peiriannau mawr a’u dannedd rhwygol wythnos yn ôl.  Clwyf yn ymagor ar yr allt.  Cerrig drylliedig a thalpiau mawr o fwd ar chwâl, yn ddi-hid, ar y naill ochr a’r llall.  Faint o amser cyn bydd glesni’n dechrau ail-feddiannu’r llethr?  Sbel […]

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Ruth Bidgood at Ystrad Fflur

March 12, 2022 3 Comments
Ruth Bidgood at Ystrad Fflur

The poet and writer Ruth Bidgood died in Rhayader last week, six months short of her hundredth birthday.  She never raised her voice loudly in print, and few people, asked to name five contemporary Welsh poets writing in English, would probably have chosen her.  But the poems she wrote, in a steady stream over forty […]

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A short letter to Priti Patel

March 10, 2022 7 Comments
A short letter to Priti Patel

Dear Priti Patel I’m writing to you with a simple request: to search your conscience.  Just to avoid doubt, I don’t mean your political calculus.  You don’t need any encouragement to exercise that.  No, I mean your personal moral conscience. As the UK Home Secretary and a senior member of the UK government you’re responsible […]

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Welsh paintings: gwallter’s top 10

March 4, 2022 4 Comments
Welsh paintings: gwallter’s top 10

Paintings, not painters, you’ll notice.  And the artists are all safely dead (this avoids treading on the toes of the living).  Third, I wouldn’t claim that these are the best ten paintings.  They’re just works that have given me special pleasure and contemplation. Many aren’t very well known.  But see what you think about my […]

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Cefn Bryn and the writers

February 25, 2022 0 Comments
Cefn Bryn and the writers

The sandsone ridge of Cefn Bryn is an obvious magnet for painters, but it doesn’t seem to have drawn many creative writers, despite its brooding presence along the backbone of the Gower peninsula.  One exception is Amy Dillwyn, the pioneering industrialist, feminist and lesbian, in her best-known work The Rebecca rioter (1880), an historical novel […]

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Be welwch chi o gopa Cader?

February 18, 2022 0 Comments
Be welwch chi o gopa Cader?

Llynedd, am y tro cyntaf ers blynyddoedd, methais i ddringo i gopa Cadair Idris.  Sa i’n gwbod pam.  Covid a’i ofidiau, siŵr o fod, neu absenoldeb meddwl, neu ohirio oherwydd pwysau eraill.  Ond, o edrych yn ôl, dwi’n teimlo rhyw fwlch bach yn fy mywyd, rhyw rwyg yn yr edafedd o lwybro rheolaidd ar y […]

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