Monday, 24 December 2012
Sunday, 23 December 2012
Saturday, 22 December 2012
Thursday, 13 December 2012
Tuesday, 4 December 2012
Saturday, 1 December 2012
Thursday, 29 November 2012
Sunday, 25 November 2012
Saturday, 17 November 2012
Saturday, 10 November 2012
Friday, 19 October 2012
Monday, 15 October 2012
Sept. 1979 > Jan. 2010: Running bar in Breton countryside.
Jan 2010: Pub burnt down, stupidly not insured for loss of earnings, under-insured for contents, used spare time to photograph Brittany
Aug 2010: Money ran out, advised to contact social worker, continued to photograph Brittany even managing to sell some photos at market but lost others plus two tents to wind & rain.
Jan 2011: Ferry paid for by Rhys so I could go to funeral in Wales.
2011: Strict regime, eating once, sometimes twice a day, no socializing at all, not even the Lorient festival, occasionally food bought with the help of friends.
2012: Light at the end of the tunnel, pub being rebuilt, spent two days at the interceltic festival, Lorient.
Sept 2012: The person usually asking for help (me) was asked to play the Good Samaritan in Portugal as unpaid adviser for the re-opening of traditional bar, with board & lodge, had to borrow money to travel 2000km, petrol re-imbursed, lorded it for a month, expenses incurred, wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Oct. 2012: Back to Brittany, reality & rain from Portugal, Sagres (+ Guinness) & sun, finding it difficult to re-adapt.
13 Oct. 2012: Enveloped myself in the best of Breton culture, forgot my problems for an evening at an excellent fest-noz in Prad in aid of Diwan Lannuon, Diwan being the Breton language schools organization.
14 Oct: Terry the phantom barber from Ebbw Vale visits me.
On the bright side, I come out of this long dark tunnel for the official Spring re-opening March 1, 2013; D/J-167
Monday, 8 October 2012
I received a call from Gareth in Cardiff to go to Portugal as an unpaid consultant but with board & lodge and petrol re-imbursed in order to help his girlfriend Dale who was starting up a bar at Tavira in the Algarve. I waited until an advance came through from Rudi then on Sunday 2 Sept. I answered the call, stopping at Gourin for the pipers' championship, then on to the Nantes periphery where I pulled up to sleep in the back of my estate which is conveniently long enough to place a sleeping bag. About 3 o'clock in the morning I was awoken by torchlight of one of 3 policemen asking me to get out and what was I doing there, after I told them I was on my way to Portugal they told me that I shouldn't be sleeping there and had I been drinking, to which I answered in the affirmative and waited for the breathalyser, the first policeman took my keys and drove off in my car, the second told me to get in the back of the police car which followed till we turned off into a service area where I got out and was advised that this was a better place to sleep, leaving with a wisecrack about the chances of my old Opel Astra making it all the way. If they had tested my breath there may not have been any trip nor driving licence especially as I only have one point left.
I woke up driving on past Niort, Bordeaux, Saint Sebastian, Burgos, Valladolid, Salamanca, Merida, Seville, Huelva, Tavira; 48 hours later on the Tuesday evening I arrived after 2000 km (1200 m) and a few stops at service stations.
Gareth had told me that my consultancy would be between 9.30pm & 2am (3am Sat/Sun) with nothing to do during the day and a beach on the doorstep, he forgot to mention the lock-ins and a boat to the beach. I quickly set in to a routine, mostly with Gareth, every day we'd go to the same café on the square for a large coffee with milk, followed by a Sagres or Super Bock; a walk around the village taking photos, or a trip to the beach, would be followed by a visit to the 'Black Anchor' Irish bar. Sometimes we would say hello to the Dutch & English bars, but it was mainly to the Black Anchor that I went for my liquid refreshment before going to offer my advice evey night except Mondays for a month, and who would have thought that it would take a visit to Portugal to experience the all-Ireland Hurling & Gaelic Football finals. One day we didn't go to sleep till 6am, although that was an exception there was a lock-in almost every night.
My daily routine, the local architecture, and the village boundaries brought to mind Patrick McGoohan's 'The Prisoner' at Porthmeirion. I enjoyed visiting the locals in their little corner bars, I made new friends, particularly Des & his wife, Kev, Dave, Jao, Paolo, Renato, Karen & Dave; the beach was magnificent, I visited another beach down the road at Cabanas, which made me think of my friend & Merthyr rugby coach Terry Cavanagh, which also had ferry access, we ate at little Portuguese restaurants, drank Portuguese wines & beers, + the digestives were voluminous & cheap. I was impressed by my temporary change in life-style, I've never really eaten in restaurants except for our Indian & Chinese back in Merthyr, so I was also happy to have lamb curry in the two Indian restaurants on the square.
After I'd helped Dale change her address I took a day off before leaving the village after exactly a month; my last night saw me staying behind at the Irish bar at the bequest of the Irish landlord & landlady, after a discussion in good company I left to spend my last night in the back of my car, Dale having moved. The following day I went back to the café for my daily coffee and to say goodbye before driving away from Tavira forever.
I couldn't drive back to Plouye without looking for a place that Gareth had previously told me about further east going by the name of Taffy's Bar, the problem was that I couldn't remember the address, so I drove down to Amaçao de Pera in the hope of finding it there. I wandered around the beach for a while, no ferry needed, before going to a pharmacy for a new pair of spectacles, where on my mentioning 'Taffy's Bar' he looked it up on the computer which gave its address as Praia da Rocha a further 20km to the west. Off I went straight away to get to the beach area of a highly commercial built up town, bars, hotels, restaurants everywhere, I parked my car and followed the promenade overlooking yet another beautiful never-ending beach with steps leading down everywhere; I'd convinced myself that this was the place but I was walking on and on passing in front of every kind of bar & restaurant from Japanese to Irish, hope draining until finally at the end of a long walk, there it was 'Taffy's Bar & Grill'. I took a few photos before entering, ordered a pint of Guinness, the landlord is from Treorchy, there were screens with that night's matches as in the Irish bar in Tavira, it was quiz night, I helped a Welsh couple and I had a long chat with a miner from Aberdare working in Aberpergwm, about Eddie Thomas, Howard Winstone, Malcolm Price, and Decker from Swansea Road; happy to have been there I went to my car, slept, and the following day it took me 31 hours to drive back the 1,991km. the same road as I came on, keeping a vigilant eye on the engine temperature, but although I had to pass over the Pyrenees the magnificence of which I missed twice by driving at night, I needn't have worried because it's more tunnels than actually climbing. It had been brilliant sunshine, and was to Bordeaux, the first clouds showed themselves near Vannes, then the dark clouds approaching Lorient, an hour later I was glad to get into my bed, only to be awoken by Elise wanting to know when I'd arrived, after she'd left I got out of bed and observed wet traces on the floor leading outside, so I opened the door to see the rain, I was well & truly back.
Thursday, 27 September 2012
Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Saturday, 8 September 2012
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
Saturday, 1 September 2012
Wednesday, 29 August 2012
These friends have drinks over the bar (in), if you know what I mean, the ones who gave me crutches when I couldn't walk, who kept me from drowning when I got in too deep, and who gave me food when the cupboards were bare: I won't give your surnames, you know who you are, but stay with me, hang on in there, there's still 6 months to go for March 1st, St. David's Day, when the weather will be turning (which way is anyone's guess), the pub will be re-opening, life will be back to normal and Bob Dylan's 'Dignity' will once more be returning to its rightful place in the repertoire. I will be forever grateful to:
Rudi; Mary; Lindsay; Jim; Gareth; Liliane; Katell; Lleuwen; Philippe; Colin; Jamie; Iolo; Julian; Michel; Denis; Maldwyn; Virginie; Lyndon; Michelle; Jacques; Sonya; Greg; Giil; Isabelle; Gael; Patrice; Bev; Mark; Pol; Evelyne; Kevin; Bernez; Yann; Pedro; John; Chris; Rhys; Alan; Hefin; Roxanne; Nico; Yann, and Alison, not her fault I didn't go along. I sincerely hope that I haven't missed anyone; apologies if I have..
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Sunday, 26 August 2012
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Tuesday, 21 August 2012
Just had a phone call from the Algarve, Portugal. A Welsh friend running a pub needs help, her son has returned to Wales 3 weeks earlier than planned, damsel in distress, on her own, how soon can I get there?
She is almost as badly off as I am, except that she has a pub. If I go now I'm afraid that my car will run dry before I reach the Pyrenees; I won't fly although it will be cheaper (she can just about pay for the flight), and anyway I will need my car when I get there especially as she can't drive. A change of scenery (a bar!) will do me good before I'm tied definitively to my own place, but it comes down to my prime & constant problem. She's going to ring me back in a few days to see if I will have sorted things out by then.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Sunday, 12 August 2012
"Sorry Byn it's Private"; the low point of the week-end still ringing in my ears. I was sitting here last friday evening when I decided to go to Lorient to try to meet up with friends old & new, mainly Bretons & Welsh but a little Irish, augmented by Department 99 (Finistere is 29, Lorient is in Morbihan 56) it's done on an alphabetic basis by French centralized burocracy, 99 was in Algeria.
Being from Merthyr I miss the physical presence of my Welsh compatriots so when I meet them I like to chat, we'd speak to everybody on the train to Barry Island and we carried on doing it in the pubs later in life, in my bar I led the conversation, but out on the road it can be intimidating when a Merthyr man comes on to you without an introduction with my uncultured accent not helping, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't; but the way accent comes into it only applies to the English & Welsh, to the French I could be Dutch, Swiss or Belgian, it doesn't matter. One day in Lorient I went up to a member of the Dowlais Choir, told him I was from Merthyr, turned out we went to the same infant school and he walked away, friday night I tried to enter into a conversation with 'Carreg Lafar', it didn't work out, yet I met a lovely couple from Neath about the same age as myself, opera lovers who'd been on a voyage down the Volga, they were with the Morriston Choir; she had what for me was a homely home valley accent without a hint of snobbery, we had a long chat and got on well.
When I arrived at 6.30pm I went straight to base camp 'Tavarn ar Roue Morvan' to show my face then went to the 'Palais des Congrés' to pick up a programme, I found a Welsh agenda, saw there was a concert with 9bach going on in the Dome so off I went; as I walked in I espied Arfon Gilym & Sioned Webb who joined me at the bar, later we were to drink together at the Tavarn. The following day on again referring to the Welsh agenda I noticed that Arfon & Sioned were to be present at the ClubK so as is my wont of supporting Welsh acts, particularly friends and especially as the harp is my favourite instrument, having been spoiled by Elinor Bennet's virtuosity when she & Dafydd lived in Merthyr, I walked to the concert hall but on arriving I was informed that it was by invitation only, that being the case it shouldn't have been on the public agenda of the Welsh cabaret programme; anyway on my telling the people at the door that I knew the artistes I was allowed in on condition that I could prove it, so in we went, I greeted Arfon, he reciprocated with "sorry Byn this is a private party", I was escorted back to the door and out, I walked numbly back to the Tavarn where my morale was raised by the joyful and unexpected welcome given to me by Piau Genson & 9bach where we chatted, drank a glass together and photos were taken before they went off for a meal.
I've previously mentioned our lamentable Welsh pavilion's complete lack of effort to participate, to contribute, the Cornish & Scots made a big contribution, the Irish left it to 'Guinness' who are experienced in this type of thing, there was a significant Galician presence, but the easy 'gold medalists' were the Acadians (who? you may well ask, particularly in the context of Celtic culture, they were the original French Canadians). All in all I'm happy with the new friendships made over the two days, the number of old friends encountered and the general camaraderie, music & dance of the 'Tavarn ar Roue Morvan'.
I woke up this morning and drove to Henbont (Hennebont) to photograph the ramparts. (notice it would have been Cymraeg/Welsh if the French hadn't interfered; the Breton for 'old' is usually 'cozh' but in this case it's 'hen'.)
Sunday, 5 August 2012
Saturday, 4 August 2012
Monday, 30 July 2012
What's wrong with you you spellbound easily propagandered woman, wake up, can't you see you & millions of others are being used; these are not the British games but the London games, Defeated Paris should get on the telephone to the I.O.C. and complain that London has gone way beyond its remit and broken its contract, anyone would think that it's the Festival of Britain we are celebrating here. This is a manifestation of a Great Britain in its violent orgasmic death throes, a last stand for Britishness that has been swamping us all year in the media in one form or another and you've fallen for it. I repeat These are the LONDON games, Paris has good reason to complain.
P.S. David Beckham is an over used quintessentially English quality that grates.
Sunday, 29 July 2012
Can't go to Uhelgoat today with my photos, not having protection from the rain, sold 6 in 2 days, stayed in bed, not a good sign. 29 months unemployed there's always a risk of depression, but as I'm constantly working on my photos there's not much risk of that. The big problem is the lack of money that sometimes prevents me from filling up my tank with petrol and taking to the road with my camera.
This year after having not gone out socially for two years I've decided that a pint or two now & again can do me good, then wake up the following day feeling guilty that the money could have been better spent, notwithstanding, I'm going to make a special effort to spend 3 days in Pontardawe for their now famous festival, I was there in 1979, this will definitely do me good, but I will undoubtedly wake up on the monday with a heavy conscience.
In september it will be my chance to be the Samaritan, I've had a call from Cymru/Wales to assist a girl in distress in the Algarve who's re-opening a bar but has no money; could I help out for 3 weeks; food, lodge & expenses paid, such as petrol to get down there, no wages, but a beach & good weather, I'm not 21 anymore, I'm 61 (in 5 days). I only came to Plouye for 2 weeks, so is destiny calling? My pub re-opening has been put back once more.
Before I woke up this morning I dreamt I was at a Cymdeithas yr Iaith festival, back in the old atmosphere meeting old friends, I was local organizer (cysylltwr) for the Merthyr area in I think 1977. In my dream I was writing out posters for my own festival in either Plouye or Merthyr; in Merthyr I used to organize functions for Plaid Cymru, and in Plouye I had the big pub hog roast every August. As I mentioned the other day I also, off my own bat, organized the first Welsh language rock concert in Merthyr at Rhydycar, Merthyr with Injaroc. Depression comes from circumstances suffocating you, taking away your belief that you have a reason to live, I still have many things on the horizon to look forward to, and it's been a while now since I've been sitting here stemming the tears, with no food in the fridge & no money in my pocket. Fe Gerddaf ymlaen.
Friday, 27 July 2012
Wednesday, 25 July 2012
Football-wise we never did well in world terms historically, except for1958 in Sweden when we qualified through the back door, partly because English F.A. managers weren't obliged to release our players. Now that we have a talented but limited squad who are capable of doing things and going places, some of our players are egotistically putting our World Cup chances at risk by competing in a completely unnecessary tournament as far as soccer is concerned in the event of their succumbing to burn out and/or injury.
Saturday, 21 July 2012
P.S. All parties being equal in mind and body (politic) also avoids that sickening manifestation' of **** licking toadiying sycophants endeavouring to attain a social status denied them thus far by their psychological make up and accident of birth. We have examples in our sports ruling bodies and our hospital boards.
Wednesday, 18 July 2012
I've got to sort these photos out, there's definitely a commercial potential on the best of them. I could send a glass framed A4 photo to anywhere in France & Brittany in a post office package for 20 euros. I can go back to the markets for 2 euros a time plus the monthly insurance but I need a market tent or gazebo 3m x 2m costing about 200 euros, I haven't been able to display any photos due to the constant rain and the fact that I need to print more, which I won't do to have them sitting around the house. I am able to print individual photos on order, just tell me which photo you want and I will post it on.
Sunday, 15 July 2012
Wednesday, 4 July 2012
Sunday, 1 July 2012
Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Sunday, 24 June 2012
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Written by me to Susan Edwards:
Sunday, 10 June 2012
Friday, 25 May 2012
Friday, 18 May 2012
Saturday, 5 May 2012
Thursday, 3 May 2012
Tuesday, 1 May 2012
Thursday, 26 April 2012
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Monday, 23 April 2012
Yes, but I come from an area that got stuck between the two, it's referred to as 'Wenglish'. In the history of things it will turn out to be temporary. We should be speaking English correctly, and Welsh correctly, but as our accents are also a signpost to where we come from, there's nothing wrong with speaking an educated, cultured English, but with a Welsh accent; Richard Burton being a good example. I have a f/b friend who speaks many languages, he has chosen to go for an area dialect in each one so that you could mistake him for a native. These days even Eton pupils try to avoid speaking with a received pronunciation. However on his basic point I suppose he's right; personally it's my way of affirming my South Welsh valley identity when conversing to English speakers, so that they are left in no doubt as to where I'm from, if there is a doubt I tell them MERTHYR; it should also reflect my personality, there's no way that I could speak 'posh', it wouldn't be me. Horses for courses.
The response was an example of an Irish language activist speaking Irish with his home accent, but who preferred to speak the foreign tongue with a received (posh) English accent. It's a good argument and technically correct in a perfect world, but I for one couldn't do it, I wouldn't want to lose my Merthyr accent, I couldn't be a la di da, especially in front of my friends. Coming from a working class background I'd feel as though I was betraying my heritage; the Irish political background is different.
Sunday, 22 April 2012
Saturday, 21 April 2012
Friday, 20 April 2012
Thursday, 19 April 2012
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
Monday, 16 April 2012
Saturday, 14 April 2012
Friday, 13 April 2012
Wednesday, 11 April 2012
Born Aug 3 1951, Merthyr Tydfil, Cymru/Wales.Moved to Brittany Sept. 1979.I run a rustic Bar in a village of fewer than 800h.Real ale& best whisk(e)ys.At the moment I'm occupied with photos, flowers and music. For more information look up my site & blog: http://crwtynrhifnaw.blogspot.
commy story: http://taffawrnantmorlais. blogspot.commy photos:http://picasaweb. google.com/BynWaltersmy photos: http://patrimoinebreton/ blogspot.coma.n.other: http://mymiscellaneous- bynbrynman.blogspot.com
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