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Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Celtic Argument (A response)

Art & music literally transcend the spoken language as they take one on to a higher more personal interactive form of communication, more open though less personally interactive than sex, but it seemed to me facile to add on "our common...." out of thin air as to side step profundity doing nothing for the 'Celtic' argument, especially as Ireland was never invaded by the Romans and we saw the flowering of Celtic art after they'd left Britain. Besides that, there are tone deaf Welsh speakers in Wales who consider themselves Celts and exraordinarily talented Celtic music playing pipers in fringe areas of England such as Northumbria who don't. Music; art; sex; religion; language; & literature are universal by nature; Celticity can lay claim to a form of music, art, language & literature; but when we lay claim to 'Celtic Rock' because we gyrate on stage and come from Dublin we're overdoing it a bit. Also can we have a 'Celtic country' based on a political alignment, or are they Celts when there is a mass exodus from Paris to Brittany of jig & reel players. To be a Celt is to be a bit of an enigma and each standpoint leads to a different view, but what is healthy for the ideal is that it is a living argument. Those without the language lean to dance; those without the dance lean to language. In one sense given its historical expanse there are many more who could lay claim but don't, the language acts as a brake to keep it into unhistorical proportions but Lorient would be duller, although that festival tired of its traditional sources is turning the key on the flood gates by fine tooth combing perceived Celts from wherever they can get a spectacle. By the way I've never been over enamoured by the whole thing as an 18th century romantic idea to regain our loss of self- esteem, re-assert our 'national' consciousness and distance ourselves from our English & French masters. For my part the fight was against the iron masters and the coal Barons, we flew the red flag and sang while doing it but whether or not we were Celts wasn't something we found time to mull over.

Friday, 23 March 2012

History

We were corralled, the gate was shut and we were branded 'them not us' by the Germanics, 'us not them'  by ourselves. The 7th c. kings of Gwynedd had more to do with Northumbria than they did with Glamorgan & Gwent, but they squeezed us behind Offa's Dyke and we got on with it. Paradoxically at the same time Henry VIII gave us an administrative border he took it away our identity. We are a nation because we had a common mode of communication, a different language from our oppressors, common to Phil Bennett, Barry John & Gareth Edwards, that way we could out manoeuvre the English by flummoxing them, without that we could have finished up as Cumbria II.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Trappings

Now that we have a national government, our trappings should be worn with honour. We should declare both 'Mae Hên Wlâd fy Nhâdau' & 'Y Ddraig Goch' officially national anthem & national flag respectively; and while we're at it we can confirm, or not, as the case may be, Caerdydd/Cardiff's imposed from without capital city status. We have London's puppet government holding court in London's chosen capital. It could be officially declared so, or a national plebiscite could be organized whereby a new capital city could take on a different role, somehow reflecting our country's history & geography. One hundred years of commercial profit allowed the city's burghers to persuade the crown to give us a capital in more or less the same way they gave us a prince; ironically many of us don't recognize him after more than 700 years, but perhaps it's too late not to recognize Kerdiff after only 57.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Queen Coal


Just one point on 'The Story of Wales' the other night: as every Merthyr person knows who walks past the fountain at the bottom of town and bothers to read the writing on the plaque; it was Lucy Thomas, mine owner of Waunwyllt, Merthyr who opened up the South Wales coal field in 1828, 23 years before the opening up of the Rhondda Valleys, after she realized the commercial value of her high quality coal and took it up to the merchants in London. There were already 50 odd pits in the Merthyr area but they served the ironworks to smelt the iron. It was thanks to this pioneering entrepreneur, female at that, that David Davies of Llandinam and John Nixon of Merthyr Vale & Aberfan fame risked investing their last pennies in digging to the bowels of the earth. The programme showed the coalfield expanding around the Rhondda Valleys, but it was Merthyr that led the way to the opening up of the Rhondda & the other valleys, once more contributing to the wealth of Cardiff after it had already made Cardiff rich on the back of the iron trade.

Perturbing Moment

Slightly worrying period, something's gone wrong in the system; I haven't touched any money since Jan 5 and free food is now terminated. I wonder if my photos would sell at Merthyr market, only joking, ink too expensive and no car due to the exorbitant price of my insurance. One bright spot; I've left some of my photos for sale at a local shop & newsagent's, with Spring beginning there may be tourist interest, only I won't be able to replace them for the moment without ink, paper & frames; brighter spot; the pub's re-opening is getting nearer. Next year I hope to go to every rugby international when this black 2 years will be far behind me, fingers crossed.

Monday, 12 March 2012

'The Story of Wales' (The Industrial Revolution)

I put down my laptop and sat comfortably to watch 'The story of Wales'. As the programme progressed I thought it was a better planned & better balanced programme than the previous, I got a sentimental shiver when Merthyr was mentioned; I thought I knew every centimetre of the castle having been through every door, or so I thought, but I've never seen that safe. All the time spent on the Crawshays I felt that they could have spent a few seconds on the engineering feat that was the Glamorganshire Canal before jumping to Pontcysyllte and back, but perhaps that's nitpicking. I was so comfortable that I got out a bottle of the local brew left over from last saturday's international; I enjoyed the programme so much that I looked in my forever unused drinks cabinet (little compartment of my cupboard) and found a last measure of home distilled Orujo given to me a long time ago by my Cantabrian friends, I drank the one and only measure to finish the bottle and the programme. PS I don't think we know that all of Iolo Morgannwg's works were forgeries, therefore we can't say for definite that nothing of them reflected anything that actually happened or existed. At first we accept them, then we rubbish them, before bit by bit certain truths come to light. 

Friday, 2 March 2012

Not smooth, in tonight's story of Cymru/Wales an expert on the Normans contradicted the narrative by informing us that through them we became acquainted with the wider world, when only just before we were told that 500 years earlier the king of Brycheiniog was importing cloth from the great silk road; last time, the contradiction came from an expert on the Romans who informed us that they introduced us to civilization just after we were told that our merchants were trading throughout Europe 2000 to 3000 years previously. Huge holes, completely skipping Llywelyn Fawr for one amongst many. Llywelyn ap Gruffydd was not the last native Prince of Wales, Owain Glyndwr was, although he was in competition with another in London; and there is no such place as Langorse Lake; Llangors is a village skirting Llyn Syfaddan, ancient home of the swans of  Princes. As I said, more 5pm than 9pm. 

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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.com my story: http://taffawrnantmorlais.blogspot.com my photos:http://picasaweb.google.com/BynWalters    my photos: http://patrimoinebreton/blogspot.com    a.n.other: http://mymiscellaneous-bynbrynman.blogspot.com

 

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