Saturday, 2nd May, 2009.

Mystery Repeating

          Radio 7 repeated the excellent “Monk’s
Hood” serial this week.   The starring
role of Cadfael was played by Philip Madoc.

          The star’s qualifications for playing
the part are that he can sound a little world-weary when necessary, has a
lovely Welsh accent, and can handle the small bits of the Welsh language used
in the serial.

          So why wasn’t he chosen way back then
to play the part on television?   Derek
Jacobi is a grand actor, but he seemed to portray Cadfael as someone who’d
never been a man of action.   Sir Derek’s
accent didn’t even border on Welshness, and I’m pretty sure that the Welsh
language – had it been used on telly – would have not come easy to his lips.

          Perhaps, too, Philip Madoc could have
explained to his English fellow actors that there is only one ‘f’ in Cadfael!

          I have asked the question before:  were the telly productions created by
directors who see our land as simply an English county, with no unique
characteristics at all?


Vanity, Vanity, All
Is Vanity

          A young lady in South Wales was extensively burned whilst using
a sun-bed.   Had she stayed on the
wretched thing much longer, doctors say she would have needed skin-grafts.

          One wonders why a youngster – or
anyone for that matter – feels the urge to lie on such a contraption.   Here in
Wales, we have lots of opportunities to
get out there in the open air and give ourselves a genuinely healthy

          And, in these financially trying
times, why the urge to spend cash on something we surely do not need?

          Well, again, it’s the clever and often
cunning advertisers who trick people – particularly young girls – into wanting
to be “glamourous”.   There is even a
Sun-Bed Association, presumably to promote the imagined benefits of a darkened

          The redeeming feature of this case is
that the girl’s mother has acted wisely.  
She has “grounded” her daughter for a while . . . for spending money
given her to go to the fair on something trivial.   Well done, Mam!


Funny Game,

          It’s only a year before we chuck out
the lame-dogs governing us from
Westminster, and replace them with . . . er . .
. others of their breed.

          Paddy Ashdown has said that it seems
likely that “disillusioned” members of The New Labour Party will join the
Lib-Dems before the Election happens.

          However, if there are members of The
New Labour Party who are feeling that way, the question I would put to them is
“How much public fuss did you make when the Labour Party scrapped Clause 4?”

          Here, in what seems to me to be the
first broadside in their Election campaign, Plaid Cymru are cashing in on some
free publicity.   A Tory newspaper
(aren’t they all these days?!) has named Lib-Dem Mark Williams as one of the
least effective MPs in

          So Plaid is letting electors in Mr.
Williams’ very marginal seat, Ceredigion, know that.

          How sad it is that “The Party of
Wales” should join in the games of other political parties and, instead of
publicising its own strong policies, chooses to use smear tactics against the

Archie Lowe

About Archie Lowe

Though not born in Wales, I have lived and worked here for many years now. I love the place and love that mercurial thing "Welshness". I have been accused of being "a Taffophile" - which is pretty near the truth. The question I ask whenever some idea comes up for the whole of the UK is: "What's in it for Wales". I believe in an independent Wales and am so pleased that our Assembly is a big step on that road.
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