A Blot On Our
I was in a small Welsh seaside town this
week. I had not visited the place for a
while and noticed a few changes.
For instance, the Welsh language which –
only a few years ago, it seems – was heard in its streets was hardly spoken in
shops or cafes.
There were still plenty of holidaymakers
about, enjoying the superb sunshine and the wonderful views of the mountains
beyond the town.
Then, the whole scene was disturbed as a
car careered through the place with what the driver may have described as music
blasted forth through its open windows.
The throbbing “um-chuck, um-chuck” had no tune. But it appeared to be useful to the driver.
From his pimple-ravaged face and failed
attempt to grow a moustache, I guessed he would only just have passed his
driving-test. And he sped the vehicle
several times through the town’s main street.
It was his fifteen minutes of fame, for he
knew exactly the amount of attention he was attracting. Why, I wondered, was he not in school or on
a Work Experience scheme (after which he would have hoped he would not be
offered any sort of paid employment)?
I was talking with a couple of
holidaymakers as Pimply Jim made his second tour. It was their first time in the town. As it was such a beautiful day in such a
lovely little town, I asked them if they would be coming back sometime.
“Not if that yobbo’s allowed to spoil the
place,” came the reply.
And that, my friends, speaks reams about
the way imported culture can affect the Welsh holiday industry. I trust, as the Police Station stands on the
main street, somebody will have a word in the kid’s ear. I, for one, will return to the town – if
only to see what has been done to change things.
The town is Towyn, Merioneth. The driver is an idiot.
On Being Welsh
A friend sent me the following. If it’s a true indication, I have truly
become a Welshman (even though I was not born and bred here), for most of these
things are now normal parts of my life.
Try the test yourself:
“From the country that brought you the Echo,
Derek the Weatherman, dai caps and Mam-gu:-
YOU KNOW YOU’RE WELSH WHEN . . .
You know at least 10
You have to explain what "togs" are and more importantly what
You’ve suddenly realised that
you are 10p short for the Severn bridge;
"Fin hoffi coffi"
does not mean fluency in Welsh;
You’ve bumped into someone you
know on your holidays in the Costa del Sol;
Conversations with Indian call
centre workers do not end well;
You support any team that plays against England;
You know at least one person
who claims they were in school with either Charlotte Church, Katherine Jenkins,
Ioan Gruffudd or Catherine Zeta-Jones;
You wince when you see a Welsh
person making a t*at of themselves on TV and they usually have the strongest
Welsh accent ever;
That coat is indeed my jacket;
You raise a small cheer when
you see the "Croeso i Gymru" on the M4 or Welcome to Wales – as
you come down the hill from Ross into Monmouth;
You’re a fluent Welsh speaker
but turn the pamphlet/leaflet over and read the English version;
You last name is one of the
following: Williams, Bevan, Llewellyn, Morgan, Rees, Powell, Howell, Davies,
Lewis, Thomas, Jones, Griffiths, Morris, Evans, James, Roberts, Jenkins or Owen;
When you go abroad you have to
explain to people where Wales is, and that it is not part of England;
You can name all the
celebrities that have any connection to Wales;
You own a Stereophonics CD;
Hugh Pugh, Max Boyce and Derek
the Weatherman are all TV personalities you recognize;
You know who exactly Aneurin
Bevan is and what exactly he is famous for;
A village/town 3 miles away is
described locally as being just around the corner or just down the road;
You don’t know the surnames of
any of you friends, you refer to them instead as Dai the Milk, Will the shop,
Ron Top Road , or Mark Ty-Draw;
You remember watching Ivor the
Engine, Will Quack Quack, Sam Tan a Super Ted;
A butty is your mate not a
The word "Never" is
used on a daily basis and everything "does my head in";
You’ve used the phrase
"I’ll be there now in a minute" on several occasions;
Proper, Cwtch, Tidy, Potch,
Dap, and Courting are daily used phrases.”