Saturday, 26th December, 2009.

Finger On The March

     A bit of our dear old Welsh saint, Winefride,
has been kept up in Holywell for many moons.  
Now, it’s going to be displayed in
Conway for all to see.

     Winefride was, according to
Christian-inspired legend, a virgin (weren’t they all back in the mists of
time?).   She spurned the advanced of a
bloke attempting seduction, for which he cut off her head.   Along comes her uncle, Beuno, and sticks it
back on again.   “Thanks, Uncle Beuno”,
are the words I believe Winefride said after the restoration.

     In fact, the good lady is an ancient
water-goddess who the Roman missionaries “converted” to Christianity for their
own propaganda purposes.   Therefore,
many of us suspect that the bit of finger-bone alleged to be Winefride’s couldn’t
be hers – pagan goddesses seem to have been sprites and spirits rather than
being flesh and bone.

     Mind you, at one time the Vatican claimed to have a bit of Jesus’
body.   I will give you a clue to what it
was.   Your will know that he was brought
up as a good Jewish boy.   And that the Jewish
tradition practices circumcision . . .

     Funny thing, religion.

 

More Watery Tales

     Now then, if those Christian missionaries
way back then had left well alone, Winefride may have been able to help lots of
people here in
Wales over the Festive Season.

     Surprise, surprise – Winter brought cold
weather.   There was a thing called “frost”.   And completely unique things happened:  this frost thing caused . . . burst pipes!

     Yes, it surprised me as much as it
surprised the water-companies.   Up in Flintshire,
for instance, thousands of people were without domestic water-supplies over
Christmas.   People in Holywell (see
above!) were among them.

     All over Wales, pipes burst and hundreds more people
were unable to turn on the tap and make a cuppa.

     Perhaps we should remember that – despite
the Climate Crisis and Global Warming – Winters in
Wales can still be harsh.   As individuals, we must learn to prepare our
homes for such emergencies – and emergencies of all kinds.

 

Nevertheless

     Water plays a big part in our lives.   And burst mains did not – could not –
prevent water-worshippers (Friends of Winefride?) doing something which brings
to mind the phrase “They ain’t all locked up yet”.

     Did I really hear a report that hundreds
of terminally daft people went for the now-traditional Christmas Day swim down
in Porthcawl?   Some of ‘em, it is
alleged, wore fancy-dress.   Whether this
was to give them protection against the cruel sea or to disguise who they were
so that neighbours wouldn’t avoid them when they got home the report did not
say.

     Fair play, though – it was done to raise
lots of money for charities.   And each
swimmer was presented with a commemorative mug – as if they didn’t seem enough
like mugs!

     Nobody froze, nobody drowned, and most of ‘em
wore smiles.   If that’s what being daft
is all about, then let’s have more of it right across
Wales.

     Well done, you brave and barmy people!

Archie Lowe

archie.lowe@laughingdragons.co.uk
 

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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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