Saturday, 20th March, 2010.

The Cat Came Back

   Remember “The Welsh Black Cat” sightings of
the 1980s?   Right across
Wales, people were reporting seeing big,
black cats (of all colours!) in our rural areas.

   It all seemed to coincide with a new law
about keeping big cats – panthers, leopards and whatever – in private
collections.   A proper licence became
necessary, and rightly so.   So many “animal
lovers” who couldn’t afford that licence just took the creatures out into wild
moorlands and mountains and simply let ‘em loose.

   Some of the animals seemed to adopt to our
Welsh countryside quite well, and all those years ago there were reports of
them being seen and attacking livestock. 
 Mid-Wales seemed to be the
favourite haunt of these wild-animals – you will recall The Beast of Bont which
was seen by lots of ordinary folk round the village of Pontrhydfendigaid.

   Well, I hear that there are new sightings of
the creatures.   It’s not just The Beast
of Bont – though he (or she) is back, apparently.   The recent sightings have been spotted right
across our central mountainous area, The Cambrian Mountains.

   I know very little about these creatures,
and certainly wouldn’t like to come face to face with one as I wander through our
land.   But if you’d like more info on
what seems to be going on, have a look at  http://www.britishbigcats.org/

 

Reviving A
Tradition

   Whilst up in Mid-Wales recently, I heard
that taxi-firms in Ceredigion are being encouraged to take part in a “Cab-a-Bag”
Scheme.   What’s supposed to happen is
that cabbies will take walkers’ luggage from a selected point to a guest-house
or hotel, so that the walkers can wander along public-footpaths unhampered and
arrive at their digs where all their belongings will be awaiting them.

   A friend of mine used to run a very
successful taxi-firm.   He told me that
he’d offered the same service in Ceredigion twenty years ago.

   “The other cabbies told me it would never
work,” he told me, “so I just got on with it and made a lot of money.”

   His other innovation was to run the first
all-night taxi-service in Aberystwyth.  
Again, he received the “it’ll never work” treatment from his peers.   But he tried it and it worked.   Again, he made good money.

   Now, of course, the town of Aberystwyth is saturated with all-night
taxis.   Perhaps the cabbies need to be
told what to do to make money.   Turning
up for bookings on time might be a good start . . .

 

“We Love The
Environment”

   Well, that’s what they’re all saying in the
build-up to the May Election.   It’s one
of the buzz-phrases, like “lower taxes” and “we can cure the economical
downturn”, which they’re all obliged to spout.

   To get this message home, the political
parties are sending out lots and lots of pretty handouts, via the post, to tell
the idiot voters what to do with their votes.

   If you, like me, are receiving all this
junk-mail, perhaps you’d noticed two things.  
Firstly, many of the candidates have really helped our ecology by having
a fair few kids to overpopulate the planet.  
Secondly, the amount of paper used in these blurbs must destroy an awful
lot of trees (and, yes, I have heard suggestions of how to recycle it – but it’s
a bit unhygienic because it’s usually shiny and the print runs . . .).

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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