Saturday, 1st January, 2011.

A Wonderful Welsh Winter

The pre-Christmas snows came.   There had been plenty of warning from the Met Office.   And this is Wales.   And this is Winter.

So the Welsh Local Government Association decided (after they noticed that, oh, deary me, grit stocks were running low) to order some more – from SWEDEN.

The imported grit should have arrived sometime this week.

Isn’t it great that the above-mentioned Association shows its keenness to help the planet by having stuff shipped that far?

Should the Association – or even individual Councils – be thinking a little ahead (in jargon-speak that’s “forward planning”) and find somewhere in Wales from whence our grit could come?

Hardiness Or Barminess?

Either way, well done to the people in various places around Wales who plunged into the sea over the Festive Season.

Many of the swimmers were doing it to help charities (maybe there’s a Frostbite Society in need of funds!), so they are to be patted on the back for being so brave or hardy or daft.

And congratulations, too, to the hundreds of well-cladded spectators who turned out to support the swimmers.   This is a fine example of communities getting together – however barmy the event.

Helping Yourself

There is, however, an element coming into our communities which is less than public-spirited.   Many of our smaller rural communities have been infiltrated by people who come from large English towns.

A large percentage of them seem to belong to the new wave of self-unemployed which is fouling our land.   They come to the rural parts of Wales so that they can find even more reasons for scrounging and not working to pay their way.

I hear that, in several places, these scroungers made only the effort to dig a path through the snow to enable themselves to reach the road.   They chucked the snow they cleared onto other people’s pavements or wherever was easiest.   They visited their neighbours not to see if those neighbours needed any help in the very cold and snowy weather, but to try to beg tea-bags or more substantial items – because they had “forgotten” to stock up for such emergencies.

Some of ‘em were not too sure about which end of a shovel to use.

Here comes the question:  can Wales afford to have these anti-community people drifting in and settling here?

A Sad Story

It was not until I’d “gone to press” last Saturday that I heard the sad news about Santa.

Even he, with his flying reindeer and magical elfin helpers, failed to appear on the walls of Conway castle on Christmas Eve.

May I commiserate with the good burghers of Conway – and with Santa, too?   Maybe he could use his influence to ensure that Conway and everywhere else in Wales have plentiful supplies of road-grit well before next Winter’s onset.

Perhaps, when Councilors sit on his knee towards the end of this year and he asks them if they’ve been good in 2011, they could be made to confess if they have failed in their duty to those they represent!

In 2011, then, “may you find what you seek;  may you recognise what you seek when you find it;  and, when you have found and recognised what you seek, may it bring you joy.”

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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