Saturday, 15th January, 2011.

A Serious Warning

Often in this column, you will have noticed that I have mentioned the “Help Yourself” organisation.   Well, they would be the last to call themselves an “organisation”.

They are a bunch of people who, having realised that we have become a dependence-society, have chosen to become a lot more self-reliant.   As “Help Yourself” began in Wales, I’m glad that the gang mentioned to me this week that World food prices have hit their highest level ever.

What a surprise!

But, on a serious note, it behooves every one of us to prepare our loved ones and our homes for unexpected emergencies.   Not everyone who learns what “Help Yourself” is trying to do – many people, even after learning more about the group, prefer to remain dependent on  . . . well, “somebody” taking care of their needs.

It doesn’t take much effort to, say, grow a bit of mint or some chives in a pot on the window-cill.   And hardly much more effort to plant – if you have some outdoor space – seed-potatoes in bags.   Just think of the money you could save.

More details of “Help Yourself” can be had from

Not Quite Unexpected!

We were warned that there could be flooding this week.   Severe Weather Warnings were issued and, indeed, that weather arrived.

Gwynedd was badly hit on Wednesday, and on Thursday morning I woke to hearing the news-broadcasters on Radio Wales telling of flood warnings on many Welsh rivers.   The Dyfi Bridge at Machynlleth was closed, and that neat little town experienced some flooding.

Now then, I know that these waters are not anywhere near as bad as what’s been happening in Australia or Brazil or Sri Lanka.   And, by Friday, our Welsh flood-waters were receding.

However, this Winter has been a bad ‘un.   It may – according to people who know that sort of thing – be the forerunner of increasingly bad Winters.

“Global Warming”, “The Climate Crisis”, whatever you call it is taking hold.   (There are those who are still in denial.)

Shall we, then – the People of Wales – show a lead in trying to put things right?   “The world can no longer afford the rich,” goes the slogan.   And, as Wales in part of the group known as “the richer countries”, should we not be content with less of everything?   Shouldn’t we ignore the advertisers’ ensnaring phrase “Must Have”?   It’d be a start!

Are We Or Aren’t We?

If the Wasteminster government regards Wales as a part of that glorious and democratic thing called “The United Kingdom”;  and if we in Wales are all subject to the same laws and benefits of that land, why, then, did one UK hospital in one part of that land ban heart patients from another part of that land?

Surely, the “National” in National Health Service refers to the nation called “The United Kingdom”.   (Nye Bevan, your work is still remembered!)

Therefore, if a hospital in Wales had a facility which an English hospital did not, should we not treat patients here?   And, of course, vice-versa.

A Note From The Back Of Beyond

This came to me from a correspondent who lives slap-dab in the middle of our land.

“I was putting out posters advertising a local event.   At a rather large concert-hall in this part of the world, I asked if they allowed monolingual posters in their hallowed hall.

“Knowing that I am not first-language Welsh, the young lady I asked said ‘No – all posters must be bilingual’

‘What about if my poster was just in Welsh?’ I asked.

‘Oh – that would be alright!’ she told me.”

I shall not comment on that incident . . .

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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