Saturday, 6th August, 2011.

Wales Shames Westminster

     It looks as if we in Wales are a couple of jumps ahead of Mother England when it comes to environmental issues.   Indeed, you who travel through this magical land and see its beautiful rural areas will be concerned that we protect our countryside.

But our shaming of Wasteminster comes from the fact that we, here in little Wales, are sorting out our plastic carrier-bag situation far quicker than the UK government can legislate.

Soon – sooner than we expected – those bags we are given in shops to carry home our purchases will add an additional expense to our shopping bills.   Well, only if we don’t take heed now and get ourselves one of those many times re-usable shopping bags.

They’re cheap enough and, with 5p a time being mooted for shop-given ones, they will soon pay for themselves.

A point I must make (as a grumpy old agitator) is that why should we punters have to pay anything for a bag which advertises the store’s name in bold letters?   Should not the store-owners pay us to advertise their businesses?

‘Tis said that the profits from the sale of the plastic bags will go to environmental projects.   Let us hope so.

Welsh Addictions

     The Western Mail ran a report this week that the people of Wales had the highest rate of addiction in the British Isles.   Addiction, that is, to mobile-phones, radio, television and all sorts of electronic gadgetry.

As I wander along the pavements of many a Welsh town or city, I am often jostled by someone using a mobile-phone.   It seems that the use of such things addles the brain and renders on selfishly short-sighted.

And one can hear every boring word of the users’ end of the conversation.   Goodness – they all seem to talk inane drivel.

Here’s a little trick you may like to try:  when someone goes by speaking loudly (they all speak loudly) into their phone, just pretend they are talking to you and join in the conversation.   It works for me.

“How’s things?” asks the phone-user.

“Fine.   Thanks for asking!” I reply as they go by.

The reaction is often immediate:  they turn away from me and begin to speak quieter.

Try it and let me know the result.

Oh – and “Television is the opiate of the masses” (Spike Milligan).

 Dai’s Dialogues

     “There’s a village up the way,” said my old pal Dai Llanaberbontfach (a nickname he gave himself), where they just painted the white lines after resurfacing the road.”

“Oh, so there’s money around to do that sort of work – that’s good,” I nodded.

“Don’t be daft, man!” he retorted, “This is out in the country.”

“So what difference does that make?”

“Well, they painted three lines.   One’s on the one edge of the road, one’s on the other edge of the road, and the third one’s half-way between the two.”

“That makes sense,” I smiled.

“Not round there it doesn’t.   Drivers aren’t sure which one marks the centre of the carriageway . . . “

archie.lowe@googlemail.com

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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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