Saturday, 8th October, 2011.

WalesLand Of Love, Peace And Harmony

I happened upon a copy of that august journal, Radio Times, in my travels last week.   Apart from giving masses of information about every radio, television and, for all I know, semaphore station in the United Kingdom, it included a few well-written articles.   These were mostly trailers advertising the goodies which our media sets out for our delectation.

They even allot a small amount of space to what’s on S4C.

However (and you, regular reader, were expecting an “however” at this point) there was a piece giving the statistics of the incidents of murder in both countries which are classed as part of the UK and of lands afar.

I could reassure myself about the murder-rates (is that what they’re called?) in Romania and Iceland among other places.   And certainly see the state of play in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Mother England.

But the word “Wales” did not appear on this “murder chart”.   Obviously, on must conclude that we in Wales may start the occasional punch-up, but never take it too far.

Unless, of course, the word “England” is a short-form for that totally mythical land “Englandnwales” – yes, I don’t know how to spell it, either.

Proud To Be Monoglots

     A few days ago, I was in a part of Wales where Welsh has not been the language of the hearth or marketplace for centuries.   I found that out by speaking my faltering Cymraeg in a couple of shops and then at an “indoor car-boot sale”.

As I entered, I said a simple “bore da” to the Custodian of the Doorway who was taking the one-pound-fifties entrance money.

“I don’t speak a word of that stuff,” he smiled proudly in a quite-Welsh accent.   “I’m a Tenby boy and we don’t do things like that round there.”

And so it is.   He and his neighbours come from several generations of good Welsh stock.   Indeed, perhaps some of them have Celtic family roots.   But, due to past (and present) cultural imperialism, the Welsh language has been gradually squeezed out of that area’s natural culture.

The people of Tenby are as warm and welcoming as any community in Wales.   But, due to reasons which they may not understand, Cymraeg is an alien tongue to them.

In 1777, the last Cornish-speaker died.   Let us hope that, in 2077, the last Welsh-speaker does not do the same.   We must work towards protecting and promoting Welsh.   For, to lose such a gem, would be an irreparable loss to our culture.

Education, Education And . . . Er . . .

     Here’s a quick way to become an educated and qualified person!

Go and live for a while in a foreign land – no, not England!   Try somewhere on the Continent or the Far East.

Then, sign on for a course at The University of Wales.   Pay a few quid, and you get a shiny new degree in the subject of your choice.

Well, that’s what’s seemed to have been happening according to the meagre information I’ve gathered from a few brief reports on my car-radio as I drive through our land.

I shall keep my readers in lands beyond Wales posted on this scheme.


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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