Saturday, 15th March, 2014.

Getting The Job Done

     I was in Aberystwyth just after the terrible storms had ripped its sea-front to pieces.   It was – as most of my readers will know – a complete mess.

Now, Ceredigion Council has got on with it and the whole prom will be fixed before the visitors come to the town at Easter.   No-one is a bigger critic of Councils and Governments than I, but I praise the work Ceredigion is doing to put things right.

It is not a cheap job, either.   So far, half-a-million pounds have been spent on the work, and there’ll need to be more spent to complete the job.   Who said Cardis are tight-fisted.

(If you don’t know the reputation of the people of Old Cardiganshire, it is said that a Cardi can buy from a Jew and sell to a Scotsman at a profit!)

It must be pointed out that, with the wonderful almost-Summery weather we’ve been having, that stretch of Cardigan Bay has been well-served by visitors.   They came – and still come – not to view the debris left by the storms, but to enjoy a lovely part of Wales.

And that bit of the coast near Borth, just north of Aberystwyth, where the storms revealed more of the local and ancient petrified forest has become another tourist attraction.

It’s an ill wind . . .

On The Move . . .

     . . . but which way?

S4C, our Welsh-language television station, is about to relocate its HQ, probably to Carmarthen.   It’s been based in Cardiff for thirty and more years.   So one must ask the question “Why move?”

Rumour has it that the station needs to go easy on its spending, and Carmarthen would work out cheaper than our capital.   That rumour goes on to say that the financial situation of S4C is not an easy one, and that may be due to dropping viewing-figures.

There has been a struggle for decades now, a century perhaps, to protect and promote the Welsh language.   It was felt that, when S4C was launched, there was a need – and an audience – for programmes in Cymraeg.

So why are there fewer viewers?

Could it be that fewer born-and-bred Welsh people are bothered about protecting their language, their heritage?

Certainly, I hear less Welsh spoken in towns and villages in parts of Wales which used to be strongholds of the ancient tongue.   That is due, to a very great degree, to the growing numbers of immigrants to our land.

As an incomer myself, I chose to move here because Wales had – and has – the kind of community which appealed to me.   I am not yet fluent in the old language, but I am a keen learner.

And I know from personal experience that many of the immigrants from our Eastern neighbour a surprised to find that a language other than English is spoke here.   Clearly, they have not done their homework.

We have to ask ourselves what can be done to reverse the trend – and get and do it!

A Well-Deserved Award

     Katherine Jenkins has a lovely voice.   And such a genuine sunny smile.   So congratulations to her for being awarded an OBE.

She received the award for her service to charity-work as well as he service to music.   “Handsome is as handsome does” is an appropriate quote.

And Katherine entertained the troops serving in Afghanistan last year, too.

This is no time for me to comment on the fact that, as there is no longer a British Empire, the Order of it is a bit vague.   This is a time for me to give praise where praise is due.   And it’s due to that Welsh girl from Neath.

Picture in Archie Lowe, Editor.docimg201

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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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