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This isn’t the first time you see a pony in Wrexham

This isn’t the first time you see a pony in Wrexham




Lunchtime in Wrexham

Originally uploaded by almost witty

Many news outlets (including BBC News and Gawker) are showing CCTV images of a man trying to take a pony on a train amongst other places.

But when I was in Wrexham in 2005, I saw a pony moored next to a cash machine, so it’s not that unusual…

How Tywyn thwarts Google Street View…

How Tywyn thwarts Google Street View…

Google Street View has thrillingly – and rather scarily – managed to scan 95% of the homes in the UK. Which means that most of my childhood haunts are finally on Google Maps for an easy trip down nostalgia street.

However, when I try to go down this street in Tywyn and then move forward, I am magically transported through some mysterious blurred tunnel to another place in time and space. Also known as the back alley. Then I’m transported back.

Such a shame I can’t seem to find a way to tell Google how to correct their mistake. Unless there is a teleportation tunnel operating in Tywyn these days…

Ahhh…. Cardiff…

Ahhh…. Cardiff…

When I first moved to Cardiff in December 2001 and found myself at numerous friends’ Christmas house parties, I did note – as you do – that everybody’s music collection included plenty of CDs by the Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers – and even Catatonia, depending on how old the partygoers were. Via some magical osmosis, without actually sitting down and listening to those CDs, by 2006 I was quite familiar with a fair few tracks, thus sparking off a sense of Welsh nostalgia every time Kelly Jones (he was in my local pub in West London, once) or James Dean Bradfield‘s voice spikes out of the radio.

Anyway, fast forward to today and I’ve only just heard the new single, Innocent. And I loves it. That quite Welsh lyrical combination of sour nostalgia for a time in the future. And a rockin’ good tune.

Or maybe that’s just me.

How would you pronounce Aberdyfi?

How would you pronounce Aberdyfi?

Inspired by Michael Winner’s brief visit to a small boutique seaside resort near my hometown, I’d like to ask:

How would YOU pronounce Aberdyfi?

Please call 03300 600616 (calls cost the same as any normal landline number) – and tell me on my voicemail. Calls will be recorded, edited, and put up on this website 🙂

(If you’re outside the UK, please join in and call +44 3300 600616, replacing the + with your international dialing code. For USians, that’d be 011)

Gareth David-Lloyd, and Welsh drag queens…

Gareth David-Lloyd, and Welsh drag queens…

Not exactly my cup of tea, but if you’ve ever wanted to see Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones of Torchwood) compering a Welsh drag queen competition for a Welsh short-film comedy then:

More about the film on their own website or Facebook – and don’t forget to tell your friends…

Wales has no culture … ?

Wales has no culture … ?

So it would seem, according to the learned judging panel behind the UK’s first ever “City of Culture” competition. 29 locations – including “The Countryside” are nominated.

Not one of them is in Wales. The closest you get is Chester, which is very un-Welsh.

Announcing the list, Ben Bradshaw, Culture Secretary, said that it proves “that cultural life most definitely does not begin and end within the M25”. It seems to end on the Welsh borders, according to the committee…

"Mae gen i TGAU yn Gymraeg"

"Mae gen i TGAU yn Gymraeg"

I recently had a work meeting with someone senior who turned out to be from Wales. Thus one small tangent of the conversation involved me saying I was from Wales, and stating that I had a Welsh GCSE certificate. Second language, of course, but who’s counting?

Of course, what happens? I get back a short work email … entirely in Welsh. I can distill the odd phrase or word and get the gist of the email – all but the last sentence.

Now, do I:

– admit defeat, and reveal my inadequateness in using Welsh (after all, I’m not genetically Welsh and haven’t lived in Wales for three years)?
– soldier on, find someone to translate the text for me, and fire off some pithy comeback in Welsh, and keep the illusion going?

Oh, these work dilemmas…

I used to live here…

I used to live here…




Pink Hat – Cardiff

Originally uploaded by © Maciej Dakowicz

Maybe this is where my slight fear of Saturday nights started, after I spent five years living in Cardiff City Centre and seeing sights like this most Saturday nights. And Friday nights. And Wednesday nights, for that matter. And, of course, hearing teenagers sobbing and arguing outside my bedroom window at 2am. But I did kinda like it, in the sense there was always life outside my window. So why go any further?

These pics are part of a gallery that a photography student is having exhibited in London. One of my flatmates used to also take random pics of drunk people on the streets of Cardiff. Then he graduated to video – and there’s a classic one where he’s filming two very drunk women arguing with a bouncer, and then they slowly turn to camera and shout “WHAT THE F**K DO YOU THINK YOU’RE LOOKING AT?”

Also covered in BBC News Wales

What is there to do in Cardiff?

What is there to do in Cardiff?

A friend of mine is planning a visit to Cardiff, and asked me what there was to do there. And despite living there for five years, I couldn’t think of anything in Cardiff beyond the Castle, the Wales Millennium Centre, and Cardiff Bay (which is just a glorified upper-class entertainment mall) that was great and unique to Cardiff. So all I could suggest was the BBC Doctor Who Locations Guide (I made that!).

Have you got any suggestions?

While we’re on the subject, see what happens when a Chinese chef and a Welsh chef decide to make beautiful food together. Although I’m wondering what they CAN come up with…

The 35th top UK blogger is …

The 35th top UK blogger is …

apparently my former neighbour Rhys – at least according to Blogstorm, a figure they somehow managed to arrive at after analyzing rankings from Alexa and Technorati.

Which means that theoretically, Rhys’s blog – while full of good anecdotes, isn’t exactly brimming with unique content that’s applicable to the human populace – has beaten the likes of sex blogs Belle De Jour and girl with a one track mind, London blog Londonist, and technology commentary blogs plasticbag.org and benmetcalfe.com.

Such a shame I’m cutting down on the number of publically-accessible funny anecdotes, just in case future generations (or more likely HR consultants) manage to find this blog. You’ll have to register and let me know if you want the better quality or more personal stuff…

Either way, congratulations Rhys! I walked past you once on Llandudno high street, y’know. (ahhh my brushes with web fame!)

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