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Post Tagged with: Wales

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…

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)

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

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!)

I'm still in the Welsh Blog Awards?

I'm still in the Welsh Blog Awards?

Despite having left Wales a month ago, I still seem to be in the running for the utterly unprestigious Welsh Blog Awards.

Without having done any campaigning whatsoever, I appear to be the lead contender for Best Media Blog and Best Eclectic Blog (whatever that means) – both against two leading Welsh-language blogs who are much more deserving of your vote. Anyway, it’s rather bizarre to be a lead contender. So vote for them!

I'm NOT a Best Welsh Blog winner!

I'm NOT a Best Welsh Blog winner!

Somehow, I’ve managed to be the winner of the Best Media Blog and the Best Eclectic Blog in the Welsh Blog Awards.

However, given I only got 22 votes in the first category and 8 votes in the second category, I won’t be quitting my day job *just* yet.

But *sob sob* thank you all for voting. I’d like to thank my Agent, the Academy, my wonderful friends and family without whom none of this would be possible. I’m so grateful for all your support. Now I’m going to crack open the cocaine and party like it’s 1974!

False alarm! Alas, it appears that the pages I thought were the results of the vote were merely the results of the votes to decide which blogs go through to the final. Damn.

Vote for me in the Welsh Blog Awards!

Vote for me in the Welsh Blog Awards!

I didn’t even know there was a Welsh Blog Awards, and I didn’t even know I was in the nominations – and yet, somehow, you can theoretically vote for me as:

Welsh Blog Awards
– Best Media Blog
– Best Specialist Blog
– Best Eclectic Blog
– Best Looking Blog (They have *got* to be kidding!!!)

Like Woody Allen, my funny days are probably behind me, but please feel free to vote for me or The Gospel According to Rhys. I’ll be sure to thank you in my acceptance speech.

Did you know there's an election today?

Did you know there's an election today?

There’s an election today, to elect members to what is effectively the government of Wales. And finally, after 20-odd years of following politics and voting, I happen to live in a marginal constituencywith bells on” (along with Rhys), where the votes actually count.

I’ve always imagined that during election times, marginal constituencies become a hive of political activity, with people distributing leaflets and begging for your vote left, right and centre. But I’ve been in Llandudno and Colwyn Bay – the two main town centres – over the last couple of days and seen pretty much nothing going on. The odd poster in a shop window or farm (it’s always Plaid Cymru posters in farm fields, oddly), and the odd leaflet coming through our door. Including one from the far-right British National Party proclaiming how proud they are to retain Britain’s heritage – but neglecting to print their leaflet in Welsh. Despite, y’know, being in Wales.

The only “active” campaigning I’ve seen were people from the Liberal Democrats and the UKIP standing in Colwyn Bay high street, looking at no-one and talking to each other instead of trying to get people’s votes. And all this on a glorious sunshiney day.

The best the Welsh Conservatives have managed – aside from choosing an fundamentalist Christian who may consider homosexuality to be a sin – to fight for the seat next door – was to take out a full-page colour advert on the back of the local newspaper attacking everyone else. Unfortunately, a printing error meant the whole advert was rather blurred so you couldn’t make out much of the text. (Insert joke here) At least Labour‘s full-page advert said something about making sure all hospitals would remain open – which seems a bit of a joke considering they’re running the Welsh government as it is.

No-one around me has talked about the election – hell, as far as I know, no-one around me is going to vote (save for Miss R). Upon some prompting, we had a 20-minute chat about politics in the office – about how the fringe parties are going to pick up a lot of votes because mainstream politics has become all too same-y – but even then, no-one said they were going to vote.

Ah well. I’ll probably vote – and I’ll definitely be one of those sad geeks watching the news coverage, wishing I was at BBC Wales HQ again and probably live-blogging some bits of it with some fellow Welsh bloggers. Assuming there’s something interesting to say. Because if the politicans can’t be bothered to make a major fight over a marginal constituency like Aberconwy, what hope is there for interesting politics?