Monday, November 9, 2009

New Welsh Review

I am absolutely enamoured with the New Welsh Review. When I lived in Cardiff, the current copy constantly was with me, whether I was working at the Assembly, taking a train to Chepstow, or climbing Mount Snowdon. The articles often were thought provoking and the literature was inspiring.

Now, I've stumbled upon the Online flipbook.

With this lovely feature, my craving for Welsh literature can be somewhat satiated. Maybe it can do the same for you!

What's your favorite NWR section?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Charging for plastic bags

If you live in Wales, you might be charged between 5-15 pence for plastic bags at stores by 2011.

On the surface, this seems like a great idea! Imposing a charge could deter the use of these pesky bags, which we all know are bad for the environment.

However, consider two points:

1) What are the alternatives? Reusable bags (superb, but can't hold a lot... and who remembers to bring them to the store all the time?) or paper bags (which are just as bad for the environment because of the toxins they release during manufacturing).

2) What about dog poop? How will pet owners respond to this new fee? Even if it's illegal to leave your dog poop lying around, some owners might chance it if they have to pay to pick it up.

What do you think?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Art on a rainy day

I love art.

So do the Welsh!

Since it's a rainy day and I'm missing Wales, nothing seemed like a better cure for the blues than looking at Welsh artwork.

After reading a BBC article about a Welsh art contest winner who was inspired by Sir Kyffin Williams' work, I stumbled upon this gorgeous little Website:

On this page, you can discover a plethora of Welsh landscape paintings, portraits, and colorful or impressionistic work.

a Darren Hughes landscape


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A little R.S. Thomas to kickstart the day

"Welsh Landscape"

To live in Wales is to be conscious
At dusk of the spilled blood
That went into the making of the wild sky,
Dyeing the immaculate rivers
In all their courses.
It is to be aware,
Above the noisy tractor
And hum of the machine
Of strife in the strung woods,
Vibrant with sped arrows.
You cannot live in the present,
At least not in Wales.
There is the language for instance,
The soft consonants
Strange to the ear.
There are cries in the dark at night
As owls answer the moon,
And thick ambush of shadows,
Hushed at the fields' corners.
There is no present in Wales,
And no future;
There is only the past,
Brittle with relics,
Wind-bitten towers and castles
With sham ghosts;
Mouldering quarries and mines;
And an impotent people,
Sick with inbreeding,
Worrying the carcase of an old song.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Big Welsh Challenge

Instead of studying Obama's security policy for my national security class, I've spent the morning learning Welsh via BBC's The Big Welsh Challenge.

This interactive site with video tutorials has me remembering what little Welsh I learned last year after the first unit!

Check it out:

Friday, October 16, 2009

A New Era

After much internal dialogue, I have decided to resurrect this blog.

It shall still focus on Wales, of course (for that is where my beating heart lies), but it also will focus on graduate student life. I am currently a political science graduate student at Ohio University, acting as a graduate assistant for the Wales Internship Program and as the vice president for communication for Ohio University's Graduate Student Senate as well as a public relations officer for Empowering Women of Ohio.

As I am narrowing my thesis topic from the way-too-broad category of "Wales," this blog will provide a means for me to dump interesting tidbits I pick up. I also will write about my struggle to get back to Wales.

Right up front, you all should know I'm a Plaid Cymru supporter. That means my posts might be slightly biased.

For instance, if I were to write about Rhodri Morgan stepping down in December, you might hear the slight snicker in my tone when I speak of his possible replacements. This would be because, as one of my Welsh friends said,

"who will be caretaker first minister until Ieuan Wyn Jones takes over in 2011?"

Friday, January 2, 2009

2009, already?

Before I turned on my space heater and turned off my heated bed sheet (signifying sleep's defeat), I checked BBC news. A few minutes later, my face went rather pale and I was chuckling in a nervous, crazy sort of way. Here's what I saw, an article about Mount Snowdon rescues:

Now, here's what I have to say: climbing a mountain in improper gear in the winter is very, very dangerous. I speak from experience. When I climbed the mountain in November, I was one of those people wearing trainers (tennis shoes in American lingo). Yet I climbed, three parts dumb and one part determined. There's a sheet of ice that makes the mountain look like the Snow Queen's castle over some rather strenuous climbs. The sight of which sends the entirety of one's life to the cold space right behind one's tongue. And that's during the day time.

Well, that's all for my first post of 2009, from my rickety old house in Athens, Ohio (which is a different story I shall likely write later). Cheers!