I attempted a kind of homage to Gyppo in the previous post, and now it must be No Good Boyo's turn.
I was dragged up to a Nissen hut in the north of Wales every Easter as it was the only landscape bleak enough to accord with my father’s world-view and thereby help him feel comfortable within himself. An Ivor The Engine train ride from there is wonderful Port Merion, the “Village” from The Prisoner; and I was once further down the coast but remember nothing but jellyfish... big, red, flabby, embarrassing jellyfish, like a thousand Ron Davieses after an all-night “paddling” session. Over to the East we have the lachrymose beauty of The Llangollen_Canal but also places like Wrexham, Flint and Mold, which don’t really sound as Welsh as they should, maybe they're a bit traumatised by this. The middle, if my Counties of Britain jigsaw puzzle was correct, is Radnor and Merionethshire, which I've always imaged as R. S. Thomas country, in other words as miserable as f**k, though I’ll be happy to be wrong. But Down South are some splendid boyos and an ex-girlfriend whom I shall call Morfudd. I met her on the Internet and when I arrived for a first date found out she was really quite deformed - what’s the PC expression for this, guys? - poor lass; but that didn’t put me off at all; no; I’m like that. What did put me off however was her mother, who was a a witch: not the pointy-hatted, mixing-up-herbs type from Bangor University’s Department of Celtic Dawn Studies and Shamanism, but yer actual witch, a female nasty-piece-of-work. The fact that Morf was utterly devoted to her despite the constant put-downs made me eventually make my excuses and leave*. Moving on, we have the gorgeous Ystradfellte waterfalls, the deep sandy beaches at Rhossilli, the actually-quite-pleasant seaside destinations of Tenby and Manorbier and the invigorating Pembrokeshire coastline.
Siân Lloyd’s Face
The face of TV Weathergirl Siân Lloyd covers an area 0.000000003645847 the size of Wales, which is a fascinating statistic but not of immediate relevance here. What drew me to realise the similarity was the disproportion: Siân’s face is much bigger at the bottom that at the top, more fulsome, more generous, more sensual around the mouth and jowl region than around the forehead and crown. Down below we have a half of a face ready to enjoy life, to smile, to laugh, to eat and drink, and - oh yes - to kiss and to tell. Up top we have a more shrunken physiognomy, a personality meanly crouched inside a cranium that’s already too small for it. The mid region is represented by the eyes, supposedly the window to the soul: as we look at her, the left looks nice, bright, welcoming, but the right looks sad and, frankly, traumatised, half a seaweed short of a laverbread. The middle, the nose, is where LLoyd's ex Lembit Öpik is MP, and though I warm to him as an East European and an eccentric, he’s clearly been sticking his nose in where it’s not wanted, e.g. into the private affairs of asteroids and into Cluj’s own Gabriela Irimia, and he’s also reputedly as tight as a gnat’s chuff. Lloyd, Wales’s Marianne, deserves better, as does any country that looks a bit like her.
So there you go, that was my own Welsh Letter - like a French letter but made not from rubber but from the outermost “sheath” of a leek.... and not one of them thin spindly ones, innit - and I hope you enjoyed it. Further information, tourist brochures, Bara brith, etc can be had at the good offices of No Good Boyo, and while he’s dragging the judge, jury and punishment squad out of the Ffwrch & Fferkin in response to this (and to serve on me the martyrdom I’ve always craved) I shall bid you iechyd da!
*Also, her mother, though of retirement age, had a boyfriend who was young enough to be her son. Live and let live. Then I met other couples there with a similar reverse-May-September thing going on – nothing wrong with that, but it was the only community I’ve ever been in where this seemed to be the norm.