Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Dydd Santes Dwynwen

Today, the 25th January, is known as Dydd Santes Dwynwen (Saint Dwynwens' Day) in Wales. Saint Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers.

St. Dwynwen was one of 24 daughters of a 5th century Welsh King, Brychan Brycheiniog, of Brechon. The beautiful and virtuous St. Dwynwen fell in love with a Welsh prince, Maelon Dafodrill, who intended to wed her, but their marriage was not to be. Maelon spurned her when she refused to sleep with him. As St.Dwynwen distanced herself from Maelon, his bitterness toward her became increasingly unbearable. Dwynwen was so upset that she fled to the woods where she begged God to make her forget him. She fell asleep and in her dreams was administered a potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice. Again she prayed to God, and was given three wishes: the first was that Maelon be unfrozen; the second was that she should never wish to marry again; and the third was that God should answer all requests made by her on behalf of lovers, so that they succeed in finding happiness through the fulfillment of their love or being cured of their passion. God granted all her wishes. She committed her life to God and founded a convent on what is now Llanddwyn island, just off the Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn).

Her holy well, a fresh-water spring called Ffynnon Dwynwen, became a place of pilgrimage for lovers. Visitors to the well believed that the sacred fish or eels that lived in the well could foretell whether or not their relationship would be happy and whether love and happiness would be theirs. The ruins of Llanddwyn chapel, can still be seen, and there is also a Latin cross dedicated to St. Dwynwen, in Llanddwyn.

"Nothing wins hearts like cheerfulness" - the words of Dwynwen

So why wait until St Valentine's Day to make your romantic feelings known, when you can wish your loved one "dwi'n dy garu di" (I love you) three weeks earlier?


The story varies substantially but the outcome is the same. Some spoilt bird fancies a bloke, she obviously doesn't listen to her TWENTY THREE sisters advice and gets all surprised when he wants to shag her. She goes all frigid and runs away, (to the woods? Doesn't she have a room to lock herself in or something?) cries a bit then asks God to turn bloke into a block of ice - a slight over-reaction perhaps? Bloke had obviously spiked her drink with Rohypnol (administered potion in her sleep... yeah right). She finally comes round and sees sense, she thaws him out before going and living on an island with a load of nuns. Why the HELL are there eels in this story? MAGIC eels?

Iesu Mawr.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Wandering

After getting all excited about the cracking game of rugby on the weekend, I decided that I needed to calm myself down somehow. As I was pretty much broke I rang Random Andy to see if he fancied a walk from Swansea along to Mumbles. The sun was out and there was a nice, refreshing wintery chill in the air - Andy agreed that a walk was a good idea and so we set off on our little adventure, taking my new camera out for a spin.

There's a handy cycle path that covers the 5 mile length of waterfront between the city of Swansea and the little town of Mumbles so it isn't at all challenging. First we thought we'd stop by the Vetch football ground to get some memorabilia. Swansea City (The Swans) played here until the end of last season but they've now relocated to a nice new stadium out of town. Inside the ground there were a few too many dodgy looking people already so we chickened out and hot-footed it straight down to the beach.

There was a surprising amount of people on the beach, I'm used to seeing it absolutely empty save two or three dog-walkers or joggers. The sun obviously had a good effect on some of the locals and we sat and watched some kids flying a Red Baron type kite for a few minutes.




Further along the path we noticed that a rugby match was in full flow in St.Helens. We sneaked into one of the entrances and watched the final seconds of the game, it turns out that The Whites of Swansea had just thrashed Llandovery (closest team to where I grew up, so I follow them) 38-5 so I wasn't too happy about that.

After the rugby we saw a few lads playing Lacrosse in the park, I didn't know that anybody played that around here. It looked like fun but we moved on after Andy dragged me away after seeing the "I'm going to ask if I can join in" glint in my eye.



The remaining 3.5 miles to Mumbles wasn't too eventful, the sun had gone down but we decided to walk all the way to the pier to see how that was holding up. The pier (as seen in Twin Town) was pretty quiet but all of a sudden my ears pricked up - the sounds of an amusement arcade belted out of one of the buildings, I hadn't been to one of those for several years so I ran up to the door and bolted through. I got inside and just stared at all the lights for a little while, then got bored and remembered why I hadn't come to an arcade for years - I HATE losing. I refused to put any money in the machines because I knew that I'd just get angry and storm out after spending £20 on a stupid fruit machine. We were in there for about three minutes before I went outside for a breather.

So, we'd reached our destination. There was only one thing for it, walk back again...




..via as many of the pubs as we could manage. Now, there are 13 pubs on a mile stretch of Mumbles as it is - so we avoided the majority of them to save our wallets and our livers any further distress. Halfway back we did the usual British thing of pulling into a Chip Shop for a quick bite to eat, before heading off to another pub.

We got back, drunk, even more skint and knackered.

Job Done.

All the pictures can be found in the usual place

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The King broadcasts to Millions

I expect there to be some sort of copyright on this but I'll wait and see if anyone says anything.

My very good friend, The King (Andrew), made it onto national Radio on Sunday. Bledd has recorded it for your aural pleasure. Kings girlfriend, Myfanwy, is away in University in Brighton (Almost 300 miles away from him) and wanted to tell him how much she loves him over the airwaves...

I appreciate that you probably don't know who the King is, but it's just a chance for you to listen to yet another one of my friends make a fool of themselves. Listen out for his pronounciation of 'Lingerie'

Click Here

(Lanette, this is for you becasuse you asked so nicely - not as funny as the last, just cringeworthy)


Also, one more has been converted. Another one of my good friends, Osian, has started a blog - go and say Hi, take a gift if you like.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Joke

The Best Blonde Joke ever

It took me a while to get it.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Help the Aged

I've just been out on a mission to buy some tea-bags for the boys in the office.

As I walked up to the entrance of the store, I saw a little old lady struggling with the door. I opened the door for her with my best 'I'm a lovely young man' smile and then carried on with my search for tea.

Only ten paces inside the store there was another little old lady finding it difficult to reach the Shredded Wheat from the top shelf. As I was at least ten times the height of the old lady, I stretched up into the sky and plucked the box down for her, "Thank you, young man" she said. Before I could walk away, I heard a little voice from behind "Excuse me young man, could you please pass me some Shredded Wheat as well?" ANOTHER little old lady had crept up behind me! The two little old ladies then had a little old lady conversation about how I was a "Lovely young man", friends for life I'm sure.


Helpless

I then noticed that the ENTIRE store was full of little old ladies and a couple even had reluctant shoppers in their husbands (I assume...) walking along behind them.

I dashed to the end of the aisle and into the safety of the next - phew! There were no tea-bags in this aisle though so I had to risk going to another. The next aisle was the frozen food section and guess what? There was a little old lady having trouble opening the freezer door AND reaching inside for a frozen pizza... I tried avoiding eye contact but it was too late "Excuse me...." After fetching the pizza for her, I was treated to a story about how her grandson looked remarkably like me and how he loved Pizza (it turns out he was only 14 though... I'd hate to think that any 14 year olds look like me).

After getting rid of that one (Not as in bunging her into the freezer and hiding her amongst the peas and sweetcorn - I just finished the 'conversation'), I dashed to the tea-bags and ran for my life to the checkout. I was a little nervous as the old ladies in the queue were slowly unloading their baskets, luckily nothing was too heavy or too far out of their reach.

I finally made it back out again (After holding the door open for another old lady on the way), ran to the office and locked the door behind me and placed the key in a really HIGH location, ensuring it was out of reach of any old ladies.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

According to Art Brut, I had a Good Weekend.

I've really got nothing to say today.

Erm. Traveled to Southampton (English South Coast) on Saturday, partied hard with friends I've not seen in two years. It's funny that with almost zero communication for that period, we lapsed straight back into the old routines that we followed when we all lived together down there.

I'd missed my weekly dose of Cardiff so I headed down there on Monday evening. I almost cried with laughter all night, and that continued into the morning. After dancing our socks off on Monday, we took a more relaxed approach on Tuesday and went out for a curry with Eirian, Bethan and Osian. It was a nice meal but we were continuously interrupted by the (completely nice) Indian waiter who kept chatting to us when one of us was in mid-sentence. Eirian dazzled us with amazing facts about genitals of the animal kingdom, that was pretty interesting to hear over dinner!! Anyway, I stayed in Cardiff until Wednesday as I was enjoying myself so much. There appears to be a little more detail on the half twelve post over on Yor My Behst Mate.

I'm there again on the weekend and I'm a little nervous.

Last night was my regular walk along the beach in Swansea - to relax and clear my head a little. For me, that works better than any form of painkiller.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Chav Nation

Anyone thinking of coming to Britain?

Take a look at this, and think about bringing a rifle.

I particularly like the "What they say" Section. (A not to non-Brits:- It's okay if you can't figure out what some of them are on about, neither can I)

My favourite Chav quote:-

"you are completly wrong we dont buy alloys then bodykit then bonnets and exhausts even a complete retard knows that you go choons allys exhausts lowering springs the kit then engin mods"

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Everybody loves a party

Welcome to 2006 folks, I hope it's been a good one so far for you all?

Me, It's been a bit naff. Not wanting to be left out, I've gone and got myself a new years cold and my eyes & nose have spent most of the last 48hrs streaming - lush!!

It's already January 4th though, Summer isn't that far away again!! I can't wait until I can get back into the beach again and into the sea! I suppose I could jump in right now but the combination of my wetsuit not being thick enough and the predictions of a freezing second half of January have scuppered those plans. The earliest I'd made it into the sea previously was February 12th 2003, anyone that's been in Britain on that date will know full well that jumping into the sea wearing a pair of shorts is NOT a good idea.

The festive period then, it was a rather relaxed one despite the furious pace at which the days raced past. I returned to the folks house in the hills late on Christmas Eve, I spent Christmas day pretending I was having a great time and I left early on Boxing Day. Apart from two days more, that was the entire time I spent at home. I don't get extremely excited about Christmas, I crave variety in my life and I'm sick of the same old thing happening year in, year out.

Boxing Day, however, is one of my favourite days of the year! I spent the entire 26th December in St.Davids with pretty much all of my friends from down there. Boxing Day in rural West Wales is one of the biggest social events of the calendar - most people turn out in the town for some festive drinks, it's a great time to catch up with everyone! A large number of my friends that live in Cardiff are all from St.Davids way so they were all out and about! We started in the Farmers Arms at 1pm, at 2am Eirian received a text from me :-

"Mate, I'm in your house - Lost"

Eirian stumbled down the stairs to find me staring back up at him with a big grin on my face, which he found hilarious! The next day we watched the annual St.Davids v Exiles rugby match, it was highly entertaining but was blydi cold and the game didn't start to quickly as several players had to run to the side of the field to throw up!! The current St.Davids team ran out clear winners but it didn't really matter at the end of the day, it was good fun.

The remaining few days were spent in Bledds' house, he was still too weak to walk far after his operation but he managed to get to the pub for five pints on New Years!! We had intended to stay in and have a quiet one but we snapped at around 8pm and went to the pub which was aboslutely heaving, as I almost was the next day.

I suppose I should give a little review of my 2005 too:-

Highlight of 2005 :- Wales winning the Grand Slam and Six Nations tournament back in March
Greatest personal achievement :- Finally going to Sweden and experiencing a small part of Scandinavia
Biggest Regret :- Not going to a 'Pimp and Prostitutes' party dressed as a Shrimp.
Favourite band :- Toss up between Bedouin Soundclash and The Crimea
Best night out :- Too many to remember, infact I probably don't remember the best one at all. Ammendment: Bournemouth Uni Summer Ball, definately!
Favourite Read :- Of the not many reads last year, I thoroughly enjoyed 'A Revolutionary Life' by John Lee Anderson more than than the others.