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On 10 Welsh connections in my life

                                                    People at eisteddfod, isn't it?

Thinking again about Wales made me try to recall all the things in life that connect me to the land of sheep and nice singing:
  1. My father’s mother was born of Welsh parents, which makes me, er, one eighth Welsh?
  2. Because my father’s family all lived in Liverpool, we often took day trips across the border into north Wales whenever we visited our Scouse ‘rellies’.
  3. When I was about fourteen, we spent a summer holiday in Llangollen. I remember visiting an eisteddfod, and thinking how weird and beautiful it was.
  4. I once learned to say (with a bad accent), the longest place name in the UK (it’s in Anglesey): Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
  5. At a wedding party in the 1980s, I nearly got into a fight with a red-headed Welshman after we had argued all afternoon about Mrs. Thatcher and I had ended up calling him ‘boyo’.
  6. One of my fellow students at art college was the lead singer of the Super Furry Animals. We once played a game of pick-up football (soccer to you ‘Murkins) at night in a deserted square in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter.
  7. When I went to Wales two years ago, I stayed at Baskerville Hall Hotel in Powys. Yes, as in ‘Hound of the’. The only dog I saw, running around the gardens,  was a yapping toy dog that you could fit in the palm of your hand.
  8. One of my best friends in England was proudly Welsh Kim Thomas. That’s actually her full name: Proudly Welsh Kim Thomas.
  9. I’ve always loved films with Richard Burton in, the poetry of Dylan Thomas, and the art of David Jones (a poet and artist whom T. S. Eliot and W. H. Auden held in high regard).
  10. And Catherine Zeta-Jones.

See also:

On 10 cool things about being an artist
On 10 things people have said to me at opening nights
On Albee, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Burton
On a follow up to Albee and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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  1. Catherine Zeta Jones? Okay then, I'll take Michael Douglas.


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