Tag Archive | Welsh

Britain’s Once Mighty Coal Industry — King Coal — Is Sputtering To An End.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
 British Pride.
>>
 British English quiz.

>> English grammar from Britain
>> Britain on ‘Poppy Watch’
>> Trevor Noah pokes fun at the British

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coalmines

Click image to access British Sky News original.


I get British Sky News on our Roku and I try to watch as much of their news as possible since unlike the extremely parochial U.S. cable news the British news agencies make a point of covering the world.

Friday evening, with their being no new cricket of worth to watch, I spent even more timing browsing through the Sky News clips. Then I saw the above.

I was shocked. Wow.

Coal mining, for so long, has been such an integral part of our heritage. Funnily enough, just last week, the Cambridge Revels in their outstanding “Welsh Celebration“, highlighted the importance of coal mining in Welsh culture. One of the major stage props was a huge slag pile — the slag the byproduct of mining.

I still distinctly remember the coal miner strikes in the early 1970s and Margaret Thatcher’s mighty attempts to tame the unions. Those transformatives events for me.

There was the saying among cricket circles how clubs in the Midlands and Yorkshire could just go to the nearest coal mine and whistle down the shaft to recruit a fast bowler. All of that is going.

Cheap coal and natural gas from the U.S.! And they are now talking about Fracking in Britain!

Shame. Yes, mining was a hard, cruel profession and so many, for so long suffered from all the diseases associated with the coal dust. But it was a proud and well-paid profession. It is all coming to an end.

End of an Era.

Though I have no connection with miners I feel the loss. This is so much a part of our heritage.

I wish all the current miners and the ex-miners, and their families, a Merry Christmas and a hopeful 2016.


Fabulous Cambridge 2015 Christmas Revels, The ‘Welsh Celebration’ — More Pictures.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Cambridge 2015
Welsh Revels: Fantabulous.
>> Cambridge 2015
Welsh Revels: Program.
>> Cambridge 2015 Welsh Revels.

>> Revels North 2015: Songbook & Program.
>>
Christmas Revels North, 2015Scottish Highland Bash.

>> Christmas Revels 2014: RAVE.
>> Christmas Revels 2013 at Dartmouth.

++++ Search for ‘Revels’ & ‘Cambridge’ for MANY other related posts >>>>


MORE pictures of this FANTABULOUS show provided by Revels.

Photographs by (and copyright belonging to) Roger Ide.

Visit their Facebook page for EVEN more.

P.S., The shows post-Christmas are ALREADY sold out!

Click to ENLARGE.


revelswelshpics2456466
This, from the obligatory and brilliantly done “Mummer’s Play”, captures very high quality of the costumes and overall production.

This red Welsh dragon was a Masterpiece.

Not sure why the two poles for holding up the large arms had to be so long. Maybe it was for balance though I have to think that the physicists that can be readily found in Cambridge could have come up with a way to make the poles shorter. 

Great sequence.


revelswelshpics22

Cambridge 2015 Christmas Revels, The ‘Welsh Celebration’ — Absolutely Fantabulous.

RevelsCambridge10182015 .Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Cambridge 2015
Welsh Revels
: Program.
>> Cambridge 2015 Welsh Revels.

** Dylan Thomas & I.
** Dylan Thomas: ‘A Boy With A Note’.

>> Christmas Revels North, 2015Scottish Highland Bash.
>> Christmas Revels 2014: RAVE.
>> Christmas Revels 2013 at Dartmouth.
>> Christmas Revels 2012 at Dartmouth.

++++ Search for ‘Revels’ & ‘Cambridge’ for MANY other related posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE.




Pictures from last night provided by Revels.

Photographs by (and copyright belonging to) Roger Ide.

Click to ENLARGE.

Xmas_2015_montage_2


Lavish Production.

Brilliant.

Authentic & Empathetic.

Singing bordering on Divine.


Yes, I will readily admit that I love ‘Revels‘ — and have for years. But, I am also a stickler for tradition and class and will differentiate between brilliant, v. good and not so good as I did here.

The ‘Welsh Celebration’ Christmas Revels 2015, opening night performance yesterday, in Cambridge at the elaborate ‘Sanders Theatre‘, was outstandingly good in every facet.

This morning Teischan, Deanna and I, all veterans of Revels past, were debating whether last night was the BEST Revels we have ever seen! That alone is one heck of a testament — since I have been to about 9 and Deanna and Teischan to more than 6.

Yes, the Welshness appeals to me since Wales is one of the 4 places I consider as ‘Home’. That they actually mentioned Cwmdonkin Drive, as to where a Christmas present being delivered, had come from was an added bonus. Not sure how many people even heard the name — Cwmdonkin — or knew what it meant. I would have to think that I was the ONLY person there last night that had actually lived on Cwmdonkin Drive — directly opposite Dylan Thomas’ house.

Very authentic. A lot of men looked Welsh. The slag piles were beautifully rendered.

That they did ‘Sospan Fach‘, a classic Welsh ditty (invariably sung at Rugby matches), was another bonus. It was GOOD (but I share with you, below, my favorite version).

The requisite elements of any Christmas Revels — Morris Dance, Mummer’s Play, Sword Dance, Dona Nobis Pacem, Sussex Mummer’s Carol, Horn Dance — were of an extremely high class. But I expect that from Cambridge Revels — who are THE ‘Mother Ship’ of Revels.

The Sword Dance was exquisite and elaborate. Wow. A girl slipped and fell during it. The audience gasped as one — that was how everybody, at the edge of their seats — was engrossed in the display. She got up at once and continued without a hitch. Given the reaction from the audience they might want to incorporate that slip into future performances.

Musically it was a Master Class, especially the signing. Bravo. THANK YOU.

The singing segments in the Second Half were goose bump inducing. The audience signing Dona Nobis Pacem was WOW! Well it is Cambridge.

Well I do NOT want to appear that I am gushing TOO MUCH since we consider Revels North, at Dartmouth, OUR Revels. So we don’t want them to think that I am glorifying Cambridge too much. SMILE. We go to the Revels North ‘Scottish Bash‘ next week. Yes, TWO (2) Revels for 2015.

Brilliant production. Outstanding performance. Bravo. Kudos.

Thank YOU.



Even MORE pictures by Roger Ide.
Click to access.


MY Favorite rendition of ‘Sospan Fach‘ — and OF COURSE it is by Max Boyce.

Remember I went to University in Wales (in Swansea) and essentially grew up there.

maxsosphans

Click to access YouTube video. Sospan Fach starts at around 3:20. This is Sospan Fach at its very best and Max was the master. IF you haven’t heard Max Boyce before THANK ME for enhancing your lfe.


Liam Dutton Shows How To Pronounce The 58-Letter Welsh Name With Aplomb.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Other Related Posts:

**** Search on ‘Wales’ for other posts >>>>


Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.


53welshliam

Click to access “Channel 4 News” provided YouTube video. It is brilliant.


53welshliam2

Click to access his, must see, Website.


53nameplace

The place. Click to access Wikipedia entry.


This was BRILLIANT. Bravo. Made my day. I had, since 1971, always wanted to be able to say it BUT I can’t even come close.

I went and checked him, i.e., Liam Dutton, out. Quite the guy. We is Welsh — born in Cardiff (though he doesn’t have the classic Welsh look of yore — BUT this is the new, melting pot UK).

I, given that I spent three of my most formative and fun years in Wales, in Swansea, consider myself somewhat Welsh. If nothing else, as those that know appreciate, cut-to-the-chase, the underlying cadence of my (hard to understand) accent is Welsh! Fancy that.

In September 1971, when I started at Swansea University, I was given a tour and orientation by a Welsh student. All the signs were in both English and Welsh and he took delight in reading them out to us. I kind of thought it would be neat to learn some Welsh while I was there. Well that never happened. I was busy with other things. SMILE. But there was a time, after much tutoring from locals, when I could properly pronounce ‘Llanelli‘ like a native 

This is great. Thanks Liam. You are the guy.

P.S., This was not live. They prerecorded it just to be on the safe side BUT it is claimed that he nailed it on the very first take. I am so proud of him.

Iechyd da!

cymru


‘Remembrance Day’ — Poppy Day — For The Redoubtable (Nepali) Gurkhas.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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.by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1/ King George V’s ‘Great Silence’ proclamation … — July 9, 2013.
2/ Origins Of “Armistice Day” (a.k.a “Poppy Day”) — June 11, 2013.
++++ Search for ‘Poppy’ using sidebar SEARCH esp. for 2103 posts >>>>


Please check dedicated ‘Red Poppy’ PAGE
above (↑↑) with tons of pictures and history.


I like most Brits having nothing but undisguised admiration, respect and gratitude for the Gurkhas — who for so long have fought beside us.

I mentioned them in this post about British Commonwealth Troops in WW I (from which the Poppy Tradition arises) since they were such an integral force in that war — as in so many other wars.

From Wikipedia. Click to access original.

From Wikipedia. Click to access original.


So today I went in search of Gurkhas with Poppies pictures.
I lucked out. I am so happy.


From the ‘NepaliSamajUK.com’ photo gallery. Click to access. They have LOADS more pictures.

That this was Remembrance Day for ex-Gurkhas at Llanelli, Wales just made my day! Many don’t appreciate it, but I am Welsh. My underlying accent is not from Ceylon, it is a Ceylon accent modulated by Welsh. I spent 3 of my most riotous years of my life in Swansea, Wales. Llanelli wasn’t far away. I have been to Llanelli, visited the Rugby club and even more importantly was able to say ‘Llanelli’ correctly, saying like a true Welshman.

So this great, but I always associate Llanelli with greatness — not just on the rugby field.


Then there was this:

From "demotix.com". They also have a large gallery. So click to visit.

From “demotix.com”. They also have a large gallery. So click to visit.


Then this from Flickr:

Click to access original at Flickr.

Click to access original at Flickr.


New Hampshire Stories: Laconia Rotary Club and the ‘University of Whales’

by Anura Guruge


Getting inducted into Laconia Rotary (in Sept. 2001, I think), by the late Kinney O’Rouke, wearing my ‘Granite State Ambassador’ (GSA) shirt, the first thing that Kinney got me into.

University of Swansea

University of Swansea, across from Mumbles Beach with its amazing long (I think 2 mile) tidal ebb-and-flow. No we didn’t use the beach much. During term time it was usually too cold.


Laconia Rotary Park with the historic Belknap Mill in the background, where Laconia Rotary has their meetings (on the 3rd floor).


“New Hampshire Stories” sets out to chronicle noteworthy, but mostly amusing, events from my 3 decades in New Hampshire.
Check the CATEGORY ‘New Hampshire Stories’ or do a SEARCH using sidebar search box for ‘stories’ for other posts.

How I met the once bestriding Kinney O’Rouke in the parking lot of the Laconia CVS and how me got me involved in ‘Granite State Ambassadors‘ (GSA) and Laconia Rotary were described in this July 14, 2012, post. So I won’t revisit that again. If you want the background, please read that post.

Kinney who was President of Laconia Rotary at the time ‘fast tracked’ my induction. I had to fill in a questionnaire about my life and meet with a 3 person ‘Induction Committee’ who wanted to ensure that I had integrity (and took regular showers). Anyway, since Kinney wanted me (and that was mainly to boost his recruitment score) they agreed to have me, integrity be damned.

I was not the first non-white that had been inducted. Dr. Prabhkar K. Shetty, the renowned Ophthalmologist from Gilford, had been a member for a longtime. But, I was by far, the most exotic person they had inducted and that was what Kinney wanted. As Kinney emphasized from the start, we were going to have fun and that fun started with my induction ceremony.

Birthdays are a BIG deal at Laconia Rotary. Around the time of your birthday you are supposed to bring in an item that is then auctioned, at the weekly lunchtime meeting, to raise money for the Club. The goal is to sell your item for as much as you can. So some get very creative and I remember items selling for $300. So, as part of the induction they announce your birthday. Based on a comment I had made that I knew somebody that was born on that day, Kinney announced that my birthday was ‘April 1’ — thus trying to set the tone that I was a clown, if not a fool.

Right after the induction meeting, Kinney tells me: ‘You are ON for the next 2 weeks. You are doing the presentation. Just tell them about your life‘. Another brilliant Kinney move. Each weekly Rotary meeting is supposed to have a ‘meaningful’ (hopefully educational) 20 – 30 minute presentation. As with the Birthday Auction each member is supposed to find speakers to fill these slots — again some setting out to excel (and keeping their speaker secret until the meeting). Once when it was my turn, I got Philip McLaughlin who had just finished his term as the Attorney General of NH. (Yes, they were impressed. Philip, a Laconia native, wowed them.) So, by getting me to fill in 2 slots, right away, Kinney, as President, didn’t have to worry about whether those two meetings were going to have speakers — that always been a challenge. [If he didn’t have school, e.g., Summer, Matthew, who was 8-9, used to attend the meetings with me, kids being encouraged to attend. At one of the meetings the speaker did not show up. I bribed Matthew, who had just come back from ‘Global Finals’, to talk about Destination Imagination (DI). I can’t remember what the bribe was, but I know it was expensive. He must have been 9 at the time. He got up on the podium. His face just about cleared it. So, he is now facing 100 adults. He, hesitated for a minute, but then launched straight in. He got a standing ovation. For the next 2 weeks I would meet people in Laconia or Gilford who would say: ‘I heard about your son’s speech at Rotary‘.]

So, per Kinney, my brief was that in my 1st slot, I had to talk about my ‘early’ life and that the 2nd slot should be about my experiences in high-tech.

Ed Engler, Laconia Daily Sun

Ed Engler at our wedding, January 1, 2003 — looking very happy, as he should.

So, as instructed, I did my first presentation talking about my life in Ceylon, growing up in the U.K. and going to school there.

As per rote, the proceedings of all the Rotary meetings are documented and posted on the Web. In those days, given his professional credentials, our official chronicler of all matters Rotary was Ed Engler, the Editor/President of the Laconia Daily Sun. Ed is a great guy. Very nice, very obliging. But, as anybody who is familiar with the Laconia Daily Sun will know, Ed and his lovely crew don’t waste too much time about accuracy.

The meetings are on Thursday. The report of the proceedings get posted by Monday. So given that I was still new and curious, I checked what dear Ed had said about my presentation.

He had done a decent job covering my time in Ceylon, Buffalo, Paris and London, but then said: ‘he got his first degree from the University of WHALES’!

I am not exactly thin, but I am NOT that fat.

I called Ed up and asked him what that was all about. He says: ‘That is what you said, right? University of Whales‘.

Yes, I know I have an accent, ironically part of it Welsh undertones. So, Ed had heard my: ‘I went to Swansea, University of WALES’ and interpreted it, without ever thinking to check, that I had gone to the ‘University of WHALES‘.

Following that start, just for the fun of it, bottles of “Whaler’s” rum became my trademark auction item at Laconia Rotary.

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