Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Now I've lived here a bit I've become a bit more sensitive to pronunciation of various Welsh words.

Abergele is pronounced by the English (and most Welsh come to think of it) as Ab-ber-gellee. However, the Welsh way takes into account that only two letters of the Welsh alphabet can change the way they are said - y and w - and then under only certain circumstances.

Being a playful soul, I like to interchange between the two pronunciations of Abergele as I see fit. (Except in my other half's hearing) I frequently do this when on the phone to some call centre, the operator asks me first to spell 'Pensarn'...and then 'Abergele'...and just to give them icing on the cake I like to say Clwyd (cloo-id) rather than Conwy. I spose its my revenge for the time that a guy from Wales stated his address as 'Pryswylfa' and almost caused a circuit in my brain to explode as he tried to spell it.

The local news, if read by a Welsh person, always always always pronounce it Ab-ber-gell-ler. Somehow it doesn't sound as pretty as Ab-ber-gell-lee, but as it means 'mouth of the river Gele' I suppose I should try and be more careful and say it right. After all, I'm sure scousers would be a little affronted if we called it Lyverpool. Or maybe there are just so many of them in North Wales they don't give a stuff. And maybe I shouldn't either, considering that they also give Rhyl a lovely pretty ring 'rrrrrril' (i.e. barely pronouncing the l) and Rhyl sure ain't pretty (not just yet, maybe a few million quids will make a difference. Didn't do Jackie Stallone any good though. miaow.)

Lastly. Why is it Cymru is pronounced cum-ree, but cynt pronounced kint? You decide.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Oh the adverts are taking the...

So I slag off tourists.

What do the adverts do?

Only go and offer Welsh holiday homes.


Friday, May 05, 2006

Oh gosh super the tourists are back

The sun comes out and the tourists are back and so here we are set for another 5 or 6 months of putting up with them.

I'm pretty fortunate as I live in an area which is not very touristy, mainly because there is nothing there and partly because Pensarn has got a bad rap. Suits me fine, though it doesn't stop some of them. My favourite cafe, Pantri Bach, is absolutely jam packed in and out with people lingering over a single cup of coffee and an ice cream sundae. Some of them have started to realise how quiet Pensarn beach is during the day, and the fact they can park their car there, and, despite the pebbles and the kamikaze seagulls, know that the air is (fairly) fresh, the sea is blue and the view to Great Ormes Head and the windmills is terrific.

Oh yeah, the windmills. The naysayers amongst the local populous state that local tourism will be ruined by them. Frankly, I can't see how, as the job has already been sorted by Rhyl, which should actually rename itself to 'Rubble'. A few million quid chucked at it, and will probably not be finished before the summer of 2007. Npower Renewables have already sent their machines, resembling something out of a John Christopher novel, out into the oceans, and you can watch in utter fascination/boredom/incredulity (delete as applicable), as it moves back and forth over the skyline. The Npower Tripods Are Coming....The Npower Tripods Are Here...gosh npower will be running Britain before long, doubtless sending radioactive waves through our 'lekky supplies so that we are all subservient to them. I think not. Worst things happen at sea, ha ha. If someone can convince me that the windmills will do more harm than good, and they don't stick one on my roof, I'm not going to complain, and if it sends a few more into Pontins, or even Spain, then all the better.

Back to tourists. If they are not packing out the favourite haunts of the locals, they are hanging around the supermarkets, looking at every single item on every single shelf, as if there isn't a similar establishment where they come from, and eventually buying 10 for 2 offers and 'Value' items, knowing darn well (deep down) that they will survive on burgers, fish and chips and Chinese takeaways and all this lot will end up dumped in the wheely bins at the caravan site. AND they have the cheek to quibble at the till if they are overpriced by so much as a green grape (special offer, 99p). I bet they don't act like that when they're at home.

I pity them in Snowdonia, where the nicer places are (with very nice prices). Its no wonder a lot of the locals stick to Welsh for the summer. It gives them an excuse to ignore them. Me, I stick to my farm shop where I know I am getting fresh, local, produce. This is what the Welsh really rely on, but the tourists don't buy it because they think it is too expensive. It is, compared to the supermarkets, who shaft the farmers at a penny per pound (or somewhere close).

(sigh) Roll on the beautiful month of October, and let me hibernate for a while with occasional trips to where the tourists don't go in Llansannan and Meliden. I'm planning to go into mid Wales for a few days in my couple of weeks off later, but you can betcha we won't be going where the tourists go. I prefer to find the reality of places rather than the fluff, to hear the sheep bleating and to hear the grass growing.

No, I'm not about to burst into a rendition of 'Land of My Fathers', but this area beats SW London hands down. And I try my darndest not to act like a tourist wherever I go.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Health and Beauty Magazines Make You Fat

Yep. Forget chocolate bars, potatoes and pasta, health and beauty magazines are the reason there are so many obese women in this country.

NO - get your finger off that comments button. I am not 'fattist'. I'm pretty big myself.

It can't be just me who, when reading one of these magazines which are claiming to 'inspire' reaches for the nearest Mars Bar? Or two?

What is still more depressing is that you know, deep down, that 90% of these 'inspiring women' are going to gain back all they lost...with extras.

If you are healthy, happy and sane and do not mind being fat, just stay away from these magazines, particularly from articles such as 'I Didn't Want to be a Hippo at My Wedding'. I feel like sending them hate mail. You can look fabulous in a wedding dress if you pick the right one, no matter what size you are. Get your head sorted out.

If, however, you do hate your weight, go ahead and try. Forget Atkins, eat as much as you like but NO FAT. It works. You have to deprive yourself of a lot of things that taste nice (reason why I haven't lost a lot) but it does work.

Forget fads, forget smug women who will be just as heavy in 12 months. Be yourself. Choose Freedom to be who you are.