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Category: Promotion


By AmeriCymru, 2019-04-29


STOP PRESS: The Christmas special offer has been extended!  We are offering an entire page on the AmeriCymru site for only $20! Your page will be editable and will be promoted heavily on all our social channels. You can include video, graphics and text....everything you need to highlight and showcase your products all year round. We will even re-design your page for seasonal and special promotions. These pages are PERMANENT and will remain and be re promoted for as long as AmeriCymru is online ( and we've been here for 10 years already ) ALL THIS FOR ONLY TWENTY DOLLARS! This offer will expire on June 1st 2020. Scroll down to the PayPal button and reserve your page now!!! ( or email  for more information )


We have two advertisement sizes available (details below) and we offer a complete promo package ( featured articles, social media: FB, Twitter etc ) for as little as $15 for three months. If you are interested please read more below or contact

Communicate your message to members and readers of AmeriCymru


1.   Top of page graphic banner ads, 1120 pixels wide by 210 pixels high, are available on the following pages (above is an example ad, click for actual size).  The rate for these ad spots is six months for $60.00 or twelve months for $120.00:

welshKitchenBtn.jpg 2. Right-hand column graphic ads are also available, 200 pixels wide by 200 pixels high.  The rate for these ads is $15.00 for three months or $30.00 for six months.

For more information or to arrange your ad on AmeriCymru email

Payment is due in full upon approval of ad graphic. At this time we accept PayPal only. If you have a PayPal account, you can make payment to but you don't have to have a PayPal account, pay by debit or credit card with the button below.


ALSO Did you know that you can sell direct through AmeriCymru? Check out the details here and email for enquiries OR just log in and add your products

Posted in: Promotion | 0 comments




Planet: The Welsh Internationalist
is a quarterly cultural and political magazine published in Aberystwyth, Wales. It looks at Wales from an international perspective, and at the world from the standpoint of Wales. The magazine enjoys a vibrant and diverse international readership, and is read by key figures in the Welsh political cultural scene.


It was a great pleasure to receive the latest issue of Planet in my mailbox recently. For any of our readers who are unfamiliar with the magazine, it was originally published by Ned Thomas in 1970 and has been in continuous publication since 1979. There is much more to learn about its' history and current mission on the magazine's website, here:- History of Planet .

The theme of the current edition (Summer 2018) is explored in an editorial by Emily Trahair. How does a small nation like Wales cope with the "....ruinous effects of unregulated tourism"?

With the coming of summer millions around the globe are planning vacations in far away places and in many cases, the further away the better. Our natural desire to visit exotic and isolated locations puts these communities under stress and over time transforms them into the very same kind of tourist 'honeypot' that we were concerned to avoid in the first place. This is particularly the case in Wales where locals are priced out of the housing market and Welsh speaking communities are disappearing altogether in the face of the second home, Airbnb onslaught.

In the course of her article Emily offers an extremely interesting idea which must surely be of interest to some budding web entrepreneur?

"It would be brilliant if a radical alternative to TripAdvisor could be developed: an online database of hotels, restaurants, bars and attractions in Wales.....which were owned and run by local people, employed local people at a living wage.....and reached a standard of cultural and linguistic respect for the neighbouring inhabitants."

Expanding on this theme Helen Sandler recounts her recent vacation experiences in Venice and Kreuzberg (Berlin), two continental destinations which are under siege by international tourists. Whilst noting that the local communities are fighting back against the pernicious effects of unregulated tourism in these two cities she goes on to quote some disturbing statistics from closer to home.

"According to the Daily Post, Gwynedd has the highest number of second homes in the U.K. They constitute a whopping 27% of recent sales, against a 2% national average. Local people are priced out of buying in the county and there is insufficient rental stock."

But there is much more between the covers of the current issue. In a series entitled 'Reading Between The Lines: Responses to Wales's Rail Network', Menna Elfyn offers a fascinating, impressionistic account of a recent trip from Carmarthen to Pembroke Dock. She roundly excoriates Dr Beeching in the following terms:-

"Ah Beeching. Was there ever one who made more of a black mark on the landscape of Wales? I wonder sometimes whether Beeching had a child's railway set in his London office to play with before he decided to shatter the railways of Wales into pieces? Did he know how difficult it would be for the Welsh of the north to come and visit their fellow compatriots in the south? Or was it a perverted joke that one had to go through England and be reminded of the Greatness of Britain to arrive at such a destination? Or was it simply another act of colonisation?"

The review section (which covers art, music and literature) is another highlight of Planet Magazine. In this edition there are reviews of Leonora Brito, Mike Jenkins, Kyffin Williams, Gwenno and the Manic Street Preachers.

As the eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed, there is a banner ad at the top of this post. It offers  a 50% reduction in subscription rates for AmeriCymru readers. We strongly urge all our readers to consider taking up this offer, either for themselves or as a gift to a friend. Independent Welsh publications need all the support they can get AND there are few magazines which offer a more insightful  commentary on contemporary Welsh cultural. social and artistic issues than Planet.


Hi Krystal and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. Care to tell us a little about your winning entry 'Rice Paper Dreams' (link) in this year's WCE Short Story Competition?

Krystal: Rice Paper Dreams at its heart is a story about a young girl reuniting with her father. It looks into expectations and unfulfilled dreams, as well as the complicated nature of family relationships, and how they change over time.

How did you come up with the idea for the story?

Krystal: Almost a third character in itself is the setting–the Kyoto Railway Museum. My sister has always been fascinated by trains, so this past summer when we visited Kyoto, we had to make a stop at the museum. It was raining that day, on a Monday, so there were very few visitors when we arrived. It was only the true train fanatics and diehards perusing the exhibits. I remember seeing a little boy with his father, and what struck me was the way the father so excitedly explained to the boy how the gears operated in the trains. It was clear that he loved his son, that his dreams for him were big. I remember wondering how his son would grow up; would he take on those expectations, would he stray apart from them? Would he grow to understand his father, to resent him? And how would the father perceive the past–these trips to the museum? Family relationships are a tricky thing–there are so many unspoken rules, unsaid truths. In the same way, Mariko believes she has changed, believes she can control her new shiny image, but inevitably, the façade cracks. Her father too, tries his best, but new things–and old things–come to light in one simple conversation. I love the juxtaposition of the irreverent, ancient trains with the young, earnest father-daughter duo. The way people, so volatile, change every day, while trains move around us, speeding by yet ever constant. To me, that feels equal parts ironic and wonderful.

Your work is influenced by your 'experience growing up as a second-generation immigrant in America'. This is a theme that will resonate with many of our readers. How important do you think it is to examine your ancestry and stay in touch with your roots?

Krystal: How else could I answer this question? It is important to examine ancestry and stay in touch with one’s roots, but of course this looks different for every individual. Even as someone who has only seen a small sample of the Asian diaspora, I know no two experiences look the same. So who am I to press my story onto another, to claim that the way I search for “my roots” is the way another reader will find theirs? All I can say is that stories hold power: the stories my family pass on to me are the stories I will hold on to for the years to come–to understand them by, to remember them by.

What initially attracted you to writing short stories?

Krystal: Often, I find small snippets in everyday life that intrigue me, and the ones that I come back to time and time again are often the ones worth writing. I like the idea of documenting a stray thought in time or space, without devoting a huge effort to it as in novel writing. In novels, writers are ambitious–incorporating sweeping plotlines or world-changing theories and ideas. Short stories in contrast, are simply about capturing essence. A feeling, a character, or a moment in time, like an insect frozen in amber.

As a side note, I think short stories are one of the best ways to improve craft. Their constraints in size are what allow you to play around with form or genre. I would say that while I write novels for others–to entertain, to question–my short stories are primarily for myself, in an educational sense. I write to develop voice and style, learning about what works, and what does not.

One of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami, once said that he finds writing novels a challenge, writing short stories a joy. The way I interpret that, in order to write novels, you have to fall in love with your characters, fleshing them out into three-dimensional, fully realized beings. If writing novels is like moving in, then writing short stories is more like dating. You meet these people for the first time, and you stay on their good side. They intrigue you, entertain you. They’re worth a quick snapshot, but you don't have to get into fights over the deep stuff. In this manner, I agree with Murakami in that a good balance of novels and short stories is helpful for almost any writer.

Do you have a regular process in creating a story or does it vary from piece to piece? Do you plan your stories or do ideas crowd out and you pick one to finish?

Krystal: As a student, my life and routine change constantly, likewise, the ways I arrive at new ideas also change constantly. When I was traveling in Japan this summer, every day felt like sensory overload: so many new sights, new sounds, new people to learn from. That kind of lifestyle isn’t sustainable, but for short periods of time it’s really quite invigorating, especially for creators. I found the framework and scheme for “Rice Paper Dreams” after visiting the Kyoto Railway Museum, but the initial idea was actually first sparked by a solitary image found a few days earlier: a lonely umbrella, forgotten by its companion. I was riding the bus back to Sasazuka, a residential district in Tokyo, when I saw the umbrella, jolting along with every bump on the road. For some reason it struck me as very sad, that umbrella, and the image stayed with me until Mariko’s story aligned with it, and then the two merged. Little images like that, which could mean nothing one day and then everything the next, are often the catalyst for small and big projects alike.

As for the novel I’m currently querying, the idea came from a dream, or at least, the moment before sleeping or waking–I’m can’t remember which. Sometimes the ideas are from dreams, from faces, from memories, and sometimes they’re from less romantic sources. Sometimes it’s because you hear something on the news, and it just makes you so angry. What can you do? You’re only a powerless girl with a pen. So you pick it up, and hope to make someone else feel something. Above all else, I hope to make others feel, question.

What's next for Krystal Song? Are you considering any publications?

Krystal: I am; nothing official as of yet, but hopefully I’ll have more news in the future.

Any final message for the members and readers of AmeriCymru?

Krystal: Keep writing! If you enjoy writing your story, chances are, someone out there will enjoy reading. J

Posted in: Writing | 0 comments

Matt Guy - Welsh Chef Extraordinaire!

By AmeriCymru, 2017-04-17

matt guy at monmouth.jpg

AmeriCymru: Hi Matt, care to tell us a little about your Welsh background and when you decided to become a chef?

Matt: My father Phil guy is from llanberis the foot of snowdon and works in the electric mountain my mother is from Deiniolen and a office administrator... they both moved in together in Deiniolen where they had me and two other sons, Justin also a chef and Simon who is a camera man for BBC Wales. I always wanted to be a chef from a very young age and I managed to get an apprenticeship at a hotel down the road from my village I was 15 and I was filmed for a Welsh television programme called pentre ni it was a programme about my village from where I came from and followed a few characters from the village. They followed me leaving school into the world of hospitality I loved it. I was junior chef of Wales in 2004 and was tipped by a north Wales news paper to be the next big thing in the industry.

I then left the hotel and went on my travels around the uk and France learning different skills from different chefs. As a fluent Welsh speaker from a small little village in Wales it was quiet daunting going out to the bigger areas but loved every moment of it and made sure that everyone heard how much I loved being Welsh.

AmeriCymru: In 2015 you became Head Chef at the Miners Arms? What can you tell us about the circumstances surrounding your appointment?

Matt: I became the head chef through a lengthy process, I was one of thousands to appear on the show called chefs on trial. During the week I was one of nine contestants trying to win the job. We were put through challenging challenges from skill test to working a full service and even an interview from the well respected Alex polizzi the hotel inspector. The programme was watched by millions aired on the BBC.

The experience of the competition was incredible and using some brilliant local produce from the area was amazing. Unfortunately things did not go to plan and was a whirl wind of a year. I am thankful for the experience and I learnt some valuable life lessons

AmeriCymru: Where and when can people catch you on television (s4c)?

Matt: I'm normally on prynhawn da in the afternoons at 2pm on s4c, on here I am part of a team who creates day time entertainment including cooking some great dishes that family's can do together and also easy and reasonable price for them.

AmeriCymru: Do you have any recipes on YouTube you would like to mention?

Matt: I have a few recipes on YouTube through the Welsh tv show with more yet to come, most of them are on Facebook and my business Facebook page here are some links foodmattguy/ PrynhawnDaS4C/videos/ 1317405858326584/

Even though I cook lovely wholesome dishes on my television clips I am known for my fine dining skills

AmeriCymru: Does your culinary repertoire include traditional Welsh cuisine/dishes?

Matt: I do have a range of Welsh dishes that I use but I have to say my favourite Welsh ingredient is laverbread I used this in a few competitions as well.

Hay smoked loin of lamb served with laverbread risotto , baby carrots and a red wine.

Laverbread risotto

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 rashers streaky bacon (rindless), diced
  • 1 leek (white only), finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 500g risotto rice
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 100g fresh or canned laverbread
  • 3100g butter
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place a large saucepan with the olive oil over a moderate heat, add the bacon and cook for 1 minute until just cooked, remove from the pan and set aside. Add the leek and garlic to the pan, sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the rice to the pan and mix it so that it is coated by the oil, cook for 1 minute.stir in a couple of ladles of boiling stock, stir with a wooden spoon until the stock is absorbed. Keep on adding ladles of stock until all the stock is absorbed into the rice. The rice should be moist and tender, with a little bite (not mush). Stir in the laverbread and allow to cook for 1 minute. Add the cooked bacon. Cook the risotto for a few minutes.Gradually mix in the parmesan then butter until melted and well combined. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Season to taste. Serve at once.

laverbread risotto.jpg

AmeriCymru: Do you think that traditional Welsh cuisine is sufficiently recognized or promoted worldwide?

Matt: I would love for our cuisine to be highlighted a little more as we have great produce and producers who care about what they do.

On my travels I have found that there is a lot of people who think we are a lot like England but when I introduce them to flavours and ingredients of Wales they are blown away.

We might be small but we are a great country and we are getting more known with thanks to our sporting heroes helping us along the way

AmeriCymru: You have an event coming up in June. Care to tell us a little more about that?

Matt: I have a few events on this year but the one I am more excited about will be the kegworth food festival which I am helping to organise. This is going to be a great day held on the third of June, we will have food producers from the area including some great local talent competing and demonstrating, majority of the funds raised will be going to the local air ambulance charity. pages/whats_on/2017/06/03/one_ kegworth_family_fun_day_and_ food_festival events/232427777167292??ti=ia

AmeriCymru: Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru ?

Matt: My message to anyone I speak to is live your life don't hold back and aim for your dreams you might get knocked down a few times but get back on and one day you will get there, and where ever I will be in the world I will always have Wales and the Welsh language in my heart.

I have been knocked down over and over again but still got myself back up there I have had some great experiences from schools, colleges, people's houses, the Eisteddfod and many more festivals. I will never stop enjoying what I do.

I really enjoyed doing this interview I hope you enjoy reading it

Matt guy

matt guy 3.jpg

Posted in: Cuisine | 0 comments


dafydd prys.jpg AmeriCymru: Hi Dafydd, care to tell us a little about your Welsh background and the reasons for your move to Seattle?

Dafydd: Hello, and thank you very much for letting me write a little bit about my time here in Seattle, and hello to everyone reading.

I was brought up in Wales in an idyllic fashion just outside Aberystwyth, there must have been something about the place as I stayed there to study theatre at the University of Wales. Since graduating I’ve worked in the fields of theatre, TV, and mostly publishing and content creation.

The reason for moving to Seattle must be ingrained in my work, somewhere in the cracks where those creative industries meet, loose like brethyn, clanking around in my head. I guess it starts with storytelling, as all good stories do! Stories are tremendous and good storytellers are among my absolute favourite people, but I’ve also been inspired by that void in the centre between story and person where descriptions, narrative and dialogue become manifest in the minds’ eye. Which is a long way to write that I’ve come to develop interactive products, or more specifically video games, that seek to celebrate, promote and bolster Wales’ vast mythology and history. I am going to create a video game that places our folk tales, history, culture and mythology centre stage. Which is, if you ask me, about time we present our own stories to the world rather than having other cultures wrap them up and show them back to us, busted up and malformed.

How many of us have had to grit our teeth through yet another Hollywood extravaganza that shred the sails of our mythology? The Hollywood Reporter posted an article detailing that Disney are considering revamping their animated ‘classic’, The Sword in the Stone , in the same manner as the recent Beauty in the Beast i.e. as a live action flick, and genuinely, a little piece of my heart floated away like one of Terry Gilliam’s animated suicidal leaves. But it’s not just Disney, it’s other film companies, the BBC , and renowned authors that are knowingly using the mythologies to their own ends, usually uncoupling them from their cultural history. But specifically The Sword in the Stone is an absolute travesty to the legacy of the Mabinogi and seriously questions how mythologies should be treated by those that do not sympathise with that culture.

AmeriCymru: Was it that bad?

Dafydd: For anyone that doesn’t know, the film follows the story of the young ‘king’ Arthur but portrays him in the manner that English Revisionists and French Romanticists portrayed him: Camelot, the sword in the stone and being king of England and all that guff. In itself, that’s not too troublesome, Arthur was a cool dude, many have borrowed him. The problem is within the film they entwined whole sections of the expanded Mabinogi, for example the shapeshifting chase of Taliesin, or Gwion Bach. None of this would be a problem if general audiences were aware of the Mabinogi and where they came from and what they represent but they don’t. And all of a sudden there it is, right in front of you, Arthur is king of England and parts of the Mabinogi are English, or worse, British in the modern political sense. A massive part of our culture and mythology are wiped out, our stories, they’re gone, assimilated by cinema, a drive-by culturing. If you have no stories, you have no past; where do you come from, what do you dramatise for your children? The words and sounds that vibrated your geography thousands of years ago, none of that is connected to you anymore, you are voiceless.

AmeriCymru: Do you have a plan to ensure that those voices are heard?

Dafydd: The third rule of thermo dynamics will tell you that everything that exists will one day perish: I’m fine with the end of existence, I just draw the line at theft. That’s what myself and some very talented friends are going to do (I call them friends , they are decades-old veterans of the video game industry, amazing musicians and extremely talented artists), we’re going to stop the (mostly unknowing) leaching of our heritage, we’re going to reclaim it, stamp it with the red dragon, celebrate it, share it and we are going to make people curious. We’re going to make new games and new friends.

You might be able to tell I’m somewhat passionate about this stuff...

AmeriCymru: How do you think that the medium of video games can be used to promote an awareness of, and interest in, Wales and Welsh Mythology?

Dafydd: Video game enthusiasts are extremely comfortable when devouring content that ascribes to fantastical elements or narratives that allow flights of fancy, or in other words, to walk in another person’s shoes. They are also however an extremely sophisticated bunch, when they want to be, as people generally are, and are very open to new histories and mindsets. Add to that a voracious audience who can never seem to have enough of fantastical elements (just look at the bestseller lists and TV such as Game of Thrones ) and you have a ready-made bed of support for our mythology. So you’re already looking at a sizeable number of people that would be interested, crumbs, if Disney are looking at reinventing their fantasy genre you KNOW you have the numbers for it.

My intention is to fully bake our culture and our history into this experience, not just the characters of our legendary past but the people of our present. I want people to hear the real voices behind these characters, I want them to see the little corner of the planet that Wales rests and the men and women on top of that, and I want it to play a full part in reclaiming our own heritage. When you own a history then your future can be as bright as you want it to be. Now I’m not claiming for one second that Bendigeidfran , for example, is historical, but he represents a history of a people, and of storytelling, like an arrow through time straight into your head or my heart. With Easter coming up I fully sympathise with Christians when they imagine the body and blood of Christ in the Communion, it’s a direct line, in a way, through time to something that is precious to them. That’s how I view the Mabinogi and all the glorious characters within, it doesn’t just call out through history, it lives today in the way that I think about things and view the world. If it doesn’t exist then we are different people, which is no bad thing in and of itself, but as I have a view of it from personal development, as many Cymry do, then it is imperative.

When people are knowledgeable on any given subject they make better decisions around that subject. If more people know about Wales, that’s good for Wales. We’ve got to increase visibility and tap into this enormous market, especially considering our tourism industry is pushing the Year of the Legend .

Also, speaking plainly, there would be no Western video game RPG experiences (such as Dragon Age , Skyrim , The Witcher ) without the Mabinogi. In all but name those things are The Mabinogi, that is a cast iron fact and it’s about time we started getting some credit.

Add onto that that Wales literally looks like most fantasy tropes: mountains, frozen lakes, caves, rolling upland, staggering beaches, some trolls in the pubs. We should rebrand Gwynedd as Mabinogiland! So I’m certain the tourism people will be (very) happy with me. I will be baking in real world locations into the experience.

I expect a bronze leek, signed by Carwyn, on my mantelpiece.

AmeriCymru: Do you have any initial ideas/concepts that you would be willing to share with us?

Dafydd: I can certainly tell you that our finest storytellers will be utilised as vocal artists and really exciting musicians from Wales will be involved, parts will be live action, with documentary-like elements. We have some solid ideas, but the problem is – and it’s a really great problem to have – where do you start?

The Mabinogi is awesome, right? One minute there’s a space/time conundrum with Pwyll unable to catch Rhiannon on a horse, she consistently stays the exact same distance away (the answer: just ask her to stop, a none too insignificant vision of gender relations) the next she’s forced to carry guests into their home on their back because she’s been framed for the murder of their son (spoiler alert).

We will be isolating the elements appropriate for a sophisticated interactive experience, otherwise it would be a MASSIVE undertaking. But foremost it absolutely has to be fun, it cannot be slow and sluggish and it can’t be too difficult to navigate. Then you look to reduce the components: does the narrative drive the experience or does the interaction unpeel the story? Will the visuals call out to recognisable elements that users are comfortable with or comb against the grain and arrest those expectations. These are among the many major questions we are looking at as interactive artists.

Thankfully I am currently under the wing of some amazing people who have such drive, enthusiasm and grace and they are helping me navigate these early few years in a new industry. They have worked on similar projects in the past and know what they’re doing. I will owe them a great debt. Literally. They’re very expensive. (If they are reading this is a joke of course.)

The easy answer to that was ‘no’.

AmeriCymru: Of course there is an online game ( Mabinogi ) which at least nods its head in the direction of Welsh Mythology. What do you think of this game? Will your project be in any way similar?

Dafydd: While it’s called Mabinogi it has nothing whatsoever to do with Welsh mythology. You’ll have to ask Nexon (the publishers) why they decided to use that name. They dip into Irish mythology somewhat, but that’s as close as it gets. And this is one of the problems that I’ve recognised, developing video games is a very narrow field, you have to have a range of skills, training and experience to even consider it. It’s highly unlikely that anyone in that field will have sufficient knowledge to be able to treat subject matter such as under-represented cultures’ mythology with the sophistication that matter deserves. Hopefully that’s where people like me come in. I may have to have a conversation with Nexon regarding that branding.

AmeriCymru: Over what time scale do you hope to bring this project to fruition?

Dafydd: I am aiming for the winter of 2019 or spring 2020 but really it’ll be done when it is done.

AmeriCymru: Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?

Dafydd: Yes we are looking for investors, I have some detailed financial profiles for anyone looking to invest in our project. If you want to be a part of reclaiming, celebrating and making visible Wales’s heritage and culture in the minds of millions then please do give me a call. Video games cost money but are lucrative in the long-term. I am not ashamed of the fact that along with our lofty goals, profits will follow based on competitive benchmarks for similar products.

Also, Cymru am byth.

CONTACT DAFYDD PRYS: @dafprys on twitter




Posted in: Mabinogion | 0 comments

thecrystalfountain.jpg A new children’s book published this week will aim to teach children about global warming and threat to endangered species.

Set in Ethiopia,  The Crystal Fountain by David Morgan Williams is the story of two children, Omo and Asha, rescuing an ibex from a landslide on Mount Ras Dash. The injured ibex is brought back to health with the help of the two children and Henry, the hippo, and Crocus, the crocodile and some magical bubbles from the crystal fountain.

‘I wanted to write a humorous and entertaining story for young readers, which is also educational.’ explained author David Morgan Williams.

‘The animal characters are based on real-life animals who are a part of a group recognised as an endangered species ’ he said, ‘There is also an increasing deforestation threat, particularly in tropical countries where the rainforests are disappearing at an alarming rate. The depletion leads to changes in the atmosphere upon which all life depends.’

‘There is also the growing problem of poaching, the killing of wild animals so that their parts can be sold illegally for profit’ added David.

The book is aimed at readers between the ages of 5 and 7 years of age.

‘I hope the story will fire up my young readers’ imaginations.’ said David, ‘To me, this is what picture stories for young readers are all about, discovering new worlds and finding themselves, through the joy and excitement of adventure to be had through words and pictures’

David Morgan Williams was born in Cwm near Ebbw Vale, and now lives in Cwmbrân, Gwent. David is a graduate of University College of Wales, Aberystwyth; a former geography teacher; a senior lecturer in education at the University of South Wales, tutor for the Open University and visiting professor at California State University, Long Beach, USA.

The Crystal Fountain by David Morgan Williams (£5.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.

The new comic Mellten will be launching on Y Lolfa’s stall at the Urdd Eisteddfod in Flintshire at 12 o’ clock on Monday the 30 th of May.

Mellten is a new quarterly comic for the children of Wales. Mainly aimed at children between the ages of 7 and 13, this is the first original Welsh comic to be published in decades. Edited by Wales’ best and most original cartoonist, Huw Aaron, Melten contains contributons from many artists, cartoonists and authors.

Between the pages the comic offers exciting new stories in a variety of genres, original characters, puzzles, jokes, competitions and advice on how to create your own comic and cartoons.

‘The idea was to create something original and new for children that would only be available in Welsh,’ says the editor Huw Aaron, ‘There will be an emphasis on the stories and the colourful artwork that will frighten, intrigue, inspire and cause children to laugh and capture their imaginations.’

Mellten will appear every three months with the second issue arriving on the 1 st of September. But, the fun will be continuing on the website with new content added weekly.

Within the comic there are memorable characters such as Gwil Garw, a hero from an age before history who loves collecting and fighting monsters, the world’s best footballer – Gari Pêl, Capten Clonc – the most handsome hero in the universe, Bloben and Iola, the young pilot who dreams of winning the Space Rally Competition but she is stuck on planet Cymru Newydd (New Wales) with no crew or spaceship...

Mellten wil be available to buy seperately or by subscription through the website, schools or local bookshops.

The first issue of Mellten will be available from Monday, the 30 th of May onwards.

Posted in: comics | 0 comments

Brexit Poll

By AmeriCymru, 2016-04-24
Brexit Poll

Brexit Poll

Voting has Ended

Should the UK leave the EU? Current polls suggest that opinion is pretty evenly divided within the UK. What do our readers think?


To comment below you will need to be logged in to your personal Facebook account. Once you are, you can elect either to post here OR on both AmeriCymru and Facebook.

Posted in: Politics | 2 comments

'Filming Owain Glyndwr' by David Barry

By AmeriCymru, 2016-03-26

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About David Barry :- David Barry (born 30 April 1943) is a Welsh actor. He is best known for his role as Frankie Abott, (the gum-chewing mother's boy who was convinced he was extremely tough), in the LWT sitcom Please Sir! and the spin-off series The Fenn Street Gang, He has appeared in several films, notably two TV spin-off movies - Please Sir! and George and Mildred. David is now an author with two novels and an autobiography under his belt, Each Man Kills , Flashback and Willie The Actor.

About Flashback :- "David Barry's autobiography spans almost five decades of theatre, film and television experience. As a 14 year old he toured Europe with Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh in one of the most prestigious post-war theatre tours. Vivien Leigh took a shine to him and he saw both sides of her close up. One minute she was sweetness and light, and the next she became a screaming harridan as she publicly berated Sir Laurence. In his early twenties, he starred as Frankie Abbott in the hit television sitcoms Please, Sir! and Fenn Street Gang, and those days are recounted with great humour. Hilarious events unfold as he describes working with dodgy producers and touring with argumentative actors. His is a story that covers everything from the pitfalls of working in live television to performing with hard drinking actors. 'Imagine yourself travelling - as a member of the company - with a train-load of top stars to the great cities of Europe.'" Daily Express.

Filming Owain Glyndwr ( an excerpt from 'Flashback', reproduced by kind permission of the author )

Made for television back in the 1980s, Owain, Prince of Wales, was shot back-to-back, a Welsh language version for showing on S4C, and an English version for Channel 4. The production company was English, as was the director, James Hill, and the brief they had been given by S4C was that they wanted bilingual actors who had never appeared in Pobl Y Cwm the Welsh language television soap opera. I had never appeared in the programme, and I speak a little bit of Welsh, having been brought up by fluent Welsh-speaking parents in North Wales, so my agent suggested me to the casting director who was based in London. Normally, if an actor is not known to a particular director or producer, the actor is required to interview or audition for the part. But they were finding it difficult to cast some of the smaller roles in this costume drama, because most Welsh speaking actors had presumably appeared in the Welsh soap opera at some stage. So I was accepted for the role of Second Soldier merely on the recommendation of my agent.

When the two bulky scripts dropped onto my doormat a few days later, I immediately read the English version with interest. There was no point in trying to read the Welsh version, as I had lived in England since my early teens and my Welsh was now very basic. But I knew I could cope with learning six lines, which was all my part amounted to.

I had often thought this great Welsh hero was a good subject for an exciting historical drama. But as I slowly turned the pages, mouth agape, I became more and more disappointed. Whoever had written this, or conceived of the idea, seemed to be trying to create a family adventure along the lines of the old Fifties and Sixties series Ivanhoe, William Tell and Robin Hood. There was even a corny scene in the script, straight out of a John Ford western, where the hero exits a castle on horseback, along with his sidekick Rhodri, who spots one of Henry IVs snipers up a tree, about to kill Owain with an arrow. Rhodri fires one from the hip and fells the sniping archer, whereupon our hero salutes his friend and thanks him. Diolch, Rhodri. And how do you do a John Wayne drawl in Welsh?

Halfway through the script, desperately disappointed, I gave up reading it, and only bothered reading my own characters lines. I knew this particular film was going to be a sad, bad experience, but little did I know of the farcical events that lay in store for me.

A week later I caught the Holyhead train from Euston Station, and had been instructed to get off at Llandudno Junction, where a film unit car would meet me to transport me to my hotel ready for filming on the following day. It was there I met Martin Gower, the actor who would be playing First Soldier. Our characters seemed to be the comedy relief, a sort of double-act of two inept soldiers who end up being pushed into the river by Owain and his merry men in this travesty of a historical epic.

During the drive along the beautiful Conwy Valley we got to know each other, and I discovered that Martins upbringing was similar to my own, having moved to England when he was quite young, with a Welsh tongue that was terribly rusty. But we thought we could cope with our six lines each, especially if we helped each other out in the hotel that evening.

Most of the cast and crew stayed in hotels in Betwys-y-Coed, but Martin and I were quartered in a beautiful country manor hotel at Dolwyddelan, about four miles from Betwys. As it was unusually perfect weather, we became rain cover. Most of our scenes were interiors, so we were kept on stand-by in case it should rain. It meant that in those pre mobile phone days we couldnt leave the hotel and had to hang around all day, eating and drinking. It was such a hardship, tucking into a salmon freshly caught in the nearby salmon leap by one of the waiters.

When they eventually decided to use us in a scene, we were picked up by Mr Jones the Taxi who was ferrying many of the cast here and there. As we headed for the production office at Llanrwst, where the make-up department and wardrobe were based, Mr Jones told us that he had been involved in many films, most notably The Inn of the Sixth Happiness which had been shot in the Snowdonia region, where they built an entire Chinese village on the hillside near Beddgelert. Mr Jones reminisced about the halcyon days of chauffeuring Ingrid Bergman around the Welsh mountains, when films were films and they were well organised. Not like this lot, he opined. This lot dont seem to know what they are doing.

And to prove him right, when we got to the Llanrwst production office, one of the runners was gabbling into his walkie-talkie about some lost portable toilets, which should have gone to the current location, but which had gone in the opposite direction, and loads of actors and crew were now clutching the cheeks of their backsides tightly.

When I was kitted out in my chain-mail, I went to make-up, and was reminded that perhaps I had only been cast because I fitted the brief no Pobl Y Cwm appearances and a smattering of Welsh but was actually miscast. I was supposed to be a tough soldier, one of Henry IVs mercenaries, about to rape a fair, local maiden until rescued by Owain. The make-up girl stared with concentration at my face and declared, You look like Noddy. You look so cute. How am I going to make you look tough?

I suggested a scar, but in my balaclava-like helmet there wasnt really much room left on my face. I continued to look cute.

As soon as we were ready, one of the unit cars drove us to one of the locations, the impressive Gwydir Castle, a 15th century fortified manor house less than two miles from Llanrwst. As the film had at least been blessed by sunny weather, exteriors were being filmed in the courtyard of the castle. At first glance, a film set can be misleadingly impressive in a costume drama, and you almost believe for a moment that you are stepping back in time. Until you notice all the technical paraphernalia, or an actor in doublet and hose smoking a cigarette or tucking in to a bacon butty.

As soon as we arrived on the set, we became acquainted with some of the other actors, and noticed a strange atmosphere, almost as if the cast were method actors and resented the English production company and crew. We soon discovered the reason for this when we were told by one of the actors that he had approached the director just before they were due to shoot the Welsh version of a scene, and asked if he could change a couple of lines, as they were tongue twisters. But the director, apparently pushed for time, had said dismissively that he wasnt too bothered about the Welsh version and could they just get on with it. Of course, word of this spread like wildfire throughout the cast, creating a lot of resentment. Some of the actors had re-christened the production company Mickey Llygoden Films.

When the director heard this, and asked what it meant, he wasnt pleased when he discovered Llygoden translated to mouse.

Also staying at our hotel up in the hills was Dafydd, the location caterer, with whom we drank in the evenings; which probably explains our preferential treatment on the set at lunchtimes, when we were offered a surreptitious livener in our orange juice.

Dafydd, had an assistant, Tom, who helped with the cooking in the chuck wagon. One morning I noticed Dafydd was struggling on his own. I asked him what had happened to Tom. Looking over his shoulder and lowering his voice, Dafydd replied, Tom had to go back to Caernarfon to sign on.

Outside our hotel was a small station. The railway ran from Blaenau Ffestiniog via Betwys-y-Coud to Llandudno Junction, and one night the three of us decided to go to Betwys-y-Coed by train, and drink with some of the other actors and crew at their hotel. We would have to share a taxi back, and I had Mr Joness number on a scrap of paper. Just before midnight it looked as if the bar was shutting, so I went and telephoned Mr Jones to order our taxi. His number rang and rang and rang. I thought he must have been busy working, as it was now pub turning-out time. But when I returned to the bar, and told the barman that there was no reply from Mr Jones the Taxi, he looked at his watch and said, Oh, you wont get Mr Jones now. He takes tablets.

So we walked. The following day, feeling a bit jaded, as soon as lunchtime came around, Dafydd stuck another livener in our orange juice.

I never did see the end result of our film and my tough soldier performance. But a friend saw it, and I was told I looked rather sweet.

Usually, when actors work in a large budget made-for-television film, over the years they receive small cheques for repeats or sales abroad. I dont think I ever received a residual cheque for Owain, Prince of Wales, so presumably, and deservedly, it sank without trace.

Perhaps one day some screenwriter and film company will do justice to the Owain Glyndwr story, a great tale of intrigue, politics, double-dealing, love and war. Of course, as almost everyone knows, Glyndwr vanished, and nobody knows what became of the man. It was almost as if he deliberately created his own legend status. And there is no evidence that he was betrayed or assassinated, so a film ending remains open to interpretation. Now theres an intriguing thought, and its just given me an idea!

Filming Owain Glyndwr was an extract from David Barrys autobiography Flashback, in which he writes about a childhood in North Wales, and touring to theatres in Cardiff, Swansea, Porthcawl and Llandudno. Flashback is available from price $14.95.

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