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na_nel_un_tro.jpgThe Welsh Books Council is delighted to confirm that a special book to celebrate World Book Day is to be published for the first time ever in Welsh.

Na, Nel! Un Tro by Meleri Wyn James, illustrated by John Lund, will be published by Y Lolfa in time for World Book Day celebrations on 1 March 2018. The book will be part of the official World Book Day activities in Wales, which is supported by the Welsh Government and Waterstones. This will be the first time that a Welsh-language book has been included in the range of special £1 books that are published annually as part of the UK-wide campaign.

Angharad Sinclair, Reading Promotions Project Manager for the Welsh Books Council, said, 'It’s such a pleasure to include a Welsh-language book for the first time for World Book Day. I’m sure children across Wales will enjoy reading about Nel’s next adventure! The Na Nel! series is extremely popular and proves that original series can hold their own and sell really well.'

Garmon Gruffudd, Managing Director of Y Lolfa, said, 'We’re delighted to be part of this pioneering scheme. Nel is well established as one of Wales’s most popular characters and we hope that this will be a further boost to the series.'

The book will follow the adventures of Nel, the mischievous girl who appears in the popular Na, Nel! series. It will capture the fun and playfulness of the stories and encourage children to go on to read the other books in the series. In the new book, Nel will cast herself in the middle of the story once again and show how mischief follows her, wherever she goes

'I’ve loved reading and writing since I was a child, and now I love reading with my own children and sharing the Na, Nel! stories with young readers all over Wales. It’s an honour that Nel’s original adventures have been chosen as the first Welsh-language book to be part of World Book Day this year' said author Meleri Wyn James, 'I hope that children will seize the opportunity to buy Nel’s latest adventure for a £1, and that it will encourage them to read more of Nel’s stories and to dip into the wealth of Welsh books which are available to children today.'

Meleri Wyn James is an experienced author and editor and has published over 25 books for children, young people and adults. Since 2014 she has been responsible for creating a number of adventures for Nel, the mischievous little girl.

World Book Day was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe. World Book Day is a partnership of publishers, booksellers and interested parties who work together to promote books and reading for the personal enrichment and enjoyment of all. A main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.

In Wales, the campaign is coordinated by the Welsh Books Council and supported by the Welsh Government and Waterstones.

Additionally, a brand new production by Theatr Arad Goch, which is a stage adaptation of the popular books by Meleri Wyn James, will visit theatres around Wales during the summer of 2018. Na, Nel! Wwww! travels to 17 theatres across Wales between May and July with a new, original story by the author, bringing the popular characters alive on stage for the first time.

A new colourful activity book will be published to coincide with the show, Na Nel!: Waw!, which will encourage children to use their imagination and is full of Nel’s usual fun and laughter.

Na, Nel! Un tro... by Meleri Wyn James (£1, Y Lolfa) is available now.

Posted in: New Titles | 0 comments





Whether you’re into indie, rock, punk, funk, folk, electronica, hip hop or anything else, there’s incredible music being made in the Welsh language for you to discover- that’s the message from Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens as he urges people and places across Wales to get involved and find their favourite new sound on the third Welsh Language Music Day . . .

Friday 9th February 2018

The day celebrates all forms of Welsh Language music and it’s easy to tune in and discover something you’ll love. Music comes to life when it’s experienced live and free events aimed at gig goers, parents and children, young people, students and businesses are happening all across the country organised by promoters including Sŵn, BBC Horizons, Forté Project and Clwb Ifor Bach.

Will you be organising an event?

  • Get in touch on cymraeg@gov.wales to let us know!
  • Change your hold music to your favourite Welsh songs
  • Play Dydd Miwsig Cymru’s 2018 playlists in your workplace
  • Join in on social media by tweeting or sharing the music you and your coworkers likeusing #DyddMiwsigCymru #WelshLanguageMusicDay
  • Display the Dydd Miwsig Cymru sticker in your window
  • Put on a gig or event for your staff

AmeriCymru will be celebrating Dydd Miwsig Cymru (Welsh Language Music Day) this Friday 9 th ofFebruary by playing playlists, sharing their favourite songs, playing Welsh music in the office all day!.

Whether you’re into indie, rock, punk, funk, folk, electronica, hip hop or anything else, there’s incredible music being made in the Welsh language for you to discover- that’s the message from Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens as he urges people and places across Wales to get involved and find their favourite new sound on the third Welsh Language Music Day (Friday 9th February 2018).

The day celebrates all forms of Welsh Language music and it’s easy to tune in and discover something you’ll love. Music comes to life when it’s experienced live and free events aimed at gig goers, parents and children, young people, students and businesses are happening all across the country organised by promoters including Sŵn, BBC Horizons, Forté Project and Clwb Ifor Bach.

BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens, ambassador for the day, said: “Whatever you're into, Dydd Miwsig Cymru is a day to help you discover music you'll love. You may already be listening to Welsh language music, or maybe you haven’t listened to it for years. There's incredible music of almost every genre, all being made in the Welsh language - there’s even some great playlists to share with your friends and family who may not be listening to Welsh language music. Try something and you might just find your favourite new sound.”

The day is a part of the long-term vision to see a million people speaking and using Welsh by 2050.

Spread the love and the music by using the hashtag

#DyddMiwsigCymru    #WelshLanguageMusicDay.

Free
digital packs with information on how to be part of the day are available at

http://cymraeg.gov.wales/DyddMiwsigCymru/Cynnwys/0.0CefnogiDyddMiwsigCymru/?lang=en

and further information is available by emailing Cymraeg@gov.wales.

Playlists can be found at http://cymraeg.gov.wales/DyddMiwsigCymru/Cynnwys/Playlists/?lang=en.

Follow @cymraeg on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest details on plans for the day.




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Posted in: Music | 0 comments

Dipping Your Wick


By AmeriCymru, 2018-02-01

Dipping Your Wick by Phil 'Boz' Evans



madam_tussauds.jpg



The student rugby player looked around nervously.

He was regretting his bet with his mates already.

Manfred Quinn had never told anyone but he was frightened of the dark.

It was one of the more common phobias that humans suffered from and dated back to the dawn of mankind and the dulling of man’s principal defence of the sense of sight making them more susceptible to attack from a predator.

Standing on a plinth in Madame Tussaud’s wax museum in Baker Street, London, he felt like a fish out of water, but knew that his beloved facial hair would suffer if he did not complete his ‘Mission Impossible’.

He was regretting his boast that he could get a photograph of him kissing Pop Star Taylor Swift without being taking to Court for stalking or accused of being a groper.

The budding Disc Jockey was 48 hours ago sat in his shared student house in Merthyr Tydfil, with a can of Stella Artois in his hand, when a picture of his Pop Idol had appeared on the news.

From his Walter Mitty World existence, he had boasted that he could kiss the American Beauty and get a selfie photograph to prove it.

Unfortunately, two of his fellow students had called ‘Eyebrows’ on him.

Manfred knew that he had walked into a huge elephant trap and was now subject to a student game he himself had invented.

If a fellow student or rugby teammate called ‘Eyebrows’, then the person making the boast had a week to fulfil the promised act or they lost one or both of their eyebrows as a forfeit.

Manfred had taken great delight in the past getting his razor out, when his housemate ‘Haribo’ had failed to live up to his promise of not urinating until completing the ‘Golf Tour’ of Dowlais.

18 pints in 18 separate pubs without visiting the little boys room, was pretty much an impossible task, even for someone with the build of King Kong. Poor old Haribo to his credit had managed 12 pubs before being admitted to the Queen Camilla Hospital with a damaged liver and kidneys and one totally ruined pair of blue suede shoes later, after keeling over in the Morlais Tavern.

Manfred and his mates had taken pity on him by letting him come around from the operation anaesthetic before taking his right eyebrow off.

His other mate Sloth, named after the good-looking guy from the children’s film ‘The Goonies’ had been much more fortunate in that he had ‘forfeited’ his pre-pubescent ‘bum-fluff’ moustache for not completing his naked stand-up car- surf on the Domino’s Pizza delivery car, understandably bailing out just before he hit the overhead bridge, near the Ffynon-Dwn Spring in Pontsticill, and lost not just his eyebrows but his head too.

Otherwise he would have ‘topped’ it.

Despite his protestations to the Rugby Committee that his moustache was NOT an eyebrow- it was concluded that it was ‘an eyebrow that had come down for a drink’ and therefore was fair game.

Manfred knew that if he had not completed his boast of a swiftie with Swifty to the letter, then he was not likely to get any mercy from his team-mates.

His problem was that the Jet-setting singer was based in the USA and not likely to randomly appear in Merthyr Tydfil, nor London without warning.

His plea on her Twitter page had failed spectacularly and he was now being trolled by each member of the Kardashians for his ‘favouriting’ every tweet she sent out.

But like the Tony Robinson character Baldrick, he had come up with a cunning plan to preserve his follicles.

He had caught the £1.00 Megabus to the Smoke, in the hope that Madame Tussaud’s was likely to be open for the shot of her waxen doppelganger.

He knew his mates would rumble any ‘photoshop’ image he produced, so he had to catch the waxwork at the right time and not surrounded by 15 Japanese tourists with Nikons flashing.

He had just made it  inside the door with 20 minutes to spare before closing time.

He knew he had to find the right figure to hide behind – that was outside any alarmed section and was tall enough to conceal him from the security staff.

He knew Lester Piggott and Frankie Dettori were non- starters – as was Ronnie Corbett and Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones.

‘Think man!’ he muttered,  until he caught sight of the frightening figure of Dracula played by Christopher Lee which unnerved him in the dim, subdued lighting of the museum.

His fear of the dark was once again coming to the fore.

He couldn’t help but think of the ghoulish way that the original Madame Tussaud had come up with the idea of a waxworks in the first place by preparing ‘death masks’ of the high and mighty that had been served up to ‘Madam Guillotine’ in the 1789 French Revolution.

The phrase ‘Liberty, Equality and Fraternity’ should have included ‘Eternity’ too – as her methods had helped preserve many celebrities well beyond their original shelf- life and provoked two questions he wanted to find out the answers to:-

What did they do with the models after they lost their appeal?

And did they have enough wax left available to capture ALL of Bruce Forsythe’s chin?

He had read somewhere that the models were actual life-size,  with the celebrities having to pose for hours so that the sculpting staff at the human equivalent of Yankee candle could get the depictions accurate.

Mannie stood as still as possible, as he waited for the last of the day staff to leave and the night security shift to take over.

He knew instinctively that most security guards were elderly with poor eyesight and wouldn’t exactly check behind any exhibitions for ‘stowaways’.

His mind went back to the process of the destruction of the dummies- he assumed that they would end up like the Terminator in the film of the same name being melted down into a vat of molten liquid once they had passed their sell-buy date.

Whereas Bruce Forsythe would be one figure that would never been retired.

He looked around him and in the half-light could make out shapes and figures from all walks of celebrity life, sportsmen, politicians, television presenters and of course film stars.

It was in effect an upright version of the famous Los Angeles Walk of Fame outside the Chinese Grauman Theatre.

It was in essence the perfect place to snatch a Celebrity selfie.

Now Mannie knew he had plenty of time -as the museum didn’t open until 9am the following morning so he had around 8 hours to play with before he could leave his self-imposed prison for the night.

He knew he had to be careful if he opened or closed any doors, as there was likely to be an alarm on the top- silent or otherwise -and he didn’t want to be thrown out until he had the photograph he had come for.

His plan was that if he was caught he would to pretend that he had fallen asleep in the subdued lighting and had been sleep-walking.

Many a student had used that lame excuse to confuse a Dean or two of a University- who being fellow intellectuals, accepted without question the role of the unconscious mind and got off being expelled from campus.

As he passed through the sporting section, he was astounded to see the size of the fastest man ever on Planet Earth and tried to measure the stride he took.

Usain Bolt or Lightening to his friends was massive in all areas.

He was very surprised that he had chosen to be a sprinter rather than a Pole Vaulter.

If anyone could see him – he thought- he looked like John Cleese doing a Basil Fawlty impression on one of his Ministry of Silly Walks.

No wonder no-one could catch him- just his hamstrings alone were bigger than Mannie’s biceps.

In complete contrast next to him, stood the tiny figure of Mo Farrah- hardly a bag of Quorn in comparison to the full meat package.

Further along, in a riding position, was the tiny figure of the jockey Lester Piggott, who was famous being deaf and for filling his saddle bags with cash and riding off into the sunset away from the tax man.

Across from the winner’s enclosure, Mannie could make out another famous figure who wasn’t fond of the Inland Revenue.

That was the buck-toothed figure of Liverpool comedian Ken Dodd,  who was flanked by two of his Diddy-men shrunken helpers from the tax haven of Knotty Ash.

Diddy Pay and Diddy F***.

It always amazed Mannie how Student Finance would send him a stinking letter when he owed 50p but the likes of famous faces got away with owing the Tax Man hundreds of thousand by ‘declaring’ temporary amnesia about Swiss Bank Accounts or the fact that their mattresses were filled with cash.

He suspected that in Doddy’s case it too wasn’t the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.

As he strolled through the shadowy wax figures, he suddenly let out a chuckle in that Twitter troll Katie Hopkins had been placed next to both Adolph Hitler & Genghis Khan.

He wondered if they would have objected had they been alive.

Next came the politicians and World Leaders and of course the area contained likenesses of USA President Donald Trump and Former London Zoo inmate Boris De Pfeffel Johnson both with matching natural hair and tiny hands.

This set Mannie to thinking.

If these were scale models then Trump would have to use BOTH of his hands to push the red button on the nuclear switch to obliterate North Korea.

He groped his arse as he passed – to see how he liked it.

How in their right mind had people in a democratic society voted these two buffoons in?- unless of course it was the revenge of the Boaty McBoatface crew. 

He moved on and could see the legendary figures of Elvis Presley & Michael Jackson in the distance and realised his search for the Pop Pixee wasn’t too far from its finish.

Presley had been dead for over forty years but was still as popular now as he ever was.

Would the same status be afforded to the likes of last year’s winner of the X- Factor or Britain’s Got Talent he wondered?

He assumed that the waxen figures of the likes of Gareth Gates and Alexandra Burke wouldn’t have the same shelf-life as their Andy Warhol fifteen minutes of fame had run its course.

No-one even wanted them to open supermarkets or turn on Christmas lights anymore.

Mannie wondered how celebrities REALLY felt when their waxen ‘golem’ was removed from display and headed for oblivion.

He wondered what the back catalogue was like in the stores and did they ever sell off the exhibits to places like Las Vegas or Los Angeles.

Given the excessive vanity of the Hollywood jet set and their constant fear of aging and looking over their shoulder for the time their star dimmed or the next big thing destined to grab the six-figure roles their Agent demanded-  must have made them both shallow and insecure.

The other thing that puzzled Mannie about the cult of celebrity, was why stunning singers and actresses felt the need to enhance their appearance with plastic surgery.

Why would ‘beautiful’ singers like Christina Aguilera have botox or add trout-pout or baboons arse monkey lips to their faces?

Who on Earth would believe this modern- day fiction and enact a version of the Hans Christian Anderson tale of the ‘Emperors New Clothes’.

As he passed the waxen shapes of Britney Spears and Shania Twain, he suddenly had a sense of his own mortality.

Time waits for no man except of course Sir Elton John who was proudly declaring ‘I’m still standing’.

And then he spotted her.

The object of his quest.

The American Country and Western singer Taylor Swift.

The finished article was ever better than he could have imagined.

At the height of her beauty, cast in wax at the prime of her life with no acne or blemish -standing there like the Goddess Venus herself.

A spotlight shone brightly on her craven image and Mannie marvelled that some staff member at Madame Tussaud’s had created a masterpiece.

It could not be more lifelike if it tried.

He was in awe – half expecting the figure to move or speak or even sing into the microphone that she held so delicately in her delicate Trump-like hands.

Her lipstick in a shade known as ‘Regent Street Red’ was in perfect contrast to her pink face- he had never seen such a visage up this close – not that is since he was banned from his local Tesco 24 hour store for stalking the girl on the delicatessen counter.

He reached into his pocket for his camera-phone but the artist he had put on a pedestal was literally on a pedestal.

He looked around for a chair to stand on but there was nothing around.

Taylor Swift was a tall elegant lady anyway, but as she was posed high up on a plinth- there was no way Mannie could get up to the correct angle to plant a kiss on the lips of the model model.

He tried jumping up in the air and taking the shot but every picture looked blurred and he didn’t want any doubt if he was to retain his eyebrows – as his mates were less forgiving than a Sicilian Mafia Don.

No matter how swift he jumped he couldn’t get a Selfie with the Pop Princess.

He tried to lift the figure off the dais, but like the Jamaican Olympic Sprinter she was bolted down.

Being a resourceful student, he decided that he would find an object to lift himself up upon.

He looked around the display area to see if any of the figures were not as secured as tightly as Taylor Swift.

He returned with the figures of Peter Dinklage (Tyrrion Lannister in Game of Thrones) and Ronnie Corbett tucked under his arms.

He positioned the pair in such a way he could stand on their hands and take the money shot.

Whilst these waxworks were hardy- they weren’t as strong and stable as a Theresa May-led Government but they allowed him to climb up into range.

Like he was playing the most bizarre game of ‘Twister’ ever,  the student had one leg on Ronnie Corbett’s horn rimmed glasses and the other on a dwarfen beard, as he inched his way up the miniature  celebrities, until he could lean on the object of his photograph.

As he puckered up his lips, and holding onto the tiny skirt of the songstress, he made the fatal mistake of reaching into his pocket for the camera-phone.

The slender wax ankles of the mannequin gave way and both he and the fake Taylor Swift collapsed onto the floor, with Mannie clinging on like a koala in a eucalyptus tree marked for felling.

There was a loud crash as the pair hit the floor.

Mannie Quinn lay stiller than the mannequin he had mounted, hoping beyond hope that the security staff had not heard the sudden impact.

As he lay with the mannequin on top of him, he suddenly noticed that the sequined top Taylor was wearing now needed a different tailor and her tiny mini skirt that not even Eddie Izzard could fit into had become detached.

He was in a quandary, he had a beautiful naked woman on top- albeit in wax- and he was a red blooded young male whose brain had migrated South in his predicament.

The model was not only in scale but appeared to be anatomically correct in all departments.

The question that raced through his mind was did he?.... or didn’t he?

*******************************************************************

Security Guard Reginald Richardson-Kray was dozing in the control room on night shift when the sound woke him.

Being 83 years of age but without an occupational pension he knew he had to work till he dropped.

Whilst being in a locked warm office had its creature comforts at his time of life, it usually meant that like his local MP, he was paid to sleep on a bench.

Most sounds didn’t normally wake him, as he was used to the gurgling of the central heating and the expansion of the pipes at Madame Tussauds – principally because he had been doing this job for over a decade he felt like he was part of the furniture.

In fact, on several occasions when he was standing waiting for the last visitor to leave, he had scared people to death when he had spoken to them or moved suddenly in the dimly lit museum.

He flicked the cameras over to scan the place to see where the noise had come from.

With his degenerating eye condition and cataract, he could not easily detect the source.

Suddenly, he spotted the likely culprit in the Pop Section.

He could see that he was in a struggle with one of the exhibits.

He had heard of people spitting in the face of Hitler and Margaret Thatcher but not usually wrestling them.

He decided he better call for back up.

He silently called for two of his family members who were distantly related to two of the East End Gangs that had terrorised London in the 1960’s.

They didn’t believe in calling the Police- they had their own way of sorting things out the old-fashioned way.

As Reginald shuffled his arthritic feet towards the door, with his trusty metal torch for protection, he moved slower than a tortoise with a limp as Old Pop, as he was known, headed towards the Pop Section.

Due to his heart complaint, it took him all of three minutes for him to arrive at the scene of the crime and was horrified at his vision.

“ Halt… who comes there?” he asked as terrified as the semi-naked student.

Mannie stopped who he was doing and stood there like a rabbit in headlights or more precisely like a rabbit in torchlight.

“What are doing you little pervert?” demanded Reg with an authoritative voice.

Blinded by the beam of light, Mannie did not realise that he had been rumbled by a figure with acute angina, whilst being on top of a figure with a cute vagina.

Mannie paused but knew he had to take a camera shot of him kissing Taylor on the lips for his friends but then again had a dilemma…..which ones?

“ You dirty bastard….have you no shame?” screamed the guard at the affront of the student.

What followed could only be described as a Benny Hill chase, as an old man with a heart condition tried to outwit a perverted student, who shuffled along like a penguin with his trousers and pants around his ankles.

In the course of his activity Mannie had acquired had a waxen condom around his manhood, which gave the impression that he was carrying a candle in the same shade of colour as a baboon’s arse.

Reggie had been a big fan of boxing in his youth and was closing in on the intruder, like he was an octogenarian boxing kangaroo.  

Mannie was as terrified as the pensioner and having been caught literally with his trousers down, he didn’t want a blow off that metal torch which Reggie was switching from hand to hand like he was a ninja warrior.

Unbeknown to Mannie, Reggie was trying to back him up to the back door, to which his nephews had an emergency key, which was the one condition they had agreed to before let their elderly Uncle take the night shift job.

Despite being a rugby player, Mannie found it hard to sidestep with his trousers and pants at below half-mast.

He had only one weapon to fend off the security guard and that was his waxen light sabre which was glowing luminescent red in the half- light.

Reggie knew it was only a matter of time before his nephews both called Ronnie got here, as they worked as bouncers or to use the new politically correct term of ‘registered doorkeepers’ in the establishment two doors down on Baker Street.

Dropping their saxophone the pair had answered their Uncle’s call.

With his back to the door, Mannie did not see the Two Ronnies arrive and didn’t realise that they were in the building until the left leg of Nick Clegg hit him from behind.

After the blow, like a Tom & Jerry cartoon, Mannie could see lots of stars swirling around his head in the celebrity museum and they weren’t coming from the Planetarium next door either.

************************************************************************

  The next thing that the student remembered, was waking up with a pounding headache and as he opened his eyes he could see that he was suspended, face tied down to a metal cage with a gag in his mouth that tasted suspiciously of Werther’s Originals, which he realised was the handkerchief of the elderly security guard.

He could have done with it to mop his own sweaty brow, as he was stretched out over a hot vat of molten wax.

With the steam rising on his naked genitals he suddenly remembered where he was.

“ How nice of you to join us!” said one of the Bouncers.

“ I am Ronald Kray- Richardson and this is my first cousin Ronald Richardson-Kray!” he continued.

Mannie had difficulty hearing what was said due to the bubbling of the hot wax and of course the broad East End Cockney accent from one of his would-be torturers.

Mannie was helpless, his hands tied behind his back and his feet were bound too.

His trousers and pants were still around his ankles and his old boy still covered in candle wax from the Taylor Swift model hung limply as it protruded through the bottom of the cage.

“No- don’t get up!” said Ron Two.

“ Now than Harvey Waxstein, if there is one thing our East End families don’t like its Welsh Cants taking a liberty on our Manor!” said Ronald One with a calm menace that really scared Mannie.

“We ain’t racist ….our families like the Welsh- in fact good old Grandpa Ronnie gave money to help in the Aberfan Disaster Fund- it’s was legit too-check the records of the Council- but we have a code of conduct in our Underworld – we can’t have cants molesting women real or wax on our turf, as it makes us look weak!” said Ron One.

Mannie couldn’t reply but just kept staring at the grinning dismembered dummy heads of Rolf Harris, Jimmy Saville and Orville the Duck on display on the stockroom shelves.

If he could have removed the gag he would have asked what his captors intended to do about the situation.

He would have preferred them to call the Metropolitan Police but that was not their way.

“ I suppose you’re wondering what is supposed to happen next?” said Ronnie Two, hand on a lever on the wall close to the Vat.

Mannie felt like he was in some bizarre take on a bad James Bond Movie with the heads of several past 007’s lined up on the racking near the vat, unfortunately, he didn’t have any gadgets that Q had devised to help get him out of the predicament.

No laser pens he could operate with his mouth or miniature saw that could be operated from within his watch mechanism.

He tried to move his legs but they were still tied and he heard the ominous sound of something sliding and then a ‘gloop’ sound.

He knew instinctively it was his mobile phone, which was now taking one of his eyebrows with it.

His purpose for being here in the first place was now defunct.

“Well we are about to dip your wick!” said Ronnie One.

Mannie stared at the severed heads of George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton & the very Pierced Brosnan in the hope they could somehow or other help.

He needn’t have worried about his eyebrow being shaved off, as they had now fallen off with the fear as he was lowered to three inches from the surface of the vat.

He looked up at the pair of gangsters who were trying to be like a poor version of Hale & Pace.

“ Well at least he won’t be able to Roger Moore!” laughed Ronnie Two.

Mannie would have laughed too but he wasn’t into ‘Bondage’.

If it hadn’t been for the intervention of Old Pop then Mannie would have been having his front, back and sides waxed at the same time.

He ordered the evil pair to stop as he didn’t want to go back to the old gangster ways – they were in legitimate business now- besides with his heart the way it was- he didn’t want to risk having a

 ‘Sean Coronary’.

With an evil laugh the pair raised up the cage and saved the student from a fate worse than death.

They let him off with a stern warning.

Suffice to say that the alopecia-faced Mannie didn’t do it again.

 

Phil 'Boz' Evans

 

Posted in: Humor | 1 comments

geiriau_cyntaf cyw.jpgAn original Welsh language children’s book has been selected for an exciting Welsh Government initiative to promote literacy in the most deprived areas of Wales.

Geiriau Cyntaf Cyw by Helen Davies (Y Lolfa) was chosen as the successful book after the Welsh Books Council was asked to be part of the tendering process to supply 10,000 copies of a Welsh title as part of the Flying Start programme.

Flying Start is part of the Welsh Government’s early years programme for families with children under four years of age living in disadvantaged areas of Wales. As well as providing childcare, an enhanced health visiting service and access to parenting programmes, it also provides parents with support in regards to speech, language and communication.

Evidence shows that speech, language and communication ability is an important predictor of later progress in literacy and has an impact on social skills as well as behaviour of children.

The successful title had to be a Welsh language picture book for pre-school children - preferably with a Welsh theme.

Geiriau Cyntaf Cyw (Cyw’s First Words) is a colourful picture-word book presenting a simple vocabulary in various locations such as the garden, farm and seaside. It was originall published in cooperation with S4C and Boom Pictures Cymru. It is suitable for children who are attending nursery or for young children aged between 3 and 5 years old.

‘The Lolfa is very proud that Flying Start has chosen one of the Cyw books for the scheme,’ said Garmon Gruffudd, managing director of Y Lolfa, ‘I hope, as a result, that parents will find more of the great original books that are available to children in Welsh.’

I am delighted that this book, which has received Welsh Government support via the Welsh Books Council's grant scheme, was chosen for Flying Start’ added Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council, ‘It will give children and parents living in Wales access to an authentic Welsh book originated entirely in Wales and hopefully contribute to lifelong enjoyment of reading.’

Copies will be distributed around Wales as part of the scheme by the beginning of February.

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"The Tates were spawned in the twisted and insidious beauty of West Wales. Consisting of Liam Fusco, Tom Ryan, Matt Kilgariff, Jac Robin and Shaun Gwizdak. Influences range from The Libertines’ poetic raw energy to the death disco of early New Order."  AmeriCymru spoke to Tom Ryan and Shaun Gwizdak about the bands past and future plans.




AmeriCymru:  Hi and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. How did the band come by its name?

Shaun:  Within our group of friends we’ve got some unique slang words. For instance, when others would say “fancy a cigarette?” we would say “wanna Keith?”. Tate is another one of these words, but we can’t tell you what it means. Liam got dangerously close to spilling the beans on national radio once though.

AmeriCymru:  When was the band formed?

Shaun:  Officially, The Tates got together, as you know us, sometime in 2015, but the bands formation was inevitable since sometime between the late 70’s and mid 80’s when mine and Liam’s dads were in bands such as the ‘Dogs of War’ together. Liam’s dad, the legendary guitar guru, Vince, is in fact my godfather. Jac grew up with us too, which is lucky as his keyboard skills are unbelievable! Tom and Matt befriended Liam in school. They were renowned for their song writing skills quite early on, and spent most of their academic effort loitering in the music department. Liam saw their talents and started jamming with them, playing around with the idea of being a band before Liam told myself and Jac that the time had come, we were fulfilling our destiny and forming The Tates.

AmeriCymru:  What can you tell us about your single 'Water'. The lyrics are intriguing and I'm sure many of our readers would love to know more.

Tom: Water is ultimately a track that plays with the question whether we are the subjects of our environment, our upbringing, of the people and things around us, or are we born the way we are, subject to our innate responses and our genetics given to us by two people in a shared instance, our mother and father. Are the flaws that we share with our parents who we are, or have we learned them. Are we free to be the people we want to be or are we trapped by our genetic make up and our immediate environment and society. Water asks these questions in the form of a brief description of two people's circumstance from their own perspective. of a woman, timid and in a relationship where she fears her partner. And of another, a man, afraid to be open, to feel and to commit. Where do these anxieties and fears derive from, water asks us to contemplate this and to understand the complexities of a person's decisions.

AmeriCymru:  You have been compared to, amongst others, MGMT and early New Order. How do you feel about these comparisons and who would you say are your major influences?

Shaun: It’s always great to be compared to big artists, even if they’re not our cup of tea! Makes us feel we’re doing something right if our music reminds people of artists who have made it. Of course we love the comparisons to MGMT and New Order, both bands we love. We used to do a mean live cover of Blue Monday!

I think each of us in the band would list different artists as major influences. I myself love a mixture of 80s and contemporary pop stuff which influences my drumming. Stuff like Tears for Fears, Duran Duran, Foals, The 1975. I love anything synth too, The Human League, Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Chvrches, Kavinski. A few of the guys love the 90’s too. Stuff like Libertines, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Oasis. I think having such a wide variety of influences is really advantageous as we can draw from all of them and create something new and unique.

AmeriCymru:  What can you tell us about the music scene in Carmarthen? Do you think that the Welsh music scene generally is thriving at the moment?

Shaun: The music scene in Carmarthen is buzzing. Gruff has really created something special with Libertino Records and put the town on the map. It’s really given bands and artists the opportunity to be heard and taken seriously. Awesome bands like Los Blancos, Argraph, Adwaith and Hotel Del Salto. We have to give a shout out to another of Carmarthen's successes, our friends, Dream State. They’re absolutely smashing it at the moment, having just signed with Australian label UNFD, played Reading and Leeds this year, getting full page spreads in Kerrang magazine and playing next year’s Download. Everyone in Wales should be really proud of them.

It was looking pretty bleak for the Welsh music scene earlier this year with the threat of closures for venues in the heart of the capital, but the successful “Save Womanly Street” campaign has turned that around completely. The music scene in Wales is now more vibrant than ever, which was made evident at this year’s Swn fest Discovery Day, which we opened. It really was a showcase of all of the outstanding music we have in Wales. If we had to name a few of our favourite Welsh artists right now, outside of Libertino, it’d have to be Boy Azooga, Chroma, Estrons, Monico Blonde and Rainbow Maniac.

AmeriCymru:  Where can people go to hear/buy your music online?

Shaun:  Anywhere, everywhere! Here’s a handy little link that’ll show you all the places you can find it. https://song.link/TheTatesWater

AmeriCymru:  What's next for the Tates? Any gigs/new recordings in the pipeline?

Shaun:  We’ve just come out of the studio with our amazing producer, Steffan Pringle, tracking our next two singles. He’s an absolute wizard when it comes to making our tracks sound the best that they can and we just love hanging out with him too. We plan on releasing more tracks in 2018 than we did in 2017 which should be fun and will be announcing some live dates soon too.

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

Shaun:  Just to say thank you for all the support for the music scene in Wales and please keep it up. We couldn’t do it without you. Let us know what you think of our new single ‘Water’ on twitter, facebook, email, letter, however. It’s always great to get feedback and we love hearing from people. Maybe it’ll make a perfect Christmas present for someone you know. Merry Christmas, Shaun x


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mellten.jpgWelsh comic Mellten is looking for the next generation of cartoonists by giving young children the chance to create their own cartoon character or cartoon strip in a big competition that is launched this week. As part of the 2018 World Book Day celebrations , the Welsh Books Council are running a competition with Mellten – a quarterly Welsh-language comic for children, bringing together stories, jokes, puzzles and competitions.

The prize for the winning entry will be an original piece of artwork by Mellten creator, Huw Aaron and a Family Ticket to Hay Festival 2018. The strip will also feature in the next issue of the comic! There is also a prize available for the winning school – a workshop with Huw Aaron himself.

The competition is open to all and you competitors can choose to complete the Capten Clonc cartoon strip included in the seventh issue of Mellten or create a totally new character or cartoon.

The competition closes on the 31st of March and the names of the winners will be announced in April. Competitors are asked to send their work to cllc.plant@books.wales or through the post to – “Mellten Competition” , Welsh Books Council, Castell Brychan, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 2JB.

‘'We are delighted to be working with Mellten and y Lolfa on this competition and give the children and young people of Wales the chance to get their imagination going by creating a new cartoon character or strip,’ said Angharad Wyn Sinclair, Reading Promotions Project Manager, ‘What better way to celebrate World Book Day this year than by reading the latest issue of Mellten and trying out in this competition? We look forward to seeing the various creations!’

‘The seventh issue is a great example of encouraging children to create and use their imaginations,’ says Huw Aaron, ‘We at Mellten are very eager to help and develop children’s creative talent. I myself especially want to see the next generation of cartoonists creating their own comics in the future.’

‘The creative talent is certainly there but children need the opportunity to showcase their talents’ he added.

In the pages of the seventh issue Gwil Garw discovers himself in a bit of trouble, Bloben discovers its affection for Cyw and Iola is preparing to race at the Space Rally competition.

There will be more stories from the shadows as the storyteller tells the story of Pontarfynach’s mysterious bridgge, the Allwedd Amser mystery will continue while poor Boc is missing on the farm and the animals are all on the run.

Aimed at children between 7 and 13, Mellten is the first original Welsh language comic in decades. The next issue will appear in March. Individual issues are available or it is possible to subscribe for £8 a year via the website, schools or local bookshops.

The seventh issue of Mellten (£2, Y Lolfa) is available now.

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cinemas of west wales.jpgThe secret history of the forgotten cinemas of west Wales has been rediscovered this week. Most of the cinema and picture houses of west Wales – from Barmouth in Gwynedd to Llanelli in Carmarthenshire – have long since disappeared, been demolished or converted to other uses. The Cinemas of West Wales by Alan Phillips records where they were, gives descriptions of their interiors and programmes, and includes over a hundred photographs of what they looked like then, and now.

In Wales construction of most cinemas took place in 1910 and 1911, although a number of buildings had been converted into cinemas before that.

‘In days gone by a weekly visit to the “flicks” was as common as watching the television is today. It was an adventure and one of the few modes of entertainment available,’ said author Alan Phillips, ‘It was a chance to step back in time or to the future, a chance to forget daily toils and, for an hour or two, be transported to a make-believe world’.

Wales had its own film pioneers, such as John Codman, son of the Llandudno pier Punch and Judy man, who travelled throughout north Wales with his magic lantern living picture show. Then there was Arthur Cheetham who filmed day-to-day scenes throughout the country for the purpose of showing them at venues across most of Wales. He eventually settled in Rhyl and in 1906 established the Silvograph Animated Pictures - the first permanent cinema in Wales.

But, by the 1960s the advent of television and increased running costs caused cinema attendances to decline and several went into financial difficulty.

‘Times have changed now,’ added Alan, ‘Some cinemas or theatres were converted into bingo halls or were used for other uses, such as supermarkets, or eventually demolished. Today several cinemas have been taken over by J.D. Wetherspoon pubs, and they have retained the décor to give us a glimpse of their former glory days’.

There are still some independent cinemas left in Wales, mostly run by local authorities with the help of volunteers. Over the years the Welsh Government has supported the venues with grants from the European Development Fund which have enabled the cinemas to invest in modern equipment such as digital projectors.

As well as being a former cinema projectionist himself, Alan notes that his motivation behind the book were ‘more than anything seeing the number of cinemas that have closed throughout Wales since the 1960s’.

Alan Phillips studied history at University College of Wales, Swansea, before joining the RAF. He worked as a cinema projectionist with the Kinema Corporation and later with the Ministry of Defence.

The Cinemas of West Wales by Alan Phillips (£6.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.

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The winner of our free ticket competition has been drawn and announced. For the rest of us there is a discount code in the blog post below AND the opportunity to watch the concert streamed live on  Facebook

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"Sir Karl Jenkins is the most performed living composer in the world."





We are extremely pleased and proud to announce that Distinguished Concerts International have made available a pair of tickets for the forthcoming Karl Jenkins concert in New York at the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall on Monday, January 15th, 2018. The program includes Sing! The Music was Given, a new work commissioned for DCINY’s 10th Anniversary, and The Armed Man, which is presented with film. Read our (2010) interview with Karl Jenkins here

We are offering these tickets as a QUIZ PRIZE on Americymru!

Just answer the three easy quiz questions below ( answers can all be found on Wikipedia ) and send them to us at americymru@gmail.com ( all email addresses will be deleted when the competition closes ). We'll throw all the entries in a hat and pick the winner! Please email us by Tuesday, January 10th, 2018 no later than 9 PM ( Pacific Time ). Tickets will be ready at will call on 1/15 at the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall; the winner will just need to bring a photo ID.

Only one entry per email address is permitted. Duplicates will be disqualified. You do not need to be an AmeriCymru member or logged into the site in order to enter this competition.

If you don't win the competition, please do not despair. DCINY is very kindly offering a 30% discount code for AmeriCymru readers. The code is DCC27599 and it can be used online, over the phone, or in person at Carnegie Hall

Karl Jenkins Quiz



  1. What are Karl Jenkins middle names?
  2. When is Karl's birthday and what year was he born?
  3. At which Welsh university did Karl study music?






​MONDAY, JANUARY 15, 2018 at 7:00 PM

Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall

The Music of Sir Karl Jenkins: A DCINY Tenth Anniversary Celebration

DCINY honors UK composer Sir Karl Jenkins with an evening comprised of both new and lauded compositions by the honoree. The program includes Sing! The Music was Given, a new work commissioned for DCINY’s 10th Anniversary, and The Armed Man, which is presented with film. The performance is conducted by Jonathan Griffith, DCINY Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, and features Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International.

PROGRAM

ALL-KARL JENKINS PROGRAM
KARL JENKINS: The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace (with film)
KARL JENKINS - Sing! The Music was Given (New Work Premiere; Commissioned by DCINY Premiere Project)

PERFORMERS

Jonathan Griffith, DCINY Artistic Director and Principal Conductor
Sir Karl Jenkins, DCINY Composer-in-Residence
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Tickets $20-$100!
On Sale Now!

Visit CarnegieHall.org or call 212-247-7800
Box Office: 57th Street and Seventh Avenue
Senior and Student Discounts Available at the Box Office with ID
For Group Tickets, VIP Packages, Discounts, and More, e-mail boxoffice@DCINY.org

Ticket Link: The Music Of Karl Jenkins
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