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How to Sagely Answer, "Are the Welsh Celtic or Gaelic?"

Are the Welsh Celtic or Gaelic? “Celtic” refers to a diverse group of tribal societies with a shared language that once occupied much of Europe. “Gaelic,” on the other hand, is a subdivision of the Celtic family of languages that evolved into Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx. 

Are the Welsh Celtic or Gaelic? When we speak of Celtic and Gaelic, it’s important to understand that the terms are related but not interchangeable. “Celtic” refers to the language and culture of a   tribal people   who originated in central Europe as early as 1200 BC. They spread across Europe, Spain, Germany, France, and the British Isles. The common language, in particular, is what classifies them. Beyond that, a single ruler or group never unified the tribes, and each society was different, although they did hold some similar customs and religious beliefs. Even these, however, varied from tribe to tribe.  

The Celtic language is separated into two main branches: Continental Celtic and Insular Celtic. As the names suggest, Continental Celtic was spoken by people who lived in central Europe (on the continent). The Celtiberians, the Gauls, and the Galatians also spoke the language. Insular Celtic was spoken by the people who migrated to the British Isles. 

Insular Celtic is further divided into two branches: Goidelic (or Gaelic) and Brythonic (or British). Goidelic evolved into Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx Gaelic. The shortened terms are Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx. The Brythonic branch evolved into the languages of Breton, Cornish, and Welsh. So, the Welsh are Celtic but not Gaelic. “Gaelic” refers to the culture or the language spoken, and it is not the language of Wales.

As mentioned above, in answer to the question, “Are the Welsh Celtic or Gaelic?” the Welsh are Celtic but not Gaelic. “Gaelic” refers to the Goidelic branch of Insular Celtic that evolved into Irish, Scottish, and Manx. The word “Gaelic” is pronounced “Gal-ick” (like “gal” as in “galaxy”) and   not   “gale-ick” (like “gale” as in a gale of wind). The Welsh people speak Cymraeg (Welsh), which came from the Brythonic branch of Insular Celtic. To further clarify this, you could say that Gaelic is always Celtic, but Celtic isn’t always Gaelic. It depends on the language the person speaks. 

Other commonly asked questions are: 1. “Are the Welsh Celtic?” and 2. “Is Welsh Celtic?” The answer to the first question is yes, as the DNA of the Welsh people traces back to the tribal societies of Europe, which held the ancestral Celtic language in common. The second question refers to the Welsh language itself. Yes, Welsh is a Celtic language from the Brythonic language group of Insular Celtic.   


What Are the Six Celtic Languages?



Six Celtic languages are still spoken today—the modern Celtic languages. These are Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Manx, Breton, Cornish, and   Welsh . All six Celtic languages are referred to as “living, “meaning they are still spoken. Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and Breton have been continuously spoken. Manx and Cornish had died out, but thanks to a revival, they are now spoken again as a second language by several thousand people. Of all the Celtic languages, Welsh is the only one not considered endangered by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). In fact, from 2008 to 2020, the number of Welsh speakers has actually increased. In an   article published by the BBC   in 2020, a group of scientists from New Zealand say that within 300 years, 74% of the Welsh population will be able to speak and write Welsh. 


Where Are the Celtic Languages Spoken?



Irish   is spoken mainly in Ireland and Northern Ireland. However, Irish speakers are elsewhere in the UK, the US, Canada, and Australia. 

Scottish Gaelic   is the Celtic language spoken along the northwest coast of Scotland, the highlands, and the Hebrides Islands. Speakers can also be found in Australia, the US, and Canada (mainly Nova Scotia). Another language, separate from Gaelic, called “Scots,” evolved in the Middle Ages in the lowlands of Scotland. Scots is more similar to English, as it’s a Germanic language that developed from the Angles’ tongue. Scots has four different regional dialects. 

About 200,000 people speak   Breton   in Brittany in northwestern France. 

Manx   is spoken on the Isle of Man. Since revival efforts began, around 2000 people are believed to be speaking the language. 

Cornish   (“Kernewek”) is spoken in Cornwall in southwestern Britain. Like Manx, Cornish currently has around 2000 speakers. 

Cymraeg ( Welsh)   is spoken primarily in Wales and the Welsh colony in Patagonia, Argentina. There are also speakers in England, Scotland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the US. 

Are Welsh and Irish Related?



Welsh and Irish are related in the sense that they are both Insular Celtic languages. In other words, they are Celtic languages that evolved in the British Isles. Insular Celtic divides into Brythonic (British) and Goidelic (Gaelic). The Welsh language is Brythonic, while the Irish language is Gaelic.   

The Brythonic branch is also called “P-Celtic,” while the Goidelic branch is referred to as “Q-Celtic.” These labels came about because of how the words in each branch developed from Indo-European. Several words are common in each branch. However, on the P-Celtic (Brythonic languages) side, the “p” sound more frequently occurred in those words. The hard “k” sound was more prevalent on the Q-Celtic side. 

On this note, another question people ask is, “Is Welsh Gaelic?” No, Welsh is not Gaelic. As mentioned earlier, Welsh is Brythonic. Which leads us to the question: Are the Irish Celtic or Gaelic? They are a Celtic people, but they   speak   Irish (“Gaelige”), which comes from the Gaelic language group. “Gaelic” can also refer to their culture (Gaelic games, for example).


Scottish Gaelic vs. Welsh



Many words in Scottish Gaelic and Welsh are cognate. Cognate words are those that evolved from the same source word over hundreds or thousands of years. However, since Scottish Gaelic and Welsh don’t belong to the same branch of Insular Celtic, there are more similarities between Irish and Scottish Gaelic, for example. Irish and Scottish Gaelic are both Gaelic languages, whereas Welsh is Brythonic.

Here’s a comparison of some related words in Scottish Gaelic and Welsh. 



English Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic) Cymraeg (Welsh)
river abhainn afon
name ainm enw
soul, spirit anam enaid (also, the Welsh name “Enid” means soul; life)
bread bairín bara (the word for “bread” is “bara” in all three Brythonic languages: Welsh, Cornish, and Breton)
small beag bach, bychan
brother bráthair brawd
cheese càise caws

It’s interesting to see that although the words differ in Scottish Gaelic and Welsh, there are some similarities. The Gaelic words aren’t exactly like the Welsh, but they’re not entirely foreign, either. Having the English words there also makes a nice comparison. We can see that, for the most part, the English words are quite different than the Celtic ones. That’s because they evolved through the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. The words for “bread” and “cheese,” though, manage to be a little similar across the board with Celtic and Germanic alike! 

Welsh vs. Irish Culture

As with Scottish Gaelic, a Welsh speaker would find it hard to understand Irish. They might be able to pick up a few words here and there, but this is another example of the differences between the Goidelic and Brythonic languages. After all, they had thousands of years to grow apart. Still, with Wales and Ireland within 300 miles of each other, there are certainly links between the two cultures. There’s a history there of helping one another. 

Both countries take pride in their languages, the history behind them, and in keeping them alive. They do this through literature, cultural events, music, and policies in their respective education systems. According to the 2021 census, 17.8% of the Welsh population speak Welsh. In the Republic of Ireland, however, in 2022, the percentage of Irish speakers was 39.8%. In Northern Ireland, as of 2021, 12.4% said they had some ability to read, write, or speak Irish.

Similarities and Differences

Both the Welsh and Irish love their sports! In Ireland, Gaelic games like Gaelic football, hurling, handball, and rounders are the most popular. In Wales, rugby is the winner. 

Welsh culture is known for its friendliness and hospitality; Irish culture is similar. Ireland is very well known for its food and drink. The Welsh are renowned for their music, customs, and festivals. 

Wales is part of the United Kingdom and operates as a devolved constitutional monarchy. Ireland, however, is an independent nation with a unitary parliamentary republic form of government. It means that parliament runs the nation. (Note: Northern Ireland is not a part of the Republic of Ireland but is one of the four countries that make up the UK.)

Generally speaking, the Welsh and Irish are close with one another as fellow Celts and neighbors. They’ve been trading, swapping stories and songs, and helping each other when needed since at least the Iron Age. It’s a friendship that goes way back.

Now you understand the difference between “Celtic” and “Gaelic.” If anyone ever asks you, “Are the Welsh Celtic or Gaelic?” you can smile sagely and tell them that the Welsh are Celtic but not Gaelic since Welsh is a Brythonic language. 


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Adios MF will release the new single ‘They’ on the 7th of June through Dash The Henge Records.

Adios MF is a musical collective spearheaded by Nathan Keeble carving fresh dark wave and electronica sound the underground of Sheffield. Their latest single, "They," was recorded between Brooklyn and Brixton, serves as a sonic manifesto of what's to come. Their music defies categorisation, blending elements of post-punk, electronica, and avant-garde into a sonic tapestry that's uniquely their own.

With sleek production by Nathan Saoudi and Richard Wilson yet coursing with enough detail and character to set it apart, with this impish 80s beat, sinewy guitars, metallic dapping keyboards, and sample loops, it forges a uniquely futuristic sound that’s at once both familiar and yet mirrors the churn of the cityscape. 

With a sound that hints at the influence of acts like Human League, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk and Molly Nilsson, the vocals are addictive and almost mechanical, driven with hooky melodic ticks that sink their nails into and won’t let go, and yet the lyrics reside with a disquiet at the creeping gentrification of urban redevelopment “They built a Starbucks on my street” and reference to shadowy figures who might take you away. It hints at a dark underbelly and Sci-fi dystopia where your every action is being watched. 

ADIOS MF say “They” is a Kitsch by product of existence amid the constant churn of urban development and the persistent buzz of drilling. It was written as a tonic to the realisation that resistance is futile; you must simply acquiesce to the world of urbanism and let it carry you along on its unpredictable journey, set to a naughty 80s beat.”

Born from the industrial landscape of the north of England. Adios MF was ideated in January 2024, South London's Dash The Henge Records signed them shortly after hearing their demos.

Digital Only

Words & Music by Corey Clifton & Nathan Keeble

Produced by Corey Clifton, Nathan Saoudi & Richard Wilson

Mastered By Richard Wilson

A release by Dash The Henge Records & Cracked Media

Posted in: Music | 0 comments

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This week sees an updated 5 th  edition of a collection of Welsh folk stories republished.  Welsh Folk Tales  by Robin Gwyndaf (Y Lolfa) was originally published by the National Museum of Wales in 1989 and is an important record of the folk narrative tradition in Wales.  

The 2024 edition has been dedicated to the author’s late wife, Eleri Gwyndaf, who sadly died in 2023.  

For a period of over twenty years, Robin Gwyndaf interviewed over 2,500 informants, around 400 of them on tape. This material, both written – in books and journals – and oral testimony of around 600 hours of recordings, “gives the reader a vivid glimpse of that long and creative tradition,” as Colin Ford, Director of the National Museum of Wales, says in his foreword to the third edition in 1995.  

Welsh Folk Tales  records 63 stories from all over Wales, including ‘The islands of saints’ from Ynys Enlli, ‘The eagles of Snowdon’ from Caernarfonshire, ‘Owain Glyndŵr and the Abbot of Valle Crucis’ from Denbighshire and ‘The death of “Llywelyn our Last Prince”’ from Brecknockshire. It describes the legends and traditions and places them in their historical and social context. It also refers to the types and classification, the themes, function and meaning, as well as the value of the tales themselves. Pronunciation of Welsh words and placenames also features.  

Dr Robin Gwyndaf says:

“The need to present the history of Wales in an interesting and meaningful manner to all the inhabitants of the country and beyond, whatever their age or language, has never been more crucial. My hope is that this volume, in Welsh and English, will be a small contribution towards fulfilling a dream. It is my dream that all the people of Wales, and Welsh people living abroad – and, yes, the inhabitants of Britain also – come to appreciate the wealth of our inheritance as a nation – our native language, our literature and our culture. An intrinsic part of that vibrant, wide-ranging culture is our folk tales and folk traditions.”  

Only necessary changes have been made to the text, and the wonderful illustrations, now in colour, by artist Margaret D. Jones, who is now 105 years old, still shine in the volume. Margaret Jones was commissioned by the National Museum of Wales in 1988 to illustrate a map featuring the folk tales and traditions of Wales, to be published at the same time as the first edition of the book. Both the book and the A2 poster has been out of print for around 10 years, but will be available again this May for £9.99 each.  

The book:  Welsh Folk Tales  by Robin Gwyndaf (£9.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.  

The A2 poster: Welsh Folk Tales by artist Margaret D. Jones, and Robin Gwyndaf, researcher and designer, (£9.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.

Posted in: New Titles | 0 comments

On The Job


By Ceri Shaw, 2024-05-07

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“Good afternoon and thank you for finally attending this Job Start Interview!” Said the Civil Servant.

“You’re welcome Mr Isious!” replied the attendee politely-reading the name badge on the Official- with all the charm of a gentleman that had been to Gordonstoun and then Dartmouth Naval College.

“ Mr Andrew Albert Christian Edward Windsor I presume,…do you have any photographic identification on you to prove this fact?” asked the former DSS snooper.

“Sorry…one doesn’t carry a wallet around with me…money is vulgar…hang on …One has a photograph of oneself flying a helicopter in the Falklands War …would that suffice…is that what you are Sea King?” Asked the eighth in line to the throne of England, passing over a tattered old Kodak snapshot, now yellowing with age.

“Not really but it will have to do…don’t forget you won’t be allowed to vote at the next General Election without proper identification documents you know!” replied the know -it - all Government employee reading from the YouGov site.

“ So why is one here….is one in trouble?” asked the disgraced Royal.

“Not compared to recent events….you are here because officially you have not worked since 2002 when you left the Navy!” Replied the jobsworth.

“That’s 21 years to be precise and you are only aged 63 and therefore still of an age that you are eligible to work!” He continued.

The Duke of York gulped nervously but didn’t sweat it.

“So according to our Government records, you are receiving State benefit from the Sovereign Grant , formerly the Civil List, to the tune of £250,000.00 ….the question is are you actively looking for work?” the interviewer said looking over his bifocal glasses.

“Well ….stuttered the Prince….my Mother has only recently died …!”

“That was over six months ago in September 2022!” Continued the Questioner.

“And what about the previous two decades….were you just F***ing about?” asked the Civil Servant turning very uncivil.

“Look…one told that BBC Lady, Emily Mattress, in my other interview that one doesn’t drink coffee and therefore haven’t been anywhere near a Maxwell House!” denied the Duke.

“So what exactly have you been doing since your last recorded job in 1982?” Asked Mr Icious.

“Do you have a first name ?” Asked Andrew.

“Of course…it’s Malcolm!” Replied the Government Employee.

“May one call you Mal?….Mr Icious?” Queried the Duke.

“Most certainly NOT!” Replied the Job Centre Plus Interviewer.

“This is a formal interview to determine if you deserve to continue to receive handouts from the state!” He continued.

“So other than playing around with your chopper for two decades…what exactly have you
been doing?”

“Well…one has been waving a lot …!” replied the Royal with absolute sincerity.

The interviewer furrowed his brow and stared at the Duke.

“Mainly from the deck of the Royal Yacht Britannia…!” he stuttered.

“ Do you know the song a life on the ocean ‘wave’ is better than going to sea?” Said the posh
boy.

“Is that why you are called Handy Andy then?….I thought it was for a different reason!” said Malcolm turning the Royal colour Purple, apoplectic with rage.

“Well we both sponge money off the Taxpayer don’t we?” Said Andrew trying to find ‘common’ ground with the commoner.

“ You mean as a civil servant I am obliged to accept a below inflation pay award and work till I am 67 …five years longer than any Frenchman …whilst you live the life of Riley….it’s complete nonsense!”

“Some would say nonce-sense actually!” Replied the Sniggerer.

“And don’t mention Frogmore please….it’s still a sore point with my family!”

“So are you claiming too for any dependents?” Asked the Interviewer.

“Yes, for one’s daughters Beatrice & Eugenie !” The Royal outcast said.

“ And how old they…are they still in school or full time education?” Malcolm pressed
harder.

“Let me see Beatrice is 34 and Eugenie 32 and of course Sarah my other dependent is 63!” Andrew continued.

“Don’t any of them have their own jobs?” Asked Malcolm absolutely flabbergasted.

After three long minutes of laughing from Andrew he replied “Are you serious?”

Looking around the whitewashed walls of the Windsor Job Centre, he uttered.

“Come on…who set this up ….Michael McIntyre or Ant n Dec?”

“Can’t be Jeremy Beadle….he is no longer about after all!”

“This isn’t a laughing matter, Mr Windsor…I am here to make sure that you find work or we stop your State ‘benefit’ like everyone else in this Country!” said the official in a more Mal Icious tone.

“So what skills do you have?” Asked Malcolm.

Andrew racked his brain and repeated “Waving?”

“There are several job opportunities available working in the Pizza Express Woking Branch….do you know it?” asked the Interviewer.

“No!” Replied the Duke immediately.

“Never been there in my life….oops…on second thoughts one went there with one’s daughter on the night that one DIDN’T go to Tramp nightclub…!”

“What perks do you get ?”

“Well it is a bit like the Hooters restaurants they have in Canada and the US with young girls serving in skimpy outfits only with different ‘toppings!” said Malcolm luring the new Prince of Darkness in to bite.

“Interested?”

The Duke was now leaning forward at the desk.

Malcolm lifted the telephone up and spoke into it.

“Susan…would you be good enough to bring me in the Pizza Express bakery job application forms for the Woking branch….you will find them under the
P- Dough File!”

Andrew looked suspiciously at the Official he had heard that word chanted a lot when he was in Buckingham Palace ever since he had innocently paid Three Million Pounds to a charity suggested by a girl he had never met.

“You are aware that the allegations about One and Miss Go Free were never proved in a Court of Law do you? said the Duke rather testily.

“Not my concern really!” Said Malcolm.

“Do you know why One did that free interview with Emily Mattress?” Countered Andrew.

“Former BBC reporter Martin Bashir rang up the Palace claiming he had further evidence….bloody phoney wank statements….how dull does he think one is? …Princess Diana or something?” raged Andrew.

“Oh ‘hang on’….there is also an International Job going as a prison officer at the New York Correctional Centre….sounds like money for old rope…!”said Malcolm looking at his computer screen.

“ Are you still allowed to visit the United States ….?” challenged Malcolm.

“Come to think of it….One does have a lot of Air Miles left on One’s frequent flyer account to Palm Beach , Florida….but on second thoughts best not to go there again…you know with all those selfies of people One has never actually met….!” mused Andrew.

“Sauna Tester in IKEA in Kyrgyzstan?” proffered Malcolm.

“You could do that no sweat!”

The evil eye from the Royal followed.

“Why does one have to get a job anyway …surely with all those people coming over in those small boats ….they need a job more than One does…after all…One’s ancestors created the British Empire especially for people who DO have the ability to break sweat….!” Replied the oyal in a posh voice.

“Oh they are fast tracked to Rwanda these days…so the Post-Brexit fruit is still rotting in the fields without anyone to pick it!” said Malcolm.

“Do you fancy a try?….after all you have a plum in your mouth most of the time anyway!”
He continued.

Andrew leaned in and whispered

“One thinks we both know that neither One nor One’s family are ever going to do REAL work as we are too important to the British economy given the amount we bring in from tourism?” Replied Not so Handy.

“How much is that a year?”asked Mal.

“19 Million Pinds!” said the Royal gurning with the pronunciation.

“And the cost to the tax payer for the Sovereign Grant ?” questioned the Interviewer. “Don’t know or care!” Said Andrew churlishly.

“It’s amazing what you can find on the internet especially with a Freedom of Information form these days…..try £369 Million give or take a few clocks…!” Replied the clear Republican.

“ So what is your point exactly?” Asked the peeved Royal feeling more exposed than Prince Harry at a Las Vegas pool party.

“Everyone in Britain must now pay their way or get deported to Rwanda!” said Mal “That’s the most ridiculous thing one has ever heard!” said Andy channelling the late Kenny Everett.

“What about Stanley Johnson up for a knighthood?” asked Mal the inquisitor.

“Point taken!” sniggered Andy.

Posted in: Humor | 0 comments

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ALBWM CYNTAF SYBS ALLAN YFORY AR LIBERTINO

Mae albwm cyntaf SYBS, 'Olew Nadroedd', yn gapsiwl amser teimladwy o’r cyffro a’r pryderon â ddaw ynghyd wrth dyfu fyny. Er bod y byd o'n cwmpas yn gyffrous a'n lliwgar, mae ymroi yn llawn i'r profiadau newydd hynny yn frawychus ac ar adegau, yn anghyfforddus. Dyna'n union mae Osian Llŷr (cyfansoddwr, prif leisydd a gitarydd SYBS) yn ei gyfleu ar yr albwm.

Eglura Osain: "Yr hyn roedden ni moen cyflawni gyda ‘Olew Nadroedd’ oedd cymryd snapshot o ble oedden ni fel band pan gafodd llawer o’r caneuon eu cyfansoddi; ble roeddem ni’n arbrofi llawer ac yn ceisio ffeindio ein ‘sŵn’, a ble o ni’n agored i fyd o ddylanwadau cerddorol gwahanol.

Cefais fy ysbrydoli gan albyms fel 'I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One' gan Yo La Tengo a 'Fantasma' gan Cornelius, sy'n teimlo fel ryw collages mawr o synau a genres gwahanol, ond sy'n dal i swnio fel eu bod yn perthyn i'r un lle.

Roedd e’n adeg gyffrous iawn yn ein bywydau cyn covid, lle’r oedd y rhan fwyaf ohonom wedi symud i ddinasoedd gwahanol ar gyfer y brifysgol a'n cael yr holl brofiadau newydd yma, ond yn dal i ddod yn ôl i gigio yng Nghaerdydd yn aml iawn. Dwi’n hoffi meddwl ein bo' ni wedi llwyddo i ddal ychydig o’r anhrefn a’r egni o’r cyfnod hwnnw ar yr albwm.

Mae llawer o'r geiriau ar yr albwm yn fyfyriol, yn bryderus a'n ansicr, ond mae'r gerddoriaeth ar y cyfan yn lliwgar, swnllyd, a'n 'llawn'; a dwi'n teimlo bod hynny yn cyfleu'r ddeuoliaeth o ble'r oedden ni pan ddechreuon ni ddod â'r albwm at ei gilydd yn 2018."

Bydd 'Olew Nadroedd' allan ddydd Gwener 3ydd o Fai ar Libertino.

 


 



SYBS' DEBUT ALBUM OUT TOMORROW VIA LIBERTINO

SYBS' debut album, 'Olew Nadroedd', is a moving time capsule of the excitement and wide eye wonder — on one hand fear, and anxiety on the other — of young adulthood. The world outside entices and enthrals yet there is trepidation in fully embracing a life beyond the comfort of childhood. It’s this dichotomy that Osian Llŷr (songwriter, vocalist, guitarist) captures with every note and lyric on SYBS' debut album.

Osian explains: “I think what we wanted to achieve with 'Olew Nadroedd' is a snapshot of where we were as a band when a lot these songs came to fruition; when we were still experimenting with finding our sound, and where we opened ourselves up to a world of musical influences where anything goes.

I was really inspired by albums such as ‘I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One’ by Yo La Tengo and ‘Fantasma’ by Cornelius, that feel like this big collage of sounds and genres, but still manage to sound like they’re coming from the same source.

It was a really exciting time in our lives pre-covid where most of us had moved to different cities for university and were having all these new experiences, but still gigging in Cardiff very frequently, and I like to think we’ve managed to capture some of that chaos and energy in the album.

A lot of the lyrics are reflective, anxious and uncertain but the music for the most part is vibrant, noisy, and almost hyperactive; and I feel like that really captures the dichotomy of where we were at when the album started coming together around 2018. You have all this enthusiasm and curiosity for the world but you’re not really sure what to make of any of it or what you’re meant to be doing, so you end up being open to everything.”

'Olew Nadroedd' is out this Friday 3rd May via Libertino.
 

 


 

 

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Susan Walton



AmeriCymru: Hi Sue and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. Care to introduce yourself and your work for our readers? 

Sue: Hello! It’s a pleasure to be here. ‘Here’ for me is near Porthmadog in North Wales. However, I lived near Aberystwyth in Mid-Wales until I was ten years old, and then lived on Anglesey (Ynys Môn) until my early twenties. 

I currently work as a proofreader and editor of English, and as a Welsh-to-English literary translator. But I didn’t start off that way! 

After school I trained as a cartographer, and then worked drawing maps by hand (that’s how old I am) for various local authorities. I went to university as a mature student, but that still didn’t get me any closer to doing what I do now – my degree is in a science subject. 

By my mid-forties I had some health issues that meant that working from home and at my own pace would be better for me than working in an office, which is what I was doing at the time. I decided to retrain as a proofreader and work freelance, which is what I do now. 

AmeriCymru: What is your Welsh language background? 

Sue: I grew up in Wales, but within a monoglot English family that was culturally English and (mostly) English language social settings. I had to do compulsory Welsh at school, but back when I was at school there wasn’t the same emphasis on the language as there is now, and I failed my Welsh O Level exam at 16. And that was that, or so I thought then. 

After realising that I’d need Welsh to work in the public sector in North Wales, and after many evening classes, I got my Welsh O Level at twenty-seven years of age. I secured a job with the Snowdonia National Park (now Eryri National Park), which meant I moved to live in a very culturally Welsh area. More adult Welsh classes, and just being sunk in a Welsh community, means that I’m now a fluent speaker and comprehender, a reasonably fluent reader, and an adequate writer of emails. 

AmeriCymru: How did you become involved in translation work? 

Sue: Through my proofreading work I was in contact with publishing houses in Wales, and was asked by Myrddin ap Dafydd at the publisher Gwasg Carreg Gwalch to translate poetry selections for a bilingual book called  Hud a Lledrith Llŷn / Llŷn a Magical Place  into English. My Welsh reading skills were still quite shaky at this point. (As an aside: I later learned that being asked to translate literature is quite rare; mostly translators pitch books they think would work in translation to publishers.) 

Since then, I’ve translated another thirteen books for Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, including eight novels for older children. Through doing this my reading skills have improved. I also took the basic Welsh-to-English translation test to qualify for membership of the Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru (the association of Welsh translators and interpreters), although I’m no longer a member. 

In 2020 I was the recipient of a mentoring award that was jointly funded by Literature Wales, Wales Literature Exchange, and the UK’s National Centre for Writing. This helped me to expand into translating adult literary fiction, and the outcome is my first translation of a novel for adults,  This House , which was published by 3TimesRebel Press in March 2024. (AmeriCymru readers may be pleased to see that it’s available as an ebook from Amazon.) 

Sian Northey is the author of the original novel, which is called  Yn y Tŷ Hwn . She and I are busy on the promotional trail at the moment as a bit of a double act



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AmeriCymru: Where is the best place to go online for anyone seeking a wide selection of Welsh language children's books? 

Sue: The  Gwales  website, which is part of the Books Council for Wales, is a good place to start. Go to ‘Browse by Category’ and you’ll get a list divided into fiction and non-fiction, and by age groupings. However, you should be aware that some of the books listed are adaptations into Welsh of English books, such as those by David Walliams. 

AmeriCymru: You have translated many Welsh language children's books. Any favorites that you would particularly like to mention? 

Sue: The children’s books I’ve translated are by Myrddin ap Dafydd. They are all rollicking adventure stories, as well as providing a fun way of teaching aspects of Welsh history (and other lessons). I think he has done an especially good job with  The Moon is Red Faster than the Swords  and  Fleeing the Fascists . All the novels are exciting, but what these three have in common is particularly gripping scenes of physical jeopardy. 

I also learned a lot by translating them and several of them introduced me to unfamiliar parts of Wales. I try and make a point of visiting the locations where the stories are set. I do this in my own time, of course, and this has made for some interesting trips. I also feel that it helps with the translation process if I have the lie of the land in my head. (Remember, I’m a geographer and cartographer at heart!). 

AmeriCymru: Are you working on any translation projects at the moment? 

Sue: I have just started on my next children’s novel translation for Gwasg Carreg Gwalch. The Welsh version will be out in May – just in time for the Urdd National Eisteddfod – with the title  Rhedyn, Merlyn y Mawn . I guess the English version will be published later this year, or early next. 

Not a current project, but I’d like to translate another of Sian Northey’s novels:  Perthyn . But I guess we need to see how successful  This House  turns out to be before I can consider pitching  Perthyn . I blogged about my year of being mentored while writing  This House , and about the subsequent search for a publisher. If you wish to see whether my  Perthyn  dream comes to fruition, I’m still posting on that  blog  every six months or so. 

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

Sue: If you read any of my translations, I hope you enjoy them!

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Posted in: Book News | 0 comments

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Sister Envy return with their awesome second single  ‘Tide’  on the 10th of May. The follow up to their warmly received debut single ‘ Mourning Sickness’ , the cinematic psychedelia of  ‘Tide’ , grows from enveloping heart on the sleeve melodies, decorated in a carousel of psych tinged guitars into a sprawling epic anthem.

‘I’ll be the one to saves you’  promises Joliffe in a track that’s woozy, romantic, mysterious yet with a sting in the tail. Gradually swelling into a fuzz laden chorus that has elements of the shoegaze anthems of Ride. Verve or the grungy gaze of early Smashing Pumpkins. It's another fascinating glimpse of Sister’s Envy’s sonic arsenal and world of intrigue and ambition that looks at the horizon beyond their North Walian homes. 

Vocalist and guitarist, Kameron Jolliffe says:  " Tide is the first song we recorded together as a band, I wrote it whilst severely hungover one sunny afternoon, it was one of those days where the moon was visible.. I wrote it about someone i used to see, a toxic relationship that still pulls you in just to inevitably throw you back. "

Sister Envy hail from the North Wales coast, a place of mystery, harshness, and beauty, a place where opportunity is blocked for younger people yet dreams can break through. It’s here that Sister Envy met at college, this fast-emerging Alternative Psychedelic rock quartet are a brand new signing to North Wales label Yr Wyddfa Records Snowdonia(home to Holy Coves). 

Sister Envy have been busy honing their sound in the studio with Welsh producers  Owain Ginsberg (Hippies Vs Ghosts) & Scott Marsden (Holy Coves) over recent months getting ready for the release of a trio of initial tracks. 

Their initial three singles were recorded in Liverpool at the famous Motor Museum Studio with Ben Harper. Mixed in France by Welsh legend Owain Ginsberg and mastered in Austin Texas by American producer Erik Wofford (The Black Angels).  Over the next twelve months, Sister Envy will invite you into their fascinating world over a series of singles releases and shows including a debut performance at Focus Wales in May.  Gradually revealing the different faces of their tapestry of sound and fledgling experience. 

  "Compelling, intense and brooding...something atonal beneath that sets it apart" Adam Walton, BBC Radio Wales .

 “Full of complexities, Verve-esque vibes from the early days, shoe-gaze tonalities with an undercurrent that is reminiscent of bands like Velvet Undergound, a heady blend of rock fused with 60’s psychedelia and delivered in a way that makes your head spin”  Upcoming Bands

“A raw and visceral blend of 90s Brit Rock with a twinge of psychedelic rock, with the spark and earnest nature of the early 2010s NME scene.”  We All Want Someone 




Sister Envy band members

Kameron Jolliffe - Vocals and Lead Guitar

Matty Waring - Guitar

Callum Jones - Bass

Ryan Roberts - Drums



http://www.facebook.com/sisterenvyband

http://www.instagram.com/sisterenvyband
http://www.twitter.com/sisterenvyband




Posted in: Music | 0 comments

A Bit About Welsh Terriers


By Jaime Conrad, 2024-04-26
A Bit About Welsh Terriers

The Welsh Terrier is a small black-and-tan hunting dog bred several hundred years ago in Cymru’s rural mountains and valleys. Like all terriers, this hardy breed has surprising skill at cornering and seizing burrowing or cave-dwelling game, such as foxes, badgers, otters, and vermin

What is a terrier? A terrier is a breed of dog from Wales that was developed to hunt and kill vermin and other small animals. They are known for being small, fearless, and highly intelligent. These dogs are also known for their characteristic “game” or “gameness.” In this context, “game” is a genetic trait that gives dogs eagerness, tenacity, and lots of spirit. 

As the oldest terrier breed in the UK, the Welsh has an exciting history. Perhaps as much as 500 years ago,   farmers in remote parts of Cymru   began breeding this dog. The early Welsh Terrier was bred to keep foxes, rodents, badgers, and other small nuisance critters off their land. By the 1700s, hunters in western Wales used Welsh Terriers to run with the hounds on fox hunts.

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Are Welsh Terriers Good Pets?


Yes! Welsh Terriers make great pets. However, because they have big personalities and are so free-spirited, you should understand the following before buying or adopting one. They are not suitable for first-time dog owners.

While they are loyal and form strong bonds with family members, this breed has a medium affection level due to their independence. For comparison, a Brussels Griffon has a high affection level, and an Irish Wolfhound is one of the least affectionate dogs.

Welsh Terriers are hypoallergenic. “Hypoallergenic” in dogs means they produce low amounts of allergens, such as dander, saliva, and urine. They are not droolers and are low-shedders.

Welshies also get along reasonably well with other dogs. This point is important, as some terriers don’t get along so well with other canines. Being a hunting dog, however, if challenged, the Welsh will have no problem fighting another dog. 

Welshies get along with children as long as the kids aren’t too rough with them. For this reason, these dogs are more likely to do well with older, respectful children than young children. 

Welsh Terriers are friendly and playful but also have a mischievous or stubborn streak, which may make training a bit more challenging. 

This tough little dog breed needs  lots  of exercise! So, be ready to take them on walks and have lots of space for them to run around.

Are Welsh Terriers Cuddly?


Yes, they are cuddly and affectionate. Once again, they are loving, though they are not the most affectionate breed out there. They can be independent at times, too. They love their humans, delight in attention, and their loyalty knows no bounds. 

Welsh Terriers have a coarse, dense, wiry outer coat with a softer undercoat. Despite the wiry fur, their relatively small body and loving nature are great for a cwtch. 

How Much Is a Welsh Terrier?



UK: £650 – 1850

US: $1000 – 4000 


Price ranges vary for purchasing Welsh Terrier puppies. The above gives an average range. Please do your research and only purchase animals from reputable sources.

Similarities and Differences Between the Welsh and Other Breeds of Terrier


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Welsh Terrier vs. Airedale Terrier


Welsh Terriers are smaller than Airedales. They are more affectionate but need more training and repetition of commands. Their color pattern is very similar. However, the Welshie’s head is more boxed-shaped. Both breeds are hypoallergenic.

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Welsh Terrier vs. Wire Fox Terrier


The Welsh Terrier and the Wire Fox Terrier are about the same size. Wire Fox Terriers generally have a primarily white coat with spots of black, tan, or both. The Welsh is slightly more pet and stranger-friendly but has higher coat-maintenance needs than the Wire Fox. The Welsh Terrier is prone to fewer diseases. 

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Welsh Terrier vs. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier


The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized dog bred in Ireland, larger than the Welsh Terrier. Puppies are reddish-brown and mature into the wheaten-colored coat. Both breeds require patience to train, with the Wheaten being the slightly easier of the two. They are both extremely protective.  

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Welsh Terrier vs. Irish Terrier


The Irish Terrier is also a medium-sized dog. Despite not being large, they are one of the best watchdogs. Irish Terriers are more affectionate. Neither breed is likely to bite anyone or be aggressive. 

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Welsh Terrier vs. Scottish Terrier


Scottish Terriers may be black, wheaten (straw to nearly white), brindle, red, silver, or sandy. Black is the most common. The Scottish Terrier isn’t hypoallergenic like the Welsh Terrier and is also slightly smaller. They are a bit more stubborn than the Welsh but still loving and eager to please. The Scottish Terrier barks and howls more and is more independent. 

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Welsh Terrier vs. Toy Fox Terrier


Toy Fox Terriers, an American breed, look very different. As the name suggests, they are tiny. They are primarily white with tan, black, or chocolate markings. A Toy Fox weighs between 3 ½ and 7 pounds, whereas a Welsh Terrier weighs between 20 and 21 pounds. Having a short coat, they need less grooming than the Welsh. They are both affectionate, but the Toy Fox is more stubborn. The Toy Fox is also not hypoallergenic like the Welsh Terrier.

Posted in: Welsh Stuff | 2 comments

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Sister Envy  return with their awesome second single  ‘Tide’  on the 10th of May. The follow up to their warmly received debut single ‘ Mourning Sickness’ , the cinematic psychedelia of  ‘Tide’ , grows from enveloping heart on the sleeve melodies, decorated in a carousel of psych tinged guitars into a sprawling epic anthem.

‘I’ll be the one to saves you’  promises Joliffe in a track that’s woozy, romantic, mysterious yet with a sting in the tail. Gradually swelling into a fuzz laden chorus that has elements of the shoegaze anthems of Ride. Verve or the grungy gaze of early Smashing Pumpkins. It's another fascinating glimpse of Sister’s Envy’s sonic arsenal and world of intrigue and ambition that looks at the horizon beyond their North Walian homes. 

Vocalist and guitarist, Kameron Jolliffe says:  " Tide is the first song we recorded together as a band, I wrote it whilst severely hungover one sunny afternoon, it was one of those days where the moon was visible.. I wrote it about someone i used to see, a toxic relationship that still pulls you in just to inevitably throw you back. "

Sister Envy hail from the North Wales coast, a place of mystery, harshness, and beauty, a place where opportunity is blocked for younger people yet dreams can break through. It’s here that Sister Envy met at college, this fast-emerging Alternative Psychedelic rock quartet are a brand new signing to North Wales label Yr Wyddfa Records Snowdonia(home to Holy Coves). 

Sister Envy have been busy honing their sound in the studio with Welsh producers  Owain Ginsberg (Hippies Vs Ghosts) & Scott Marsden (Holy Coves) over recent months getting ready for the release of a trio of initial tracks. 

Their initial three singles were recorded in Liverpool at the famous Motor Museum Studio with Ben Harper. Mixed in France by Welsh legend Owain Ginsberg and mastered in Austin Texas by American producer Erik Wofford (The Black Angels).  Over the next twelve months, Sister Envy will invite you into their fascinating world over a series of singles releases and shows including a debut performance at Focus Wales in May.  Gradually revealing the different faces of their tapestry of sound and fledgling experience. 



"Compelling, intense and brooding...something atonal beneath that sets it apart" Adam Walton, BBC Radio Wales .

“Full of complexities, Verve-esque vibes from the early days, shoe-gaze tonalities with an undercurrent that is reminiscent of bands like Velvet Undergound, a heady blend of rock fused with 60’s psychedelia and delivered in a way that makes your head spin” Upcoming Bands

“A raw and visceral blend of 90s Brit Rock with a twinge of psychedelic rock, with the spark and earnest nature of the early 2010s NME scene.”  We All Want Someone 



Sister Envy band members


Kameron Jolliffe - Vocals and Lead Guitar

Matty Waring - Guitar

Callum Jones - Bass

Ryan Roberts - Drums

http://www.facebook.com/ sisterenvyband
http://www.instagram.com/ sisterenvyband
http://www.twitter.com/ sisterenvyband


Posted in: Music | 0 comments

Grave Mistake by Phil 'Boz' Evans


By Ceri Shaw, 2024-04-22

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Tony Robinson looked nervously at the television camera. This was a first even for the ‘Time Team’ and its archaeologists. The deep scan of the Norman crypt at Morlais Castle in Merthyr Tydfil had revealed a hollow
chamber behind the inner walls and the readings for metal possible gold and silver were going off the scale.

Tony genuinely believed they had discovered a treasure hoard possibly confiscated from local Celtic chieftains in the 13th Century. He felt giddy at the prospect of being as famous as Howard Carter, who had discovered the
unopened the burial chamber of King Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt in 1922.

What treasure lay beyond these limestone walls that had remained hidden for 800 years?

He wanted to be recognised and not just being remembered as that ‘Baldprick’ from Black Adder who was ridiculed and bullied by Rowan Atkinson.

Tony scraped away at the remaining millimetres of limestone rock concealing the chamber and finally managed to pierce its inner layer enough to get a flashlight in the tiny aperture. He had been excited at the potential find and had in his childlike state put off using the toilet in all the fuss- he wanted to be the one to have the fame. Besides, there were no longer any public toilets in the Merthyr Town centre due to Council
cutbacks.

As he peered inside, he suddenly frightened the film crew who feared a booby trap for a grave robber, as he came face to face with a figure of a Norman soldier completely dressed in armour. The shock made Tony piss himself uncontrollably, as the result of a mixture of fear and anxiety.

There was another more welcoming emotion too- relief -as like Magnus Magnusson on Mastermind he had started so he may has well finish.

“ Oi Slackbladder...do you mind ?...You’re pissing on my suede shoes!” said the hatted figure of Time Team regular Mick Aston.

The warm of the yellow liquid on a cold grey day in a Valleys cave was welcome, but pleasure quickly became misery as he had ruined his expensive corduroy trousers. The cameraman panned down at the front of them to compound Tony’s misery. Ever the professional Tony said to the screen “ Be careful if you go into limestone caves as there is a lot of water around that can splash your clothes indiscriminately- drips from stalactites go down and stalagmites go up!” he said trying to bluff his way out of the embarrassment.

“ Oh and be careful of incontinent television presenters too ....always give them room to go into a dig ...in case they shit on you!” said Mick taking the mick.

Tony looked at his sidekick with a stare that could kill. He concentrated on the task in hand. He continued to gouge at the circle of wet rock in a circular fashion with a small hand drill until he had enough of a gap to get his head in.

When he had done so, he placed the torch in his mouth and shone it around with a jaw movement . If he hadn’t had to hold the light source in his teeth he would have been open mouthed. “ Is the crypt untouched.....the Norman seal intact?” asked Mick impatiently.

Tony withdrew his head and pass the flashlight to Mick.

“ See for yourself!” he said almost whispering.

Mick peered through the hole like an amateur gynaecologist and his jaw dropped. He could see row after row of Norman soldiers clad in full battle regalia like they originally wore in the 1066 Normandy invasion.

“ We have found the limestone equivalent of the Terracotta Army!” said Mick leaping on Tony in his joy forgetting momentarily that Tony had pissed himself earlier.

“ This is a living Bayeaux Tapestry....its priceless!” said Mick punching the air.


“ I have dreamt of finding something of this magnitude and historical importance all my life -even when I was a homeless student archaeologist....looking for ‘digs’!” said the one time stand in for Worzel Gummidge.

The overpowering smell of urine reached his nostrils, as he too realised he now smelt like he had trench foot.

Tony & Mick began hacking at the remaining wall to allow full bodily access all the while watching out for ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ style booby traps for intended grave robbers.

Mick half expected a giant ball to come rolling out of the darkness or for a crossbow to hit him King Harold style in the eye.

There was however, a warning written in French on a plaque above the head of the first soldier which the pair took to be William of Normandy.

They guessed this was the case as the towering figure was well over six feet tall and had a massive Eric Cantona- style nose .

“I assume that is William the CONKeror!” laughed Tony slipping back into character.

“ Can you read that sign in French?”

“ Of CORSE I CANNES!” quipped back Aston purtting on a phoney French accent and talking quickly.

“ It is a warning that if the seal of this burial chamber is broken the nearby Hamlet will suffer 200 years of decline, depression , famine and flood!” replied Mick.

“ Bit late for Merthyr either that or someone beat us to it!” laughed Tony his voice echoing around a chamber not opened for over half a Millenia.

Tony checked to be sure there were no trip wires in front of him before approaching the Norman Warlord.

“Look at that armour...imagine the weight of carrying that into battle every day!” he said looking up and realising he only came up to the nipple line of the historical figure.

“ I wouldn’t have lasted long against someone his size!”

Mick too was in an orgiastic state seeing such historical splendour laid out in row after row stretching back into the darkness almost as if the army was ready to march on the command from their leader.

“ We are Sooo privileged to be the ones to find this lot!” he said.

The eerie silence was broken as a whooshing sound was heard as a projectile hit the wall near the newly created entrance in the limestone rock. The normally bluey-white rock was suddenly covered in an explosion of orange.

“ Don’t move or Baldprick gets it!” shouted a Welsh voice from the Darkness.

Mick Aston suddenly realised the projectile hadn’t come from the crossbow of a Medieval army but a more modern source of a paintball gun.

“ These figures and any gold and silver in their pouches belong to us!” said another voice.
“ Who are you?” asked Tony.

“ We are the guardians of this chamber and these soldiers are our ancestors- we are the Normans from Bramble Close in the Gurnos and you are standing in our family grave.!” said the first voice obviously the leader.

“ We are from Time Team from the television...perhaps you have seen us on the Discovery Channel?” replied Tony.

“ No!” was the straight reply.

“ We found them in the same way we ‘found’ those frozen cod steaks when someone broke into the Merthyr Tydfil Iceland store....we call it ‘Findus Keepers’ or you might recognise it as ‘Treasure Trove’ a rule established prior to the coming of us Normans in 1066 under Edward the Confessor.” said the musclebound Gurnos Warrior.

“ You on the other hand are trespassers!” boomed the voice filled with the sound of aggression.

“ Do you know what we do in Merthyr to grave robbers?” asked the leader, all 6 ft 8 inches of him enjoying terrorising the minor celebrity.

“ No?” gulped Tony.

“ We eat them!” said the Big Boss.....” Bones and all!”

Baldrick’s incontinence flared up again and he promptly shit himself.

A small trickle of a brown rivulet rolled down from his Don Estelle-style shorts into his socks...turning khaki into kak.

“ I wouldn’t eat him now if I were you !” argued Mick.

Mick had heard of some tribes in Papua New Guinea being headshrinkers and cannibals, but didn’t think it still went on at home in England & Wales.

“ Do you know what we call you English in these parts?” asked the Leader licking his lips.

“ Long Pig!” said the Norman.

“ Do you know why?”

“ We taste....like.... bacon?” stuttered Tony.

“ Correct....like HG Wells Time Machine we are the Morlocks and you the Eloi...!” said the voice.

“ Is that camera on...filming live to the Nation?” asked the Morlock Leader sharpening a barbecue spit knife.

“ Yes...!” lied the spluttering Tony...hoping it might be his Saviour. 

He knew Merthyr from reports in the Sun newspaper was renowned for having the laziest, un-fittest, workshy bunch of scumbags this side of the Great North/South Divide and had a lower life expectancy than Sierra Leone but cannibalism?

He bumped into the first soldier in the ranks and it fell backwards in a domino effect knocking down row after row of priceless historical limestone figures shattering and cracking them as they toppled one by one.

Tony’s heart was pounding and his blood pressure through the roof- if the Normans would eat him for entering their sanctuary what would they do to him in light of this sacrilege? He suddenly noticed another man stepping out of the shadows who had a familiar rubber face.

“ Rowan....is that you?” asked Tony clutching his chest.

The man responsible for Johnny English , Mr Bean and Blackadder bent over with laugh. He was joined by the fake Normans.

“ No... this isn’t Team Team or Not the 9 O’Clock News ...we are filming but a new edition of Candid

Camera as the BBC has run out of ideas....!” laughed Rowan .

“ Smile for the camera...it’s called Rowan’s laugh in!”

“ You bastard Atkinson....I nearly went the way of Mel Smith then...!” said Tony picking up his slurry filled pants that were hanging low like an MC Hammer video.

Looking at the grey limestone colour on Tony’s face , Rowan realised how close he had been to sending another member of the cast of Blackadder to that great Comedy Forum in the sky.

“ I think we both nearly made a grave mistake.!” said Atkinson.

Posted in: Humor | 0 comments
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