Dydd Dewi Sant Hapus.

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To be Welsh on Sunday


(This poem should be read out loud,
fast, and in a single breath!)

To be Welsh on Sunday in a dry area of Wales is to wish,
for the only time in your life, that you were English and civilized,
and that you had a car or a bike and could drive
or pedal to your heart’s desire, the county next door,
wet on Sundays, where the pubs never shut
and the bar is a paradise of elbows in your ribs
and the dark liquids flow, not warm, not cold, just right,
and family and friends are there beside you
shoulder to shoulder, with the old ones sitting
indoors by the fire in winter or outdoors in summer,
at a picnic table under the trees
or beneath an umbrella that says Seven Up and Pepsi
(though nobody drinks them) and the umbrella is a sunshade
on an evening like this when the sun is still high
and the children tumble on the grass playing
soccer and cricket and it’s “Watch your beer, Da!”
as the gymnasts vault over the family dog till it hides
beneath the table and snores and twitches until “Time,
Gentlemen, please!” and the nightmare is upon us
as the old school bell, ship’s bell, rings out its brass warning
and people leave the Travellers’ Rest, the Ffynnon Wen,
The Ty Coch, The Antelope, The Butcher’s, The Rhiwbina Deri,
The White Rose, The Con Club, the Plough and Harrow,
The Flora, The Woodville, The Pant Mawr, The Cow and Snuffers …

… God Bless them all, I knew them in my prime.

Comment: When I was living in Wales, back in the fifties and the early sixties, the country divided itself into counties that could drink alcohol on Sundays (wet Wales) and those that couldn’t (dry Wales). There were twelve counties in those days and people commuted from the dry to the wet, on Sundays, if they wanted to drink. Some took the wet / dry divide very seriously. Others didn’t. Where do I stand? I refuse, even now, to say. But check out, very carefully, the attached photo. Not every rugby coach has his name engraved on a beer spigot in a rugby club in Santander, Spain. Happy St. David’s Day, everyone. Dydd Dewi Sant Hapus.

25 thoughts on “Dydd Dewi Sant Hapus.

    • Happy St. David’s Day, Polly, and thanks for the tweet and the Facebook. Happy birthday to your boy, too. The Antelope and he Plough and Harrow: I hope they are still there! Mist and drizzle here this morning and the so almost gone on the porch and the south side of the house.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Roger. If you mean The Plough in Murton/Bishopston, then yes, still going, though much more ‘gastro pub’ than when I first moved here and discovered the Plough, Pwll du, Brandy Cove etc. That was a beautiful summer 17 years ago.
        My good friend and I also spent much time in the Antelope, which was great, but it closed years ago. A real loss. But Mumbles is becoming livelier again and there is work being done on the Antelope, so I’m looking forward to its resurrection.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s the one. At the edge of Bishopston Common, where the (brown and yellow Swan buses) buses used to vanish down the lane towards Caswell and Pyle Corner. Those buses, alas, are also long gone, like the Mumbles Railway. I have my memories though, and they still run in my memory.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t been back to Wales since the death of my parents (1987-89). I still have relatives in Wales, but distant. Lots of cousins in England, but I haven’t been back to England since 1994. A lot of my generation emigrated, as I did. We are scattered all over the place.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Roger Dewi Sant hapus…i recognise some of the pub names last time we were in Bishopston the Plough and Harrow was still going. That was in 2011 when we were last there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • “Ely Ales: Best in Wales!” I used to look at that sign every time I came out to visit you. And you had that wonderful Bronze Age tomb just across the road. Almost a hill fort. I haven’t been back since 1988 I think it was. I couldn’t face living in a hotel in Cardiff or Swansea.

        Like

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