Saturday, 2 March 2019

English Colonialism and the people of Wales.

March 1st is St. David's Day  -  Dewi Sant

Dewi Sant is the patron saint of Wales. If you ever visit Wales and do nothing more than this, visit St. David's Cathedral.

Down in a Valley, not up on a Hill.

There has never been a Welsh nation, i.e. a place with well defined borders, or a place with national institutions such as a parliament or monarchy.

Rather, there have been Welsh people (of Celtic origin): a people with a rich language and cultural history; a people whose land was militarily absorbed into England. (The great Welsh Castles were not there to protect the Welsh, but to subdue them!).

Essential to colonialism is the suppression of local languages. For the English colonial endeavours in Welsh lands to succeed it was necessary for the Welsh language to be downgraded, despised, degraded, disrespected and all but annihilated. School children were whipped for speaking their native tongue in the "English language only" schools.

In doing so the English were saying "your oral history, your music, your literature, and your poetry are of nothing worth".

And if history, music, literature and poetry are dismissed as worthless so will be the people. Welsh people who moved into England were seen as an alien and untrustworthy "other". "*Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief". (* Taffy a derogatory term for Welsh people, probably liked to the River Taff in south Wales")

Of course there was also economic colonialism with the exploitation of natural resources: black gold in the south, flintstone in the north etc.

Try as they might the English overlords never succeeded in killing the Welsh language. It was kept alive in small Welsh villages, and in the Chapels. (There was a Welsh speaking congregation who had a chpale in my home city of Bristol, England.

There is a modern and modest renaissance of the Welsh language. Wales, now with a semi autonomous elected Assembly, is officially a bi-lingual land.

English travelers observing bi-lingual traffic signs and the like are bothered by this. "But, they say, "a majority of Welsh people do not speak the language" - as if being a minority didn't matter.

Now, dear American readers it ought not be too difficult for you to identify cultural colonialism in these United States.

A fine academic study of Wales as a people, not a nation.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Dangerous hordes of feral Amish folks in Sarasota. BEWARE!

In about December of every year a dangerous horde of feral Amish folks descend on Sarasota. They plague our otherwise safe streets until March of the next year.

The Amish/Mennonite district of Pinecraft is a place to be avoided in the daylight hours. Not only Pinecraft.  The feral Amish have been spotted as far away as the Beneva/Fruitville junction much too close to my home.

Souped up tricycles cross Fruitville

Note those who lurk behind a power line pole on the north east  side of the intersection.  SNEAKY

Amish women keep watch over Big Olaf's Ice Cream parlour.

The secret place under the guise of being a popcorn vendor, where tricycles and bicycles are souped up,  

Amish bikes and trikes at an un-manned check-point on Bahia Vista Street.
 HELP!  Our way of life is being damaged by the peace-filled and prayerful Amish.

Three Yachts. One Dinghy. Two Bicycles.

Zion and I have been taking our second early morning walk at Sarasota's Bayfront Park/Marina for a couple of months.

Each morning we see

1)  Three luxury yachts.  They never sail. What goes?  Maybe they are owned by some uber-rich folks who use them for ten or so days each year.

2.  This woe-be-gone dinghy. One day it may fill with rain water and sink.

3)  Bicycles the hippies left behind.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

This has been on my mind all day long.

The Defenestration of Prague.

What has been dominating your thoughts today?

Am I weird?

Monday, 25 February 2019

To Sarasota With Love

To Sarasota With Love

Anu Tali, Music Director of the Sarasota Orchestra will be returning to her native Estonia after her six great years with us.

I was happy to be at her penultimate Sarasota Concert yesterday afternoon  (24th Feb). My neighbour Barbara B joined me.

The Concert featured eight shorter pieces, some chosen to show-case and honour the virtuosity of various principal players; some because they challenge the audience; and some because they are all time crowd pleasers!  Ms. Tali is smart!

The Sibelius "Rakastava", and the Richard Strauss "Duet Concertino"  (featuring the Sarasota Orchestra Clarinet, and Bassoon principals) were challenging.

The crowd pleasers included Glinka's "Russlan and Ludmilla"  Overture;  Grieg's Peer Gynt "Suite # 1" ....

... and best of all  the utterly gorgeous Intermezzo from Mascagni's "Cavellenia Rusticano"

This is music to speak to the soul and bring tears to the eyes.


And who is that good looking Horn Player at the top of this blog?  He hails from San Antonio, TX.  He is the co-Principal horn player at the Sarasota Orchestra. His name happens to be Joshua Horne!

He was the featured player at Sunday's Concert for the brief and lovely "Reverie" by the Russian composer Glasunov.

I was "tickled pink" to see Josh centre stage at the concert, for I know him a bit.

We've encountered each other and had a few serious conversations at Arlington Park as Josh has walked his dog "Luke Sky Barker" and I've walked Zion.