Welsh Icons - About Wales and all things Welsh - www.welshicons.org.uk

Saturday, 1 August 2009

BROWN IS MY SHEPHERD

I have just received this from an anonymous source (thanks Dad), I thought it might amuse:

BROWN IS MY SHEPHERD, I SHALL NOT WORK.

HE LEADETH ME BESIDE STILL FACTORIES.

HE RESTORETH MY FAITH IN THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY.

HE GUIDETH ME TO THE PATH OF UNEMPLOYMENT.

YEA, THOUGH I WAIT FOR MY DOLE,

I OWN THE BANK THAT REFUSES ME.

BROWN HAS ANOINTED MY INCOME WITH TAXES,

MY EXPENSES RUNNETH OVER MY INCOME,

SURELY, POVERTY AND HARD LIVING WILL FOLLOW ME ALL THE DAYS OF HIS TERM.

FROM HENCE FORTH, WE WILL LIVE ALL THE DAYS

OF OUR LIVES IN A RENTED HOME WITH AN OVERSEAS LANDLORD.

I AM GLAD I AM BRITISH, I AM GLAD THAT I AM FREE.

BUT I WISH I WERE A DOG AND BROWN WERE A TREE.
read more... “BROWN IS MY SHEPHERD”


Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Quote of the Day

“The Prime Minister has an absolute genius for putting flamboyant labels on empty luggage.”

Aneurin Bevan

read more... “Quote of the Day”


Thursday, 16 July 2009

Welsh Bloggers in the Pub

An interesting evening

read more... “Welsh Bloggers in the Pub”


Monday, 13 July 2009

Where sheep may safely graze

Sicknote were playing the White Hart at Caldicot yesterday and I though I might pop along and show my support. It was such a nice day after saying hello to the boys we did a grand tour of Monmouthshire taking photographs for the Welsh Icons site taking in Caldicot, Shirenewton, Chepstow, Penhow, Sedbury, Rogiet among other places.

read more... “Where sheep may safely graze”


Saturday, 11 July 2009

Cardiff Bay International Food and Drink Festival


Arfur Daley, originally uploaded by Welsh Icons (Dom).

I was at a bit of a lose end so I went down to the Cardiff Bay International Food and Drink Festival this afternoon. Bumped into Arfur D.

Loads to taste, see and do.

read more... “Cardiff Bay International Food and Drink Festival”


Sunday, 28 June 2009

OPEN LETTER - To the BBC at Glasto

I'm proud to introduce the first of our series of open letters.

This is by Norman Tupwitt and is addressed to the BBC production staff at Glastonbury.

  • Sound guys - remember that with today's modern digital effects (24 bit over-sampling etc) you can still make the whole event sound like it is recorded in a public lavatory.
  • Vision Mixers - always cut to the pretty girl with the pert breasts, sitting on her boy friend's shoulders mouthing the words to a song she has never heard before when you are at a loss for the next shot
  • Camera Men - Especially the one who no one likes with the long zoom, the shot of zooming out from Glastonbury Tor back to the field is a classic
  • Presenters - Make sure you have the gamma (colour balance) right. It should be one photogenic whitey and one photogenic darky. It does not matter where you are from but always remember to use a fake regional accent
  • Editors - You have at least 30 minutes to edit so why don't you?
  • Other Crew - Remember to get your expenses in before the end of the month
read more... “OPEN LETTER - To the BBC at Glasto”


Friday, 26 June 2009

When we were (slightly) younger



I cannot understand the hype about the death of a certain 'pop star' in the last 24 hours. Here in Wales, Question Time (for those outside the UK it is a political panel discussion programme) is about 30 minutes later than the England version. It was interrupted last night to report on the death of a 'pop star'.

I assumed that the Newsflash was reporting at least a terrorist attack or the death of a major Royal.
This morning I woke up to reports that certain Internet services had been overloaded and even at only 140 characters per post the mighty Twitter had experienced an outage. After all the publicity about Twitter and democracy in Iran, I find this hard to believe.

The last time I saw a musician's death slow down Internet traffic was the news of the demise of Jerry Garcia (August 9th, 1995). The web was in its infancy and most of us 'nerds' using Usenet were hardcore Dead Heads. How times have changed in just 15 years.
read more... “When we were (slightly) younger”


Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Unclean, unclean, ding ding, unclean




I feel like a leper. What is wrong with the world? The other night I asked the landlady of my local hostelry to phone a cab for me (a luxury I can rarely afford). On its arrival I was asked by the driver if I was a Muslim - He'd picked me up from a boozer for Christ's sake! He then proceeded to try and convert me to his way of thinking.

Last night I went out to meet an old friend. As the evening wore on I told him that I had a warm dog awaiting me on my return. He seemed shocked. "You let him sleep in your bed?" was his response.

What is wrong with the world when man can't enjoy a pint and share his bed (not in the biblical sense) with his hound?

Now off to share that bacon butty with my best friend.
read more... “Unclean, unclean, ding ding, unclean”


Quote of the Day

I have for the past few weeks been obliged to sign on at the Job Centre every week rather than every fortnight. Today I plucked up the courage to ask why.

I was told:

"Well, if we had more time we would help you to look for a job"
read more... “Quote of the Day”


Monday, 22 June 2009

Quote of the Day

My good friend Cynical Dragon has inspired me to post the occasional Quote of the day.

Now, I do not normally like Cheese Munching Surrender Monkeys, but for once this one seems to be talking sense - Sarkozy that is not the Cynical Dragon who always speaks sense ;)

Sarkozy speaks out against burka

"We cannot accept to have in our country women who are prisoners behind netting, cut off from all social life, deprived of identity," Mr Sarkozy told a special session of parliament in Versailles.

"That is not the idea that the French republic has of women's dignity.
"

"The burka is not a sign of religion, it is a sign of subservience. It will not be welcome on the territory of the French republic"
read more... “Quote of the Day”


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Digital Britain





One of the proposals announced this afternoon in the 'Digital Britain' paper would appear to be a £6 a year tax on landlines. That's right - 50 new pennies a month for those in possession of a Plain Old Telephone System (POTS). Way to go!

There used to be a time when most people in this country accessed the GPO telephone system via a series of kiosks placed at the end of their streets (AKA Phone Boxes).

Later, if you had the money the GPO/BT would install a connection in you house, usually placing the hardwired connection in your hallway. Sometimes you even had to share the line with you neighbours (anyone remember party lines?). If you had your own line or shared line you had it made. Your family and friends could call you at their leisure and providing it wasn't to cold/hot in your hallway and that your neighbour did not interrupt, you could chat away through the night.

These days every 5 year old and their dog seems to have a mobile phone. Why tax the the old and the vulnerable who rely on their landlines for the occasional call and the comfort of knowing they can phone for help in an emergency?

Has anybody bothered to think this one through?


read more... “Digital Britain”


Procrastination and the Strange Case of the White Powder

After weeks of finding 'important' things to do I have finally got around to giving my office a spring clean.

After about an hour of sifting which would have made the Time Team proud I began to see the surface of my desk. This desk has been with me for years and is large enough for three old fashioned 21" CRT monitors and has a large solid piece of plate glass placed on a 1.5" solid wooden surface to facilitate easy cleaning - when I can actually see the surface.

Having eventually uncovered the glass surface I noticed curious white powder sprinkled liberally around my working area. Ten years ago it would have been obvious to me what this was. I did use to work in the City (of London). These days things are very different.

Like a rookie police officer I licked the end of a finger, dabbed a small quantity of the power and touched the tip of my tongue. The powder had a sweet taste with 'tangy' unidentifiable overtones. This was the challenge I had been looking for.

Motivated now I continued my excavation and came across a half eaten packet of Rowntree's Jelly Tots - Mystery solved.


read more... “Procrastination and the Strange Case of the White Powder”


Sunday, 14 June 2009

In loco parentis


Scary Old Doghouse




Yesterday I received this email:


"Hiya My Names Sxxxxxxx I'm 18 & a student studying photography in Cardiff & I've decided to try & look around to see if any photography based company's are interested in taking on myself for some kind of work experience, obviously not paid I'm just looking for some kind of insight into what people like yourselves do & how you got there.
If you could kindly get back to me either way.
Thank you,
Sxxxxxxx."

I thought about it for a while and responded:

"If you really want to see what it is like at the sharp end, you are welcome to follow me on a shoot. I take it you are busy today - but, if you are interested I'm covering the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival at the CIA this afternoon/evening then shooting a band called Sicknote later this evening.

You are welcome to join me if you like."

She then replied that she would be available and would be able to join me. It was then I began to worry. Re-reading her email I realised she was only 18. I wasn't sure about 18 year old girls at beer festivals and punk gigs. I ascertained that her mother would be driving her into the city centre, suggested that we meet in the Vulcan and that her mother would come and meet me and have a chat with Liz (the Landlady of the Vulcan) who would give me some sort of character reference.

Now, you might think I'm being a little paranoid here but from experience I can tell you that there are a lot of seedy people out there who use the excuse of photography to 'impress' the young - I'm not one of them, as some of you will know I'm just a cynical old fashioned 'tog.

I then popped into the Cardiff International Arena (CIA) to get her a guest pass and we met at the designated time. Her mother, though wary seemed to approve of the evening's plan of action and it was arranged that she would be collected at 10:30pm.

She certainly knew her way round her camera and was not at all fazed by the bizarre lighting conditions inside the CIA. The Jug Band were on form as always providing many opportunities for photographs.

We then moved on to the Sicknote gig. Sicknote have quite a reputation and have been banned from playing in most of the venues in South Wales. The gig in fact was for the silver wedding anniversary of two of Sicknote's biggest fans.

I introduced Sxxxxxxx to Doghouse and Flapsandwich (of Sicknote) and was mildly surprised by their paternal attitude to Sxxxxxxx. We then telephoned her father and arranged for her to be collected at 11:00 from outside the venue.

The evening went well until 10:50 when I lost sight of Sxxxxxxx. This was when the real panic set in. Where was she? What would I say to her parents? Why did I ever agree to this?

After a few minutes of frantic searching I spotted her on stage with the band. Her response "Well you told me to get closer to fill the frame".

Relief. We departed at the designated time and her father even gave me a lift home. The photographs are good and the whole evening got me thinking.

At 18 Sxxxxxxx is an adult. What was I doing at 18? Thinking back I was playing in a band, drinking beer and running round with a camera. Plus ca change.

The thing that worries me most is that there are currently more students studying photography in Britain than there are working photographers in all of Europe. Somehow I feel that Sxxxxxxx will make it.
read more... “In loco parentis”


Saturday, 13 June 2009

Three wise Otley Monkeys


Think of real ale and beer festivals, what comes to mind? Beards, socks and sandals, beer guts, lack of personal hygiene?

Well, the boys from the Otley brewery have certainly done much to dispel these myths. Their infectious enthusiasm has made the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival memorable for me this year.

Their love of their products (congratulations on winning Second place for the OG and third place for their Porter in the Champion Beer of Wales Competition) is clear to all.

Yesterday it was hats, today face painting and tomorrow they are turning up in their pyjamas.

It hurts me to say this at a mere 44 years old, but it is great to see young people so passionate about real ales. Cheers boys!
read more... “Three wise Otley Monkeys”


Thursday, 11 June 2009

Welsh Bloggers


Welsh Bloggers, originally uploaded by Welsh Icons (Dom).

No point in blogging this because the only people who read my blog are getting p*ssed together

read more... “Welsh Bloggers”


Duck eggs and a pint


Duck eggs and a pint, originally uploaded by Welsh Icons (Dom).

I've been attending a poorly computre network in the Torfaen area recently. After a good few hours of staring at Wireshark captures and tring to decode MAC addresses I was in need of a break.

Driving around the endless roundabouts of Cwmbran we chanced upon the Queen Inn in Upper Cwmbran.

What a great pub. Real ales, good food, running stream, ducks etc and run by Gareth and Jane Edwards - great people. They even sell their duck eggs for £1:20 per 1/2 doz.

Looking forward to going back and trying their Sunday lunch.

read more... “Duck eggs and a pint”


Monday, 8 June 2009

X3

I received a message today from an old friend, let's call him Mike, for that's his name, asking me if I could have a look at a computer network he had setup some years ago. Mike now lives in Spain and the network is in Cwmbran, South Wales.

Mike phoned me after I responded to his message and gave me the low-down on the equipment he had installed and the software the company was running.

I readily agreed to have a look, and a very nice lady at the company contacted me this afternoon to provide more details. After the initial pleasantries, she asked if Mike had explained about the X3.

I though for a minute, recalling X25, X500 etc and trying to think if there was something new that may be this mysterious X3. Remember, there have been a lot of new buzz-words flying about recently - Bing, Natal, Palm Pre etc.

Nothing came to mind and I had to reply that the X3 was something I was not familiar with. She burst out laughing and told me that the X3 is the number of the bus that travels between Cardiff and Cwmbran.
read more... “X3”


Repatriation

You would think I was against repatriation, but let me say that in certain circumstances I'm all for it. For instance would it not be kinder for all concerned if English Nature were to return Nick Griffin back to the rock he crawled out from under in Barnet?

How's this for a track record:

  • In 1980 he became a member of the National Front governing body, the National Directorate.
  • Writing in Nationalism Today in 1985, Griffin praised the black separatist Louis Farrakhan, saying, "white nationalists everywhere wish [Farrakhan] well, for we share a common struggle for the same ends: racial separation and racial freedom".
  • In 1997, he was editor of The Rune, an anti-semitic weekly, in which he praised the wartime Waffen SS and attacked the Royal Air Force for its bombing of Nazi Germany.
  • In 1998, Griffin, he was convicted of violating section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986, relating to incitement to racial hatred for publishing material that denied the Holocaust.
I'm sure that many of the people who voted for the BNP last Thursday are not intrinsically racist, just as I'm very sure that a minority of them are. The problem is that so called minority parties such as the BNP have polarised issues such as immigration to such an extent we can no longer engage in debates about such things with out being smeared by their filth.

If I were to say "Economic Migration is not about race", would it make me a racists?

Stands back, fuse now lit.
read more... “Repatriation”


Friday, 5 June 2009

How Poor Am I?

Sitting here without the where-with-all to even buy a loaf of bread (I get my Jobseekers allowance on Monday), I decided to try and work out how poor I really am.

I the great scheme of things, I'm not doing too badly. I have a roof over my head, running water and electricity and, even an Internet connection - though the 8 year old computer on which I'm writing this is on its last legs. Most of the sources I looked at were concerned with child poverty in the UK and the Government's attempt to eradicate it, which is to be applauded, but I am a single man and I have needs as well.

Poverty
The standard definition of poverty in the UK is "a household income that is 60% or less of the average (median) British household income in that year".

The last figures I can find for median household incomes are for 2006-07. The 60% threshold was: £112 per week for single adult with no dependent children; £193 per week for a couple with no dependent children; £189 per week for a single adult with two dependent children under 14; and £270 per week for a couple with two dependent children under 14.

These figures are calculated after income tax, council tax and housing costs have been deducted, where housing costs can include rents, mortgage interest (but not the repayment of principal), buildings insurance and water charges. They therefore represent what the household has available to spend on everything else it needs, from food and heating to travel and entertainment.

Well at just over £60 benefit a week and as a single person it would appear that even using the 2006-2007 figures I am very poor indeed

Fuel Poverty
Another definition often bandied about is that of fuel poverty. A household is said to be in fuel poverty if it needs to spend more than 10% of its income on fuel to maintain a satisfactory heating regime (usually 21 degrees for the main living area, and 18 degrees for other occupied rooms).

The “Fuel poverty ratio” is therefore defined as:

Fuel poverty ratio = fuel costs (usage x price) / income

This would appear quite straight forward - if I spend more than £6 a week on keeping warm, then I'm in 'fuel poverty'. According to my thermometer, I'm sitting typing this blog at a comfortable 27 degrees and apart from the computer on which I'm working and the wireless relaying Radio 4 in the background I have no other electrical appliances switched on apart from the clock on the boiler downstairs. It's June though and things are very different in the winter. Anyone who has to use token meters for gas and/or electricity will tell you that £6 a week on fuel will go nowhere in the winter months.

Conclusions
So there we have it. I live well below the poverty line and experience fuel poverty when the weather gets cold. As the Russian Meerkat says in the advert "Simples".

If anyone wants to hire me as a web developer, photographer or just a writer for the minimum wage, just drop me a line.
read more... “How Poor Am I?”


Thursday, 4 June 2009

Save the Vulcan

I was delighted to be asked to write a guest piece for the Save the Vulcan Blog. You can view the results here.
read more... “Save the Vulcan”


Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Signing on

I was meant to go to the Fees Office, sorry I meant Sign on today at 11:40am. Feeling unwell I telephoned the Job Centre I was due to attend via a tortuous series of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) 0845 numbers over an hour before my appointment. These numbers are NOT free and if called from a non-BT line can end up costing a great deal of money.

I explained I was feeling 'under the weather' and asked it was possible to sign later in the day. If not I was certainly prepared to keep the appointment and had left enough time to get to their office.

I was told that this was 'not a problem' and to attend at 4:00pm.

Still not feeling 100% I left the house at 3:00pm leaving a hour for the walk into the city centre. I arrived at 3:45 and waited to be called to Desk G.

At around 4:00pm a sign was sellotaped to Desk G by someone I can only describe as a 12 year old who looked like he had just wandered of a beach. I enquired as to whether there was a queueing system or if it was first-come-first-served.

He took my signing card and fortunately I was the first person seen.

He then produced a letter warning me that if this happened again an adjudicator would have to decide if I was still eligible for benefit. I explained that I had telephoned earlier to ask if my appointment could be delayed (as I stated above I was prepared to attend at the original time - but I may well have soiled their telly-tubby styled furniture).

He then told me 'the system' had no trace of my earlier phone calls.

Counting (quietly) to ten, I replied that my telephone provider issued me with itemised bills. His supervisor/elder sister/mother then intervened and my claim for the next week was processed as normal.

Having been involved with many blue chip companies over the years I despair at how, even when you try and do the right think you still get treated like cattle. Who is the mysterious adjudicator they keep threatening people with? Are they related to the Banker in 'Deal or No Deal' (a programme I saw once by accident)?

With more and more people losing their jobs isn't about time JobCentre Plus began to act more professionally?
read more... “Signing on”


Welsh Bloggers

I have written a piece for the Cynical Dragon's excellent "Welsh Bloggers" site.

It can be read here.

Dom
read more... “Welsh Bloggers”


Monday, 1 June 2009

Sleeping with Rob

An American joke I am putting here for the benefit of a friend:

Sleeping with Rob

The guys were all at a deer camp. No one wanted to room with Rob, because
he snored so badly. They decided it wasn't fair to make one of them stay
with him the whole time, so they voted to take turns.

The first guy slept with Rob and comes to breakfast the next morning with
his hair a mess and his eyes all bloodshot. They said, "Man, what happened
to you? He said, "Rob snored so loudly, I just sat up and watched him all
night."

The next night it was a different guy's turn. In the morning, same thing,
hair all standing up, eyes all bloodshot. They said, "Man, what happened to
you? You look awful! He said, 'Man, that Rob shakes the roof with his
snoring. I watched him all night."

The third night was Fred's turn. Fred was a tanned, older cowboy, a man's
man. The next morning he came to breakfast bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
"Good morning!" he said. They couldn't believe it. They said, "Man, what
happened?"

He said, "Well, we got ready for bed. I went and tucked Rob into bed,
patted him on the butt, and kissed him good night. Rob sat up and watched
me all night."
read more... “Sleeping with Rob”


Benefit Thieves be warned...



Still trying to be politically agnostic....




.... but they make it so easy for us to hate them all
read more... “Benefit Thieves be warned...”


Has anyone seen them both in the same room at the same time?

video
read more... “Has anyone seen them both in the same room at the same time?”


Thursday, 28 May 2009

Super Fury Animals


Super Fury Animals, originally uploaded by Welsh Icons (Dom).

I went to see the SFAs at Sub29, Millenium Plaza last night. The promoters are Steve and Jason - a nicer pair of blokes you could not wish to meet.

Jason, AKA Johan Flapsandiwich is the infamous programmer behind the electro-punk combo Sicknote. Somehow, for all his rock-and-roll rhetoric his mask easily drops and he always reminds me of Paddington Bear on a good day.

Cheers Flaps and hope you like the photographs.

Looking forward to the Monte Dons at Fagins tomorrow http://www.faginsalehouse.co.uk

read more... “Super Fury Animals”


Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Tragedy

As Editor of the Welsh Icons site I strive to be politically agnostic, but I just had to share this one:

Gordon Brown was visiting a primary school. In one class they were in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asked Mr. Brown if he would like to lead the discussion on the word 'tragedy'.

So the illustrious leader asked the class for an example of a tragedy. A little boy stood up and offered: 'If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a tractor runs over him and kills him, that would be a tragedy'.

No, said Gordon - that would be an accident'.

A little girl raised her hand: 'If a school bus carrying fifty children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy'.

‘I'm afraid not,’ explained Gordon, ‘that's what we would call great loss’.

The room went silent. No other children volunteered. Gordon searched the room. 'Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?'.

Finally, at the back of the room, little Johnny raised his hand. In a quiet voice he said 'If a plane carrying you and Mr Darling was struck by a 'friendly fire' missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy'.

'Fantastic!' exclaimed Gordon. 'That's right. And can you tell me why that would be tragedy?'.

'Well,' says little Johnny 'it has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn't be a great loss and it probably wouldn't be an accident either'.
read more... “Tragedy”


Monday, 18 May 2009

The Mitre Pub in Canton Cardiff

Yesterday I went to many places taking photographs for the Welsh Icons website including most of the Gower, Swansea, Pendoylan, Peterstone-Super-Ely and returining to Cardiff we, no not the Royal we - I used the opportunity of a friend's Aunties 90th birthday in Swansea to cadge a lift around SE Wales) decided to have a pint on our way back in Canton.

We were going to have a beer in the Duke of Clarence and I thought I'd grab a quick exterior shot for the site when I was attacked by a local. I tried to explain what I was taking the shot for but he just grunted, kicked me to the ground and then grabbed my camera (D50 with SB800 for anyone interested).

Fortunately my mates were still in the van and managed to retrive my camera with just a broken filer holder (Cokin P series)

Bruised and shocked we went to the Mitre in the backstreets of Canton and had a great time. It took me a few pints to stop shaking. Thanks to Jeff, the Landlord and my new mate. When they found out I was a 'tog most of the pub wanted group shots taken - goes to show that even within a small area there are good and bad places to go

Just wanted to get this off my chest

read more... “The Mitre Pub in Canton Cardiff”


Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Jeremy Vine Drinking Brains Dark

read more... “Jeremy Vine Drinking Brains Dark”


Cardiff CAMRA pub of the year

The Vulcan wins the CAMRA Pub of the Year 2009. Such a pity that it is going to close soon.

Apart from great beer I don't know where I'm going to get my cheese or ham cobs from now and where am I going to meet people like Sid, Will, Billy et al?

read more... “Cardiff CAMRA pub of the year”


Monday, 11 May 2009

Jeremy relaxes with a pint of Brains Dark

Jeremy Vine came to the Vulcan this evening - what a nice chap!

I was waiting quietly to ask if I could take some photographs after he had finished his interviews when his producer asked if I could take some photographs of the interviews.

I wasn't quite sure who he was at first as I'd somehow got it into my head that he was Jeremy Kyle. I suppose that's what happens when you don't watch television and only listen to R4

read more... “Jeremy relaxes with a pint of Brains Dark”


Friday, 1 May 2009

The Bush


The Bush, originally uploaded by Welsh Icons (Dom).

I was taken to the Bush in St Hilary last night as a pre-birthday treat. I hadn't been there for years and was glad to see nothing had changed.

A great selection of real ales including Hancocks and Wheat's Occurring.

I ate roasted belly pork with fondant sweet potatoes and a port jus (£13.95) - one of the best meals I've ever had in Wales.

After diner we played dominoes at our table and chatted with the landlady - what more could you wish for?

A wide and eclectic menu is tempting me back again soon.

read more... “The Bush”


Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Obituary

An Obituary printed in the London Times........ Interesting and sadly rather true.


'Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

Common Sense declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents Truth and Trust, his wife Discretion, his daughter Responsibility and his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;

  • I Know My Rights
  • I Want It Now
  • Someone Else Is To Blame
  • I'm A Victim


Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

read more... “Obituary”


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The Monte Dons


The Monte Dons, originally uploaded by Welsh Icons (Dom).

The Monte Dons were formed in the summer of 2008 and feature

Paul Gray (Bass) -Ex Damned, Eddie and the Hot Rods, UFO and more.
Dr Chris Allender - Guitars - Ex Sheds
Phil Blight -Lead Vocals and Guitars and occaisional Ukulele - Ex Sheds
Geoff Llewellyn - Dobro, Tin Whistle, Mandolin and Vocals
Big Al Davies - Vocals, Mandolin, Ukulele, Banjo, Melodica - Ex Sheds, Doc Savage, Caerphillybillies.

Expect the unexpected from the Monte Dons, from Country romps to Zeppelin covers, Cajun delights to Hawkwind classics, from Ronnie Lane to Ronnie Barker and all in their own inimitable style. The band have quickly gathered a following since their formation in 2008 and are working on their debut album of original material, they are headlining the Big Cheese in Caerphilly in July and will be playing at a pub near you soon! A set full of delights with impressive onstage drinking to boot. Catch them when you can!

read more... “The Monte Dons”


Monday, 20 April 2009

s59 Mosaic


s59 Mosaic, originally uploaded by Welsh Icons (Dom).

Playing around with Andrea Mosaic software. Zoom in and out to see what it does

read more... “s59 Mosaic”


Thursday, 16 April 2009





If you can't see the baby in the picture, don't give up.
It's really cool when it actually appears.
This is not a joke and ~ NO ~ Nothing is going to jump out at you!
You have to have an open mind.
Don't look for a Baby, and you will see the Baby!
Once you see it you won't see anything else!!!
This is so cool. Do you see the baby?


What do you see here?
Do you see the word 'LIFT'?
Or, a bunch of black splotches?
GIRLS ARE ABLE TO SPOT THE WORD 'LIFT' EASILY.
MEN FIND IT DIFFICULT TO SEE THE WORD 'LIFT'.


A face? Or the word 'liar' ?


Who is the tallest?


DO YOU SEE FOUR PEOPLE?


Look at the middle column.
Where does it end?
read more... “ ”



SEE MORE THEN ONE DEER?


HOW MANY PEOPLE ?


A PICTURE PUZZLE!


PEOPLE OR FACES ?


How many horses in this picture? You should find 7


DO YOU SEE FACES OR ALL HOUSES?













11 SHIPS OR 3 SHIPS & 8 ARCHES?
read more... “ ”


Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Just another way of seeing some of my stuff

read more... “Just another way of seeing some of my stuff”


Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Poor Jacqui

From a well meaning friend:

I spend my lonely weeks in London
Working for Gordon Brown
And crash out on my sister’s floor
Just as the sun goes down
On Friday nights I head back home,
My second home that is,
To spend some time with my true love
And get some married bliss

Dick’s waiting for me in Redditch,
Get me there driver soon
I want to lie in his strong arms
And go into a swoon
I want to collect his DNA
For my own database
I want to open my bursting blouse
And thrust them in his face

On Friday night when I got home
My second home that is,
Dick said he was all shagged out
And just gave me a kiss
On that fateful Sunday morning,
I read it in the press
Dick’s been watching some dirty films
And got us in a mess

It seems he’s been paying five quid
For “Dirty Debutantes”
Despite what’s bursting from my blouse
It’s not me that he wants
No Tarantino, no Scorsese,
No Bergmann, no Kubrick
You can’t beat old J Arthur
Says naughty, naughty Dick

Now I’m the two homes secretary
And hold the highest rank
But Dick he isn’t that impressed
He’d rather have a w*nk
Another Monday morning dawns
I’m heading back to town
The saddest thing is that I’ll be
Working for Gordon Brown

Oh Dick! Oh Dick! You stupid prick
I don’t mind pay to view
But you claimed it on expenses
And gave the press their cue
Next Friday when I come back home
My second home that is
I’ll be expecting rather more
Than just a friendly kiss
read more... “Poor Jacqui”


Thursday, 9 April 2009

Some things never change




















Cartoon originally published in the Western Mail (Cardiff), 1898. Art and commentry by Joseph Morewood Staniforth. Dame Wales confronts riot police

read more... “Some things never change”


Wednesday, 8 April 2009

My bedroom in the early 1990's


My bedroom, originally uploaded by Welsh Icons (Dom).

I've just discovered Reason. Bit of a leaning curve but mind blowing

read more... “My bedroom in the early 1990's”


Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Brew Wales: Pub closure video

read more... “Brew Wales: Pub closure video”


Still editing

Just taken a quick break and popped down to the corner shop.

The lad behind the counter asked me if I was working today. I replied that I was and I worked every day. His response was what about Saturdays and Sundays. Again, I responded that I also worked on Saturdays and Sundays. I then gave him an indication of how many hours a week I work, though I failed to mention the number of hours a week I put in actively seeking paid employment (as required by the DWP for me to get my Job Seekers Allowance).

If I was to get minimum wage for the time spent working on the website promoting Wales, all things Welsh and events in Wales I would be quite well off.

I cannot afford to eat in most of the places I list let alone stay a night in even some of the more modest B&Bs on the site let alone the hotels. Come to that, I cannot even afford to pitch a tent at one of the many campsites listed.

I sometimes wonder when everyone is planning their Easter activities why I bother when I can't even afford to leave the house this week.
read more... “Still editing”


Artstation at the (on the) Vulcan

Artstation presented TXT2. Using real-time communication,social networking texts and images. Projected on the Vulcan public house, Adamsdown, Cardiff.

This is my pseudo-time-lapse of jsut a small part using a Nikon D50, a tripod (thanks Scott) and just standing there pressing the shutter every 15 or so seconds. Processed in Photoshop CS2 and assembled in Photoshop Elements

read more... “Artstation at the (on the) Vulcan”


Monday, 6 April 2009

Printing Photographs

For the past year or so I've been struggling with and elderly HP DeskJet printer to output my own digital photographs. Having been brought/dragged up in a household where we had a fully fitted professional darkroom I have always struggled with getting prints I'm really happy with.

The cost of ink cartridges is horrendous and the nightmares I've had getting refills is beyond belief.

Today I bit the bullet and went to see Davies Colour http://www.daviescolour.co.uk/ just down the road from me. A nice man (a very nice man) took pity on me and demonstrated how they worked. I had already downloaded their Color Profile from their website and applied it to two test shots.

My test prints will be ready at 2pm and I'm very much looking forward to seeing the results.

At just over a quid (plus VAT) for a 10" x 8" it seems to make sense.

Watch this space for more details
read more... “Printing Photographs”


Would you Adams and Eve it?

I went to see a client this afternoon (No names, No pack drill), and gave them an invoice for the forthcoming year for the costs of running their website. The invoice was for £120* (just £10 a month) and their response was they thought that all hosting costs were FREE forever as they had paid for the creation of the site. The site is now hugely popular, has been running for a year and I DID make it clear from the start that after the 1st year hosting costs were involved, even stating the amount.

For the tenner a month they get:

  • Web hosting
  • Email Accounts
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Monthly Search Engine Submissions
  • Links from some of my other sites
  • Promotion through Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites
  • Uptime monitoring
  • Monthly reports
  • Up to 10 additional pages/page changes a year

Am I being unreasonable?

*If anyone from the DWP is reading this the £120 a year does not even cover my costs of providing this service. The are an out of town site and even my travel costs are not covered
read more... “Would you Adams and Eve it?”


Sunday, 5 April 2009

Sicknote


Sicknote, originally uploaded by Welsh Icons (Dom).

read more... “Sicknote”


Doghouse


Sicknote, originally uploaded by Welsh Icons (Dom).

Cheers for the Cider

read more... “Doghouse”


Skint and fed up

I have spent the last week carting the cameras (on foot - I can't afford the bus fare) around Cardiff trying to capture various aspects of Cardiff life. All this is available on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/welshicons for FREE under the Creative Commons License.

When not out and about I have been updating the Welsh Icons site http://www.welshicons.org.uk another FREE resource for anyone wanting to know more about Wales and the Welsh.

So with over 3 million hits a month what have I got out of it - well, a glass of Scrumpy from Doghouse of Sicknote, a pint from Liz, the Landlady of the Vulcan and very bad feet.

I sometimes (like now) wonder if it is worth it. Digital technology allows you to create and share cheaply but what's in it for the originator of the works? I was talking to Jason of Tantrum Records last night who give away most of their material for FREE. He said he'd explain it to me sometime but he's skint as well.

Sorry to sound negative but it is still a week to go before I get my next Job Seekers allowance payment - even then, with the bloody bank holiday it could be longer.

In the meantime if anyone wants an event covered cheaply by a competent photographer just drop me an email. As for thoses who have told me recently to get a job, you try in this economic climate. It is not as if I sit around all day doing bugger all!
read more... “Skint and fed up”


Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Losing my virginity

Hi all,

this is my first blog using Blogger. I'm the editor of the Welsh Icons website at http://www.welshicons.org.uk - a site about Wales and all things Welsh. Over the coming weeks and months I hope to tell you about the trials and tribulations of the project.

Bye for now and let's see if this works
read more... “Losing my virginity”