Tuesday, 20 December 2011

BBC = Beer Bell Carols


Last evening it was time for something different and very welcome - a drink!

Before this the church choir of All Saints & Llanllwchaiarn had been to an old folks home with its hot and dry atmosphere but with the bonus of a chance to speak Welsh ... great.
Then on to the Bell (opposite All Saints where another carol event was going on).
We had a good time singing to anyone who was around at the time.

Last Sunday we sang outside our local supermarket for quite a long time with the added extra of hand-bell ringers (the group is still in the midst of formation) and a brass group - 4 young children and a few adults - they were amazing.

Today it is off to the local hospital to sing to a few folks there along with the brass band again.

Thursday, 15 December 2011


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Yes - another Plygain service but this time one for 'Welsh Learners'.
Yet they came from far and wide to join in this celebration of Christmas using the old carols. Some had not got home the night before until two in the morning, being greeted by snow on the mountains. There is such generosity among these groups. After the learners had been given first spot by a little word in the ear to the other groups we were able to relax knowing that we were safe to sing our second song in the second half also. The reason being is that no one knows who will sing, for there is no order or what song they will sing either. If a song is sang once it will not be repeated in the rest of the evening, hence the vast collection of song held at the ready by these singers and groups. 

At this time of year until the end of January there are lots of plygain services each week and they will all be well attended. Long may they continue. 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

ANOTHER PLYGAIN ... what a treat!

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The tiny outside turned out to be a big surprise. The inside was much bigger and filled with plygain groups from far and wide, from near Aberystwyth to Wrexham, Oswestry and Welshpool. Groups, two's, three's, ten and more with a soloist thrown in for good measure. Professor and farmers all coming together to sing to the glory of God in words from the Old & New Testaments. These are not shows of wonderful costume or the prima donna. The clothes are ordinary, sometimes even dull, for these are sometimes old farmers, not concerned with such things. They are smart in their own way, not modern! There is no clapping or cheering or pointless wolf whistles. This is not the place of the long gaps and the inevitable 'AND THE WINNER IS!!!!!! ......'. They come - do there bit - and sit down. Some groups will be ever so slightly 'out of tune' ... but no one will mention it, while others will be so close in harmony as to send a shiver down the spine.
Well - once again I got to sing the 'Carol y Swper' - The Supper Carol then a quick practice with the wonderful Rhiannon Ifan (author and a scholar from the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies) before being invited to eat a real treat of a very late supper - for the time was now about half past ten or close to eleven at night. Well WHAT NEXT?

Saturday, 10 December 2011


Posted by Picasa Last night I was able to fulfil an ambition ... to be able to sing with a proper Plygain group.
PARTI CUT LLOI (I think 'Little Calf Shed' ... or something similar in Welsh) is a local group of men under the wonderful leading of Sian James.
We heard at Kerry Church a full range of songs from Plygain to solo singing and penyllion. The penillion is a traditional form of Welsh singing poetry, accompanied by the harp, in which the singer and harpist follow different melodies so the stressed syllables of the poem coincide with accented beats of the harp melody. Sian finished, singing with the harp, showing another Welsh tradition, that of seeing who can sing the fastest, usually in a song about goats. Goats of all shapes, sizes and every colour under the sun. I didn't know so many words could fit in so small a space.

At the end of the concert the men were invited to come to the front to join in the 'The Supper Carol'. Although this is often traditionally followed by a supper, the carol is looking forward to not to Jesus' first coming but to His second coming, the start of the wedding supper.
I was able to share and sing with the deep deep bass on the left of the picture. Oh, it was good ... I want more!

Monday, 5 December 2011


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Once again I have to find new paintings for our wall as two pieces of work find new homes, one in Drenewydd the other in the hills above Cwmbran. Goodbye dear friends.

Monday, 28 November 2011


The phone rang, 'This is Theatr Hafren', 'Don't forget to collect your cheque - you won second prize'. This is particularly exciting as it is the third time I have won a prize at the 'Open in Drenewydd'. I am quite glad I wasn't able to go to the prize giving, the shock would have been too much.BUT! ... how encouraging is that. It took the judges two hours to decide on the winners from the 75 entries.
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Wednesday, 23 November 2011


A new venture into the world of the unknown.

Click this link and flip over the pages of 'ARTIST in WALES'.
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Monday, 21 November 2011


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Sorry about the bad cropping.
These are the two smallish painting I have put into this years 'OPEN 2011 - Theatr Hafren' Christmas Exhibition here in Drenewydd. This year they have added a restriction under the theme 'REVELATION'. I personally don't enjoy having themed exhibition but I have been able to tweak the titles a little.
So far since living in Drenewydd I have been fortunate to win both first and second prize in this exhibition ... so my hopes for this year are not too high. I think I need to win a prize that supplies me with a life times painting materials ... they do exist out there.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

BETSAN painting - probably 'THE END'

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Well I think that is it. Days 4,5 & 6 have actually come up on the screen, to my great delight. If you notice, the fish have gone to sea, the mountains have changed, roofs,buildings have changed drastically or in a more subtle way. Waves added, people added, windows modified. NOW, I think that is enough.
If you want to change more ... move to Aberaeron and see it for yourself.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


I'm going to be very brave and chart the progress of a large painting 28" x 36" on canvas. It is a very free painting and has to be attacked in bursts of free uncontrolled vigour. I am trying to also add texture as I go along. This is fairly new to me as.
Here are days 1-3
(Even though I have been able to get the photos to show they are appearing in unedited format).

Tuesday, 15 November 2011



There should be picture of a canal here.
Blogger / Picasa seem to be having a lot of trouble recently with something. There are no posted solutions ... just a lot of frustration. No one seems to be talking to us.

Well, this is clearly NOT a picture of the canal, but it does seem to be a way of getting photos onto the blog.

Saturday, 12 November 2011


Recently I have been having big problems with BLOGGER and PICASA each saying I don't have an account. Now they say that the browser I have been using for years is not supported by them. I may move to WORDPRESS and start all over again.
I haven't given up yet but it does seem that every time a program gets updated it comes with complications and problems.

Sunday, 16 October 2011


Posted by Picasa This is me pretending to do my Welsh homework in our newly decorated lounge. At last we have a plain carpet and a colourful bedroom. The Welsh homework turned out to be much harder than when I was pretending to do it.
Shooting out of my head is an Amarylis. All over the house and garden we have both Autumn & Spring flowers side by side. During the day we have 'sun screen' light and at night frost. What an interesting time we are having!

Sunday, 2 October 2011


Posted by Picasa (MI AETHON NI I ABERYSTWYTH DDOE) Yesterday we went to Aberystwyth on the West Coast of Wales - halfway up from the bottom on the map.
We are just coming to the end of an exceptional spell of late season 'wall to wall' sunshine, breaking records. In England it is called 'an Indian summer' ... but when we have good weather at the end of September in Wales it is called ‘haf bach mihangel’ – Michael’s Little Summer – St. Michael’s Day being on 29 September.
Along with others I think back just a few weeks ago when I was wearing a thermal vest under a tee shirt at a church service just to stave off the cold.
Aberystwyth is a an interesting place, once neglected but now along with many Welsh seaside towns, coming back to life.
We sat on the beautiful green grass of the castle mount (reaching way back into Welsh history) watching seagulls the size of dinosaurs. But our eyes were peeled looking for whales, porpoise and dolphin. None - not one - even too hot for them!

Friday, 30 September 2011


Just another bit of fun with an image adjusted using iPiccy.com .... great for a quick card or poster.

Thursday, 29 September 2011


Posted by Picasa This simple image was edited using iPiccy.com a free service with some really good features for this type of service. Easy to use.


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