Leonard has left the building

Some people just know when it is time to leave the party. After 82 years Leonard Cohen passed away leaving a huge legacy of poetry and music that has marked millions of moments of love, of goodbye, of bewilderment and questioning on the human condition. I first heard Leonard Cohen in 1977 – I was…

Aberfan

My father Jack Newman, was a member of the civil defence and had recently lost his job as a miner when Llanbradach pit closed. He was collected by the civil defence and went there to work with the other miners trained in pit Rescue. One of the first teams to arrive, he helped dig in…

Christmas is coming

Tree up. This year it’s an artificial one. I somehow couldn’t get my head around cutting a tree down and then watching it wither for three weeks and then throwing it out. Despite the promise of Ikea and Jardiland to give me a 10€ gift voucher for the return of the deadish tree after the…

Why an aspidistra?

Back home in the valleys of South Wales, most of the houses looked pretty much the same when I was growing up.  Terraces sprawled along the valley bottom and scrambled up the sides when the floor was full. Homes sprung up with a speed never before or since seen, to house the influx of workers…