For decades I have, without knowing it, been walking past the place where Broadcasting in Wales began. It launched on 13th February 1923 in the building that’s now a NISA store, opposite Cardiff Castle. I spotted the commemorative plaque only recently.
In unexpectedly warm sunshine outside the Bundestag in Berlin plangent bells rang across the park… and rang… and rang.
This tolling was so protracted that I realised something our of the ordinary was happening but even when I’d walked right up to the bell tower that’s visible above the trees near the Tiergarten I still didn’t grasp what I was hearing. Continue reading Seen in Berlin 3: Bell Power and Cake
The 500th anniversary this year of the Protestant Reformation is marked in Berlin by two key exhibitions. In September I saw both the Luther Bilder / Luther Pictures at the Gemaldegalerie and The Luther Effect – 500 Years of Protestantism in the World at the Gropius Bau.
From the Bilder exhibition this is my favourite detail: the beaked, cheeky figure – human or not? – raving it up among a group of Catholic clergy in a pro-Luther parody… Continue reading Seen in Berlin 2: Luther – Image and Effect
Berlin’s Gemaldegalerie houses a fantastic collection of medieval art. After four visits I have only got as far as 1560!
One of many highlights: an Adoration of the Kings by an unknown artist from the Netherlands from about 1520.
I admit I took on the editing of Elizabeth Ruth Obbard’s forthcoming book READING THE BOOK OF LIFE (New City Press) partly from curiosity because I share a name with the subject.
I was named after Angela Merici, a pioneer of the education of women but the subject of this biographical sketch and selection of documents is another Italian Angela, from Foligno, halfway between Assisi and Spoleto. Continue reading Reading Another Angela
Back in June I had A Bursary and a Strategy for my ambitions to write a Short Story Collection with the help of a Literature Wales Writer’s Bursary.
In August I did an interim account: Highlights So Far
Today I’ve sent in my End of Bursary report.
How well has the plan worked? I’ve achieved my aim of producing a Short Story Collection set in Wales, Ireland and Italy. Thank you to everyone who helped me – and there are many.
I have a fortnight left of my Literature Wales Bursary. I began it with a strategy. So how have I got on? I will be mentioning pleasure a lot.
• Working with an editor
• Shaping a Short Story Collection
• Being read
• Funding the work
• Moving to publication
It is such an encouragement to win this competition. Adjudicator, Laura Foakes said of my story, Acting Abby:
This multi-layered story stayed with me long after each reading, which is always a sign of a job well done. The author conveyed her understanding of the vagaries of the human condition in a profound but unsentimental way. The wistful first-person narration drew me immediately into the story and the “voice” was strong.
I particularly liked the device of using a stage play as a metaphor for the judgements people/audiences make, and the eventual unfolding of the “choice” the narrator made. The author invites us to judge at our peril. This is a very accomplished and thought provoking piece of work. Continue reading 1st Prize Bridgend Open Short Story Competition 2017
I first worked in radio for the BBC in Wales in 1981. I’m still learning. On the 2nd July 2017 on the Jamie Owen Show I learned: always have your opening prepared, no matter how informal the programme. The right blend of spontaneity and clarity flows more easily after that.
This show mixes recorded music, live performance, two guest commentators and two interviewees. The brief is weird and wonderful angles on the week’s news so, along with fellow commentator, comedian, Frank Honeybone, I enjoyed sharing some ‘couldn’t-make-it-up’ stories with listeners.
The Media Studies students of Michigan State University once again impressed me with their appetite for encountering the cultures of the British Isles. The university organises an impressive visit every summer for about 20 students on a variety of media-related degree courses. I’ve given them a class on documentary for the last 7 years with the kind collaboration of Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. Continue reading Media Students from Michigan State University in Cardiff