Anglican Samizdat

May 15, 2009

How things change

Filed under: Manners — David Jenkins @ 9:44 am

I left South Wales, UK for Canada in 1974. The last few years I spent in Wales were in a village called Machen in the Rhymney Valley; our house was perched on the side of Machen mountain and through our kitchen window you could see the mountainside, scattered allotments and hear the brook that ran through out back garden. On weekends we would often climb the mountain for a view of the adjacent valley and in the summer pick – and eat – wild blackberries. The weather wasn’t always particularly good, and I remember the month I came to Canada it had rained every day for 30 days – not quite Biblical, but close.

Just down the road from where I lived was Caerphilly Castle, the second largest castle in the UK; it is humanity’s bane to take the readily accessible for granted and I only thoroughly explored it when visiting years later.

Before living in Machen I grew up and lived in Cardiff; I remember being struck by Canada’s cleanliness when I arrived. Cardiff was grubby by comparison – a grubbiness, like the castle, I had taken for granted.

A Polish photographer has taken it upon himself to document the “drunken revelry” prevalent in Cardiff.

Looking at these photos, I recognise most of the locations; what is unfamiliar is the fact that the city is not just a little dirty: it has turned into a pigsty complete with porcine inhabitants.

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A good cure for any vestigial home-sickness.


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