Friday, October 8

Talk Tidy - Or Welsh Not

A little confessional: I was born in Wales.

[DJ: Cue The Only Way is Up . . . ]

But my family got the fuck out while I still had stabilisers on my bicycle, and I've really only been back since to witness the funerals of old family friends.

Now, is it me, or do people and things turn strange west of Heathrow? And get increasingly strange, all the way to the tip of unreason that is Cornwall, with its rum facial duplet: either they're pasty-pasty (the living dead) or liberally treated with linseed oil (those that can still chew - but tend to do so when they're talking).

To Wales. Well, okay: I did once reluctantly agree to a week-long holiday down there, during which I drove through the heart of Wales - in a day. If desolation's your thing . . . urban and rural: look no further. (By comparison, Dalston isn't even trying.)

In Anyway, Talk Tidy is a site listed in BOAT DRINKS. The link itself is to an article about the coolness of Wales. Cool? No, I don't think so. Like anywhere else, there's a few cool people swimming against the tide in a sea of turds.

I have to say that I go with the deliberately provocative assertions given to Dr Fagan in Evelyn Waugh's debut novel Decline and Fall, that the Welsh are not akin to neither Irish nor Scottish celts, but " . . . are of pure Iberian stock - the aboriginal inhabitants of Europe who survive only in Portugal and the Basque district." (And that's just a starter for ten - if you want more, go read the novel.)

I myself feel much more sympatico and look much more like my friends on the Iberian Peninsula than the wild-eyed celts on the outskirts of our island.

To Wales. As it stands, I have some time for SFA and GZM, and then, and then? I'm borne back not so ceaselessly into the past . . .

PS: one last thing. In a week which saw Get Carter voted Britain's greatest film, I want to mention Villain, a film of similar vintage starring Richard Burton. Read this about the film, and the book behind it.

For the record, my favourite British* films are - aside from the two mentioned above, and in no order - these:

  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
  • Performance
  • Withnail & I
  • Billy Liar
  • Brighton Rock
  • Peeping Tom
  • The Elephant Man
  • A Hard Day's Night
  • A Room for Romeo Brass
  • Robinson in Space
  • The Witchfinder General
  • The 39 Steps (Hitchcock)
  • A Matter of Life and Death
  • Tom Jones
  • Charlie Bubbles
  • Barry Lyndon
  • Alfie
  • A Prick Up the Ears
  • Cul-de-Sac
  • Gumshoe
  • Naked
  • Nil By Mouth
  • Kes
  • Educating Rita
  • Life Is Sweet
  • Beautiful Thing
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets
  • Wonderland
* I'm limiting British to those films that are about Britain - regardless of wherever the director is from, hence the inclusion of Polanski and the absence of several favourites by Hitchcock from his American period peak. There's so many films I love that have British directors but are not set here: The Third Man, Don't Look Now, Blade Runner and Memento would all be listed, and I could go on some.


posted by DD @ 10:56