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Blog posts by year and monthJuly 2012

Posts (63)

  1. Remembering Welsh poet Hedd Wyn

    Welsh poet Hedd Wyn was killed in action on 31 July 95 years ago.

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  2. Dr Rhys Jones at Royal Welsh Show 2012 - Day four

    Dr Rhys Jones, co-presenter of Royal Welsh Show highlights on BBC Two Wales, blogs specially for BBC Wales Nature this week. Well that's it for another year! We just got the nod to say filming for the Royal Welsh Show 2012 is complete. Sara and I are catching a taxi as I type! Rachael Garside, Rhys Jones and Sara Edwards We've had a marvellous time but happy to be on the way for dinner as once again we didn't have time to stop for lunch! Many thanks for tuning on and don't forget the highlights programme on Monday night. It's goodbye for another year from Sara, Rachael and me. Looking back over the week it's hard to pinpoint single highlights as the whole show has been the most amazing experience. For me the kindness of the Davies family allowing me to help prepare their champion dairy cows during an incredibly stressful time must top my highlight of my show. I am just about to record the end link with Sara and Rachel, and we will then be ready to step down from presenter duty for the Royal Welsh show 2012. We have all had an amazing time and I hope you have enjoyed watching.

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  3. A change on the way this weekend

    It's a game of two halves weather-wise in Wales today: the south, the east and the Royal Welsh Show have been hot and sunny but it's a different story in the north and west where it's cloudy and cooler. In Aberporth, there is some fog on the coast with a temperature of 16 Celsius, while in Mo...

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  4. Merthyr Rock stages announced

    Merthyr Rock details are finalised today, with day splits confirmed. Razorlight Friday 31 August Main stage: Razorlight Saves The Day Futures Second stage: Dirty Goods The People The Poet The Lash The Undivided Skindred Saturday 1 September Main stage: Skindred Lo...

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  5. The Welsh language Act of 1967

    There have been many important acts of parliament relating to Wales over the years but none was more significant than the 1967 Welsh Language Act - not so much because of what it said, more for what it symbolised. The act was passed and became law 45 years ago on 27 July 1967, a significant and ...

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  6. No sign of a swift recovery

    The bad weather this summer has had a negative affect on the UK swift population, mentioned in a recent article on BBC News. This follows on from a recent RSPB report which mentions that the population of swifts visiting the UK each summer to breed is nearly a third lower than it was in the m...

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  7. Dr Rhys Jones at Royal Welsh Show 2012 - Day three

    Dr Rhys Jones, co-presenter of Royal Welsh Show highlights on BBC Two Wales, blogs specially for BBC Wales Nature this week. It's simply been the hottest Royal Welsh Show I can ever remember! Standing up to two hours at a time in a show ring can really take its toll on your energy. Main ...

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  8. First, unwrap your truffle...

    "Don't bite... savour it, roll it around in your mouth. There are places on the tongue that taste only sweet and places that taste only bitter or salt or sour... Caress it in your mouth, and you'll be amazed at what you taste..." That is from The Initiation Of Ms Holly by KD Grace, an erotic novel. Mummy porn. It was published by Xcite, an imprint of Accent Books, based at The Old School, Bedlinog, Glamorgan. I've always liked women's fiction. It tends to be more psychologically-acute, probes deeper into emotions. And women writers, generally, are better at sex. Less self-conscious. By the time you read this, probably something like one in three women in Wales will have read the so-called 'mummy-porn' sado-masochistic, bondage shlockbuster Fifty Shades Of Grey by EL James. I spent some time in a branch of Waterstones the other week. There was a table, right at the entrance, piled high with copies of Fifty Shades and its two sequels. And in they all came. The mummy bit is right - many of them had pushchairs. You kept hearing them actually saying 'Oh, everybody's reading it...' which eventually began to sound like baa, baa... After a while, I felt like torching the pile. But in the end I did what everybody else apparently was doing. I read it. And, you know, it wasn't as badly-written as I'd been led to expect. I mean, it isn't well-written - the the hero, or 'dominant', Christian Grey, billionaire owner of the Red Room of Pain, talks like an alien in an old SF movie, and every few pages the narrator or 'submissive', Anastasia, exclaims: "holy crap!" It's interesting that the language doesn't get much stronger than that. Here's a woman who gives you hundreds of pages of hot bondage, and she's a prude about talking dirty. There are no such inhibitions at Xcite - "best erotic book brand, 2010". Yes, there really was mummy porn before Shades but, on Sunday's Phil The Shelf, Accent and Xcite proprietor Hazel Cushion explains how EL James has opened up a whole new.... Oh hell, it's very difficult to write a sentence about mummy porn without falling into a pit of double-entendres, but you get the idea: authors like Xcite star KD Grace have, um, finally come into their own. We talk to KD (really name, er, Kathy Dickie) about Ms Holly and her adventures in an up-market sex club, appropriately called The Mount. Also the new genre of paranormal erotics, which features people having orgiastic sex with ghosts... possibly 50 shades, one after the other. At this point, you should know that what Ms Holly is rolling around in her mouth at the top of this column is in fact a chocolate truffle. In a startling opening scene, KD Grace describes how a woman and a man can enjoy the same chocolate truffle in the dark. It's not for the squeamish, but actually more imaginative than anything in Fifty Shades. If there is anything slightly disturbing about this phenomenon it's the idea of mature women sharing sticky passages from erotic novels in the way school kids used to do in the cloakroom... that was in the days before kids actually started having sex in the cloakroom. For the publishing industry, what it signifies is the end of chicklit, the genre first aimed at socially and sexually aware young women in the 1990s. The Queen of chicklit was Jane Green, whom we also meet in Sunday's programme. Now middle aged and living in the US with her second husband, Jane is not impressed by the new erotica. Her latest novel, The Patchwork Marriage, is fully-rounded in a way Fifty Shades doesn't even try to be, dealing in considerable depth with the problems of a woman marrying a man with two daughters, one of whom hates her. Now that's real pain. Listen to Phil the Shelf on Sunday from 5pm on BBC Radio Wales.

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  9. Dr Rhys Jones at Royal Welsh Show 2012

    Dr Rhys Jones, co-presenter of Royal Welsh Show highlights on BBC Two Wales, blogs specially for BBC Wales Nature this week. I am having an amazing time at the Royal Welsh Show show this year. I have to give a massive shout out to the Davies family from Whitland for allowing me to help prepa...

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  10. Interview: Steve Balsamo on Balsamo And Deighton

    You might know Steve Balsamo from The Storys, or from his solo work, or you might know him from his turn as the titular character of Jesus Christ Superstar in the 1990s, but the Swansea man has turned his hand to another interesting role. This time, he's been writing with sometime Storys memb...

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