If you are any sort of long term reader of this blog, you’ll have guessed by now that I’m a kraken of the Welsh variety. I know, I know, what can I say? I’m living the dream kraken lovers, I’m living the dream. The only problem is that being born in Wales carries with it a burden of such weight that it’s like carrying the entire city of Atlantis around on my bloody shoulders. That’s because as much as I love my heritage there is a shit load of it that I’m apparently duty bound to cling to even though it’s hackneyed and clichéd and sucked dry of enjoyment simply because it’s been rammed down my throat from the moment of my birth. And it’s your lucky day, kraken lovers, because I am going to list these cultural boulders for you. Ready?
Dylan Thomas: Look, I can appreciate that the globally renown piss-artist of a poet was important in the world of, well, poetry but I find him as unfathomable as the Marianas trench. Perhaps it’s because he was incapable of writing so much as a fucking shopping list without imbuing it with the sort of earnest weight usually reserved for funereal eulogies. Or perhaps it’s because even when I have tried hard to read his outpourings I’ve switched off after approximately three sentences because boredom overwhelms me. Or perhaps it’s because, as a Welsh woman, loving him is now so expected of me that I turn to Larkin and Hughes as an act of rebellion. Fuck knows, Pam Ayres would be an improvement. Seriously, it’s no wonder Thomas was a bloody drunk. Ten minutes of his overblown droning makes me want to poison my liver as well.
Rugby: You know how much interest I have in rugby, Welsh or otherwise? Well take a look at the pad of your right index finger. See the smallest swirl bang in the middle of your fingerprint? That’s exactly how much I give a shit about who is in the Welsh team, how well they have played and whether the captain (whoever that is) has taken his morning shit yet. Now, you may know that I once worked for the Welsh Rugby Union way back between 1997 – 1999, and I can confirm here and how that it was that experience that officially siphoned out of me any interest in the game. You can find out why here. Until then you can rest assured that if my house was on fire and the Welsh team turned up to save my life I’d stay in the burning building.
Doctor Who: It’s made in Wales. That’s it. Spare me.
Male voice choirs: Put it down to the soundtrack to my life being the warbling of middle aged men who look like bantam cocks . You want to visit a museum in Wales? Then prepare yourself for the looped sound of a 30-man rendition of Myfanwy while you’re there. Or perhaps you’d like to wander around an eisteddfod? Then get ready for an ensemble of penguins beating to death Cwm Rhondda. Then again, you could cadge an invitation to a Welsh wedding where you might get treated to yet another turn of Men of Harlech, especially if the bride and groom are somehow related to one of the baritones. It’s no wonder the rest of the world takes the piss out of the Welsh. It’s because it thinks we only know three fucking songs.
Heritage art: Feel free to come along to any of our art galleries here in Wales but before you rummage for the £6.40 it costs to come through the Severn tolls be warned that this is what you’ll be fed relentlessly until you sick up your own appendix: in the valleys you’ll get rows of terraced houses, drams, miners and amply-arsed women hanging over garden walls (LINK). If you go anywhere near west Wales you’ll get so many coastal scenes that you’ll develop trench foot and if you go north of Aberystwyth it’ll be a festival of fucking slate. That’s right, as many shades of grey and black as you can imagine outside of a witches’ cat convention. Perfect for anyone who loves to hang a cliché on their wall.
Lava bread: You have to be shitting me. Not only does it look as if it’s been scraped from the lower intestine of a TB riddled cow, it has the texture of cooling snot when you put it in your mouth. Think of what it’s like to suffer such a violent lung infection that globby mucus erupts from your thorax every fifteen minutes and you’ll have the experience of easting lava bread down pat. And Swansea market is famous for this delicacy. It’s bloody welcome to it.
Katherine Jenkins: I hear that the Welsh Assembly is thinking of passing some form of twisted legislation that forbids anyone disliking the ever-warbling Welsh soprano. Fuck knows, it might have already done it, considering how she is mercilessly rammed down the Principality’s throat. I said as much here in an earlier post but it is worth reiterating that if I have to witness her simper-faced crooning one more time I’m going to beat myself to death with Pavarotti’s headstone.
Sheep: Flea-riddled, lanolin-drenched, skitter-footed, dead-eyed, field-chomping, baa-baaaing, piss-boring little fuckers. All 8.9 million of them.