They just can’t leave green places be, can they? And so it was that 20 years ago they constructed The Angel of the North. I think the jury is still out on that one, but I at least have my verdict, published today in I’m not a silent poet

It’s Art

I will not be including a photo.

It’s a hill I wrote about before, from a nightmare I had, and it’s in my book Three Pounds of Cells: The Rain, which was first published in 2008 in InkSweat&Tears

We are now half way through February. Valentine’s Day is over. Hope you had a little chocolate and wine. Chinese New Year, the year of the Dog, begins this weekend. Time for noodles, I think.

40 years ago this weekend there was a terrific BLIZZARD in South Wales. Sat 18th Feb 1978. I met Noel in Cardiff for a meal and it started to snow. But the snow came in so fast and thick that when we got out, there were no trains! No buses! The taxi rank at Cardiff station had turned into a huge queue of worried people wanting to get home. And a lot of people didn’t make it that night and had to take what accommodation they could get, in gyms, in schools, in hotels and guest houses. This included the many rugby fans who’d just been to the Arms Park for the game.

We were lucky. A taxi driver shouted down the line, Is anybody wanting to go to St Andrew’s Cross? and we and another man, who for some reason had pyjamas on under his clothes, jumped in that taxi. The driver himself was trying to get ‘home’ and it was his last run — he wasn’t risking any more. On the M4 motorway, drivers got stranded and many of them were rescued and put up in Wenvoe school. Cars and buses abandoned for days, littered the roads. Deep drifts covered everything. Schools of course were closed. But The Wenvoe Arms was open 🙂 and that kind of holiday feel crept over the countryside, a sunny, crisp silence, and pleasant camaraderie of people who were stuck. Children made sledges. People shared food. Folk rallied round. Nothing moved for days and the pub nearly ran out of beer!

It’s bad enough moving away from home and having to find somewhere to live, starting a new job and a new life, without coping with unusual weather conditions in a strange environment. It was just another challenge for me in my new life in Wales. Everything seemed like a BLIZZARD! But I was okay and I’m thankful I didn’t have to face it alone. Noel was there with me and he’s been there for me ever since.

Real angels never rust!