Friday, June 11, 2010


Back in the early 1950s when London decided that Wales deserved a capital city, there were those who thought that an out in the sticks sort of place like Llandrindod would make a mighty fine Welsh Canberra.

Now, as young Karen Brockman might say, I've been to Canberra, so I'm glad that Cardiff eventually won out. Stick a few thousand civil servants in the middle of nowhere and pretty soon the main topic of conversation becomes the latest flexitime rules.

Maybe it was Jan Morris who said that Canberra was built for a race of giants, but whoever it was, it's certainly true. Canberra is a great place to cycle but not much fun for a pedestrian, when even marching up to the counter across the huge marble floor of an empty bank is quite a hike.

What fun to point out, after a long stroll to the National Gallery of Australia, that Aussie treasure Sydney Nolan - that's one of his paintings and they're all like that - was actually living back in Presteigne - OK I know The Rodd is a few yards over the border but ... Anyway my last visit there was in 1996, just after another Radnorian resident, Lord Williams of Elvel (and shouldn't that be Elfael) had published his biography of Bradman. Here was a book that contained the great truth that, quite contrary to accepted opinion, it was Englishmen who were cheats and Australians who were whingers. An opinion that, once shared, certainly got Canberrans off the subject of T&S for a while.

1 comment:

Rob said...

"Elvel". *Shudders*.