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"Awen yn codi o'r cudd ac yn cydio'r cwbl"
- Waldo Williams
(Awen arising from hiding and everything binding)

Stray Thoughts on Twelfth Night

 “...there shall be no more cakes and ale?”. Toby Belch in Shakespeare’s Twelfth  Night

So the revels are ended, such as they were. The New Year saw Johnson’s EU deal heralded by him as “cakeist” (having our cake and eating it ) no doubt to be washed down with ale rather than wine! 

The “uncivil rule” of Shakespeare’s play is here the function of Government rather than unlicensed  lockdown revellers. 

Tonight the holly and ivy brought into the house for Yule will be burnt on the hearth fire. A purging ritual of sorts for the year we have left behind us and a prelude to quiet contemplation of what lies ahead. For now we might raise a glass for the passing season and look forward to what is called in Welsh ‘Hirlwm’, the long stretch of time, at the end of Winter and the early Spring, when the land is bare and resources are scarce. Not physically for some of us any more, perhaps, but at least psychologically at this time for all of us.

Let lengthening light brighten your days


  1. I didn't know there was a Welsh word for what is always the toughest part of the year at the best of times... I see 'hirlwm' is from 'hir' 'long'. What's the 'lwm'?

    1. mutated form of ‘llwm’ = ‘bare’, so literally ‘the long bareness’. I’ve always been struck by the vividness of that phrase for this time of year.


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