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THE HERALD FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 9 2016


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IT’S RAINING. It’s raining and I am in


Burry Port. And while the tempest lashes outside, I am content. Because it is raining and I am in Burry Port. The wife’s flirtation with


buying a caravan in Borth has not vanished, but at least I am not sleeping in a tin wagon in a gale, listening to the seagulls whirl and crash into the roof during the storm, while every lash of the surf and the rain outside is greeted with a shiver and an urge to use the bathroom.


I am content. Because it is raining and I am in Burry Port. Through the grey murk


outside the windows, roads are washed out, while, around all of those exciting housing developments I read of in the newspaper, the sewers have apparently erupted like fountains and are busy entertaining the public with a display to rival the famous waterworks in the Tivoli Gardens.


And I am content. Because it is raining and I am in Burry Port. After spending a couple of


nights up in Borth in caravan, I realised that among the many amenities of modern life there are some which are taken for granted: being able to fit into and onto a WC, double glazing, decent water pressure, and not using a bloody bottled gas fire, and – most of all - bathtub in which to perform one’s ablutions and sing excerpts from the great operas and


test out one’s Elvis tribute ahead of the karaoke at the rugby club. These are a few of my favourite things. But it is raining. And I am content and I am in Burry Port. It’s not that Borth is a bad


place, although I suspect it gets rather overrun with people from the West Midlands and other places OVER THERE at the height of the summer. There are a couple of nice pubs, the walks along Ynyslas are bracing and beautiful, Powys is on the other side of the estuary – so you are at least safe in your beds, and there is the fresh feel of sea air after the rain (so, at least twice a week). Borth is, all in all, a nice place to visit.


But it is raining. And I am content and I am in Burry Port. It was on the road back


from Borth that the wife sketched out her masterplan to me. She assured me that she – and, therefore, we – had no intention of living in it. I almost ran off the road near Adpar in relief. Her shrewd Cardi brain had worked out how to make money from the venture by renting out the caravan to others. We would have a redoubt for about four or five weeks a year and the rest of the time she would rent it out to holidaymakers. She mentioned the words – exciting to an accountant such as me – net income. Her calculations were impressive. I remembered why I loved her so much. Because we are in Burry Port and she IS a Cardi.


DRAENOG AND THE CONSENSUS BUILDERS THE TOP Welsh TV


programme at the moment is Y Gwyll/Hinterland. It is a wonderfully bleak exploration of damaged individuals who live in the twilight world, on the littoral between darkness and light. As of a crepuscular and


nocturnal bent himself, Draenog is very used to seeing things in the shades of grey and green that predominate the cameraman’s palette. There’s all manner of things w a i t i n g in the


shadows, some of them decidedly unpleasant. Badgers, for example.


And maybe Chris Packham. When it comes to deciding


how to meet one’s maker, it would be a toss-up between being eaten alive by our chum Brock and being bored to death while the BBC’s wildlife presenter enthused about our largest native predatory carnivore and its communal lavatory habits. If one’s future life prospects


include the potential for a journey through a fat weasel’s alimentary canal, as are those of innumerable hedgehogs,


it


is easy to c o n c l u d e that such rights as b a d g e r s


have need to be balanced against the


needs of other mammals – like Draenog – to thrive and survive. That is not moral relativism, it is the exercise of critical thought to a problem with no easy resolution. Problems do


not exist in isolation one from the other, they are often interconnected. The


scripts


in Y Gwyll, as a matter of fact, demonstrate this. There are crimes, horrible crimes, sometimes committed with malice aforethought, but often arising out of horrendous past events that haunt every waking and sleeping moment of their perpetrators’ lives. There are no trite certainties or easy answers; the burden of shame and guilt rests as much upon the investigators as it does upon the objects of their inquiries. There is no black and white - only shades of grey. Draenog gives you an


example. Where there is an overwhelming


consensus


about scientific findings, as, for example, there is regarding man-made climate change. The demand for unanswerable ‘empirical’ proof betrays a fundamental ignorance of what the scientific process is once you progress beyond mucking around with Bunsen burners in school labs. By analogy, you could say that it is a bit like the burden of proof in a jury trial. The test is not beyond any doubt but beyond a reasonable doubt, that is a doubt which could be formed by a reasonable person in possession of all the relevant facts argued before the court. Notice, it is not ANY doubt – the


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