The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'aberystwyth'


Something I didn't know: the current mayor of the Welsh Riviera town of Aberystwyth is the former actress who played Brian's girlfriend, Judith Iscariot, in Monty Python's Life Of Brian, and is now moving to lift the town's ban on the film. Apparently the council banned it when it was released, and nobody remembered that it was still banned, let alone to review the ban.

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This weekend, I travelled to Aberystwyth, paying a visit to Jim and Catrin (whom I last saw in 2002). It was good to catch up with them again.

On Saturday night, I went to see the Castaway Theatre Company's performance of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Enchained. It was fittingly anarchic; they had five people each playing Pa Ubu and Ma Ubu, mostly attired in vaguely punky combinations of random clothes, and a lot going on on stage, most of it rather absurd. It reminded me a lot of the Doug Anthony Allstars, in particular DAAS Kapital. The music played in/between various sequences included a lot of guitar punk and several Half Man Half Biscuit songs, which worked rather well. Anyway, there are some photos here.

The journey to/from Aberystwyth involved a stopover in Birmingham, and a bus between there and Telford, due to railway works. On the way back, I spent some time wandering around Birmingham, raiding the local Music & Video Exchange and taking a stroll around the pedestrianised neo-brutalist cityscapes of the Bullring. For some reason, Birmingham reminded me a little of Brisbane.

The London-Birmingham leg of the journey was on a Virgin Trains Pendolino train, which was fairly nifty. For one, they come with laptop power points, even in cattle-class. (Now that's one thing I can't see ever being installed on the Melbourne-Sydney XPT, partly because rurals and bikies generally don't carry laptops.) Also, the way they tilt when they round a corner is pretty nifty.

(Note to self: make more excuses to get out of London; by which I mean far enough out to get out of London's reality distortion field. Living in London, it's too easy to start thinking of everything in terms of Tube lines, N|W|E|[NS][EW]|[EW]C postcodes and relative position to the Thames, and to forget that there is life and activity in Britain that's not in relation to London.)

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fragment of castle ruins I never did end up making it to Machynlleth; as I was making my way to the 13:35 train, I remembered that I hadn't visited the record shop (which Jim had recommended), and so I went to check it out. (I ended up buying 4 CDs there.) Then I caught the next train out, which was meant to be 2 hours later, but was about 15 minutes late on top of that. Britain's railway network, it seems, has seen better days. Anyway, I'm back in London, for now anyway.

(I also managed to score a short-sleeved Ben Sherman shirt which was marked down to £18 at a local clothing shop. That's one of the advantages of visiting from the other hemisphere, where it is short-sleeve weather.)

Aberystwyth seen from Constitution Hill Anyway, I rather liked Aberystwyth. It's a rather charming combination of Victorian seaside resort (smack bang in the middle of the Welsh riviera), rural Celtic village and happening university town. The weather also seemed quite mild there too; I'm told that because of Aberystwyth's location, it usually is.

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I'm in Aberystwyth; I arrived on the train last night, and met up with Jim and Catrin, at whose quite pleasant (and undeniably fire-safe, judging by the bilingual warning signs on all the doors) flat I stayed overnight. Anyway, they're both quite nice people, and as interesting to talk to in real life as online.

I saw parts of a video of the production of A Clockwork Orange in which they acted (Jim playing the minister and Stanley Kubrick, and Alex and the prison chaplain all played by multiple actors; also, the main actor playing Alex was female), which was quite horrorshow. I also saw some fragments of the local Welsh-language channel (S4C); there's some rather high-quality film made here which unfortunately doesn't make it out into the wider world because it's in Welsh. (There's even a Welsh anime-style film, which looked quite impressive.)

I spent most of this morning wandering up and down Aberystwyth (an undeniably charming place; I can see why people who come here often end up staying), taking photographs and picking up bits of Welsh from the bilingual signs. I'll probably stop at Machynlleth (sp?) on the way back.

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