In which The Author finds something else on an old flash drive
It could just be my imagination, but I’m fairly sure that twenty years St Dwynwen’s Day didn’t exist. I’ve got a funny feeling that (like Father’s Day) this particular feast was invented by an evil cartel of chain pubs and greetings card manufacturers.
St Dwynwen was (apparently) the Welsh equivalent of the much better known St Valentine, which is why Welsh pubs have leapt onto a ready-made ‘two romantic meals for twenty quid’ bandwagon.
It’s probably a mere coincidence that St Dwynwen’s Day falls on the same day as Burns Night. Why else would the Scots have all the fun and leave their Celtic cousins high and dry between Xmas and the opening game of the Six Nations?
[A digression: Chris R. (a.k.a. Yorkshire Chris) was living in a small town in Scotland with an English girlfriend and, as honoured guests, they were asked to address the haggis on Burns Night. Being none the wiser, Chris’s girlfriend asked him for the benefit of his greater knowledge. In fairness, he did exactly what I would have done in similar circumstances, and gave her a totally inaccurate brief…
After the haggis was piped in, Chris’s girlfriend took centre stage, cleared her throat, declaimed ‘Wee sleekit, cowering, timorous beastie…’, and then wondered why every man in the room had drawn the ceremonial dagger from his sock.]
Anyway, the flash drive which turned up at the back of a drawer this week held a shitload of Aberdare Online memories. Along with An Excerpt from Dodge This
, which I posted a couple of days ago, there was a piece by ‘Valley Boy’, which came to light in the nick of time.
VB, as we knew him on the forum, was an expat Pontypridd supporter living in Kent and working in London. In spite of our best efforts he refused all offers to join the Dodge This Posse. Even so, he broke cover at one point, and there’s actually a photograph of us together. We took the campaign against the council tax to Westminster (see The Armchair Anarchist
) and met VB in the flesh.
After we’d paraded around Westminster for a couple of hours, Brychan (his real name) took us to a gay pub near Charing Cross Station. A day which had begun in surreal fashion rapidly descended into complete chaos when we became accidentally involved with a gang of gay Swedish bikers. You really couldn’t make it up…
Anyway, Brychan wrote a piece for St Dwynwen’s Day and posted it on the forum. Here it is, reproduced entirely without his permission (he knows where to find me!):
The Legend of St Dwynwen.
Many years ago, in the dark ages, before the Welsh Assembly was established, there was a old prince from Brecon who hunted foxes and was useless at contraception. He had 24 daughters, and this was so expensive he banished one of them, Dwynwen, to North Wales. While in a seedy night club in Llangefni, Dwynwen met a bloke called Maelon and she fell in love.
Unfortunately, Dwynwen’s father had already promised her marriage to a bloke from Swansea, and Dwynwen had a girly fit and got rat arsed in the woods on sweet drink (probably Bacardi Breezer). When she awoke found her new lover Maelon standing over her turned to Ice (hence the drink Smirnoff Ice).
Dwynwen prayed to God, and was granted three wishes, her first wish was to unfreeze Maelon, her second wish was that she’d no longer sleep around like Merched Mon, and her third wish was that her love for Maelon would last forever, hence the old Celtic phase, ‘Nothing wins the heart like a Smirnoff Ice.’
The two lovers were united in passion and drove off to that well known car park in the woods near Llanddwyn, where they made love. Luckily, there was one last house in the village not occupied by retired people from England and Dwynwen founded a place of pilgrimage for lovers, which went under the pseudonym of Ffynnon Dwynwen, which naturally referred to the sexual prowess of the ‘pilgrims.’
Over time the house Llanddwyn was known to heal sick and distressed animals, hence the word ‘dogging’ so common in that part of Wales to this day. It’s often said that Dwynwen started the tradition of sending love spoons but this is hotly contested by St Ericsson and St Nokia.