27 December 2009 0 Comments

In your face Tom Jones: I’m a Welsh icon

Welsh Icons (“an Encyclopedia and Gazetteer of Wales and all Things Welsh – A Cymrupedia if you like.”…uh, “Cymru” being the Welsh word for Wales.) lists me among the “iconic” writers on its site. That puts me in the company of thriller king Ken Follett, sinister Willy Wonka-man Roald Dahl, and upright role model Dylan Thomas. Diolch yn fawr, as we say in Wales when we mean to say “thanks very much.” My wife nearly choked on her bagel when I told her, but then she added: “Sure, you’re an icon.” New York sarcasm.

The listing is, of course, a great follow-up to my mother’s recent phone call in which she informed me that one of her friends in her pottery class found my name on Wikipedia’s notable people from Newport list, that being my home town in South Wales. I’m right there between Johnny Morris (who, for those reading in the US, hosted a British children’s show about animals) and Michael Sheen, the actor famous for playing Tony Blair and David Frost. (Further down the list: rappers Goldie Lookin’ Chain and King Arthur’s sixth-century pal St. Cadoc.)

Anyway, from Jerusalem (which is rather full of actual icons and much too “iconic” for its own good) I wish you a happy new year: Blwyddwyn Newydd Dda!

(In case you’re wondering why “Wales” isn’t Welsh for Wales. “Wales” is derived from the Old English, that is Saxon, word for foreigners. Because when the Saxons came over from Germany, the so-called foreigners were living in what’s now England. But that’s water under the bridge…Twll din pob Sais! I add that with a touch of my wife’s New York sarcasm and not to be taken seriously…)

Leave a Reply