This weekend I shall be venturing down to my capital city – Caerdydd (Cardiff). It’s a wonderful place with plenty to do, and since its acception as Prifddinas Cymru (the Capital of Wales) in 1955 it’s come a long way. Alfresco dining, for God’s sake!
My reason for the venture, however, is rugby. Wales’ national sport – despite the odd disagreement in North Wales – and, surprisingly, we are actually pretty good at it! This weekend sees Italy face the might of Welsh rugby with little chance (according to the media, at least) of the visitors coming away with anything close to a victory. I mean come on, the last time Italy came to Wales and won anything worth being bothered about was when the Romans came!
For me, the game will be an unique experience. I’ve never seen a Welsh rugby union team lock horns on Welsh soil. I’ve seen the rugby league team play admirably in Wrexham and I was part of a deflated Welsh audience in Paris after a loss in the Six Nations 2009…. but this is new. The fact I get to support my nation on home grounds is a wonderful thing.
I guess I’ll be able to liken my expressions and emotions to those tourists you find dotted around cities etc these days. The ones who find it almost ‘cool’ to take pictures of everything in sight! I’ve been there myself, taking pictures of newts that scrurry past my broken sunbed whilst on holiday. It’s only when you arrive home that you relive the past joys and then realise that we have newts in this bloody country too! But I’ll be there, with my face a picture. A new experience.
But back to those wonderful tourists who ask random people to take random pictures of them standing under some random statue that nobody really cares about. Their faces upon seeing magnificent and fresh things that we just simply take for granted – it’s quite incredible, really. I mean, do they go home and appreciate that old statue that’s been plaguing their view of a favourite corner shop all their lives? No, I’d guess not! Yet to us, it would deserve its own theme on Facebook where it gets its own album of around 45 pictures – including a couple of ‘funnies’ of your mates hugging it! To us, it’s a new thing. A fresh thing. A reason to see it for what it is.
As ‘locals’ of Wales do we appreciate what’s in front of us? Some random, old man walking past us talking some primitive language into thin air – just because that’s the only thing that will listen to him these days…. or that park bench with the rusty plaque you sit on to eat a pasty and pretend that reading the Daily Mail means you’re intellectual…. or a mighty mountain…. a softened hill…. a whispering stream…. a quiet vale…. a friend?
I realise it’s hard (and rather weird in many cases) to go round being amazed by everything we’ve grown up with. In fact, I suppose these things can even bore us at times. And going on the fact I’m of 1×10^-6,999,999,999 influence to the world today, I doubt I’m going to change many bored minds on this one – but try to enjoy, be proud, be fulfilled, be amazed, be mystified and be ready- ready to accept these as your own. Your own bit of sky.
And however you look at it, these are the cards we’ve been dealt – so we have to play them! Oooooh, metaphorical philosophy! Although I suppose depending on the game you could receive 13 and ‘burn’ your hand for a new set….
Anyway, need I end this with anything simpler than a…. smiley face? 🙂