Monday, 27 October 2014

Bugger all, innit?

On this, the centenary of that greatest of Welshmen the poet Dylan Thomas, among the quirkier tributes - we missed the whole celebratory festival in his old drinking haunts of Fitzrovia in London, including the arrival of his writing shed(!), which is apparently touring the country - was a most unlikely coupling, of the audio kind.

For none other than the fantabulosa latter-day "Queen of Cymru" Cerys Matthews (of Catatonia fame) and the normally gruff (Welsh) anchor man of BBC Radio 4's deadly serious Today programme this morning read together a lovely extract from the Bard's master-work, Under Milk Wood:

Perhaps the funniest part was when he got Cerys to say - out loud, at breakfast-time - the name of Milk Wood's notorious village "Llareggub" backwards, as it was meant to be read - "Bugger All"!

[If the clip doesn't play, try the originating site Audioboom]

“Poetry is not the most important thing in life... I'd much rather lie in a hot bath reading Agatha Christie and sucking sweets.”

“An alcoholic is someone you don't like, who drinks as much as you do.”

“I know we're not saints or virgins or lunatics; we know all the lust and lavatory jokes, and most of the dirty people; we can catch buses and count our change and cross the roads and talk real sentences. But our innocence goes awfully deep, and our discreditable secret is that we don't know anything at all, and our horrid inner secret is that we don't care that we don't.”

“When one burns one's bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.”

“I do not need any friends. I prefer enemies. They are better company and their feelings towards you are always genuine.”

“Wales: The land of my fathers. My fathers can have it!”

Dylan Marlais Thomas (27th October 1914 - 9th November 1953)

Dylan Thomas Centenary website

More Dylan Thomas classics, courtesy - this time - of Richard Burton (who was born to read Under Milk Wood, and, indeed, Thomas' work in general.

My previous blog showcasing Cerys and Catatonia.


Even more Dylan Thomas!


  1. I didn't know that the Museum of Camp was here!
    Funny man that Dylan Thomas :-)

    1. Ah, you have stumbled upon it at last - much like the mythical "Numinous book of the Nine Heavens of Cavernous Moisture of the Treasure Kalpa", it exists in its own dimension...



      PS This year's Dylan Thomas celebrations have been wild and wacky, it would seem - most fitting, methinks, for the man who took the piss out of his own talents so much: “A born writer is born scrofulous; his career is an accident dictated by physical or circumstantial disabilities.”

  2. It took a Welsh man to express the beauty of the English language !
    And I for one shall always be in his dept for that.

    1. His description of Soho alone is a classic: "[bars full of] “knickerless women, enamouring from the cane tables, waiting in the fumes for the country cousins to stagger in, all savings and haywisps”.

      A genius. Jx


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