Whilst I wouldn't like to have to announce the contents, I at least can understand the departure boards...
We go back to the roots of bork today with a good, old-fashioned Blue Screen of Death, courtesy of Transport for Wales. Today's BSOD, snapped by Register reader John, is nestled neatly between a pair of screens that show what we believe are departures and arrivals from Newport Station in southern Wales. Ordinarily, the BSOD …
I remember driving across Anglesey in my Uni days past the bus depot on the A5 where a poor unfortunate sign-writer had ignored the 'measure twice, cut once' rule. They had started confidently painting LlanfairPwyllGwyn across the engine access panel on the rear of a bus and then had a panic attack on realizing that the remaining characters would not fit. The next few letters bunched up, but the terminating 'goch' still ended up on the main bodywork. The bus was in service for many years after that... Morale: check that your font size and kerning fits the user window before committing to a display write..
I thought "Londinium" was Roman :-)
Or even more confusingly "I live in Newport" mutates in a different way, "'dw i'n byw yng Nghasnewydd".
Don'cha love it?
Of course, half term week should be the week of the Urdd Eisteddfod. Traditionally the organisation sends a "message of peace and goodwill" around the world at the same time. This year's is a little different to the usual:
Oh did you have to?
Not even worthy of a downvote.
Definitely worthy of a late-night ramble :-)
Here, have another silly factoid. In much the same way that English didn't always have a word for "orange" (hence the Robin is "red"), Welsh didn't always have a separate word for green. Instead the word "glas", which these days is mostly used to mean "blue", did double duty. It confuses learners when people talk of "porfa las" - no, they probably don't mean "blue pasture", they are more likely intending "verdant".
P.S. There is quite a lot of evidence that bi- or multi-lingualism conveys cognitive benefits above and beyond the simple fact of having two languages. It does, however, have to be full bilingualism rather than the sort of second language teaching most schools in the UK practice. And it's not just the obvious candidates such as Canada where this sort of thing happens, I recently came across bilingual schools in Australia of all places. Wales is interesting because of its schools which teach through the medium of the Welsh language, even where the children attending come from English-speaking homes. You may argue that learning Mandarin or German would be more globally useful than Welsh, but the cognitive benefits accrue no matter which language is spoken.
Bassaleg, pronounced locally as "Baze-lig". Never quite understood why.
The line is in occasional use for a quarry, but the remainder of the line, which ran from Newport to Caerphilly and Brecon was closed some time ago, with the last section - which ran to the mine and coke plant at Bedwas - turned into a cycle track.
There are some tentative plans to re-open the line, possibly as light rail, which would make commuting from Caerphilly to Newport an awful lot easier, might make commuting to Cardiff easier (via the new Cardiff Parkway station) and would certainly help if the thousands of houses being planned, are actually built to the East of Caerphilly.
As with elsewhere in the country, re-opened lines seem to be very much in demand. The Ebbw Vale branch, which rather inconveniently can't send trains to Newport until a junction is upgraded, has been open since shortly after the steel plant closed and has seen far higher use than initially anticipated.
I visit Newport station on a fairly regular basis and used to before the new terminal. The new building is cold and draughty at the best of times, let alone the platforms themselves. To be honest, I preferred the old layout, but the worst part with the new layout? There are no short-term parking bays around the back. The car park at the rear is large (well, not at the moment but that's another story) and easily accessible if you know which road to go down but it's long-term pay-and-display only, except for a couple of drop-off bays.
The free short-term bays are around the "front", so if I'm picking someone up I can pull in and wait for up to 20 minutes, even smile nicely at the person on the gate and help carry bags, but the front is in the middle of a 20mph one-way system and while from my direction getting in is almost as easy as getting to the back, getting back out again involves about a half a mile around the one-way system, crossing the same two pedestrian crossings twice (once in each direction) and navigating a roundabout where you have to stay hard right to get where I need to go, but the lane markings don't make that at all obvious, so there are always traffic conflicts, cars ending up in the bus lane, or unintentionally heading for a car park.
And you don't get to walk into the station past the slightly unusual sculpture.
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