The very best of lo­cal ta­lent recog­nised at great cel­e­bra­tion

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS - You can fol­low Phil Evans on Twit­ter @phil­e­van­swales or visit www.phil­e­

SOME of you may be aware that be­sides pol­i­tics I have a great love of mu­sic and lit­er­a­ture, hav­ing writ­ten and com­posed many songs and mu­si­cal ar­range­ments in a var­ied ca­reer.

Noth­ing gives me more plea­sure than to be able to take the time ei­ther to give mu­si­cal form to songs that are wait­ing to be writ­ten or to craft some words into a po­etic form.

So it was my great plea­sure to be a guest at the Car­marthen­shire Cel­e­bra­tion of Cul­ture Awards on Fri­day evening, an op­por­tu­nity to recog­nise the very best of lo­cal ta­lent and those who ded­i­cate their lives to supporting arts and her­itage in its var­i­ous forms.

We handed out 20 awards to in­di­vid­u­als and groups and en­joyed beau­ti­ful per­for­mances from Côr y Strade and Cerys Ang­harad, a 10-year old harpist who has won nu­mer­ous na­tional awards, and added an­other to her col­lec­tion by the end of the evening by pick­ing up our spe­cial award for Young Ta­lent.

Our Out­stand­ing Con­tri­bu­tion to Cul­ture award went to Gwyn Nicholas, mu­si­cal direc­tor of Côr Llan­pum­saint, which cel­e­brates its 40th an­niver­sary this year.

My thanks to every­one in­volved in or­gan­is­ing, short­list­ing and pre­par­ing for this event, and also to BBC Ra­dio Cymru pre­sen­ter Marc Grif­fiths who com­pered the cer­e­mony.

See more from the awards on pages 28-31

CWE’RE well into spring. We’ve had some mild, sunny days and the early evenings are lighter for longer.

So, what bet­ter time to start se­ri­ously think­ing about where to go for Christ­mas lunch?

Ac­tu­ally, I can think of a much bet­ter time. Midnight on De­cem­ber 24. How­ever, ac­cord­ing to a del­uge of un­so­licited emails I’ve re­ceived re­cently from ho­tels and restau­rants, I should look at their “sump­tu­ous” Christ­mas menus and con­sider how many lunch guests to pay a de­posit for.

Yikes! It’s not even Easter and they want me to start spend­ing money on Christ­mas! But that’s our world to­day. We are con­stantly ca­joled, pushed, per­suaded . . . black­mailed even . . . into spend­ing money on events and “spe­cial days” from Jan­uary to De­cem­ber.

You may re­mem­ber my ar­ti­cle about the naked greed of su­per­mar­kets which, from the mo­ment they’ve sold the last gar­den ta­ble, chairs and para­sol set on Au­gust Bank Hol­i­day Mon­day, seem to cover all bases in their ef­fort to prise ev­ery last coin out of your hands.

Overnight, shelves groan un­der the weight of Hal­loween tat. Posters then go up ad­ver­tis­ing Novem­ber 5 fire­works for sale . . . to adults only.

And, as the staff hang tin­sel and plas­tic San­tas on the

re­main­ing shelf space, the same 25 Christ­mas songs we hear ev­ery year start play­ing in the back­ground.

And all this hap­pens, not as Johnny Mathis tells us “A child is born”, but be­cause the own­ers of su­per­mar­kets and the man­u­fac­tur­ers and im­porters, whose goods we buy, want to take our cash from us.

It’s as sim­ple as that.

So, when an ad pops up on my lap­top, ask­ing: “Have you thought about spend­ing Christ­mas and new year with us at the No Sea View Ho­tel and ‘Spar’ (the shop is open Christ­mas morn­ing for those last-minute gifts like a packet of cooked ham and a can of WD40”) I shout at the screen in my best Noddy Holder voice: “No! Be­cause it’s April. NOT Chri­i­i­isss…mas!”

Co­me­dian Phil Evans from Am­man­ford is known as the man who puts the “cwtsh” into com­edy

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