Thursday, September 24, 2009

Conferences and Something For The Weekend

September is conference season, so what with preparing, delivering and recovering from different conferences, that’s been my month so far!

A fortnight ago we had the highly successful Plaid Cymru conference in Llandudno. I spoke on the motion about St Athan, where I represented the concerns of residents from nearby areas such as Llanmaes, Millands Park and St Athan itself to Plaid’s delegates from throughout Wales.

The planning permission for the Defence Training College itself will be debated tonight at the Vale of Glamorgan’s planning committee.

Then last week I attended a Mercator-sponsored conference on minority languages at the Frisian Academy in Friesland (the north-west part of the Netherlands).

At the conference, I gave two different papers at the conference – one regarding Welsh in Argentina as a ‘regional minority language’ in South America and the other about the development of Welsh language music during the 1990s and lessons that can be learnt regarding promotion of minority languages outside the classroom.

While there, I also had the opportunity to meet with members of the Frisian National Party at Friesland’s Provinsehus, such as Sybren Posthumus (see his blog in Frisian), and speak to the province’s head of culture about plans to transfer powers for Frisian language and cultural promotion from the current centralised position in the Dutch capital, Den Haag, in a situation that loosely mirrors our own.

Good luck to them with it.

My third and final conference for the month comes in the form of the European Free Alliance’s think-tank, Centre Maurits Coppetiers, which is holding its General Assembly in Cardiff tomorrow afternoon (Friday).

The CMC will be determining its priorities for the next year in the Friday meeting, but this will be followed by a morning session on Saturday hosted by the Welsh Nationalist Study Group, the Welsh arm of the CMC, where interesting presentations will include policy discussions on international affairs and the recent success of regionalist parties across Europe.

But let no-one accuse me of letting work getting in the way of supporting cultural events in Barry!

With Barry Town officially back on the market, Friday night sees them at home at Jenner Park (7:45pm) against old rivals Afan Lido in Welsh League 1.

Later that night, rock, indie and electro night, Trash Camp, has its second outing at the Savoy at the top end of Broad Street. Last month’s opening night was at capacity before the local pubs had closed for the night, so best get there early!

Now the only unbeaten team in South Wales Senior 2, Cadoxton Barry travel to Nelson Cavaliers for a 2pm kick-off on Saturday while the reserves play the Castle at Wenvoe.

The big match in the Vale Premier though is between the top two sides, with Master Mariner facing the 100% record Cardiff Airport at the Sporty in the Colcot.

Or there’s always a PACT meeting on Barry Island at 3pm (in the Community Centre just up the hill from where Island Marine play Park Vets in Division 2 – does ex-Barry Town manager Paul Giles still play for the Vets?).

If anyone wants to join me later on that night, I’m then going for a curry at the Shahi Noor on High Street on Saturday evening, with a whole row of events taking place afterwards – Matt Blumberg is playing live at Scarlets on Broad Street, Cakehole Presley are at the Borough Arms, while all weekend long there’s going to be the All Wales Beer and Cider Festival at the West End club on St Nicholas Road, sure to include local favourites from the Vale of Glamorgan Brewery and from breweries further afield such as Miws Piws from Porthmadog.

If you see me around, say hi, if not, have a good weekend!

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