The day then improved in dramatic fashion, and it was something that I hadn’t really envisioned. Cardiff City football team, my hometown, the team that I supported as a lad, going to home games with my father week in week out, and whom I once saw beat Real Madrid, were finally promoted from the Championship – the division below the Premier League – to the Premier League at the end of last season, and today was their first home game in this division.
I’m happy for the fans, for the city and for the club – the players, manager, and owners – being in the Premier league and beating teams like Manchester City will help to put Cardiff on the map. There are going to be some hangovers tomorrow in Cardiff!
You can read the match report here.
Last Saturday I went out for dinner with an English friend of mine, and he said that the name of my website leads people to believe that the content will be predominantly about Wales. Those of you that have explored the site will know that some of the content is about Wales, but not everything.
The name of the site came about after various brainstorming sessions, and plays on the meaning of the word – views – which can mean an image, as in, “The view from Times Square,” or opinions, as in, “My view of Times Square as a tourist attraction.” As I am Welsh, if either of these views were mine then they could rightly be considered as a Welsh view, and there you have it in a nutshell.
I have, and will continue to write about Wales, but also about Colombia, my present home, life as an expat, and anything else which I feel may be interesting for people to read. I don’t want to write articles with too many facts and figures as anyone that wants to, can find these on internet if their heart desires. What I want is to develop my own style of writing, my own voice, and above all to make what I write entertaining and enjoyable to read. It’s impossible to please everyone, but hopefully many of the people that visit this site will find something that strikes a chord, and makes them want to return for more.
Another point my friend raised was that nowadays people in general don’t seem to have time, or the inclination to leave comments. He’s right, and this is encouraged even more so by Facebook “like” and Google + buttons.
It’s far easier to click “like” or +1 than leave a comment, but it is also far less personal. As a webmaster, I have to say that it is important for my site’s development, that as many people as possible click on these buttons, as when a person lands on one of my pages for the first time the number of “likes” or +1´s can influence their decision to explore more or exit. The higher the number, the more chance they will stay on the site and explore it in more detail. However, when people leave comments the site becomes three dimensional, it starts to have a heart and soul, it becomes live, just like the photographs and pictures in the Harry Potter books where the people move around, rather than remaining motionless.
There are some people that have left comments on my blog, and I really appreciate them doing so, but it would be great to see many more visitors doing the same.
Email, chat, What’s App, and all the similar applications available these days to contact people in an instant are great, but at the same time they are less personal. When I travelled round South America in the early 80’s, none of these forms of communication existed, so I wrote letters on thin airmail paper and sent them to my list of contacts that appeared in a small black address book I carried with me.
The letters probably took between two to four weeks to arrive, but they were works of art. My best friend in Cardiff told me once that he still has all the letters I sent him from that thirteen month trip. How many of us cherish an email that someone sends us so much that we keep it in a special place as a souvenir of our friendship? Read, answer, delete – next.
I have heard people say that they have six-hundred or so friends on Facebook- they don’t! Nobody does. They may have six-hundred acquaintances, but friends no. Friends are people with whom you have meaningful conversations, who are there for you when you need help, who accept that sometimes you act like a jerk, but still want to see you again. Friends are people with whom you share a lot of memories, and make sure you get home safely when you have too much to drink, not a list of names on a computer screen.
Sometimes I don’t see my friends in Britain for one or two years, but when we meet it’s like we were together yesterday, there’s closeness, empathy, humour, an understanding that words can’t describe. And why is it like that? Because we are really friends, not just a list of names with ridiculous yellow faces bouncing around next to them on a screen.
On many occasions I have seen people here sitting round a table in a café or restaurant and rather than talking to each other they are all staring blankly into their mobile phones, texting someone or reading a text message sent to them. I’m sure this scene is repeated all over the world, twenty-four hours a day. That’s sad.
With all the technology available to us these days I believe we are in fact becoming worse communicators rather than better. Why not stop the rot, and have an inspiring conversation with a friend!
In summary, all these applications have their uses, but don’t let meaningful conversation die out.
So there you go, very little about Wales, but they are Welsh views.
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