My television debut came some years ago when, for some reason, the cameras picked me out in the half-time crowd during a Welsh Cup final between Wrexham and Newport County. I was stuffing my face with a meat pie at the time and was supposedly too ill to attend a family christening elsewhere.
Anyway, my real debut, when the people behind the camera actually wanted to hear what I had to say, came just a couple of weeks ago on a wet and windy morning in B5105 land. I met the good people of S4/C's primetime magazine programme, Wedi 7 at the Foel Boncyn picnic site near Clawddnewydd. The fact that the interview was to be conducted entirely in Welsh took me so far out of my comfort zone that one of my eyebrows actually fell off during filming. Thankfully, through the magic of television editing, that facial malfunction was never seen by viewers.
My interviewer was none other than Welsh singing star Meinir Gwilym which earned me great kudos amongst my daughter and her friends. Thanks also to Rhys the camera and Emyr the sound for helping me to get my story across. They were with me, filming and interviewing, for about 2 hours. For the story, I did a Lucozade collection along just one mile of the B5105. And amazingly, collected 41 empty Lucozades for the cameras. That's 41 lpm (lucozades per mile). Beat that, B5113!
It's a long time since I last watched anything on the telly from behind a cushion - that was probably something with Peter Cushing in it and I would have been about 12 at the time. This time I was, ahem, considerably older, and it was me on the telly that was doing the scaring. I had no idea I sounded like that. Or indeed looked like that. But the show came and went, nobody wrote me any hate mail. My friends and colleagues all saw it too, and they still seem to be friends and colleagues so it can't have been that bad. Anyway it's expired from S4/C's clic service now but thanks to the miracles of modern video-ripping technology you can watch still watch it via the magnificence of youTube.
North Wales Police are1 looking for a car with a telegraph pole shaped hole in the bonnet following a hit and run in the early hours of yesterday, or the day before, recently. The incident, along the B5105 near Ynyswen left this antique, quadruple arms-wood former GPO pole mortally wounded as the driver callously drove off without stopping to administer carpentry first-aid.
Insult was added to injury for this elderly pole when an eye-witness later reported seeing a bedraggled telegraph pole enthusiast raiding the remains for souvenirs.
Anyone with any information is requested to write it on a leaf and drop it into some water under a bridge. In strictest confidence.
1 probably not.
...That's how I was described by the Daily Post (22nd March 2011). I wasn't sure what madcap meant. The nearest I could get was; insane, but with adequate headwear. Fair enough. I've got a drawer full of bobble hats, and if I were to turn the house upside-down I could probably put my hands on a bowler hat somewhere.
The report - that which wasn't lifted straight from these very pages - very much concentrated on the angle of "nut-job takes photographs of Lucozade bottles" instead of my intended "What's with all the litter, folks?"
Ho hum! But it did hit a few nerves out there though, and my dreams of receiving the Nobel prize for services to litter highlightification are still very much alive...
For long enough this website has displayed a counter showing the number of empty Lucozade bottles along the length of the B5105. Now I have to confess, that this numeric display has been just an estimate. But now, so appalled by the amount of rubbish littering the verges of my favourite 'B' road, I have decided to quantify and catalogue these empties once and for all. The result will henceforth be known as :
It is my intention to walk the entire 13.3 mile length of the B5105 - twice - once for each verge - and photograph every single item of Lucozade Litter.
26.6 miles is a bit much for one go, especially as I will be walking against the traffic with eyes to the verge for the merest glint of orange label from the undergrowth. So the project will be broken down over a number of sessions.
And now that I have day 1 under my belt I can give you a bit of a breakdown:
I was intending covering both verges on one pass - but with my survival a stated goal, this is impossible - so I must walk once in each direction.
My results are +25%/-2%. This means :
* Up to 2% of my photographs could have been mis-identified on account of being badly mangled by the verge cutter.
* There could (easily) be 25% more in the undergrowth / further from the verge. The grass has died and flattened over many bottles and some litter droppers have a good throwing arm - I didn't investigate other than the immediate verge and what was visible to me as I passed.
Read Progress reports :
I must emphasise that OTHER brands of soft drinks bottles are available to be found along the verges of the B5105. I could just as easily have done my survey on; Pepsi-cola, Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Powerade, mineral waters(various), Red Bull and even Irn Bru.
But it was the proliferation of Lucozade bottles along the B5105 that first began to get under my skin. It is, therefore, these that form the basis of my investigation.