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South Wales Evening Post column, February 23, 2024

Robert Lloyd PR, Media and Marketing Consultancy News, Newspaper columns South Wales Evening Post column, February 23, 2024

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South Wales Evening Post column, February 23, 2024

Posted By RobertLloyd58

PERHAPS it is a sign of old age? Or perhaps it is it is the unlocking of a new and cherished piece of wisdom?

Maybe, it’s the controversial new 20mph speed limits in Wales, or it could be a rebellion against the mobile phone age?

Whatever the answer, the reality is that I’ve found a new appreciation for not rushing around, constantly fighting the ever-ticking clock. In short, I am more ‘in the moment’, as the lifestyle gurus are fond of saying.

What’s brought this on? A combination of the factors above.

Say what you like about 20mph, but it has (in my case, at least) made driving a more relaxing experience. Allow extra time for that journey and all is well.

In my experience, most road rage and motoring issues stem from not allowing enough time to complete the task in hand.

Round the corner at my local primary school, the morning race to beat the school bell is punctuated by the screech of brakes, the angry toot of horns and the huffs and puffs of stressed-out mums and dads who put life and limb (and the safety of their children) at risk in their race to the schoolyard.

The solution is simple (as I tell any parent or guardian willing to listen): set your alarm clock earlier, get out of bed earlier and pace yourself for a calm journey to the school gates.

The same stressed-out mums and dads are the ones you stand next to at music concerts and sporting events. You know the ones. They are constantly videoing and photographing everything and connecting to their social media apps to show their ‘friends’ what a great time they are having.

They are so busy snapping and tapping on their phones that they forget to enjoy the moment, that cracking goal or try, that never-to-be-repeated piece of music.

On a visit to Morriston Crematorium (visits are becoming increasingly regular, by the way), a pal reminded me of a critical fact.

“You do realise,” he said, as he watched the hearse approach up the drive, “that one day we will be making the same one-way journey!”

That simple sentence had a way of sharpening the mind.

So, does this new philosophy of being more relaxed work?

Well, I’m more chilled than the freezer department at Asda.

In practice, it yields surprising results. Take last weekend, when we were in The Cotswolds for a reconnaissance mission at a wedding venue (more on this in June!).

The nagging voice of the Sat-Nav lady insisted the ‘quickest route home’ would be on the M5 and M4, via the notorious headache we call the Brynglas Tunnels in Newport.

As I drove from Stow-on-the-Wold, I discovered we would be crossing the old A40 – once the road of choice for journeys from west Wales to London in pre-motorway days.

Immediately, I had a flashback to the days when you could get very classy and personalised paper routemaps from the AA. They were days when motoring was an adventure, rather than a chore, a time when you could explore the countryside and roadside attractions at your leisure.

So, with a flick of the indicator lights, I turned right to the road less travelled.

And what a treat it was. Rambling countryside, a leisurely lunch at a roadside pub and a petrol stop at a station which didn’t boast Pont Abraham prices.

We arrived home in reasonable time – and thoroughly relaxed.

It all reminded me of the famous ‘Leisure’poem by the original Supertramp, William Henry (WH) Davies, who wrote, ‘What is this life if, full of care,/We have no time to stand and stare.’


THERE’S been a lot of rugby nostalgia in this column recently, what with the departures of two of our rugby greats, JPR Williams and Barry John.

The tributes, I am glad to report, have been read far and wide.

For example, my old pal Angelo Morello, from Rovigo in northern Italy, has been in touch to say how much he enjoyed the columns, as they took him on a journey down memory lane.

Rovigo is a town which will be familiar to many rugby fans as it was once home to the legendary Welsh coach Carwyn James.

Carwyn coached Rugby Rovigo – and former teacher Angelo is continuing his mission to keep the coach’s legacy alive by developing rugby and cultural links between west Wales and Treviso, Bologna and Rovigo.

Angelo has fond memories of Barry John and wrote to me to explain more –

‘It was nice that you mentioned Barry’s brothers, Allan and Clive (Allan sadly died in 2022, but Clive is still with us).

‘I have memories of 24 years ago, when we spent a week at Trinity College in Carmarthen, a time when I helped take our first Under-15s rugby tour from this area to ‘Galles’.

‘We played Gwendraeth, Tumble and Llandovery. At Trinity, I made friends with Allan, who worked there for many years. He gave me a large autographed photo of the three brothers.

‘Two years earlier, I’d been in touch with Barry. He sent me a couple of articles on the subject of violence among football supporters. They were translated and published in Il Resto del Carlino (Bologna-based), the national newspaper Carwyn collaborated with every Tuesday during his stay in Rovigo.’

The latest part of Angelo’s mission to keep the Carwyn James legacy alive in Italy continues next month.

Angelo added: ‘On March 28, we are running our usual Under-15s Carwyn James Easter Tournament. Cobra Rugby and Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth will participate.

‘On the cultural front, we arranged the first Carwyn James Choir Festival in 2023. Machynlleth Choir sang. We are planning a second edition of the festival in October and November.’

Any choirs looking for a trip to Italy later in the year should email me and I’ll pass on details to Angelo.

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