Coming from Northern Ireland (via Scotland), I’ve got an array of cultural references which, frankly would make no sense to the average Welsh person.
Such Norn Irish folk heroes as May McFettridge or Julian Simmons may fill me with memories, or Scottish presenters like Dougie Vipond and Sally Magnusson, who are household names north of the border.
It was only when I moved to Wales that I realised the fame of Iolo Williams. A nature expert and wildlife presenter, he’s a regular go-to for the BBC Wales and S4C nature output – a safe pair of hands with the expertise to back up his TV chops.
Aside from admitting that his love for animals didn’t stress to all of the natural world – “If I was a dictator, I’d just do away with all cats” – Iolo was chatting about his love of the sea and the coastline of Wales.
Having never lived further than 40 minutes from the sea at the most, I’m inclined to agree with him when he says, “I was always fascinated by the sea”.
Those raised paddling in rock pools, swimming in inclement waters and generally messing about in the salt water understand when they grow up exactly how closely related to the marine world we are, how it’s simply an extension of land under there.
That didn’t stop me from developing a pathological fear of sharks which has stayed with me throughout my days – but then, as nature lover Iolo shows, even if you love one part of Mother Nature’s bounty, you don’t have to love it all.
Read the piece here