Cardiff: City of the Unexpected

It’s been an extraordinary weekend in Cardiff as the city indulged in huge celebrations of the centenary of the birth of writer Roald Dahl, who was born in Llandaff.

I’ve been too busy with other things to see many of the events organised under the banner of City of the Unexpected, but to give you an idea of the scale here’s a shot of the crowds in front of Cardiff Castle watching the James and the Giant Peach episode.


The picture was taken by a member of the South Wales Fire service who were assisting at the event.

This happens also to be the welcome weekend for new students at Cardiff University, and I suspect many were a bit bemused by the goings-on!

It’s also worth mentioning that, as well as being a prolific author of children’s books, Road Dahl was the son of Norwegian immigrants. He was also a fighter pilot in the RAF during World War 2 who served with great distinction in North Africa and Greece, despite being seriously injured when his plane crashed while attempting to land.

Anyway, we’ll done to the organisers of this remarkable event which has put a big smile on the face of this great city.

4 Responses to “Cardiff: City of the Unexpected”

  1. This is exactly the kind of event that towns and cities in Wales should organise. Congratulations to Cardiff for doing this.

    Cardiff could have done something similar three years ago to mark the centenary of the birth of the poet R. S. Thomas in the city. It could have had giant figures of peasant farmers and wildlife being antisocial to each other.

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      Just how celebrated RS Thomas is in his native Wales I don’t know, but in England (and NB I live very near Wales) this giant of poetry deserves to be FAR better known. I suggest, indeed, that he will be better remembered than Roald Dahl in a century’s time.

      • It’s not really relevant but I just heard today that Gwydion Thomas (son of RS Thomas) died in the early hours of Thursday 15th September in Hospital near Hastings. Rest in peace.

  2. Roald Dahl is a wonderful writer. His children’s stories often combine delightful humor and whimsy with a darkness and even nastiness that keeps them from turning saccharine. His stories for adults are also memorably creepy.

    My brother has an audiobook recording of Dahl reading some of his own stories, which is enormously entertaining. In “The Magic Finger”, something very bad happens to the narrator’s schoolteacher (the narrator is a young girl). I can still hear Dahl’s voice as he reads, “I suppose you are wondering whether Miss Winter is quite all right. The answer is no, and she never will be.”

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