Does anybody remember the cartoon called Ivor The Engine? Well when trawling through the YouTube website today I happened upon a few episodes of the short programme. It is remarkable watching it now as it seems to come across like a five-minute Welsh Tourist Board advert. This is as result of not only the location in North Wales but the existence of stereotypes such as coal-mining, choral music, Idris the dragon, the faux-Cymraeg placenames and a general sense of and emphasis on smallness. It may not be as entertaining as watching it when you were five years old but give it a watch anyway.For more information on Ivor The Engine go to http://www.smallfilms.co.uk/ivor/.
Cover image. © Penguin Books. I stumbled across Nuruddin Farah’s novels when searching for something written by a Somali author. Perhaps due to the conflict that has raged for years in Somalia, it is very difficult to find much from Somali writers published in English. From a Crooked Rib was published in 1970 and tells the story of Ebla, a young, orphaned, illiterate nomadic girl, who runs away from her encampment. She takes the decision to leave upon learning of her Grandfather’s intention to marry her off to an older man within their Jes (a group of families living in an encampment together). She firstly escapes to a town, Belet Amin, where she finds her cousin and his pregnant wife. She also finds a guide and confidante in a character known only as the widow. Things seem settled until, yet again, Ebla finds her freedom compromised by a male character – this time her cousin, whose wife and child Ebla has been nursing. In her haste she leaves Belet Amin with the w