Last week we held our final auditions for my mum’s trust at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. The talent was fantastic. As a trustee I only wish that we could help each candidate that walked through the door. Everybody we saw was worthy of funding. I really was blown away with the hugely gifted vocalists, instrumentalists, actors, ballet and contemporary dancers.  I was so lucky to hear and see them all.

Wales is producing top talent across the board. My big worry is that there is so little funding to support them. We say that we are a land of song; I think we could be much bolder and shout across our ancient land that we produce world-class artists that we are proud of showcasing on an international stage. We need to open our eyes to what we have.

As I said last week this is The Elizabeth Evans Trust’s tenth and final year. During that time we have awarded 122 grants totalling £68,000. More importantly the trust has in all probability made a significant difference to the students and as we are constantly told, to their careers too. Please look after our arts.

This week, I was very touched to read that I had been shortlisted in the Ambassadors category of the Carmarthen Journal Community awards. I wish everyone that has been shortlisted the best of luck. If you’re going you will have a ball but take tissues. It’s an emotional evening.

And so it’s that time again. Time for me to do the one thing that I really hate ….. I mean really hate. My cat will protest and try his best to stop me, my daughter will ignore me and I always feel flat when I’m doing it. But it has to be done. I must be a man. It’s Saturday and I can either watch Shrek or climb the ladder to darkness. Yes to the attic and fight amongst the Christmas decorations to get the big black thing down! Yes folks it’s time to pack.

I hate going away from home, hate not seeing Myfi, hate not being in my own bed etc.  BUT I love adventures once they begin and so Monday morning another adventure will begin with a 6.15am pick up for a flight to Boston, Massachusetts where today I’m told it’s 19*c, wind E at 13mph and 78% humidity.

So what does that mean? What do I pack? You see I really hate this packing malarkey cause I get it wrong so often. I ended up in the Antarctic with shorts, T-shirt and a pair of flip flops in -10, but that’s another story for another day. Well Carmarthen was 12*c today so I’m thinking that 19*c should be lush. So I’m risking the same outfit that I took to the Antarctic and I’m hoping this time it might work. Case open, cat in, me bed. Packing can wait.

This article was originally published in the Carmarthen Journal in Mark’s weekly column for the paper.

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