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september 2019

CARDIFF TIMES FREE

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editors letter

cardiff times

Welcome

PUBLISHER Cardiff Times

Hi All, and welcome to our September issue.

EDITOR Louise Denning 07903 947594 FEATURES EDITOR Mark Denning 07758 247194 SALES & MARKETING Beth beth@cardiff-times.co.uk

CONTRIBUTORS Wyn Evans, Vince Nolan, Carl Marsh, Sara John, Molly Dutton, Natalie McCulloch, Melissa Compton, Sue Good, Michael James

I don’t know about our readers, but for us these school summer holidays have gone too quickly. We spent a few days at the end of July watching our son play cricket in Bromsgrove, followed by a family holiday in Devon. It was very funny one day watching people clear the beach in the rain whilst we stayed huddling under a tiny shelter until the rain subsided. As we write, we are preparing to head off to Pembrokeshire and guess what, the forecast is for rain! In true British fashion we’ll be outdoors having fun and won’t let the weather dampen our spirits. Our son played his final cricket match of the season for his county team last month, and told us he has loved the whole experience, which has been evident in how much he has smiled at every match he has played! Not to be outdone, our daughter passed her recent ballet exam with flying colours. It’s back to school for the both of them by the time you read this, they are definitely ready to go back! Self-harm is a taboo subject, and some readers may find Natalie McCulloch’s article in this month’s issue distressing to read. Whilst we want to focus on news to cheer our readers up, we also feel it’s important to highlight these issues so that others will know they are not alone. The story is a positive one because the subject is now getting help and addressing their difficult issues. If a story can help one person change a negative into a positive, then that’s a milestone in itself. Finally, a huge good luck to Warren Gatland and the Welsh national rugby squad, who start their quest to win the World Cup this month - the whole nation is behind you. Pob lwc boys!

EDITORIAL

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Until next month, happy reading.

ADVERTISING 07903 947594 EMAIL

info@cardiff-times.co.uk

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Louise & Mark

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Many of us dread to think about the far future. However, it is vital that we plan ahead to save ourselves and our loved ones a great deal of hardship in years to come- and the best place to start is making a Will. Your Will is a powerful document that not only allows you to decide who gets what after you’re gone, but also has a number of other functions, including stating your funeral wishes, appointing guardians for young children and appointing a trusted executor (or several) to deal with your estate when the time comes. It’s clear that a Will is of paramount importance if we want to ensure our wishes are heard. However, what you may not be aware of is that most Wills are very basic, and provide no legal protection for your assets- even if you’ve made your Will, your house, savings and other assets could still be at risk of significant losses during your lifetime and beyond! A Will is a superb starting point, as long as it is the right Will for your circumstances, but it is also important to consider the ways you can provide greater protection for your estate and your loved ones. So, what kind of losses should we all be concerned about?

Protection against Sideways Disinheritance

Relationship Breakdown If you have children, you probably want them to inherit your estate after you’re gone- but what about their partners? Did you know that if you leave behind your property to your child, you are putting that property at risk of being included in a divorce settlement in the event of that child’s relationship breaking down? This is of course a huge risk- and could mean that your property is sold and a share of the proceeds given to your child’s ex-partner! This also applies to your own relationships, especially if you have children from previous relationships- they could lose out on their inheritance should your relationship fail in the future.

Preventing Challenges A recent study from Direct Line suggests that 1 in 4 people would consider contesting a Will if they felt they were not provided for adequately. This could mean that, should you choose to exclude somebody from your Will or reduce their inheritance, they may choose to contest the terms of your Will in court. This could cost your estate thousands of pounds in legal fees, which would in turn reduce the inheritance of your chosen beneficiaries.

Mark Botfield Advertorial - Septem... page 1

Many people are worried about the possibility of children losing out on their inheritance due to remarriage. If you pass away, leaving everything to your spouse, they could eventually remarry- and if they pre-decease their new spouse, everything you left to them could end up going to their new partner! Assets can be held in trust for the benefit of your chosen beneficiaries, ensuring that whatever happens to you, your estate passes to the people you choose- nobody else.

What’s next?

By setting up a lifetime trust, you can avoid this throughout your life and beyond- assets held within a lifetime trust cannot be taken into account in a divorce settlement, effectively ring-fencing them for your chosen beneficiaries.

• Mark Botfield • Tel: 029 2166 0418 • Mob: 07920 104236 • Email: accordlegal@botfield.org • Website: accordlegal.botfield.org

By putting your assets into trust, you can effectively safeguard those assets from estate claims after you’re gone. This means your estate is better protected against third party claims, and ensures your wishes for who you’d like to inherit are heard.

If you would like to find out more about Trusts and how you can utilise them to protect your assets, the first step is to claim your free home visit from Accord. Your local consultant Mark Botfield can visit you in the comfort of your own home, at a time to suit you - best of all, it won’t cost you a penny for our advice. Call Mark on 07920 104236 to find out more.

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September

CONTENTS FEATURES 64 14 September Diary 18 I’m Lovely I Am By Wyn Evans

22 Taking The Sh Away From Self Harm By Natalie McCulloch

26 Beauty - September Beauty Tips 36 Books To Look Out For In September

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40 “In The Words Of…” By Carl Marsh

64 Fashion Done Your Own Way

48 ‘And Another Thing…’ By Vince Nolan

By Molly Dutton

50 Urban Solar - Making A Real Investment For Future Generations

By Sue Good

54 Puzzle Mania

71 Puzzle Mania Solutions

58 Celebrating A Special Birthday - It’s A Piece Of Cake(s)

72 The Welsh Theory Of Relativity

68 Sustainable Food Shopping

By Sara John

By Michael James

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The perfect place to discover thousands of unique items not found on the high street! Also on site are: CafĂŠ Florist Tarot Card Reader Reflexologist

Antiques, Retro, Mid Century, Modern Furniture, vintage clothing, jewellery, toys and more. Over 45 Traders. A quirky and eclectic mix. www.thepumpingstation.cardiff.co.uk 02920 221 085 Penarth Road, Cardiff, CF11 8TT

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LIVING WITHOUT STRESS IS THE SECRET TO A LONG LIFE SAYS ‘LUCKY’ MARGARET, 90 A retired BBC employee celebrating her 90th birthday at a Pontcanna care home has revealed that the secret to a long life is ‘being lucky enough to live without too much stress’.

Margaret came to live at Tŷ Llandaff when one of her close friends, Eirwen Jones, whose late husband lived at the home, recommended it to her.

Margaret Price, who lives at Tŷ Llandaff, an ‘all-inclusive’, residential, nursing, palliative and respite care home in Conway Road, recently celebrated her milestone birthday in style with friends and fellow residents at a summer barbeque. Staff organised live music and entertainment for the party along with delicious food, and the event gave Margaret a chance to reflect on her achievements and fondest memories from the last 90 years.

“I came for a visit and liked it immediately,” she said. “It is comfortable and clean and the grounds are incredibly beautiful. The food is also delicious, and I absolutely love the chocolate drinks that they serve. “The staff are very friendly and arrange trips out and host events at the home so that I never feel confined or idle. Having a musical background and interest in playing the piano, I particularly enjoy listening to the variety of singers that perform live to us.

Originally born in Bury-Port, Carmarthenshire, Margaret went on to have a successful and exciting career at the BBC as a personal assistant to various producers, giving her the opportunity to meet many famous actors and personalities including critically acclaimed Welsh actor Richard Burton who was ‘a very nice man’ but ‘smoked a lot’ and Margaret’s particular favourite, David Attenborough.

“Having never married and not having children I don’t really have many relatives, so it is lovely that the social events put on by staff have ensured that I have built many close friendships with the other residents at Tŷ Llandaff.” Tŷ Llandaff service manager Lisa Cristina said: “We are so happy to have Margaret living with us at Tŷ Llandaff and we are proud to be able to offer her the care and support that she deserves.”

Margaret’s 90 years have been full of adventures. She said: “One of my fondest memories was travelling solo to Russia. From a young age, I had great ambition to explore the world, but felt particularly drawn to Russia and wanted to visit the Red Square. Getting to see it in real life was a fantastic experience and it certainly lived up to my expectations.”

Tŷ Llandaff activities co-ordinator Melanie Geoghegan said: “Margaret’s positive and optimistic outlook is an inspiration to us all and we are all enjoy spending time with her. Everyone here at Tŷ Llandaff wishes Margaret a very happy 90th birthday.”

In spite of a busy career and plenty of travel, Margaret says she owes her many years to the fact that she has lived relatively stress-free life: “I’ve had a very long life, and firmly believe that not putting too much pressure on myself and trying to enjoy every single moment of life has been the reason for this.”

For more information about Tŷ Llandaff call Lisa on 02920 600 100, email info@ tyllandaffcare.com or visit www.tyllandaffcare.com

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The Welsh capital will be hosting OrganFest 2019 in September. A biennial national event, OrganFest this year will be held at landmark churches in Cardiff, at the superb National Museum and at St David’s Hall, and a gala organ concert given by the internationally acclaimed organist and improviser David Briggs will take place in the magnificent surroundings of Llandaff Cathedral. Various Cardiff Venues www.organfest.org.uk

       

     -5 5        Journey to The Nag’s Head to meet the pride of Peckham in a t’riffic night out of wheeling, dealing and eating that starts from the moment you arrive! The Trotters try to drum up some cash, but why is the pub closed on the busiest night of the week!? Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay www.wmc.org.uk

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  "  "-B " %"""&'"  B " %"""&'"    B    B  Cinema under the stars - now a firm favourite in the Castle’s calendar. Bring along your rug, picnic and enjoy your favourite films in the magical setting of the Castle grounds. Cardiff Castle www.cardiffcastle.com

 Г  "Г "Г 5 5  Г  "Г Join us for some family fun on our 3k and 10k walk around Cardiff Bay. Suitable for all ages and abilities, it’s an opportunity to join together in support of Wales’ only children’s hospital, while having a great time with family and friends at the same time. There’ll be plenty to entertain young walkers along the route including characters, face painting, music and maybe the occasional water pistol. All proceeds will go directly to supporting the 73,000 children who receive specialist and often life-saving care at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales each year. Cardiff Bay www.noahsarkcharity.org

What's on Diary - September 2019 page 1

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September Diary

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Written by Willy Russell, the legendary BLOOD BROTHERS tells the captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with fateful consequences. New Theatre, Cardiff www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk

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The 2019 edition of the Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix returns to Principality Stadium on Saturday, September 21. Fans will be hoping of a repeat of the drama that unfolded during the 2018 version, where crowd favourite Tai Woffinden had to settle for the runners-up spot after Polish star Bartosz Zmarzlik blitzed the field with breath-taking speed and skill. Principality Stadium, Cardiff www.principalitystadium.wales

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Excellent guided tours of the church and Bute Mausoleum, learn about the history of this Grade 1 Listed church, its ancient site and its links with the Bute family. An opportunity to trace your ancestors from the Parish Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths, dating from 1731. Quiz trail for children around the church and grounds. A chance to climb to the top of the tower. Take home a souvenir. A warm welcome awaits you. St. Margaret’s Church, Waterloo Road, Roath, Cardiff

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Bute Park’s mixture of mature parkland, woodland and riverside makes it surprisingly plentiful in wild plants, flowers and a variety of fungi throughout the year. Meet at the Castle Street entrance to the park, outside the Pettigrew tearooms. The course starts with a short introduction on what to look for and a brief of the general countryside codes. There’ll be a roughly 2.5 hour walk around the park, learning how to identify the different plants and mushrooms that are found. Bute Park, Cardiff www.wildfooduk.com

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80s pop icon Belinda Carlisle celebrates 30 years of her classic album Runaway Horses in style on Monday 30 September 2019. Released in October 1989, the Californian singer’s third solo album was a huge success in the UK reaching No.4 and being certified Platinum. As well featuring an array of guest artists, Runaway Horses also features several of Belinda’s most beloved songs including Leave a Light On, Summer Rain and La Luna. St David’s Hall, Cardiff www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk

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i’m lovely i am By Wyn Evans Writer Mark O’Connell hosted a programme on Radio 4 recently lauding creative ambivalence[1]. With his guests he considered the prevalence of linear narratives that, in effect, promote certainty: “...almost every trend in public life has been away from ambivalence rather than towards it. Populist movements from the left and the right are about certainty... Yet in real life few decisions are truly clear-cut, there is often a case on both sides, and a reasonable person could easily reach a different conclusion with the same evidence. Most of us, much of the time, have complex and mutually contradictory views on issues large and small. And that’s also true about public life.”

own experience he stated, “as a writer I often find that I don’t know what I think until I start writing about it.” Similarly, I have often been surprised when asked to argue a case that it is only when I start verbalising a viewpoint that I truly know what it is I believe – I only know what I think when I hear myself say it. I guess this is the reason why I have consistently ignored exhortations not to discuss politics or religion at dinner parties. The existence of these ‘complex and mutually contradictory views’ on the one hand, and the pressure to hold and maintain a single viewpoint on the other, go some way to explaining the impasse that is Brexit. In his 1949 book ‘The Concept of Mind’ philosopher Gilbert Ryle gave examples of category mistakes. Wikipedia describes these as errors in which things belonging to a particular category are presented as if they belong to a different category, or, alternatively, a property is ascribed to a thing that could not possibly have that property. An example is the metaphor ‘time crawled’, which if taken literally is not just false but a category mistake. To show that a category mistake has been committed, one must typically show that once the phenomenon in question is properly understood, it becomes clear that the claim being made about it could not possibly be true [2].

This set me to thinking about Boris Johnson. Before the Brexit Referendum in 2016, it’s said that he wrote two draft articles for his weekly Daily Telegraph column, one in favour of remaining and one in favour of leaving the EU. Only at the last moment did he choose which one to submit, and with that decision took his place at the vanguard of the ‘leave’ campaign. This story is usually told as a criticism of Mr Johnson; an example of an unprincipled attempt at personal aggrandisement. Yet it strikes me that it is more an example of O’Connell’s creative ambivalence. Referring to his

Of course, Ryle was arguing against Rene Descartes’ dualism – that the mind is an immaterial object. He argued that dualism of mind and body rests on a category mistake, and that there is no ‘mind’ separate from the body. Wikipedia again: ‘The argument concludes that minds are not conscious, but a collective predicate for a set of observable behaviour and unobservable dispositions’. Breathe out folks, I’m not about to consider theories of consciousness and Mind. But it does strike me that this concept of a category mistake explains some of the passion surrounding Brexit. For what it’s worth, I reluctantly voted ‘remain’ back in 2016 but now would vote the other way. What fuelled my reluctance and caused me to change my mind was increasing clarity about the nature of the EU – every set of accounts qualified, unaccountable, by its nature anti-democratic with no worthwhile

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CT Feature

has contributed to helping change negative perceptions. After all, it’s only an extra chromosome, what’s there to panic about?!

link between governors and governed, consistently overriding the results of national plebiscites; and, frankly, the sleight of hand with which Parliament and leading ‘remainers’ have conducted the process since 2016. I recognise, however, that for many remainers, these arguments, whilst valid in themselves, are essentially irrelevant. For them what it is about is a different category – idealism, an eirenic desire to be part of a supra-national identity, a breaking down of barriers. For as long as remainers and ‘leavers’ are talking across one another, each arguing about different categories of things, there will be no coming together, no ‘national unity’.

On a lighter note. The Girl and I went to YC Sports on Crwys Road to buy her a new school-blazer (note, not a 'new-school blazer') in a larger size. It also comes with red piping along the collars and lapels and the school badge and motto ("Tua'r Goleuni" - "Towards the Light") is now in red rather than white. I'm not sure I like it. Perhaps it will grow on me as The Girl grows into it. As usual, the sleeves will need turning up! Whilst waiting for a free assistant, a smiling lady came up to us. She was with an older teenager than mine and they were evidently on the same mission as us. "Hello young lady", she said, "I read about you every month in your dad's Cardiff Times column. I love what you get up to." Unaccountably, The Girl became shy; she said 'thank you', gave a lovely smile and then popped her shoulders under my arm and buried her head against my side. The lady's name is Louise. I thanked her sincerely. For all the emails my Cardiff Times column brings me, every one of which is appreciated, and for all the 'likes' my Facebook page has received (close to 80,000 now), my favourite response is when someone introduces themself to me in person.

John Maynard Keynes has been attributed with saying, “when events or facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?” Another area in which I have been surprised to hear myself express a change of opinion is over abortion. For most of my life the start and end of the argument was summed up in the phrase “a woman’s right to choose”. End of discussion. But having a daughter who has Down Syndrome offered me new facts to consider. Is it right that ‘non-invasive prenatal testing’ is already being touted as the means to eradicate future generations of people with Down Syndrome from existing? (This is already happening in Scandinavia.) Is it right that babies with Down Syndrome in the womb can be aborted up to birth? (Not widely-known, but true.) Is it right that society can determine that the lives of people with Down Syndrome are value-less and that they should be done away with? I’m not sure that I have ‘the answer’. What I am sure of is that ‘a woman’s right to choose’ is an insufficient description of a complex series of ethical and practical issues, and that it was only when I had a daughter not easily categorised that I even recognised that there was a bigger picture. No, I don’t believe that abortion should be banned. But I do believe that, in the case of kids with disabilities, at the very least, there should be as much effort made to accentuate the positive as there has traditionally been to see only the negative. Much more pre-natal information is now being made available. The training of midwives and clinicians now involves inputs from and access to parents of children with Down Syndrome, and to the kids themselves. With greater exposure can come greater acceptance and a reduction of doubts and fears. Regular readers will know how much The Girl, my daughter who has Down Syndrome,

And finally, when buying The Girl’s new school-blazer I said something to tease her, in front of Louise. I then thought I ought to check I had not caused her any angst and I asked her had I embarrassed her. She gave me a lovely smile, held my hand and said "no, you're lovely"! Stopped me in my tracks! I am immensely proud of my daughter and proud also that so many people follow her story with interest. She, and all the kids like her, are the best advert for inclusion and celebration I can think of.

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Footnotes: 1. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0007k73 2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_mistake

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Stewart Greenberg Page page 1

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taking the sh away from self harm By Natalie McCulloch

According to the NHS, “Self-harm is when somebody intentionally damages or injures their body. It's usually a way of coping with or expressing overwhelming emotional distress.” (Feb, 2018)

Sharlot, 28, is keen to spread the message that there is hope and support out there for anyone effected by self-harm. “I have been struggling with self-harm on and off for 17 years. For me it is a way of gaining control, a way of self-punishment because of what I believe about myself - which is the fact that I hate myself. Whenever life becomes out of control or I feel bad about something, the voice in my head tells me I need to be punished,” Sharlot explained.

Thinking they’re not good enough for something, self-loathing, feeling overwhelmed by pressures, low mood or wanting to punish themselves are just some of the reasons people may resort to self-harm. Self-harm may occur alongside other issues such as depression, eating disorders or anxiety. People who self-harm are at high risk of suicide, even though many don’t wish to end their lives, and actually use self-harm as a preventative method from wanting to kill themselves.

“It’s a moment of release with a lifetime worth of regret because now I am scarred and I hate it. Especially in the summer, I can’t fully show my arms in case everyone stares and also, I don’t want to upset my family. I have younger sisters and it would kill me to know that they did anything like this to punish themselves.”

Recently, media has highlighted how an increasing amount of younger people are turning to self-harm to cope with life, with an estimated 10% of young people self-harming at some point (NHS, 2018). However, it is worth noting that self-harm is something that effects people of any age, any race and any gender.

For Sharlot, she feels there is a stigma attached to self-harm. “I think people sometimes see my scars and think I am ‘messed up’, ‘unwell’ or maybe even ‘attention seeking’, that’s what I find hard. I have never done it for attention as I am very self-conscious of my scars and feel like I don’t want anyone to see them. In the last year I have begun showing the bottom of my arms but I don’t think I would show anything more. I have had tattoos to cover some scars so that’s helped.” Thanks to various means of support and inner strength, Sharlot has bravely abstained from self-harming for almost two months. “Lately I have been really challenging my mind. I have started to be more open with people and not just bottle everything up. I am trying to convince myself that self-harm does nothing for me. I get support off my local mental health team. Initially the help was for an eating disorder, but after years of fighting that, I can now have help with my other issues, self-harm being one of them. I am very lucky with the help I get. I found talking about it

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helpful, and also getting rid of the equipment I might use to self-harm, though you can’t get rid of everything. Now I’m safe around most things. It’s very private to me and I have been ashamed for so long, but I’m not anymore.” Sharlot wants to encourage an alternative perspective of scars. “I would like people to think that scars show that someone has just been through struggles and it’s the only way they could cope at the time. I want people to know it’s nothing to be ashamed of, which has taken me a long time to think.” Most importantly Sharlot urges people to seek support. “If you are affected by self-harm or know someone who is, please reach out. You are not alone. Talk to someone and try to think about how it only helps in the moment and not long term. Think about why you are doing it and how much it really helps. In my experience it hasn’t helped me at all, just made me even more ashamed of my body. But as I have said previously, now I am working on that and I am starting to have therapy for it, so I am hoping that will help. In the future I would like to help people with these issues, especially people with low self-esteem and low self-confidence. You don’t need to self-harm to feel better or show how ill you are, you can break free of it and let your body heal, keep fighting against it and you will win.” There are organisations that offer support and advice for people who self-harm, as well as their friends and families. These include: Samaritans – call 116 123 (open 24 hours a day), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit your local Samaritans branch Mind – call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463 (9am to 6pm on weekdays) Harmless – email info@harmless.org.uk National Self Harm Network forums Young Minds Parents Helpline – call 0808 802 5544 (9.30am to 4pm on weekdays) Find more mental health helplines Please don’t suffer in silence, there is no room for silence in self harm.

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Craniosacral Therapy brings about a eep state o relaaon This can help resolve problems such as back or neck pain, heaaches or any stress relate symptoms It can also help spee your recovery rom accient, operaon or illness

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Cardiff, Bath, Bristol, Somerset and Harley Street, London

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September Beauty Treats The brilliant makeup brand Carter Beauty by Marissa Carter has a mantra of beauty products that won’t leave you broke. Carter Beauty’s range has a whopping 103 makeup bag must-haves ranging from £4.00-£14.50. This includes luxe lip tints, illuminators, blushers, bronzers and 18-shade eye shadow palettes, plus their Supreme Gel Liner worn by Ariana Grande. All eyes were on Cardi B’s eyes at her sell-out performance in the US, as she wore the Carter Beauty by Marissa Carter false lashes which retail for the amazing price of just £5. The lashes were expertly applied by Cardi’s go-to celebrity make-up artist Erika La Pearl and have just launched online at www.boots.com. Cardi B is not the first celebrity to be seen sporting Irish brand Carter Beauty. Earlier this year superstar Ariana Grande was seen sporting the brand’s Supreme Gel liner in her music video, then Kourtney Kardashian’s make-up artist announced that their Full Measure HD Foundation was his go-to for filming, and Love Island star Olivia Buckland professed her love for, well, just about everything. The Carter Beauty by Marissa Carter On the Lash False Lashes come in six very different styles from Natural right up to Dramatic. They are innovative, 3D artificial lashes which are designed to add volume and depth whilst seamlessly blending with your own lashes for a natural look.

Warm Velvet Eyeshadow Palette £14.40

Apollo Bronzer Palette - £8.50

Pegasus Mini Highlighter Palette £8.50

Word Of Mouth Lipstick £7.50

Get Lit Illuminator £5.50

Throw Shade Contour Stick - £4.50

Their selection of bronzing and contour products are the perfect beauty-must have, all at an affordable price. The bronzing palettes are highly pigmented and help create a sun-kissed look all year round with a mix of matte and shimmering shades to add instant colour and depth to the high points of the face. They also have their creamy contour duo sticks which help create a flawless makeup look with one end adding definition whilst the other conceals and corrects complexion. Carter Beauty by Marissa Carter is available at selected Primark and Boots stores and online at www.carterbeautycosmetics.co.uk

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The inimitable Christophe Robin has launched Hydrating Melting Mask with Aloe Vera. The concentrated formula of this new mask contains 40% pure, organically sourced aloe vera gel. Aloe vera hydrates then seals in hydration inside the hair fiber by smoothing the cuticles. In addition to its highly hydrating properties, aloe vera also slows the process of hair oxidation thanks to the strengthening effect of its amino acids. Also highly emollient, it helps to loosen the hair fibers for a gentle detangling. Rich in fatty acids, omega 3 and omega 6, flaxseed oil offers its filmogenic properties to coat the hair fiber, increase its diameter and retain hydration. This rich superseed oil strengthens the hair, restoring its suppleness and elasticity for a natural result, full of bounce. Available from Space NK and lookfantastic.com RRP 200ml £27.00

Renowned for their subtle, delicate flavour and range of health benefits, White Tea is the least processed of all tea types. Extremely rich in beautifying anti-oxidants, it helps to neutralise free radicals while boosting collagen and radiance, a natural youth elixir. It aids digestion and weight loss, boosts metabolism and lowers cholesterol levels. Sanatio Naturalis Wellness Tea contains white tea and Jasmine Blossom – Soothing, calming, and relaxing, it is naturally high in antioxidants, soothes mind and body, promotes a sense of well-being and eases stress. Widely used in aromatherapy and beauty treatments for its euphoric, sedative and rejuvenating properties. Marigold - A powerful medicinal herb traditionally used in a wide range of skin conditions – including eczema and dermatitis. Contains antioxidants, and is known for its anti-Inflammatory, antiseptic, skin healing, digestive-soothing and immune-boosting properties. Globe Amaranth - Packed with protective antioxidants and a rich source of vitamins and minerals, helps to detoxify the body, support the immune system and promote healthy skin. Sanatio Naturalis Flowering Teas RRP £18.50 per tea caddy from www.sanationaturalis.com

men-ü offers a range of moisturiser’s that keep you feeling both fresh and hydrated. Available at: men-u.com Matt Moisturiser 100ml RRP £14.95 – £15.95 Oil and fragrance free moisturiser with sebum absorbers that help combat areas of greasy skin, especially around the T-zone. The absorbers kick in to ensure a matt finish whilst the moisturiser is readily absorbed. Includes Vitamin E which helps tackle the free radicals that age the skin by attacking the collagen and reducing elasticity. Can be used for daily and overnight skin hydration, leaving the skin refreshed, matt, smooth and firm. Matt ‘Skin Refresh’ Gel 100ml RRP £14.95 – £15.95 Anti-shine and fragrance free toner gel. Contains natural salicylic acid and witch hazel that leaves your visual frontline looking better for longer! For normal, combination and oily skin. Removes and controls excess oil that contributes to blocked pores and breakouts. Cleans pores from impurities, toning and tightening the skin. Soothes and calms and great after shaving and helps overcome ingrown hairs. Contains willow bark extract that has been used for centuries as a mild analgesic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Facial Moisturiser Lift 100ml RRP £14.95 – £15.95 After shave balm and moisturiser combined. Now you can have a great facial after every shave. Not only a non-greasy moisturiser but has mint and menthol to cool, refresh and help relieve redness. Skin is left talcum powder soft. Shaving removes up to two layers of skin (great exfoliation!) – just one of the reasons why it is so important to use a high quality moisturiser after shaving.

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after the summer : how to get rid of unwanted pigmentation Although we all love golden glowing skin, the summer sun can actually make pigmentation problems worse. It’s also the main cause of sun spots and patches of sun damage, a pigmentation problem we often see in clinic.

Laser treatment is another potential option, though it does have the potential to make melasma worse in some people. Unfortunately melasma is not a curable condition and so can reoccur once the skin is exposed to the sun. For this reason melasma tends to be much less obvious during the winter months.

If you’re looking to treat pigmentation problems following the summer months, there are many available options.

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

Sun, liver and age spots

The most common type of hyperpigmentation, PIH occurs due to trauma, acne, a rash or eczema. Presenting as dark marks on the skin, it is triggered by inflammation. Once the inflammation clears up the skin starts to produce additional melanin, resulting in dark patches.

Liver and age spots, are all the same thing. There are many potential causes, but the most common is sun exposure. Sun spots can interestingly take anywhere from 10 to 20 years to fully develop, so the spots you see now could have started developing when you were just a child. They are frequently seen on the face and chest and arms and present themselves as little brown spots, localised to specific areas most affected by sun exposure. Sometimes, they also cause the texture of the affected skin to alter.

These pigmented patches can occur anywhere on the body and can even be found under the arms after shaving. This type of hyperpigmentation can be treated similarly to melasma but tends to be more successful and long lasting. Overall, pigmentation problems are extremely common, but the good news is they can be treated. It is important to have a consultation to see which treatment would be right for you.

So, how can you get rid of these pesky spots? Laser treatment can be very successful when properly carried out.

To arrange an appointment at the Specialist Skin Clinic call us on 02920617690 or go to www.specialistskinclinic.uk for further details.

Melasma Melasma mainly affects women and its exact cause isn’t known. It shows up as either brown or grey patches on the face; especially the middle of the forehead, upper lip and cheeks. As it mainly affects women during pregnancy or after they’ve started birth control, it is assumed there is a hormonal link. Treatment for melasma will depend upon its severity. If the problem is mild, topical creams may help. So, you may be prescribed a retinoid cream. Combination creams can also be used which contain a mixture of mild steroids, hydroquinone, and retinoid. If the melasma requires a more aggressive form of treatment, chemical peels may also be used.

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Is politics your passion?

Ydych chi’n angerddol dros wleidyddiaeth?

Knowledge is power. Equip yourself with the knowledge to understand Welsh, UK and international politics and relations in our rapidly changing world. Cardiff University provides a pathway to an undergraduate degree in international relations and politics for people who have a passion this subject but never had the opportunity to forge a career in this field.

Pŵer yw gwybodaeth. Mynnwch y wybodaeth sydd ei hangen i ddeall gwleidyddiaeth a chysylltiadau Cymru, y DU a thu hwnt yn y byd cyfnewidiol iawn sydd ohoni. Mae Prifysgol Caerdydd yn cynnig llwybr at radd israddedig mewn cysylltiadau a gwleidyddiaeth rhyngwladol i bobl sy’n angerddol dros y pwnc hwn ond nad ydynt byth wedi cael y cyfle i ddechrau gyrfa yn y maes hwn.

This pathway is equivalent to 50% of the first year of a degree and is intended to provide students with the skills needed to study the degree in international relations and politics at Cardiff University. Students engage with contemporary politics and are given the opportunity to reflect on life-changing political decisions as they happen.

Mae’r llwybr hwn yn gyfwerth â 50% o flwyddyn gyntaf gradd a’r bwriad yw rhoi’r sgiliau a’r wybodaeth angenrheidiol i fyfyrwyr astudio ar gyfer gradd cysylltiadau rhyngwladol a gwleidyddiaeth ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd. Bydd y myfyrwyr yn ymgysylltu â gwleidyddiaeth gyfoes ac yn cael y cyfle i fyfyrio ar benderfyniadau gwleidyddol sy’n effeithio ar fywydau pobl, wrth iddynt ddigwydd.

Simba Chabarika graduated from the School of Law and Politics in 2019. He started his degree after completing the Pathway. “I am profoundly grateful to the pathway especially Jan Stephens for her advice, support and encouragement and of course the wonderful team of tutors who prepared us for what was to come in the degree course!”

Graddiodd Simba Chabarika o Ysgol y Gyfraith a Gwleidyddiaeth yn 2019. Dechreuodd ei radd ar ôl cwblhau’r Llwybr. “Rwy’n hynod ddiolchgar i’r llwybr ac yn enwedig i Jan Stephens am ei chyngor, ei chefnogaeth a’i hanogaeth, ac wrth gwrs, i’r tîm bendigedig o diwtoriaid wnaeth ein paratoi ar gyfer yn hyn oedd i ddod ar y cwrs gradd!”

The pathway course is a huge inspiration to those who want to further their education. I never thought I was capable of achieving such success until the course showed me my real potential!”

Mae’r cwrs llwybr yn ysbrydoliaeth fawr i’r rheini sydd am fynd â’u haddysg ymhellach. Ni feddyliais erioed y gallwn gyflawni’r fath lwyddiant, tan i’r cwrs ddatgelu fy mhotensial go iawn i mi!”

If you would like to study this Pathway then come along to our Open Day on Wednesday 11 September 12.00 to 14.00 and 17.00 to 19.00 to discuss this opportunity or contact learn@cardiff.ac.uk www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn 029 2087 0000

Os hoffech astudio’r Llwybr hwn, dewch i’n Diwrnod Agored ddydd Mercher 11 Medi am 12.00 tan 14.00 ac am 17.00 tan 19.00 i drafod y cyfle hwn neu cysylltwch â dysgu@caerdydd.ac.uk www.caerdydd.ac.uk/dysgu 029 2087 0000

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Books To Look Out For in September The Big House by Larche Davies Larche Davies is a retired lawyer and legal journalist. She reported on commercial law for The Financial Times, and was a prize-winning law reporter for The Times. The Big House is the spellbinding sequel to her first novel, The Father’s House (Matador, 2015). Lucy is 15. She and her teenage friends are waiting to give evidence in criminal trials against a fanatical religious sect. Their lives are in danger so are placed in a foster house in Wales.Published by Matador. Available now: Paperback £10.99

How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo A parent’s guide to raising a lifelong reader from birth to teens. It’s packed with inspiration, wisdom, tips and curated reading lists. All arranged by age and subject matter. Available from 3rd September – Hardback £15.99

Whole Food Cooking Every Day by Amy Chaplin Born in Australia, and the former executive chef at New York's vegan restaurant Angelica Kitchen, Amy now works as a teacher and personal chef in New York. In her new book she encourages readers to stock larders with whole food ingredients, prep ahead of time in batches, and, most importantly, cook at home. Her cookbook suggests mastering some key base recipes and then adapting the dishes based on the occasion and season. There are 250 vegetarian recipes free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar. Available 17th September Hardback £30.00

Duel by Paul Mathieu John Crichton -Stuart, the third Marquess of Bute, was famous for his philanthropy in South Wales. A new book – Paul Mathieu’s Duel - reveals how he also dug deep to bail out a cousin from massive betting losses. Bute stepped in – before he was even 21 – to protect Hastings’ sisters from their brother’s folly.

Cardiff Mysteries by Chris Butler Where was Cardiff’s Zoo and what happened to it? Each chapter starts with a postcard representing something odd or surprising to the modern eye and follows an intriguing path to solving puzzles. cardiffmysteries.co.uk Paperback £11.50

Available from independent bookshops £20 and shop1.racingpost.com

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Books To Look Out For in September Widow’s Welcome by D K Fields The first book in a new upmarket fantasy crime trilogy set in an exquisitely imagined world. Dead bodies aren’t unusual in the alleyways of Fenest. Muggings, brawls gone bad, debts collected – Detective Cora Gorderheim has seen it all. (Authors live in Cardiff so another good reason to buy this book.)

A Shadow on the Lens by Sam Hurcom

Island of the Lost by Joan Druett

Sam Hurcom was born and raised in Dinas Powys. His latest novel is a stifling, atmospheric gothic crime with a unique protagonist and killer twist. For fans of the Woman in Black, The Silent Companions and Little Strangers.

An extraordinary story of survival at the edge of the world. Hundreds of miles from civilisation, two ships wreck on opposite ends of the same deserted island in this true story of human nature at its best and at its worst.

Published by Orion Books Available 5th September Hardback £14.99 ebook £7.99

Published by Algonquinn Books Paperback £12.99

Hardback RRP £18.99

The Moon Eyed People by Peter Stevenson

The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson Found abandoned in a bear cave as a baby, Yanka has always wondered where she is from. She tries to ignore the whispers and looks from the villagers. But when she has to flee her house, looking for answers about who she really is, a journey far beyond whatever she imagined begins. Published by Usborne Books Available from 5th September paperback £6.99

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Author Peter Stevenson is a professional storyteller and illustrator who has a wealth of experience in bringing to life the stories, traditions and customs of the Welsh community in America. Published in association with the Society for Storytelling, in this book you’ll find stories of Appalachian hoodoo, native healing and Welsh witchcraft, peppered with fascinating characters such as a wolf-girl, a lone swamp wanderer, and a Welsh criminal who married an ‘Indian Princess’.

A Round of Boxing - A Trip Through Time by Ralph Oates This book is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn about the world of boxing, and what events led to the sport becoming what it is today. You don’t need a lot of boxing knowledge either, the book clearly explains the sport in a relaxed and easy to understand manner. Published by Fonthill Media £16.99

History Press RRP £12.00

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“in the words of…” By Carl Marsh

Nearly 50 countries were taking part this year, and I got to witness some of the best football I have seen outside of a professional football ground. The games were short in length but immense in passion, and commitment. I recall one game where even though Wales went on to lose a game, if it was not for the goalkeeper Mark Atkinson, it would have been goals conceded in the double figures! He epitomised the determination and pride of representing his country. The crowd was a good mixture of young and old. For free admission, they got to see as many games as each day had going on. And there were three pitches with games on at the same times! The organisation of the event was faultless.

During August, Pride Cymru happened. It was my first time experiencing it. The weather was hot over the bank holiday (as you all know) and the attendance figures were in the tens of thousands, over those three days. The atmosphere was terrific for this 20th Birthday celebration, the venue ideal and the parade itself, through Cardiff was, for me, a real joy to witness. Everybody was enjoying themselves, everyone that attended got in the spirit of the occasion. Acts performing over the three days included Texas, Gok Wan, Liberty X, Atomic Kitten and many more.

Interviews Most people in Wales will know Stifyn Parri, if you don’t, then lucky you! Only joking! Well, he has finally written an autobiography, and it is called ‘Out with It!’. Or if you are a Welsh speaker ‘Allan a Fo!’ and it is available to purchase now, and it is bilingual! From 27th July to 3rd August, Cardiff’s Bute Park welcomed over 500 players that were representing nearly 50 countries in the 17th Homeless World Cup. I got to chat to Hollywood actor and activist, Michael Sheen.

Two acts on the bill that I had the chance to talk to were Shellyann (whom I interviewed a couple of months ago) and Tina Cousins, who sang at the first-ever Pride in Wales, 20 years ago, and here she was singing again! She told me that she always remembered how small an event it was all those years ago, but how Pride Cymru welcomed her, and for her to be here 20 years later, and to see how big it has become, meant so much to her. When I got to speak with Shellyann, she was proud to be performing here. She also could not wait to tell me about how many of her friends were in the audience. The organisers also gave a platform to a lot of local unsigned acts, which they should be credited for. Towards the end of July and early into August, The Homeless World Cup was held in Bute Park, Cardiff.

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Straight after speaking with Michael Sheen, I was able to grab a few minutes with the goalkeeper, Mark Atkinson, whose life has been turned around since turning up to play football with Street Football Wales, quite recently.

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My last interview is with Belinda Carlisle, who discusses her forthcoming album releases – the 30th Anniversary Box Set of Runaway Horses and Belinda Carlisle Gold, which will be released on 6th September. She is also playing at St David’s Hall on Monday 30th September.

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Of the celebrities mentioned in the book, who has commented so far, and are you still speaking?

Stifyn Parri What made you want to write this book in a bilingual format?

I’ve sent it to some presenters and radio producers, but I have not sent it to the celebrities, apart from Siân Lloyd, but the others, if they want to read it, they can go and buy it! It’s not a kiss and tell book, it’s just a cheeky, in parts, insight to the reality of working with major names which I have been fortunate to do.

The reason is that I was determined to write a bilingual book, as I’ve always felt that being bilingual was a massive plus. Around me, I have always thought that the Welsh language was an issue to the English speaking or English speaking audience was an issue within my Welsh crowd. I’ve got a foot in both camps, and I did not want to write a book that was just for one slice of the people that I have been entertaining all my life.

You must have a thick skin and can efficiently deal with any knock backs, developed over a long time from experiences within the entertainment industry? I’ve had massive knockbacks, and I don’t have thick skin. I get very, very upset, and very, very easily. I cry a lot. But I do laugh a lot. And I laugh at the fact that I cry a lot. Some knockbacks have been when certain celebrities have let me down. Maybe people have tried to run away without paying their bills. I am not going to mention any names, but that really upsets me to-the-core but, I have also got a sense of self-worth and inner confidence to withstand this, as I am in a stupid industry where you put yourself out there to get applause, but you also could get eggs thrown at you!

So you wanted a book for equally your Welsh-speaking and English-speaking fans at the same time? I have done a lot of Welsh stuff that a lot of non-Welsh speaking people would understand or even know about. I have also done Les Miserables, and I have also done Brookside and all sorts of different things in Cardiff that the Welsh speakers may not realise. Or vice versa. I have just done, I think, 23 events, in two days, at the National Eisteddfod up in Llanrwst; well nobody in London that knows me will know that I have done that. So I wanted the book to reflect me and my life, and my career. I can’t believe it is the first ‘ever’ bilingual autobiography and that nobody has ever thought about it before me. I didn’t know I was the first when I thought of it. I just felt that it made sense.

Besides the book, you are still doing your one-person shows, am I correct in saying that you have something new coming up? Well, I am doing my new show which called ‘No Shame’, of which I have none! (laughs), and that is called ‘Dim Cywilydd’ in Welsh, which is the same gag. That is going to be for the first time in Cardiff, in the English language at Ffresh at the Wales Millennium Centre on the 9th November. Then I will come back another time and do it in Welsh.

What sort of difficulties did you have along the way to get the book available for sale? One difficulty was that once it was published was having a category for a bilingual book on Amazon! Does the description of the book on Amazon go first in English or Welsh? Even to the point of when you put photo’s in a bilingual book where you have English on one side, Welsh on the other, it’s called ‘Tilt and Turn’. The publishers were (initially) saying that they will have to go landscape, but some of my photos were not landscape. I thought just to let’s mix it up, let’s have some going one way and the some the other way, this is something new, and in Welsh, the word is ‘Torri Tir Newydd’, which means cutting new ground.

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actually about dealing with their issues. People that have been involved with Street Football Wales for years, their lives have been completely turned around, and I saw how brilliant that was, so I wanted to get involved with that. Then through that I heard about this Homeless World Cup that happens every year, because Street Football Wales would put the Welsh teams forward. I went off to Oslo for that first World Cup that I went to, and that was when I saw the added transformational power of representing your nation, and being part of this international event. Also, that is when I thought that I would love to be a part of giving this experience to people, but also love to bring it to Wales. I potentially saw that there was the opportunity for it to be a platform for what could happen afterwards, so not only can it be a transformational experience for those taking part, but also as a means of bringing people together and looking again at how to deal with homelessness issues. This event will be a catalyst for a lot of the competitors taking part in previous tournaments or even just playing football with Street Football Wales. What sort of success stories have you heard recently?

Michael Sheen

One story that really hit me the other day was when I was talking to someone that was involved with Street Football Wales for quite some time, and he said that when things were at their worst for him, he’d come out of prison and been homeless for quite a few years after that, he was dealing with mental health issues, and dealing with addiction issues. He used to spend his time just hanging out in Bute Park, and, as I was talking to him, he said to me, “Next week I will be walking back into Bute Park but as the coach of the Wales team.” I am talking about Wayne Ellaway, who now has a full-time job working for Street Football Wales, he’s got a home, and has now got a partner who he met at the last Homeless World Cup in Mexico! His life has completely turned around, he’s been able to receive the support around the mental health issues, and they are all under control. I have a sense that one day he will probably take over Street Football Wales from Keri, eventually. Now that is an extraordinary story.

How did you get to be involved with the Homeless World Cup?

I am involved because I was involved with Street Football Wales for a little while already, that was the beginning of it for me. I was doing Soccer Aid, which I had been doing for a few years, by that point, and Keri Harris, who runs Street Football Wales, got in touch with me and said: “Would you come down and have a look at what’s going on, and maybe get involved with our Organisation.” I didn’t get it, and I couldn’t understand why people were putting money, time and energy into putting on football tournaments for people that are dealing with homelessness, rather than ‘just’ dealing with homelessness. Then I found out more about what they were doing, and I found out that they ‘are’ dealing with homelessness, it was just using football as a means to connect with people and to then get them involved. Football was the hook, and so for some people, who it would be very difficult to connect with or access or get services to them, it became a lot easier as they were all coming down to play football. Once they were there, as some of them are the most marginalised and excluded people in our community, they started making friends, making social connections and became part of a team. So instead of dealing with judgement and stigma, they were able to get a bit of self-dignity, self-pride, self-confidence; you could see that it was transformational for people that were coming down who had not been there long, you could see that it was like a foot in the door.

How easy or hard was it to get the Homeless World Cup to be held here in Wales? We put forward a really good bid and at the heart of the bid was legacy, so it was not just about delivering a tournament, it was about using that as a catalyst for real change afterwards, and I think that’s what got the bid through, which was great. It wasn’t that difficult to bring everyone together at that point who were going to be the tournament delivery partners, because everyone was on for it. When it gets tricky is when you have to raise the money, then it’s the reality, and the last few months have been hard work, but we’ve had a fantastic team to get us here today, and seeing actual teams turning up with smiles on their faces, the reality of it is hitting now and it has made all that hard work worthwhile, definitely.

Football was the draw but not the one and the only thing on offer to them? You could see that it wasn’t all about playing football and forgetting about their problems, long-term it was

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Mark Atkinson (Wales Homeless World Cup Goalkeeper)

myself saying that ‘I am a daddy figure, and you can speak to him about anything’. I took a photo of it, and it’s on my phone, so if I’m starting to feel a little bit down, I’ll look at it.

How did you get to hear initially about Street Football Wales in the first place?

Since leaving the Army, have you had any help from any Military charities?

I am on a drug and alcohol programme at the moment called the Bridge Program at the Tŷ Gobaith Salvation Army hostel in Cardiff, and the chaplain there asked if I fancied having a kick about one day, and as I wasn’t doing anything, I went along, and I haven’t looked back. Being around people that may have not necessarily been on the same path as I have but on similar paths, I just felt included again. It’s been a good journey with amazing people.

I get a lot of support from Care after Combat; I was a peer mentor for them when I was in prison as well as being mentored myself. My mentorship finished in May this year and Rob Nickells, who is the general manager (Care after Combat) for all of Wales, he has offered me the role of Voluntary Veterans Ambassador, and I snapped it up! My first official gig, if you like, was going into Cardiff Prison last month to speak to the Veterans in there. I didn’t know the Prison Governor when I was in there, but I have gotten to know him since I’ve been out, and he is a nice enough bloke.

Were you playing football before? No, I’ve always been rugby. I played a little to keep fit, but I am mainly rugby. The football came along at the right time as I could start to feel a bit complacent with my recovery as I was almost four years sober, and being jack-the-lad and what-have-you, but then being around other people that who are not as far along in their recovery as I am, and then I was like “Oh, rein it in, you’re not fixed yet!” sort of thing. Now we are like a family.

What do you want this all to lead to, what is your aim after the World Cup? I aim to be a peer mentor and use my life experience and the journey that I chose, to help others using my experience of all the things that I did wrong and the things that I did right, so if I can help one person, then it will be ‘job done’. That’s my five-year plan, so I’ve got another four years to go yet (laughs). Life is pretty damn good at the moment.

I guess you are helping anyone new to the football by sharing your experiences with them? We did Constitution Hill (Aberystwyth) last week, and afterwards we were all in a room, and we all had to write a sentence about each individual, and the one that sticks out in my mind, and it gets to me, is one about

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Belinda Carlisle Belinda Carlisle discusses her forthcoming album releases – the 30th Anniversary Box Set of Runaway Horses and Belinda Carlisle Gold which are released on 6th September. She is also playing at St David's Hall on Monday 30th September. You are celebrating the 30th anniversary of Runaway Horses with the release of the super deluxe box set. Do you look back fondly on the album? Absolutely. Out of all my solo albums, it's my favourite. The material is so good. Some of the songs have a real melancholy about them, which I've always liked. There is an element that is less rock and more melancholic. It also has more unusual arrangements, and it's more European sounding.

grew up loving that song. Early Joni Mitchell was all over California Radio. My recording of the song is more like the Judy Collins' version.

Can you expand on that?

You have a marvellous relationship with your British fans, don't you?

There was a lot of pressure to follow up Heaven is a Place on Earth. A lot of overthinking and secondguessing went into the making of it, but it is still an amazing album. It has some of my favourite songs. No matter how many times I have the privilege of singing Summer Rain, I love it. Of all the songs from my career, that is the one I most enjoy singing.

Yes. I feel a great connection with them. In the UK, it's different from the US. When British fans discover you at the beginning, they're there for the long haul. American fans are fickler. I see fans here that I've been seeing for 30 years. I can name five of them off the top of my head. I love the enthusiasm of British audiences. They're not quiet or subdued. Every concert in the UK is an excellent exchange of energy. If people sit there and don't move, it's a drag.

Tell us about the other new recordings you have made for this edition of Runaway Horses? I've done a version of Elton John's "I Need You to Turn To." I love that song. I always thought the chord structures were reminiscent of Runaway Horses. So, it fits very well with that. It doesn't hold a candle to Elton John's version, but I think people will like it. I've also done a version of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now." I

What other characteristics about you are people drawn to? I've been around since the late 1970s. I came from the Punk scene in Hollywood, and people love how I started and where I came from. I came from the garage scene in Hollywood, and people adore that. People respond to that authenticity. There's a significant lack of that these days, not just in music, but in everything. Do you despair of the current music scene, then? No. There are still some amazing artists, like Adele. I respond to her music because it's real and not manufactured by a bunch of guys in a boardroom who know nothing about music, but everything about numbers. And look at Ed Sheeran. Like him or not, he is incredibly talented, and people respond to that. They can see that his music comes from a real place. You are touring the UK in the autumn. What do you adore about live performance?

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I love performing the songs. I love the feeling of allowing people to escape from their daily lives for an hour and a half. I'm very blessed that I can make that happen. The great thing about some of my songs, like Heaven, for instance, is that they transcend being just a song and become a moment or represent an era.

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CT Feature Entertainment Reviews

alcoholic and non-alcoholic, at Lone Stag. Only opened quite recently, a few days before our visit, but already is a welcome choice for those travellers wanting that little bit of panache, over other options at the airport. The selection of drinks consists of Champagne, Prosecco, gin, vodka, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages too. Beverages for everyone and you don’t need deep pockets either! Just try it out, sit and relax in those comfy seats and get in the holiday spirit. I have added the caveat to “Please be mindful when drinking alcohol”, especially as you will be flying.

Theatre Madagascar The Musical - Wales Millennium Centre As a ‘huge’ fan of the animated film Madagascar (2005) and it’s sequels, my two (quite) young family members and I knew we were in for an entertaining night of Madagascar the Musical at the Wales Millennium Centre. For those that are not aware of the storyline, it tells the tale of how Alex the Lion (played by X Factor 2016 winner Matt Terry), Marty the Zebra (Posi Morakinyo – in his first professional role – only graduating this year!), Melman the Giraffe (Connor Dyer) and Gloria the Hippo (Hanna Victoria) end up being shipped, mainly due to Marty having escaped via the ‘advice’ of the penguins from The Central Park Zoo in New York, to Kenya but end up falling overboard, thus ending up in Madagascar. The penguins mentioned above were puppets controlled by four actors and at first, I have to confess, that I didn’t think it would work, but the mannerisms and actions of them all were on-point. So much acting skill and vocal talent was given by these four, that it really did work, and then some. Different actors controlling the puppets also performed a few other characters, and these were just as impressive.

(Five Stars)

Games Immotion VR - St David’s Shopping Centre, (Next to Greggs, near Queen’s Arcade) While it rained one day in August, I took my daughter along to Immotion VR. For the first time, we got to experience a world that is virtual reality. And for me growing up with video gaming since the mid-1970s, and to see how it fairs today, I was very impressed. We spent a good while in here, perhaps longer than recommended, but we wanted to try everything Immotion VR had to offer. My highlight was the blaster game, which did put me into the game. My daughter loved a restaurant simulation game, yet I wish she had more interest in replicating it in real life, placing the crockery away in the dishwasher. But you can’t win them all! The racing car simulation is exhaustingly immersive, and I felt like I had been driving for hours! Highly recommended. Prices ranged from £6 for a five-minute session to £30 for a full hour. The hour might be too much for most, so I would go for the £10 and 15-minute session.

Overall, I/we had one of the best nights out, if not “The best”, and it was fun, fun, fun and even more fun than we could have expected when we rocked up. (Five Stars)

Food & Drink Lone Stag - Cardiff Airport Departures

(Four and a Half Stars)

Thank you all for reading, see you next month. Twitter - @InTheWordsOf_ Facebook - @InTheWordsOf )

Before flying off for a short summer holiday, my family and I got to escape by having a few drinks, both

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PUB AND KITCHEN

 

           

      



           

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“And Another Thing…….”

By Vince Nolan

alexander de pfeffel johnson these people manners. And stop loudly licking your fingers as well, it’s the same people!

My fellow insomniacs, an unusual title I think you will agree. Been doing a bit of desk research on our new and beloved Prime Minister. His full name is Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. His children are: Cassia Peaches; Lara Lettice; Milo Arthur and Theodore Apollo. Explains a lot. What about Boris Johnson and Ulrika Jonsson, now there’s a thought?

Bloke: "Nice dog you got there." Policeman: "Yes, this is our new drug-sniffer dog." Bloke: "Still in training, huh?" Policeman: "What do you mean?" Bloke: "Never mind." I overtook an articulated lorry recently and read two signs on the back. To the right: Picture of a motorbike and the caption “Right Side.” To the left: Same picture with the caption “Suicide.” Very clever. Great cryptic crossword question She Who Must Be Obeyed and I cracked recently: “Mental agility from nimble lean monarch.” And the answer was@@@@@@@@.Quick Thinking. In the local pub the other evening, The Library, (you know in case anyone asks you where you’re going), when a hitherto unknown genius plonked himself down on the table next to us accompanied by his long-suffering wife. You know the kind of bloke, if you have got an elephant he has got a box to put it in. Anyway, he started talking about the overflowing reservoir at Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire. “I could have stopped that,” he said.

Talking of Lettice (see what I did there), I was reading about the potential food crisis which Brexit could cause. Believe it or not there is a British Leafy Salads Association whose spokesperson said: “We can’t grow this stuff here.” (Referring to all year round salad demand and the volumes we currently import). Watch out for the panic buying of lettuce. Of course there are 5 popular UK varieties. I need to get out more. The Nolan jalopy had a puncture the other day and our local tyre emporium was excellent and fixed it. However, a fellow customer in the waiting area habitually sniffed loudly every three seconds in a manner that would make an anteater wince. Same evening we went to the local pub, The Rhinitis Arms and were forced to listen to yet another serial sniffer. He may have been a cereal sniffer as well for all we knew. Why don’t friends, family, colleagues etc teach

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CT Feature

glasses, his clean suit and his dignity. After a few dull thuds there followed about three seconds of silence before the whole bar collapsed laughing hysterically at his misfortune. Too weak to move, we watched as the then bedraggled would-be drinker limped sheepishly back to the bar and asked for a cloth. The cloth would have been about as much use a sticking plaster to a new amputee, but being British, nobody mentioned this. However, the suppressed gales of laughter could not have escaped his notice, nor the bill for a further 10 pints.

“How’s that Dear?” she said, humouring him. “Build another reservoir below it so it can flow into the empty one.” Genius. Presumably there would then need to be a third one for when the second overflowed. Is it me or do I attract them? Not wishing to offend any devotees of the “Beautiful Game” but I am not a football bloke. However, I have been reading about Gareth Bale’s plight of not being allowed to play in China for £1m per week wages as his current club, Real Madrid, will neither play him nor release him from his contract. Bale is a world class act and that is not in doubt but his agent was quoted as saying: “It is terrible that he has had to take a pay cut to £150,000 per week. How can he manage with that. He’s got a family and a couple of children. It saddens me and sickens me.” Well Mr Agent, time to join the rest of us in the real world or should that be the Real World.

Following the above incident I Googled: “Drinking Accidents on Stairs.” An article appeared which posed the question “What percentage of stair accidents happen on stairs?” The answer provided was 79%. No idea either? This took me further into detective mode and I found a serious academic paper whose objective was:

Staying with Mr Bale, my old mate and former colleague, let’s call her Anna, for that is her name, accompanied me recently to lunch at Bale’s Bar in Cardiff. Anyway, this guy in a suit went to the bar and ordered 10 pints and a tray to carry them on. I offered to give him a hand as

“To discover if there is a significant difference in the pattern and severity of injury sustained during falls in people who have consumed alcohol and those who have not. To determine how pattern and severity of injury correlates with blood alcohol concentration.” I have no wish to second-guess the outcome of this sterling work but let’s have a wild stab in the dark shall we? Gripped by all these drinking studies, The Leader of the Opposition and I were out recently watching the social interactions of people who consume alcohol. Two drunks talking in the bar. One said: “I always drinks in the Port O’Call Pub.” It’s been called the Y Maerun for 5 years or as we call it, the Why Maureen? He then went on about, “That Cardiff bar, you knows the one, The Slut and Leggings.” I think he meant the Slug and Lettuce but you never know these days. Lettuce again see! Ta ra for now.

that’s the kind of bloke I am but he politely declined. He then whisked them away to his waiting friends who were a mere three flights of stairs away. Well imagine our surprise when there was an horrendous crash as he tripped, parted company with the tray, 10 pints, 10

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GERALD COUNSELL LOCAL PAINTER & DECORATOR

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puzzle mania! Crossword 1

2

3

9

8

10

16

17

21

22 25

11 11

6

5

12

19 19

18

36

31

32 32

33 33

34 34

41 41

40

45 45

52

46

15

23

24

28 28

35 38

37 37

39

14

20 20

27 27

30 30

7

13

26

29

44

4

47

53

48

42

43

49

50

51 51

54

Across 1. Liquid (5), 4. Confronts (5), 6. Gush (5), 8. Apprehension (3), 10. Racing sled (9), 14. Baby bear (3), 16. Re-settle (7), 19. Shy (7), 21. Every (3), 22. Ranking (9), 23. Pixie (3), 25. In shape (3), 27. Count up (3), 29. Dove’s call (3), 34. Driver’s compartment (3), 36. Lung food (3), 37. Type of swimming stroke (9), 38. Tree mammal (3), 39. Terminate a marriage (7), 41. Gigantic (7), 44. Brown in the sun (3), 46. Statement expressing certainty (9), 50. Give a nickname (3), 52. Water chute (5), 53. Untidy (5), 54. Cause discomfort (5). Down 2. Fixed rule (3), 3. Expert (coll.) (3), 4. Watch chain (3) 5. 4 Lanka, modern Ceylon (3), 6. Exclamation of disgust (3), 7. Group of vineyards (3) 8. Sleeve (3), 9. Swallow up wholly (6), 11. Decide (3), 12. Non-expert (6), 13. Indian state (3), 14. Struck with open hand (6), 15. Unit of noise intensity (3), 17. German eight (4), 18. Level balanced (4), 19. Part of a chair (4), 20. Thick dark sauce (4), 21. First Greek letter (5), 24. Accident (5), 26. Wedding vow (1,2), 28. Genetic acid (1,1,1), 29. Fearfully (6), 30. Scent (4), 31. Folklore giant (4), 32. Very poor person (6), 33. Prepare text (4), 34. Guaranteed to be successful (4), 35. Officially forbidden (6), 39. Small round mark (3), 40. Variety of lettuce (3), 42. American Ltd (3), 43. Short-legged horse (3), 45. 4. Rose, rock singer (3), 46. 4 Maria, prayer (3), 47. Uncle 4, the USA (3), 48. No vote (3), 49. Little 4, 1960s songstress (3), 54 51. One, numero ... (3).

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WORD WHEEL

H E

H E

G

O

E.g. EGG

S

G D

Including the middle letter, how many words of 3 letters or more can you make? 20 = Good 25 = Excellent 30 = Outstanding

Sudoku Easy

Hard

1

3

6

7

2

1

7

5

2

8 3

8

4

4

5

5

2 8

1

3

1

6

4

2

7

9

6 9

8

5

4

9 7

8

5 3

6

3

3

7

8

4

5

5 2

6 4

5

4 1

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9 5

1

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9

8

8 2

6

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2 4

7

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£16

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celebrating a special birthday… it’s a piece of cake(s)!! By Michael James

We have had a busy time recently, celebrating my wife, Elizabeth’s birthday. It would not be gentlemanly of me to say which birthday, nor would it be healthy of me to do so. All I can reveal is that I was 80 last December and she is and looks, six months younger than me. Elizabeth has always been sportingly active and prepared to give anything a try, although both she and I took the 'après ski' option in December/ January on our family skiing holiday to mark my 'significant birthday'. How do we follow that? Well, given her active nature I came up with the idea of taking on a zip-wire ride. Not any old zip-wire but, reputedly, the longest zip-wire ride in Europe and the fastest in the world! I can hear you thinking, “What!” Yes, we really did, and all of the family were up for it, but sadly, for various reasons, we couldn't arrange it for the day itself, so it has been postponed to sometime later this year. Watch this space (any reason for another article). When asked what she wanted to do instead, she thought that it would be nice if the two of us spent a few days in the sun at our favourite holiday

Michael James - September 2019 page 1

resort, Weymouth. Yes, I know, a huge difference from zooming down a long zip-wire at 100mph but perhaps a more reasonable (sensible) idea considering my (our) great age. So, I booked a nice guest house just across the road from the beach. An ideal place to chill out reading our books and, when it got too hot, a nice cooling swim in the inviting sea. Perfect. The few weeks before we left Cardiff, we had some of the nicest weather of this year. The day we actually left, it was pouring with rain. We drove in and out of heavy showers and strong gusts of wind along the M5 motorway. The motorway, with all the various stretches of cones because of ongoing road works, which somehow, would magically manage to repair itself as there were no signs of any workmen. Perhaps, too tired after laying out miles after miles of heavy cones, they had decided to have a lengthy tea break? The slow traffic and rain continued until just beyond Yeovil, but as we approached Weymouth it thankfully stopped altogether. Arriving at the Guest House, another disappointment. Car parking in the

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CT Feature

street, whereas previously, many guests were entitled to a 'Visitor Parking Permit', these had now stopped and replaced by 'one-hour parking only'. Yes of course there were car parks nearby, but these were charging ÂŁ20 per 24 hours stay. A hefty blow, as we had been used to free parking in the street or when we had been staying with friends. The Guest House was lovely, with our large bedroom enjoying the benefit of a sea view, which, although welcome, did not compensate for the problem of having to time our comings and goings to find free parking. With our accommodation providing only bed and breakfast services, we had to go out every evening to find ourselves a meal. This, in itself, was no problem because as befitting a holiday resort, there were plenty of restaurants and pubs to choose from. Indeed, one of the benefits of eating out was that we were able to enjoy different cuisine each evening and we did just that. Traditional Fish and Chips one night, a lovely Chinese meal on the second night, followed the next evening by the large varied menu at a Wetherspoons Pub. Yes, we were well catered for. Our evenings sorted. Yes, evenings sorted but what about the days. The weather was bleak. Not the sun and warmth of the previous weeks but more like cold and miserable November days, although to be fair, it didn't rain. It also didn't stop us going out, that's not Elizabeth's idea of a holiday. Brisk walks in the bracing sea air are good for you, as were the numerous stops at various Costa Coffee shops (to be impartial, there are numerous others available), which was my preferred welcome break. One of Elizabeth's birthday presents was one of the fancy new wrist watches that not only tells the time but also keeps track of the number of steps you have taken. Apparently 10,000 steps is the minimum one should try to achieve. Which, bless her, she did every day, while I researched coffee shops. To try to avoid the cold and if I am honest, the 10,000 steps and the continual moving of the car to avoid paying parking fees, I suggested that perhaps it would be good idea to go for a ride to Lulworth Cove and the famous Durdle Door, which

Michael James - September 2019 page 2

we did. We spent a lovely couple of hours there, followed by a good lunch, taken 'al fresco' because the sun had decided to poke it's head out of the clouds and bathe us in a rather weak, warm glow. Being somewhat seduced by this hint of summer, I decided to go for a late afternoon swim when we arrived back at the Guest House, so while Elizabeth went off to claim another 10,000 steps, I went into the sea. Am I mad? Yes, the water was freezing but being the kind of guy that having got his feet wet must carry on, in I plunged, quickly swam a few strokes and hurriedly got back out again. By the time Elizabeth returned I had showered and was drinking a large mug of hot coffee. Both of us felt very pleased with ourselves. The next day we travelled home via the old A-class road, to avoid the motorway hold ups. All went well until we got to Shepton Mallet, where all the roads were closed because of the nearby Glastonbury Festival, and were re-directed to the M4 via Trowbridge. Then, came the welcoming (not) prospect of the rush hour traffic and the tunnels at Newport. When we eventually got home enjoying a cup of tea, we had time to reflect on our few days holiday. Was it a better option than the zip-wire ride? I'll let you decide. On the day itself we celebrated with the Cardiff half of the family with an enormous Indian take away meal followed by two birthday cakes made by our daughter, delicious, except the teapot cake was not much good for holding hot water! Then, on the weekend, joined by the rest of the family from Wigan, all ten of us visited a brilliant Chinese restaurant in Aberkenfig, where we had a lovely meal which could have fed a small village. How we managed to get through it I don't know, we were so full that we could not eat the second beautiful cake baked by our daughter. All in all, a couple of weeks of almost constant eating, which made me too heavy to go on the zip-wire ride anyway. Nothing for it but to join my wife on one of her 10,000 step walks, unless I find a coffee shop along the way. Happy birthday, darling. I hope that you enjoyed all of your various treats.

Thursday, 29 August 2019 00:14 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


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fashion done your own way By Molly Dutton

However, entwined in all the classics were a selection of her designs that I hadn’t even known existed. A particularly striking collection of tailored clothing based on the menswear of the time featured suits and trousers that strongly defied the harsh gender roles of the 1960’s, and demonstrated the importance of independence for women. Not only did they speak loudly, they were made beautifully with sharp edges and bold colours. With names such as the “banker suit” and names of professions associated with men, the range threw a veil over the barriers present. As an opposite approach, the incredible mini skirts in all colours revealed a ghastly amount of skin (AS IF) on a young woman which was very clearly frowned on by the media as it exposed women (I believe it made them look incredible). For me personally, there was a real sense of fun throughout every single piece in the collection compared to some, even more famous, designers which appealed to me on a different level.

This month has been crazy. I genuinely think I haven’t sat down for more than five minutes in a whole four weeks (which is saying something for somebody who loves her bed more than anything). Despite being bombarded with a heavy schedule, I got the chance to visit one of my most favourite fashion locations; London baby. As my friends will tell you, I don’t manage to finish a single sentence without including my unconditional love for that place, I feel a strong connection to Oxford Street that is entirely dramatic. My mini break is the basis of inspiration for this month’s article, which is focussing completely on a wonderful venture into the world of Mary Quant (who is a complete BADASS in my books) in which I was almost brought to tears on multiple times like a true drama queen. Compared to past visits, this particular trip’s activities opened my eyes to the huge impacts of fashion on the structure of the society that we live in; especially the role of women and the development of what we are ‘allowed to wear’ now, thanks to a select few inspiring designers who challenged stereotypes on a global scale.

We must talk about the coats, immediately. I am and shall always be a coat person, there is no questioning that, I’m pretty sure it’s a personality trait by this point. Mary Quant loves the idea that there should be a readily available selection of brightly coloured raincoats to act as a perfect pop against a dull sky. The collection of cape coats is honestly something I have yet to have seen in any other shop or exhibition (which is rare in the modern world). The coat takes the form of a waterproof cape or ball that surrounds the wearer in a little perfect bubble and, even better, they were designed to match your mini dress, hat and of course your tights!

Before I begin going into depth about the talent I witnessed in the Mary Quant exhibition, I feel that it is only fair to state that I am very rarely overwhelmed when viewing fashion collections, but this one had a unique effect on emotions. I was completely immersed in the colour and the videos depicting women who spoke out by wearing Quant’s elaborate clothing. To witness first-hand her feminist opinion and bold attitude was ridiculously empowering, as someone who sometimes has questioned their outfits based on what other people might say. The exhibition portrayed some of Quant’s most recognisable outfits in the form of brightly coloured miniskirts, matching tights and sky-high moon boots (I will be buying some immediately, Neil Armstrong style).

The jackets didn’t stop there. You can just imagine me madly grinning at my grandma at the sight of this next one: a black PVC trench coat. I am deadly serious when I tell you I almost passed out right there on the spot. The coat shined which would only be enhanced when covered with rain drops, and came

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adorned with a tie up belt and high collar; perfection at it’s finest. As with everything in that room, the jackets were far beyond their time, showing the futuristic image that Quant pictured for women of all ages. Not quite completely on the topic of coats, but possibly my favourite thing was a black catsuit designed for exercises. To be brutally honest, it looked like it belonged more on a batman movie poster than on an everyday woman, but that wouldn’t stop me from wearing it to the gym given half the chance (you think I’m kidding). I found the whole visit so powerful, especially with my grandparents who experienced that advance in culture and witnessed the fashion industry’s developments over time. I always say that I was born in the wrong era, and my suspicions have only been confirmed since stepping into that new world filled with colour and prints, not just rips and mesh slogans. The pyjamas in the collection were the most luxurious of items with fluff and everything glamorous. I think it’s so important to understand that we live now in so much freedom with the chance to show as much leg or midriff as you want without half as much intervention as back then. I have still not recovered from the amount of block colouring and platinum hair in the walls of the V and A that day, but it certainly left me feeling inspired and enlightened and possibly on the verge of sneaking back to steal that raincoat for winter use (I promise I didn’t). Although I have given you an insight, I believe everyone should visit The Victoria and Albert Museum and see the Mary Quant collection to truly see all the fabulous things I haven’t even touched on in this article. On a final note, if you see me running down the street wearing a catsuit and moon boots, carrying a bundle of bright clothes, looking flustered, do not contact the authorities. Thank you.

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sustainable food shopping By Sue Good

• Co op will eliminate own-brand CPET, black and dark plastic packaging by 2020 and all single-use own-brand plastic products and packaging by 2023.

There’s no doubt we are a wasteful bunch. According to the Guardian, the UK throws away £13billion worth of food each year; a quarter of which can still be eaten. Add to that, the billions of tonnes of plastic that is annually dumped on landfill, here and abroad, then it’s more than enough evidence to prove that we are dirty, rotten consumers. But is it really all our fault? Are supermarkets doing their bit to encourage greener, more ethical buying habits? We are often duped into BOGOFs and multibuys, accelerating demand for profit, and no doubt increasing waste.

Waste • Sainsbury’s has been turning food waste from two of its depots into energy - enough to power 5,000 homes*, or 10% of Sainsbury’s entire national gas consumption for the year. • Morrisons now provides paper bags for loose fruit and veg. • Asda have arranged community litter pick-ups, as well as engaging with primary schools to educate pupils on plastics and how to recycle more. Check it out: https://www.recycleforwales.org.uk/local-recycling

So, I had a look through the green policies of our most popular supermarkets (Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Aldi, Waitrose, Co-Op and Morrisons) to make sure they were pulling their sustainable weight andC. even though I hate to admit it, they do seem to be (slowly) addressing the issue of wasteful shopping. All were attempting to resolve sustainability in packaging, energy, waste, sourcing and transport; forecasting similar targets. For example; it seems that most large supermarkets are looking for fully recyclable own brand products by at least 2025. Having said that, Waitrose have brought that deadline closer to 2023. Perhaps the others should suit. Also, Tesco, Waitrose and Morrisons have trialled package free shopping in a couple of their stores. All three tried package free fruit and veg shopping, plus Waitrose and Morrisons dispensed wine and beer on tap (to be taken home in reusable bottles), plus products such as pasta, rice, lentils, cereals, and dried fruit and more. What a great idea – but why only in a couple of stores? More please.

Energy • Lidl is rolling out the use of natural refrigerants* to lower their greenhouse gas emissions. Approximately 50% of all newly installed shop floor equipment, and all refrigeration technology in new and refurbished warehouses, now use natural refrigerants. *Natural refrigerants. They got their name as they occur naturally in the environment. These substances are hydrocarbons (HCs), carbon dioxide, ammonia, water and air (also called “the natural five”). In the amounts used in refrigeration their direct emissions have no or only a negligible impact on the climate should they escape to the atmosphere.

• Aldi has reduced their carbon footprint by 53% since 2012. Since 2017, 100% of the electricity they use has been from green, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power.

Their websites contained encouraging green actions. Here’s a few details that made for a pleasing read:

Other • Waitrose is even helping to save bees. They also invest in research and projects that look into solutions for plastic pollution and sustainable alternatives. (In fact, I liked what Waitrose had to say about their sustainability – check it out on: https:// www.waitrose.com/ecom/shop/featured/groceries/ sustainability)

Packaging • Tesco is working on a closed loop packaging system where all plastic products are re-used or recycled in the near future – omitting landfill need.

Despite these pleasing policies, I’m not convinced supermarkets are working hard or quick enough to change selling and buying habits. So, what can we do to make food shopping a greener practice? Here’s some simple tips on becoming a green consumer: 1. Avoid packaging. A lot of us like to be tidy and keep food separate, but bananas, onions, potatoes, carrots, parsnips etc are often sold loose. So next time you shop, just put them straight in your trolley. No bags needed.

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2. Buy seasonally. Strawberries in December has never felt a natural relationship. Get to know what fruit and veg thrives when and where, then manage your diet accordingly. 3. Buy locally. If you do number 2, then you’ll probably be buying much closer to home anyway. With Brexit approaching we may need our local providers even more. (See below for a great app on buying straight from local producers.) 4. Visit a farmer’s market. Don’t go once in a blue moon when it’s raining, and you’re bored – make a habit of it. Try a few and see which you prefer and support your local producers. 5. Grow your own. Ah*. This could be tricky. I can’t even keep a small houseplant alive, plus when my son brought home a sunflower seedling, his was the only one to die. But, never one to say no to a challenge, I’m going to give it a go. Tomatoes and courgettes are apparently the easiest – sowing the seeds in March means produce in the summer. 6. Buy from sustainable shops. This is my favourite. Walking into a sustainable shop is a life-changing experience. You feel empowered and enlightened. You suddenly realise that there are green alternatives for everything. And I mean everything. Cardiff has Ripple on Albany Road. A must for all you greenies. (See next month’s feature on why shops like Ripple matter.) 7. Buy blemished products. Embrace the lumpy bumpy members of the fruit and vegetable families and give them a safe, warm home: on your dinner plate! 8. Buy from the deli-counter. This isn’t always the cheapest option, but by taking in your own containers and buying fish, cheese, ham etc, over the counter, then you will cut down on the packaging mess at home. 9. Learn to use up all food waste. Waitrose has compiled (a very readable) ‘100 easy ways to save on food waste’ guide. From wrapping banana stalks (to stop them browning), to making potato peel fries - this is essential reading: https://www.waitrose.com/content/ dam/waitrose/Inspiration/About%20Us%20New/ Waitrose%20Way/Food%20waste%20LIVE%20WISE/ LIVEWISE%20100%20FOOD%20WASTE% 20HACKS%20V5.pdf 10. Eat more plants and less meat. This is the controversial advice from the UN and research does suggest that livestock rearing massively contributes to global warming. Having grown up in a community of livestock farmers, with my Dad as the local tractor dealer – this is a hard pill to swallow, however - not as hard as climate change statistics. So, as a family, we will be eating less meat. Sorry Dad. 11. Buy less processed food. For a start they’re not great for you anyway, with too much salt and sugar, plus they always carry an excessive amount of

packaging – much of which is non-recyclable. Bake rather than buy. 12. Buy fair trade. This speaks for itself. 13. Buy ethically sourced products. Make sure you buy fish from sustainable sources (see below for an app to help with this) and products with ethically sourced palm oil. Palm oil is in everything: chocolate, Nutella, shampoo, pizza and biscuits - to name a few. The product has a terrible reputation for damaging the environment in production, but it can be sustainably made and benefit the lives of those producing it. Check out WWF for info on sustainable palm oil suppliers. https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/8-things-know-aboutpalm-oil (Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, The Co-operative and Ikea seem to be leading the ethical way when it comes to palm oil products.) And there’s more *. There are now even apps that can help make us more sustainable shoppers. See below for a few good ones: Farmdrop – connecting consumers to local farmers and producers. Minimum transport, minimum packaging and fresh products. Too good to go – connecting consumers with restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets etc, who have food to waste. Giki – a shopping guide app that helps you understand the sustainability of the product you’re buying and the company it’s from – just by scanning a bar code. Good fish guide MCS – a sustainable fish-eating guide. From what fish you should eat, to where to get it from, to how to cook it. Olio – connecting local retailers and neighbours, ensuring excess food does not go to waste. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your phone, bags for life and Tupperware containers, get in your electric car and go shopping! Next month: Spotlight on Ripple – Cardiff’s very own sustainable shop.

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‘WORDS OF TRUTH’

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the welsh theory of relativity By Sara John

In Wales, there has always been, and I would venture to suggest this is still the case, no ‘separation’ at all! And, if there is someone new or newish at an event, they can soon be persuaded, after interrogation, to satisfy the terminal curiosity of the locals to divulge their roots. Only then will it be felt by residents, they can then start to ‘belong’ to the location.

You may well have heard of the theory known as “Six Degrees of Separation”, the idea that we are all interconnected with each other by an invisible network across the world. This network is said to be never more than six ‘connections’ apart. This is maintained by all the people such as relatives, friends and acquaintances that we have known, plus all the people they have known and so on. For example, it is possible to be ‘connected’ to Nelson Mandela because your neighbour once met his grandson. This equates to just three degrees of separation.

Wherever you go in the world, if you are Welsh and you catch a whiff of a Welsh accent, a giant magnet made out of cast iron hiraeth (homesickness) will propel you to that person and you find yourself asking the inevitable question. “Where are YOU from then? No. No. Where exactly are you from?”

Not only does this theory stretch across an ever diminishing world-scape, it also goes back in time. My grandparents met and spoke with Lloyd George in Criccieth before the First World War. My grandmother died when I was four years old (but, I remember her very clearly), so that would rate as two degrees of separation, between me and Lloyd George, and you can imagine how many people Lloyd George had met prior to meeting my grandparents! So I could include King George and Queen Mary, for instance, in that particular thread of connections.

Elderly friends of mine, originally from Pontypridd, were on one of those extra special holidays of a lifetime, a cruise around the world. They were sitting at dinner in a hotel in Tahiti when Gethin (a music lover with 20/20 hearing) caught the see-saw intonations of English being spoken through the medium of Welsh, from across a crowded room. Leaving his wife looking slightly embarrassed at their table, he took off to investigate the accent of the “language of Heaven” which he thought he recognised. He found the speaker and having introduced himself, asked if his new acquaintance was from Swansea. “No, No,” she replied thousands of miles away from home, “I’m from Burry Port.”

I would suggest that, in Wales, where the first question that is often asked of a complete stranger is “Where are you from then?”, this Six Degrees theory chimes well with local customs and habits, and is not unfamiliar. That final ‘then’ in the question is generally reserved for questioning, some would say interrogating, someone you have already decided is Welsh but could also come under the category of ‘from away’.

If the answer to the ‘where from?’ question elicits a promising response, one that probably leads from country to county to village to street to the actual house number, then a quick supplementary confirmation might be needed for exact clarity; “is that the far end by the park? Or down the other end near the station?”

When you are speaking to someone about the business or activities of a third party, which has actually got nothing to do with you or the person you are having the conversation with, it is vital to establish the boundaries of how closely each of you know the subject of your conversation. It may well go like this; “Know him? I know him well. Well I met him once or twice when he was going out with Dave’s sister, Cheryl, who was in the same class as Angela, that’s Angela, ‘corner house’ not Angela ‘Park View’. Anyway Cheryl and Angela, were the same age, I cannot remember Cheryl’s older sister’s name, anyway that does not matter. They lived next door to my Aunty Betty: I always thought he was a bit creepy.” Who was creepy?

In particular in the South Wales Valleys, small differences in style of house, extent of front garden or no front garden, situation in the street, for example a corner house or a nice front porch, denotes and reflects status otherwise unknown in basic family data. Then, the curious questioner will move on to a question which is, basically and rather rudely, “who are YOU then?” which has to be refined and made more roundabout. Something like, “I wonder if I knew your sister?”

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CT Feature In other countries people are asked their name but there is little point in doing that in most of Wales because there are only a few surnames in circulation!

secure, safe, at peace with our surroundings and with each other. We fear the unknown, we fear conquerors, we fear being subdued or enslaved.

Next comes the ‘when’ question, as in attempting to create some possibly parallel time lines. An example might be “When did you leave school?” So we have had the where?, we have had the who?, and we have had the when? Now the What?

Mary Douglas was an academic who wrote widely about these fears, and mentioned in her work examples of worries and concerns about changes or differences or unsettling threats, and what she has called the peoples’ fear of “pollution”. That process of change or dilution which slowly makes things we have been used to “weaker” or “different”.

“What did you say your business was?” The person being questioned, by then, cannot remember what they have said, and after apologising for nothing at all, sketches in some details of their work life. Professional /white collar/company car? Tradesman/ own business/employs others? Works in Cardiff/big American company? These days it might well be a combination. The demise of heavy industry in South Wales swept away so much sociological and economic structures, and it still continues nowadays.

These days we call it progress and improvement. We travel more and eat a greater variety of food from other lands. We observe other ways of getting things done. Our children learn more, travel more, live more for the future and seem to embrace constant change. Everything moves faster. Possibly one of the reasons for all this nosiness about other people coming to our valleys and villages and towns in Wales is we need to know if they are foes or are these new people friends. Quo vadis? Who goes there?

Why did you leave? Why do you want to return? Why? If we want to look for some explanations for all this inquisitiveness, I think we have to go back a very long way in history.

Historically, it has proved impossible for our Offas Dyke border to be a really effective defensive wall for a country with a small population. The Welsh border, on the map anyway, looks about twice the east-west width of the landmass. In Scotland, by contrast the border is, or was, much easier to man. The Romans proved it by building Antonine’s Wall and then Hadrian’s Wall across a fairly narrow neck of land, not much more than fifty odd miles or so.

Wales was invaded and settled by Celts from, we are told, northern and eastern Europe. Were the indigenous people able to desist, did they welcome the invaders? Then the Romans came. Then the Flemish, Dutch and Danish ‘pirates’ came and settled. They were called Sassenach by the local Gaels and Celts. That word did not signify a German or a native of Saxony. It meant a robber. That was according to Charles Mackay in his Dictionary of Lowland Scotch published in 1888. The word is still well used in Scotland to define the English.

Maybe this Border business was the basis for our Welsh concerns about ‘Strangers’ and the need to find out as much about them as possible. Are they Vikings? Are they Picts? Are they Tourists? Have your list of questions at the ready, they may want to ask directions, or find somewhere to stay.

Vikings came, some stayed, some moved on. You can see examples of their longhouses still, all over West Wales. The Normans, after the initial battle of 1066, very quickly established themselves. They sold “burgesses” or plots of land with associated privileges in Pembroke for example, if you could afford it. It meant you were allowed to pursue your business and live with your family safely within the, newly erected, town walls.

There was a letter in the Glasgow Herald a few years back when we lived in Edinburgh. A Finnish lady now living in Scotland, wrote to ask why no one spoke to her in Edinburgh, yet, a mere fifty miles away in Glasgow people were very warm, friendly and inquisitive. I decided to write with my own personal theory. I agreed with her observations and suggested that the entire population of Edinburgh (not Leith) might be in a witness protection programme, hence their unwillingness to socialise. Possibly they had witnessed or experienced something very terrible a long, long time ago that no-one could now remember.

Twenty years ago I was told, by an elderly gentleman who was raised on a very ancient and remote rural property in Pembrokeshire that, when he was a child, the resident farm servants still spoke a form of rough Norman-Welsh amongst themselves.

Much to my delight they published it as Letter of the Week. My Edinburgh born husband was not best pleased.

Against this background of uncertainty, from earliest times right up to the present, we all want to feel

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