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CARDIFF TIMES january 2020

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Thackeray - January 2020 page 1

Friday, 20 December 2019 12:13 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


new year new me! A Poem By David Stewart theorganicpoet@gmail.com

Silence is broken by a series of ‘beeps’. I reluctantly open my eyes. Impersonating an unwilling teenager, I groan amidst the shock and surprise. Then I leap out of bed like an uncoiled spring, as today’s the first day of the year. The past two weeks have been excessive; too much food, too much drink, so much cheer! I remember the night Santa left for his trip. So much laughter and joy in the air. Churches and bars filled with smiles, song and glee. Perfect moments to capture and share. As I land from leap and my feet touch the floor, I head to the mirror that is next to the door. I stare at my reflection; I study my face, relieved that I’ve got resolutions in place. My cheeks have become puffy and so has my belly. When I walk, I feel like I wobble like jelly. Therefore, I suck-in my stomach and I suck-in my cheeks. What a picture? This will be me in only five weeks. In six months, I’ll be shredded, with not one ounce of fat. Each day I’ll do yoga, I’ll be as supple as a cat. I’ll stay away from carbs, I won’t eat after six. I’ll eat celery sticks, won’t go near pick and mix. These bingo wings will go. No more shame of the wobble. I’ll have the perfect life of an Instagram model. These resolutions will be the springboard to my future success. I’ll turn heads with the number of cars I possess. I’ll be a millionaire before 50. I’ll have dates every night. It’ll take less than a second for people to swipe right. I’ll be powerful yet humble with my own TV show. I’ll have a 7 bedroom mansion on millionaire’s row. I put on my running shoes, then a quick stretch to get limber. The first step is hardest when the goal’s to lose timber. My playlist in place as I bolt out of the house. The transformation will be breath taking; to lion from mouse! I’m onto the road. 100 yards in I run up to a guy with a bottle of gin. Outside a shop-window, sitting alone on the floor. To get even drunker is his hangover cure. He’s surrounded by blankets and old tatty clothes. There’s a cut above his eye and dried blood around his nose. A cup in his left hand and as he begins to beg, I’m taken aback //.He’s just got one leg! I judgingly stare but trip and fall on my face, he comes rushing over to help me. I feel such a disgrace. No feeling in my thigh, my hamstring is gone. No chance to stand-up, no way to carry on. Yet as he stands tall above me, he puts out his hand and says ‘come on, get-up, it’s going to be grand.

I’m sure it hurts now but you’ll be alright, you should never go out running when your hamstring’s so tight!’ My embarrassment-level skyrockets ever so high. I’ve just been helped up by a homeless guy. As New Year’s goes, it’s a terrible start. But he’s optimistic and compassionate, with a huge caring heart. I begin to feel egotistical, I begin to feel rude. Beginning to feel ungrateful, that I lack gratitude. I have a flat that has heating, I buy my own food, I have so much security I walk around in the nude. I’m stunned and ashamed at how selfish I could be, as each of my resolutions is all about me! If I shift my perspective, I’m certain to see, that the world turns for everyone. Not solely for me! It’s clear to see that my resolutions are wrong. I’ve been focussing inwards for far too long. My new friend has inspired me to get on the right track. ‘Do a good deed for others, it always comes back.’ No more self-centred resolutions. The pendulum has swung. My quest to help others has now begun. We say our good byes as I hobble back home, I greet strangers with a smile and I feel less alone. I say ‘good morning’ to others and they say it straight back. A positive feeling / who needs a six-pack? I will do things for others. I’ll start it today! I’ll make a trip to my local Repair Café! I’ll fix things and make things, build communities too. Where I’ll repair the old, no need to buy new. I’ll learn a new skill and then teach my new trick, in a place where gratitude and kindness makes people tick. I’m thankful for this morning, such positivity. This is a New Year and it’s a new ‘helping’ me!

About The Repair Café The Repair Café launched its first café in April 2017. The principal aims are: • Fix items, which are destined for landfill, free of charge for the public in order to reduce environmental harm. • Teach repair skills to local communities to increase recycling and run upcycling workshops. • Each café opens for three hours a month. Following the success of the initial café, there are now six Repair Cafes in Cardiff, which have seen a growth of volunteers and items repaired. For more information, please go to: www.facebook.com/repaircafewales/

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Article - David Stewart Poem Repai... page 1

Wednesday, 18 December 2019 14:12 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


editors letter

cardiff times

Welcome PUBLISHER Cardiff Times Hi All, and welcome to our January issue.

EDITOR Louise Denning 07903 947594

By the time you read this, it will be a new year, in fact a new decade, memories of the Christmas festivities will be fading fast, and thoughts will turn to what 2020 will bring.

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, Sue Good, Michael James, Craig Muncey, Natalie McCulloch, David Stewart

EDITORIAL

029 2046 3028

ADVERTISING 07903 947594 EMAIL

info@cardiff-times.co.uk

WEB

www.cardiff-times.co.uk

However, let’s briefly recap what we got up to in December - the highlight for us - apart from Louise’s birthday! - was our annual trip to the New Theatre to see this year’s panto, Cinderella. Starring the always hilarious Mike Doyle, and TV presenter Gok Wan amongst others, this was an unforgettable evening for all of us, full of laughter, and there is still time to catch the show as it runs until the 12th January. Also, we were very proud of our daughter as she had one of the leading roles in her school Christmas concert. She and the rest of her year group performed brilliantly, put smiles on everyone’s faces, and really put people in the Christmas mood! For this month’s issue, we have a number of articles and features on new things to try or do, which will be particularly relevant to those people who have made new year resolutions. Mark and I tend not to make any resolutions, as we know we can never stick to them! Joking aside, one thing that both of us would like to see in 2020 is people being more tolerant and understanding towards each other, especially on social media. We have definitely seen the level of unpleasantness rise over the years we have been running the magazine, it would be great to write at the end of 2020 that this had been reversed. Finally, to all our readers and advertisers, thank you for sticking with us in 2019, your support is very much appreciated, and we sincerely hope you continue to support us in 2020. Happy New Year! Until next month, happy reading.

Louise & Mark

Follow us on Twitter

@CardiffTimes

www.facebook.com/Cardifftimes

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Cardiff Times • www.cardiff-times.co.uk

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January

CONTENTS 26

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56

FEATURES

36 “In The Words Of…” By Carl Marsh

44 ‘And Another Thing…’

5 New Year New Me! A Poem By David Stewart

By Vince Nolan

14 January Diary

48 Puzzle Mania

16 Time Flies

52 New Year, New (Greener) You!

By Wyn Evans

By Sue Good

20 Six Nations 2020 Preview By Craig Muncey

56 Fashion Done Your Own Way

26 New Year New Beauty

By Molly Dutton

30 The Gift You May Have Forgotten This Christmas

By Michael James

60 My Mate Steve’s Dad

By Natalie McCulloch

63 Puzzle Mania Solutions

33 Books To Look Out For In January

64 Never Heard Of Him! By Sara John 10

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Cardiff Times • www.cardiff-times.co.uk

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St David’s Catholic College Celebrates Popular Open Evening Mr Leighfield continued: “We know how important it is to have our current students involved in our open evenings. They are able to provide first hand testimony of the experience of being a part of the successful St. David’s Community.”

St David’s Catholic College is celebrating another year of Open Evening success, welcoming over 900 students to its campus across the two events. The Cardiff-based sixth form college has seen a considerable rise in attendance at open evenings over the past few years. With over 500 applications already completed and a further 200 expected to be finalised ahead of the Christmas break, hundreds of ambitious young people across Cardiff are expected to make their way to St David’s to further their education.

Based in Penylan, St David’s is the only Roman Catholic sixth form college operating in Wales, helping to nurture successful students through supportive and stimulating learning. www.stdavidscollege.ac.uk

St David’s College Principal, Mark Leighfield said: “We are delighted that this year’s open evening has seen yet another increase in numbers and applications. This is reflective of the success of our students and the excellent academic tuition and personal support that the college is able to Provide.” St David’s Catholic College offers A-Level and Vocational courses to students aged 16 to 19, which ensures suitable options for those wanting to pursue a range of different destinations, such as higher education, employment and apprenticeships. The open evenings allowed students and parents to speak directly with the subject teachers. Careers and support staff were available to inform students on subject choice that aligned with their future aspirations. The evening also included talks, workshops, science experiments, dramatic productions and interactive lessons. Current students also played a key role during the two open evenings, showcasing their work across the different departments and speaking to prospective attendees, providing an exciting perspective on life at the college, its culture and offer.

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Article - St Davids Catholic Colle... page 1

Thursday, 19 December 2019 11:40 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


Young & Old Got Into The Christmas Spirit At Pontcanna Care Home Residents at a Pontcanna care home enjoyed all the magic and wonder of Christmas through the eyes of children when they hosted a special party for toddlers.

interacting with small children. As Christmas is such a magical time for little ones, it made absolute sense to put on a special Christmas event for toddlers and we all really benefitted from watching their faces as they enjoyed the magic of Christmas.

Staff at Tŷ Llandaff, a private nursing, residential and respite care home in Conway Road, organised the party for residents and local pre-schoolers so they could bring the two generations together to share in the excitement of the Christmas season.

“Informal research has shown that this type of inter-generational mixing can have a transformative power for older people. Events where children visit and enjoy themselves are always popular with all at Tŷ Llandaff.”

The festive party included Christmas music and decorations, simple traditional party games, biscuits and mince pies, and a chance for the residents and children to get to know each other over books and stories.

Tŷ Llandaff Service Manager Lisa Cristina added: “Here at Ty Llandaff, we do everything we can to create a festive atmosphere for our

To the delight of the children and the residents, Father Christmas even made a special visit to the celebration and brought presents to give out to the children.

residents at Christmas time. By continuing with traditions that our residents have enjoyed throughout their lives helps to reignite memories and evoke old emotions.

This Christmas event came after the success of previous events that Tŷ Llandaff have arranged bringing toddlers into the care home to meet with residents, which was initially inspired by Channel 4’s Old People's home for 4 Year Olds.

“The Christmas party for the children was a wonderful opportunity to not only bring back memories of childhood or having young families but to help us all focus on the real joy and wonder of the festive season.”

Tŷ Llandaff activities co-ordinator Melanie Geoghegan said: “As we’ve found previously, nothing lifts the spirits of our residents like

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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Ty Llandaff - January 2020 page 1

Tuesday, 17 December 2019 21:38 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


january diary              

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With thousands of festive theatregoers enjoying the magic of the New Theatre panto every year, don't miss the magic of this year's must-see production of Cinderella, the Fairy Godmother of all pantomimes! Cardiff's biggest festive production will feature star casting, laugh-out-loud comedy, jaw-dropping special effects, stunning song and dance and plenty of boos and hisses as the ultimate pantomime is brought magically to life.

           

New Theatre, Cardiff www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk

Explore St Fagans National Museum of History from a completely different angle. Hear true tales of ghostly encounters in the historic buildings of this park. Also, hear of Welsh superstitions about death, mourning, and ghosts, and discover why Wales could be the world's most haunted country! This is a "no-nonsense, no gimmicks" faithfully researched and delivered torch -lit tour of the museum grounds and buildings, to the very spots where inexplicable things have been repeatedly seen, heard and felt over the years.

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St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff www.museum.wales/stfagans/

Cardiff Tasting Tours run every Friday and Saturday from 10.30am – 2.30pm. This walking & tasting tour includes 7 tasting stops showcasing Welsh and Cardiff’s cosmopolitan food. Tastings include Welsh cheeses, cockles & laverbread, Welsh beers & cider plus much more. Along the way you will pass beautiful parks, majestic buildings & key landmarks including Cardiff Castle and Principality Stadium ‘the home of Welsh rugby’.

 L       11 11  L       The sessions take place on the second Saturday of the month (10.30 – 12.00). Meet outside the Secret Garden CafÊ which is next to the Education Centre. Vicky the Ranger leads these sessions and it’s a great way to get outdoors, meet new people enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise.

Cardiff City centre www.lovingwelshfood.uk/

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Bute Park, Cardiff www.bute-park.com

         

      

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This January, WNO Orchestra takes A Journey to Vienna celebrating some of Europe’s finest music. In a programme to transport you across the continent, WNO Orchestra, under the direction of Leader and Concertmaster David Adams, will visit all corners of Europe in works by Offenbach, Mozart, Brahms, Dvorak and, of course, Strauss.

Step foot into the planetarium and experience all things Moon. Explore its myths and legends and find out why it’s so important to all of us on Earth. There will also be a look at our missions to the Moon, focusing on the amazing journey into the unknown as well as what mankind has planned for the future. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the Moon!

Royal Welsh College of Music And Drama, Cardiff www.rwcmd.ac.uk

Techniquest, Cardiff Bay www.techniquest.org

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What's on Diary - January 2020 page 1

Thursday, 19 December 2019 12:32 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


January Diary         -

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Upfront and personal – two genuine Welsh soccer legends grace the stage to talk about their brilliant careers. Super strikers for the national team, Ian Rush and John Hartson discuss their glittering careers – the games, the dressing room and training ground stories, managers, fall outs and more. Ably compered by TalkSport’s Perry Groves, a thoroughly entertaining evening is in store.

Living up to the promise they will rock you since 1993, Killer Queen have won countless awards including “Worldwide Best Tribute Band� and “Best Concert of the Year�. They’ve represented Queen in Bob Geldof’s LiveAid concert, had a residency in the West End, and even scored a number one hit recording the harmonies for “The Real Life� with Fatboy Slim!

St David’s Hall, Cardiff www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk

Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff www.motorpointarenacardiff.co.uk

 

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Anton & Erin, the nation’s favourite ballroom stars are back with their brand-new show for 2020 as they DANCE THOSE MAGICAL MOVIES. With sensational choreography set to music that made it big on the silver screen, expect a Hollywood red carpet premiere performance from the UK’s leading dance stars. Including musical classics from Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Singin’ In The Rain, Casablanca, The Wizard Of Oz, The Greatest Showman, 007, Titanic, Moulin Rouge and many more.

Settle down in the cinema for an epic Jurassic-age film with Dippy the Diplodocus in residence at the museum, come and see him after dark for an evening of dinotastic music and entertainment. National Museum Cardiff www.museum.wales/cardiff/

       

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St David’s Hall, Cardiff www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk

New Year. A cosy transition from the old to the new. A wonderful time to reflect and look forward to nestling back down to routine and new opportunities. This January, Yoganic and Jay Halford warmly welcome guests to ‘Flow + Feast’ – a time to awaken, strengthen and restore our bodies through yoga practice and whole hearted nourishment. This carefully crafted morning of wellness will nurture you, inspire you, support you, uplift you and treat you to some YOU time.

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DEPOT Cardiff www.depotcardiff.com

The University of South Wales, in collaboration with the Music Managers Forum, proudly brings you Immersed Festival in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust. Three events to inform, entertain and empower all of us who care about music - a Conference, an Education Symposium, and headline acts Richard Ashcroft, Tom Grennan and Bad Sounds.

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Tramshed, Cardiff www.tramshedcardiff.com

Nominated for five Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, SIX, ‘the most uplifting piece of new British musical theatre’ (The Evening Standard) is the phenomenon everyone is losing their head over! From Tudor queens to pop princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII finally take to the mic to tell their tales, remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into a 80-minute celebration of 21st century sisterly sass-itude.

Resurrection & Oas-is co-headline tour will be bringing your favourite tracks from two of the worlds most influential bands (The Stone Roses and Oasis) to venues across the UK in 2020!

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay www.wmc.org.uk

The Globe, Cardiff www.globecardiffmusic.com

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What's on Diary - January 2020 page 2

Thursday, 19 December 2019 12:34 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


time flies By Wyn Evans I’m writing this on Monday 16th December 2019. In politics, the outgoing year saw a surfeit of anger, double-cross, despair and murder. No, not the UK general election; Game of Thrones reached its blood-soaked conclusion after eight sanguinary series. That makes it sound as if I have been viewing GoT, whereas in fact I had to search Wikipedia to double-check that it did indeed run its course in 2019. Other great TV shows that I have missed include The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and The Wire; Fleabag, The West Wing, and The Bridge; The Killing, Line of Duty, and Lost.

A less obvious answer is that I don’t watch much TV... because it is so very good. When I was a young man I was happy to sit down each week and watch a series through to its conclusion: Minder, Brideshead Revisited, and The Edge of Darkness being examples (I never claimed to be high-brow!). Then I realised that if I watched the first episode of a much-hyped new programme I was essentially signing-up an hour a week for six or twelve weeks. And if there were two series starting at the same time - one on BBC and another on ITV - I would need to commit twelve or twenty-four hours of my life to them. This was at a time when SkyQ didn’t exist. Indeed, so old am I that I remember VHS and Betamax video recorders coming to the market. Simply put, it was inconvenient or impossible to store a programme to watch at a more convenient time, and so it really was necessary to tune in at its time of broadcast and to keep tuning in for as long as the series was running.

This has led me to ponder why it is that I have not switched-on to such ‘must-watch’ television. Why is it that these great moments of ‘water-cooler TV’ have left me out in the cold (the idea being that staff will gather around the water-cooler in their offices and share their perspectives on last night’s TV)? The obvious answer is of course that I no longer work in an office. My water-cooler is integral to our fridge-freezer and if I was to stand around it talking about what I watched on yesterday’s TV, I would be discussing Derek’s weather report on BBC Wales, and my observations would only be shared with our two Hungarian Vizsla dogs, both of whom, even if they had an opinion to share, would find it difficult to express, what with them being dogs ‘n all.

As I got older, the quality, range, and diversity of television programming improved exponentially. And this is what led me to switch off the set. I was enjoying too much TV. So we went back to

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Tuesday, 17 December 2019 21:44 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


CT Feature

reading books instead. Of course, this brought difficulties too. My wife (The Boss) and I enjoy reading crime thrillers. There are very many good stand-alone thrillers. There are also some wonderful series, following one prime protagonist across a number of volumes, allowing for character development across real time to occur. We found that we were reading for two or three hours every night, leaving precious little time for anything else. It became books or TV and the only way I could stop myself from tuning in to a brilliant series such as The Sopranos each week, thus eating into my reading time, was not to watch at all. The unexpected consequence of this was that we needed more and more shelf space. When we lived in our old Edwardian palace on Ty Draw Road this was not a problem. Essentially, we turned our two top-floor rooms into libraries. When we down-sized homes, and despite putting in wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling shelving, we lacked space for all our thousands of books. This remains an issue for us as we still have twenty or thirty Pickfords boxes full of novels taking up space in our garage, and my once-awesome cataloguing system has been shot to bits!

(trampolining, ballet, swimming, Guides, Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award) and the calendar gets quite full. We’ve managed to create a space for a short break around the turn of the year and, of course, The Girl is already bouncing with excitement (she loves Centerparcs). She’s had quite a bit on these past few weeks. She represented her school in the Welsh schools trampolining competition and won a silver medal. A week later in the Welsh Individual Championships she won gold and is a Welsh Champion in her disability category. This last weekend she passed her 9th Mon grading in judo and now has an Orange Belt with three stripes. Until our daughter came into our lives, I had no idea that parenting would be so fulfilling.

Of course, there are three of us now and our daughter, The Girl, is thirteen years of age. She doesn’t watch much television either. It’s not that we stop her. No, she just prefers working or playing on her computer or on her phone apps. I can’t really complain about this. I set her a poor example since I spend a fair amount of time on my computer. I’ve become an avid online chess player and can waste hours trying to hunt the kings of my opponents. And when the mood takes me I can spend just as many hours loading and editing digital photographs (photography is my other great passion). The consequence of all this is that there is never enough time. I’m a movie buff but cannot remember the last time I got to an actual cinema to see a new release. Instead I have to squeeze in some Blu-Ray viewing late at night.

And on that note I leave you for 2019. Busy busy busy! Presents to wrap, cards to write and, maybe, some catch-up TV or a box-set to view!

The good thing about all this is that, though I’m in my sixties, life is still busy. Consider as well the time we commit to The Girl’s activities

Welcome to 2020 and we three wish you and yours a very happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

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Article - Wyn Evans - January 2020... page 3

Tuesday, 17 December 2019 21:44 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


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Brian MacEntee - Oct 2019 page 1

Thursday, 19 December 2019 10:53 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


Craniosacral Therapy brings about a deep state of relaxation

Are you feeling stressed. Is life getting too much?

This can help resolve problems such as back or neck pain, headaches or any stress related symptoms. It can also help speed your recovery from accident, operation or illness.

Do you feel like you have nowhere to go?

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We listen & work with you for change

For more information, contact Judy Clover RCST on 02920 481844 or mail@judyclover.co.uk www.judyclover.co.uk

enquiries@reflectivehorizonstherapy.co.uk Tel: 07874114416

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Cardiff Times • www.cardiff-times.co.uk

Stewart Greenberg Page page 1

Wednesday, 18 December 2019 14:10 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


six nations 2020 preview By Craig Muncey

The upcoming Six Nations will be an intriguing competition as always, however, with the World Cup ending a few months ago, new coaches in situ for a number of the competitors, so new ideas, potentially a new cycle of players after a World Cup, and one year away from a British and Irish Lions tour, this pending competition is going to be even more fascinating.

France With new coaches in place, how will France fare? There is no doubt they have some very talented players but can they all come together to gel into a good side? There have been questions posed around their defence and fitness, so Shaun Edwards now in situ, it could be a very hard journey for the French players what with his expectations in those areas. The first game against England will go a long way to telling us where the French are for this tournament, a win and you could see a strong showing throughout. A loss at home and who knows what might happen.

I look over the fixtures for each country in alphabetical order, as well as picking a player for each country who I believe will have an important role to play for their respective country, in terms of enhancing the team’s prospects and moving the team forwards. Lastly, I will predict the finishing positions. So, will be interesting to see how I do, bearing in mind I am putting this piece together prior to Christmas. So, as a disclaimer, if any of the selected players are not in the tournament due to injuries, suspensions etc then please bear this in mind!

Fixtures 2/2 England (Home), 9/2 Italy (Home), 22/2 Wales (Away), 8/3 Scotland (Away), 14/3 Ireland (Home)

England After a World Cup where they reached the final, Eddie Jones will be expecting a strong showing in the Championship. England were outstanding against New Zealand in the semi-final, and this now must be the benchmark that performance that England strive to achieve. I expect England to be very difficult to beat.

Player to watch Antoine Dupont – The French half-back is a fine player and is becoming a regular fixture in the national side already for someone so young. The 23-year-old Toulouse star regularly plays at 10 for his club, but Picture Credit: The Daily Telegraph for France is in the scrum-half role where he dictates the tempo of the team. Has a strong kicking game and is a dangerous runner around the fringes of rucks. I expect his profile to continue to rise during and after this tournament.

Fixtures 2/2 France (Away), 8/2 Scotland (Away), 23/2 Ireland (Home), 7/3 Wales (Home), 14/3 Italy (Away) Player to watch Henry Slade – England have been for a number of seasons trying to solve the puzzle of their midfield axis. George Ford at 10 and Owen Farrell at 12 regularly seen, but there is still a question over whether at the highest levels against the very best, is Ford the correct option for England at 10? Farrell has to play but is he best suited at 10 or 12? My gut feeling is that Eddie Jones wants to play Farrell at 10 but have in the midfield pairing another Picture Credit: The Daily Telegraph ball-playing option alongside Manu Tuilagi. This is why I see this tournament being an important one for Henry Slade. The Exeter Chiefs player is a consummate footballer, and gives England a number of options in his attacking play. He can slot in at 10 when required, and also move between inside and outside centre, giving fluidity in their back play.

Ireland Another country with new coaches at the helm. The Irish side struggled during the World Cup after the year previous had looked a side that could well win the World Cup. Was the regression due to the reliance on players whose age had caught up on them, or just players not being able to hit the performances they did only 12 months previous? I expect Ireland to look at a few options during this tournament in some key positions, so it will be interesting to see how they progress. Fixtures 1/2 Scotland (Home), 8/2 Wales (Home), 23/2 England (Away), 7/3 Italy (Home), 14/3 France (Away)

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Wednesday, 18 December 2019 14:05 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


CT Feature

Player to watch Jack Carty – One change from the World Cup side could well be at fly-half, where the incumbent Jonny Sexton has reigned for many years. Sexton is now 34-years old, and Ireland may well see this Picture Credit: Independent.Ie tournament as an opportunity to see who is capable to take them forward over the next few years. A player I have always rated is Jack Carty. The Connacht player is calm under pressure, has the ability to put his team in good positions with his accurate tactical kicking, and has good vision with ball in hand. To date, has only won 9 caps, the majority as a replacement, but given the opportunity he could be the next regular fly-half for Ireland.

Fixtures 1/2 Ireland (Away), 8/2 England (Home), 22/2 Italy (Away), 8/3 France (Home), 14/3 Wales (Away) Player to watch Rory Hutchinson – A player who was very unlucky to miss out on selection for the World Cup. The Northampton Saints centre, is in outstanding form currently and is a try threat almost every time he touches the ball. With Finn Russell inside him and if Scotland can get front foot ball, Hutchinson could be a major Picture Credit: Rugbypass.com star in this tournament for Scotland.

Wales

Italy

Yet another country with a batch of new coaches taking charge. As with the other countries, will we see a different pattern of play from Wales moving forward? I expect Wales to look to be more expansive but this may well take time to execute as planned but we won’t have long to find out.

Writing this there is still some uncertainty over who will be the coach leading Italy in the tournament. So how the team plan to play is still a bit of an unknown. With Sergio Parisse retiring from international rugby (who would bet against him changing his mind), the Italians have a massive void to fill. As usual, will be a difficult tournament for Italy and a victory or two, would be deemed as a success.

Fixtures 1/2 Italy (Home), 8/2 Ireland (Away), 22/2 France (Home), 7/3 England (Away), 14/3 Scotland (Home)

Fixtures 1/2 Wales (Away), 9/2 France (Away), 22/2 Scotland (Home), 7/3 Ireland (Away), 14/3 England (Home)

Player to watch Owen Watkin – With Jonathan Davies out injured for the tournament, then the number 13 shirt becomes vacant. Owen Watkin is favourite to Picture Credit: Sky Sports take the shirt to start the tournament, and then it will be down to how the player performs. Watkin is very strong in defence and has a great habit of being able to rip the ball out of oppositions hands obtaining quick turnover ball for the sides he plays for. However, in attack he has quick feet and has good vision, so he will be hoping to make the most of this opportunity and I think he will do very well and show fans he is a very capable player on the international stage.

Player to watch Jake Polledri – The Gloucester back-rower could well be the main ball carrier for the side now with Parisse retiring. The player is a real threat with ball in hand and has the work rate to drive on his team-mates, Picture Credit: Gazzetta and could be become an inspirational figure. I expect him to take over the 8 shirt and put in some outstanding individual performances in this upcoming tournament. A very difficult man to stop.

Predicted final positions 1/ ENGLAND 2/ Wales 3/ Ireland 4/ Scotland 5/ France 6/ Italy

Scotland After a disappointing World Cup, Scotland will be looking for a strong campaign in the Six Nations. Can their forwards given enough quality ball for stars such as Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg to weave their magic? We shall see.

Article - Craig Muncey - January 2... page 3

So, there you have my thoughts, do you agree? Here is to another fantastic tournament.

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

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myths, miscommunication & misinformation: finding out the truth about cellulite 1. “Only overweight women have a problem with cellulite”

5. “Nothing works for cellulite.” False. A quick search on the internet yields thousands of cellulite ‘cures’ in the forms of wraps, massages, creams, gels and devices, but the truth is that none of them can achieve a visible and long -term solution to cellulitis because they do not address the underlying problem. But now, an exciting and innovative cellulite treatment is available that produces long-lasting results.

False. The formation of cellulite has been linked to diets rich in fats or salt and sedentary lifestyles, but genetics and hormones are thought to be an overriding factor. So, even very slim, toned and fit women can develop the dreaded dimples. 2. “Cellulite is caused by fat” Only partly true. Fat is part of the problem, but not the root cause of cellulite. Underneath the skin is a network of fibrous connective bands that link the skin to the underlying muscle. When they tighten and constrict, pockets of fat are pushed up against the skin, creating lumps and bumps to form. If you gain weight, fat cells will swell, making the problem appear worse, but sadly even if you work hard to shrink down then your skin won’t necessarily smooth out.

Cellfina® releases the fibrous bands that are causing the appearance of dimples and skin looks noticeably smoother and less marked within just a couple of weeks of a one-off treatment. In a follow-up study of Cellfina® patients, three years after their initial procedure, 93% patient satisfaction was recorded.

3. “Only women can get cellulite.”

If you would like to find out more about Cellfina go to our website (www.specialistskinclinic.uk) for more information. To find out if you are suitable for Cellfina®, call us on 02920 617690 to arrange a consultation with Dr. Maria Gonzalez.

Specialist Skin Clinic is one of 5 centres in the UK to offer this new and innovative treatment.

Almost true. It’s thought that only 2% of cellulite sufferers are male, as the female sex hormone oestrogen encourages the storage of subcutaneous fat in women. Men, on the other hand, only have a thinner layer of fat under the surface of the skin so are rarely affected by cellulite. 4. “Cellulite only affects older women” False. Women in their teens and early twenties can suffer from cellulite. In fact, online fashion retailer ‘missguided’ has just promised to stop editing out stretch marks and cellulite on their models to ensure a truer representation for their largely young female customer base. However, it is true that increased skin laxity can make cellulite appear worse as we age.

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New Year New Beauty The new year marks an opportunity to reset old habits and adopt a new-year-new-you approach. For those looking to join in with Veganuary this coming year or simply make more eco-conscious choices, we’ve rounded up a few staples to see you through the month. C

Dr. Bronner’s offers a fantastic range of vegan and organic skincare. The Eucalyptus range is a comforting Winter Warmer, helping to boost immune systems, treat colds and coughs and even revive those suffering with fatigue. This is the perfect remedy for the British winter. We recommend the Organic Hand Sanitizer and the 18-in-1 Pure-Castille Block Soap. If you suffer with chapped lips during winter try Dr Bronner’s Lip Balm, made with organic beeswax. This will provide a protective barrier to the elements with no synthetic ingredients!

Enhance the natural beauty of your complexion with these natural and vegan Sheet Masks from lavera. Each one is designed to nourish the skin, while targeting a specific concern. The Firming mask reduces the appearance of fine lines and hydrates. Purifying soothes irritated skin and prevents blemishes from forming, Hydrating adds much needed moisture to dry skin and Illuminating boosts radiance. The lavera face sheet masks are a much more environmentally friendly alternative to other mainstream brands. The masks themselves are packed full of natural ingredients and are made from biodegradable fleece lyocell, furthermore the product packaging is made from an aluminium/PET/PE composite which is recyclable in community recycling systems.

Or if luxury skincare is your go-to, award-winning Irish skincare brand VOYA has a gorgeous range of vegan and cruelty-free lifestyle and beauty products. VOYA Facial Gift Set A certified organic skincare range, containing a facial wash, rejuvenating moisturiser and cooling shaving gel, works hard to offer intense hydration, reduced irritation and all-round balance to men’s skin.

One Ocean Beauty Blue Light + Protection Mist - Formulated with active marine ingredients such as Algae from the Celtic Sea, this 'Blue Light Protection and Hydration Mist' protects skin from the effects of artificial light while hydrating and strengthening its natural barrier. Free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates and synthetic. Vegan-friendly and comes in 100% recyclable packaging.

Clarins Relax Bath & Shower Concentrate Help relax tired muscles after a stressful day with a calming blend of St. John’s Wort, Linden and Valerian extracts. Clarins’ concentrated cleansing treatment activates with the heat of a warm bath or shower, releasing the soothing, aromatic virtues of Basil, Camomile and Petit Grain.

Alternatively, switch your nail polish to a cruelty-free and waste-free option with Mavala, leaders of natural nail care.

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If you haven’t heard of Tropic Skincare before, they’re a 100% natural, vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand. Their products are packed full of the most premium, exotic ingredients, all of which are sold by a team of Tropic Ambassadors nationwide.

Olay’s Stick Masks A ‘finger-free’ addition to your skincare regime and lasts for up to 40 uses. Olay stick masks are made from 100% pure Kaolin clay and are available in three variants (Glow Boost, Pore Detox and Fresh Reset). Their miniature size makes them the perfect space-saver for every travel bag too, meaning you can pamper pre-party no matter where you are! Available now at Superdrug. Time Bomb Show-Off Shimmer Is an intensely hydrating, light-reflecting, skin -perfecting body lotion that acts as body highlighter to transform even the driest, thirstiest skin. Shea Butter and Avocado Oil, melt into the skin to deeply nourish, soothe and moisturise, whilst a delicate blend of White Truffle Oil, White Tea Leaf and antioxidants Vitamins C and E work to brighten, tone and add a luminous, velvety texture. Timebombco.com

Smoothing Cleanser Complexion Purifier A luxurious cream cleanser effortlessly that melts away makeup and impurities while providing a nourishing daily cleanse. Skin Dream Age-Defying Firming Cream Concentrate This luxurious, skin-plumping formula is our most powerful age-defying treatment yet. Supercharged with intelligent plant ceramide complexes and a blend of exotic butters, this moisture-replenishing night cream is your key to true beauty sleep. If you’d like to find out more about the range of products, a Roadshow is coming this way in January. To book your tickets to this free event visit https://www.tropicroadshow.com/

Zero-waste beauty and lifestyle brand, Ethique create solid bar products in place of plastic-packaged liquid formulas. Through their 100% compostable packaging Ethique have saved 5 million plastic bottles from manufacture, and therefore landfill, since 2012! Encompassing haircare, skincare, bath and body care (and even shampoo for dogs!) there’s a perfect zero-waste gift for everyone in the family. Every product is vegan friendly, cruelty free and made with high-quality, sustainable Fairtrade ingredients. What’s more, 20% of Ethique’s profits go to animal conversation charities. https://ethique.co.uk/

Kyūshi Jasmine, Lavender & Cedarwood face oil will begin by creating a feeling of calm and relaxation to benefit both skin and mind. Great for all skin types and is non-comedogenic, so it won’t block your pores. It will hydrate, regenerate, soothe any inflammation and help to protect against free radicals. We recommend ending your day with Jasmine, Lavender & Cedarwood Face Oil for a restorative sleep. This oil is slightly thicker than the other three oils, so can be perfect for night time, and seems to be popular with mature skin or those with a slightly drier skin type. You can also pop a few drops in the bath, rub on lower abdomen to relieve menstrual cramps and pop any residue left on your hands on any dry ends of your hair. https://kyushi.co.uk/

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"THE PARADE SPECIALIST DENTAL CENTRE HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED FOR 96 YEARS WHICH INCLUDES OVER 150 YEARS OF COMBINED CLINICAL EXPERIENCE. WITH THE LATEST DENTAL TECHNOLOGY, WE OFFER IMPLANTS, WHITENING, FACIAL AESTHETICS, SMILE MAKEOVERS AND MUCH MORE."

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the gift you may have forgotten this christmas By Natalie McCulloch

can make more money, but you can't make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you'll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.”

With Christmas all boxed up for another year and potentially the after-effects of too many mince pies, too much mulled wine and a bit of a strain on the bank balance lingering on, possibly the last thing you want to hear is that you have forgotten an important gift. But don’t despair as this gift is free, fun and rewarding and need not take much time from your day to day duties!

Did you know that in the UK over 21 million people volunteer at least once a year? Or that this contributes to an estimated £23.9billion to the economy? Cardiff and Vale UHB has an amazing, dedicated team of volunteers who truly do make a difference day in day out to patients, visitors and staff.

If you have: • A spare a few hours a week to make a huge difference to someone’s life • Skills, enthusiasm, insight or desire to help others and would like to make a difference to someone’s experience of one of our wonderful NHS hospitals

Cardiff and Vale UHB depicted volunteering beautifully by saying: “Volunteers are a shining example of how everyone can make a big difference to individuals and communities every day, from improving the environment we live in, spending time with those who may otherwise be lonely, to contributing to a range of other essential services and support.”

Then becoming a volunteer for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (UHB) may be the most valuable gift you give to yourself and others this year! As Rick Warren says: “Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You

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CT Feature

There are so many important roles to be undertaken which everyone, regardless of age, gender or background can make a huge difference by carrying out. Perhaps you could be a cheerful ‘Meet and Greet’ volunteer and be the first port of call to welcome people to the hospital and direct them to their desired location? Or a ward befriender who interacts with patients who may feel lonely, or isolated by spending time chatting, reading to patients or taking time to support with patient activities? Or perhaps you’d be suited to the role of the Information Centre Volunteer which is to provide appropriate and relevant up to date information and signposting to visitors, patient, staff and carers, at the Information and Support Centre at the University Hospital Llandough?

volunteering as a ward befriender, explains: “My reason for becoming a volunteer is, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2018, as you can imagine my world fell apart. I spent a long time in hospitals, had two surgeries, months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and during those awful times there were times when it was lonely. I spent 10 days in hospital over Christmas and New Year of 2018 and due to my illness and undergoing chemotherapy at the time, I was not allowed visitors because of risk of infection. They were the loneliest of days, and it made me think of other people who are also in hospital for short periods or long periods and have no visitors, no family. “When you are stuck in a hospital bed, the days and nights feel like weeks. It is such a lonely place for patients even though hospitals are such busy places. I want to visit people, talk to them and brighten their day. Even a 10 minute conversation can make all the difference to someone’s day. Just to put a smile on someone’s face is why I am doing it.”

Alternatively, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity is looking for dedicated volunteers to give an hour or two of their time (or whatever you can spare) to support the development of the charity within the local community. These are just a few of the exciting and rewarding roles on offer but many more are available and waiting for someone like you to fill! As well as helping others, becoming a volunteer could help you personally too, but don’t take my word for it, let our volunteers explain1.

As you can see, people’s reasons for volunteering, and experiences of volunteering are unique and wonderful and one thing they all have in common is the huge difference they make by volunteering their time.

Donna Doherty, one of East 8’s amazing volunteers, explained to me: “I volunteer because it is rewarding for me to see the difference in patients when you are talking to them by the bedside or doing an activity away from their bed. Also it helps myself in a big way as I suffer with mental illness and physical limitations which caused me to be on long term sick from work, so I spend a lot of time housebound. Volunteering helped me get out and put a routine in place, even just helping once a week, it's a sense of achievement without the worry of losing my job, as staff are friendly and very understanding if I am not well and come in the following week.

On a personal note, as an activities coordinator on a ward in the Health Board, I can see how much of a difference the volunteers make every day; from that smiling face from a meet and greet volunteer as you enter one of the hospitals, to the presence of a PAT dog to brighten up a day – every volunteer makes a difference. On my ward we are blessed with multiple volunteers, but we can always use more! We have volunteers of all ages and sexes and backgrounds, each one bringing with them a unique bit of magic to our ward and most making a difference to the ladies and gents we look after. From arts and crafts to chats and baking – we really value every volunteer and couldn’t do what we do without them.

“I’ve been here almost a year and really enjoy being on the wards, and I am learning more about myself and how to be more patient and have understanding with them due to being a patient myself. I understand the frustration of being stuck in hospital and I always have good feedback off nurses and team members for my work.”

If you would like to become a volunteer, Please get in touch with our Volunteer Services Department on 029 2184 5813 or email : volunteer.enquiries.cav@wales.nhs.uk. We look forward to welcoming you on board!

Further to this, another of East 8’s volunteers, Kathryn Harris, who has recently started

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Books To Look Out For in January Cofiwch Dryweryn Cymru’n Deffro : Wales Awakening by Mari Emlyn Here is a taste of the 2019 phenomenon of Tryweryn murals, as well as recollections by some of those who remember Capel Celyn before the drowning. The author and actress Mari Emlyn comes originally from Cardiff, but has long since settled in Y Felinheli. The Tryweryn story has intensified her belief that Wales, if it is to be a proud and confident nation, needs to know its own history. Billingual.

Coming Home To Winter Island by Jo Thomas Wrap up warm and prepare to explore the breath-taking beauty of a remote Scottish island and an old house waiting to unlock enchanting family secrets. Do you need to find out where you’ve come from before you can know what the future holds? Ruby’s singing career is in the verge of hitting the big time, when her voice breaks. Fearing her career is over, she signs up for a retreat in Tenerife to recover. But an unexpected call from a stranger on a remote Scottish island takes her on a short trip to sort out some family business. It’s time to go and see the grandfather she’s never met.

Available now : Paperback 7.99

Available now : Paperback £7.99

The Vagabond King by Jodie Bond Exiled and alone, Threon is torn from a life in the palace to scape a living on the streets of a foreign land. Once a prince whose every whim was obliged, now this vagabond must adapt to survive. Throwing his lot in with a witch, a rebel soldier and a woman touched by a god, he seeks retribution for the wrongs committed against his family. Slavery and famine are rampant, and the struggle to avenge his kin soon becomes a battle to restore justice across the Empire. Together Threon and his new companions must rekindle old allegiances, face an immortal army and learn to trust one another. But when the gods begin to interfere with their plans, is it a curse or a blessing?

Available now: Paperback £9.99

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20 West by Steve Ford Sharing the adventure, joy, and - on occasion - tragedy, that makes aviation one of the most fascinating industries to be a part of, 20 West reflects the diversity of the aerospace industry. It’s not only an absorbing read for anyone with a passion for aviation, but also for the next generation looking to embark upon a journey that has no final destination.20 West follows Steve’s journey through aviation, from an ‘unmin’ child travelling the world on standby, training from an apprenticeship to a jet engine specialist, to his distinguished career as a long-haul commercial pilot. It also presents an insider’s history of the last 60 years of the industry, giving readers a fascinating insight into the ways commercial flight and the corporate giants that dominate it have evolved over the years. Packed with captivating stories from both above the clouds and down on the tarmac, it’s a must-read for anyone who’s ever wondered what really happens on the other side of the cockpit door.

Available now: Paperback £8.99

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“in the words of…” By Carl Marsh

First things first, can I say to you all “Happy New Year!” December was quite a busy month for me, as I guess it was for all of us. For myself, it was mainly my swimming job that took all my energy, but I did happen to attend the Help for Heroes Christmas Party in Trefforest. If you didn’t know, I am ex-Army and I was medically discharged in 2010. Help for Heroes and their partner charity X-Forces helped me to set up the swimming business, and also pushed me to go down the path of writing when not working in the pool. So I did! I haven’t looked back since. It was lovely to attend the party, I met some really inspirational people there. I aim to do more with them in 2020. For anyone reading this that is ex-Military, do contact Help for Heroes if you need any advice or help.

Interviews

Before I move on to saying who this month's interviews are, I want to say a big thank you to Mark and Louise at Cardiff Times for allowing me the pages to write for them over the last 12 months, I can’t believe how quick it has gone. They really do a grand job and I know they give me plenty of time to do the column. So to Mark and Louise, thank you, and I can’t wait to see what I can bring to the pages of Cardiff Times throughout 2020!

I have been a fan of Pete Tong for years, I have listened to him DJ in person and on the radio for as long as I can remember, so it was an honour to interview him ahead of his gig he did in Cardiff with The Heritage Orchestra. This was at the Motorpoint in Cardiff, and I took my daughter with me. Mike Doyle, the legend that is Mike Doyle perhaps I should have started with, he is appearing at the New Theatre in January on the 25th. The night is called Rock with Laughter and is described as a ‘Sensational evening of his unique brand of comedy and music, guaranteed to delight and entertain in equal measure’. I don’t doubt this at all having spent a long time chatting to him in his dressing room after his pantomime performance. And just next door to him, I spoke to Prince Charming and Cinderella! For real! I know I chatted with Gok Wan last month, but seeing as Cinderella will be showing until mid-January, I had to speak with Rob Wilshaw and Teleri Hughes, “Oh yes I did”!

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Pete Tong Pete Tong Obviously now my heads been into this for (roughly) four and a half years. The list at the beginning was always really really long and we could never perform or record all the songs from the beginning. Partly it was working through the list and it was partly getting more confident about the way we were doing things and getting to know the process. I've learned an awful lot. I've been around, you know, recording studios and, you know, making records and working with artists all my life, but working with an orchestra on this scale and working with Jules Buckley as an arranger/orchestrator and working with people like Mark Ralph and Fraser T, I'm not afraid to, you know, get more ideas just by sitting with them and going through the process of making these records. Carl Marsh What made you choose Sweet Harmony (The Beloved) as the first track on the new album, as you could have selected a million other different songs? Pete Tong Funnily enough I’ll give you something here. The Sun Rising was a track we were going to do by The Beloved from ‘back in the day’, but it was actually through playing in the actual arenas and being on tour with the orchestra, Sweet Harmony kind of came to the fore because I can kind of visualise playing that live and it is a big moment in the show. So a lot of the choices, to be honest, are always with the show in mind as well. It was the euphoria of everybody singing together that that decision came from. Sweet Harmony was very high on the list for the third album if we could come up with the right singer. Initially, there was an idea of doing it as a duet for a long time but we ended up with Nina (Nesbitt). I'm really pleased with the way it came out as we thought about adapting it even more radically and kind of doing it without a beat but in the end, we just kind of modernised the beat and left it like that.

Carl Marsh You once said that dance music has ‘always’ had a chip on its shoulder, do you still feel that way? Pete Tong (Slight pause) A little bit, a little bit, some of it is self-deserved. I just think it's constantly a fight to get ‘our’ music and ‘our’ scene taken seriously by the mainstream establishment of what would judge what music's good and what kinds of music not good, you know. So I think dance music always, and I mean, we've had our moments over the years, you know, when it seems like you're the biggest thing on the planet in terms of the youth culture movement, but in general it's still music made by DJ’s and producers, so it’s slightly faceless. It’s disadvantaged there as it can’t manifest itself on stage with Ed Sheeran and a guitar, or Dua Lipa you know, or even Stormzy.

Carl Marsh Do you like the creative freedom and control that performing with an orchestra must give you as you can visualise what will and will not work in an arena?

You know, that was a huge inspiration for me to do it (Heritage Orchestra tours) in the first place by orchestrating these amazing songs written by these faceless producers and DJ’s and songwriters. It kind of reinforced to everyone how great the music was, because if it could get played by an orchestra, then it can’t have been all that bad, can it? [Laughs] So that is ‘kind of’ where all this ‘chip on a shoulder’ stuff came from.

Pete Tong Well, I think I’ve ‘definitely’ got experience! [Laughs]. And it’s a funny thing you say ‘freedom’, I mean creative freedom, but I know I can’t cut and change things like I can when I am a DJ, but we’ve obviously built up a big catalogue of tracks now to work on so we chop and change, you know every year the show evolves. Even show by show, depending on the room we're in, depending on the guests we've got travelling with us, depending on the reaction of the crowd the night before, we sometimes make changes on the day as well. But the show that will come to Cardiff (Motorpoint) will be different than the one we did at Cardiff Castle.

Carl Marsh Was it always at the back of your mind this selection of tracks you wanted to use with the Heritage Orchestra and (Composer) Jules Buckley?

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Mike Doyle Carl Marsh You’ve got a new show on the 25th of January 2020 at the New Theatre, an (ever-so) slight change from your previous outing (Mike played one of the Ugly Sisters in Pantomime) there? Mike Doyle Yeah, the show on the 25th of January is called ‘Mike Doyle Rock with Laughter’, we’ve changed the show up over the years now, and I get a chance to play my Fender Strat. When I first had an interest in show business, all I wanted to do was play (the) guitar, and I wasn’t interested in school, was interested in girls, wasn’t interested in nothing but just (to) play the guitar. And that guitar just lived in my bedroom, (sometimes) in my bed, I loved my guitar. And so I’ve kind of had that passion for the guitar all my life. I’m a rock’ n’ roller at heart you know, and in the show, we do a lot of crappy old 70s music, but we purposely choose the rubbish that the people remember, we chuck a few good ‘ens in there so we can rock out. Carl Marsh Is it mainly the 70s music that has inspired you musically? Mike Doyle I’ll tell you what it is, I think, with this idea of the rocking with laughter show is that the clues in the title, isn’t it. So I just thought to myself, the audience’s that I get right, are generally an older crowd. Still, as the years have gone by, I mean I’m 60 coming up my next birthday, and I’m, you know, I’m looking at that crowd, and I’m thinking, ‘well crikey they’re not the Frank Sinatra’s or that anymore’. They’re like the 70s children aren’t they, so they remember things like Superstition by Stevie Wonder which is in the show, and you know we’re even going as far as doing Chuck Berry and My Ding-A-Ling. So it’s a good crack. I’ve got a fantastic five-piece band, an outstanding sound designer and sound people that come in and do it. My son Tom, he does the lighting design for my show. So we bring in a great big lighting rig. And you know, it’s a chance for me to get away from the cruise ship thing that I do and stick on a pair of jeans and a shirt hanging out of my trousers which is nice.

as she does a little 25 minutes pre-show and then I’m on for an hour and a half. Carl Marsh By just spending a bit of time with you already Mike, you have this natural ability to want to warm to you, and the stories you're telling me are mesmerising! So the stories in your show must be very personal to you? Mike Doyle I’m a storyteller, that’s what I do. I’ll tell stories about my parents, and I always remember in school that one of the boys had overhead their dad saying that their mother was a robot. So, I then said this to my mother about another mother being called a robot. But of course, my mother’s ever-so comedic, so my father would go, “Love, cup of tea.” My mother would come into the room and make this sound (Mike makes this high pitched comedic robotic sound!) [Laughter]. And then she goes away. Then my dad says, “Love, there’s no sugar in the tea,” (makes the same high pitched robotic noise!) [Laughter]. And this is before we had remote controls, remember, and he would say, “Love, turn the telly over,” (makes a high pitched, then low pitched, then high pitched robotic noise) [lots of Laughter]. And I was able to go to school and say that my mother’s a robot as well!

Carl Marsh Besides the band, have you got anybody else on the bill during this tour? Mike Doyle Yes, Stephanie Webber. We’re bringing Stephanie back as a little first half support artist as it were. But she’s just incredible you know, she is. So Steph is doing that, so it’s nice to have Stephanie Weber back in the show

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Rob Wilshaw and Teleri Hughes

bubbly and energetic as this, it will definitely revive you.

Still showing at the New Theatre until 12th January 2020 is Cinderella, and I was very lucky to interview both Cinderella and Prince Charming backstage, after a matinee they did. Rob Wilshaw and Teleri Hughes were a joy to talk with.

Carl Marsh What's the highlight for you both in this show, which part of Cinderella gives you the most joy? Teleri Hughes I think the opening as it’s just nice to climb up behind the balls and then when the curtain comes up, I can have a moment to just take it all in as you feed off people’s energy, and especially with Gok opening the show. You feed off the energy of the audience as Gok has set them up and its nice to just come on and take that and then tell the story.

Carl Marsh How can we get the audience to come and see the show in January as pantomime is not just about Christmas viewing, is it? Rob Wilshaw Well, I'd say the show is full of energy. It's magical and it's a lovely story. You get to see Gok Wan off the telly, you get to see us! It's really a happy thing to come and see after the Christmas blues.

Rob Wilshaw For me there are two parts. There's one bit where when Cinderella comes in as Princess Starlight and she walks into the ball and she's got this beautiful ball gown and the lights all hit the ball gown when she walks down the staircase. It's really magical, it's beautiful. And then there's a bit where I'm on the stairs as well, and I’m singing and I've got the slipper in my hands. I'm singing this big bit about “Life can't go on without you” and I have a slipper in my hand and the spotlight’s on the slipper. Its that big dramatic bit which I really like. [Laughs]

Teleri Hughes And I think it's not necessarily just a Christmas show, I think if you know you're feeling a bit oh, like if you are pondering after Christmas. It's a nice thing to, like you said, get your energy up and see in the new year, you know, do that kind of thing. It's amazing just coming to the theatre anyway, and with something so

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Carl Marsh Do any of you still get nervous when you are on the stage? Teleri Hughes Yeah, I do. The brain’s a funny thing, isn't it? Because, like today, I was like, ‘Oh God, I hope I remember everything’ as I’ve had a day off! But yeah, I was actually thinking as I was stood in the wings if I would ever ‘not get nervous’. But I think nerves are a good thing. They're the thing that shows that you're still excited by it and that you still care about what you're doing. Rob Wilshaw I think you need those nerves to carry into your performance, it’s that kind of energy, isn't it? Carl Marsh I guess it is and it must mean that you self-critique your performances after every show? Rob Wilshaw I think if you're not monitoring what you're doing then you can just get complacent, you could get lazy, and so on. Teleri Hughes As actors we are always self-analysing anyway, we must be as people to be actors. So I just think that just comes through, but I think I'm trying really hard to let go of that aspect of what it seems like and just kind of enjoy it and do and trust what you know. Carl Marsh What do you do in your downtime on your days off? Teleri Hughes I like being in my own company and just sitting and trying to read my book as much as I can. Maybe just lighting a candle, sticking Friends on or Gavin and Stacey. I put my humidifier on last night with a White Company Winter Sun candle and I was just feeling so ‘Zen’ as the show can be so upbeat, it’s kind of nice to just relax. I’ll make some food, put a wash on. Very basic things, very boring. But I really find a lot of joy as our job is so unpredictable and so high energy anyway, but you have to, and I think in my own opinion as I've been touring for the last year, that I needed (some sort of) sanctuary. Carl Marsh I guess you’re completely opposite? Rob Wilshaw {Laughs) I’m quite similar. I feel like I need that time, as when we're around the kind of people that we are around, we all have that high energy all the time. It's nice to kind of like remove yourself from that and have that downtime.

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CT Feature Entertainment Reviews

AWOL or sick. Who knows but what I do know is that, thus far, I cannot give this place anything more than1

Coppélia - Performed by The Russian State Ballet of Siberia and accompanied by The Russian State Ballet Orchestra - St David's Hall, Cardiff

((ZERO) 0 Stars)

Film/TV Watchmen - Sky Atlantic This ended mid-December and will be available on Sky Catch Up. The story is a bit convoluted to start but I stuck with it as it is based on the comic books of the same name. Quite graphic and for adults, this is quite similar to ‘The Boys’, which is on Amazon Prime. Hard for me to pin down the gist of the show, as it will give too much away. All I can say is that there was too much to take in at first but it started to unravel. Only nine episodes, of about 75 minutes long; I demolished this in three days straight! The ending is on a par with anything I have seen of the highest order, and that means Breaking Bad, The Wire, Soprano’s, etc1 It just made sense, unlike some shows like Lost, which still has me “Lost”.

My first venture to see a Ballet. It was the opening night and a treat to witness. I can’t dance, let alone attempt to mimic what these guys can do. It was so relaxing to watch, so elegant, so mesmerising, that the two hours albeit with a small interval, flew by. Performed by The Russian State Ballet of Siberia, I cannot see why anyone would not appreciate the skills they all possess. The orchestra that accompanied them was small in comparison to what I have seen in the past but you would not have noticed this, they didn’t miss a tune, the timing was a killer and they excelled.

(FIVE Stars!)

(Five Stars)

Restaurant Cedar Tree Farm - Ferry Rd, Cardiff CF11 0JR, Cardiff Bay Alarm bells should have rung as soon as I found out that you had to ‘pay’ for your food ‘upfront’, collect a ticket and then give it to a guy in a white cooks outfit. We all opted for the roast dinner, and paid extra for the sausages wrapped in bacon, or what we all called “coffin nails”. They were that hard, you could have banged them into a wall, and hung a portrait up! The roast potatoes seemed like they were cooked by Satan himself. Yep, they were cremated ‘beyond’ cremated. The meat was OK but nothing to proclaim happiness of having had a good meal. The only stand out items were the carrots! The sprouts, however, had me bordering on whether to call the food police as they were ever so shockingly undercooked. Such a shame as this place is in a prime location next to Aldi and Asda. It might be that this was a bad day, and the chef might have gone

Until next month. Carl Marsh Twitter - @InTheWordsOf_ Facebook - @InTheWordsOf

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“And Another Thing…….”

By Vince Nolan

corporate clowns “Don’t worry, I’ll show you the context cos maybe you haven’t joined all the dots yet.”

I was passing a leisurely hour at the Eavesdroppers Arms Hotel whilst the Current Mrs Nolan was at her “Demolition for Beginners Class” when I witnessed 4 blokes who worked together, “led” by their boss who reminded me why I became self-employed. The boss’s musings went like this:

At this point they got up to leave. It struck me that the “boss” was either at it or A Tit which amounts to the same thing. The names of the people mentioned above have not been changed in case they read this and recognise themselves.

“BMW is the only car. I’ve got the e330, the only true plug-in hybrid according to What Car Magazine. When I go home I ignore the sat nav (lucky break for your wife I thought). I usually go M4, M5, M42, M6, A14, M12 exiting junction 12, right at that roundabout and left at the bypass” (and straight on to Neverland no doubt). At this point there were general murmurs of agreement about the route taken. All agreed that the boss had the best car, like a group of nodding dogs on its’ rear parcel-shelf.

Our friend Dr Helen has this magnificent mathematical horse called Kuma. She taught him arithmetic, which he learnt with no difficulty, algebra was a breeze, he could even prove theorems in Euclidean geometry, but when she tried to teach him analytic geometry, he reared back on his hind legs, kicked ferociously, neighed loudly and made violent head motions in resistance. The moral of this story is that you can’t put Descartes before the horse. (You look it up, I had to). Anyway, analytic geometry jokes are like jockeys legs??.few and far between.

Three of them left as they had prior appointments at their biting-their-tongue, swallowing-their-pride and low-self-esteem classes. This left one acolyte. It carried on with personal coaching: “You remind me a bit of me when I was on that CRT Project with Windows 10. Mike Jones was quite savvy about it, like I am, but it’s up to you. I’ve been around a long time (too long I thought) and you look like you have but the trouble is, you haven’t (I’ve always had an older face than my years, I hoped he would say). You may not be as good as me but you can still make it (something to aim for there). The trouble with you is you are not really an engineer, you just follow a process. The difference with me is I work it out with my technical nous and that’s why I’m in charge (and insecure). I like Steve Payne but he is a weirdo (hardly surprising if poor Steve works with you).” It went on: “Of course I am throwing all this at you to test you (9.30pm in a bar, the wrong side of two bottles of red wine and at the top of his voice). It’s fair to say you are on it but you need to define requirements.” “That’s what I do best.” “OK, but you need the baseline.” “I do that too.”

It occurred to me that much of what we purchase is done on faith. Take kitchen foil. Most of us buy 10 metre, 20 metre or 30 metre lengths, according to the packaging, but have you ever measured it?

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subsidised rail travel, a postal vote, and SAGA insurance, which is nice.

Something to do on the long winter evenings. What if we are being short-changed my friends? This is easy to check. You just need a pack of foil and a tape measure and if there is a problem, you can approach the Aluminium Ombudsman directly. However, if you have been fooled by foil you can put the matter in the hands of the FFI (Fooled by Foil Investigators) who will take up the matter on your behalf. You could be entitled to hundreds of metres in compensation.

Whilst in Devon we went for lunch. I really do spoil that woman. There was a short-sighted man at the next table with his face pushed right up against the menu which was attached to a clipboard. The reverse of the menu was also printed but rather than remove it from the board and flip it over to read it the bloke balanced the board on his head so that the menu fell forward like some kind of flap so he could read the back. Guess what, he wasn’t the only eccentric we encountered that weekend. We frequented an alehouse which holds a weekly jam session for local musicians who pitch up and entertain the regulars in some style. However, a guy who was circa 6ft 3 tall and painfully thin came in wearing a vicar’s cassock topped off with a cricket sun-hat with police incident tape around the crown of the hat. Nobody batted an eyelid apart from us. He then proceeded to belt out some incoherent political rap-rant to the bemused musicians who tried to keep time with him. His wife loved it and I needed counselling. Is it me? I seem to attract them.

News is just coming in that following the unprecedented violence at cinemas showing the now banned gang film, Blue Story, it has emerged that copycat assaults have been carried out by young penguins at screenings of Frozen 2. A spokesperson for the cinema chain said: “This is not the sort of behaviour we have come to expect from the Antarctic dwelling, web-footed, little chappies.” Later, Pingu said: “It wouldn’t have happened in my time. No discipline these young chicks.”

Here’s one to try at home: What about Roman numeral bingo? “On its own, I. Two Little Ducks XXII, Clickety Click LXVI and Two Fat Ladies LXXVII.” Just an idea. Finally, saw this the other day. Stunning art work and very clever.

They say that penguins mate for life which doesn’t surprise me much as they all look alike. It’s not as if they’re going to meet a really new, great looking penguin some day is it? I recently passed a significant birthday milestone. I know, I don’t look that old. She Who Must Be Obeyed took me away to Devon for a long weekend involving long walks and long drinks. However, it wasn’t all birthday cards. The postman brought me a bus pass application form and a DIY bowel cancer testing kit, which I now qualify for, apparently. I am also entitled to

Happy New Year

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Services: Winter Clean-up Hedge Cutting Fence Repair & New Build General Garden Maintenance Grass Cutting

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Tuesday, 17 December 2019 22:09 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


puzzle mania! Crossword 1 8

9

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65

Across 2. Roman goddess of plenty (3), 5.  Maria, prayer (3), 8. Bulbous plant (5), 10. To such a time (5), 11. Citrus fruit (5), 13. Type of tree (3), 15. Noah’s craft (3), 17. Musical instrument (4), 19. Dairy product (7), 22. Plunder (4), 23. Arab ruler (5), 25. Clear meat jelly (5), 28. Cake of shopped meat (5), 30. Dirty (7), 32. Settle (7), 35. Fit out (5), 36. Ailment (7), 39. Partly coincide (7), 42. Uptight (5), 43. Capital of Ethiopia, Addis... (5), 46. Italian noodles (5), 50. Opposite of ins (4), 52. Charge for wine bottle opening (7), 56. Kiss (sl.) (4), 58. Circuit of a track (3), 59. Yoko, Lennon’s wife (3), 61. In a chilling cold manner (5), 62. Relating to the ears (5), 63. Suitor (5), 64. Nothing (3), 65. Expire (3). Down 1. Welsh dogs (6), 2. Odd number (3), 3. Japanese wrestling (4), 4. Design on metal (4), 5. Having wings (4), 6. Wapiti-like animal (3), 7. Supercilious (6), 9. Electrically charged particle (3), 12. Cow’s low (3), 14. Caustic liquid (3), 16. Irish TV company (1,1,1), 18. Cook directly under heat (5), 20. American word for petrol (3), 21.  Geller, illusionist (3), 22. Grassy plain (5), 24. Female bird (3), 25. Loss of memory (7), 26. Garden plant (7), 27. Collections of spoken texts (7), 29. Hebrew letter (3), 30. Prefix meaning single(3), 31. Before (poetic) (3), 33. Prosecute (3), 34. Telepathy (1,1,1), 37. Untruth (3), 38. Birds abodes (5), 40. Highways (5), 41. Small insect (3), 42. Line of latitude (6), 44. Prickly seed case (3), 45. Long feather scarf (3), 47. Type of yarn (6), 48. Edible tuber (3), 49. Former Japanese coin (3), 51. Japanese sea-bream (3), 53. Pale gem (4), 54. Midget racing car (4), 55. Precious metal (4), 57. Prefix meaning new (3), 58. Girls 48 name (3), 60. Be in the red (3)

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WORD WHEEL

L E

H A

L

O

E.g. LOW

N

E W

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

Sudoku Easy

2

6

Hard

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new year, new (greener) you! By Sue Good

3. Pass on your excess buys/gifts. If you do find that your bathroom cabinet is bulging with unused products, or your make up bag is overflowing, then you can donate products to a beauty bank. Not for profit company www.BeautyBanks.org.uk collect, re-package and distribute donated personal care and beauty items to women’s shelters and charity partners.

There’s only one New Year’s resolution that matters for 2020: to live a greener, more environmentally healthy life. We all know that major lifestyle and infrastructural changes need to progress, in order to stop the predicted increase of the earth’s temperature and prevent rising sea levels. So, alongside the usual ‘give up alcohol’ and ‘couch to 5K’ resolutions we usually set, try a green one too. How about cutting personal hygiene and beauty waste by 50%? This is easily achievable. Simply follow the advice below on making your health and beauty routines greener for the new decade:

4. Choose products with minimal packaging. Whether it’s foundation, shampoo or perfume, hunt for brands that invest in simple packaging or preferably, none at all. High street store, Lush, seems to be leading the way with their ‘Naked’ range of package free beauty and bathroom products.

1. Make sustainably savvy buying choices. Simply read the labels and be environmentally and ethically aware of what has gone into the production and distribution of your product. Buy organic or vegan, for example. Becoming aware of legitimate kite marked products from independent certification bodies will also help. For example, Soil Association and Ecocert all require a percentage of the product to be organic. Also, don’t forget to read up on your product’s air miles and look out for Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance logos too.

5. Buy products that come in recyclable or recycled containers. Support brands, such as Ren, who are investing into circular recycling and support environmentally minded partners such as Surfers Against Sewage and Plastic Patrol. Soaper Duper, is a great brand that sells vegan and cruelty free products, in recyclable and recycled packaging, plus they’re made in Britain. They also support WaterAid. The Body Shop is another brand to note, as it has introduced recycle bins in various stores so that customers can return their empties instead of throwing them away. Go local with Barry’s very own The Goodwash Company, who are a Welsh eco-brand making sustainable waves.

2. Avoid buying what you don’t need or will never use. According to John Lewis research, the average woman owns 40 make up/beauty products but daily only uses 5. Just ask yourself: do I need a 5th lipstick; the latest eyebrow pencil; more highlighter? And the answer will probably be - no.

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6. Alternatively, go for biodegradable packaging. The Soap Company package their soap in compostable biofilm, made from wood pulp. Pangea Organics is also worth checking out.

us, but the refills are nearly half the price of the original product.

7. Buy bamboo. Bamboo toothbrushes, bamboo make up pads, bamboo compacts, bamboo make-up brushes. The list goes on. All non-toxic and biodegradable.

0TerraCycle’s upcoming Loop scheme. Dubbed “the milkman reimagined”, it will see mainstream beauty brands (Ren and Nivea, being two) sold in durable packaging designed to be collected, cleaned and refilled on a regular, subscription-style basis. Launched in New York and Paris in May 2019, it is set to arrive in the UK in 2020, with Tesco as its confirmed retail partner.

Watch out for

8. Consider beauty refills. The LCA Centre suggests that buying a refill instead of a new product saves 70% CO2, 65% energy and 45% water. L’Occitane was one of the first high street brands to invest in the refill phenomena. Online you can buy refillable pouches which can use up to 90% less plastic than regular bottles, saving more than 214 tonnes of plastic each year. Rituals has also got sustainable packaging sorted: from hand washes to body creams, when your favourite product runs out, just buy the refill pack. Olay have recently trialled refills in the ‘Whip’ moisturiser range and high street haircare brand, Faith In Nature, provides refill stations up and down the country where consumers can replenish shampoo, conditioner and more. 9. Buy products with ethical production methods. Brands such as Evolve Beauty and Elemis support local wildlife and Clarins ensures that their products don’t harm delicate coral reefs.

Hats off to John Lewis & Partners who have also partnered TerraCycle on a new sustainability initiative. BeautyCycle will allow John Lewis loyalty members to recycle empty beauty products, including shampoo bottles, caps, lotions and mascara tubes, from any brand and receive £5 off members’ next beauty purchase. Just bring in 5 or more empty beauty products to your nearest John Lewis ; hand over the beauty counter and show your John Lewis loyalty card and you will receive £5 off your next purchase. TerraCycle will then take the products to be recycled and composted, or in the case of plastics, made into pellets which can be moulded into new products, such as storage containers, plastic lumber and outdoor furniture.

10. Ditch single use products. Wipes and cotton wool pads are now no-goes and alternatives are in abundance. Boots and Superdrug offer make-up removal pads that just need washing. Local Cardiff store, Ripple stocks bamboo pads, plus there are dozens of similar varieties online. Make up brands are also waking up to the eco-revolution: 11. At CharlotteTilbury.com and in Charlotte’s standalone stores, you can purchase lipstick refills. They can be interchanged with any of the 5 collectable, refillable Hot Lips 2 Lipstick designs.

Check out the link: https://www.johnlewis.com/ our-services/beautycycle

12. The make-up world has found refillables a plausible option in some areas. Major brands such as MAC and Nars offer refills on eyeshadows, powders and concealers, whilst Kjaer Weis’s products come in chic metal cases designed to be refilled again and again. A little pricey for many of

Also watch out for sustainable sanitary wear. You can already buy re-usable sanitary pads or menstrual cups at Ripple on Albany Road. So, what’s your New Year’s resolution? Mine is simple.

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fashion done your own way By Molly Dutton

leather items have been shamelessly frowned upon by society for their disgraceful outward appearance.

This past year has been filled with so many new beginnings for myself and those around me and I hope all of you have been blessed with good experiences also. My eyes have opened to some life changing ideas and topics that have allowed me to delve deep into the fashion world that holds so many different secrets and mysteries that deserve to be discovered. Without sounding cliché, I believe this year has been filled with only the best of experiences and I cannot wait to see what next year brings.

This excites me as I feel there is something admirable in taking an infamous item and re-establishing its power in the fashion community. The leather leggings have advanced to become more commonly associated with the more relaxed trends, being the perfect addition to a hoodie and long coat ensemble; remaining perfectly classy and comfortable. For me personally, the idea of including leather in an outfit as a contrasting texture is innovative and creative; helping a boring outfit to become more noticeable and bolder against the more casual items. If that hasn’t convinced you, I would also like to add that if you buy leather trousers you will immediately become Olivia Newton John (this might be a slight exaggeration).

As this is my first article of the new year, I have been inspired to create a document of the best looks and styles of 2019 that should forever be continued until they are considered retro and vintage. Despite including a large amount of these styles in past articles, I feel that it is only right to touch on some new ones that have sparkled against the other fashion items of the year (and the decade if I may). Developing these ideas is something I would highly encourage to ensure a legacy is left from this incredible decade (expect crocs, they seriously need to remain back here for a long time). Quite frankly, I’ve shocked myself with some of the items on this list but that’s what New Year is all about; realising you don’t have to hate the fashion items you wore badly when you were ten. Firstly, let me begin by introducing you to one of the most scandalous (hold your breaths) favourites of mine from these past years; the leather takeover. I am very aware that this is a hypocritical statement as I have previously slated my beloved leather leggings from the gothic stage of my life, but there is something to be said about an individual who looks so good adorned in leather clothing. From my research (or Instagram snooping), leather has made a comeback in the last three years, specifically showing itself in the last year in numerous ways (leather leggings have wiggled their way back into my wardrobe and I’m not sorry). The most appealing thing to me is that leather has had a rather negative reputation, despite the famous “leather jacket”, many other

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Truthfully, I’ve not usually been one for dainty jewellery but somehow, I have become slightly renowned in my friendship group for having the largest arrangement of earrings; so, as a result of this obvious obsession I felt they deserved a position on my list. I have to guiltily admit that this obsession stemmed from a time in which I lost one half of my favourite pair of earrings (the tears lasted for days and days) and in my deep sadness I attempted to fill that void by purchasing about 12 more pairs of varying shapes and sizes. I have settled on a beautiful collection of H and M pearl earrings as my absolute favourite as they add a touch of class to any plain outfit I choose; and I feel rather royal wearing the pearls darling. The addition of some elegant earrings is the perfect completion of a classic outfit at any time in the year.

The best thing by far about this invention is that they look perfectly acceptable with an evening dress and a replacement for those uncomfortable and non-practical high heels, if you’re anything like me my heels are off before I get anywhere. If I could preach any more to you about these beauties, I would encourage you all to go straight out and buy some, I’d even buy them for you! Before I sign off on this year’s first article, I would like to thank each and every reader for allowing me to express my fashion loves and concerns and for listening to all my tips and tricks; this article truly is my dream as an aspiring fashion journalist and it is a pleasure to write each month about what I love.

My last and final ABSOLUTE essential of this year has got to be the sock boot; now hear me out because these are exceptionally incredible. I have never been a boot person; ankle boots, knee highs, thigh highs - none of them caught my attention for longer than ten minutes. But then I found the life changing website Publicdesire.com and I was opened to the world of sock and boot combined; it really is as weird and wonderful as it sounds. The sock boot sits tight on the lower leg and ankle, and usually features a slightly pointed toe (not too elf like do not worry) which results in a lovely looking boot that lengthens the legs and looks incredible.

The fashions of this year will most likely surprise me as they always do, particularly when I end up purchasing the trends I previously disliked (Fila trainers really did hit me out of nowhere) and I cannot wait to explore every designer, trend and fashion platform with you – and try not to bore you with my in depth talks every month. Please, if you get the chance, buy some pearl earrings and watch them change your life; the bigger the better when it comes to the size (you wouldn’t catch the royals on a night out without their best pair!).

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Monday, 23 December 2019 09:56 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


my mate steve’s dad By Michael James

In the January 2019 edition of the Cardiff Times, I penned an article about ' My Mate Steve'. I am pleased to say that it received quite a lot of encouraging comments, not because of my writing but because Steve is so well known and loved by many in the Community of Roath. Encouraged by that I thought that I would bring in the New Year 2020 by writing something similar about my mate Steve's dad, John, another well-known character in the Community, also known and loved by many. John, or Jonnie West, as he is sometimes known, was born in Cardiff in 1928 and spent all his early childhood and youth living and playing in the streets around his home in Snipe Street until being bombed out in January 1941. Twenty six of his friends and neighbours died during that raid, and from that tragedy John learnt that people are much more important than possessions, a lesson that has been his outlook on life ever since. Originally his family were from the West Country of England (where else with the name of West?) but his ancestors fled to Carmarthen following the Battle of Sedgemoor. They reasoned that it was better to live in Wales than being hanged! Over eighty of them had already met that fate, condemned by the notorious, 'Hanging Judge Jefferies'.

After being 'demobbed' from service he became part of a group known as the Direct Labour Force, travelling around South Wales helping to rebuild the many houses which had been bombed, including his own family home. He and Marion married in Splott Road Baptist Church and their first home together was in Kimberly Road where they raised their two sons, Fred (another local character) and Stephen. Having settled in the area they all became part of the fellowship at Albany Road Baptist Church and quickly became involved with the 45th Cardiff Scout Group where he held many positions. Eventually he became a Group Commissioner, a position he held with distinction bringing him many accolades and awards, including one presented by Her Majesty, The Queen. These awards are richly deserved as John, together with Marion, have brought much joy and pleasure, to say nothing of pride and discipline, to many thousands of local boys over the years who will tell you that,” If it hadn't been for Mr. and Mrs. West and the scouts..........?” John has also been deeply involved in Football, the round ball version. He was a Welsh and English FA referee, officiating and/or running the line in many top matches, and in later years as a well-known, fair minded, referee on many local grounds and parks pitches. He started and managed the Albany Road Baptist team which usually went unbeaten through the season and were promoted up through the leagues for ten consecutive years. No mean feat in any standard of football.

Over time, they found their way to Cardiff, where they settled. John's father worked for the old Great Western Railway, where he rose to the position as one of the Union Representatives (unpaid in those days and given the worst jobs the management could find) looking after the welfare and safety of the many hundreds of railwaymen in Cardiff. A job he carried out so well that he gained the thanks and respect of the men and their families. It is from this background that both John and Steve have inherited their love of all things relating to railways.

A number of his players went on to play for football league teams, including his son Fred, a prolific goal scorer who was with Crewe Alexander and West Ham United for some years until returning to play for local teams for many years.

The Family lived in Railway Street (a suitable place for GWR workers) and during the early years of the Second World War, John and his parents worked as Air Raid Precaution (ARP) Wardens. It was during this time that he met the young lady who was to become his future wife Marion (in his words, “Thank God”), who was also in the ARP. In 1945 he was called up to join the Royal Air Force, where he served until 1949 as an aircraft electrical engineer.

As well as his interest in the Scout Movement and Football, John, together with Marion, worked tirelessly for many years with those with disabilities in Cardiff. Their son, Steve, has learning disabilities and so their work, over a period of twenty four years, for the Highfields Sheltered Workshops, was very close to their hearts. This group was the model upon which many of the Remploy Units were built, providing employment to many who otherwise

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would be considered to be outside the general Workforce, and thus giving them confidence and self worth as well as a living. John's work as an electrical lighting consultant covered many commercial and industrial units, notably railway stations and collieries over the whole of South Wales and supplying and fitting many shops in the Cardiff area (including all the Peacocks Stores). This helped him to become a familiar face, with a reputation of good work, honesty and humour, well-liked by all he dealt with. My own connection with John and his family goes back to the mid-1970's, when as a family we first attended Albany Road Baptist Church. John was on the door to welcome us and he immediately made us feel at home, and we have been firm friends ever since. That was over forty years ago and although he has long since relinquished the role of official door steward, his is still one of the first faces you will see and be welcomed by as you enter the Church. Indeed, whenever John's name is mentioned, people will always say, “I know him. He is that helpful chap at Albany Road Church!” Yes, he is. He is inevitably helpful, always able to try to assist you in any way he can and if he can't help, then through his large circle of friends and contacts, he will always, 'know someone who can'.

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Since, sadly, losing his beloved wife of 70 years, Marion, some two years ago, John has become the official carer for his son, 'My Mate Steve’, and they are often seen together in and around the Community or train spotting at Cardiff Central Station. Their faces and friendliness will be well known to most of you. They are always willing to chat so if you see them, stop to say hello to them. You will be greeted with a firm handshake and a warm smile, which will make your day, and theirs. Tell them I said to say “hello”. They will love that, and you will come away enriched and feeling blessed. John is an accomplished 'after dinner' speaker and would always want to finish with a laugh. Let me finish with a joke against himself. At a dinner to mark his retirement as a referee, the then Chairman of the Welsh FA, said, “What we liked about Mr. West (note the respect), was that he called his decisions as he saw them. He never got them right, but he is such a nice man, we forgave him!” John, long may you keep calling them as you see them, they are all OK by me. A Happy New Year to you all.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019 21:32 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


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JANUARY 2020 - PART 2 page 63

Friday, 20 December 2019 17:04 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black


never heard of him! By Sara John

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”. Maybe not hurt you, but abusive or what someone else thinks is very funny, can be, very hurtful and annoying. As my Aunty Gertrude told me many, many times. Her brothers, and she had five of them, always called her Beetroot. And they always thought it was funny.

were descriptive of the personal appearance, the colour of the hair, or eyes. These are names we now call and know as surnames, for example Cruikshank, Longman, Short, Black, Brown, Grey, White or Green. Or the surname chosen may describe the profession or trade (of the family we presume?); Smith, Taylor, Carpenter, Baker, Driver and so on. The location of the family home was also sometimes used one John from another John, or Mary from the other Mary; Wood, Vale, Forest, Rivers, Hill are among many familiar examples.

First question on meeting a stranger in Wales has always been, “Where are you from then, exactly?” Second question, to the newcomer who has taken a good five minutes answering accurately to question one, right down to the number of the house and location of the street where he was born will be, “What do they call you then?” A slightly softer version of “Who Are You!”

Given names or first names are the designated and agreed names for the newly born. This choice of name was very necessary as part of the preparations for baptism.

The answer to the second enquiry will elicit a great deal more information, for me in particular, being a Welsh person who feels she has to placate her terminal curiosity about other people. Names, given and surname, the form they take, their ubiquity or rareness, tell the questioner a lot about the person being welcomed (or interrogated?). No middle name then? That could well be the third question.

Probably up until the 1960’s or so, it was considered most important to have your new baby christened as well as registered. An Act of Parliament was passed in the 1830’s making compulsory the formal registration of all births, marriages and deaths. Even just a century ago, it was essential to have the christening or baptism as soon as possible after the birth of the baby because of the high infant mortality rates at that time. That was because it was believed that a baby that passed away before it was christened would not enter Heaven. It was also considered the proper thing to do to choose a name from the Bible. Mary, Sarah, Simon, Peter, Deborah were popular choices.

Our first names are an early gift from people who, at the time of selecting and deciding on them cannot possibly know whether the name will suit, be changed, be shortened, or be avoided at all costs, at some stage in the future, by the recipient.

Nowadays, fashions come and go with Christian names/ first names. At present Olivia and Jonathan are very popular. Edith, Doris, Brenda, Maud, Beatrice, Keith, Idris, Sidney, Brynley and Llewelyn have fallen out of fashion. The latter names mentioned are often also a giveaway of the decade of the birth, and really all names are a good fund of data of a person’s details and background!

Albert R.Frey in his book, A Dictionary of Sobriquets and Nicknames (published in Edinburgh, half bound with a gilt top for nine shillings! In 1888) explains that: “Sobriquet and Nickname are two words often used as if they were identical in meaning, and as such employed without regard to the difference between them. A soubriquet is an epithet bestowed upon a person for some quality, good or bad which he possesses, or he is reputed to possess. A nickname, or more properly an Eke-name, is an ‘addition’, or ‘eke’ to the name by which he is generally known.” It is meant to tell us more about the person.

Physical characteristics are frequently a reference for a nickname (an additional name) that will be better known than the given name! The tallest boy at school was ‘Icarus the Conspicuous', also known more formally to his parents as Isaac Jones. But to us he was ‘Ike the Con’.

‘Soubriquet’, has French origins and is said to have been formed from a combination of French, Gaelic and Celtic for pleasant, fit and appropriate names. ‘Eke’ meaning ‘in addition’, has Teutonic roots which became, through usage and time corrupted into ‘nick’, hence nick name, and therefore, nothing to do with the devil after all. The same root though as eking out rations or pocket money.

The opposite of that example was ‘Wee Tam’, one of a small group of builders who did some work for us when we lived in Edinburgh. They had continued to avoid moving a very large rock that was in their way as they explained to us that they were waiting for Wee Tam to come from another job. “He’ll move it by himself,” they reassured us. He did. He was about six foot six and weighed about eighteen stone!

Albert R. Frey continues: “Originally all names, except those bestowed at baptism, and called Christian names,

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Newcomers to Wales will have noticed a dire shortage of surnames, this is overcome in many places by an extra adjective as a form of clarification. Dai Davies the builder, Dave Thomas the Sparks, John the Bread. From this, as mentioned earlier, we also have all the many surnames originally of occupations: Painter, Butcher, Farmer, Brewer, Wheeler, Gardener, Collier, Carpenter, Smith. The surname helps to explain exactly whom you are seeking or talking about.

Abbreviations bestow celebrity status. Need I mention J.P.R.? Again from childhood, there was a lady living nearby who was called Mrs Dr. Mason. But such was the culture of the times, then, locally, that the ‘Mrs’ part was more respected than the ‘Dr’. Pet names, known and used only by the two people concerned, are frequently a well guarded secret. Large organisations used to insist on a new appointee changing or adjusting their name if there was already someone on staff with the same names.

Until fairly recently there was only a small pool of choice available for acceptable and suitable first names. John, David, William, Anne, Joan, Mary are frequently to be found in every one’s family. The confusion caused by such a limited selection was hardly clarified by an equally small selection of surnames; Jones, Davies, Evans, Williams come to mind. Therefore, to state exactly who we are referring to we need more information. We need to add another category of data! John Jones Bara (Bread, that is), David Williams the park (keeper), George Evans Promise (George Promise, the local electrician who never turned up even though he had promised.) And another memory from my childhood, Katie Coffin (the local undertaker’s daughter who, years ago was a regular (and fairly terrifying) visitor to neighbours who were unwell. She always arrived welding a tape measure. Needless to say she was herself taken into care when her family could no longer look after her.

Ap, Fitz, M’, Mc, Mac, Van, De’,Von, D’, O’, placed immediately prior to a surname such as Macdonald or O’Neill originally meant ‘son of’ but have survived as complete surnames in their own right. In Wales ‘Ap’ signified son of but over the decades it became attached as it were to the surname and, hence we have, Pritchard, Price, Probert, Prothero and Prosser. Two surnames, hyphenated or otherwise, offer further information. Mrs Thomas-Williams, Mrs Price-Thomas and the well remembered name of Mrs Griffiths-Williams, as further described as THE Mrs Griffith-Williams, was observed and used by Kingsley Amis in the film set in Swansea called ‘Only Two Can Play’. A word about the naming of animals from the writings of W. Meredith Morris who was recalling his childhood in North Pembrokeshire in the 1880’s. He writes that, “It is noteworthy that the names of cows were invariably Welsh, whereas the names of horses and dogs were nearly always English.”

Some of my memories from long ago are Mrs Davies Swing doors; there was a side entrance to her house but it was a windy corner and Twm North, an elderly gentleman I remember who had come to South Wales as a small child many many years previously from North Wales. The best known pen name or Nom de Plume is probably that of an authoress we know of as George Eliot, who is not a ‘George’ at all but was obliged to take an alias in order to get her books noticed and published! Not an uncommon practice for female writers in the past.

He adds a list of names for cows that were in use in Pontfaen in 1885, deep in rural Pembrokeshire. Here are just a few from his long list! Braithen, Penwen, Cochen, Rhosen, Seren, and Gwenno. I am sure that cows all over the country enjoyed having pretty names. He also mentions that it was the farmer’s eldest daughter who offered a new born calf some sweet straw with a little salt on it as the farmer formally named it.

Stage names can fulfil hopes and aspirations from the extraordinary such as Mademoiselle La Belle, a Burlesque Dancer perhaps, to Katherine De La Port, maybe a classical actress. Both stage names may even belong to the same person. Names for newcomer movie stars were frequently chosen by the Head of the Studio: Gregory Peck, Rock Hudson, Marilyn Monroe, Tab Hunter, Rip Torn, Judy Garland are a few that come to mind. Their real names were often closely guarded secrets!

For such farmers’ daughters who might marry a fisherman from the area around the Cleddau Estuary which cuts Pembrokeshire almost into two halves, it was not the rule to take your husbands name on marriage. It was just the opposite! Men were known by their wife’s surname, and, as they were always away at sea it seemed not to matter at all.

Bardic names are chosen by the applicant once their request for membership of the Bardic Circle has been fully approved. They may choose to use their own present name or alternatively a single suitable word perhaps from Welsh history such as Taliesin or Caradog.

It is a growing fashion today that women are not necessarily changing their name on marriage. In many parts of the world they never have.

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