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march 2020


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Competitions Page - March 2020 page 1

Monday, 02 March 2020 11:07 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

celebrating mother’s day   

  Eric Roberts LTD Cardiff florist has earned its reputation for being committed to both quality and service. In 2006 they incorporated Eric Roberts florist into the business which is known for being the longest running florist in Cardiff trading for over 65 years. They are an established florist business which prides itself on standing out from the crowd. One of the ways they do this is by spending valuable time visiting the Dutch flower auctions purchasing only the freshest, best quality flowers. Covent Garden Cardiff Florist has become renowned for its unique approach to design, specialising in the modern, exotic and unusual whilst being able to maintain the traditional standards of floristry.

For all your Mother’s Day floristry requirements, call : 02920 495999 www.coventgardenflowersdirect.co.uk

 Г  Г  This Mother's Day make strides towards changing lives by everyone affected by Parkinson’s – sign up Walk for Parkinson's Cardiff on Saturday 16 May. Starting at Cardiff Castle you will walk around the green heart of our city - Bute Park. Whether you choose to walk 6 miles or 1 mile you’re walking for breakthroughs in Parkinson’s research. Every step you take brings us closer to a cure. More than 145,000 people in the UK live with Parkinson’s. It doesn’t discriminate on age or gender. Your family, friends, colleagues and community. At any moment, they could be one of the two people diagnosed every hour with Parkinson’s. Every penny you raise will power breakthroughs in research. We’ll explore every path on the way to a cure. But we’re not just focused on the future. We’re fighting for fair treatment and better services for people with Parkinson’s. We’re making everyone see its real impact. Together, we can transform Parkinson’s. But we need your support - sign up today.


   The Cinnamon Tree is one of the finest Indian restaurants in Cardiff, with the interiors exuding the feeling of tradition and present their family history beautifully. With impeccable service and a broad, interesting and diverse menu, there is something to suit the taste of every person that walks in the door. Just the fragrance of their curries that are bursting with flavour makes you salivate. Each of their dishes showcase the deeprooted knowledge of authentic Indian cooking: the Maharaja Bhuna and Lamb Dhaka Achari are their most favourable dishes and are guaranteed to make you want to keep going back for more. It doesn’t matter what flavour of food suits your palate, the Cinnamon Tree provides dishes that are mild, medium and hot. The only problem you’ll face is having to decide on one dish from a wide selection, but no matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong.

173 King’s Road, Cardiff CF11 9DE 029 2037 4433 Cinnamon House, Tonteg Road, Treforest CF37 5UA

Mother's Day Feature - March 2020 page 1

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Friday, 28 February 2020 16:59 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

editors letter

cardiff times


PUBLISHER Cardiff Times EDITOR Louise Denning 07903 947594

Hi All, and welcome to our March issue.

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, Michael James, Craig Muncey, Natalie McCulloch, Sian Gunney


029 2046 3028





March is officially the start of Spring, let’s hope the weather remembers this fact! We have had a particularly wet February, with three official storms hitting Cardiff on consecutive weekends causing considerable damage to properties, parks and places. We have a first hand account of the devastation caused to one particular property from one of our regular contributors, Craig Muncey, whose own home was flooded last month. Please read his article and reflect on how much these events impact on people’s lives. The big event this month in Wales was of course St David’s Day. We’re a proud nation and rightly so. We have so much to offer in this beautiful country and we want the world to know about it. It’s Mothering Sunday on the 22nd March so it’s time to let your mum know how much you care about them. We’ve put several gift ideas together in this issue, but of course not everyone can afford to spend money. Simply giving your mum a big hug, tell her you love her, helping with the chores or making a homemade card is enough. Finally, we’d like to dedicate this edition to anyone who has had the tragic misfortune of being flooded during February. We hope that families can get back to normality quickly. It must be heart-breaking to lose everything, and some families have no insurance too so cannot afford to replace what they’ve lost. In adversity however, people’s generosity really shines through, and it has been heart-warming to read all the different stories of people coming together to help others. Long may this continue. Until next month, happy reading.

Louise & Mark

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

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

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FEATURES 4 Competition Time! 5 Celebrating Mother’s Day 13 From Barry Island To Neckar Island

By Carl Marsh

14 March Diary

48 Puzzle Mania

40 “In The Words Of…”

18 Negatives And Positives

52 ‘And Another Thing…’

By Wyn Evans

By Vince Nolan

22 Health - 5 Nutrient Deficiencies Linked To Mood Imbalances

57 Books To Look Out For In March

26 Mother’s Day Beauty

60 Inadvertently, In South Africa - Part Two By Sara John

32 Stop! Your Bones Need You To Read This Article - Whatever Age You Are!

66 Fashion Done Your Own Way

By Natalie McCulloch

By Molly Dutton

36 An Early Morning Of Despair Courtesy Of Storm Dennis

71 Puzzle Mania Solutions 72 “As I Stepped Off The Train”

By Craig Muncey

By Michael James

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

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from barry island to necker island From Andrea’s book You Are Meant For More (Co-Author) entrepreneurial best-seller on amazon “Suddenly my life came to a complete stop. My confidence shattered during this phase in my life. For a short time, I was very depressed. I became ill. I was emotionally broken, and for the second time in my life, I lost my voice.”

Andrea Callanan is one of the world’s leading authorities on human voice. Andrea is an International, Expert Voice, Mindset & Business Coach. Founder of Inspire Me. Speaker, International Best-Selling Business Author. Andrea Callanan from Barry, South Wales has been hand-picked to join Sir Richard Branson on an elite Mastermind on Necker Island this June.

She continues: “A few major things happened for me during this period. I went to therapy which changed my life and I found a way through”.

Andrea’s story From humble beginnings, Andrea Callanan grew up in Barry in the 1970’s and 1980’s, she had always felt that she was meant for more. Twice in her life she lost her voice in more ways than one.

Andrea is now passionate about sharing her story as part of her mission to help others appreciate that they can overcome adversity, and find their voice again, on many levels, alongside supporting other entrepreneurs who are looking for more. She said of her entrepreneurial spirit: “I am fiercely proud of where I come from but it took me a while to realise this, as for a long time, I never felt good enough when out there ‘in the big wide world’, and this is something that would plague me for years. I now know that my mindset and self-worth work has opened me up for continued success, but in the early days I was cutting myself off from opportunities due to insecurities and doubt – which then manifested in cutting off my communication channel all together – my voice.”

Andrea’s voice At 20 she had the opportunity of a lifetime – the chance of a record deal after a scout told her she, “had an ‘interesting voice’ and should come and see him about releasing some music with him,” but it seemed it was not to be – as she lost her voice a week later – for a year. Devastated, she spent 6 months in speech therapy relearning how to speak. Andrea’s Career Now founder and owner of the award-winning people development company Inspire Me, which specialises in providing proven emotional and financial return by working with mindset, behaviour, positive psychology and creativity (including singing!). Alongside her coaching business working with high achieving female entrepreneurs, she travels the world, sharing her skills and passion, and is a globally recognised vibrant motivational speaker, having shared the stage with the likes of Simon Sinek and Joel Brown.

“This was a very literal way that my fear and deep sown self-worth issues manifested, but for many it is much subtler and can be hard to recognise. By sharing my story in this book I hope to make people question just how strong their voice is and if they are using it to their full advantage, as life is too short to be muted.” Sir Richard Branson Elite Mastermind on Necker Island

She also launched a record label and managed a band. As her teaching and coaching and businesses progressed, she began to delve more into the reason why clients produced sound in the way they did and she found quicker results came by instilling confidence using positive mindset. She wrote about how her own personal circumstances challenged her own voice when her marriage fell apart and she found herself a single mum.

“In December 2019 my application was successful. I had been hand-picked by Sir Richard Branson to join him on an elite Mastermind on Necker Island. 2020 marks the third year of the Necker Summit with the Collective, a small group of High Achieving female leaders. I’m so honoured to be going and so proud to be able to take my husband and sons with me on this life-changing adventure. I’m looking forward to connecting deeply with other female business leaders and being able to mind share about our business ventures and future plans. From June the 8th to the 10th we stay on Scrub Island, a neighbouring island to Necker before arriving on Necker Island, where we stay for 4 days and become part of one of the world’s leading masterminds. Five star hotels, healthy food, snorkelling, sailing and surfing are also on the agenda, and my husband Matt Callanan from We Make Film Happen will be filming the whole trip. I know a lot of people would say I never saw this day coming but I’ve had Necker Island on my vision board for a very long time. So I’m glad it’s finally arrived. 2020 is going to be a year I’ll always remember.”


Article - Andrea Callanan page 1

Monday, 02 March 2020 21:53 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

march diary   



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The intrepid Presenters are trying to figure out how to fly like a bird, but are having a spot of bother getting off the ground. Can you help? Join them in the Science Theatre as they explore how humans are harnessing the forces of the natural world to overcome the many problems of flight.

The Script, Danny O'Donoghue (vocals, piano, guitar), Mark Sheehan (vocals, guitars) and Glen Power (drums), released their self-titled debut album back in 2008 which was followed by another five albums. The band most recently released Sunsets & Full Moons with the lead single 'The Last Time' and now they go on a tour with the new songs.

Techniquest, Cardiff Bay www.techniquest.org


Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff www.motorpointarenacardiff.co.uk

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Club Tropicana 80s night presents: WHAMTASTIC! A Wham! & George Michael Special. Come and celebrate one of the greatest 80s bands for one night only. Every 3rd song will be a Wham! or a George Michael song from 9pm until 2am plus all of the usual 80s classics.

Suzi Ruffell has made a name for herself by turning tragedy and anxiety into big laughs. The last twelve months have been massive for Ruffell; a smash hit UK tour, heaps of television appearances including; Live At The Apollo, Hypothetical, 8 Out Of 10 Cats and she has learnt how to make the perfect lemon cake.

The Globe, Cardiff www.globecardiffmusic.com

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Sherman Theatre, Cardiff www.shermantheatre.co.uk

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Long before she was Carole King, the chart-topping music legend, she was an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent. Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit song-writing team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history.

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LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! The UK’s much-loved best family festival, Camp Bestival, and original family ravers Big Fish Little Fish have teamed up once again to host their legendary family rave tour, offering award-winning entertainment for kids of all ages. Expect a party like no other and get into the festival spirit with a stellar line-up of DJs. Join all the generations together on a dance floor filled with balloons, bubbles, foam and confetti.

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

DEPOT Cardiff www.depotcardiff.com


What's on Diary - March 2020 page 1

Thursday, 27 February 2020 23:17 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

March Diary

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Friendsical is an original and unique new parody musical inspired by the gang in Friends, the iconic TV show. When Ross's wife leaves him for another woman, he fears he will never find love again. But then Rachel runs back into his life= will he end up with his one true love? With original new songs such as '(He's her) Lobster!', and 'You're Over Me, When Were You Under Me?' the gang take on naked Thursdays, a power cut, and a dinosaur convention! What could possibly go wrong?

Be part of a very special evening with photographer Martin Parr and multi-award winning Welsh actor Michael Sheen. They will be discussing Martin’s work and his long-standing relationship to Wales, which is reflected in his current exhibition, Martin Parr in Wales, on display at National Museum Cardiff until 4th May 2020. National Museum Cardiff www.museum.wales/cardiff/

New Theatre, Cardiff www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk



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18 18           A musical feast from the youngest musicians – Orchestra, choir, bands and a very special Harp Ensemble, with a varied programme of musical delights. This is the first performance for many of the pupils, as they begin their musical journey.

A Mammoth Book Sale of second hand books is being held in Roath Church House, on Saturday 28th March, from 10am - 2pm, where you can fill a carrier bag full of books for just ÂŁ1! DVDs and CDs will also be available but smaller bags will be provided! Refreshment will be also be available.

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

Roath Church House, Waterloo Road, Cardiff

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The remarkable rise of double BBC Radio 2 folk award nominees and winners of Best Album ‘The Trials of Cato’ on the UK folk-scene has been the subject of massive critical attention. Dubbed "the Sex Pistols of folk,� (J Davis) they pay clear homage to the tradition whilst twisting old bones into something febrile and modern, with stomping tunes and captivating stories.

Set in the heart of Cardiff’s historic Bay, the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay Run is a flat, fast and friendly event for all ages and abilities. The route takes in all of Cardiff Bay’s most iconic landmarks, starting and finishing in Roald Dahl Plass and passing the Wales Millennium Centre, Mermaid Quay, the Pierhead Building, Senedd, Porth Teigr and the Cardiff Bay Barrage. With no pressure to set record times or run all the way around, whether you take part in the fun run or 10K, join in and put a spring in your step.

The Gate Arts Centre, Cardiff www.thegate.org.uk

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Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/entrepreneurship

Come and spend a morning in the inspirational setting of St Fagans Gardens learning more about what to do in your garden this season. There’ll be practical demonstrations and a chance to get hands on yourself with some seasonal tasks. Remember to wear weatherproof outdoor clothes and bring a pair of gardening gloves if you have them. All tickets for this event must be purchased in advance.

Wales will continue their EURO 2020 preparations with an international friendly against the USA at the end of this month. Tickets are on sale now.

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

Cardiff City Stadium www.faw.cymru

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

Antiques, Retro, Mid Century, Modern Furniture, vintage clothing, jewellery, toys and more. Over 45 Traders. A quirky and eclectic mix.

www.thepumpingstation.cardiff.co.uk 02920 221 085 Penarth Road, Cardiff, CF11 8TT

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

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Thursday, 27 February 2020 14:53 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

negatives and positives By Wyn Evans

Last month’s column considered events at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp during World War Two. Less familiar is the history of the T4 programme(1), a targeted ‘euthanasia’ campaign that sought to purge Germany of the infirm or disabled. These people ranged from newborns to the elderly and were deemed to have a ‘life unworthy of life’. They were murdered by the tens of thousands. The T4 Program proved the efficacy of gas chambers as implements of mass murder. Foremost among those murdered were those with Down Syndrome. The Girl, my thirteen year old daughter has Down Syndrome.

Commission was told that 38% of deaths of those with a cognitive disability were from potentially avoidable causes, twice as likely as in the general population(4). For those interested in similar horror stories, examples of carelessness, thoughtlessness, and unconscious bias, the Guardian link is well worth reading in full. Another mother concluded her evidence by citing an Australian ophthalmologist, John Colvin, who once said, “that more is missed in medicine by not seeing than not knowing.” The second article I’d like to highlight is from The Times . Two mothers are behind a legal challenge over laws they believe discriminate against those with Down Syndrome, because they could be aborted at any time up to their births, while foetuses with no ‘serious disabilities’ are protected after 24 weeks. Lawyers acting for both families, backed by the campaign group Don’t Screen Us Out and the actress Sally Phillips, have written to Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, seeking a change in the 1967 Abortion Act to prevent terminations after 24 weeks for all non-fatal disabilities, including Down Syndrome. In 2018, nearly one in five abortions due to congenital anomalies (19%) were for suspected Down Syndrome. As a first step before seeking a judicial review of the 1967 law, the families have asked Hancock to amend the Act. They want abortions for non-fatal disabilities to be outlawed in the third trimester, which starts in week 28 of pregnancy.


T4 was influenced by ‘eugenics’, a term coined by Sir Francis Galton in 1883, meaning ‘well born’. He theorized that humanity could be improved by encouraging the genetically fittest members of society to have more children. There was a simplistic logic to eugenics but, “despite its popularity, the eugenics movement was doomed from the start because most of the traits studied by eugenicists had little genetic basis. Among those characteristics targeted for elimination from the human population were such complex and subjectively defined traits as ‘criminality’, epilepsy, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, and ‘feeblemindedness’, a catchall term used to describe varying degrees of mental [illness] and learning disabilities. The possibility that environmental factors (such as poor housing, poor nutrition, and inadequate education) might influence the development of these traits was dismissed”(2).

There are about 200,000 abortions a year in England and Wales. In 2018, nine in ten were performed before thirteen weeks. They can be carried out after 24 weeks in certain circumstances, including if the mother’s life is at risk or the child would be born with a severe disability. These are relatively rare: there were 289 in 2018. One of the mums felt pressured to have an abortion just days before she gave birth to her son, Hector. “The nurse reminded me I could have a termination right up to 40 weeks if the baby had Down’s. I just said to her, ‘I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that,’ but it did make me feel very anxious.” In the UK, about 750 babies a year are born with Down Syndrome. They have an extra copy of chromosome 21, leading to developmental difficulties ranging from mild to severe. Some are prone to complex health conditions.

Neither these inherent problems at the heart of eugenics nor the horrors visited upon people with disabilities by T4 have completely undercut the eugenics movement. As influential a scientist as Sir Richard Dawkins, responding to a woman who said she would be faced with "a real ethical dilemma" if she became pregnant with a baby with Down Syndrome, tweeted: "abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice"(3). Which brings me to three stories reported in the broadcast and print media recently, which I do not wish to pass over without comment. The Guardian newspaper/website recounted a Royal Commission hearing being informed that when a mother in Australia was told in 2,000, “it’s highly likely your son has Down’s syndrome,” the doctor finally turned around and added, “so here’s your appointment for a termination”... “[He] gave me a piece of paper and walked out. Everybody else walked out ... And that was our introduction to it. And it set the whole tone for [her son] Joshy’s life. Because in that moment they completely disallowed his life. They said he wasn’t worth living.” The same

Article - Wyn Evans - March 2020 page 1


Testing takes place after twelve weeks, at which point women are told how likely they are to have a child with Down Syndrome. They can also have a more accurate, but invasive, amniocentesis test, which carries a one-inone-hundred chance of miscarriage. Nine in ten families told a child has Down Syndrome end the pregnancy. In 2018, 3,269 abortions were to prevent a child from

Friday, 28 February 2020 00:23 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

CT Feature

termination and if this proposed policy became law it could mirror the situation in Iceland, where one hundred per cent of babies found pre-natally to have Down Syndrome are aborted. Regular readers will understand that issues such as the above are very close to this family’s heart. We are proud to report on The Girl’s adventures and take great joy in her development as a person. I note though that she doesn’t get the social invitations that many of her typically-developing peers share and would ask anyone reading this to consider ways in which they – you, we all – can further integrate our community. One organisation trying to do just that is called Positive About Down Syndrome (PADS) and their link is attached(7). It is publishing a book that will “challenge perceptions, address outdated attitudes, bust myths and show the world the reality about having a child with Down Syndrome in modern Britain”. If anyone is affected by any of the issues I’ve written about in this article, please contact me via my Facebook page (https:// www.facebook.com/BeatingDownsBarriers/) or visit the Down Syndrome Association(8). To close, a typically sassy one-liner from The Girl: "I'm going to play on my computer and my mobile phone at the same time. It's a woman thing: multitasking!" And I shall sign-off with confirmation that our Girl has earned admission to the Welsh National Adaptive (disability) Judo squad. She is over the moon and I include a picture of her proudly holding her squad badge. being born seriously disabled. Congenital malformations were reported as the reason in nearly half these cases. Down Syndrome was the most common chromosomal abnormality, accounting for 618 cases. Paul Conrathe, of Sinclairs Law, the firm acting for the families, said: “This case addresses a matter that is fundamentally discriminatory — that unborn babies with a disability, and in this case Down Syndrome, should be aborted up to birth. The current law attributes lesser value to people with disability.” Finally, it appears that New Zealand intends to change the law to allow abortions up to birth(6). Down Syndrome advocacy groups Don’t Screen Us Out and Saving Down Syndrome have spoken out against the Abortion Legislation Committee’s decision to lift the time limit on abortions for babies with disabilities from twenty weeks up to birth. The New Zealand government seems likely to ignore such concerns. The government’s proposed change to the law could also see New Zealand breach international disability rights obligations, as the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has consistently criticised countries that provide for abortion in a way which discriminates on the basis of disability. Already the majority of babies in New Zealand diagnosed with Down Syndrome are screened out by

Article - Wyn Evans - March 2020 page 2


1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/World-War-II-The-horrorof-war-in-pictures-2147312#ref1269520 2. https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/human-testingthe-eugenics-movement-and-irbs-724/ 3. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/aug/21/richarddawkins-apologises-downs-syndrome-tweet 4. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/21/ mum-i-want-to-go-home-parents-say-health-system-is-failingdisabled-children? CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other&fbclid=IwAR1f3N0vXvLv7N45bftUUp8e6xvJ0ZtbWm65tAJ5lc8fJN9OebxUMFYGo 5. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/mothers-of-downschildren-fight-to-stop-late-terminations-td3s538jp? fbclid=IwAR3wIIb98zQgu8twOR1CS1tFJWmDImMd0lDX3qvc rKiifaNbVwMJPQMBxSE 6. https://dontscreenusout.org/press-release-nz-abortioncommittee-ignores-down-syndrome-community-concernsabout-lifting-time-limit-on-abortions-for-babies-with-disabilities -from-20-weeks-up-to-birth-and-breaking-jacinda-ardern/ 7. https://www.gofundme.com/f/pads-publication-for-new-amp -expectant-parents?pc=em_dn_postdonateshare_o&rcid=r011580486701454785948aa5684f5d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=faceb ook&utm_campaign=p_email%2B5102-48hr-donorshare&fbclid=IwAR13j_e_GUS49-3dFs-Z-l0yps8HcHlU7imsQCuh8ljYp8du1RtXHJC3wM 8. https://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk/about/general/

Friday, 28 February 2020 00:24 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

rhs flower show cardiff celebrates 15th anniversary • NEW area to celebrate The Great Outdoors and how we can make the most of nature • Bridgend-based Pheasant Acre Plants celebrated as 2020 Master Grower • NEW Giant Floral Marquee packed with show-stopping spring colour

Master Grower, who will bring together a dazzling display of spring bulb plants including tulips, peonies, daffodils and erythroniums.

The Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Flower Show Cardiff will celebrate its 15th anniversary from 17-19 April 2020. Buzzing with a host of gardens, floral displays and interactive activities, the show will shine a spotlight on Visit Wales’ ‘Year of the Outdoors’ theme for 2020.

Following its success last year, the Floristry Tent will return, bigger and better than before. A packed line-up of live demonstrations will accompany displays from local florists and flower arrangers, many inspired by The Great Outdoors.

New for this year, The Great Outdoors area will be central to the show, designed in response to a growing public interest in reconnecting with nature. Championing the links between horticulture and wellbeing, the area will feature displays, workshops and advice to highlight how visitors can make the most of the great outdoors, from foraging and craft workshops, to mindfulness.

The popular Wheelbarrow Competition will help mark the show’s 15th anniversary, challenging local schools to create designs with a ‘Celebration’ theme. Other highlights include the Talks Theatre featuring talks and discussions from experts such as Matt Biggs, The Skinny Jean Gardener and Radio 2 gardening Guru Terry Walton. Plus, visitors will find an array of interactive and educational exhibits in the Discovery Marquee from exhibitors including National Museum Wales, Welsh Water, Neath College, National Vegetable Society, and the Japanese Garden Society.

This year’s garden line-up includes, The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, who will walk visitors through what makes a garden wildlife-friendly with Step into a Wilder Future as they build on their successful Wilder Future campaign. The Giving Nature a Home Partnership (RSPB; Cardiff County Council; Buglife) have teamed up with the Cardiff Rivers Group to create the Taff Bank Garden. By recreating a section of one of Cardiff’s major rivers the garden will serve as an interactive, educational resource linking to activities at the show aimed at helping people to understand how our actions influence the world around us.

Show Manager Rebecca Welti says: “It’s set to be a fantastic year for RHS Cardiff! The show has grown so much from the pop-up that we introduced in 2005 and 2020 is lining up to be the best yet! There is so much to see with plenty of hands-on activities and workshops for the whole family to get involved in. We are so proud to be part of the Welsh community and are hugely grateful for all the support we receive from businesses and organisations who help make this show so special.”

For the first time at the show, instead of two Floral Marquees, over 40 of the UK’s finest nurseries will come together under one large structure. Among the newcomers will be Glendon Hall Nursery with a display of Epimediums and other spring shade plants, and family-run Todd’s Botanics. 2020 will also see Bridgend-based Pheasant Acre Plants chosen as

For more information or to buy advance tickets for the RHS Flower Show Cardiff visit : www.rhs.org.uk/cardiff


RHS Flower Show - March 2020 - Edi... page 1

Friday, 28 February 2020 00:25 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

Rumney Physiotherapy Clinic Craniosacral Therapy brings about a deep state of relaxation

Suffering from neck or back pain? A sports injury? Pregnancy pain? Contact Mark Bolwell, a Physiotherapist with over 20 years of experience:

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.

Call: 0771888337 or 02920770319

Find Rumney Physiotherapy Clinic at: 818 Newport Rd, Rumney, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, CF3 4LH

Craniosacral Therapy enhances health and well–being

A professional and friendly practice offering hands-on physiotherapy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, reflexology, and sports/ general massage.

For more information, contact Judy Clover RCST on 02920 481844 or mail@judyclover.co.uk www.judyclover.co.uk 1


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

Stewart Greenberg Page page 1

Thursday, 27 February 2020 14:25 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

5 nutrient deficiencies linked to mood imbalances system and vitamin D can affect neurotransmitters like serotonin, which are linked to depression,” explains the UK’s Leading Nutritionist and author of The Natural Health Bible For Women, Dr. Marilyn Glenville.

Many individuals deal with mood imbalances and this can be caused by lots of different things. Interestingly, research has shown how various nutrient deficiencies have been linked to mood imbalance![i] Why not boost your intake of these 5 and see how it affects your mood!

“We need exposure to sunlight within a specific UVB spectrum for the production of vitamin D through our skin and we struggle in the UK between October to March. If you can, get a liquid vitamin D3 and drop it under your tongue. It will go into the blood vessels under your tongue so it is absorbed quickly, rather than having to be digested if you take a capsule. I recommend NHP’s Vitamin D3 Support, free of preservatives, sweeteners and is suitable for pregnant women, children and adults.”

Vitamin D Vitamin D is crucial for various important functions in your body, including the proper absorption of phosphorus into your bloodstream. This is essential for your mental health as it facilitates cell repair and tissue growth in your brain and body, promotes the healthy development of your brain cells, and helps to maintain your memory and cognitive abilities. Low vitamin D has been linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), or sadness and depression during the darker months of the year. Vitamin D deficiency can also lead to depression and panic disorder.[ii]

Vitamin B B vitamins convert food into fuel, helping your body to stay energized and to repair cell damage. They play a role in many areas of your health, including your immune function, digestion, circulation, hormonal health, sleep, nerves, and mood.[iii] B vitamins are absolutely crucial for your mental health, reducing stress and preventing memory loss.

“You may be more affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder because of a lack of vitamin D, as it is thought of as the ‘sunshine vitamin’. Vitamin D receptors are present in your central nervous

Opt for a high quality supplement like Natures Plus Source of Life Garden B Complex Capsules, with Organic Gold Standard Nutrients. This is the first certified organic supplement to provide a full array of essential, energizing B-Complex vitamins in convenient organic capsules. The eight B vitamins provide the nutrients that play important roles in providing our bodies with needed energy. Experience the difference that Nature's Plus Source of Life Garden delivers in this high-quality B-Complex!


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CT Health

Zinc supports healthy brain function. It activates your central and peripheral nervous system and also plays an important role in neurotransmitter, enzymatic, and hormonal processes. Zinc deficiency has been linked to depression and anxiety,[v]

Magnesium Magnesium is a powerful mineral for relaxation in the body. Magnesium deficiency can lead to stress, depression and anxiety. Since our soils have been depleted of magnesium, magnesium deficiency is common even among those who are eating a healthy and balanced diet. It’s even more prevalent among those consuming too much processed food, refined sugar, salt, alcohol, and coffee.[iv]

Foods that are high in zinc include meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, dairy and dark chocolate. You can top up your zinc levels with a supplement like Natures Plus Zinc which are yeast free and suitable for vegetarians. Omega 3’s An imbalance between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids can create mood imbalances and mental health problems. Did you know that the human brain is 60 percent fat? Since your body cannot make essential fatty acids, you need to eat healthy fats to fuel your brain. If your diet is low in good quality fats such as Omega-3s, then your body can only make low-quality nerve cell membranes. If your diet is high in good fats, your brain can create high-quality nerve cells that support your brain function and mental health. Since Omega-3s enhance B cell activation and select antibody production, they are essential for lowering inflammation in your body. As a result, they can enhance your brain function and positive mood. Low Omega-3 has been associated with depression. [vi][vii][viii][ix]

Why not increase the magnesium in your diet? Magnesium is known as nature’s tranquiliser and is an important mineral for supporting bone health, muscle relaxation and lowering blood pressure. Magnesium can be found in wholegrains, pumpkin seeds and soya. However, if you’re not a fan of these ingredients, consider supplementing magnesium instead. A great choice is Natures Plus KalmAssure Magnesium Capsules - free from artificial preservatives and are suitable for vegans

If you're not a big fish eater why not supplement with a high quality choice like that from NHP Omega 3 Support, which is Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids with high levels of EPA and DHA.

Zinc [i] Kaplan, B.J., Crawford, S.G., Field, C.J. and Simpson, J.S.A., 2007. Vitamins, minerals, and mood. Psychological bulletin, 133(5), p.747. [ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908269/ [iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23738221 [iv] https://www.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/ jn.1987.57.3.869 [v] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3868572/ [vi] https://jlb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1189/ jlb.0812394 [vii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC2738337/ [viii] https://lipidworld.biomedcentral.com/ articles/10.1186/1476-511X-3-25 [ix] https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/ appi.ajp.159.3.477


Article - Health - March 2020 page 2

Friday, 28 February 2020 14:58 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

Are You Looking To Improve Your Life Naturally? Lisa Pryce-Jones is a Hypnotherapist, Energy Healer and Counsellor who helps people to resolve their issues, to lead a more fulfilling life and work towards achieving their goals and aspirations.

beds were made of bamboo mats, a low level table and chairs along with an ornamental garden. In addition to my studies I climbed Kurama Mountain (the birthplace of Reiki), visited palaces along with many zen gardens and shrines. I also learned to write Japanese Reiki symbols in a calligraphy class, meditated with monks and bathed in the natural hot water springs. One of the many highlights included taking the bullet train toTokyo, passing the majestic Mount Fuji (the highest volcano in Japan) along the way, before reaching Tokyo where I visited the memorial of Dr Usui – the founder of Reiki. Overall an inspirational and indeed life changing journey.

Lisa was delighted to be voted in both 2018 and 2019 as the Best Holistic Treatment Award by Voice readers. The award reflects her dedication and passion to help people to overcome their issues and achieve their potential using a range of complementary therapies. With multiple demands in today’s busy world, life can easily become overwhelming which then impacts negativity upon health, relationships, work performance, home life balance etc. Lisa helps people to let go of past events or things which they cannot control and builds their resilience enabling them to gain more balance in their life in order to move towards achieving their goals.

What are you most looking forward to in 2020? I am really looking forward to helping even more people in 2020. I will be teaching Reiki and Hypnotherapy as well as continuing to work with people on a one to one basis. Also, I will be attending mind, body and spirit events in the area and I will continue to be a volunteer healer with Newport Holism Centre.

International Women’s Day, which recognises and celebrates women’s achievements, takes place on 8th March. Lisa’s reflections over the last 12 months and plans moving forward helping clients are as follows:

Why should people continue to use you? As a complementary and holistic therapist I am able to help people on a conscious, sub-conscious and spiritual level at the same time which enables most clients to make significant progress in a much shorter space of time compared with individual therapies or traditional talking therapies. I am an accredited therapist with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) which is the register which medical practitioners use to refer patients when looking for help using complementary therapies. Whilst I help clients with a range of issues I specialise in treating anxiety/stress and associated conditions (e.g. phobias, OCD, IBS, IBD) and changing habits (e.g. eating healthily, drinking less alcohol, stopping smoking/ gambling etc.). I ensure that customers have plenty of time at each therapy session to discuss issues and to have healing followed by hypnotherapy. Testimonials often describe me as being very warm, easy to talk too and an excellent listener.

What was the best thing over the last 12 months for you and your business? I love being able to help people with Hypnotherapy and Healing. It works alongside conventional medical treatment and helps people to make significant changes on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level at the same time. I have helped people with a wide range of health conditions and it is so rewarding seeing and hearing about how they have been able to make such positive changes in their life as a result. In 2019 I travelled to Japan fulfilling my dream of completing the Reiki Masters degree in Kyoto which is the traditional part of Japan. This has increased my healing ability even further and I am now also qualified to teach Reiki. During this time I stayed in a traditional Japanese inn (which are called Ryokan) where the rooms are very minimalist – the

So why not call Lisa to find out how Hypnotherapy and Healing could help you. You will be assured of a warm welcome, have plenty of time to discuss your issues and have a therapy plan devised to meet your personal needs. Invest in yourself now and make 2020 your year because you deserve it!


07427 451992


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Mother’s Day Beauty This month it’s time to celebrate Mother’s Day, so treat your Mum to some of these beauty products!

Show mum how much you care with this pretty heart-shaped box set from Sanctuary Spa containing a collection of indulgent Sanctuary treats to leave Mums skin feeling beautifully pampered from top-totoe. The box set contains White Lily & Damask Rose Wet Skin Moisture Miracle, White Lily & Damask Rose Body Wash, Moisture Burst Face Wash, Body Butter and Heel Balm. What better way to let Mum simply relax, breathe & let go. RRP £20

Give mum the ultimate treat to unwind by gifting her with the new Renaissance Spa Treatment at the Lush Spa on Queen Street. Mum will be guided through a meditation on fragrance with a 40-minute bespoke experience featuring perfume, music, words, and elements of gentle massage to restore her mood and humour. RRP £75. Visit uk.lush.com to view all spa treatments.

This gift is perfect for busy Mum’s on the go, who simply do not have time for a multi-step skincare regime. Introducing Frances Prescott TRI-BALM - a luxurious facial balm designed to simplify your routine without compromising on quality or results. The 1, 2, 3, TRI-BALM benefits: CLEANSE- A blend of botanical oils enriched with starflower and oats will melt away impurities and make- up from the skin. EXFOLIATE - Enzymes from pumpkin seeds provide an extremely gentle daily exfoliating to freshen and brighten the skin. MOISTURISE - Hyaluronic acid locks in moisture whist antioxidants vitamin E and blackcurrant neutralize free radicals to protect the skin. RRP £46 70g Available online at: francesprescott.com

Bye-bye Winter Skin. Hello Summer Glow! With spring finally on the horizon, it's time to replenish skin's moisture levels for soft, supple, radiant skin in time for the sunnier days ahead. Scrub away that dull winter layer of dead skin cells and stimulate circulation to reveal the fresh, radiant skin beneath with a full body exfoliation using Sun Believable Scrub Me, £15 200ml After exfoliating, now is the time to nourish, nurture and replenish any lost moisture that the winter weather has taken by moisturising twice a day with Sun Believable Cream Me £16 200ml Available online at: LD-Boutique.com


Beauty Pages - March 2020 page 1

Monday, 02 March 2020 10:09 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

Pestle and Mortar Hydrate is the secret behind Holly Willoughby, Rachel Weisz and Katie Holmes all glowing on the red carpet. Now you can make Mum glow this Mother’s Day with this fabulous lightweight moisturiser, the moisturiser hydrates, softens and firms skin, simulates collagen production, reduces fine lines and repairs damaged skin. RRP £26

Say goodbye to dry winter facial skin with healing powers sourced from flowers and plants. The New Sanatio Naturalis Precious Oil Treatment nourishes skin in just a few drops. Infused with 100% pure botanical oils, nutrients of Edelweiss and Red-Flowered Silk cotton to protect skin from pollution and photo ageing. Contains 8 luxurious oils including: Prickly Pear, Safflower, Camellia Seed, Rosehip, Argan, Sunflower, Jojoba and Cacay Oil. Organic ingredients which are sustainably-sourced. RRP £60.00. sanationaturalis.com

Manuka Honey Hair Shampoo has a unique combination of softening extracts which replenishes your hair and leaves it feeling clean, soft and conditioned. It smells good enough to eat. 200ml £5.99 Manuka Honey Hair Conditioner has a unique combination of softening extracts and botanical oils, that leaves your hair feeling luxuriously soft and manageable. Available from www.melora.co.uk 200ml £5.99

Start your skincare regime strong with Jane Scrivner Nourishing Cleanser (£33/50ml) Containing over 87% Organic jojoba oil - a hydrating, pro-collagen and pro-elastin oil, also rich in Essential Fatty Acids, which replicates our skin's natural sebum/lipid production so is able to deeply cleanse the skin whilst maintaining the acid mantle and replenishing the natural barrier function. It’s also a natural decongestant organic beeswax which works to attract dirt away from pores and contains a blend of nine essential oils - including sandalwood, ylang ylang and sweet orange to balance the skin. The end result is your skin will feel immediately balanced, rehydrated, visibly satisfied - plumped and boosted. Visit janescrivner.com to view the full range of products.


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VARICOSE VEINS, SPIDER VEINS OR THREAD VEINS... 3 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT LEG VEINS EXPLORED Myth 3: If you've got poor circulation you're more likely to have vein problems

Rumours, myths and old wives' tales abound when it comes to leg veins. Whether it be varicose veins, spider veins or thread veins, people are unsure about what causes veins on the legs or, more importantly, how to get rid of them. The team at the Specialist Skin Clinic in Cardiff are experts in veins and their treatment, so we're here to put the record straight, once and for all:

False: There is no proven link at all between vein problems – whether that's varicose veins or spider veins – and poor circulation. If you have unusually cold hands or feet, it is more likely to be a result of smoking, or prolonged exposure to cold, than it is to be a problem with your veins.

Myth 1: You can get varicose veins from standing for too long

Spider veins don't affect your circulation at all, but they can be unsightly and uncomfortable. If you are keen to find out about leg vein treatments in Cardiff, call the Specialist Skin Clinic on 02920 617690 to book a consultation with Dr. Maria Gonzalez. You can also visit our website at www.specialistskinclinic.uk.

True: As well as a whole host of related health problems, it is commonly believed that varicose veins are caused by spending long stretches of time standing up Standing for long periods of time can cause the blood to pool in the leg veins, increasing pressure which can weaken the walls of the veins or damage the valves. Recent research seems to challenge the notion that standing for a long time can cause varicose veins but instead makes an existing condition worse. Myth 2: Men don't get spider veins False: Although both spider veins and varicose veins are more common in women than they are in men, it is not unusual for men to suffer from one or both conditions. If you are a man suffering from spider veins, the team at Specialist Skin Clinic can help – just book a consultation at our Cardiff skin clinic, to find out which vein treatment is best for you.

Dr. Maria Gonzalez

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

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stop! your bones need you to read this article whatever age you are! By Natalie McCulloch

So what is osteoporosis? Put simply, it is a condition where your bones lose strength, meaning you are more likely to break a bone than the average adult. The condition is often associated with elderly generations, but it can occasionally affect children and adults, so it’s helpful to learn about all the things that can put you at risk earlier in your life.

Have you heard of the term ‘osteoporosis?’ I’m guessing most people will say ‘YES’. Do you know it’s a term relating to bone health? Again, more than likely the answer is ‘YES’. Did you know you can be at risk at any age and can make positive changes to improve bone health? Hopefully the answer is ‘YES’ but many will say ‘NO’. Regardless of your answer, please read on to find out more!

In 2017 the Royal Osteoporosis Society, the only UK-wide organisation dedicated to finding a cure for osteoporosis and improving the lives of everyone affected by it, launched a campaign called ‘a message to my younger self’. The campaign, as it suggests, invited older generations of people to spread the message of the importance of securing good bone health from an early age. This campaign is no longer ‘live’ however, the need to continue spreading the message continues.

Let’s start with some facts: • According to the NHS over 3 million people in the UK are affected by osteoporosis and more than 500,000 people receive hospital treatment as a result of it annually. • There are simple everyday changes you can, and should, make to improve your bone health. • As you get older, the strength of the bone tissue you do have also starts to naturally decrease. This increases your risk of osteoporosis and broken bones. • Ultimately ‘there’s no bones about it – now is the ideal time to start looking after your bone health!’ Your future self may thank you!

We build our bones when we are young and reach optimum bone density and strength around the age of 30. Past age 30 there is still room for improvement, so weight-bearing with impact (e.g. jogging, skipping) and muscle resistance exercise


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(e.g. using weights or resistance bands) can help to maintain our bone strength and ensure a steady and gradual decline as we age, alongside a healthy diet.

mainly affects older people, but certain stress factors such as poor diet, eating disorders and certain medications can put younger people at risk. For these reasons it is vitally important to maintain good health and seek support if you find yourself struggling with your diet, mental health or weight.

On a personal note, I’m ashamed to say I actually missed the campaign in 2017, but one thing I didn’t miss out on was getting osteoporosis. I have had anorexia nervosa since my early teens and accordingly neglected my physical and mental health since this. People with an eating disorder are more susceptible to osteoporosis due to hormone production, poor nutrition, low body weight and lack of menstruation. By the age of 20 my bone density was in the osteoporosis range – I had failed to respond to warnings of low bone density previously.

Some simple things you can do today to aid better bone health are: • Eat a balanced diet - eating and drinking the right things can help support your bone health at every stage of your life. Calcium and vitamin D are two nutrients well-known to be important for bones. But there are many other vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are vital to help your bones stay healthy and strong. • Weight training - can help make you stronger and may improve your bone density if you train regularly a few times a week on non-consecutive days. Most gyms run introductory sessions and provide some basic advice about safe lifting techniques and which machines to use. • Refrain from excessive alcohol consumption alcohol affects the cells that build and break down bone and also makes you unsteady on your feet, making you more likely to trip, fall and break a bone. • Give up smoking - smoking slows down the cells that build bone in your body.

I’m now over 20 years into anorexia and still struggling to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, sadly and as a consequence my bones are struggling. I am fortunate to have an excellent, supportive and knowledgeable gym instructor at Penarth Leisure Centre who is helping me with appropriate weight resistance exercises and appropriate amounts of exercise, as overdoing it can be as detrimental as inactivity. I have access to mental health services including dietetics to help me with diet and mental health. Alongside this, I also work with older residents in the NHS, many of whom have osteoporosis and have had falls, which makes my passion to spread positive bone health messages even more prominent.

You are not alone with the quest for better bone health. The Royal Osteoporosis Society have an excellent website designed to support everyone to maintain a good level of bone health. Visit theros.org.uk for a great range of information to help increase your knowledge and ways to access support.

Most people I share that I have it are surprised ‘at my age’, which is why I’m keen to spread the word that when it comes to bone health and age, osteoporosis doesn’t discriminate. As mentioned, it


Article - Natalie McCulloch - Marc... page 3

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Brian MacEntee - Oct 2019 page 1

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an early morning of despair courtesy of storm dennis By Craig Muncey

downstairs to investigate, and with hindsight, I am so thankful I did.

The 16th February 2020 will be etched in the minds of many residents who live in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area. This piece recaptures my own personal thoughts on the natural disaster that occurred and also the impact on many people who were not as fortunate as me and my family.

I did not put any lights on in fear of waking others (my girlfriend, waking her is just not worth it at that time of day), so it was very dark, as I stepped off the final step on the stairs - I stepped into freezing cold water! My initial thought was that the washing machine in the kitchen had flooded. As the cold water broke me from my sleeping slumber, I waded into the living room and I then knew we had a very serious situation on our hands.

My story is that at 5.10am on the 16th February in my home in Nantgarw, I awoke to whimpering sounds coming from downstairs. We have a dog, a mini daschund called Bruno that sleeps on the sofa in the living room. Normally the warning system Bruno gives us to alert us to his need to go outside is by scratching the bottom of the closed living room door. As all I heard was a quiet whimper not scratching, for a moment I considered leaving him to settle. However, I decided I had better go

Poor Bruno was sat on the sofa terrified. He could not scratch the bottom of the living room door as it was under water, if he had left the safety of the sofa and got into the water I dread to think what would


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have happened to the mini daschund we love so much. It probably worked in our favour that he does not like water at the best of times, especially freezing, black stinking water. I grabbed him and put him under my arm and waded back into the hallway, and shouted up the stairs to my girlfriend, Sarah to alert her to the situation and to take the dog from me. The nightmare began.

it has certainly eased some of the pain felt. It is a huge credit to all those who have helped those impacted, and will be remembered for many many years how they supported us. It does not seem enough to say thank you, but I do thank you from the bottom of my heart. We now find ourselves in the aftermath of the storm which brought the floods, and with more rain forecasted and rivers still high there is still a real fear of this happening again. Currently, a number of houses in the area have no residents as properties are inhabitable. It feels at times like a ghost town. Others who have insurance, are waiting on insurance companies to deal with their claims and provide the funds to purchase household goods to replace the lost ones, some goods with sentimental values cannot be replaced. They are now just memories.

At 5.19am I received a text message from the flood alert company which we had signed up for for flood alerts. A voicemail referred us to a telephone number to ring and also gave us information of their website address for further information. One minute later a text message from the same company advising us similar information to the voicemail message? At this point we were under water. The alert was at this time, pointless. We managed to get out of the property after around 5 hours of sitting upstairs. The water subsided enough to allow us to get out via the back garden wading through water with the poor dog in a rucksack. Family members were there to pick us up, which I will be forever thankful for. At its highest point I would say in our home, the water reached around three foot, but as I said at the start of this article some were not so fortunate as us, that’s if you can call it being fortunate!

As you can imagine, the memory of the floods is very much at the forefront of our thoughts, and the anger and frustration felt is still very raw. There are still many questions to answer and hopefully over time we will get some answers. Clearly, the flood warning alert system failed. We have been told that the river near to where I live was being monitored from around midnight that night, which makes you question the process of if it is monitored and with continuous heavy rain persisting, why did my village get an alert after we were already under water? Also, where did the water breach on the river and what actions will be taken to try to eliminate this happening again? These are amongst many other questions residents want and deserve answers to.

Other residents in the same street, other streets close by and a neighbouring village, have stories far more dramatic than mine. Stories of elderly people sleeping downstairs being saved by neighbours breaking into their houses. Basement flats where individuals had to swim to safety, these are just a few terrifying things I have heard. Some people have lost everything, some are friends of mine. Many people have no insurance, their human struggles are very real and will be for a period of time, trying to get their lives back on track. I am very surprised that no human lives were lost. If the flood had hit later in the day then I am sure that fatalities would have occurred. So we need to count our blessings on that score.

What I have learnt from all this is the respect you need to have for the natural world. The speed and volume of the water was incredible, as was the area it covered. Also I have learnt how great human beings can be. There are people now in my community I will be friends with for many years when before this event, I would have just acknowledged in the street. Humans have got some bad press over recent times, but take it from me, there are still many great people out there.

The communities affected have been nothing short of fantastic. Taffs Well Rugby Club and Taffs Well Village Hall just to mention two, opened immediately after the event and have been a great support for all affected. If it was just with a kind word, a hug or a cup of tea, they have been a tower of strength for all impacted, and with all the food, drinks and cleaning materials donated by so many,


Article - Craig Muncey - March 202... page 3

What I and others who have been impacted by the floods now need is support from the council and Welsh Assembly. There are some funds being put in place, but for those who have lost everything, much more is needed. These people need assistance to allow them to rebuild their lives. I just hope this happens. They deserve it.

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“in the words of…” By Carl Marsh

If any month of the year makes me happy, it’s March, yet I’ve no idea why, it could be when I start to really notice that the nights start to get lighter. Another part of me thinks that it’s having shed the doom and gloom that January and February bring, often after a heavy spend at Christmas! This month I have been kindly invited to visit Qatar and The Maldives by Qatar Airways. As you will know (maybe not), Qatar Airways has Cardiff Airport as its main hub and you can fly to Doha and on to lots of destinations worldwide. I am to spend a couple of nights in Doha, visit a few locations that the capital of Qatar offers, and then fly down to The Maldives for five days. I will be writing a full-page review of my travels and flight out of Cardiff Airport next month.

Coming to South Wales in March is the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Showing at various venues, those to note are March 12th at the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl and St David’s Hall in Cardiff on March 25th. What is in essence a collection of very short films, shot beautifully in some of the most stunning locations in the world, but with a message. I spoke to the director of one of the films that will be showing (The Imaginary Line) and that is Kylor Melton via phone, who was in Oregon, USA.


Susan Boyle is back in Wales on Tuesday 10th March, performing at St David’s Hall in Cardiff. This is her tenth year since appearing on Britain's Got Talent. Who can believe it’s that long! I spoke to her at length and it was a ball, she really did keep me on my toes and made me laugh. It has always been my wish to speak with her, and it really was a treat. I think a few tickets remain for her show. On Thursday 26th March, Planet Earth II will be at the Motorpoint Arena. Hosted by Liz Bonnin, this will be a spectacular event not to be missed, as The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Matthew Freeman, will be playing the beautiful music that accompanied the award-winning BBC show. Liz Bonnin gave me a little bit of her time to chat.

I have an apology to make, I had planned on having a Cardiff resident or native (as mentioned last month) in the interviews section but I had a last-minute opportunity to interview Jo Brand. So I did. She is hosting an event in Swansea to celebrate her very dear friend Helen Griffin who passed away in 2018, sadly not long after completing her role in Keeping Faith. The event is on March 31st at Swansea Grand Theatre. I know it’s not in Cardiff but Swansea was where Helen came from, so a worthwhile journey to a very rewarding night. I hear that as well as Andy Robinson and Noel James, more names will be added nearer the event!


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Jo Brand Carl Marsh How did you get to know the late Welsh actress Helen Griffin, who the night is Swansea is in aid of? Jo Brand We were both on the same four-year psychiatric nurse course. We both trained together but I was the year ahead of her. I started in ’78 and she started ’79 but we kind of immediately clicked with each other and became really close friends ever since. Carl Marsh Seeing as you were both in the nursing profession, who was the one that gave up nursing first, was it yourself or was it Helen? Jo Brand Well, we weren't that far apart really. I think I started doing stand up in 1986 but I didn't leave for two years, I couldn’t afford to. And by, I think 1986, she’d already started and had headed off towards the acting profession in one way or another, so she just kind of beat me to it really. Carl Marsh Was this something that you both discussed when you had both gone off into your nursing careers or was it something you just found out after she'd done it all?

Carl Marsh What's your favourite memory of Helen then when you were on your nursing course?

Jo Brand No, we always used to talk about it. We also have a friend who was a frustrated jazz singer, and now is a jazz singer, most of the time! [Laughs] We had a fourth friend who wanted to be an artist, but I am afraid she never got there [laughs], but she is retired now and is doing it as a hobby, so there you go. So in someway we kind of all moved towards what our secret ambitions were.

Jo Brand Most of my memories of her are quite unrepeatable, from going out in the evening and getting extremely drunk and behaving very badly. But I think sort of as a general rule, she was the one, which is why we were such close friends, who was always up for a bit of an adventure. I think one thing [laughs] that springs to mind and this is just the sort of person she was: she was going out with a guy who she was really keen on, and was going to his sister's wedding and went to have a really extreme haircut, and it was terrible. And she was really worried how it would look to his family. But anyway, we just happened the day before to go and see a play about Edith Piaf in the theatre, and we didn’t like it so we left at half time. And as she walked past this usher, and it wasn't his fault, she was in a really bad mood, she just said, “We’re leaving, we didn't like that, it was sh#t!” [Laughter]. So this poor guy! But anyway, as we walked further on he shouted out, “and so is your haircut!” [laughter]. She used to be in a sort of situation all the time. She just made me laugh.

Carl Marsh With the night in question in Swansea, what will it entail? Jo Brand Well, pretty much the basis of it will be a stand-up show. I'm gonna compere it and then Andy Robinson, who I tour with and is great, will do a set, as will Noel James, who Helen used to love. And as well as that, there will be kind of extra bits and pieces added in. We will have some special guests who knew Helen very well, who I think people would know from various things on TV or in films. I'm just not saying who they are just yet in case they can’t come as they could get a job at the last minute, you know I think it's very different for actors, really.

An Evening With Jo Brand is on March 31st at Swansea’s Grand Theatre, and all proceeds from this event will go towards supporting a young actor in training.


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Kylor Melton That's it man, that's it [laughs].

Kylor Melton - Banff Film Festival

Carl Marsh Who came up with the idea in the first place? Kylor Melton I'm a high-liner myself, and I also rock climb and do all these crazy things, but the idea itself came from the main character of the film whose name is Corbin (Kunst). So, I don't know if you know much about what happened with the government shut down in the United States last year? Carl Marsh Yes, I recall all of that stuff going on. Carl Marsh Your short film The Imaginary Line, it speaks volumes about deconstructing the line between Mexico and the US, so can you tell me what’s been the most positive feedback you've had about the film?

Kylor Melton It was heavy man, it was like more than 30 days of the government completely ceasing to operate, and where this really is felt is often in national parks and these kind of areas right. I was like, pretty aware of it but I was pretty removed because I was at home kind of working on some ideas, and out of nowhere Corbin calls me. And he's like, “Hey man, I have this idea. And I don't know if it's possible. But I want to go for it. I want to rig a slack-line between the US and Mexico. I want to do it in the next like year or two, and I think it'd be really cool if like I could tell a story about it you know like in the next couple of years.” And then I pause, after he said his idea, and I was just thinking for a good 60 seconds. I was thinking about everything man, thinking about the potential of this idea. And I was like, “Dude be at my house tomorrow, right.” So, three days later he came over and then a day after that we were heading south and as we were heading south we were assembling the team.

Kylor Melton It’s quite interesting because, like you said, the basic premise of the film is this slack line that we rigged between these two countries right over the border. And the symbology in that is very, very simple but very powerful in the fact that we're walking across this line that is so real in our heads, it's so concrete. In reality this is just a figment of our imaginations right like because we believe in it, it becomes real, but in all reality it's just a canyon, you know, just like two different parts of the same land. And as far as what the most profound feedback I've had, it’s been wild as with people connecting with the story and with the idea at a deeper level and just hearing the stories of those characters who the idea itself means so much to them. I had one of my best friends from high school, she actually, and I didn't know this, but after I’d published the film, she called me and she was crying. She was in tears and she was originally from Costa Rica and I didn't know this but she had come to the US illegally. And she was crying and gushing and I was like, “What's wrong, what’s wrong?” She just wanted to tell me that my film was so beautiful because she’d gone through that experience and had to, you know, push past those boundaries herself. For her seeing it broken down in such a simple way and forgetting about the politics and the intricacies and policies, and all the hate and negativity that comes with, you know, this kind of idea of conflict in general, and just letting the idea speak for itself.

You can see Kylor's epic short film as part of the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Showing at various venues, those to note are March 12th at the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl and St David’s Hall in Cardiff on March 25th, I'll see you at one of these!

Carl Marsh It was filmed on a beautiful day and the location itself is even more beautiful whether you're on the Mexico or the US side, was it paramount on selecting the location because it shows that it's irrelevant whether you’re on the Mexico side or the US side, it's still beautiful and just a line across, you know, two pieces of the planet?


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Carl Marsh It sounds like you’ve got a wicked sense of humour then?

Susan Boyle Carl Marsh I can't believe it's been 10 years since obviously, you know, you went on Britain's Got Talent, that time must have flown by for you. Do you still pinch yourself now wondering what you've done over the last 10 years.

Susan Boyle Yes, I need it [laughs], I need it to keep going. Carl Marsh Yeah, you do. So what makes you laugh when you watch TV and films?

Susan Boyle It was really like a whirlwind as everything happened all at once. Visiting America and Japan, and China, it was hard to take in. It’s been really surreal as it was like living in a bubble not realising what I was doing. When I look back at it now, it was pretty amazing.

Susan Boyle What makes me laugh, oh gosh, anything makes me laugh, I’d laugh at the kettle boiling, me! [Laughs] I’ve got a wicked sense of humour. I like watching some of the comedy programmes that are on TV. Billy Connolly is great, he is so natural, the way he paints the picture for other people is really good. You do go on a journey with him, you really do.

Carl Marsh Has music always been something you've always had a passion for since you were a child? Susan Boyle Well, my family were all musical, my dad was a singer, my mum was a singer, my brothers played the guitar and they sang as well. It was definitely in the blood since I was a kid.

Carl Marsh You’re going to be on tour soon and will be coming to Cardiff, isn’t this your first tour in about six or seven years?

Carl Marsh What’s been the biggest highlight for you over the last 10 years?

Susan Boyle Yes, it is, as I had to take a little bit of a break to sort my life out but I’m fine now, stronger than ever. I’m coming back with a different act, different format, different songs and more upbeat.

Susan Boyle It was my first visit to America and they took me to Disneyland and they had given me some lessons on how to behave in public, and one of them was ‘don’t swear’. So they took us on this fast mountain ride and I'm telling you something, they didn't tell me that there was a massive drop at the end of it! You can imagine the air was blue! [Laughter] It’s straight down and I was ‘bleep, bleep, bleep! [Laughing] I wouldn’t mind but Mickey (Mouse) and I got soaked, but the security guy who was with me didn’t get wet, so I was chasing him up and down the place after it, and he was laughing his head off.

Carl Marsh What have you been up to in the last few years, and am I correct in saying that you’ve been learning to drive? Susan Boyle Driving a car, well I’ve had two lessons, so I’ve not killed anybody yet! [Laughs] Susan Boyle is back in Wales on Tuesday 10th March, performing at St David's Hall in Cardiff. This is her tenth year since appearing on Britain's Got Talent.


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Liz Bonnin My gosh! You see what I mean, we can't underestimate just how powerful events like this can be. Yeah, I think that's what's really wonderful about the landmark series and they're now extended and adopted by the BBC to bring it to an audience in a different way. Almost raising the bar with respect to the kind of experience you're going to get and how much is going to inspire you and move you and ultimately change you as a person. I just think it that's what this concert is going to be about and I mean your daughter is a shining example of that.

Liz Bonnin Carl Marsh You're presenting the Planet Earth II tour, that must be one of your ultimate goals? Liz Bonnin I guess it was, and the more I think about it, now that I'm doing press, the more I realised this was an absolute dream job. It is to be in arenas full of people where we can all celebrate the wonders of the natural world, and also celebrate the beauty and creativity of humanity with a 74 piece orchestra with music written by an absolute genius, Hans Zimmer. I think it's going to be a very special, very unique experience. And what I'm looking forward to more than anything really is how we're all going to be connected in that celebration of wildlife. I think that's going to be very special to me.

Carl Marsh Yes, and she has come away and to be motivated when she was only 10 when she saw it; she is motivated to want to do something in that sort of field when she leaves school. Liz Bonnin That’s a gorgeous thing to hear, it really is.

Carl Marsh Did you see the television show?

Carl Marsh With the tour, what are you going to be more talking about in between the scenes and music, will it be the impact of what's happening to the environment?

Liz Bonnin I didn't, because I was travelling at the time, so I didn't get to see it. So in a way, it's interesting because I don't really have an idea of what it's like. And so I'm kind of grateful for the rehearsals because I can get emotional every time I hear that music. It's pretty extraordinary, so I just can't wait.

Liz Bonnin Oh well, my role is really to take the audience by the hand and contextualise each scene. I spend my life working on these types of programmes, so we're working on the script together. And you know, I really want the music and the sequences to work their magic. I want to keep the talking to a minimum. But I do want to sort of add my experience to it. And as much as the messaging is going to come through in the images and the music, I also want to help to inspire by sort of communicating how these sequences move me. I'm also really excited because when we were choosing the sequel that was being picked, you know, I want to give extra little tidbits that we may have not got from the series. Also to respect how the sequences were achieved to perhaps the behaviours of the wildlife themselves. And actually how Hans Zimmer and the team went about writing music for particular sequences, kind of to enrich the experience for the viewers. But ultimately, I hope that because of my experiences and my understanding of the natural world, I can add another layer of understanding and appreciation. But really and truly first and foremost, it's the music that's going to do most of the work for us.

Carl Marsh I really can't wait too. Like last year, I took my daughter to the Blue Planet II tour and that very night, and for months after, she would only listen to the music from the show when she went to bed!

On Thursday 26th March, Planet Earth II will be at the Motorpoint Arena. Hosted by Liz Bonnin, this will be a spectacular event not to be missed as The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Matthew Freeman, will be providing the musical accompaniment.


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CT Feature Entertainment Reviews Food & Drink


The Botanist - Bar/Restaurant - 10 Church Street (near to the Castle) Once I had received an invite to the opening night, I was expecting great things from this venue as I had been desperate to attend once I knew that the chain was coming to Cardiff. My expectations were met. I didn’t know how much I would be astonished by the decor and vibrancy. I only got to sample the drinks, sadly no food; this was all down to myself having such a good time talking to friends and new friends, I missed out on sampling anything to eat! I did hear that the food was delicious based on the many people that I had spoken to. It’s in a prime location, and it’s a place I know will do really well. What capped it off for me, and do take note all other venues in Cardiff: if your staff look like they are really happy and enjoying themselves at work, then they are, and so will the customer. Let’s hope I can come back and taste the food!

1917 - Cinema

I always get nervous when I see certain films getting nominations for certain film awards, I get more agitated when a film wins said awards. I am bordering on meltdown if a film is war based, as I come from a military background. 1917 settled my nerves after five minutes. I love the long shot, which is the usage of one camera to record a scene. Most films have tons of cameras, and lots of edits but this film, albeit with a few careful discreet edits, is basically set over one long shot.

(Five Stars)

Literature Finding Henry Applebee by Celia Reynolds Do you want to read a book that will leave you with a warm glow? Maybe even wanting to read a book that hooks you in from the first few pages? Or perhaps likes different genres of books but want to pick up something special? Then this book is for you.

The amount of detail and logistics and timings and work that has gone into this movie is mesmerising, I was transfixed with the screen, I even left the movie theatre quite emotional and breathless. Never have I felt like I was a part of a film before this. Granted that ‘Saving Private Ryan’ might be a better story, but imagine if the opening scene of that film was just one camera, you can’t comprehend that was ever an opinion. Fast forward to this film, and it was possible. The ‘making of’ documentary when the DVD is out will be my first thing to watch!

There is a lot of mystery surrounding the main protagonists of the story yet without this being a mystery novel. It’s a book about following your heart, your desires and to always learn from having tried, and failed, but at least trying, then picking yourself up. You will also find some Welsh locations mentioned in the book, mainly due to the author being from Wales and now living on the Gower coast. A wonderful tale that will be reread, and reread, and reread!

(Five Stars) Until next month.

Carl Marsh Twitter - @InTheWordsOf_ Facebook - @InTheWordsOf

(Five Stars)


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puzzle mania! Crossword 2

















































Across 1. Ice-house (5), 3. Letter cross-line (5), 6. Wasp’s weapon (5), 9. Villa in Russia (5), 12. Army student (5), 13. Mineral used as a gem (5), 15. Blade on a ploughshare (7), 16. Long curl of hair (7), 17. Get off a ship (6), 21. Charge for services (3), 23. Food for cattle (6), 26. valley in Yorkshire (4), 27. Saying (7), 28. Throat clearing sound (4), 29. Statement, opinion (6), 32. Do something (3), 34. Length or size (6), 40. Go beyond (7), 41. Muddle (7), 42. Gate fastener (5), 44. Nimble (5), 45. Distressed (5), 47. Be better than (5), 48. Ward off (5), 49. Hindu social class system (5). Down 1. Encouraged (7), 2. Scottish exclamation (3), 3. Free from danger (6), 4. Send out rays (7), 5. Time that is to come (6), 7. Single number (3), 8. Newspaper (7), 10. Kernel of cake (5), 11. Showy flower (5), 13. Latin-American dance (5), 14. Lively dance (5), 18. Make proud (5), 19. Amphitheatre (5), 20. Stuffing for pillows (5), 21. Plants of a region (5), 22. Upright (5), 23. Moral story (5), 24. Bake (5), 25. Colour of growing grass (5), 29. Settle (7), 30. Worth (5), 31. Freshwater fish (5), 33. Type of rifle (7), 35. River in Brazil (5), 36. Needle cases (5), 37. Playhouse (7), 38. Capital of Eritrea (6), 39. Take willingly (6), 43. Signal to speak (3), 46. Tiny vegetable (3).

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E.g. EAT



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

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1 1



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4 2



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3 5 7


3 1

1 4




1 2

8 6





2 7



9 2




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“And Another Thing…….”

By Vince Nolan

political discombobulations Like most of you, I have had a sickener of politics from both sides of The Pond but it really is hard to ignore. I am a great believer in democracy since the alternatives do not fare well, so I was somewhat alarmed to read that despite devolution, the UK Government can proceed against the will of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish administrations if it chooses to do so. I don’t know about you but I can’t remember voting for that. So it would seem that we don’t have a democracy really. Meanwhile a US spy married to a US spy can kill an innocent UK civilian bike rider and then be secretly repatriated on a non-scheduled flight to the US with no prospect of extradition. Not even an apology. Maybe that’s what the “special relationship” means.

Actress Margaret Nolan

employing an illegal immigrant. Don’t know why I am even surprised any more. Anyway, onwards and sideward. I was wondering if eyewitness accounts were now extinct in our over-the-top politically-correct society. I say this because it is now frowned upon to describe a persons’ colour, physique, fashion sense, age, sexuality, gait, behaviour etc. Going to be even more unsolved crimes out there. Imagine Crimewatch: “Wanted, somebody for doing something to someone else, somewhere.”

On a lighter note, the most dangerous job in politics has always been the Speaker of the House of Commons. Apparently seven former Speakers have been executed or killed in battle over the centuries so the recent clamour for the head of John Bercow should not have been that surprising. Until the seventeenth century, the Speaker was often an agent of the King, and as such was usually blamed if they delivered news from Parliament that the King did not like.

Read this in a James Paterson novel the other day and thought it would be a great verse for anyone involved in trying to maintain peace: “The caller I’m awaiting, over whom I’m ruminating, has been long deliberating how to put me to death’s door. So after careful preparation, I’ll assess the situation and I’ll pray my presentation leads to peace and not to war.”

This is my last post on Brexit for some time as I’ve managed to bore myself with the subject. However, the idiocy of our senior politicians is mind blowing. Simon Hart, Secretary of State for Wales recently said: “We are leaving as one UK (might want to ask the Jocks about that one Si), with a mission to build safer infrastructure, make our streets safer, clean up the environment and make our union stronger.” Not a single EU issue there mate. Next up Boris: “Brexit marks the moment when dawn breaks and the curtain goes up on a new act.” Ignoring his Trumpist mixed metaphor for a minute, Dawn Brakes was a character in Carry On Girls, played by Margaret Nolan. Here’s another good one. Mark Harper, (who?) was forced to resign recently as Immigration Minister for

Q: Is a chicken-proof lawn impeccable? Quiz down the local pub, with She Who Must be Obeyed and The Sainted Mother-in-Law, and one of the questions was, ‘which of the Ten Commandments covered not killing anyone?’ If you are interested it is number 5 depending which version you may follow. However, this prompted me to think that it was about time we had some

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CT Feature

new commandments given that there is probably not a lot of call for coveting a neighbours Ass or Ox these days. So in no particular order:

Network Rail has announced the completion of the electrification of the line from London to Cardiff. Hurrah. Leaving aside for a second that it does not go on to Swansea, it is still not electrified through the Severn Tunnel because conditions are too saline. Call me old fashioned but I thought that when something was completed it was finished, but apparently not. So taking a leaf out of Network Rail’s book, I have now completed this month’s writing apart from the next few paragraphs.

• Do not covert thy neighbour’s car. • Remember that reality TV is not reality. • Do not put your talentless children on TV talent shows. (Just saw Katie Price on U Tube talking for 1 min 36 secs about talentless people on talent shows. Hmmm). • Do not use the last sheet of toilet paper and not replace the roll. • Do not watch TV on your phone, on full volume, in public places. • Don’t dis your father or mother. • Try not to kill anyone. • Don’t start an order with “Can I get” rather than “Please may I have.” • Blow, don’t sniff. • Don’t be a Chav.

Son and Overdraft is now safely ensconced in an apartment in Long Island City, New York which was recently voted No. 8 in Time Out's list of the world's coolest neighbourhoods thanks to its delectable food, fun bars, scenic parks, and flourishing art scene. This is Hell Gate Bridge, Astoria Park (below on the left) doing a very good impression of Sydney Harbour Bridge, his last place of employment. Where did it all go wrong?

Talking of Chavs, I saw this the other day which amused me: “Our Father, who art in prison, Mother knows not his name. Thy Chavdom come, thy shoplifting done in JJB Sports as it is in Poundland. Give us this day our welfare bread and forgive us our ASBO’s as we happy slap those who give evidence against us. And lead us not into employment but deliver us free housing For thine is the Chavdom, the Burberry and the Blackberry For ever and ever Innit.” I bet you read it out loud.

Finally, my chum Louise, who edits this fine Publication, was telling me the other day that she has become the victim of bullying, something which nobody should have to tolerate. Her ex-best friend found out she has flat feet and has been very mean to her and bullied her over it. Apparently, he’s her arch-enemy now. Au Revoir Mes Amis

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Books To Look Out For in March The Light In Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron

Untangling The Knot, Belugas And Bears: My Natural World On Film by Mike Potts

It is 1943, and for four years, sixteen-year-old Stefania Podgorska has been working for the Diamant family in their grocery store in Przemsyl, Poland. She has even made a promise to one of their sons, Izio - a betrothal they must keep secret since she is Catholic and the Diamants are Jewish. But everything changes when the German army invades Przemsyl. The Diamants are forced into the ghetto, and Stefania is alone in an occupied city, the only one left to care her six-year -old sister. And then comes the knock on the door. Max Diamant has jumped from the train headed to a death camp. Stefania and Helena make the extraordinary decision to hide Max, and eventually twelve more Jews.

Available now : Paperback £7.99

Joy At Work: Organising Your Professional Life by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein The workplace is a magnet for clutter and mess. Who hasn't felt drained by wasteful meetings, disorganised papers, endless emails, and unnecessary tasks? These are the modern-day hazards of working, and they can slowly drain the joy from work, limit our chances of career progress, and undermine our well-being. There is another way. In Joy at Work, bestselling author and Netflix star Marie Kondo and Rice University business professor Scott Sonenshein offer stories, studies, and strategies to help you eliminate clutter and make space for work that really matters. Using the world-renowned KonMari Method and cutting-edge research, Joy at Work will help you overcome the challenges of workplace mess and enjoy the productivity, success, and happiness that come with a tidy desk and mind.

Available 7 April 2020: Hardback £10.99

Book Pages - March 2020 page 1

This book gives an intriguing insight into the life of a wildlife cameraman, the hundreds of hours often spent in extreme locations to capture the many sequences needed. Mike has worked with Sir David Attenborough while filming Attenborough in Paradise and several photos of the great man in his early days are featured. Mike’s stunning photography is a key part of this delightful new book and he also achieves his long-held dream of visiting the cabins of Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton in Antarctica.

Available now : Paperback £20.95

Alison’s Adventures: Your Passport To The World by Alison Teal With a pink surfboard made of recycled coffee cups and fueled by an insatiable curiosity and indomitable spirit, Alison Teal has explored some of the most remote places on earth. In a new book by Ripley Publishing, follow Alison as she surfs through the Catacombs of Paris, along the waters of an active volcano, and as she leads the charge to clean up plastics from Trash Island in the Maldives. Alison's Adventures: Your Passport to the World, chronicles the life of this modern-day explorer, dubbed the "Female Indiana Jones" and the "Oprah of Adventure." The colourful 144-page book aims to inspire and educate youth, as Alison details her lifelong passion to uncover hidden mysteries, preserve disappearing cultures, and protect our greatest treasure on earth - our world's waters.

Available 12 May 2020 : Hardback £12.99

Sunday, 01 March 2020 22:09 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

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inadvertently, in south africa part two By Sara John

I realised at that point that until year previously Namibia had been under the control of South Africa so there could be some resentment from the regime about losing a country. My gentle ‘outburst’ was simplistic, a little helpless, a touch of being a quiet and gentle older lady, reliable and quite straightforward. I thought the best way to play the scene was slightly Dame Judy Dench.

We were standing, in the Emigration Hall of the airport, trapped in Johannesburg, facing two large armed Afrikaans Officials with enormous dogs, hearing the aeroplane we should have been on, flying up into the sky without us. Our torn up tickets to our destination, Windhoek, the capital of Namibia were blowing away before our eyes. It was one of the most serious, frightening and potentially dangerous moments of my fairly sheltered life, to date.

Observing the reactions from the officials, it seemed to work, Hugh glanced at me as though I was his mother rescuing him from big bad bullies in the park. Accordingly I felt, or imagined, the atmosphere to be easing a little, Hugh and I appeared to the officials not to be the exciting criminal ‘Aliens’ that they first apprehended after all.

By this stage, Hugh, my travel companion was too terrified to contribute to our interrogation. His personality was certainly not in any way confrontational, and he had not attended any of the Assertiveness Courses, or Personal and Professional Development Workshops that I had been running for many years. However, I decided that this was no time for me to be assertive!

We were told by the emigration officials that we HAD to purchase tickets for a S.A.A flight to Cape Town that afternoon, one thousand five hundred miles away and, in the wrong direction. Then we had to stay in the Cape Sun Hotel Saturday evening and catch a very early flight on Sunday morning on to Windhoek. Windhoek was more or less the same distance again, another one thousand five hundred miles. Hugh was fresh out of credit on his credit card so with another silent prayer I presented my debit card. (I dared imagine an assistant angel picking up the prayer, long distance, and saying to a colleague close by, “I DO NOT believe it, it’s HER again.”) Clickity click click went the machine, it had gone through without a hiccup.

I put my hands together on the tall counter in front of me and prayed, daring to wonder whether there was any assistance, spiritual, legal, diplomatic or otherwise, available in that country, South Africa, still under the apartheid system at that time. I recalled hearing the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster explaining that the power of prayer was always ‘worth a go’, because it was like leaving a message for someone on their answering machine! Hope for the best, he had said. We were asked over and over by the two officials if we had packed our luggage ourselves, where was our luggage, what was our business, and why were we trying to enter South Africa without visas?

Prayers work! Thank you God!. We were presented with two one-way tickets each. And, I retrieved my debit card and put it safely away. I risked asking if I could leave a message at my husband’s hotel in Windhoek explaining our whereabouts. One of the officials said yes. He asked for the hotel telephone number which I had safely tucked in my luggage, that is the luggage which I had not seen since Thursday late lunchtime. I said, “All I know is that it is called The Safari Hotel, Windhoek.”

I tried to explain to the officials that we were the innocents in all of this, we were travelling to Namibia from London and we had been diverted because of bad weather in England. We were travelling with Lufthansa and we followed their re-routing instructions for our journey via Frankfurt and Johannesburg and on to Windhoek to the letter. I added that by now alarms would have sounded in Namibia because we had been missing since Thursday and it was now Saturday! We were not tourists, we were on official business! The business was Broadcasting.

The Official rang a telephone number out of his notebook, and he handed the phone to me. The hotel receptionist answered and I asked to leave a message for my husband giving his full name. I


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prayed a bit more. She said, “Oh! He is just passing my desk,” and handed him the phone. He had been to the airport to meet every possible flight since the one I was supposed to be on and could not believe it was me. “Where are you?” he asked in a terribly worried voice. A very small voice responded, “Johannesburg.” “Are you okay?” he asked. Where do I begin? I thought to myself. I decided that the saga was not anything like over, and I could not risk being emotional in front of the members of the Stasi still watching us, so I replied (smallish voice), “We are okay, we are being questioned and helped by two emigration officials. They have arranged for us to fly to the Cape Sun Hotel in Cape Town today after lunch and spend Saturday night there. We are due in Windhoek about lunch time Sunday flying from Cape Town SAA.” Andrew promised, all that distance away, “I will be there to meet you, take care.”

hours to get through before our next day’s flight was due to land, (hopefully with us on board!), in Windhoek airport. But where were we now? We walked out of the airport easily because we had been on an internal flight. We were unsure of how to get ourselves into Cape Town. There were no taxis, no one to ask and we did not want to arouse any interest or suspicions. Asking a white person would have been inviting questions. Asking a black person might well have got them into trouble. It was like being in a bad horror film. Just around the side of the airport building there was a row of mini buses and we realised that these, with their drivers, were taking passengers into Cape Town. Was it five miles? Fifteen or fifty? We went over and asked if we could go to the Cape Sun Hotel, please. The driver readily accepted the request and off we went. More prayers. Were we being kidnapped? Would anyone pay the ransom? Was he a good driver? Was he a driver at all? There were no badges, insignia, or official hats to confirm his status. We asked some questions, had very satisfactory answers, and concluded that he clearly knew what he was about. Right off he knew that we were British.

The two officials had, at last, lost interest in us, they must have decided that there was no more mileage in us for them. They had extracted an (unknown) amount of sterling out of me, maybe that was enough for one morning’s work. Enforced tourism. “Right!”, I said to Hugh in my best ‘Right said Fred voice!’ “A spot of lunch to keep us going.” I wondered how we were going to pay for it because my purse had coins with Her Majesty on them, a handful of Deutsch-marks left over from Frankfurt, but no rand, South Africa’s currency.

The journey into Cape Town was very interesting. Our driver gave us an up to date, realistic and fresh perspective on the situation there, as it was then. Nelson Mandela was still in jail! However, we had to refuse the driver’s kind offer of taking us to meet his family in a nearby Township. I explained that we were in enough trouble already. Clearly he could not conceive of two whites being ‘in trouble’.

We ordered toasted sandwiches and coffees at the airport cafeteria and clearly caused consternation because we ‘thanked’ the ladies serving us, and the cashier, who was happy to accept any currency, selecting the ones with the Queen on them. It was a salutary lesson in the ways of how apartheid operated in those days in South Africa. Already it was clear to us that all the work was done by Blacks; white people did not say “Thank you” to black people; black people stood back to let white people pass. This was how it was then.

We arrived at the hotel, an enormous and, we soon discovered, almost empty building. I paid the driver, tipped him and asked how we could get to the airport next morning, a Sunday, by seven o’clock. “I will wait here for you,” he promised indicating the pick up point outside the hotel where he was dropping us off. “Yes,” he insisted, “I will be here!”

Eventually we boarded a small plane and were looked after by SAA staff who all looked like film stars. They were blond, golden, slender and elegant and could have been extras in a science fiction film. Three hours later, having followed the map in the seat pocket avidly, we arrived in the airport serving Cape Town. We had not recovered from the ‘episode’ in Jo-Burg and were still fearful of being apprehended, again.

We checked in and, yes, we had been booked in by the Authorities. We had adjacent rooms with views of Table Mountain. A quick planning meeting together, and we decided to explore a little of Cape Town, not too far, find somewhere to eat and then an early night. We needed to be outside next morning, for, ‘Please God’, our new friend, the taxi driver. By six thirty am. Setting off from the Cape Sun Hotel was eerie and creepy. We were glad of each other’s company but found it hard to stay positive and reasonably secure as

Looking on the positive side, Andrew, my husband, now knew where we were, and we had just twenty four


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CT Feature

door and in came a boy (of about twelve) in a smart uniform wheeling a trolley of supper for us. Like in a thirties Astaire/Rogers Hollywood film.

we had been so traumatised. Fortunately Hugh had done a lot of work with broadcasting companies all over sub-Saharan Africa, so he was totally realistic about the dangers awaiting ‘outsiders’. He was also knowledgeable about how ‘Brits’ were viewed in these, mostly now, independent nations.

Later that night and trying to sleep but tossing and turning, I suddenly had a good idea. The Embassy? The Consulate? Of course they would be able to help us if Plan A went out with the tide. I checked the phone book but only one consulate, the consul for Holland, was listed. South Africa had become a pariah nation.

I suggested that we needed a Plan B just in case our Taxi driver did not show, or there was some problem at the airport. Plan A at that time was to get out of Cape Town. This meant relying on the one taxi driver that we had only just met; the airline accepting our tickets next day; and the Namibian immigration officials admitting us, having travelled from South Africa, a country which had damaged diplomatic relations with their neighbours. Would it all hang together?

It was light already so I prepared to leave. Hugh and I had agreed to meet in the lobby for 6-15am. And there he was, waiting and anxious. I had paid the bill the night before, so we were free to set off. Across the road was a minibus with ‘our’ driver. He waved to us and we greeted him like a brother. We arrived at the airport. It was all locked up! “Come with me,” said our saviour. We went around to the staff entrance at the back of the building and we were shown in to the staff coffee shop. The three of us had breakfast and we watched our SAA plane for Windhoek taxi in and await its passengers.

We set off investigating Plan B. First stop, the railway station. We spoke to a railway employee in the station yard. We explained very briefly our enquiry. He spat out the words to us, I can hear him still. “Only Bleks and cattle go by train. It takes three days and nights. Open trucks. No stops.”

Once aboard I drew vertical lines on the passengers’ map in the seat pocket in front of us. The distance between each line was fifteen minutes and the journey would take three hours. It took a little more than that because at that time SAA airlines were not allowed to overfly black countries.

Second Stop, Car rental. We spoke to the representative of a well known rental agency. “Are you completely crazy?” he asked us. We were not sure if we were. “You will need jerry cans of petrol, containers for water, food for a week and you have to put watches and all other valuables in a bank here before you go. I take it you can use firearms? Cars are hi-jacked by bandits all the time.”

Hugh finally admitted to me that he had always been very fearful of flying. “But,” he said cheerfully, “I’m fine with flying now, we have been on an aeroplane everyday so far. But, I am very frightened of airports!”

I did not dare remind Hugh that as he could not drive, and had never needed to, I would have to drive one thousand five hundred miles. Suddenly I felt much older than I really was.

A first class and comfortable flight, I kept my worries about being allowed in to Namibia to myself. The “This is your captain speaking” announcement was most welcome. “Look down on the left hand side of the plane and you will see Windhoek airport. There are friends and families waiting on the roof to greet you on arrival. Have a nice day.”

Then we passed a shop selling firearms. I looked in the window. It was like an old fashioned ironmongers with displays of screwdrivers and paintbrushes of all shapes and sizes replaced with arrays of guns of all descriptions. We decided not to pursue that option.

We landed safely. “Welcome to Namibia,” said the customs official as we were welcomed and waved through. Andrew and one of his colleagues were as close as they could get to the arrivals, we were greeted with kisses and open arms, and they had our luggage ready!

There were no eating places. Tradespeople were clattering down metal shutters over their shop fronts. The City was shut! We went back to the hotel. Back in my room we rang for room service. The menu was priced up in rand. We ordered steak and salad and chips for thirty rand. We were not sure what that meant. Thirty shillings? Thirty Pounds? Three hundred pounds? Within ten minutes there was a knock on the

The ordeal, at last, was all over.


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fashion done your own way By Molly Dutton

This week fashion is getting serious. I love that with this article I can have fun and express my wild opinions on the industry, but sometimes it’s important to be serious, and this month I intend to do just that.

online brands that are providing the trends at a MUCH lower price which complies with my budget. So, I found brands that offer stylish clothes, pictured on social influencers at a low price; there couldn’t be any flaws surely?

As previously mentioned in last month’s article, I have spent a lot of time investigating the problem of ‘Fast Fashion’ within the fashion industry, as it has been a source of controversy for some time now; seemingly going ignored by the mass of fashion buyers. This concerns me greatly because, as someone who is interested in the environmental state of our world, this is a large aspect of the industry that is causing long lasting harm to a world that we are trying so desperately to protect.

Wrong. These online brands, especially the notable ones aimed at a teenage target market with a restrained budget, are disgracefully linked to the use of chemical solutions and the deterioration of our environment. Before I touch on those disturbing factors of certain brands, I’d first like to inform you on what fast fashion is; it is the process of inexpensive clothes being produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. In other words, large brands (usually online) are producing the same product on mass to make sure that they keep up with the trends that are current at the time of production. This may seem like a practical approach to ensure that their target market can keep up with trends at a reasonable price, however the serious cut of costs hugely increases the company’s carbon footprint.

The problem to me is clear and always has been; as a young person attempting to breakthrough into the fashion industry, I obviously wish to adhere to the trends inspired by the ‘ high fashion brands’. However I am on a limited budget and simply cannot afford to purchase expensive items to try and fit into the expectations of the ‘fashionably elite’. Due to this, I have previously been drawn to


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movement towards change. The decision to participate in the fast fashion market lies within our hands, as we are the individuals causing these retailers to flourish and become progressively more influential over a mass market. The way to overcome this dire situation is to make subtle and constant changes to the way in which we purchase clothes; choosing to buy less frequently but buy more wearable products that can be used to make different looks.

When looking into the effects of the fashion industry, I made the startling discovery that the industry accounts for 10% of global carbon commissions, and maintains its position as the second largest industrial polluter. Even more worryingly, the largest industrial polluter is oil which just shows the significance of the environmental damage caused by the fashion industry. The main problem is that these items bought on fast fashion websites are only worn on average about five times after purchase. From experience (and after my research I am not in any way proud to admit this) I know that young people will buy an inexpensive outfit online for an event, get it delivered, and then only wear it to that one event, continuing a constant cycle every time they need a last minute look for a party or social event. As someone who has contributed to that process, I feel that it is mostly due to the fact that the prices are so accessible to a younger audience who don’t have the funds to be constantly buying items from the more expensive high-street retailers.

I feel the best way to go about this is to analyse your wardrobe and make a list of the basic items you could buy to wear with the items you already have. I recently did this exercise and purchased a nude coloured tank top, an oversized black t-shirt and a charcoal hoodie that I pictured featuring in up to five different outfits with items I already own such as mom jeans and cycle shorts (I know that one seems strange but it will all be explained next month). If you already own basics, try instead buying one statement piece that you can wear with anything to take the look from ‘daytime’ to ‘night-time’.

Sadly, the issues do not only lie within the cheap manufacturing process; they lie within the clothes themselves. Due to the vibrant, printed nature of many of the clothing items, toxic chemicals are used as a cheaper alternative to the more professional clothing dyes available. This has caused the textiles industry to be the second largest contributor to the pollution of clean water globally which is simply mind blowing when you think of all the marine life that can be affected. But it doesn’t stop there when it comes to the negative impact the industry has on the ocean. Polyester is one of the most used fabrics in the fashion manufacturing process, but it is a hidden evil, as when it is washed in a washing machine, it sheds microfibres that are adding significantly to the levels of plastic in our oceans. As they are microfibres, they pass easily through sewage plants into our waterways and impact the aquatic life that live in our oceans.

The key thing I am trying to highlight is that re-using what you own is a hugely influential choice to help save the environment. I can guarantee that most of us own the clothes we need to make outfits, but we just don’t use them. Save the turtles and wear those clothes hiding in the depths of your wardrobe.

Now that I’ve covered the deeply serious and scientific aspect of fast fashion, I feel it is important to view this research as a positive


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“as i stepped off the train…” By Michael James

“As I stepped off the train, past memories of trains, stations and journeys came flooding back.” So wrote my good friend John as he shared with me his story of a life-time spent, in, on and among trains and railway folk. He went on to say that, “Train travel, when operated smoothly and correctly, is the most civilised mode of transport (after the wheel) the world has invented and which brings people of every country together.” The current debate in this country would seem to present a somewhat different picture. Daily railway commuters would probably agree in theory, but the practicality of overcrowded trains, often running late or even not running at all, makes what should be a lovely, relaxed journey, a nightmare. Then there is the ongoing question of the value of the proposed HS2 train (now agreed in part), from London to Birmingham and eventually, to Manchester and Leeds. Is it going to be worth it? What is the value of railways in this day and age? Last year I wrote about 'My Mate Steve' and in January of this year I wrote about, 'My Mate Steve's Dad'. Steve and John West are great railway enthusiasts, and much of their spare time and holidays are spent visiting railway stations all around the UK and abroad. Steve is what many would know as 'a train spotter' but both he and his dad, are much, much more than that. Thought by many with a slightly 'superior' attitude, to consider those who love railways as, 'anoraks' and therefore 'beyond the pale', is to not recognise the depth of knowledge that they have. They can easily identify the type of engine, the size of it's wheel base, and it's locomotive horse power, as well as knowing the history of rail transportation around the world. You and I may be fans of our own interests and hobbies, but railway enthusiasts are also 'fans' of their world which is much larger than we might imagine, and with a friendship group that can be found on any station across the world.

Michael James - March 2020 page 1

John has written a piece which he has allowed me to share with you now. He calls it 'A Railway Story'. As I stepped off the train, memories of trains, stations and journeys came flooding back. After nearly 70 years of rail travel on such diverse lines, such as the Brecon Narrow Gauge Railway, with it's 4hp steam engine, travelling through our beautiful countryside from Merthyr to Ponsticill, or on the mighty, unit called 'The Canadian', which runs from East to West across Canada. From Halifax in Nova Scotia, with it's Titanic Museum, across the plains of Ontario and the lakes of Manitobia, through the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, to the lands of high timber and grizzly bears in British Columbia before finishing in Vancouver on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. The range of locomotives (engines), from probably the worlds most famous steam engine, George Stephenson's 'Rocket, built and trialled in 1830, right through to the modern day Japanese Shinkansen 'Bullet' capable of travelling at 200 mph from Tokyo to Kyushu in the shadow of Mount Fuji, the world of the railway is huge in it's capacity and variety. It is not only the locomotives that have changed over the years, perhaps even more importantly for the passengers, the carriages have become more comfortable. Early carriages were no more than open 'Cattle Trucks', in which the passengers were subjected to the mercy of the elements of wind and rain, to say nothing of being enveloped in smoke, to the more luxurious and famous 'Orient Express', the South African 'Blue Train and the 'Siberian Express.' The modern travel experience on these trains is just like being inside a moving first-class hotel, with sleeping compartments, complete with en-suite facilities, dinning rooms where a full range of first class cuisines can be taken whilst enjoying the beautiful scenery though your window. Then there are the 'Club Cars' where drinks, both local and international, can be sampled all through the night, if desired. What a way to travel and get to see places

Monday, 02 March 2020 21:39 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

CT Feature and things only dreamed of, and all at affordable prices, with perhaps the exception of the UK. What about the commercial side of the railways – the goods or freight carriers. Once, nearly all our goods were carried by rail, rather than clogging up our already crowded roads, with ever increasing size, heavy good vehicles. The goods trains throughout the world come in all shapes and sizes of wagons and their specialised manufacture has enabled the commercial world to transport its products across vast areas, linking towns, countries and continents quickly and safely. One striking example of this is in the quadruple headed freight train of the Santa Fe Railroad which runs across the USA, controlled by a single driver. Ever since the early days of the railways there have been tremendous strides made in the power source required to drive the different locomotives. From the steam engines, powered by Welsh coal, shovelled by hand from open swaying platforms in all types of weather, through to diesel and electric and, more latterly, by computer controlled engines. Just recently Steve and I were delighted to see four of the new No.195 Electric locomotives. The advancement in train technology go on and we can only marvel at the extent of man's knowledge and engineering skills. As I stepped off the train onto the station platform, I could not help but think of all the contrasting surfaces and surroundings I have experienced over the years. From the relatively new glass domed, multi-million pound St. Pancras, in London, from which the Euro Star and French TGVs cross under the English Channel to the Gare de Nord, Paris in just over 2 hours, to the main station in Oslo, faced with highly polished tiles off which you feel that you could eat your food, or the marble museum style grandeur of the famous Grand (Central) Union Station in New York. Then there are the dusty stations of the crowded railways in India, with their Char Wallahs (tea sellers) serving hot fresh tea,

Michael James - March 2020 page 2

threading their way through competing sellers of cooked food and souvenirs. The beauty of the Indian Mountain Railways, taking you ever upward to the coolness of the hilltop stations, once loved by the Officers and families of the British Raj. Here the trains travel so slowly that you can get off at one station and climb up to the next stop by the time that the train has wound its way around the mountain side. So many stations, with so many happy memories, but my favourite is at Banff, Canada, on the line of the wonderful, 'Rocky Mountaineer'. It consists of just ten wooden sleepers that have been laid by a single line track that stretches in the distance as far as the eye can see in both directions, As you stand there, away in the far distance, a tiny light appears and you begin to hear the famous American Mourning Whistle. As the approaching light gets bigger and the Whistle gets louder, the monster is upon you. Five of the largest Pacific Class locomotives, two at the front, two at the back and one in the middle, pulling the 210 goods trucks, thunder by and the rear red light and the Whistle disappears into the darkness and you are left with an experience never to be forgotten. As I stepped off the train, I was surrounded by people of all shapes, sizes, colour and dress. From the smartly dressed business people to family groups with different styles of luggage and food baskets, and excited families with labelled suitcases, searching for the right platform, train and seat. On the Indian sub-continent, train travellers who are prepared to travel on the train in whatever way they can, inside, or hanging on the outside, sitting on the roof or even hanging underneath, all determined to travel by rail. To Steve and I and to many others worldwide, this is the fascinating and magical world of the railways. As we step down from our next train I wonder what other exciting experiences await us.........? We can't wait!

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