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october 2018

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Trying for a

baby? ALL INFERTILITY TREATMENTS OFFERED INCLUDING IUI, IVF and ICSI

Open Evenings : Wednesday 7th November 6:30pm (Cardiff) ; Thursday 22nd November 7:00 pm (Swansea) ; Saturday 24th November 10:30 am Bristol Please book in via the website or telephone the clinic CRGW’s two independent centres offer the latest scientific technology and facilities needed for all fertility treatments. CRGW Cardiff is located at M4 J34, only 15 minutes from Cardiff City centre. CRGW Bristol is located adjacent to the M4/ M5 intersection (M5 J16).

We pride ourselves in placing patients before profit to enable affordable, cost effective treatment options while maintaining the best pregnancy rates. Options include: • IUI

QUESTIONS? Ask a question about infertility or fertility options and our expert panel will answer. Submit questions via the website Ask an Expert button.

• IVF • ICSI

• EmbryoScope time lapse monitoring • Embryo freezing • Egg freezing • Donor egg and donor sperm treatments • Female fertility assessments • Sperm tests • Sperm freezing • Surgical sperm retrieval

Dr Amanda O`Leary MBChB, MRCOG, MD

Fertility consultation (60 minutes) £150 includes: • Consultation • Pelvic ultrasound scan of uterus and ovaries including antral follicle count (and doppler if applicable) • Sperm test with same day results • One pre-treatment follow up appointment

OPEN EVENINGS Join us at our free monthly open evenings in Cardiff or Bristol for a tour and presentations from fertility experts. We offer open evening’s specific for same sex couples and single women also. Ask questions on a one-to-one basis. Alternatively we can arrange an informal personal tour where your questions can be answered. FREE SPERM TESTING CRGW offers free sperm testing days in Cardiff and Bristol. Visit the web site to find the next available date and book yourself in.

2 2 Cardiff: 01443 443999 | Bristol: 01174 409999 | www.crgw.co.uk | info@crgw.co.uk

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editors letter

cardiff times

Welcome

PUBLISHER Cardiff Times

Hi All, and welcome to our October issue.

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

CONTRIBUTORS Wyn Evans, Vince Nolan, Wayne Courtney, Nathan Wyburn, Sarah-Jane Outten, Michael James, Sara John, Rhys Gregory, Kate Morgan, Max Harvey, Heatherjane Coombs, Conor McArdle

EDITORIAL

Firstly, I’d like praise the care I received at the University Hospital of Wales after a recent operation. The only downside after my op is that I can no longer hold a note - my dreams of becoming a popstar are finally shattered! Mark is relieved because he doesn’t have to listen to my singing anymore! The children were really happy to return to school last month and see their friends after the summer holiday. They’ve settled back in to the daily routine, and both have lovely teachers. Also, you may know they both enjoy a variety of hobbies outside of school, one of which is performing arts. Our daughter has been given the part of we think a bossy man in their latest production - it’ll suit her perfectly! Our esteemed writer/would be comedian Vince Nolan has written his 99th article for us in this issue, and out of all our contributors, he has been writing for us the longest. We can’t believe he’ll be placing his 100th article in our next issue - thank you so much Vince for sticking with us and continuing to entertain our readers over the years. His zest for writing and humour has shone through each month, and we sincerely hope he will be continuing to write for 100 more issues. As always there is plenty to see and do in Cardiff during October, please check our diary on pages 14 and 15 for some great ideas for days, and nights, out. Now the season is changing and the summer is a distant memory, we’ll be presented with an array of beautiful autumnal colours when we walk our dog in the many wonderful parks we live close to. Our advice would be to make the most of these green spaces, go for a walk with family and friends (or jog if you are feeling really energetic!) and just enjoy being outdoors.

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ADVERTISING 07903 947594 EMAIL

info@cardiff-times.co.uk

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Until next month, happy reading.

Louise & Mark

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October

CONTENTS 28

34 39 Runners Pack Cardiff Streets For City’s Iconic 10K

FEATURES

44 Wyburn & Wayne

14 October Diary

By Nathan Wyburn & Wayne Courtney

20 Fresh Voices, New Stories

49 Baby Loss Awareness Week - 9th - 15th October

By Wyn Evans

By Heatherjane Coombs

24 Beauty - Beautiful You This Autumn

52 ‘And Another Thing…’ By Vince Nolan

25 The Beauty Edit By Sarah-Jane Outten

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28 Health - Does Exercise Make You More Productive? By Conor McArdle

34 Travels With ROM - Walking Across Wales By Max Harvey

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72 Over By Christmas By Sara John

79 Puzzle Mania Solutions 80 How Did I Get To Here From There? By Michael James

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58 Puzzle Mania 64 Pride Cymru 2018 By Kate Morgan

68 Books To Look Out For In October

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BBC RADIO 2 BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUT FOR 103-YEAR-OLD DANNY 1939-45 Medal. He was in service throughout the whole of the war, seeing action against the Germans and Italians in Africa and Europe before returning home in 1945. He married Betty in 1939 and the couple had three children.

A highly-decorated former Royal Engineer celebrating his 103rd birthday at a Cardiff care home was wished happy birthday live on air by BBC Radio 2 recently. Daniel Rosewell, who lives at Tŷ Llandaff, an ‘all-inclusive’, residential, nursing, palliative and respite care home in Pontcanna, had his milestone birthday announced by actor, singer and broadcaster Michael Ball on his show to kick off a day of celebrations for the centenarian.

On leaving the Army, Daniel continued to work in engineering before moving into the furniture removals industry. Janice Evans, care home manager at Tŷ Llandaff, said: “We are so pleased to help Daniel celebrate his 103rd birthday in style. He is great fun and brings a smile to all of the team’s faces here, every day. The party went really well and everyone seemed to have a good time. He didn’t stop smiling!

Daniel went on to celebrate his birthday in style with his family, friends, fellow residents and staff at a party at Tŷ Llandaff, starting with a buffet reception, followed by music from local acts, dancing and, of course, a birthday cake.

“Having his birthday announced live on Radio 2 was just the icing on the cake for Daniel. It was the idea of our head chef – Barry White – to ask for the mention and Michael Ball did Daniel proud! He just couldn’t believe his ears when he heard his name. It really made the day extra special.”

Musician Nick Russell entertained guests with guitar playing and singing with residents and staff dancing along. Nick was followed by a jam session from local duo the Three Double Liners. In his younger years, Daniel received five medals for his service during the Second World War including the Defence Medal, Italy Star, Africa Star, the 1939-45 Star and

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

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october diary         FF         FF

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Bowie Experience is a breathtaking concert celebrating the music of the world’s greatest pop icon, David Bowie. A must see for all Bowie fans, the latest production promises an unforgettable journey of sound and vision, featuring all the hits from A to Ziggy. Bowie Experience continues to amaze audiences with an astounding attention to detail, bringing the golden years of David Bowie to theatres across the globe. So, put on your red shoes and Let’s Dance! St David’s Hall, Cardiff www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk

          ""-         A welcome return to the Centre for one of Wales' greatest comedy exports. His previous shows sold out incredibly quickly so early booking for these dates is recommended. Perhaps best known for the television shows Gavin and Stacey, Would I Lie To You? and The Trip as well as Marion and Geoff, Human Remains and Little Britain, Rob starred opposite Kenneth Branagh earlier this year in the West End production of The Painkiller. Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay www.wmc.org.uk

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Prosecco Festival Ltd are proud to present the UK’s biggest and original dedicated Prosecco Festival. Featuring: Prosecco, Cava & Fizz Stations. Over 30 types of Prosecco, Cava, Cocktails & Fizz! Live on – stage Entertainment! Italian Street Food. VIP tickets & packages available! Portland House, Cardiff www.proseccofestival.co.uk

 

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Meet at the Castle Street entrance to Bute park outside the Pettigrew Tearooms at 12pm. The course starts there with a 20 minute introduction on what to look for and a brief of the general countryside codes where they relate to foragers. We’ll then set off on a roughly 2.5 hour walk around the park and along the beautiful riverside, stopping to talk about the different edible and poisonous plants, fruits and mushrooms that we come across. We will end the day with a tasty wild food lunch based on what we have found. This will include some tasty treats made from our recent finds, a wild salad we’ll pick on the day and a mushroom dish that we’ll cook in front of you. Bute Park, Cardiff www. wildfooduk.com

What's on Diary - October 2018 page 1

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October Diary         -   On a remote island, a new society is being created. A group of evacuated school children have crash landed. There are no adults to tell them what to do. They’ve ripped up the rule book and are starting all over again. But it’s not long before their utopia descends into a nightmarish hell. Step into a terrifying dystopian future where rules don’t matter, law means nothing and school kids rule the world. This is a bold and contemporary staging of William Golding’s classic. Sherman Theatre, Cardiff www.shermantheatre.co.uk

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An unforgettable evening of Welsh hospitality in the historic surroundings of Cardiff Castle. Join us for a relaxed and informal evening where you can enjoy the best of Welsh entertainment, Welsh food and the warmest of welcomes from your hosts, who will entertain you with a selection of traditional and contemporary songs in both English and Welsh. You won’t be able to resist joining in the hwyl. Cardiff Castle www.cardiffcastle.com

 

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On the Road* Again will see James Martin bring the experiences of his hit TV shows ‘French Adventure’, ‘American Adventure’ and ‘Saturday Morning with James Martin’ to this brand new live show. His legendary cooking skills will be on display, dazzling the audiences with his skill, speed and dexterity, and of course his usual unabashed humour. Although food will be at the heart of the show, James will also be joined by special guests and promises some big surprises. St David’s Hall, Cardiff www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk

   -     A hilarious high-energy musical whodunit, Murder For Two is a madcap murder mystery with a twist. Two actors play thirteen characters* and the piano in this acclaimed new musical. When famous novelist Arthur Whitney is found dead at his birthday party, it's time to call in the detectives. The only problem is, they're out of town. Enter Officer Marcus Moscowicz, a neighbourhood cop who dreams of climbing the ranks. With the clock ticking, it's up to Marcus to prove his super sleuthing skills and solve the crime before the real detective arrives. New Theatre, Cardiff www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk

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Winner of over 100 major awards, Wicked has been casting its magical spell across the world for over a decade. An ingenious and witty re-imaging of the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two young women who first meet as sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay www.wmc.org.uk

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October Our Opening Hours Mon - Wed 11:30AM - 10:30PM Thurs - Sat 11:30AM - 11:00PM Sunday 5:00PM - 10:30PM

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Noodlebox - October 2018 page 1

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fresh voices, new stories By Wyn Evans biology of the matter means that being a dad is, in most cases, necessarily creative: sperms and eggs and what not. But I'm thinking here more of the opportunities to express oneself through play and activity, literature and music, education and learning. When I used to work from eight through to six, my weapons of choice phone and laptop, my diary ruled by meetings and the course of the year laid out in Business Cases, Annual Reviews, Service Level Agreements and Contracts, I, like so many other drones, used to come home and wistfully reflect on the death of my creative spark. Where had my inner novelist gone, with his intention to write the 'Great Welsh Novel' by the time I had hit thirty? What had happened to my prospective chess Grandmaster who had hoped to create an 'Immortal Zugzwang Game' to rival Nimzowitsch's a century before? Whither my pianistic dexterity, would I ever get to play JS Bach's Goldberg Variations from start to finish?

Of course, hindsight is a corrective perspective - the perfect gift of twenty:twenty vision. Things that, at the time, seemed harmless, benign even ("oh it's just a stage of growth"), turn out to have been the precursors of a new relationship. It's not so much that the previous relationship broke down irretrievably as that one of us needed new experiences, new beds to lounge around on. No, qualify that. We weren't sure whether it was a new experience that was needed or the same old one but told by a fresh voice. There was disappointment, hurt, even crying. Let me explain. My daughter, The Girl, is now aged twelve and is, as she rarely tires of reminding The Boss and me, "a big girl now". She's just last month started in Year 8 at her local High School so I guess that affirms her contention. Moreover, if there was any doubt as to the fact of her growing maturity, the days spent finding, fitting, and buying new this-that-and-the-other left us in no doubt: gym clothes, hockey stick and kit ("skorts", anyone?!), school trousers and shirts, two pairs of trainers, shoes, school bag... y'all know the routine. I mean, if you don't have kids of your own, you've been one yourself right? If you're very lucky the adolescent growth spurt arrives some way into the new term and the resultant black hole in your bank account can be pushed back to the summer holidays. However, the growth spurt will come and the bank account will take a hit.

Some of us react to this realisation that our lives have entered a cul-de-sac, and our once-shiny dreams faded to a dull matt colour, by buying a Porsche or a Harley, by joining a gym, or buying clothes two-sizes too small for us. Going the other way, I went down in a spiral of clinical depression, amorphous fears, and desperate tears. Long story short, as they say. After many pharmaceutical and therapeutic interventions, over some years, I got to grips with the darkness within. Then, miraculously, our failing efforts to have a child, culminating in another miscarriage the previous year, came good. Those feelings we had when we saw the 4-D scan, in real time, were like nothing on earth. That beautiful face nestling inside her mother's protective wall inspired my first Haiku:

Back in her day, The Boss was a wee thing. When she went up from Primary School to Leeds Girls' High School, aged eleven, she was only three foot six inches tall and had to wear an age-seven uniform, so it was a good job the Kindergarten uniform and the High School's were the same. Of course, she enjoyed her own growth spurt in years to come and eventually topped-out at her current five-foot-and-a-Mars-bar (other confectionery is available), which means she is still short for Leeds lasses (whence she hails) but positively atop the bell-curve now she's become Welsh (by adoption if not necessarily by conversion). The Girl really ought to have been shorter than she is. I mean, she is still one of the shortest in her year. However, given that she has Down Syndrome (which tends not to result in basketball player-sizes) there was every chance that she would outdo (i.e., 'underdo') her mam's age-eleven Amazon. But, our daughter now stands at around four foot eight inches so her growth spurt came early by comparison.

Your face a poem, Told afresh with each new day, Of beauty and grace. She arrived five weeks and two days early, weighing in at a mere three-pounds-and-a-Mars-bar (other confectionery is available). It didn't feel as if we were a new family though. Not yet. The Girl's first six weeks were spent in Special Care this and Intensive Care that. The Boss and I went home each evening from the hospital and continued our usual routine of a quiet meal and reading our novels. Then on Monday 8th May we brought her home and The Boss carried her over the threshold at 14:13 hours precisely. I'd gotten into the habit, before leaving the hospital each night, of telling her a story or singing her a song. (A bit tough on The Boss's ear buy she suffered it stoically.) The stories started off being straight rehashes of fairy

A brief diversion, please bear with me. One of the many delights of being a father has been the opportunity dad-ness affords to be creative. Naturally, the very

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CT Feature

during school holidays. The Boss would wake and eventually set off for work at around eight in the morning; The Girl would jump into her parents' bed, snuggle-up and demand "tell me a story!" Almost every holiday morning would start like this. As the years went by the stories became soaring adventures and we and our dogs would be major players. The Girl soon stopped being a passive recipient of my imagination and the stories became works of co-creation. Sometimes, one story would extend over many mornings. Other stories were one-offs, Saki-esque (only) in that they were short and sweet. This was 'our thing', The Girl and me. Then came the first day of the summer holiday 2018. Actually the first proper day of the holiday was a Wednesday, but it was preceded by the last two remaining inset days of the 2017-2018 school year, so I am referring to that Monday morning. We had a good stint at story-telling, lasting some twenty minutes, revisiting old haunts, and throwing-in some of our favourite old tropes. Then it was onward to breakfast and to the rest of the day. Twenty-four hours later and my lovely daughter came in and announced, "I'm too big now for our stories. I will be in Year Eight after the holidays. Let's go for breakfast." I was, to use the demotic, gob-smacked and a little hurt, if I'm being honest. I've thought about this a lot since and I feel that this moment reflects a rite of passage: the moment when my daughter left behind childish things; the moment when my role necessarily changed from being her story-teller to being her facilitator - as she lives her life in greater maturity and tells her own story her own way. I may still feature in 'her story' but it will be increasingly as a guest now (I hope a frequent one). She will more and more want to fill her chapters with characters from her life as it opens into a landscape of her own colouring. stories, all with happy endings, but more and more became stories that revolved around Our Girl, adventures, and - shame to tell - princesses aplenty. The songs were inevitably nursery rhymes, with a particular fondness for the Welsh ones my mam used to sing to me and my younger sisters when we were kids, especially, I remember, "Hen fenyw fach Cydweli..." ("The little old lady from Kidwelly, who sold liquorice sweets, would sell ten for a farthing, but give me eleven; this was the best news ever! Tra la la!")

Saki wrote: "the young have aspirations that never come to pass, the old have reminiscences of what never happened"(1). My new role will be to help My Girl's aspirations come to pass so that, as I enter my seventh decade in a month's time, there is much that has happened to be reminisced upon. Or, if you prefer, as I reminisce, I might stay creative and unleash my inner poet, for as Wordsworth wrote: "poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity".(2) The Girl's story is bound to deliver some emotion; I wonder whether I will find the tranquillity to reflect upon it?

This story-telling and singing went on for many years. We would sing our daughter goodnight and she soon had a favourite song that she would demand whichever of us was doing the honours that night use as her nocturne. My favourite moments, however, came

Footnotes: (1)https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6818303reginald (2)https://www.bartleby.com/39/36.html

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Are you feeling stressed. Is life getting too much? Do you feel like you have nowhere to go?

Looking for somewhere safe to talk? We listen & work with you for change

enquiries@reflectivehorizonstherapy.co.uk Tel: 07874114416

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BEAUTIFUL YOU g{|á TâàâÅÇ BECỌ - GOOD, CLEAN, FUN Introducing the new BECỌ products (pictured right): a vegan, eco-foaming hand wash, and a 97% organic, vegan, triple-milled bar soap in three planet-friendly and eco-certified fragrances: Honey Blossom, Spring Meadow and Wild Berries. Each bottle of foaming hand wash lasts 2.5 times longer than a liquid hand wash, meaning less plastic waste. The organic bar soap is also made with ingredients that have not been produced with herbicides, chemical fertilizers, or pesticides. Camilla Marcus-Dew, co-founder of The Soap Cọ., said: “BECỌ stands for Better Considered0 Every single sale provides real work and training for visually impaired, disabled or disadvantaged staff... we launched BECỌ to empower people across the UK to not just challenge the status quo but to change it for the better.”

BOBBI BROWN CAMO LUXE: In this new compact you’ll find the Camo Luxe Eye and Cheek Palette, a collection of earthy eye shadows ranging from velvety matte to sparkle-infused, along with a warming highlighting powder. Cool nail polish hues and richly pigmented lip colours round out this gorgeous autumnal set.

Summer may be over but you can still have that natural glow with Light Tanning Drops. To slowly build a natural, sunkissed look, mix the Isle of Paradise tanning drops with your daily moisturiser and reclaim your summer skin from the autumn chill.

Boots Expert Anti Ageing SkinCare with Coenzyme Q10 - out now! Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

MARGRETE GOTYE, Eye Glue cream re-ignites youth to eyes, a balancing anti-aging eye treatment to enhance your beauty and brightness just like glue sticking everything back together! Avocado Extract forms a natural protective film on the skins surface and provides gentle skin repair, while Marine Algae Extract offers a quick burst of hydration and boosts skin metabolism and promotes collagen regeneration, and Peptide relaxes the eye skin and raises the level of rejuvenation, uplifting with a smooth touch.

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The Beauty Edit By Sarah-Jane Outten Regular readers will know me from my column featuring local businesses and charities. So, you will understand that my passion for writing is nothing new. However, you may not know that I am also a qualified makeup artist with a love for all things beauty related.

smelling divine from the essential oils. The Aura bath ball was my favourite, sink in and enjoy! Next – the Moon Dust bath crumble. It’s fair to say that I wasn’t familiar with ‘bath crumble’, but in many ways it reminded me of pouring bath salts into the bath as a child. As I recall, the salts melted, turning the water a blue colour and dried out the skin. So, I was dubious when it came to using the Moon Dust bath crumble, but I needn’t have been. You pour in as much of the mix as you like, breaking up the lumps of crumble as you go. An array of colour disperses throughout the water, leaving it feeling soft and smelling glorious. My skin was left feeling smooth and revitalised, so I will be returning to this product on a regular basis.

Welcome to the October edition of The Beauty Edit. There is a definite feel of autumn in the air, and I for one am glad! I love the chilly fresh mornings and the arrival of cosy nights in. I like to make the most of the longer evenings with some good old pampering.

It might be the case that some of you don’t have a bath or don’t have the time to lay back and enjoy the

Obviously, for most of us that means long luxurious baths with a good book. And I have some product recommendations that are perfect for the job. Not only are the products great, they are also made by a local Welsh company. Furthermore, there is even better news - this local brand is vegan and cruelty free. I know that more and more of us are turning to ethical products to spend our hard-earned money on and Miss Patisserie fits the bill perfectly.

products I’ve already mentioned. Don’t fret, Miss Patisserie has thought of you too with a product I haven’t seen before – The De-Stress Shower Streamer. This is a genius way to enjoy the full aromatherapy experience whilst in the shower. You simply place half of the steamer on the shower floor (don’t worry, it’s not slippy), and as the warm water hits the steamer it emits aromatherapy oils that fill the room. The smell of juniper berry is simply gorgeous. As you breathe in the scent it relieves stress and encourages the mind to focus4amazing! The De-Stress Steamers are on my Christmas shopping list, they will make a great little secret Santa gift or stocking filler.

Over the last month I have tried a few of the products available and I haven’t been disappointed. First up, the bath balls, made with natural, superfood ingredients such as matcha, turmeric, coconut milk and sea salt. These little gems fizz and foam their merry way around the bath water until they are totally melted away. This leaves the water

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You can find the full range of products here: www.miss-patisserie.com. Have a good month everyone.

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does exercise make you more productive? By Conor McArdle, Brighter Business

In a health-conscious society, we are increasingly aware of our lifestyles and the importance of trying to stay healthy.

Benefits of exercise The effects of long periods of inactivity are both physical and psychological. Physically, there is lethargy, and it is suspected long periods of sitting can also cause the slowing of the metabolism. This in turn causes increased blood pressure and poor regulation of blood-sugar levels. Psychologically, you may feel less alert, less able to focus, and sluggish.

For many workers across the UK, day-to-day work involves spending a great deal of time sat down. Whether you’re in the office or on your way in, chances are you’re sat at your desk, in a car, or on some form of public transport. All the sitting down we do has been recognised as having a negative impact on both our health and our productivity. Studies have found that sitting for long periods increases the risk of cardiovascular ill health and reduces muscle and bone strength. Increasingly, it is the case that commutes (particularly long ones) and sedentary lifestyles, including sitting a lot during work, have an impact on both mental health and work performance.

Exercise is the perfect antidote to combat these side effects. Exercise has a range of effects on the body, both physiological and psychological, and so is perfect for counteracting the sluggishness that extended periods of inactivity can cause. According to the NHS, up to 60 minutes of exercise per day can offset some of the harm caused by sitting down for long periods. The trick is to build exercise into your day as much as possible.

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CT Health

distance from the workplace and transport options. But where possible, there are several benefits to active travel, as outlined by Sustrans, the UK’s leading sustainable transport charity.

Take the stairs where possible, walk around the office, stretch your legs at lunchtime. Do what you can to minimise long periods of inactivity; you don’t have to start running marathons, just increase the amount of movement in your day. Studies have demonstrated that even moderate activity can have positive effects.

The charity claims that active travel can improve business efficiency. People who cycle take ‘approximately half the days off compared to the average worker, resulting in a £13.7billion annual boost to the British economy’. Alongside this, ‘promoting healthier travel options in the workplace has been shown to reduce absenteeism by up to 20%’.

Sleep, too, is increasingly recognised as important for work performance, as well as general health and wellbeing. Balancing sleep with a busy work schedule is important, however in a society which never switches off, it can be difficult to strike a balance. Try not to compromise on sleep!

As well as the obvious health benefits, there’s a wider range of spin-off benefits for the economy, including reducing congestion in cities which is estimated to cost the UK economy £11billion each year.

An active commute? One of the easiest ways to build exercise into your day is to get active during your commute, either through walking or cycling (or skateboarding, or rollerblading& your imagination is the limit). Active travel is touted as one way to combat a sedentary lifestyle, including work which involves long periods of sitting or inactivity. Some studies have shown that employees who exercise more are more productive.

In conclusion? Move more, sit less! It’s good for your health, your productivity and the wider economy. Get moving!

For more tips, guidance and information on how to boost productivity in your business, visit www.brighterbusiness.co.uk.

It can be difficult to change travel habits, either for yourself or your employees, depending on

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no need to suffer with facial redness Facial redness can be problematic for some people, as such a visible condition brings with it significant psychological and social upheaval, affecting how individuals feel about themselves. In some instances, this condition can be uncomfortable and even painful.

treatment combines prescription medication and laser treatments which can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of facial redness. One of the best ways to lessen the appearance of overall facial redness is by way of laser treatment. Most facial redness is caused by blood vessels in the skin becoming permanently dilated (widened) and visible. The laser treatments involve beams of light, aimed at the visible blood vessels in the skin, to shrink them and make them less visible.

This redness can be caused by a number of skin conditions, and one of the most common is Rosacea. Rosacea affects both sexes, but is almost three times more common in women. It may be that up to one in ten people suffer from this condition at any given time and it tends to affect people between the ages of 30 and 50.

If you are suffering with this difficult condition and are keen to have treatment, contact us at the Specialist Skin Clinic on 02920617690 for a consultation with Dr. Maria Gonzalez, or go to our website www.specialistskinclinic.uk for further information.

Patients suffer with redness of the central facial area, nose and forehead. Many patients describe easy and embarrassing facial flushing. This can be triggered by exposure to sunlight, extremes of temperatures, strenuous exercise, and the eating and drinking of certain food and drinks, such as spicy foods, coffee and alcohol. Those suffering from Rosacea can help their condition by avoiding as many of these triggers as they can, but this alone is not the whole solution. Some patients describe red spots and pustules appearing at intervals. Burning and stinging sensations over the face can be extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable. Whilst there is no known cure for Rosacea, we at The Specialist Skin Clinic can offer the sufferer a package of treatments, which together can have a dramatic effect on the long term control of the symptoms. The

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travels with rom walking across wales By Max Harvey

Porthos, Athos and Aramis. Huey, Dewey and Louie. Rod, Jane and Freddy.

folk who work for WSP, a professional services and engineering consultancy based in Cardiff. Firstly there’s Rich from Cardiff. Described as the cynical, moody one, but in a good way, maybe. Then there’s Tom from Anglesey, a dreamer who really came alive on the mountains (I’m picturing Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music here). Lastly, there’s Tim from Barry, the tall, talkative one and the cheery core of the group.

All famous trios whose epic tales of adventure have been told round campfires the world over. Every once in a while a new group enters into folklore, to inspire a new generation. And now there is one, and from Wales no less. No, not Bale, Warburton and Thomas – I mean Rich, Tom and Tim. What? You haven’t heard of them? Well read on and learn- These foolhardy, intrepid men, all engineers for WSP in Cardiff, took it upon themselves to push themselves to the limit for the sake of charity, namely the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity. The task they set themselves was to walk the 180ish miles from Barry to Anglesey in 11 days. Of course, if that doesn’t seem hard enough, they threw in climbing Wales’ three highest peaks along the way to make things tougher still. To hear their tales first hand, I had a word with our wanderers-

My first question is the obvious one I feel. Why would you do this to yourselves? Rich: “Well actually, Tom had tried the walk already. He’d attempted it last autumn but had to abandon his attempt because of the freak bad weather we had in September. A second attempt was proposed though, and Tim and I liked the sound of the challenge. It was agreed we’d all attempt it but to throw in the Welsh three peaks too, as Tom and I had both done Snowdon and Pen y Fan before, but not Cadair Idris, and Tim hadn’t done any. So, as we were needing to pass them anyway it seemed rude not to add them to the challenge!”

They looked normal enough to me, despite their exploits. To the untrained eye, just three ordinary

Tim: “The original plan was to start from Merthyr but we felt that going from coast to coast had a better

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Even on paper the challenge looks tough, but was there anything that caught you off guard? Tim: “One word: Heatwave. The challenge was organised months in advance of the start date in late June, but one thing we couldn’t have factored in was the extreme, unrelenting heat. We walked around 200 miles during the hottest summer in 40 years, which meant a slower pace and more breaks. This didn’t allow for any rest days, which would be something that we’d include if we were to do it again. We’d have also have thrown in some more luxury accommodation, as tents became a bit tedious and you don’t get a proper rest in them. The daily effort also took its toll, particularly in the tortuous temperatures. In order to complete the walk in the 11 days, we had to walk an average of 20 miles each day, so allowing more time would have been good! I think we used everything we carried at some point but having people join us on the walk at times, and being able to get our rucksacks driven to the next location once or twice was a huge help. On that note - Tom’s packing became increasingly bad as the days went on, so he appeared to have more each day to carry. I managed, somewhat foolhardily, to do most of the challenge in trainers, but it was Rich in proper boots who had blisters pretty much from Merthyr onwards. So, no heatwaves, more breaks and better shoes would be the recommendations for next time.”

ring to it, so Barry to Anglesey was the obvious choice with me being from Barry, Rich living there and Tom being from Anglesey.” The charity that you did the walk in aid of, Noah’s Ark, what led to you choosing them? Rich: “This was an easy choice as it’s one that our company supports, it’s a local charity and importantly one that family and friends have received support from in the past. The reaction of the charity when they found out how much we raised was heart-warming. It was clear that it would make a big difference to their work, which was fantastic news. There were tears and applause in the Noah’s Ark office when they found out we had completed the challenge.” You made it to Anglesey in one piece, which suggests that you work well as a team. What do you all bring to the party? Rich: “Despite all sharing a disregard for our own bodies, obviously, we are very different people and the dynamic of our personalities worked well. Tom was the ideas man but had a romanticised view of the challenge which needed organising. This is where I came in. My talent was to get the practicalities of the walk in place. Tim was the route man and planned it all in meticulous detail, and then painstakingly mapped it into Google with Tom. There were some bad moods and tiredness certainly put a strain on things, but we supported each other and were able to get through each day as a team. It would have been very hard to motivate yourself on such a massive challenge without the others alongside you.”

Was it all worthwhile then? And what’s next for the trio? Rich: “The reactions from people along the way were amazing – so supportive, but always combined with shock at the distance. The most common phrase shouted at us was, “Barry to Anglesey???”, combined with a look of surprise and horror! But despite the difficulties, it was all massively worth it. The support from family, friends and work colleagues has been overwhelming, and we want to say a massive thank you to everybody who has generously donated. The original target to raise for the charity was £1000 but to date we have raised nearly £4,000, including £900 donated by WSP themselves as a donation from the company. Though the challenge is done and dusted, we’ll still happily take donations for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity at our JustGiving page: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/travelswithrom

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Sixth Form Open Evening Tuesday, 9th October 2018

Open Afternoon Tuesday, 13th November 2018

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

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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runners pack cardiff streets for city’s iconic 10k

runners were invited to warm up with Pure Gym to ensure that everyone was raring to go before heading for the starting line. The 10K race course itself was opened by retired Welsh sprinter Christian Malcolm.

Last month thousands of people took to the streets for one of Wales’ most iconic racing events, the Nation Radio Cardiff 10K hosted by Kidney Wales. Over 8,000 people participated in the run which was the city’s flattest 10K to date, with many participants recording personal best times. The race was won by Dewi Griffiths from Swansea Harriers who crossed the finish line in 29 minutes, 11 seconds.

Christian Malcolm said: "It’s a pleasure to be here today to start the Nation Radio Cardiff 10K and 2K Family Fun Run for Kidney Wales. Kidney disease is something that is very close to me and my family, having suffered myself, along with my dad. At a time when social media can takeover, it’s great to encourage events like these for mass participation regardless of ability or background, which creates lasting memories for all."

Dewi said: “I had a great win in the Cardiff 10K last year, and although I’m not in the same shape now as I was then, I had a good time today winning the race. I always enjoy running the routes in Cardiff.” The new course also led to a quick wheelchair race and this year the wheelchair 10K was won by Richie Powell from Tredegar who finished the race in 29 minutes, 13 seconds. Richie said: I love racing in front of my home crowd in the Welsh capital. The new flatter course utilises more of the road, which makes it a fantastic route. Kidney disease touches all of us and we’ve all had a friend or someone we know in need of a transplant. I can’t wait to be back for the Cardiff Half in October.”

Many of this year’s entrants had a personal connection to the Kidney Wales cause, whether they were running for a family member or friend, had donated a kidney or were given a kidney themselves - everyone came together to unite for the Kidney Wales cause. Amongst the runners was 31-year-old Jade Batstone from Newport. Jade, who ran for Kidney Wales in support of her colleague Dan finished the race within 59 minutes. She said: “I’m really pleased with my time, as well as the amount I raised with my colleagues from DAC Beachcroft. Although this is something that I’ve never done before, I really wanted to take part because our fundraising efforts will help people affected by kidney failure like our colleague Dan. The Kidney Wales 10K is only the beginning. I’m now really motivated to raise more money for a charity I truly believe in.”

Assembly Member and Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas also joined the event, supporting the thousands of people who came together to run for local Welsh charities of their choice, including Kidney Wales. Professor Roy J Thomas, CEO of Kidney Wales, said: “It was wonderful to see so many young people and families enjoy the 2K Family Fun Run. We wanted to make this year’s race a true day-out for families, filled with entertainment. We couldn’t have asked for a better atmosphere. A special thanks must go to our volunteers and all the race sponsors without whom this event simply could not happen.” Sponsors of the event included Nation Radio, Cardiff Council, Sport Cardiff, Cardiff Met University, Brecon Carreg, Eurobond, Run & Become, James and Jenkins, and AR Digital.

Thanks to runners like Jade, thousands of pounds were raised for Kidney Wales, which will support core activities for the charity, such as investing in new services, facilities and equipment, as well as the charity’s Can Do Project, a scheme that supports young adults living with kidney disease in Wales. The increasing popularity of Nation Radio Cardiff’s 10K race has not gone unnoticed. Last month the 10K race was nominated for the 2018 Running Awards 10K of the Year whilst the 2K Family Fun Run has been nominated for the Charity (Small) award.

The day’s festivities got up and running at 9.15am when more than 1000 people of all abilities and ages took on the 2K Family Fun Run with sponsored t-shirts from Cardiff Metropolitan University. Then shortly before the 10K,

Entries for next year’s 2019 race opened on Sunday 2 September, and early-tickets are now available. For more information visit: https://www.cardiff10k.cymru

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Wales' 1st and only Hotpot Restaurant Quote Cardiff Times to receive 10% off with your booking. Offer expires 31st October 2018

Hot Pot Spot Unit 19, The Globe Centre, Albany Road, Cardiff, CF24 3PE tel: 02920 455888 www.hotpotspot.co.uk

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Wyburn & Wayne Nathan Wyburn and Wayne Courtney are two of the city`s premier socialites, giving you their take on what`s hot in and around Cardiff! queen to perform in Llantwit Major at Major Pride the following week. We judged the LGBT dog show, which was interesting haha, but congrats to all the winners, and a huge congrats to the team there who put on the village’s first ever pride.

Wyburn: The sun seems to have gone and the leaves are orange and red... that means one thing! It’s Autumn! October already... and it’s my favourite time of the year. Wayne: Yeah you gingers and the sun... but I agree I do love it too, but it’s full steam ahead for us between now and Christmas (yes I said the C word!) What a September we’ve had though Nath... it’s never until we sit down to do this we really stop and think what we’ve been doing.

Wayne: It was amazing, quite the move to be honest and Mary went down a storm! Bring it on next year! We cannot not mention the fact we travelled there directly from Birmingham where we had just seen Britney Spears for the second time in a month. What a night, and we love her don’t we Nath?

Wyburn: I know it’s always so fast. Let’s begin with Pride, Cardiff once again was filled with colour and joy as Pride weekend came around. We spent most of it at The Golden supporting many of our friends performing, and even had a slot ourselves belting out some tunes.

Wyburn: YES! I don’t care if all we hear is her breath a little bit now and again that’s enough for me. Britney is a legend. Simple. Girls who were definitely not lip syncing were All Saints. Oh my God. Live up close and personal (thanks to Nation Radio) at Cardiff’s Glee Club! We got to meet and chat to them before the gig and I gave them their portraits made with Black Coffee... get it?

Wayne: The whole city was amazing, I called it pride in the city this year. Two highlights for me were Cafe Jazz and Popworld - both extremely welcoming and joining in on the fun. Cardiff did us proud. Also who doesn’t want to be belting out ‘Something Inside So Strong’ to a crowd of hundreds on Pride Sunday? Loved it.

Wayne: They were lush and very genuine. Their show was epic and their harmonies spot on! We invited them to our Karaoke party every Wednesday at the Golden Cross but they politely declined... worth a shot right!

Wyburn: Also a huge congrats to our dear friend Mary Golds who was officially the first ever drag

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what they have coming up at the stadium. It’s the most up and coming venue in Cardiff and we love it! Wyburn: Speaking of venues... Cardiff Castle, Harry Potter, outdoors screening with the Luna Cinema... what a unique experience! I’ve never seen the castle look so beautiful at night and fitted perfectly with the movie. Very Hogwarts.. Yes it rained but who cares, it was fabulous! Wayne: Well, the highlight for us last month has to be though, our best friends Rhian and Nathan tying the knot at Rose Dew Farms. It was the most stunning wedding we’ve ever been to and everything was simply perfect. I was a BridesMAN... what a time to be alive eh? Wyburn: You looked fab in that pink suit! We also had the honour or singing whilst they signed the register... so honoured to be part of such a special day to people that mean so much to us!

Wyburn: Yes, and speaking of shots, have you seen our new karaoke poster? Love it. This month marks our one year anniversary hosting karaoke every Wednesday there. We love our Golden family and everyone is always welcome to come and enjoy the party. Free shots for every singer. Come challenge us to sing something unbearable, we dare you... haha.

Cardiffian Of The Month: Name: Karl Bhandary. Occupation: operations manager of a family run Chinese and Thai restaurant WokToGo. Fave place to eat in Cardiff: Bombay Blue. Fave place to shop in Cardiff: Ciro Citterio Italian clothes shop.. Favourite Cardiffian: Matthew Pritchard! Cardiff in 3 words: one big family!

Wayne: We had the pleasure of watching ‘Rain Man’ at the New Theatre last month as well, incredible portrayal of both characters and well worth a visit if anyone hasn’t seen it. Not to forget ‘Evita’ at the WMC.. my favourite and wow was it a great version... I’ve seen it many times and it was by far one of the best. Wyburn: I’d never seen it but I was so impressed.. such a sad and iconic story, I was touched! MAMMA MIA outdoors at the cricket stadium Sophia Gardens... WOW! I’ve never danced so much at a concert! Wayne: Yeah you were going for it.. well done to the team for putting on a great show. It was the cast of Mamma Mia the musical sing ABBA! Outdoors and very festival like but we of course had the lovely package which included an unlimited bar and a 3 course meal. The deal was amazing and we urge everyone to look at

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baby loss awareness week – 9th -15th october 2018 By Heatherjane Coombs

hopefully St David’s Hall. If you can help turn any other building pink and blue, please do contact me on : heatherjane.coombs@sands.org.uk

A collaboration between more than 60 charities across the UK, Baby Loss Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about the key issues affecting those who have experienced pregnancy or baby loss in the UK.

During the week we will also be conducting Random Acts of Kindness and you may see these in places you visit, please do support us and pay it forward. For more ways of how you can get involved, including how you can help with raising awareness and more information about the week go to : www.babyloss-awareness.org

Throughout the week bereaved parents, their families and friends, unite with each other and others across the world to commemorate the lives of babies who died during pregnancy, at or soon after birth and in infancy. Now in its 16th year, Baby Loss Awareness Week calls for tangible improvements in research, care and policy around bereavement support and highlights bereavement support and services available for anyone affected by the death of a baby at any stage.

A special service will also take place to remember our babies on the 7th December called Lights of Love at St Saviours Church in Splott from 7.30pm - 9pm. There is an opportunity to light a candle, write a tag for the tree and be around other parents in a similar situation. We hold a toy service as part of the evening, where parents can donate a present in memory of their baby which will then be passed to The Big Wrap Charity.

On the 15th October, a few of us from Cardiff & Newport Sands will have a stand at Cardiff Central Library, come and visit us and light a candle in memory of all the babies lost. There will also be an opportunity to purchase Babyloss Awareness Pins and write a ribbon in memory of your baby.

For more information please email : heatherjane.coombs@sands.org.uk or go to www.cardiff-sands.co.uk

At 6.45pm in Thornhill Crematorium we will be holding a special service to be together in lighting our candles for the International Wave of Light at 7pm. If you are attending and planning on visiting with someone, please do so before the service as the gates will be closed shortly after the service ends at 7.15pm. Candles will be provided. Buildings across the UK will be turning pink and blue in support, and currently in Cardiff our CityHall will be supporting us as well as

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“And Another Thing…….”

By Vince Nolan

me tarzan, you jane Another intriguing title don’t you think? Let me explain. A friend of the Current Mrs Nolan, has a mother. Let’s call her June, for that is her name. Recently, at the tender age of 80, June decided that she would go swinging through the trees at one of those Tarzan Rope Centres, loved it and lived to tell the tale. Hence, “Me Tarzan, You June.” In a strange and coincidental twist to this ropey story, the most recent Tarzan cartoon was directed by Kevin Lima which happens to be June’s daughters’ surname. Lima that is, not Kevin, that would be silly.

We had been rubbing shoulders with none other than Fiona Hamilton, Glasgow personal trainer and new British Bodybuilding Champion, a title won at her first attempt at the competition held in Newport the previous day. You cannot make this stuff up. Well you could but you would need an imagination the size of many clever peoples’ brains. In male sporting news, you may have been following the disgraceful post-match incident in the World Sevens Rugby Series in America, when Samoan “player” Gordon Langkilde attacked a number of Welsh players in the tunnel after a match, resulting in his being locked up for assault. In a recent report, one of the Welsh players, Luke Morgan, who needed stitches in his lip after the incident, was quoted as saying: “It was a bit of a shot from behind and the last thing you expect when you are walking back from a game, but you take it on the chin.” Or presumably in Luke’s case, on the lip.

Staying with female fitness, we were ensconced in our local watering hole, The Mal Athletic Mankini, when our attention was drawn to a conversation between the bar staff and a new customer. The customer was female, petite and patently no stranger to the gym. She was accompanied by her young daughter and was staying locally, having driven down from Glasgow to compete in a fitness competition. It was circa 9pm and no food to be had and the visitors were starving. She Who Must Be Obeyed and I offered to ring our mate who owns another local pub, Ye Olde Salmonella Surprise, which was still serving food. We suggested to our new Scottish friends that as the other pub was hard to find but only a couple of miles away, that they follow us in their car which they duly did. We introduced them to our mate who fed and watered them making them very appreciative of Welsh hospitality. It was only the next day that Sherlock looked up our Scottish chum on the interweb thing.

Now it’s time for some chimney jokes – I’ve got a stack of them. The first one is on the house. I have been reading about US President Thomas Jefferson who was years ahead of his time. Not for him the biased, hurtful and hateful outpourings of religious intolerance. In 1791 as part of The US Bill of Rights he said: “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say that there are twenty gods or no God. It neither breaks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” How apt in today’s society. Donald Trump should be mindful that it is better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. As BBC US Editor Jon Sopel neatly put it when talking about the USA: “If they didn’t speak English we would think they were the strangest nation on Earth.”

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was Father’s Day and there was a suitably proud dad with his family having lunch. He was carrying around four printed balloons with the following legend on them: “Dad, Your Our World.” Rather than “Dad, You’re Our World.” None of his gang thought anything was wrong with this and presumably neither did the shop that sold it to him. What chance his offspring, literally? I was wondering if there were any Irish surrealist artists and if there were, might one of them be called Salvador Daley? I looked this up and instead found Irish surrealist artist Jimmy Lawlor whose work is unique and stunning. I strongly encourage you to look him up. You will not be disappointed. Here is his take on YouTube.

Been out and about with my radar on recently. The following tales were all the result of eavesdropping or observation. We were in Weston-Super-Mare doing missionary work and overheard a young American talking about his career plans. At a guess he was about 16. He said that he wanted to be an army sniper but before joining up needed to have his teeth straightened and whitened. Now I know precious little about the military but my understanding is that snipers rely on covert positioning under top-class camouflage in order to take out their targets. They probably don't need a set of glowing white gnashers beaming out from the undergrowth like some demented Cheshire Cat. Next up was a very responsible dad, sat alongside his 8 year old in our local pub, The Anonymous Gambler. He was positioned next to a gaming machine and had been explaining in great detail to his lad that gambling was a mugs game, brought no happiness, you could not possibly win, slippery slope to addiction etc. Whereupon and with immaculate timing, a local drunk put £1 in the machine and out coughed the £100 jackpot in coins. The poor dad did not know where to look but his son’s smile was priceless, well, worth £100 at least.

Finally, in Welsh geographical news, it’s official, Fan-y-Big is not big enough. It has been decided to downgrade this Brecon Beacons mountain to a hill. Some do-gooder has been out with his tape measure. Imagine sitting next to him on a long flight somewhere, zzzzzzzz. Hasta la vista

They say one in every seven friends have a gambling addiction. My money’s on Dave. Murdering the English language is not uncommon these days, literally, know what I mean, innit, back in the day. Anyway, we were once again in another local pub, The Illegitimate Offspring. It

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sunny dhillon - making cardiff proud! For any local Cardiff individual who is looking to get into the acting industry but is afraid to do so because they have no drama school education, or haven’t even done GCSE drama then fear not and look up to local Cardiff actor and film maker Sunny Dhillon. Sunny had none of these, he actually graduated from Cardiff University with a Business management degree. He is now an independent film maker and actor who has gained critical acclaim for both his filmmaking skills and his acting. We last spoke to Sunny when he released his debut short film about mental health called ‘Dreamers’. This project was released during mental health week and gained many great reviews, not only for addressing issues about mental health but also for his performance. This won him his first ever best acting award at a Canadian short film festival. During the release of ‘Dreamers’, Sunny had already began his second short film ‘Only God Knows’. A short synopsis of the productionThe story is about a once top ranked boxer struggling to deal with the adversity he is facing in life. Dominic Corella (Sunny Dhillon) has lost all self-belief and is nowhere near the fighter he once was. A man who as a child once believed God to be his best friend felt betrayed and abandoned by his friend. He needed to find a way to save those closest to him. However, first he must save himself from the darkness to see the light once again. When we asked Sunny what made him start a second production, he said, “For me film making is a beautiful art and it’s something I really enjoy. First and foremost I want to be an actor but I am an artist, and as an artist I want to share my message, my story. That’s what compelled me to do so. Two

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things that I’m passionate about are God and boxing and I incorporated both into this film. I think when you work on something you are truly passionate about and you don’t care about the monetary success or achievements, that is when you do your best work, the other successes and achievements just follow.” ‘Only God Knows’ had its own private screening at the Chapters Theatre, Cardiff in August and since then it has been on the film festival circuit, gaining huge success. It has had over a dozen festival official screenings across the globe in places like Italy, Portugal, Canada, LA, Las Vegas and Calcutta. Many filmmakers would be thrilled to have a few, but to have thirteen is an outstanding achievement. “I was honestly shocked to gain this much success for my work. It was a huge surprise and very humbling. I think the strong topic was why it did so well. It is a controversial project and I have been declined from some festivals for it. I had the director of a Christian film festival personally ring and email me saying he loved my project and my acting, but because of the profanity used at times he couldn’t accept it as it was a family festival, and was not able to give me the best actor, writer and director award. It still warmed my heart that people loved my story and my artistic ability (at least he refunded me my submission fee).” The project has also won awards at festivals for film making and writing. Sunny, as an actor, has won four Best actor awards and was nominated for one other, in places ranging from LA, Calcutta, Canada and Italy. He has also already received one Best actor award and one nomination for ‘Dreamers’. All this recognition and achievement for a young actor who is still in the early stages of his career is a huge accomplishment. When asked how he felt about his achievements as an actor and the critical acclaim he

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received for his performance, he said, “ I honestly don’t have words to say how much it means to me. People grafting in this area know how mentally and emotionally draining this industry can be and to get yourself noticed is very, very tough. As I said before, if you do something you’re passionate about, and that can be a film project or anything in life, as long as you have the right mindset as to why you are doing it then success will happen. I act because it’s something I love doing, it’s my escape from the world.. same as when I'm in the gym or boxing".but I’m not going to lie it does feel amazing.” Due to the success he has received, directors and producers in Hollywood are recognising this work and asking “Who is this kid?!” Sunny has now been cast as the lead actor for some very interesting projects. One is a boxing cinematic Virtual Reality (VR) film and it will be a Google Jump VR Creator. This production was initially tested out as a short film to see if the project would work when it gets to post production. It is a world’s first live narrative film and is being shot entirely in VR. Sunny was asked to do the test shoot and has now been cast as the lead for the feature. He was a boxing coach at Cardiff University for five years; combining this, his ‘Spartan’ like physique and his tremendous acting ability, it’s no wonder he has been cast in this project. Another film Sunny is going to be in is a paramilitary science fiction action/drama, which at the moment is in pre production. He doesn’t want to give too many details away as the projects are still in development, but he said, “I’m very excited about the productions. At the moment I’m back in Cardiff preparing myself physically for the roles. I am training with my personal trainers and boxing

Sunny Dhillon - October 2018 page 2

coaches. Once all the paper work and the business aspects are done, I can’t wait to begin filming. It’s always been my dream to be a part of these sort of ‘action’ films.” When asked what his future plans are, Sunny said, “I think I’m taking a break from film making and just want to focus on the acting jobs I have lined up. I love making films and I have proven to myself and to people out there that I have the ability to do so. I’ve always wanted to act, I just want to keep that ball rolling and do one specific thing and really concentrate on that. Acting is my main strength and that’s where most of the awards and recognition have come from. Film making can be very stressful. It’s good to have had the experience and it’s something I can maybe look into doing more of in the future.” Going back to what we first said to all the young actors or even those who are starting out in their career, you can use this very talented individual as an example of how to pave your own way into the industry. There are only a handful of Welsh actors who originate from Cardiff who have made the jump to the big leagues in Hollywood. Sunny might be the only individual to have written, directed, and starred in a film which has had such success" a triple threat. He’s taking a leaf out of the books of the likes of Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Sylvester Stallone, who gained the attention of the industry through creating their own content, and it worked. He’s doing his city very proud! We are excited to see what the future holds for this very special individual, who is a super star in the making. Keep an eye out for ‘Only God Knows’ which will be streamed on Amazon Prime soon.

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Puzzle Mania! Crossword 2

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Across 1. Principal (4), 3. Look after a child (7), 7. Blooper (4), 10. Open, adaptable (8), 12. Improbable (8), 15. Pungent (5), 18. Unadulterated (5), 20. Aromatic fragrance (5), 22. Strike, hit hard (5), 24. Characteristic (5), 27. Long, flat piece of timber (5), 31. Art of government (8), 32. Completeness (8), 33. Air of elegance (5), 35. Unwilling (5), 38. Taxi driver (5), 39. Greek island (5), 41. Irritate (5), 42. Bathroom cloth (5), 47. A natural for creative work (8), 50. Green grape (8), 52. Small horse (4), 53. Knife fixed to a rifle (7), 54. Clear as a ... (4). Down 1. Secret Sicilian society (5), 2. Confection (3), 3. Front part of aprons (4), 4. Go to the next round by default (3), 5. Bubble of soap (3), 6. In this manner (4), 8. Uncivilised blockhead (3), 9. Fail to fulfil a promise (5), 11. Roman numeral for 16 (3), 13. Rubbish dump (3), 14. Greek cheese (4), 16. Woollen scarf (9), 17. Imminent (3), 18. Harden (3), 19. Decompose (3), 20. Plant juice (3), 21. Police officer (9), 23. Turn around quickly (5), 25. Rene 8, American film star (5), 26. Unskilful (5), 28. Immature insect (5), 29. Removable cover (3), 30. Enclosure for pigs (3), 34. 8 out, use thriftily (3), 35. Racetrack circuit (3), 36. Prayer end (4), 37. Tilling tool (3), 38. Garfield is one (3), 39. Muscle spasm (5), 40. Japanese sea-bream (3), 43. Lubricating fluid (3), 44. Lawful (5), 45. Pierce (4), 46. Skilful and quick (4), 48. Prepare leather (3), 49. Pretending to be shy (3), 50. Go fast58 (3), 51. Eisenhower’s nickname (3).

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WORD WHEEL

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

Sudoku Easy

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pride cymru 2018 By Kate Morgan

*for the purpose of this article I will use the gender pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her’ when referring to drag queen performers, as this is how they were introduced and presented themselves.

Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend is one of Cardiff’s largest annual events, and took place over the last weekend in August. This was a personal first for me, and I was thrilled to be asked to cover it for Cardiff Times. If you’re wondering what a first-timer’s experience of Pride Cymru was like, I shall break it down for you step by stilettoed step2

Day Two- Parade Day! My first Pride parade was an experience I won’t be forgetting in a hurry. The turn out was incredible, with 15,000 supporters lined up and ready to march for love, equality, and, as one

Day One- Opening Night Friday night was by far the quietest, but the atmosphere was filled with anticipation for events yet to come. The crowd was small but cheerful, and certainly not shy! Dance shapes were thrown across Cardiff City Lawns during performances from Flop and Fill, Sugababes singer Mutya, singer-songwriter Angie Brown, singer/actress Claire Sweeney, and plenty of local drag queens. Jolene Dover (pictured above right) strutted her* stuff and was a wonderful host and performer for the night. A real professional in the business of drag.

supporter put it, “for those who couldn’t be there to march for themselves.” I’m told this was the biggest march in the charity’s history. There were countless organisations, including St Augustine’s Church, all eager to get walking, marching, and dancing through the streets of Cardiff. Needless to say, I was buzzing!

After the evening’s performances, I met with Mutya who told me that she felt her set “went really well”, and that regardless of the rain the “vibe was great either way.” She also hinted at the possibility of releasing some music in the future, but she wouldn’t give too much away.

Angie Brown’s vocals were electric, and she belted out tune after tune on stage as if taunting the bad weather with her soaring vibrato. When I met her at the end of the night she wowed me in person as much as she did on stage. Big personality, big performer (pic on the right). I left the first night looking forward to the next, and humming tunes on the ride home in the rain.

The city of Cardiff found itself covered in a blanket of glitter, confetti, bubbles and balloons as the crowds sang, danced, and whistled down the streets. Friendly faces and free hugs greeted us, and it felt as though everyone in the whole city had decided to come out and join. Children, pets, pensioners, parents, students, businesses2everyone!

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CT Feature

The Barclays team were kind enough to let a lone journalist such as myself join them during their preparation, march, and after-party. I spoke with Amy Davies-Gardner, delivery manager for Barclaycard, who told me that although it’s often construed that “the corporate companies are only getting involved to get their name out there [&] when you actually look at the staff that are attending the event they’re actually real people. They’re not the people in the big suits [&] they’re the actual staff who want to support these causes.” The Barclays staff brought their children and other family members along. There were also several openly gay and bisexual team members taking part in the parade for personal reasons as well as representing their company.

since she was born. When I asked her what she enjoyed about the festival, she cheerfully responded, “all of it” and her mother informed me that she is a big fan of the drag queens. The rain didn’t seem to faze this happy family in the slightest. Although Gabrielle’s spot was cancelled, the supply of energetic, colourful performers seemed to be endless. It’s incredibly difficult to be sullen at Pride, and I wouldn’t recommend attending if your aim is to be in a bad mood- it won’t help! Some of the acts for the day included Courtney Act, an array of local entertainers, Glee Club comedy and cabaret entertainment. My mild disappointment soon transformed into pleasure. It was a notably young crowd on Sunday, and I was impressed with the efforts of the security team throughout the entirety of the weekend, especially with the occasional, and inevitable, incident of under-age drinking. Every preventative measure was taken, and if anyone appeared to be behaving in a disorderly manner the team were all over it. They were effectual without being forceful. Bags were searched, information checked, and smiles were given. It was a long and eventful weekend and their attitude was simply fantastic.

Shortly after the parade I joined the main festival. 18,000 people attended Pride Cymru on Saturday, and there were countless performances from the likes of Saara Alto, Derrick Barry, The Sundaes, and several excellent tribute performers. Pixie Perez, a must-see drag performer, was loving life when I caught her in passing for a quick chat. She told me she was happy to see that this year’s Pride was “so young”. She added, “I’ve seen so many young 16-17 -year-old girls. I think it’s becoming so progressive which I think is just incredible.” After plenty of dancing, food, and fair rides I was ready to hit the hay and get some much-needed beauty sleep in a hopeful attempt look as fabulous as the acts I’d seen so far.

Overall, I would say that my initiation into the world of Pride was a very positive one. Some overwhelming moments, and some less so. The people really made it what it was - a welcoming embrace to those who ‘deviate’ from traditional social norms, and a celebration of those differences that ultimately unite us and make us all human. An entire weekend every year celebrating such a thing is, to me, a damn fine idea.

Day 3 - The Finale! Rain, rain and, you guessed it, more rain! It wouldn’t be Cardiff if we didn’t have a shower of biblical proportions at least once during a long weekend. Hardcore Pride-goers were at the ready with their wellies, raincoats, and classic Welsh-weather jokes. Having said that, the wet weather did put a slight downer on the day. The turnout was much smaller, and the rides and stalls had dwindled noticeably. I was disappointed that the main act for the day, singer Gabrielle, was unable to make it and that the family area had to be cancelled due to the weather. Any additional entertainment for families appeared to be lacking. However, I met a lovely little girl by the name of Morgan, aged 4, who has attended Pride every year

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For a FREE quotation please contact Peter on:

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Books To Look Out An Invitation to Dream

1000 Books to Read Before you Die

By Workman Publishing

by James Mustich An Invitation to Dream can be described as a bible for mindfulness, simultaneously stilling a racing mind before bed whilst awakening your unconscious imagination.

Arranged A-Z by the author’s last name, 1000 Books to Read Before You Die covers all the must-read titles that would keep the most avid of readers occupied. The book’s appeal is also heightened by the additional notes on the must have editions and accompanying recommendations of audiobooks and film adaptions, designed to elevate your enjoyment even more.

A combination of breath-taking images such as forests at dusk, lanterns swaying in the evening breeze, moonlight on newly fallen snow are paired up with memorable and thought-provoking quotes from famous writers to add a new romantic dimension to your dreams whilst erasing the stresses and pressures of modern day life to increase and enhance your quality of sleep. Like a scented pillow or a sachet of lavender, An Invitation to Dream is a bedtime companion designed to fill your sleep with wonder.

Covering a multitude of genres as well as featuring authors from the literary canon to those less known - the book is guaranteed to cater to everybody’s literary preferences. Available 2nd October Hardback: £26.99

Available Now Hardback: £9.99

The Cardiff and South Wales Cookbook

Cardiff in 50 Buildings by John Hilling

by Meze Publishing

From its days as a small regional town to its current status as a national capital and major tourist centre, Cardiff has a proud and distinctive identity. In this title, Hilling provides an invaluable guide to the architecture that has shaped and solidified Cardiff’s reputation as Wales’ most popular city.

This cookbook captures perfectly the extensive and diverse food scene that Cardiff has to offer. The 128 page colour book includes a recipe from a Michelin star chef as well as easy to follow dishes for creating hearty dinners for all the family.

Iconic buildings such as The Wales Millennium Centre, The Victorian Coal Exchange and the Senedd building are all featured as part of Hilling’s narrative.

Its focus is meriting the small businesses and local producers that keep the culinary scene alive across an array of cafes, delis, restaurants and markets, making it a truly original recipe book.

Available Now Paperback: £14.99

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For In October Barry, Railway and Port: Before and After Woodham's Scrapyard

Stories of Solidarity by Hywel Francis Written by former Labour MP Hywel Francis, the book describes the struggle of the working class in the South Wales Valleys throughout the decades, from The Forgotten Anthracite Strike of 1925 to welcoming Basque refugees. More importantly, Francis highlights the loyalty and solidarity that the community showed each other throughout its different turbulent periods and questions the survival of its sense of community in an era where fake news prevails and loyalty cannot always be counted upon.

by John Hodge Part of the Barry Community for 28 years, author John Hodges talks about the compelling history of the railway and its docks which he became interested in after moving opposite the Barry Docks at the age of 4 years old.

Seeking to question whether we can bring these core values back into the forefront of an ever changing world, Francis emphasises the importance of community over narcissism in order for us not to lose sight from where we have all come from.

Outside of the famous Woodham Brothers Scrapyard, Hodge is keen to emphasise that the railway has its own individual reputation steeped in history, lots of which he recalls from memories of the wartime as a child and even provides his own photographic evidence.

Available Now Paperback: £9.99

Available Now Hardback: £30

Canton and Pontcanna

Absolutely Huge

by Mark Hawkins

by Luke Upton

The first in a bold and new energetic series of contemporary street photography, Canton and Pontcanna is a portrait of a culturally significant area of Cardiff. Designed around capturing the impromptu moments of people going about their every day lives, the book is divided into five chapters: Streets, Culture, Faith, Moments and Parks. As each image is accompanied by the time of day it is taken, it offers an authentic insight into the inner city but also the beautiful open green spaces that occupy Cardiff as well.

Targeted at Welsh rugby lovers in particular, the fictional tale of Gethin ‘Huge’ Hughes details the euphoric highs of sports stardom contrasting with devastating lows of falling out with his club, causing political scandal and looking death in the eye on top of Mount Snowdon. Commended ‘hilarious’ by rugby star Mike Philips, this book is guaranteed to grip and entertain anyone who has a passion for sport.

Available Now Hardback: £18

Available Now Paperback: £9.99

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over by christmas By Sara John

One hundred years ago in Cardiff, as indeed all over the land, the Great War which had been believed by many to be ‘over by Christmas’ finally ended on 11th of November 1918.

strange seas, in forests, villages and towns whose names had been previously, and for many, remained, unpronounceable. In Cardiff and its suburbs, at that time, as elsewhere all over the country, a wave of patriotism swept everyone along. Within a few days of the outbreak of hostilities four German ships were detained in the Docks with their crews, some of whom had wives and children with them, and Germans in the surrounding areas were rounded up and retained under duress. They and their families were referred to as ‘aliens’ and treated accordingly.

There were celebrations all over town; children were given a holiday from school, hooters and sirens were sounded constantly throughout the day. Church bells were rung, flags were found, unfolded, unfurled and hoisted on high, shops and businesses closed, a mass procession of dockers, office staff, tradesmen, bankers and civil servants, in fact, most of the town’s people made their way to City Hall to hear the message that it was ‘all over’ read out by the Lord Mayor.

By the 7th of August 1914 young men from all over Cardiff and the Valleys were rushing to answer Kitchener’s plea, ‘Your King and Country need you’, printed on large posters, emblazoned on newspapers, sides of omnibuses, pillar boxes, places of amusement and on hoardings.

The atmosphere that day, was recalled by many Cardiffians as pandemonium! However, much of what happened in that so-called Great War, the War to end all Wars, was never subsequently spoken about by those who served and survived. Losses were borne bravely, but memories suppressed.

Just one month later, in early September, 7,600 men had enlisted in Cardiff; the Drill Hall, Maindy Barracks, and Gladstone School were all overwhelmed with recruits. Hastily the authorities opened further emergency recruiting stations all over the city.

The War as it turned out, was all over by Christmas, but, it was Christmas four years later in 1918 - after a multitude had lost their lives, lost their sanity or lost their loved ones. Not four months but four years.

Such a demonstration of vigour, enthusiasm and sheer excitement! Initially of course men were expected to volunteer, but by 1915 there was limited conscription, excepting for those working in ‘reserved occupations’.

There were four long and troubled years following the initial jingoistic jubilations when many young men decided to join up and serve their country after War was declared on the 4th of August 1914. The conflict rapidly spread from France and Belgium to the shores of the Bosphorus. Men were fighting on distant lands and on

The response was so great that, for example, the 11th Welsh Regiment gained two new Battalions, one of which became known as the ‘Cardiff Pals’ where friends, brothers, employers and employees all marched together including 40 male staff from James Howell’s who all enlisted together, on the same day. Cheering crowds saw them on their way on September 14th when they marched from Maindy Barracks to the General Station. They trained in Sussex and a year later set sail for France. As they were leaving the

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Southampton quayside the workaday noises started to fade away as they sang ‘Jesu, Lover of my soul’ from the deck of the departing ship. By November 1915 they had been transferred to Salonika and for the duration of the conflict faced death from enemy fire, malaria and disease. Few returned to see Cardiff ever again. The council launched a recruiting drive to raise The City of Cardiff Battalion with the new Battalion’s badge incorporating the Coat of Arms of the City of Cardiff. In December of 1915 they, too, embarked for France and suffered severe losses and casualties at the battles of Neuve Chappelle, Mametz Wood and Passchendaele. Their drums still hold a place of honour in the Mayor’s parlour. Later on in the conflict, when casualties had reached epic proportions, for the first time in the country’s history conscription for women - again with certain ‘reservations’. By 1917, Russia had all but abandoned warfare abroad and had turned inward as the Bolshevik Revolution attempted to introduce a new ‘world order’ to its own soil. In the same year, in the month of April of 1917, at last, America decided to support the struggling allies. By now the casualties and deaths of British and Empire serving men and women had reached unprecedented and unsustainable levels.

Nowadays there is no one left to give first hands accounts. We rely on memories of memories. My own father was 12 when War was declared and was working underground alongside an older brother as his ‘butty’ (or apprentice) a few months before his 14th birthday. Coal mining was deemed a reserved occupation.

Britain was on its knees. Atlantic shipping was being bombarded by German U-boats. Food supplies were dangerously low. For example, at that time no sugar was grown in Britain. All our sugar came by sea from sugar cane grown in the West Indies. This was used not just for confectionary, baking and food manufacture but for preserving fruits and making jams for use throughout the year.

I have a vivid memory ‘of a memory’ of my own. This is it. When my father died in 1974 my mother asked an old friend of his, known as Old Mr Morris, if he would like to come to the funeral. “Yes.Yes”. was his reply. After the funeral friends and family came back to my mother’s house for a ham tea, (Welsh fashion). The ladies stayed in the kitchen; the men congregated in the front room. My Scots husband provided drinks. (Scots fashion!). Old Mr Morris explained to the assembled gentlemen why he was so fond of Scotchmen. He said he had cheated his age to join up in 1914, and after severe bombardment found himself along with fellow soldiers in dire straits on a battlefield somewhere in France. Suddenly through the bellowing of the battle there was a fearsome noise. Mr Morris thought to himself, ‘this is it’. Turning to the sergeant he asked what was making these terrifying sounds. “it’s the Ladies from Hell with their bagpipes” he replied. “The boys from Scotland, thank God. They have come to save us”. The saved they were. For old Mr Morris it was all over by 1918. He was still only 18 years of age.

At first food rationing was voluntary, or rather, items such as coal, bread, milk and potatoes were distributed locally under the watchful eye of the local police force. But by July 1918 rationing of basics became compulsory. In 1917 you would have found that Jubilee Park, Splott Park, Roath Park and Llandaff Fields were all under cultivation for growing fruits and vegetables. At one time, when the War was directly affecting the families back home, beloved Billy the Seal living in Victoria Park, was threatened with destruction or being put out in the open sea because of a lack of foodstuffs! There was widespread uproar! The Council finally agreed to spare her and to reduce her (she was a female seal) rations by half. Needless to add that the good people of her town rallied around and made sure she did not go hungry.

Thanks to D. Brown & Sons Publishers and Printers of Cowbridge for permission to include some relevant material.

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Coles Funeral Directors goes from strength to strength with expansion into North Cardiff • Second independent, boutique funeral home set to open on Heathwood Road, Cardiff • 7-10 new jobs to be created • This announcement comes in light of its celebration at being named as a finalist in four categories at the prestigious Good Funeral Guide Awards • Local businessman, Director Gareth Coles, promises fair funerals for all Cardiff-based Coles Funeral Directors is going from strength to strength as it announces the opening of its second premises, the creation of between seven to ten new jobs and four award-nominations. The family-run business will be opening a second funeral home in Cardiff in October 2018 to better serve its growing customer base in the North of Cardiff. The old Barclay’s Bank on Heathwood Road, which was once a hub of the community, is finally getting its new lease of life as it is currently undergoing a re-fit ‘The Coles Way.’ The new funeral home will be a light, airy and inviting space, creating a home away from home for families in the area. As well as providing support and a trusted service to the local community, the new premises will also help job creation and career progression in the area. Gareth Coles, managing director of Coles Funeral Directors, said: “This year has brought with it many things that we are proud of as a business, in particular being able to serve the community in North Cardiff with our new premises very soon. Over the years, larger companies have acquired most of Cardiff’s funeral homes and we’re one of the last remaining independent funeral businesses now. Our independence gives us the flexibility to provide the very best, personal and bespoke service we can to the families we work with – at a fair price. “We work to exacting quality standards and ensure every funeral we provide is the perfect reflection of the life of the deceased and respects their every wish. Whether they want a Requiem Mass or a Direct Transfer. All our customers are equally important to us. As such, we are also extremely proud to be opening up career opportunities in the death industry with our investment in North Cardiff, which admittedly isn’t for everyone, but it can be incredibly rewarding. We do an important job that demands care, respect and the utmost professionalism. We help families through some of their darkest hours – and we are humbled to be able to widen our support.” Coles Funeral Directors is the only funeral director in Wales to be recommended by the Good Funeral Guide described as ‘a breath of fresh air in a relatively ‘fusty old industry. One of the best examples of a small funeral directors: Coles is an outward looking, exciting and innovative business - and exceptional service to the bereaved is its sole motivation. Behind the scenes, the systems in place are extensive, worthy of a much bigger organisation in their scope and depth, and illustrating the typical attention to every single detail that makes these funeral directors stand out from all the rest in the area.’, and its standards of excellence has resulted in the business named as a finalist in four categories at the prestigious Good Funeral Guide Awards, including the most prestigious award in the death care industry - Funeral Director of the Year 2018.

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OCTOBER 2018 - PART 2 page 79

Wednesday, 26 September 2018 00:45 Magenta Yellow Black Cyan


how did i get to here from there? By Michael James

Was it a dream? How did I get to 'Here' from 'There'? 'There' being the class dunce at Welsh to 'Here', being on stage in Wales' greatest Music and Arts Festival, The National Eisteddfod.

Unlike me, my wife had been brought up in her grandmother's home where, even though her mother couldn't speak Welsh, (but learned quite a bit) it was very much the first language of the household. They even attended a Welsh Baptist Chapel where I occasionally went singing the hymns and hoping that by some miracle I would understand every word. Over the years, I have learnt to sing many of our great Welsh hymns and also our stirring National Anthem, surely the best in the world, and slowly, very slowly, my pronunciation has improved but in no way can I be considered a Welsh speaker.

Let me take you back to the beginning of my love/ hate relationship with Welsh. My father was brought up in a home where Welsh was the first language. My mother could only speak English. When they married, as with many others of their generation, they couldn't afford a home of their own and moved in to live with my grandmother who wanted no Welsh spoken in her home. So I was brought up hearing no Welsh at all. This didn't really bother me during my early years as all my friends in our village were English speakers and Welsh wasn't taught in my primary school.

Then earlier this year, right out of the blue, came an opportunity that in my wildest dreams I never would have expected to happen; a chance for me to sing at the Welsh National Eisteddfod!

Just before sitting my 'Scholarship' exam (subsequently known as 11plus), a Welsh Language School was to open near my home. Two of my friends wanted to attend and caught up in their excitement, so did I. However, that bubble was well and truly burst when I voiced that idea at home and I was told in no uncertain terms that as I was expected to pass the upcoming entrance examination to the local Grammar School, that is where I would be going! My disappointment was soon forgotten when I duly passed the exam and to my delight found that my two friends would also be with me. So much for childhood dreams.

Regular readers may remember that I belong to the St. David's Praise Choir, and one of its Musical Directors, Anne Brown, herself a Welsh learner, has formed a choir, Cor Dysgwyr Porthcawl, to help her and her classmates improve their Welsh language skills. They had entered a competition for Welsh learners to sing at the Eisteddfod but due to the summer holidays they were short on numbers, especially men, so together with one or two others, I offered to help. There were only eight practices before the event and they were to be held in Porthcawl. On the first practice evening I travelled there in glorious sunshine to meet my fellow choristers where I was greeted with an equally warm welcome.

The first year was a joy for me to be able to learn new subjects, including French and German, but I continued to struggle with Welsh and only put up with it as I hoped to drop it in the next year in exchange for other languages. Once again my hopes were dashed when the school dropped German from the curriculum, Welsh was to be compulsory, and I was given the choice of French or Physics. As I hoped to study the other sciences, I decided on Physics which I went on to pass at 'O' level.

We were to sing a medley of three well known Welsh songs, made famous by the musical/comedy duo of Ryan and Ronnie, firm favourites of many S4C TV shows in the 1970's. My first task was to familiarise myself with the music and as I can't sight read I have to listen intently to pick up the tune, especially the tenor part. This in itself was not too much of a problem as, after many years of singing in a large choir, I am reasonably able to manage to do that. But, to learn the words at the same time was very much out of my comfort zone, remember I used to be the subject of much hilarity because of my terrible pronunciation of Welsh.

I was stuck with Welsh but I was still hopeless. My pronunciation was so bad that I was regularly asked to read Welsh poetry at our Friday afternoon class to amuse my classmates and my teacher. Can you imagine that happening today! I really struggled for the next three years until the teacher eventually told me, “I don't want you in my class for 'O' levels, you will hold everyone else back!� What a complete waste of time for everyone concerned.

After many years of patient, kind and helpful correction by my wife, I am now able to get my tongue around the words of familiar Welsh hymns and songs, but to learn the lyrics of the medley was a nightmare. It might have been easier if I understood

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CT Feature

taking part, and I was blown away with it which did nothing to calm my nerves. How would I cope? What if we lost because of my poor pronunciation of the words we were to sing? I just hoped I would not let anyone down.

what I was singing about, but even after being given a translation I still struggled to remember all the words and to fit them effortlessly into the tunes. The rest of the choir had sung them before but even so, some were still using crib sheets to help them as we were all supposed to sing without music copies in the competition. Anne came to my rescue by providing me with a CD of the medley which I played during the week, (so much so that my little grandson can now sing the chorus of 'Blodwen and Mary') and on my journeys to and from Porthcawl. Even so, I continued to use my comfort blanket of having a music copy in front of me right up to our final practice.

Suddenly we were being introduced onto the stage, where we were met by the glare of the spotlights and a round of warm, encouraging applause. Then silence. You could have heard the proverbial pin drop. Then our regular pianist, Christine, started to play the familiar introduction. All eyes on Anne now and with her usual lovely confident smile, she raised her baton and we were off. Just under five minutes later we had finished. We received a huge round of cheering, at least from our supporters and suddenly our time was over. We were later told that we had sung beautifully and I had remembered and correctly sang all the words (so I told myself). We left the stage elated and yet strangely subdued. After all those weeks of hard work there was nothing more to do except wait for the adjudicators verdict. When the results were announced we were very disappointed to learn we had come third, out of three! We consoled each other with the fact that all three choirs were winners, inasmuch as we were privileged to have sung on the main stage of the Eisteddfod. A result in itself.

The Big Day finally arrived. The Eisteddfod was being held in Cardiff Bay and the 'Maes' (the Eisteddfod field) was all of the area around the Senydd, the Pier Head Building and the Millennium Centre. We met at 10am and had a quick run through with our friend Jeffery Howard, the Musical Director of the Cambrensis and St. David's Prise Choirs and also MD of the world famous Treorchy Male Choir. Jeff took us through our paces and was to accompany us at the preliminary rounds but not the competition itself. The beautiful Pier Head Building was packed with choirs and their enthusiastic supporters, and to our delight we got through to the final. I could hardly believe it, I was going to be on the competition stage of the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

It really has been an honour and privilege and one which I never thought would happen to me, given my background. I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to sing with and welcomed by my new friends in Cor Dysgwyr Porthcawl. Diolch yn Fawr.

With a couple of hours to go, I wandered though the 'Maes'. I could not help be overwhelmed by the throngs of people and be totally immersed in the 'Welshness' of it all. I consider myself to be a true Welshman in heart and spirit but lacking in the Mother tongue, and culture. Here I was in the midst of it,

So back to the beginning. That's how I got 'Here' (the Eisteddfod) from 'There' (the Welsh dunce). For me it has been a remarkable journey, one I will always treasure. To quote Max Boyce, 'I know, cos I was there!'

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Cardiff Times October 2018 Edition  
Cardiff Times October 2018 Edition  
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