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Trying for a


Cardiff Open Evening : Monday 11th December 6.30pm 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.


• 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 | |

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Juboraj Group would like to wish all Cardiff residents a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Thank you for your continued support over the past year – we are looking forward to the year ahead.

Enjoy a Christmas get together at Juboraj. We’d like you to have your festive get together knowing that our prices are the same over the Christmas period as they are all year round. There will be no seasonal adjustments. If you’d like to discuss a large party then please contact your preferred Juboraj and we will be more than happy to accomodate. Contact your preferred Juboraj to check Christmas opening hours. 11 Heol Y Deri, Rhiwbina CF14 6HA | 029 2062 8894 10 Mill Lane, Cardiff City Centre CF10 1FL | 029 2037 7668 Lake Road West, Roath Park CF23 5PG | 029 2045 5123 Big Windsor, Stuart Street, Cardiff Bay CF10 5BW | 029 2048 1167 Juboraj Express, 290 North Road CF14 3BN | 029 20 610 333 Grameen Juboraj, 195 Richmond Road CF24 3BT | 029 2048 7189 A470 Northbound, Abercynon CF45 4YX | 01443741825



Editors Letter

Cardiff Times


PUBLISHER Cardiff Times

EDITOR Louise Denning 07903 947594

Hi All, and welcome to our Sparkly Christmas issue!

FEATURES EDITOR Mark Denning 07758 247194


CONTRIBUTORS Wyn Evans, Vince Nolan, Wayne Courtney, Nathan Wyburn, Sarah-Jane Outten, Michael James, Natalie McCulloch, Jake McDonald, Tiffany Ceri, Dan Clark, Patricia Hyett, Stewart Lisk


029 2046 3028



Before we move onto December we’d like to say thanks to Infinity Trampoline. It’s the second birthday party we’ve had there this year and our daughter was not disappointed. Trying to keep a group of lively 6 and 7 year olds entertained is a challenge but the staff kept them on their toes and out of trouble. We also had an early Christmas treat last month and spent a weekend at Bluestone Resort in West Wales. If you’re stuck for things to do, we highly recommend a weekend away here, there’s so much going on you really are spoilt for choice. If you can’t afford a weekend away, you could always do a day trip to visit ‘The Kingdom of the Elves, or maybe see the Beauty and The Beast Panto, or last but by no means least, Storytime with Santa. Our weekend flew by so quickly and as always Bluestone exceeded all expectations, so a huge thank you. This time of year is always so busy. The children are rehearsing for Christmas shows in school, and we’ve booked to see our favourite man in a dress Mike Doyle in Snow White at The New Theatre. It wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to see the Panto with the children - it’s my favourite time of the year! We’d like to thank all of our contributors for bringing you entertainment and news throughout the year. This is something we pride ourselves on and are so grateful that we have a such a great team of talented writers on board. Also, we’d like to say a huge thank you to each and every one of our advertisers. This magazine is free and it wouldn’t be funded unless we had their support. Please support them because many are local businesses who need our help just as much as we need theirs. Finally, we`d like to wish you all a safe and peaceful Christmas, and a happy New Year. The Reverend Stewart Lisk has kindly written a Christmas message which you can read on page 78, a fitting and suitable way to close the magazine we hope you all agree. See you in 2018!

Louise & Mark

Follow us on Twitter


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44 Wyburn & Wayne


By Nathan Wyburn & Wayne Courtney

50 Actress Brings Brush And Bubbles Painting Home To Cardiff For Christmas

14 December Diary 20 It’s All Relative By Wyn Evans

56 Puzzle Mania

24 Health - 6 Simple Steps To The Paleo Diet 30 Beauty - Beautiful You 31 The Beauty Edit By Sarah-Jane Outten

34 Music Therapy In Dementia Treatment


By Natalie McCulloch

38 Christmas In The City: We Have It Covered - Again! 10 10

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74 Flood Prevention Scheme In Cardiff Causing Anger And Frustration By Dan Clark 78 Church Christmas Services & Message


79 Puzzle Mania Solutions 80 I Could Do With A Good By Michael James Holiday

60 Christmas Gift Ideas 64 ‘And Another Thing…’ By Vince Nolan

70 Will ‘Tiger Bay The Musical’ Be The Next Les Miserable? By Sarah-Jane Outten


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Festive eason MEMORABLE

5 COURSE FESTIVE CARVERY LUNCH AND DINNER Lunch £21.95 Everyday throughout December

Dinner £24.95 Sunday to Thursday throughout December

NEW YEAR’S EVE MASQUERADE BALL Non-Residential Package £85.00 Residential package £299.00 for double occupancy

AFTERNOON TEA Festive Afternoon Tea £10.95 Prosecco Afternoon Tea £15.95

Available daily until January 6th 2018 (excluding Christmas Day) Call us now to book 02920 399944 or email CARDIFF MARRIOTT


Cardiff Marriott Hotel, Mill Lane, Cardiff CF10 1EZ +442920 399944

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The Cardiff Christmas Market will return to the pedestrian streets of Cardiff City Centre in St John Street, Working Street, Hills Street, Trinity Street and the Hayes with an exciting and eclectic mix of both new and returning exhibitors as their original, hand made products are the essence of what makes the market so different and special. Cardiff City Centre



Absolutely Fabulous Vegan Festival Winter Wonderland comes to Cardiff on Sunday December 3rd 2017, with a range of amazing vegan food, animal rescue stalls and a kids corner. Refreshments-Teas & coffees with Soya, Oat or Almond milk-Vegan Shortbread biscuits & other fab vegan biscuits sold too. DEPOT, Cardiff Tel Sue: 02920 709292

    5     In 1982, the now firmly established Bootleg Beatles were offered a 6 week tour of The USSR, becoming the first western rock group ever to tour the Soviet Union. In the 90s, Bootleg Beatles international reputation had grown immensely mainly due to successful concert tours abroad. This December, they are coming to St David’s Hall, Cardiff! St David’s Hall, Cardiff

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December Diary



Christmas Nights are back and there’s no better way to kick off the Festive Season! This December sees the return of a St Fagans favourite= With carols in the chapel, brass bands on the green, logs on the fire and plenty of yuletide family fun – there’s sure to be something to jingle your bells. If you’re looking for a traditional Welsh Christmas to remember, then grab a torch, wrap up warm and follow the star to St Fagans this year!All tickets for this event must be purchased in advance on : 029 2023 0130. St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff



After a sell-out A Night at the Movies concert in December 2016, CPO returns with your favourite film music by the great John Williams ahead of the eagerly awaited release of Star Wars: Episode VIII � The Last Jedi in December 2017. The concert will feature an extended selection from Star Wars including the iconic title music, Darth Vader’s Imperial March and as a tribute to the late Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia’s Theme. Other music by John Williams includes The Cowboys (which starred John Wayne), Saving Private Ryan, Jurassic Park and E.T. in the highly emotional final scene as a spaceship returns to take E.T. home. St David’s Hall, Cardiff



Based on Raymond Briggs’ much-loved storybook, The Bear is a heart-warming and humorous wintry tale featuring dazzling puppetry, delicious music, dreamy storytelling, and dozens of laughs. An unforgettable experience for the whole family The Bear is a perfect introduction to theatre for little people. Adapted for the stage by Pins and Needles. Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay


Following his 2015 100 date sell-out tour, comedy powerhouse and star of Taskmaster, Live at The Apollo and Stand Up for the Week, Paul Chowdhry brings his highly anticipated new stand-up show to The Glee Club, Cardiff. All under 25s may be asked to produce valid ID. The Glee Club, Cardiff Bay

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December Diary



The Cardiff County and Vale of Glamorgan Youth Orchestra is an ensemble of over a hundred highly talented young musicians who have performed in major venues across Europe. Their Christmas Concert this year is in the Hoddinott Hall in the Millennium Centre, home of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and includes the following dynamic and exiting programme:-Festival Overture by Shostakovitch; ‘Concertino’ for Flute by Chaminade featuring Enlli Parri; Rimsky - Korsakov’s Scheherazade.

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Royal Welsh College Of Music & Drama, Cardiff

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Hoddinott Hall, Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay Email: for tickets


Kinetic are delighted to be back at The Richard Burton Theatre for the 3rd time after the success of ‘A Chorus Line’ & ‘Legally Blonde’, with the toe tapping musical ‘Footloose’. Footloose is the story of Ren McCormack, a teenage boy from Chicago. He & his mother move to the town of Bomont after his father abandons them. Upon arriving, Ren finds himself at odds with most of the town, including the Reverend Bomont. The Reverend has convinced the town to outlaw dancing, which Ren finds unbelievable. With the help of Ariel (the Reverend’s daughter) and Willard, Ren convinces the Reverend to let the teenagers dance & in the process helps the town to heal from a tragedy that affected them all. Heart warming for the holidays!


The greatest romantic ballet of all time is brought to life by Tchaikovsky’s haunting and unforgettable score. From the impressive splendour of the Palace ballroom to the moon-lit lake where swans glide in perfect formation this compelling tale of tragic romance has it all. From Odile, the temptress in black tulle as she seduces the Prince by spinning with captivating precision to the spellbound purity of the swan queen, Odette as she flutters with emotional intensity, the dual role of Odette / Odile is one of ballet’s most unmissable technical challenges. St David’s Hall, Cardiff



A walking & tasting tour including 6 tasting stops showcasing Welsh and Cardiff’s cosmopolitan food. Tastings include Welsh cheeses, cockles & laverbread, Welsh beers & cider plus much more. Along the way we pass beautiful parks, majestic buildings & key landmarks including Cardiff castle, Principality Stadium ‘the home of Welsh rugby. Experience 6 delicious food & drinks tastings in and around Cardiff city centre including Welsh & international cuisine. Cardiff City Centre



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it’s all relative By Wyn Evans "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child..."(1). I'm pretty sure that St. Paul did not have my boyhood summer holidays in mind when he wrote his first letter to the early Christians at Corinth. Looking back, though, from the vantage point of my fifty-ninth year, it seems to my fond remembrance that the six-week summer holidays lasted for ever. In term time I was a happy pupil at Lakeside infants and junior schools. During the holidays, though, I was a pirate, a buccaneer, an astronaut. I was anything I wanted to be, for as long as I wanted to be. My family had a caravan at Swallow-Tree Gardens caravan camp situated between Saundersfoot and Monkstone Point. On the evening of the last Friday of term, mam and dad would load-up our little green Mini (reg.: 951 VTX), heave my sister and me into the back seat and set out on the five hour journey to William's Knee, as dad used to call it. Having a Mini of my own now, and that a BMW Mini, which is not a 'mini' at all, I have no idea how they shoe-horned the four of us plus all the gear into such a tiny space. And it was a lot of gear; three of the four of us would be spending the next six weeks at the caravan. Dad would travel up for weekends and spend his fortnightly summer holiday with us too.

will the Remoaning ever cease; how is my Parkinson's Disease going to develop? There is so much going on that it is nigh-on impossible to concentrate long enough to lose oneself 'in the moment', or to find the space for uninterrupted 'me time'. This busy-ness is compounded, I think, by the ageing process. The more we are aware of our own mortality the more, perhaps, we perceive things we are scared: of missing out - on seeing out kids or grand-kids growing up happily; of losing - our health maybe; of never again experiencing - the pleasure of a loved-one's touch.

It seemed to me as a kid, and it still seems to have been the case, that afternoons spent playing lasted whole days. I remember being 'lost in play', focused totally on whatever activity it was. Nothing else intruded. Even being called in for tea time did not break the spell. It seems to me now that this was because our perception of time passing is relative. When we were children our focus could be fixed on a small number of things. If we were lucky enough to have families and homes and our daily bread, it was possible to lose ourselves in an activity. We could spend hours rock-pooling or building a dam. We were safe and relaxed and had nothing difficult or problematic to interrupt our play.

I remember reading an account of an experiment which validated Einstein's premise that, "time is a relative concept and the higher you live above sea level the faster you should age... the only true constant, the speed of light, [means] that time can run faster or slower depending on how high you are, and how fast you are travelling"(2). Using two atomic clocks, one placed twelve inches higher than the other and both accurate to within one second over three point seven billion years, they found that time runs more quickly the higher you are – just as Einstein predicted. "These precise clocks reveal the effects of gravitational pull, so if we position one clock closer to a planet, you also increase the gravitational pull and time actually runs slower than for another, similar clock positioned higher up [and thus] it is really true that you will grow old marginally faster if you stand just one step higher on a staircase."

"...but when I became a man, I put away childish things." Today, my perception of passing time is that it shoots by and that this accelerates further as I age. In part, I think, this is because 'adult time' has to contend with the realities of life: will my pension pot sustain me in old age; is my daughter (The Girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome) happy and doing well at school; can The Boss make the changes to her place of work that she feels are necessary; is Vladimir Putin hacking my computer; is The Donald likely to win a second term;



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CT Feature


it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Well, it's nice to learn that time really is relative. Thank you Professor Einstein. Short of buying a Suite at the top of the Shard and thus living a few milliseconds longer than I might otherwise have done, none of this helps me with my subjective feeling that I had more time as a child and that it is speeding away from me at a rate of knots. I'm still only able to look through a glass, darkly as it were. Since being diagnosed with Parkinson's a few months ago I have been more than ever aware of Time's winged chariot hurrying near(3).


Before anyone takes issue or offence, I am of course aware that the context of Paul's conception and that of Marvell differ completely. To be blunt, Marvell was keen to get his leg over, whereas Paul was rooted in belief. But both conceptions bring me some solace at the passing of time. Most of all though I am rooted in the love of my family and friends. Whether it is depression is at its blackest, bleakest pitch, or the fear of dementia, or the joy of knowing that I am cared for by The Boss and The Girl and certain friends, it is their love that makes living worthwhile. Without it I am simply a noisy gong. With it I am fully understood, even though I do not fully understand myself. The Christmas season is upon us. We are particularly aware of those in our community who are alone or lonely, while the fortunate among us count our blessings. May you ALL love or be loved, whatever your circumstances.

In particular, I am aware that there is a twenty per cent chance of my developing dementia. This worries me but I do not dwell on it. In the context of this little essay, maybe dementia would be the great Equaliser between my childhood and adult perceptions of time? I would be unable to worry about one thousand issues all at once. But it would entail a great many sadnesses for me and those who care for me and I do not wish this upon myself - even if it allowed me to rediscover a child-like perception of time.

Footnotes: 1. St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 13:11, Bible, King James Version. 2. 3. Andrew Marvell, To his coy mistress, http:// 4. St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Bible, Revised Standard Version.

It is Love that I turn towards the more I contemplate the reality of time speeding by. I am as certain that there is no God as St Paul was sure there is. But that doesn't prevent me from enjoying - appropriating even - his paean to Love(4): 1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

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02921 202190


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6 simple steps to the paleo diet

five minutes to prepare,” explains Nutritionist Cassandra Barns.

The paleo diet is all about eating foods straight from the earth, based on the caveman diet. “The general diet includes raw and natural foods like meat, fish, nuts, berries and vegetation and the modern version of this runs along similar lines, minus of course the requirement to hunt your own meat with a spear,” explains Nutritionist at Natures Plus, Michela Vagini.

Prep your body for going paleo To avoid confusing your gut with a drastic diet change straight away, try to prep your body a few days beforehand. “Support your digestion and detoxification to help the transition from a conventional diet to paleo. You need to prepare your body to receive more proteins and fats, which are associated with the paleo diet and support your liver during gluconeogenesis (the process of producing glucose from non carbs sources),” explains Natures Plus nutritionist Martina Della Vedova’s. But how do we do this?

If you want to jump on the paleo diet bandwagon, but are concerned how it will fit into your lifestyle then here are top tips from our experts to help you transition into this trendy way of eating'

To prepare your body you need to increase the good gut flora in your gut. “Add herbs like dandelion, burdock, and ginger to herbal teas (or find some ready made blends in stores). Also, increase your intake of sulphur-rich foods, like asparagus and onions, fermented food like kefir (dairy free), sauerkraut and kimchi, which all help to promote good gut flora,” suggests Michela.

Perk yourself up with a paleo-friendly breakfast Want a go-to breakfast that won’t cause your paleo diet to be sabotaged, and still fits in easily into your morning routine? Opt for eggs. “Eggs are a mainstay of a Paleo breakfast. One of my go-to quick breakfasts is two or three scrambled organic eggs with leftover steamed broccoli or some wilted spinach, and some leftover roasted vegetables. As a variation, you could go for scrambled eggs with avocado, topped with smoked salmon – the favourite breakfast in many trendy cafés. Leftovers from a Paleo-friendly dinner the night before also make a great breakfast. Any of these will only take

Batch cook “On a paleo diet, many ‘convenience’ foods such as breads, cereals and ready meals are out. So, to avoid spending hours in the kitchen every day –

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CT Health

meaning each drop of OOOMEGA drink is packed full of goodness. Switch up your snacks Struggling for ideas on what to snack on that are paleo friendly? “Swap your biscuit binge for a fresh cup of mixed berries and raw unsalted nuts (no peanuts). Vegetables sticks are another great snack that won’t have a negative impact on your insulin response. Choose cucumber, fennel, broccoli, celery and lettuce as they have the lowest carbohydrate content but are still packed full of fibre,” suggests Michela. and to make it much easier to stick to your paleo diet – take some time on a day off to cook up batches of meals that will make several servings per person. Great examples include; stews, casseroles, bolognese or chilli sauces, soups of any kind, shepherd’s pie, fish pie, homemade burgers, frittata, or roasted chicken thighs. You can find tasty paleo-friendly recipes for all of these, and most can be frozen after cooking, giving you easy and nutritious meals throughout the week. In fact, with a few exceptions – such as steak or scrambled eggs – almost anything can be batch cooked,” explains Cassandra. Concerned about ditching dairy? If you can’t imagine your diet without dairy there are plenty of simple swaps you can do, so your taste buds don’t feel as though they’re going without completely. “Dairy can be replaced by almond or other nut milks, yogurt by coconut or almond yogurt and butter by coconut oil. However, make sure you read the labels first as 90% of nut milks that you find in the grocery store tend to be full of junk that your body would rather avoid, from plain old sugar and flavourings to colourings, thickeners, preservatives, and other additives,” explains Michela.

Need a break from meat? “Of course, the paleo diet is about much more than meat. But when you’re starting out, it can feel like you’re having meat with every meal. To change things up and go plant-based, try making a smoothie with a paleo-friendly protein powder such as Natures Plus Organic Paleo Protein – a combination of proteins from sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, almonds and coconut. Blend with unsweetened almond milk, a large handful of berries, a handful of spinach, and a third of a ripe avocado. If you want to make it more filling, add a tablespoon of nut butter; or to increase the sweetness, half a ripe banana,” suggests Cassandra.

Alternatively, you can try the brand new OOOMEGA Original, which is the first of its kind – a plant-based flaxseed drink, that is rich in omega 3. As well as being suitable for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant, flaxseed oil is one of the richest plant-based sources of Omega 3(ALA),

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get glowing skin in time for christmas To get your skin ready for the Christmas season request a HydraFacial at the Specialist Skin Clinic. The HydraFacial is a unique multi-step facial treatment that boosts skin health by cleansing, exfoliating and extracting" this is like no other facial you will have ever had. Whether you just want to maintain healthy skin or you are concerned with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, areas of pigmentation or acne, the HydraFacial is the perfect skin solution.

complaints and conditions. It can be performed weekly and monthly depending on your skin needs; when clients experience the HydraFacial difference, it becomes a must have treatment for maintaining beautiful, radiant skin. The treatment is totally non-invasive so perfectly safe with no downtime. The HydraFacial experience is very comfortable and clients are excited to see an improvement to the skin immediately after treatment.

Is your skin looking dull and congested? First, lymphatic drainage is stimulated to increase circulation and aid in toxin elimination.

The HydraFacial can either be performed as a one-off skin pick-me-up or provided as an ongoing skin health regime. Results can be seen immediately after treatment but will continue to improve if a treatment programme is followed.

Is your skin marred by impurities? The HydraFacial takes cleansing and exfoliation to the next level, removing dead skin cells and impurities.

Contact the Specialist Skin Clinic on 02920617690 to arrange an appointment or go to for more information.

Has your skin lost its natural glow? The next step in the HydraFacial treatment is to apply a gentle glycolic and salicylic solution to brighten and illuminate the skin. Skin looking parched and dry? A specially designed cocktail of antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid is delivered into the dermis to plump and hydrate the skin. The final step" LED light is used to stimulate collagen production and reduce any areas of redness or irritation, so skin immediately looks more healthy and radiant. The HydraFacial is suitable for all skin types and can tackle a wide range of skin

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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.

In my first look (Party Glitter) I have focused on the eyes to gain that sparkle. Using Collection 2000’s Dazzling Gel Liner in ‘Le Freak’ (£2.99 available from Boots) applied all over the mobile lid. Yes, it is an eyeliner, and you could just use it as such. But for that extra sparkle I covered the lid and lined the under eye in this glitter goodness! This addition along with some glossy lips is a quick and inexpensive way to update your look this season. It’s ideal for after work parties too, as you can just add the sparkle over the top of your existing make up. Easy! My second look (Christmas Sparkle) makes the most of chic gold tones. If full on glitter isn’t your thing or you prefer a subtle change, why not try this one. I created a basic smoky eye look using some copper and honey tones. I then added some gold eyeliner (Avon Artist Gel Pot Liner in Gold, £4.99) to the corner of the eye and took it right under the eye. Adding some black kohl liner to the waterline to make the colours pop. Give lashes an extra coat of mascara, and add your favourite red lippy. It is a simple as that.

Welcome to the December edition of The Beauty Edit. I’m sure that many of you will be rushed off your feet, knee deep in wrapping paper or surrounded by ‘to do’ lists. It seems rather unfair that at the busiest and most expensive time of year we also want to make the most of ourselves and have some fun"somehow. We all have at least one occasion over the festive period when we would like to add some extra sparkle or just help ourselves to feel wonderful. So, whether it’s a works Christmas party, Christmas dinner with family or just a few drinks with friends; here is how to sparkle this Christmas without breaking the bank or finding hours out of your busy schedule.

A few of my other festive favourites include: Tanya Burr Cosmetics lip colour in Big Kiss (£6.99 available from Superdrug), Tanya Burr Cosmetics contour stick in light/medium (£6.99 available from Superdrug) and Benefit High Beam (£19.35 available from most high street stores). And remember that make up has no rules, experiment and have fun with it! Have a great Christmas everyone and see you in the new year!

I have created two looks for inspiration. Both looks include my hero product for this time of year. Liquid Chrome (from Barry M) Highlighter Drops in the shade Liquid Fortune (£6.99 available online, Boots and Superdrug) is AMAZING. It can be used as a highlighter, on its own or add a drop to your normal foundation for an all over glow. In my first look (Party Glitter) I use it as a highlighter just above the cheek bones. In my second look (Christmas Sparkle) I added a drop to my foundation for that all over glow. At under £7 it is a great addition to any make-up bag. And if you only want to add one product to your routine, I recommend this one.

Party Glitter

Christmas Sparkle

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Craniosacral Therapy brings about a eep state o relaaon


This can help resolve problems such as back or neck pain, heaaches or any stress relate symptoms It can also help spee your recovery rom accient, operaon or illness

Craniosacral Therapy enhances health an well–being or more inormaon, contact !uy Clover RCST on 029 20 481844 or mail@juyclovercouk wwwjuyclovercouk


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Music therapy in dementia treatment By Natalie McCulloch

Every day we are bombarded with advice on ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ in terms of improving our health and wellbeing in order to ‘ward off’ the effects of ill health or ageing. We are told to watch what we eat (or don’t eat), monitor our steps per day, join a gym, take certain lotions and potions#.

Each week Kate leads 5 truly empowering and energising choirs throughout Newport and Cardiff, combining her natural charisma, incredible mezzo soprano skills and passion for both music and people, to make for a wonderful treat for the ears and soul.

But one thing which is often sadly overlooked is exercising our vocal cords. This might be a big mistake as the simple act of singing, research suggests, can be as beneficial as a session in the gym in terms of health, wellbeing and getting that ‘feel good’ factor. Research suggests singing can help with memory recall, lower blood pressure, lessen feelings of depression and loneliness and even aid pain management! What’s more, it’s something that can be enjoyed by people of any age, sex, nationality, anywhere.

The ‘Forget-me-not’ Chorus is a charity led venture that aims to empower both people with dementia and their families to use song to express themselves, using the power of music to provide a sense of normality, and to give families a positive experience of being together. Thanks to partnerships with professional composers, writers and musicians, the ‘Forget me not’ Chorus creates astoundingly informative and enthralling pieces of artistic beauty for all to hear. This in turn helps participants feel proud and part of a society they are at risk of feeling ‘removed’ from because of the effects of their situations.

Thanks to two inspirational, accomplished and effervescent ladies, Kate Woolveridge and Sarah Teagle, the power and benefits of song can continue to brighten the lives of those effected by dementia and their families, whether they’re in the community or in a care home setting.


“I believe passionately in the power of music,” says Kate. “Singing together in a relaxed and fun environment has immense therapeutic benefits for both those suffering with dementia and their


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families. The joy and laughter are infectious and the feel-good factor remains long after the rehearsal is over. Everyone’s dementia journey is unique but we are united as we sing together. Our choristers tell us that the Forget-me-not Chorus is a “spa for the soul” and I couldn't agree more!”

The participants of the ‘Forget me not’ Chorus, are not only happy to sing with the choir – they’re not shy in singing the praises of the choir too! From speaking to members of the weekly choir who reside in Penylan nursing home, it’s clear that it provides a source of happiness, pride and enjoyment with members looking forward to the sessions and speaking proudly of their role in it. Many residents reported having never been part of a choir before and yet this is still a highpoint in their week which is pretty wonderful I’d say!

Weekly rehearsals last two hours and the choir sing a mix of their favourite songs as well as songs that are new to them. “Often you hear people saying how lovely it is when people with dementia sing old war songs and their memories come back,” says Kate. “That’s not who we are or what we are about. It’s so much more than recalling memories, it’s essentially about engagement and fun in a safe place. It’s also about escapism, both for those with dementia and for their carers. It’s about going out and having fun together. They are part of a community and among friends.”

The Chorus has been fortunate enough this year to be chosen to partake in the Big Give Christmas Challenge. This is where your support is needed. Last year the campaign raised over £7.2 million for its charities and the Chorus could really benefit from being part of this for the year ahead. All donations made via fmnc from 28th November to 4th December will be doubled! All donations made after this will also make a HUGE difference to helping to keep this innovative project alive!

Thankfully Kate and Sarah are not alone thanks to their innovative idea of introducing ‘singing buddies’ into the weekly rehearsal. These singing buddies are community volunteers who give their time to join a choir and buddy a care home resident. Their role is to support the resident, encourage interaction and make sustainable and trusting relationships through the experience of singing together. As a result, the care home develops a deeper sense of community. Could this be a role for you? Care home staff are also encouraged to become part of the singing community which I personally have enjoyed as it has allowed me, as a carer, to engage with my residents on a different level and see the unique, fun, talented characters shine through even more. I definitely see the benefits of the choir in terms of resident’s mood stabilization and happiness, which makes my job even more rewarding.

If you have a family member or friend living with dementia PLEASE come along with them for a couple of hours of music, laughter, community and cake – the choir is waiting to welcome you! For more or call on: 02922 362064 to find out a little more about the Chorus and the nearest choir to you. Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours. Elton John Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without. - Confucius, The Book of Rites

Kate is eager to stress that this is not a counselling session or a dementia help group – it’s a choir. “It’s not a support group. Lots of people are turned off by the idea of sitting around and talking about dementia. We don’t talk about dementia. This is a normalising experience where everyone is on the same level. It’s not about sadness or dwelling on the bad. It’s a happy, uplifting experience.” Author Stacey Horn captured the essence of choirs beautifully by saying “Group singing, is the most exhilarating and transformative of all. It takes something incredibly intimate, a sound that begins inside you, shares it with a roomful of people and it comes back as something even more thrilling: harmony.”



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Is proud to announce….

Voices our new fun singing class for children aged between 6 and 12 years Voices is an ideal opportunity for that budding singer to build their repertoire, as well as their confidence with new friends. Children will enjoy learning songs from the shows, movies and charts, with performance opportunies throughout the school year.

The class runs on Tuesdays between 6.30pm and 7.15pm with the first lesson completely free of charge.

Call us on 029 20631340 to book a free introductory class 36 36

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CHRISTMAS IN THE CITY: We Have it Covered Looking for ideas for an exciting Christmas Gift? Edwards Holidays offer a wide range of shows and events and, with coach travel included, make a lovely Christmas present. Why not book one of their London theatre day trips or overnight breaks? They offer trips to see The Lion King, Tina, School of Rock, Mamma Mia, Kinky Boots, Les Miserables, Aladdin, Wicked, the Phantom of the Opera and so much more. Other shows include the dazzling Dancing on Ice, the superb Strictly Come Dancing Tour, the musical phenomenon Andre Rieu, stunning performances by Jane Macdonald in Birmingham, Cirque Du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall and so much more. They also offer Edwards Holidays gift vouchers, an extremely flexible way to treat someone to a well-deserved break! Call on 02920 348811, or visit for more Christmas ideas. They look forward to hearing from you!

MERCURE CARDIFF HOLLAND HOUSE HOTEL AND SPA NEW YEAR’S EVE GLITTERING GOLDEN GALA Celebrate the New Year in style at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House and Spa and enjoy a countdown to remember at our Glittering Golden Gala. Enjoy a glass of Buck’s Fizz on arrival- then take a seat and enjoy a delicious three-course gala dinner, followed by entertainment from our live band & disco. At midnight your table will welcome in 2018 with a glass of sparkling wine. Price is £75 per person. To enquire about availability please contact or 02920 435 027 Quote “Cardiff Times 10” to benefit from 10% discount per person* *Terms and conditions apply.

THE CINNAMON TREE The Cinnamon Tree is one of the finest Indian restaurants one can find in Cardiff. With impeccable service and a broad, interesting and diverse menu, there is something to suit the taste of every person that walks in the door. The only problem you’ll face is having to decide on one dish from a wide selection, but no matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong. At the helm of the family-run business are the Uzzaman brothers, whose dedication to offering nothing but the finest cuisine, as well as impeccable service, is testament to their constant success. Anyone who enjoys a ‘good Indian’ need look no further. The Cinnamon Tree would like to wish all the Cardiff Times readers a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year. They’re now taking bookings for the Christmas period so book early to avoid disappointment. 173, Kings Rd, Cardiff CF11 9DE 029 2037 4433 or Cinnamon House, Tonteg Road, Treforest, CF37 5UA 01443 843 222

WOK TO GO There’s no need to leave the comfort of your own home this Christmas to enjoy a delicious healthy meal with all the family. Never mind worrying about cooking for guests, deciding where to go for a meal, or having to brace the cold: just order a takeaway with Wok to Go. Wok to Go serve Chinese and Thai food using only the freshest ingredients with a varied menu that has something for absolutely everyone. However, don’t just take our word for it: Wok to go boasts 5 stars on Just-eat and 4.5 on Trip Advisor. So, what are you waiting for? Go Fresh, go healthy, go Wok to Go. 02920 691118 110 Caerphilly Road, Birchgrove, Cardiff, CF14 4QG

CHRISTMAS AT CHAPTER At the heart of Chapter’s Christmas programme is a new musical theatre production of Charles Dickens’s satire The Chimes, which is written by David Willis, composed by Conor Linehan, and directed and produced by Judith Roberts in partnership with Chapter. The Chimes will combine a cast of eight professional actors with ensemble companies drawn from homeless communities, and will be staged site-specifically in St John’s Church in Canton (7-16 December) For more festive theatrical fun, Dirty Protest return to Chapter with a brand new Christmas drama, Cut and Run by Branwen Davies (20-23 December), and for younger audiences and their families, Likely Story Theatre bring their unique story telling style to classic Norwegian fairy tale, The Giant Who Had No Heart in His Body (20-23 December). Chapter Cinema is getting Festive too, with It’s A Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Muppets Christmas Carol, Gremlins (including a Q&A with actor Zach Galligan on 6 December) and Bad Film Club’s Xmas Double Bill of The Christmas Candle and Black Christmas. For all this and more, including Chapter’s annual Oh So Crafty and Festive Food Fairs, visit

JUMP Cardiff Jump has adventure play-frames: a space zone, a galleon and an enchanted castle. At 27,000 sq feet it is the largest dedicated indoor soft play centre in the UK! There are also inflatable’s, an indoor football pitch, and Faraway Island, a dedicated under 5’s area. They also offer themed party rooms, a café and different activities every day. Festive fun at Jump Cardiff, the perfect place to play and party. Jump is open daily between 9.30am and 5pm with Christmas themed activities and events, from bauble decorating to reindeer treasure hunts there is fun for all the family. Follow them on Facebook for more information, search ‘Jump Cardiff.’ Join Santa and his elves for Breakfast at Jump on Saturday 23rd December, 9.00am-10.30am for only £10 per child. This includes: Santa visit during breakfast, children will receive an activity pack and a free photo, and you get to stay with unlimited play in Jump afterwards. Call 02920 747300 to ask staff for more details.

CITY VOICES City Voices Cardiff present CHRISTMAS! A festive choral treat for the whole family Sunday 10th December 2017 at 3pm Musical Director – Simon Curtis Piano – Rhiannon Pritchard City Voices Concert Orchestra After the success of Spirit of the Season (2013), Rejoice and Be Merry (2015) and Christmas! (2016) City Voices Cardiff return to St David’s Hall with their latest festive offering once again titled CHRISTMAS! This year it’s another festive miscellany of popular and well-loved carols and seasonal music plus the chance for a singalong and some audience participation. So come and join us for this festive choral treat for the whole family. Full Price £13, Concessions £10, Under 12’s £5 Concessions: Students, Over 60’s and Children aged 12-18 TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM ST DAVID’S HALL Box Office 029 2087 8444 or online

ZIO PIN Established in 1980, Roath’s best kept secret Zio Pin have been serving authentic Italian food for over 35 years. Owned and still run by the Bertelli family, it is a vibrant, family friendly restaurant where you will feel immediately comfortable and wowed with their delicious pizza & pasta dishes. Don’t worry, though, they have a full range of Italian food with two course lunches & dinners so there’s something for everybody. If you can’t face the cold this winter, Zio Pin also provide a takeaway option where you can try one of these legendary pizzas. Look no further for where to go for a family, local meal this Christmas. By the time you leave there is no doubt you will become a regular customer. 74 Albany Road, Roath, Cardiff, CF24 3RS 029 20485673



They are still here!! The Famous ‘Clarksies’ The last remaining and the Original Clarks Pies shop is still in Grangetown, Cardiff. Fully refurbished, open Monday to Saturday where The Famous Clarks Original Pie And many more tasty pastries are freshly cooked on the premises throughout the day. Freshly made sandwiches, rolls, baguettes, paninis and pizzas are also available daily. They’re now stocking many Talgarth Bakery products including fresh cakes, donuts, pancakes etc. And, of course, their famous Welsh Cakes. Hot and Cold drinks and daily meal deals are also on offer for you to enjoy. Fish & chip, Bakery and Retail shop deliveries available on request. Telephone orders welcome. 02920 227586 Email -

GLAMORGAN CHRISTMAS TREES The spirit of Christmas starts with decorating your Christmas tree. This year, make a family day of it and fresh pick your own Christmas tree that has been locally grown in Cardiff. The seasonal experience of walking around a local Christmas tree plantation and choosing your very own real tree to be cut down is a great way of getting yourself in the festive mood. You also know your tree is as fresh as it can be, unlike many tree suppliers where you have no idea of how long they have been cut for. And make sure you wear your wellies! Growing in the plantation are Norway Spruce which are your traditional Christmas tree with a lovely fragrance. They also grow Nordman Fir, Noble Fir and Fraser Fir which are classed in the “low needle drop” variety. Due to the overwhelming success in 2012, family-run Glamorgan Christmas trees now have two retail sights: one in Capel Llanilltern/Pentyrch and the other in Peterston-super-Ely. Now it’s officially December, it’s time to get in the Christmas spirit and pick your very own, fresh Christmas tree. 07930 832831 / 07989

CARDIFF & VALE COLLEGE Build complete at Cardiff’s innovative shared school and college campus

An event has been held at Eastern Community Campus to mark completion of the exterior building work on a brand new home for Eastern High school and Cardiff and Vale College. Staff, Governors and students from the school and college were joined on site by representatives from Cardiff Council and Willmott Dixon, the company building the campus. Opening in January, the £26m project is being jointly funded by Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government, through the 21st Century Schools programme. Speaking at the event, Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “Having both Eastern High school and Cardiff and Vale College on the same campus is something we’ve not done before. By working together in this way we can provide a smooth transition for the students after their GCSEs, opening up excellent opportunities for them to progress to further education and training. “The new schools we are building across Cardiff can also benefit the wider community. The range of facilities taking shape at Eastern Community Campus, including a floodlit 3G pitch, community spaces and restaurant, is a great example of this being put into practice.”

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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!

Wayne: Speaking Of Cardiff Singers, it was great catching up with Shakin Stevens again to deliver a defibrillator to his old primary school in Ely.

Wyburn: It’s December!! Where has this year gone?

Wyburn: Shaky is a legend! He even sent a video message to my dad! Looking forward to seeing Shaky next month at The Royal Albert Hall at the festive extravaganza ‘It’s Christmas’.

Wayne: Time flies when you’re having fun and October/November was a lot of fun. Wyburn: October is my favourite month, I get to celebrate my birthday and Halloween.

Wayne: Can’t believe we are talking Christmas already. We had a great time at the VIP launch of Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland. That big wheel is scary but so worth it for the views.

Wayne: Halloween was wicked, it’s a week long party, I loved the Spooktacular Walk we took part in for Welsh Hearts. Such a great day in Bute Park for an amazing cause.

Wyburn: I love Winter Wonderland, mulled wine, carols and rides. I really want to do the ice skating this year, can you skate?

Wyburn: Yes getting mummified with toilet roll was a hoot! Things we do for charity hey!

Wayne: I can actually, there’ll be no Bambi moments when I hit the ice.

Wayne: And just like Halloween your birthday celebrations lasted about a week too! Had a great time celebrating in Brighton and Cardiff with you.

Wyburn: Highlight Of The Month For me was definitely meeting Stephen Fry at St David’s Hall and presenting him with a portrait.

Wyburn: I certainly aged that week. Was great to coincide my party with our Karaoke night at The Golden Cross which has turned out to be such a fun weekly event, Cardiff has some great voices.

Wayne: He was so nice, a real gentleman. Very kind and had lots of time for his fans. He loved his portrait too. My Highlight has to be meeting Jake Shears Of Scissor Sisters fame. He’s

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amazing. And seeing him perform at Heaven in London was incredible.

was so great and adored my coffee art of her! So much theatre in such a short space of time! Bring on the Christmas PANTOS!

Wyburn: Yes! Jake Shears was amazing, he loved the glitter portrait I made of him. I love that it will be on display in his home in the States. What a great show he put on too. Such an exciting performer.

Cardiffian Of The Month: Name: Nathan Palmer Occupation: Fashion Designer Fave Bars in Cardiff: Mocka or The Dead Canary Fave places to eat: James Sommerin, Bar 44, Pier 64 ,Parkhouse. Cardiff in 3 words: The best city - Cosmopolitan, vibrant, friendly /home Fave Cardiffian: This is wide for me as I admire so many for what they have done for the city, our community, bravery and leadership. I would say, Colin Jackson, Sam Warburton and Rhodri Morgan

Wayne: Speaking of great performances, lets talk Tiger Bay, such a fantastic production. The Wales Millennium Centre pulled out all the stops with this one. An amazing ensemble and terrific story. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope it’s not the last we see of this show. Wyburn: Loved Loved Loved Tiger Bay. The Wales Millennium Centre has attracted some pretty impressive shows this year and three massive shows just in the last month. Slava’s Snow Show was like nothing I’d ever seen before, it’s a must see, and I’d recommend going to another city to see it, it’s that good. Also ‘Beautiful’ The Carol King Story was just as the title states BEAUTIFUL. I could watch it over and over. Wayne: Carol King has become our current Carpool playlist, madly in love with her songs. I think we sang every Carol King song on our 5 hour journey to Llandudno recently. Wyburn: Long drive, lots of singing but so worth it. I love teaching and it was a great honour to go into Ysgol San Sior and do an art tutorial with them. Wayne: I helped too, the children were so talented. Loved Llandudno, it’s such a beautiful place. I really want to go back and sample the nightlife. Wyburn: Haha.. Llandudno are you ready for Wyburn and Wayne!? To round off last month we got to see Legally Blonde the Musical starring Lucy Jones and Eastenders star Rita Simons! We got to meet her backstage and she

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Minion or Master International thriller novels written by a local author

‘A colourful cast of characters you won’t soon forget.’ - Blue Ink Review ‘Sound characters and momentum keep the story exciting until the end.’ - Kirkus Review ‘Great thrillers do not have to be literature with a capital ‘L’ but they can come close. Minion or Master comes close.’ - James Burt Clarion review

Order all three from Amazon or from your Kindle For more information e mail 49 49

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actress brings brush and bubbles painting home to cardiff for christmas Brush and Bubbles - a relaxed canvas painting class with step by step guidance, accompanied by a delicious glass of bubbly - is coming to Cardiff this Christmas. Brush and Bubbles is the brainchild of Tiffany Ceri and Lara Goodison - both actresses and now self-proclaimed 'girl bosses'. Tiffany, who is from Cardiff, says the idea for the fun business came along quite bizarrely. "We were at dinner one night talking about dreams and ambitions and about how we wanted to create something that we could be proud of.”

on hand at all times to deliver prosecco, top up paints and provide all other art equipment needed during the session. She is also keen to reassure those who feel they are 'not good at painting' as she too thought that. But she has now taken it up as a hobby and insists that she is improving every time with Lara's 'excellent teaching'.

Tiffany's father, Jeff Smith, used to play ice hockey for the Cardiff Devils, and summited Mount Everest in May. Not surprisingly the desire to create something new and exciting coincided with this great feat, and Brush and Bubbles was born the same month. Jeff also runs bigmoose - a non-profit organisation based in Cardiff whose message is 'to leave the world better than we found it'.

The girls ensure that they create new paintings for each session meaning people are met with a 'surprise' whenever they come to a Brush and Bubbles event. "We have lots of different people come along to our classes, and they have been able to enjoy and celebrate different occasions with them including surprise birthdays, hen parties and wedding anniversary celebrations.

‘Passion and enthusiasm’ "Working as actors, the jobs are sporadic and neither of us had a big pool of savings to invest into the initial set up of the company,” admits Tiffany. “We used what we had, mixed it with a lot of passion andenthusiasm and the belief that we were on to something great."

“We have had over 300 happy Bubblers leave with their original canvas painting in our first six months of business, and we're hoping to have lots more in the next year," says Lara.

Tiffany and Lara became friends after meeting at an audition in Liverpool where they spent the day together, then got on the train back to London, where they both live now. "We both just got on so well immediately, and it felt like we'd known each other forever," Tiffany explains. Cut to three years later and the girls are enjoying the 'awesome' journey of creating a business from scratch. "We research things, read books, use Google A LOT and are learning so many new skills and ideas. We've definitely made mistakes along the way; nothing too drastic yet, (touch wood!) and we're embracing all the challenges and learning very very quickly." During the class you will learn to paint with Lara's direction as she takes you through easy to follow instructions to create your own masterpiece. Tiffany is

Between classes the girls are still regularly auditioning for different parts. They say they love the flexibility of fitting in acting jobs between the painting and bubbly classes. "We have created something that is fun, exciting and rewarding, but also so flexible that it means that we can still be actors and business women simultaneously,” explains Tiffany. “We have employed other artists as well, so if one of us is away, the other can run the business effectively with another brilliant artist leading the session." Brush and Bubbles will be coming to Buffalo Bar, Windsor Place in Cardiff on December 9 and 10.Grab your tickets now as there's a limited number. It's suitable for people of all artistic abilities - just paint and have fun! For more information contact Tiffany Ceri on :

51 07725163639


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St John’s College, Cardiff A leading independent day school for boys & girls aged 3 - 18 Choir School to Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral Welsh Independent Secondary School of the Year 2017

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CARDIFF CARE HOME OFFERS GUIDED TOURS An ‘all-inclusive’ residential care home in Cardiff, which includes a salon, specialised gym and home cinema, is offering guided tours of the home throughout December and January.

Tŷ Llandaff has been built across three floors to an exceptionally high standard and boasts 70 luxurious en-suite bedrooms. The home has an on-site chef and fine dining experience, and a celebrations room which can be used for private family occasions.

Tŷ Llandaff in Pontcanna, close to Llandaff village, offers private nursing, residential and respite care. The home was named in the Top 20 Recommended Care Homes in Wales for 2017 by leading UK care home website after less than six months of opening, based on postal cards and website submissions completed by either residents or family members. Tŷ Llandaff has the ability to accommodate people for nursing or residential care from the age of 18. It also offers short-term respite care for individuals looking for a place to recuperate after surgery or illness. Care home manager Janice Evans and her dedicated team will lead guided tours around the state-of-the-art care home in Conway Road for interested visitors, providing detailed information on life at the home and answering all questions.

There is a chauffeur service with a Mercedes-Benz and minibus ready to take residents into town which all is covered by the weekly fees. A dedicated activities co-ordinator also plans an impressive events programme, every month. Tŷ Llandaff is ideally situated for visitors with buses running every 10 minutes to Cardiff city centre with the bus stop just 100 yards away. The M4 is a four-mile drive, Cardiff central station is three, while Ninian Park train station is one mile away.

For more information about the Tŷ Llandaff Open Day please call Jan on 02920 600 100, email info@ or visit

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puzzle mania! Crossword

Across 1. Need (4), 4. Raincoat (3), 7. Suffix denoting disease (4), 10. Identifying symbol (4), 11. Severe (4), 13. Main meal of the day (6), 15. Salted (6), 17. Small farm in Scotland (5), 20. Roman numeral for 300 (3), 22. Liqueur, % Maria (3), 23. Uncle Sam (1,1,1), 24. Colour artificially (3), 26. African group (1,1,1), 27. Divided (5), 28. Drawn match (3), 29. Greek letter (3), 30. Type of long leaved lettuce (3), 31. Orator (6), 35. Toil at a boring job (5), 38. Against (4), 39. Recess found in a church (4), 40. Become independent (6), 43. Small racing car (2-4), 46. Fifth note (3), 48. Frost (3), 49. Fish of the carp family (3), 50. Stringed instrument (5), 51. Bother (3), 52. Drain the energy from (3), 54. Starting signal (3), 55. Part of the mouth (3), 56. Pester (3), 58. Surrender (5), 61. False (6), 64. Poor in quality (6), 67. Savoury hors d’oeuvre (4), 68. Scorch, brand (4), 69. Building plot (4), 70. Skill, knack (3), 71. Beast’s den (4). Down 1. Pot cover (3), 2. Tin cylinder (3), 3. On account of (3), 4. Anchor a ship (4), 5. Professional cook (4), 6. Part of a circle (3), 8. Even number (3), 9. Bubble of soap (3), 10. Iceberg, eg (7), 12. Gave money to charity (7), 14. American Ltd (3), 16. Fenland Cathedral (3), 17. Tropical tree (5), 18. Oil cartel (1,1,1,1), 19. Private teacher (5), 20. Strong release (9), 21. Wooing period (9), 24. Embezzler’s trick (9), 25. Easter gift (9), 32. Hasten (3), 33. Definite article (3), 34. Mass of fish eggs (3), 35. Hound (3), 36. River of SE Wales (3), 37. Pike-like fish (3), 41. Physical examination (7), 42. Hazardous (5), 44. Long ago (2,3), 45. Type of plug (7), 47. Depressed (4), 53. Bristly growth (3), 57. Lung food (3), 59. Notion (4), 60. Mislaid (4), 61. American ship’s initials (3), 62. Sound of disapproval (3), 63. Devour (3), 64. Emerald month (3), 56 65. Territory of India (3), 66. Stray (3).


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E.g. FUR



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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5 3















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9 3

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Local Indeendent Telehone Engineer


In need of a professional WiFi system?

(NORTH) or 02920 601790 (SOUTH)

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Tel: 029 2076 2864 • 029 20752663 19 KIMBERLEY TERRACE, LLANISHEN, CARDIFF CF14 5EA

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Christmas Ferrari Black Gift Set

Frankincense Intense - AgeDefying Collection

      40mEDndbgRRP£28 £28vbn £28 Dbn#m nd n$n%d.

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Time Mastery and Real Leaders For The Real World KnMg # -)#*# #g# md b RLd  *#RWd (£12.99 £12.99,Pnm £12.99 P )ndm M ’(£12.99 £12.99, £12.99 PnmP )

Wonder Woman DVD

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Cardiff Times •

DECEMBER 2017 - PART 2 page 63

Monday, 27 November 2017 14:56 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

“And Another Thing…….”

By Vince Nolan

under the weather with bare arms Regular readers of this rubbish will know that my monthly efforts are entitled “And Another Thing.” However, it has come to my attention that popular Cockney comedian Micky Flanagan is on a UK tour which he has entitled “An another fing.” Oscar Wilde said that “Imitation was the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity could pay to greatness.” So there we go Micky, that’s Oscar Wilde saying that about you, not me. Why do we have so many words for ill? You know: sick; poorly; off-colour; unwell; ailing; indisposed; bad; unhealthy and under the weather. This latter phrase originated during the days of sailing ships and when the Captain logged everything that happened on board. Sickness often spread rapidly on a ship and so there were times when the number of sailors that were ill, exceeded the space provided in the log to record their names. When this happened their names were recorded in the next column, which was normally reserved for the weather conditions. Hence sailors were listed as "under the weather. "Swinging the lead”, (another naval saying), the lot of them.

Before you all start to write in to the Editors, (Annoyed of Cyncoed etc.), with some quasi-complaint about my misogynist attitude, I need to give you the full facts. The Leader of the Opposition has not had a day off work despite her injuries. In this period of recuperation I have learnt where the washing machine was hiding, how to put stuff in it and what to do with the clothes once washed. I have also learnt to sort out the recycling into a variety of waste streams for filing in each colour-coded bin. In short I have become a multi-tasker. I seek neither praise nor reward for this but given that I have a bad leg too (did I mention that?), it is all the more remarkable. Old dog, new tricks and all that.

Anyway, you may recall that in my last Dispatches From The Front, I mentioned that I was under withering fire from the current Mrs Nolan who had inadvertently launched herself down part of a staircase only to break a bone in her foot and thus, in one fell swoop, lose the ability to drive me to or from the pub. Of course, I am not one to complain and bear most things stoically and with great dignity but I was the one with the bad leg (requiring surgery remember) up to that point. Now my constant daily pain, which I do not speak of, has been trumped (a better word could probably have been used here). Here’s a little ditty I penned whilst mopping Her fevered brow:

Talking of illnesses, here’s a new one I just discovered. It is called Obsessive Compulsive Rhyming Disorder and is real. Apparently: “Sufferers neutralise their obsessions by creating lyrical successions.” Sounds like a premise for a Two Ronnie’s sketch. Here’s one I writ on the subject by way of example and in a sort of vague rap style: Doctor, disease, Need your expertise, Feeling ill-at-ease, Could be the processed cheese, Creates a moderate breeze, Prescription please.

I can never be ill on my own Though seldom am I one to moan No Nightingale Florence for me, an abhorrence I can never be ill on my own

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CT Feature

hindsight this was just as well because she was unable to interrupt the full and boring flow of his latest escapades. I christened him Indiana Evans. I give you volcano climbing in El Salvador. He claimed he specialised in going to obscure places where there were conflicts. I found myself thinking that it was a shame for all concerned that he kept coming back and wondered if these places were conflicted before he pitched up. I fondly hoped his next adventure would take him to North Korea.

Chill out Geeze. With my expertise, Don’t worry about the cheese, It don’t make no breeze. The reason you is ill at ease, Is you have Obsessive Compulsive Rhyming Disorder (disease). I have no desire to diminish the seriousness of the latest shooting incident which again shocked the US. However, the Second Amendment of their Constitution written in 1791 says: "222the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” One would think this now should be revisited, but it won’t be. More a case of vigilant than vigilante I would hope. Anyway, it got me thinking about bare/bear arms, as pictured below.

Why is it that women look sexy in men’s clothing? She Who Must Be Obeyed puts on one of my sweatshirts and Hello222222I have of course tried on her clothing but it does not have the same effect, particularly not in Tesco.

Of course it would be a different matter if the Yanks supported the right to arm bears. Talking of being arrested, do Police Dogs have Animal Leave at Christmas?

Q: What do you get if you cross a dishonest polar bear and a harp seal? A: A bear-faced lyre.

Finally, I don’t do New Year Revolutions but if I did I would follow German writer and Statesman Johann Wolfgang von Goethe whose wise words were:

You will forgive me as I have mentioned our local hostelry previously, The Incompatible Strangers. It is the venue for numerous “blind dates” where like-minded couples meet for a first date having supposedly been carefully selected by complex computerised algorithms. I do not seek to belittle such services (I do really), but to produce so many clearly ill-matched couples takes a degree of ineptitude scarce seen outside our Brexit negotiating team. As usual, I have been listening in. The latest offering matched a bloke who was allegedly better travelled than Michael Palin with a lady who had not been as far as Barry Island. In

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” I will see you in 2018 my chums.

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will ‘tiger bay the musical’ be the next les miserable? By Sarah-Jane Outten

The stage itself resembles the bow of a ship which remains throughout the entire production. With some subtle lighting changes, it cleverly transforms into a room in Cardiff Castle belonging to the Third Marquis of Bute, the shop floor at David Morgan’s department store and a local pub in the heart of the docks. There are very few moving parts on stage and those that do move are done so by cast members; who frantically reposition parts of the set while incorporating it into part of their choreography.

This month’s column features a review. Although reviews are not normally featured here, this one is an exception. As regular readers will know, it is my mission to champion local business and artisans. This month I have supported and championed our arts. I feel it is an area that can so easily not be deemed as important. But the arts shape so much of what we represent here in Wales. We are saturated with incredible talent. Tiger Bay the Musical is homegrown and jam packed with Welsh performers. Not only that, it tells one incredible story of our history. The Wales Millennium Centre proudly hosted the World

Premiere of Tiger Bay the Musical on Wednesday the 15th of November. This long awaited musical drama tells a story rich in history, romance, revenge and heartbreak and promised to be a night to remember. The history of Tiger Bay is a story that has almost remained untold. And yet it’s a past that is majorly significant when understanding what makes Cardiff one of the UK’s most unique cities. Tiger Bay the Musical highlights how our multicultural society has been shaped since the beginning of the 20th century, when the coal trade was at a high.

The narrative from Michael Williams, and music composed by Daf James is a winning combination. They provide the production with a hefty, and at times overwhelming mix of ensembles and ballads that can be easily likened to Les Miserable. Without a doubt, there are some show tune classics within the production, but I do question if there were one or two too many. The talent of each performer however, cannot be questioned. As the show is 3 hours long I wonder how exhausting this will become for them overtime, should this become a longer running musical in the future.

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CT Feature

Several performers were particularly memorable: Themba Sibeko played by Dom Hartley-Harris provided wonderful rich and smooth vocals throughout his performance. His characters heartbreak and the challenges he faces are told through his character superbly. Rowena Pryddy played by Vikki Bebb has a tremendous musical voice that you won’t forget in a hurry. Even though her role is clearly challenging, not once does she falter. The Third Marquess of Bute played by John Owen-Jones is an incredible tenor. His voice is powerful and soulful. Seamus O’Rourke played by Noel Sullivan is the perfect antihero. He maintains superb vocals throughout his performance. A rumble of ‘boo’s’ at the end of the show was worthy praise of a baddie done well!

performance featured Ruby Llewelyn and the audience were blown away by her talent and confidence. The role of Ianto is a challenge, but Ruby breezes through every scene; dazzling the audience with an emotional and endearing performance. The end of the performance saw a standing ovation, of which Tiger Bay the Musical was incredibly worthy. The performers whisked up and took every audience member on the journey of Tiger Bay with them. Tiger Bay the Musical is a bold and epic musical, its vision of transporting us back to a significant part of our Welsh history is a success. The audience is fully immersed into a time fraught with social change, racism, and politics, much as we are today. Tiger Bay has a legacy that simply MUST be told, and this production did that perfectly.

However, it is the Waterboys that, for me, are the stars of the show. Aged between 10 and 14, with talent that stretches way beyond their years. These youngsters are a powerhouse of comic timing, magical choreography and musicality. Ianto is played by two young actors, Louise Harvey and Ruby Llewelyn. The premiere

It would seem, and I hope, that this will not be the last we hear of Tiger Bay the Musical. It could be that this is just the beginning.

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Monday, 27 November 2017 11:20 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

flood prevention scheme in cardiff causing anger & frustration By Dan Clark seen the stream burst its banks. A lot of our customers come in saying the same thing, and some of them have lived here a lot longer than us. However, if you went and spoke to people from a different area around here, such as the Minsters, they might say something different.”

Many Cardiff residents have been left frustrated and angry by disruption caused by work on a flood prevention scheme currently being undertaken in Roath. For those not familiar with the area, the work focuses on the Roath Brook and four of the parks it flows through: Roath Brook Gardens, Roath Mill Gardens, Waterloo Gardens and Railway Gardens. Work began in January of this year, but a recent setback means completion is now unlikely to be until summer 2018. The masterminds behind the scheme are Natural Resources Wales (NRW), a Welsh Government sponsored body that is ‘looking after our environment for people and nature’, as stated on their website. They claim that the scheme ‘will increase the level of protection for the community up to a 1 in 75-year flood event (1.3 percent chance of flooding in any given year) from high river flows and a 1 in 150-year flood event (0.6 percent chance of flooding in any given year) of extreme tidal flows’. Overall, it will help to protect some 360 homes and 45 businesses.

She continued, “One thing they can't convince me of, is why they have to rebuild the bridge." I put to her the council’s explanation, citing that the middle section needs to be removed to improve river flow; “How much is it really going to affect the river flow? In terms of the volume of water going under the bridge, the actual volume area of that middle section was taking up out of the river, was minimal. What is the likelihood of the small volume of the middle section of the bridge, having an overall effect on the volume of the water under the bridge? They're looking at it from an aesthetic point of view, rather than a mathematical point of view.”

From speaking with many of the locals, it is apparent that they agree with the idea in principle; decreasing the risk of flooding can only be a good thing. In 2007 and 2009 the area was flooded by high river flows, whilst more recently in both 2010 and 2012, high tidal events caused major issues. However, certain aspects of the scheme have left a lot to be desired. The closure of Waterloo Bridge, in particular, has caused a lot of problems, especially for local businesses. I spoke to Rachel Chucas, of the Waterloo Gardens Food Store, to ask if they’d been affected by the work. Her response was emphatic: “From day one, massively. The bridge shut July 11th at 4pm. From the moment, the last car went over the bridge, we can see from our takings each day, we've been massively, massively affected. We've lost all of our passing trade, all our lunch time passing trade, all our morning passing trade, all of our evening passing trade, everything. Because cars don't come past the shop, without even looking at the figures, you obviously see less business overall."

Although a footbridge was placed at the site, there have been some issues with that as well; "As a pedestrian, if you are walking into the area, there's nothing to tell you there's a footbridge, nothing to tell you that the shops are still open. As a driver, there's nothing to tell you from Marlborough or Albany road, from Roath Mill Gardens or the top of Waterloo Road. We've been cut off.” Another area of concern for many is the number of trees that are being felled during the work. Many trees in the area now show the dreaded blue ‘F’, a plague cross to signal the end is nigh for some of nature’s finest. Several have also been adorned with posters of support and protest; one example being the humorous: ‘I have an illustree-ous past. Please don’t remove me’. NRW attempted to justify the tree removal and planting prior to commencement of the scheme: “We understand the concern the community has for the trees in the area, so we have focused the design efforts to minimise these impacts (for example, by avoiding removing trees around the edge of the park boundaries). We will be removing 149 trees across the four gardens and will replant 105 trees.”

I questioned Rachel about the necessity of the work itself; “In 17 years of me being here at the shop, we have never

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To offset this, they have stated that they will start a community tree bank, to ‘maintain a positive contribution to the community’. They explain: “We are currently looking to plant additional trees, both in parkland throughout Cardiff and through working with a local school, offering tree saplings to school children for home planting. This allows us to increase the overall number of planting to offset those which are removed and cannot be re-established within the existing Roath parkland”. If they stay true to these objectives, this seems like a satisfactory compromise.

and 2 buses re-routed. This has caused great inconvenience to many local residents, including Liz’s Mum. The Cardiff bus website says, ‘Customers wishing to catch the bus in this area can do so from bus stops on Blenheim Road or Albany Road.’ Obviously, this may be too far for some, particularly elderly people.

But the idea hasn’t convinced all the local residents. I spoke with Liz Sanders, a local resident who has lived in the area for 39 years. I can tell from just a short time speaking to her just how much she knows about the scheme and how passionately she feels. Liz explained: “We've been told that over 100 trees are going to be replanted in the parks. Where are you going to put them? If there wasn’t enough room to build the wall and that’s the reason for cutting down the trees, surely then there's not enough room to have a new tree? They’re replanting the trees around Cardiff, not back in Penylan. There's simply no way they can leave the area the way it once was.”

I contacted the NRW and put to them some of the points that Rachel, Liz and others have brought to my attention. I also wanted to find out a definitive end date for the scheme, rather than the vague answers listed on their site. “The Waterloo Road bridge work will be completed in April 2018 and the overall scheme in July 2018”, a representative said. “These dates are subject to various risks of delay, such as weather or utility services diversions.”

She concluded by echoing the sentiments of many of the area’s residents; “To me personally, it’s just you're walking past an area that you grew up with, there's so many memories and they've just torn it all down.“

When asked about the number of trees to be felled, they confirmed the planned number was still at the original plan of 149. They added that the amount of trees to be replanted across the four gardens would actually be increased to 120, and gave extra detail about the additional trees to be planted in the area: “We’re planting 202 saplings in Roath Rec as well, as part of the scheme.”

Liz went on to divulge how the scheme has affected her everyday way of life: “I have a little dog, she’s had problems. I used to be able to walk around the corner, in the mornings and the evenings to the park in the Sandies (Railway Gardens). We can't access that park at all now, so she's got further to walk on concrete. As a result, she’s had blisters on the soles of her feet, there’s an increase of dead skin on her paws, so that’s caused me vet bills. I don't have my own garden, so I can't just let her run around; I’ve got to take her out. Also, she’s putting on weight, because where she was able to run around, she can't do that now”.

Finally, I queried the NRW about the signage around the area: “We believe the site signage is adequate, but we welcome feedback on how to improve this. There are many ‘businesses open as usual’ signs in the area, in particular on the road diversions.”

As part of the work around the Waterloo Road bridge, the local bus stop had to be moved and the popular service 1


A Facebook page titled ‘Reconsider Waterloo Gardens Flood Defence Scheme’ has been setup and has 1,196 members at time of writing. The issue has certainly got people talking. What is clear to me is that the sooner the scheme is finished, the better - for all involved.


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christmas message Dear Friends, Many people ask me at this time of the year ‘Are you ready for Christmas?’ I am afraid that I usually have to reply, ‘No!’ Some people we know get their Christmas present shopping done before the end of October! In the shops it is soon after the children return to school that the special aisles appear with Christmas goodies, cards and wrapping paper and the piped music is in November already Christmas carols and songs.

the good news of God’s love for the world and an offer of forgiveness and joy to all people. His birth is only significant because of his subsequent ministry and teaching, his death and Resurrection. I suppose we should ask ourselves when we consider ‘Are we ready for Christmas?’ are we ready to receive into our lives the Lord Jesus and his message? Are we prepared to celebrate his birth by following in his way in our lives? Is Jesus’ coming into the world going to make a difference to how we live with our families and friends? Is his role as the Prince of Peace going to affect the family of the nations as we seek to live together in harmony and peace as he would wish?

Some people I know find this annoying and complain but I suppose in a way our preparations for Christmas should start early. In the Church Calendar you might say they begin on the 25th March, because that is the day we mark the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In other words, the day God sent his messenger the Angel Gabriel to tell Mary that she was going to bear a son. He was to be no ordinary baby but rather the Saviour of the World, the Son of God, the man we know as Jesus Christ. For Mary this was quite unexpected yet she as any pregnant mother had to prepare herself for the birth of her son. As every parent knows the arrival of your first born makes a huge difference to your life – a new person comes into the world to love and to be cared for in every way.

I do hope that many of you will enjoy the Christmas celebrations in our churches. There are carol services, Nativities, and special communion services to which you are all very welcome to attend. I hope the festive sprit of this precious time will touch you and your loved times at this annual reminder of God’s love for the world. With every good wish and blessing, Stewart Lisk.

The birth of Jesus made a huge difference not only to the Holy Family, to Mary and Joseph, but also to the whole world. As he grew into maturity Jesus brought

The Reverend Canon Stewart Lisk, Vicar of Roath, Area Dean of Cardiff, Chairman of Churches Together in Roath.

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Tuesday, 28 November 2017 14:40 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

i could do with a good holiday By Michael James

be able to see much more of the countryside.” Wrong!! (on both counts).

'I could do with a holiday now', say most people after a particularly busy time. Not me. I usually approach most things differently. Just ask my Wife, after 55 years of marriage she can guarantee that whatever decisions we make I usually (eventually) come to our joint conclusion but from a completely different angle. Why is it that women think that their approach is always the right one? A discussion on that point would take many more pages than Cardiff Times has to offer.

Somewhat reluctantly, I agreed to her idea and we booked with a coach company for a nine day holiday to Diano Marina. On the face of it, two days travel and an overnight stay to get there and the same for the reverse journey seemed OK, and five days of relaxation at the resort with optional coach trips to visit nearby attractions, if required, sounded quite promising, despite my dislike of such ventures. As well as preferring to drive everywhere, a coach holiday for me is a nightmare. People who (think) they know me and regard me as reasonably sociable, would be surprised to learn that I really am quite shy and a little bit of a loner. The prospect of having to strike up conversations with strangers for long periods of time in enclosed spaces such as a coach, fills me with dread. Still, no backing out now, I had promised my Wife.

Take our holidays as an example. We usually fly to some far-off country and take it easy on a beach or we may hire a car to see something of that country, somewhere off the beaten track. Then on the times we don't fly, I like to drive through Europe to the little-known places where, more often or not, we are the only 'Brits', in the area. Over the years we have driven extensively throughout Europe and when on one such trip, driving back from Rome, we discovered a lovely seaside resort that we have since come to love and have returned to many times. It's called Diano Marina and lies on a stretch of the Mediterranean known as, the 'Riviera of Flowers', just over the French border to the east of Monte Carlo and Menton. A lovely, small, laid-back family resort where we British are in a very small minority.

When planning our usual driving holidays, I am in charge. Within reason I can plan what time we leave, what ferry to catch, what route we take, where and when to stop for coffee and lunch and where to stay overnight, all managed to suit our (my) whims and wishes. Can you do that on a coach? NO!! Having booked the holiday, all we knew was, our days of departure and return, our final destination (Diano Marina, hooray!) and the Towns/Cities of our overnight stops. Everything was in the hands of the coach company and, to be fair they were very good, as were the two drivers.

This year, knowing that a very busy time was approaching during October and November, I suggested that we should go away BEFORE we got busy and have a relaxing break that would set us up for what lay ahead. “Great” said my Wife, “let's go back to Diano Marina, but instead of you driving all that way, why not take a coach holiday? It will be far more relaxing for you and from the coach you will

A week before we were due to leave came the first shock via a letter giving us the detailed itinerary. We were scheduled to be picked up at 5.00am. Yes that's right, 5 o'clock in the morning! That meant we had to

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Lunch and comfort stops along the way, were taken in busy, crowded motorway services with the familiar queues for this and that, although, I must say, when I eventually got something to eat it was usually very nice. Eventually, after another twelve hours of relaxing (not) travelling, we arrived at our Italian hotel, which was very nice, right on the sea front, with it's own private beach and swimming pool. Our four course evening meals were delicious, as were the plentiful breakfasts. The coach company had chosen very well and the hotel staff, meals and facilities could not be faulted. The included, optional excursions were also very good but very tiring with long trips on the coach. We decided to give some a miss as we had visited them before in the comfort of our car but those who went on these trips said, they enjoyed them. I was just grateful to enjoy a day or two free of travelling and relaxing in the lovely resort before steeling myself for the journey home.

be up by 3.00am. a time quite unknown to me because as I always tell people, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I don't do early and I don't do quick!â&#x20AC;? Off to the coach pick up point and wait around in a queue of noisy, chatty, excited people who were to be my companion group for the next nine days.. The coach, a nice large comfortable, modern one, arrived on time, and settling into our allotted seats we were off to Dover to catch our ferry to France. Nice and quiet for a time, as most of us took time to catch up with lost sleep. Then after our first stop for a 'comfort break', people wanted to talk to those around them which of course, included miserable old me. Being as polite as I could, I fended off answering searching questions on my 78 years of life and more or less fell back into military interrogation mode by only giving, Name, Rank and Serial Number, or at least the civilian equivalent, while being given the colourful story of their lives. I am of course exaggerating but I am sure that you get my drift.

At the end of our stay the reverse travelling was similar to us getting there. The same difficulty for me was trying to see any worthwhile views during the long two days of travel, but this time with one notable exception. During our time together we had bonded as a group and I was now quite happy to join in conversations with my new found friends which made the time pass enjoyably with many laughs. All in all it had been a good trip. Would I do it again? Possibly. Please do not let me put you off with all my moaning, a coach might be just the thing for you. I would much prefer to drive somewhere, especially to be able to be in control of my days and to be able to hold meaningful conversations with my Wife who says that I only really talk with her during long car journeys.

We arrived at the port before time, hoping to be able to board an earlier ship than scheduled, but no luck, which mean an hour just sitting on a motionless coach. Much joy! I enjoyed the short ferry crossing and almost before I knew it we were off on the brilliant French Autoroute system to our overnight hotel some five hours away. We eventually arrived at 7.00pm (6.00pm GMT). A nice modern hotel with a good single choice meal and more socialising (help!) before escaping to bed some eighteen hours after getting out of my own bed to start this 'relaxing holiday'. Relaxing?? Up at 5.00am for our cases to be collected and placed on the coach before an early breakfast to ensure we got away quickly. It was a lovely sunny day and I was looking forward to the promised scenic views of the countryside as we travelled effortlessly along the motorways. I wish! From my aisle seat in the centre of the coach, all I could see was the back of heads of those seated in front of me. All I could see out of the side window was just that, a side view of miles and miles of open countryside as it flashed past. If I attempted to look down the aisle out through the panoramic front windows to get a different view and to see where we were going, I was thwarted by those in front of me leaning out and peering down the aisle, just like me. All I could see were the back of talking heads all seemingly determined to carry on with their socialising whilst attempting to enjoy the frontal views.

Holiday over, back to reality and that busy time I mentioned. We had ordered a new carpet for our hall, landings and stairs and we (?) decided it would be a good opportunity to paint all the walls and woodwork, including all the doors. All this while I was trying to organise two different Charity Concerts in our Church and facilitating choir rehearsals for the up coming 'Promise of Christmas' in St. David's Hall, on Saturday 2nd December (co-incidentally, my birthday, so why not join me there?) and preparing a family Christmas. A busy time but one set up by having that holiday before hand. I am really looking forward to Christmas, I hope that you are too. May I wish you and yours a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May God bless you all.

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Cardiff Times Magazine December 2017  
Cardiff Times Magazine December 2017