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Trying for a

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

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

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Editors Letter

Cardiff Times

Welcome

PUBLISHER Cardiff Times

EDITOR Hi All, and welcome to our New Year January issue!

Louise Denning 07903 947594

FEATURES EDITOR Mark Denning 07758 247194

SALES & MARKETING Georgia georgia@cardiff-times.co.uk Beth beth@cardiff-times.co.uk

CONTRIBUTORS Wyn Evans, Vince Nolan, Wayne Courtney, Nathan Wyburn, Sarah-Jane Outten, Michael James, Natalie McCulloch, Ameera Fouad, Jake McDonald, Heather Jane Coombs

Happy New Year to our wonderful readers. We're writing this on the 21st December so it's a little strange saying hope you've all had a lovely Christmas! At the time of writing, we've only just filled some last minute advertising slots. Let me tell me you, this job is no walk in the park. It's been a tough month trying to complete everything quickly so we can all enjoy some time off with our families, but as usual we managed it, hence why you are now reading this! December was as usual our busiest month of the year. Mark and I beamed with pride as we watched both our children perform in their school Christmas Concerts. It takes a lot of courage to perform in front of a packed hall and they both did brilliantly. Full credit to their school for putting on two fantastic concerts. Also, it wouldn't be Christmas without seeing Mike Doyle in Panto at the New Theatre. If you haven't seen this years Panto, Snow White, what are you waiting for, it`s on until the 14th of this month and you are in for a real treat! It was lovely to see some familiar faces return in the cast, as well as new ones, this year. Now that January is here we hope the new year is a good one for all local businesses, as well as all our advertisers. They really need our support this year, so please remember to shop local, and use as many of the companies and small businesses who advertise in the magazine as possible. Finally, Mark and I hope you enjoy reading this month`s issue, which as usual has a real mixture of informative, amusing and genuinely interesting articles. We are forever grateful to our team of talented writers who every month never fail to produce articles which we love to read, and we hope you do too!

EDITORIAL

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ADVERTISING 07903 947594 EMAIL

info@cardiff-times.co.uk

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Until next month, happy reading.

Louise & Mark

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January

CONTENTS

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34 41 Cardiff & Newport ‘Sands’ Charity

FEATURES 14 January Diary

44 Wyburn & Wayne By Nathan Wyburn & Wayne Courtney

20 Naked Barbies - Plus Ca Change, Plus C'est La Même Chose By Wyn Evans

51 Your Child Can Win A Scholarship To An Amazing Independent School

24 Beauty - New Year - New You 56 Puzzle Mania 25 The Beauty Edit By Sarah-Jane Outten

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30 Health - Britain Is Named 6th Fattest Nation In The World - Here Are 12 Steps To Prevent Obesity 34 Help Cardiff To Rock In 2018 By Natalie McCulloch

36 Try Somewhere New For The New Year 10 10

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74 New Year Resolutions From Youth Across The World

61 Kidney Wales Launches 2018 Cardiff 10K With New Nation Radio Partnership

By Ameera Fouad

64 ‘And Another Thing…’

79 Puzzle Mania Solutions

By Vince Nolan

80 Christmas - A Time For Hope And Love

68 Making The Most Of Our City In 2018

By Michael James

By Sarah-Jane Outten

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january diary              

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St David’s Hall is set to host a country music night, featuring some of the most famous songs from genre icons Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers on January 5th. For fans of country music, this tribute can’t be missed. St David’s Hall www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk

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The Cardiff Tasting Tour to be held on January 5th, promises an indulgent day out for food lovers as well as those new to the city. The tour contains 6 stops, all uniquely placed to ensure that you get to see the sights whilst simultaneously sampling a variety of Welsh cuisine. The tours will range between 3.5 to 4 hours in small groups of no more than 12 people. Cardiff City Centre www.visitcardiff.com/event/cardiff-tasting-tours-2/2018-01-05/

   55-26 26    Explore the Castle's history from a completely different angle: through tales of ghostly encounters from times gone past to the present day. This is a "no-nonsense, no gimmicks" faithfully researched and delivered torch-lit tour of the Castle Apartments, to the very spots where inexplicable things have repeatedly been seen, heard and felt over the generations. The ghost stories are told in the dark, revealing how at night this Castle takes on a wholly different, atmospheric, and downright eerie character! The tours are delivered through a partnership between Cardiff Castle and Cardiff History and Hauntings. Bookings are made direct through Cardiff History and Hauntings www.cardiffhistory.co.uk

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January Diary

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Đ“ RO RO PRĐ“ PRĐ“ Đ“

Go in search of winter birds and wildfowl around Roath Park Lake with the Community Park Ranger. Meet opposite the lighthouse on Roath Park promenade Please bring binoculars if you have them. 10am - 12pm. Roath Park Lake, Cardiff

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Written by award winning writer Tim Firth, The Band is a beautiful story for anyone who grew up with a boyband and how those songs became the soundtrack to their lives. For five 16 year old girls in 1992, the band is everything. Twenty-five years on, we are reunited with this group of friends as they try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes. Featuring the music of Take That, Britain's most successful boyband of all time, whose songs include Never Forget, Back For Good, A Million Love Songs, Greatest Day, The Flood, Relight My Fire, Shine & Rule the World and starring the winners from the BBC's Let it Shine, Five To Five. The Band is now the fastest selling musical theatre tour of all time. Don't miss your chance to see this breath-taking brand new production first before it hits London's West End.

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

PRMOR

Grammy Award winning rockers Paramore have returned to the UK this month to play more sell-out shows. Paramore, 4 times Grammy nominees and winner of the "Best Rock Song" trophy at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, have long established themselves as international rock superstars. Their previous self-titled album "Paramore" hit No.1 in the UK and US upon release, and showcased a string of blockbuster singles including two 2 times RIAA platinum-certified hits, plus smashes "Still Into You" and "Ain’t It Fun." Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff www.motorpointarenacardiff.co.uk

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Backed by the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra and featuring world-class Elvis Tribute Artists Gordon Davis and Michael Glaysher, St David’s Hall’s ‘Classic Elvis’ night guarantees to be a treat for fans of the King of Rock and Roll. The event is to be hosted on Saturday January 13th at 7:30pm. St David’s Hall, Cardiff www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk

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January Diary

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This modern re-telling of the beloved fairy tale is sure to prompt curiosity as it boldly adapts the story to give it a fresh feeling. Are the wolves the true enemies when their woodland world is under threat as it faces destruction at the hands of the woodcutter and does Grandma the trophy hunter hide a deep secret? The performance is scheduled to be held on 3 separate occasions with the initial one beginning at 2:30pm on Saturday January 20th. Royal Welsh College Of Music & Drama, Cardiff www.rwcmd.ac.uk



  Y

Getting married? Join us at our Wedding Fayre at St Mellons Hotel and Spa, St Mellons, Cardiff on Sunday 21st January 2018. Relax while speaking to some of Wales' leading suppliers. Some suppliers will offer 'on the day' discounts, so remember to bring your purse as you won't want to miss out on saving a few £££. Doors open between 11am and 4pm. FREE Entry – Family and Friends welcome. FREE goody bag for Brides. St. Mellons Hotel And Spa, Cardiff www.weddingfaires.com/wales/

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It’s National Storytelling Week so come and snuggle up by the fire for a tale or two to spark your imagination. To kick off Year of the Sea in Wales, Tamar Williams will be spinning yarns of adventure and romance on the high seas. St. Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff www.museum.wales/stfagans

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A world stage premiere from the pen of one of the world's greatest thriller writers. When Sandor snatched Little Joe from the path of a London tube train, he was quick to make clear the terms of the rescue. "I saved your life", he told the homeless youngster, "so your life belongs to me now". Sandor began to tell him a fairy tale: an ageing prince, a kidnapped princess, a missed rendezvous... But what did this mysterious story have to do with Sandor? Joe only understood his own role - he was a Gallowglass, the servant of a chief... The New Theatre www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk

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naked barbies - plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose(1) By Wyn Evans

went to the shop: me, The Girl and naked Barbie. We bought our provisions and the newspaper, returned to the car, and drove home.

Happy new year! If nothing else, the new year is a signifier of change isn't it? New hopes, new beginnings, notarised in contracts with ourselves in the form of new year resolutions. Is there really, however, anything new under the sun? As parents, perhaps, we may expend much emotional energy worrying about an issue relating to our child, forgetting that others have had the same sort of misgivings in the past, and still others will again in the future. Perhaps all this month's column will prove is that I am middle class, angst-ridden, and, of course, glad I'm not writing about real trauma. But this is the story of a recent little interior monologue - and people's responses to it.

What's winding me up is this. What was my motivation for asking her to leave behind the doll? Was it: (a) my not wanting to be seen with a daughter's naked Barbie. Fearing that some officious twerp would take umbrage and say the doll should be clothed and, anyway, was I a perv? (b) not wanting the world to know my girl plays still with dolls, naked or otherwise, i.e the problem was in my head. (c) not wanting fellow Year 7 kids to know their peer sometimes plays still with dolls, i.e. they might tease my girl or be mean. In fact, of course, no one said anything.

I'm not sure if I feel ashamed, or just whether I should feel it. Immediately after collecting The Girl (my daughter, who happens to have Down Syndrome) from High school a few days ago, we had to go to the mini-supermarket opposite the Discovery pub. It was important we bought the local paper as part of her Geography homework. We also picked up a bottle of wine and a carton of milk (staple provisions both!) hence the local Tesco rather than a newsagent. It being a well-stocked and airy little store, just up the road from school, and just after the school day, the parade of shops was full of school-kids, mostly Years 7-9 at a guess.

I think I'm sure (I apologise for that formulation) that it was (c), maybe with some (b) thrown in. But I'm feeling guilty because I didn't trust her judgement. I mean I DID actually trust her since I 'let' her bring the doll. But in my head I felt I'd have preferred it to have been left in the car. As I intimated at the beginning of the column, this was a small snapshot of parental life, a passing moment; no one died or was hurt in any way. But I worried away at it so much that I decided to use my Blog(2) to check-out other people's thoughts and experiences. Here are some of the most pertinent.

Now, The Girl usually has a range of books, materials and toys in our two cars. She tells stories or gives the toys parts in her plays wot she wrote (thanks Ern, that's one for us oldies). There is usually a naked Barbie or two in each car and this was the case on the day in question. As I was exiting the car I noticed that my daughter had picked up naked Barbie and I said "no, don't take Barbie, she's safer in the car". When I went round to open her door, Barbie was still in her hand and she grinned at me and left the vehicle. So off we

• Let her play with dolls Wyn. If anyone feels the urge to tease her then they haven't been brought up to respect others. If my children ever tease anyone and I hear about it they'll be in big trouble. Love you all, xxx [A mum] • I understand your feelings. In this day and age, sadly, we have to consider other people's feelings

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CT Feature

friends are round for all the reasons you mentioned earlier (apart from me being a perv one, lol). Saying that, I love that he is so attached to teddy...his first love. [A mum] • My teddy is fifty. His head's fallen off twice. I still slept with him off and on until I was about twenty four. [A mum] • My experience with the naked Barbie: Our nine year old son is obsessed with the characters, the songs and the dialogue of Frozen, hence his sixteen year old sister, and his ten year old brother gave him Elsa and Anna Barbies for his birthday. He often takes off their dresses, but just as often puts them back on. He also takes them to school on our Dutch bike. One morning, when he wanted to take naked Elsa to school, I'm not sure if I had an issue with her being naked, or if I used that incident to teach him the norms of society - that you can't go to school naked, especially in the winter! I'm all for my son enjoying his freedom, and his acceptance to make unadulterated choices, and I expect the society I live in to be open minded enough for my nine year old boy to play with Barbies, but out of respect for others, to dress himself (and his Barbie!) before going out in public. I hope that makes sense :). [A mum] • I get where you're coming from Wyn. I'm not keen on [my daughter] taking her Peppa Pig umbrella into school (year 4 Mainstream) as I know a few will snigger and make fun. I've bought her a more grown up one instead. She actually doesn't watch Peppa but adored the umbrella. She's happy with the new one. It's sad we have to be so careful as we worry what is acceptable but sadly I know how mean others can be and will do everything my power to avoid it if I can. [A mum] • My non-Down Syndrome seven year old would take a Barbie shopping. And my son's only four so although he's in mainstream school his friends seem ok with the fact he still likes Peppa Pig, and when they come over to play they love his toys, even though in their own homes they may have moved on. Maybe as he gets older I'll feel this way.

before our own children's feelings. There will always be someone ready to make you feel bad. Well done. Xx [A mum] • I think it’s very tricky and parents are just as bad as children for thinking or staring or commenting and we do what we do to protect all our children. There is a parallel universe somewhere else where everyone accepts naked Barbies and anything else people want to bring to Tesco. x [A mum] • You are not alone. I think these are the kind of concerns that nag away at every parent's mind from time to time. It never stops being a learning curve. I question every decision I make concerning my children, and even now two of them are adults I'm no nearer to knowing whether what I did was right or not. [A dad] • You only felt it to protect your child though. My five year old cried at the line up to school this morning that he would miss me and in my head I willed him not to cry in case the other kids made fun of him. But like you I thought about that most of today and I bet him nor the other kids gave it a second thought after the bell. Parenting! Just too hard! x [A mum] • My sister has special needs and for years I tried to get her to act like me but now we're older I'm so jealous, she still has that sweet-child innocence, is so happy and still loves kids' toys; always the first on the trampoline. Just let her be herself, there will always be judging no matter what happens in life but by what I've seen on your page she has stolen everyone's hearts in and out of school. [A mum] • I would have had all those thoughts floating round. All valid and they show an awareness and a guardedness that I think can be part of the parent/carer landscape. [A mum] • Stop chewing yourself up Wyn; stop worrying and get on with enjoying your lives. I'm quite certain [your daughter] at this present time has the personality to overcome whatever comes her way. X [A couple] • I can’t even find the words to express the extent to which I understand this post!! [A mum] • Yep I get it... My seven year old son in year three (he has ADHD) came out of school today and launched himself at me for a hug as he'd had a rubbish day, but as he'd jumped up I ended up holding him like a toddler. I've felt awful about it all day now, it was very public and not age appropriate, but he needed it, so hard to know what to do. [a mum] • To put it into perspective, my typical eleven year old son still has "teddy", a threadbare rag with a teddy's head and arms attached that he got the day he was born. I would be horrified if he took him out of the house, and it's only my insistence that he doesn't! I've told him off when he walks around with him when his

And there we have it. The more things change the more they stay the same. Nothing is new under the sun. Kids will be kids, for better or worse, and parents will worry. It helped me to know other parents had felt similar concerns to my own. I hope some of the above touches some of you where you are right now. Happy new year! Footnotes (1) Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, "the more things change, the more they stay the same," (Les Guêpes, January 1849). (2) https://www.facebook.com/BeatingDownsBarriers/

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new year - new you Bobbi Brown - Extra Glow Skincare Set Start the new year off the right way by giving yourself a boost with this fabulous trio set from Bobbi Brown. The set includes Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm which is formulated with skin energising Lychee Extract and light-reflective pearls for the perfect, natural glow. Extra Eye Repair Cream to target fine lines, wrinkles and dark circles and Extra Lip Tint in Bare Pink to soften and leave a perfect glow. RRP £68.00

www.bobbibrown.co.uk

Clinique - Even Better Glow Light Reflective Make-up with SPF 15 This moisturising foundation instantly creates a natural radiance with subtle luminising pigments. Suitable for every day wear and over time bare skin glows on its own, thanks to Vitamin C. SPF helps prevent dark spots. Go on, get your glow on! RRP £27.00

www.clinique.co.uk

Givenchy - Dahlia Divin A luxurious warm woody base made of sandalwood, vetiver and patchouli, leading to the heart of the fragrance which consists of sambac jasmine and white flowers. From £47.00 - £80.00 www.givenchybeauty.com

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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.

to thrive. UK guidelines recommend that we treat ourselves to at least 5 portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day. AT LEAST, so if you have 5 and you fancy more, go for it! Don’t forget to mix it up and try new recipes. Your skin will thank you.

Happy New Year! A season of festivities has taken its toll on my skin. A combination of late nights, food, drink and central heating has left my skin feeling rather dull and lifeless. We often start the year with our resolutions in place, personally I don’t. Simply because any time is a good time to do something that has the potential to make you feel or look better. However, when I speak to friends about New Year’s resolutions they usually include fitness, diets or saving money. All of which are a great idea, but no one ever talks about making a promise to their skin. Our skin is the largest organ we have, I think it deserves plenty of attention! Exercise is brilliant for the skin; a raised heart rate boots the blood supply to the skin and instantly makes us more radiant – so this is an excellent start.

Now this last one is easier said than done, and that’s sleep. I’m someone who feels there just isn’t enough hours in the day. My children, degree and work keeps me on the go and often up way past midnight. I wake each morning with dark puffy circles beneath tired eyes. Cool slices of cucumber applied to the eyes or used chilled teabags really do help. And although they are a cheap temporary solution, you still need to find the time to lay back and let them work their magic! So, maybe popping up to bed an hour earlier each night makes better sense? I did say that some of this is easier said than done, and if you are a parent, shift worker or suffer from anxiety or stress, extra sleep might not be an option. We can only do our best, and that is good enough. You are good enough. Essentially the one thing that can make our skin look better is happiness. Feeling good about the skin we are in. Scars and wrinkles are the stories that we wear. Looking after ourselves and making the most of what we have automatically produces the most beautiful version of you.

Hydration is vital, get as much H20 has you possibly can – ideally 8 glasses a day, 1.9 litres in total. In the UK, the recommended daily intake is 6 to 8 glasses, personally if you really want to see a difference in your skin, aim for 8. Keeping the skin hydrated will have a more positive affect than skin care can buy.

Let’s spend 2018 sharing positivity! So, what does the year ahead hold for the Beauty Edit? Well, I’m looking forward to sharing some new and exciting beauty brands! I would also like to include any local skincare brands and salons. If you are a local brand please get in touch, I would love to hear from you! The easiest way to contact me is via the Facebook Page. Simply search Sarah-Jane - Cardiff Times.

Eat well! I suspect that this one will be the easiest to achieve! Overindulgence leaves us feeling lethargic and low (I know, I know, it was fun at the time, I’m with you on that). Foods filled with fat and sugar really take away our shine. Our skin craves vitamins and minerals for it

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

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

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

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

3. “Only women can get cellulite.”

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

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

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

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britain is named 6th fattest nation in the world - here are 12 steps to prevent obesity If you are buying ready-made mustard make sure that it does not contain sugar as this is going to be counterproductive for your weight,” explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville, one of the UK’s leading nutritionists 3. Caution: leftovers from the night before “If the night before you had oven-cooked salmon with herbs and a green salad, then having the leftovers for breakfast is not a bad idea5 but if you indulged in pizza or fish and chips, then maybe rethink the dinner leftovers as breakfast option. It is essential to start the day with energy and a clear mind to sustain activities throughout the day. Choose foods rich in fibre, antioxidants, and good protein and fats. A healthy and fulfilling option can be poached or scrambled eggs on a piece of whole grain bread and a freshly made green juice,” explains Martina Della Vedova, Nutritionist at Natures Plus.

Us Brits are piling on the pounds and as a result the UK is the most overweight nation in Western Europe and levels of obesity are growing faster than the US, according to a new report.[1] There are so many fad diets out there and ‘quick-fix’ solutions but what simple sustainable tips can you make to your routine to avoid being labelled as ‘obese?’ Here are 12 top tips for fighting fat5

4. Don’t do a strict diet “Dieting is the worst possible thing you could be doing if you really want to increase your fat burning potential. By being on a strict diet you are restricting your food intake and so your body will think there is a famine and slow your metabolism down. This means you are not using up so much energy and you will feel constantly tired,” explains Marilyn. 5. Add protein to each meal If your diet is lacking in protein then you may be more inclined to go back for seconds. “Including protein in your meal helps slow down digestion, leaving you feeling more satisfied and fuller for longer. This in turn can help with weight loss, as you’re less likely to have as many calories. To ensure you’re getting your daily dose of protein try a plant based protein powder, which is easy to digest and can be kept low-calorie. This can be used to make smoothies or shakes, and also added to savoury foods such as stews and soups. I’d recommend Natures Plus Paleo Protein,” says Cassandra.

1. You gobble down food “Eating too quickly can lead to overeating. You’ve probably heard that it can take up to 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full. The faster you eat, the more you’re likely to eat in that 20 minute gap before you feel full. In addition, if you eat quickly, you don't taste or enjoy your food properly either: this could trigger the desire to eat more in order to feel satisfied with your meal. Make a conscious effort not to be affected by other people at the table if they are eating quickly. Eating slowly and calmly could even help them slow down too,” explains Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns. 2. Move those pounds with mustard Mustard contains capsaicin, which can help boost your metabolism. “The capsaicin's heat may help with a process called thermogenesis where your body can convert fat into heat, so helps to burn more fat, which aids to weight loss. Including thermogenic ingredients in your diet may boost your metabolism by up to 5 percent, and increase fat burning by up to 16 percent.

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6. Get fruity the right way “Try to keep fruit to two pieces per day and choose only low GI fruits as they don’t impact blood sugar too much. Good choices of fruit are 2-3 Plums, an apple, a pear and/or punnet of berry fruits. For effective weight loss, it is best to avoid bananas, grapes and mangoes as these are higher in sugar,” explains Nutritionist at Quest Nutra Pharma, Alix Woods.

breakfast, lunch and dinner plus a snack mid-morning and one mid-afternoon, with no longer than three hours between,” suggests Marilyn. 10. Don’t forget to snooze “Sleep deprivation and weight gain are often found to go hand in hand, as lack of sleep effects the brain and hormones, especially the glucose and fat regulatory hormone, insulin. With less sleep, fat cells can react slower to insulin and as a result are more likely to be stored and cause weight gain. This may even lead to more serious health problems like diabetes. Also with sleep deprivation, leptin, the appetite suppressant hormone is affected which means we are left feeling hungrier and as a result we may eat more to compensate. The stress hormone, cortisol is also on alert with lack of sleep and it also increases appetite. As a result, all these appetite and stress regulating hormones are ‘overtired’ and metabolism slows down and weight gain is inevitable!” explains Alix. 11. Don’t fear good fats These Omega 3 fats, which many people especially women, hardly touch in their diets anymore because they think that all fat is bad, are crucial for keeping your cell walls flexible. Without an adequate supply in the diet, your cell walls harden and their insulin receptors become unresponsive to insulin. With healthy fats like Omega 3s in the diet, the cell walls become healthier, their insulin receptors become more sensitive to insulin and insulin will be able to take the sugar (glucose) from your blood and use it for energy. If your body is able to use insulin effectively, it no longer has to produce extra high amounts to get the job done. Contrary to what you would think, essential fats really can help you to lose weight because they boost your metabolism and have a fat burning effect. The Omega 3 EFAs specifically help with fat burning because they direct blood sugar toward the glycogen stores to be burned as fuel, instead of being stored as fat.

7. Watching TV whilst eating Are you guilty of getting cosy on the sofa, whilst eating dinner, and catching up with your favourite TV show? “This can result in mindless eating, causing you to not be fully focused on your food consumption. This can then lead you to eating more than you would if you were concentrating on what’s on your plate, as you haven’t given your body the chance to register that you’re feeling full,” explains Cassandra. 8. Watch your intake of sugar and carbs “The problem with carbohydrates is that they raise insulin levels and insulin is the fat storing hormone of the body. The more refined carbohydrates and sugar are eaten the higher the blood glucose (sugar) level and more insulin has to be produced to deal with it. Overtime you may gain weight and eventually you can even become insulin resistant and end up with Type 2 diabetes. For healthy and enjoyable weight loss and fat burning you need to reduce or avoid foods containing added sugar and refined starchy carbohydrates like white bread, cakes and biscuits. These foods cause fluctuations in your blood-sugar and increase levels of insulin, which is the fat-storing hormone of the body. Replace unhealthy saturated fats, with healthy unsaturated fats found in eggs, nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocados,” suggests Marilyn.

12. Cut down on caffeine “It is important to manage your caffeine intake, as this can play havoc with your insulin levels and lead to excess adrenalin and glucose circulating in the blood and being then stored as fat. I suggest cutting down to one mid-morning coffee without milk, as milk contains lactose, which is milk sugar and opt for a dairy free alternative like oat, almond and/or rice,” explains Alix.

9. Eat every few hours “Try to keep your blood sugar levels and energy levels stable by eating something every three hours. Just eat

[1] https://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/ObesityUpdate-2017.pdf

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help cardiff to rock in 2018 By Natalie McCulloch Can you remember a time when you heard of someone, or saw someone, do something incredible and its stuck with you ever since? As the Dalai Lama once said:“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” What’s more, we all possess the power to do such an act, we all have the capacity to be inspirationally amazing and to help others! Read on to discover an idea of how you can do just that! (And ironically you do actually need a pebble too!)

Joining in is as simple as 1,2,3. 1. Purchase and paint a pebble – Pebbles are available from garden centres and craft suppliers mainly – please don’t take pebbles from beaches as these play a vital role in maintaining our beautiful natural defence systems! Paint your pebble using a medium of your choice – acrylics, nail polish and sharpie pens are all popular choices 2. ‘Brand’ the back with the Facebook symbol and ‘Wales Rocks’ / ‘Love on the rocks UK’ - so that people know it’s part of this mission and can join the group. 3. Leave your pebble somewhere (safe of course) for someone to find!

Thanks to a wonderful initiative, which has spread all the way from the USA to the UK (and most recently to our very own green green grass of Wales) thousands of beautifully decorated or thoughtfully worded pebbles are popping up across the globe! WHY? Mainly to raise a smile!

If you’re feeling braver still you can log onto the Facebook groups to post photos of your creations! If you find a pebble, please do log it on the Facebook group to help track it on its travels and then pass it on – you never know your pebble may travel far and wide!

‘Love On The Rocks’ was started with the simple aim of making a stranger smile! Over a year later it’s still doing just that, but there are many more smiles to be made! As a result, smaller groups such as ‘Wales Rocks’ are popping up to deal with the sea of followers!

This is not a new concept. Scottish painted pebbles have been dated to the period 200 AD to the eighth century AD, known as the Pictish period. They were thought to be of magical nature by the

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Picts, however local traditions suggest that they were charm stones used to cure sickness in animals and humans.

suggests that when chronic-pain sufferers helped others with the same ailment, they reported feeling less discomfort. Plus, doing something creative and helping others have both been linked to reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and promoting positive emotions which can improve health, wellbeing and quality of life. Not bad for such a humble hobby!

How you paint your pebble is entirely up to you – you could use it to spread a positive message, raise awareness of a condition or charity, show off your artistic abilities or purely prove the power of a positive deed.

Founding member of our local group ‘Wales Rocks’, Alice Hortop, knows all about the power of positivity due to her investment in positive psychology and extensive career as a highly acclaimed occupational therapist, laughter therapist and senior lecturer. She explains: “The reason I started the page was because I was added to the Bristol Rocks pages by one of my students as they know I study lots of positive psychology. I've been really touched by the stories people have shared on the page of finding the painted stones, particularly at times of struggle. I think it combines many beautiful concepts of kindness, creativity and community connection. I love that anyone can do it, its minimal in terms of cost and that a short piece of time spent in art can touch someone else's day.”

The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention. Anonymous The best part (for people like me anyway!) is that you don’t have to be a brilliant artist to make a super contribution! Your personal pebble is just that – personal, it can contain words, phrases, images – what makes it special is its uniquely yours and if it makes one person smile then surely this project is worth it! If you’re stuck for inspiration why not log on to the gallery to find out what ideas others have come up with, in return, it may help you! By engaging our creative side, we open up new realms of self-exploration (you may have a talent you didn’t know you even had!). It could be a great way to spend a rainy afternoon, designing and painting in and then plotting where to put it!

“There wasn't one in Barry that I was aware of, so I thought about starting a Barry one but then I thought, why think small, Wales is big and beautiful! One could say it 'rocks' and now it has a page to encourage just that! There are local area pages in Wales but I thought it would be good to have a large one that covered communities that may not have them yet. You could go on days out and leave a stone thank you gift.”

You could involve others – if you’re part of a group, charity or have family/friends, this could be a fun excuse to spend time together (and a cheap one too!). Lots of people on the Facebook group report using it as a fun rainy-day activity with their children, fun for all ages! Another big reason for people getting involved is wanting to return the good deed, or reciprocate the good feeling, having found a painted pebble themselves – perhaps helping is contagious after all! So possibly doing such random acts of kindness may promote a positive sense of community too.

Alice summarises the overall focus of the project by saying, “I've been teaching happiness and wellbeing as an occupational therapist for over twenty years, any avenue to do this I want to explore. I'm hoping people will create stone art pieces that make people smile, feel special and inspired. I'd love schools, community groups and families to make it their mini mission to plant some smile inducing stones in and about their communities.”

Plus, you can feel better knowing you’ve made someone smile – research suggests that when we help others, it promotes positive physiological changes in our brains which are associated with happiness, a phenomenon well known as the ‘helpers high’.

Feel inspired to have a go? It may even help you on a physical basis. If you choose to use your pebble to raise awareness of a condition or ailment you have, it may help ease your discomfort. Research in Pain Management Nursing

Go on – pick up a pebble of positivity or join in by creating your own - see where yours could take you!

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TRY SOMEWHERE NEW FOR THE NEW YEAR A guide of what to do & where to go for all ages this January It’s 2018 and you’re determined to find the best food products for you and your health. Celebrating 40 years this year, Beanfreaks offers a huge range of vegetarian, vegan, organic, gluten free and local food produce as well as your usual eco-friendly favourites. It’s all healthy and all waiting to be tried by you this year. Beanfreaks is a small independent company with a big heart that can help you on your way to a healthier you whatever your dietary requirements are. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are there to find what you need & discuss what the best options are for you. Here’s what customers have to say about Beanfreaks to prove you should pop in and visit: -“Gluten Free range is the best I’ve ever seen.” -“The best Health food shop in Cardiff!” -“one-stop-shop for all your health requirements.” There are three shops situated all over the city so there will be one close to you to visit. Alternatively, see what they stock & order online at www.beanfreaks.com 124 Cowbridge Road East, CF11 9DX 3 St Mary’s Street, CF10 1AT 95 Albany Road, CF24 3LP 02920 251 671 New year, new hobby? If someone in your family has made a New Years Resolution for 2018 to start a new hobby, then why not consider music? At Forte School of Music there is something for everyone - with Jungle Music for children from 6 months old, Coffee Keys piano classes for adults, and instrumental tuition for all age groups. For younger children, group lessons are a fun, engaging way for them to learn a musical instrument. The ‘Music is Fun’ course teaches children from 3½ years the fundamentals of music, whilst Junior Keys is a beginner piano course for 5 – 7 year olds. Why not try a taster lesson and get their musical education off to a flying start in 2018? Remember, music lessons aren’t just for children, and Forte welcome students of any age and ability - it’s never too late to learn a new skill! There are private lessons available in a variety of instruments, as well as our drop-in piano classes for those seeking something with a social element. Come and find out how much fun learning music can be? Contact Forte School of Music on: Tel: 029 2063 1340 Email: fortecardiff@fortemusic.co.uk Or visit: www.fortemusic.co.uk www.facebook.com/forteschool

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 New Year, 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 January. By the time you leave there is no doubt you will become a regular customer. www.ziopin.com 74 Albany Road, Roath, Cardiff, CF24 3RS 029 20485673


January doesn’t have to be Blue! Find your Happy at The Red Dragon Centre, Cardiff Bay Let’s be fair, poor old January gets a bit of a bad rep! And we get it, we really do, the weather is bleak, the Christmas decorations are packed away for another year, and it’s back to the daily 9-5 grind for many of us, BUT at The Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff Bay, they’re bringing the fun back to January! Right here at the round the clock home of fun, you will find your Happy Place all under one roof with free customer parking. Enjoy feel good films at ODEON, including new musical ‘The Greatest Showman’ starring Hugh Jackman, spend quality time with family on the lanes at Hollywood Bowl or enjoy a great night out at Grosvenor Casino. What’s more, you’ll find plenty of comfort food to kick any hint of the January Blues into touch! From all you-can-eat-options, to a la carte, or a quick bite to eat before the movies, you’ll find many an option to suit even the fussiest eater, with great offers to also tempt you this January. To find out more find your Happy at www.thereddragoncentre.co.uk

GOT BEEF What better to cheer you up in January than a delicious homemade burger? Got Beef Bar & Kitchen offer unique mouth-watering gourmet burgers with 6oz patties made from award winning Black Beef. It's then loaded with original toppings and homemade sauces with many different options to choose from. Accompanying the burgers are several American-style sides you may recognise such as dirty, pickled & the ever-popular sweet potato fries. The restaurant itself features an open kitchen where diners are able to see owner Cai and the team freshly preparing and cooking dishes. The restaurant also caters for vegetarians and has an lunch time menu & takeaway option available. Got Beef is open from Mon-Sun with the opening hours 12:00-22:00 daily. If you haven’t visited before, be sure to try this restaurant as somewhere new to go this year as it’s suitable for all ages & occasions. 83 Whitchurch Road Cardiff, CF14 3JP (029) 2061 7534 info@gotbeef.co.uk

CARDIFF & MET HOCKEY CLUB Cardiff and Met Hockey Club, was first established in 1896 and was one of the first hockey clubs to be established in Cardiff. Today it proudly provides hockey for 6 men's teams, 5 ladies teams, 4 youth teams and 2 Masters Teams, as well a proven history of producing international and elite level players. The teams play their hockey at Sophia Gardens or Cyncoed and boast a growing membership of over 250 members, the ever expanding youth section also a testament to this. In recent years the club has gone from strength to strength, becoming the most successful club in Welsh history winning no less than 22 domestic and European cups, 9 regional leagues and 18 regional promotions as well as becoming the first Welsh team to complete in the illustrious European Hockey League (equivalent to the UEFA Champions League). The club prides itself on providing “hockey for all” and welcomes new members of all ages and skill levels. The club is currently looking to add to its expanding junior membership in the U9-U11 age groups and boys who are U18. Why not get involved? You can find all our contact details on the website http://cardiffandmet.co.uk or follow them on twitter @Cardiff_Hockey


FABULOUS WELSH CAKES Can anything beat the taste of a simple, freshly baked, crumbly, buttery welsh cake? Cheer up dreary January by visiting Fabulous Welshcakes in either Castle Arcade or Mermaid Quay. They traditionally make handmade (you guessed it!) welsh cakes on a cast iron griddle baking hugely popular welsh cakes with juicy sultanas and a hint of nutmeg as well as an amazing selection of flavoured welsh cakes such as lemon and white chocolate, maple pecan, lime and coconut… delicious! To cater for everyone, there are also vegan, gluten free and diabetic welsh cakes available. Next time you’re enjoying day of shopping or are around the city centre, don't forget to pop in and say hello in the stunning Castle Arcade. In the Mermaid Quay store, there’s not only welsh cakes, you can also have a browse around the selection of Welsh gifts. They have a lovely range of foodie gifts and some stylish jewellery, mugs, candles, cards, pictures as well as wedding favours with custom packaging & flavours. All products can be viewed & purchased at www.fabulouswelshcakes.co.uk 44 Castle Arcade, CF10 1BW 14, Mermaid Quay, CF10 5BZ 07795 473224 | 029 2045 6593

JUBORAJ

The Juboraj Restaurant Group is one of the oldest and one of the greatest Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants in Wales. Having been established for well over 20 years, they’ve won numerous awards and now have five restaurants in Cardiff. The Rhiwbina restaurant with its Georgian interior is one of the originals. The Juboraj Lakeside restaurant has been at the heart of Roath Park for over fifteen years. At the heart of Cardiff’s thriving Café Quarter lies the stylish Juboraj. The Juboraj Express on North Road has an Indian street food café atmosphere and a home delivery operation that is second to none. Finally, the latest restaurant brings the Juboraj home to where it all began for them, Cardiff Bay. The Juboraj pride themselves on combining traditional authentic dishes with a fresh new contemporary approach bringing you the best flavours the Indian sub-continent has to offer. The Juboraj Guarantee ensures that only the freshest and high quality ingredients are used in their dishes. Take advantage of the early evening discount menu this month at the Lakeside and Rhiwbina venues between 5pm - 6.30pm Monday to Thursday. With a warm welcome and friendly attentive staff you can be sure that time spent at a Juboraj, whether it be a light lunch or a candlelit evening meal, will be time well spent. For more information or to order online visit: www.juborajgroup.com

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 - sales@clarkspies.co.uk

CLARKS PIES


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Parc Ty Glas, Llanishen, Cardiff, CF14 5DU

029 20747 300 www.123jump.co.uk

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cardiff & newport ‘sands’ charity My name is Heather Jane Coombs, and 13 years ago I had never heard of the Charity Sands (stillbirth and neonatal death charity). Then my life changed forever when on the 1st September 2004 at 36 weeks pregnant, I was told the heart breaking news that my son Xander’s heart had stopped beating and mine had been broken forever. That night, my husband Dave and I heard 7 babies being born, and hearing their cries and realising that Xander would never make that noise was devastating and traumatising. On the 3rd September Xander was born sleeping and later that evening we left the hospital with a little book of hand and foot prints, a lock of hair and some black and white pictures taken by the hospital photographer, and some my dad had taken. We felt so alone and thought losing a baby must be such a rare occurrence. We soon found out that we were wrong, and thankfully after searching google I found the charity Sands who supports ANYONE affected by the death of a baby. Although there was nothing in our area, they did put me in touch with Donna in West Wales. A befriender is usually someone who has experienced a loss and has been then trained by Sands.

We have opened 4 bereavement rooms, in the Royal Gwent, UHW Cardiff and the Royal Glamorgan Hospitals which are rooms that families can spend time with their baby before saying goodbye. All our rooms have double beds and we also have cuddle cots which allows the babies to be with the family for longer. We couldn’t have done that without all the generous donations we have received and people who have supported fundraising events. We also sponsor training for health professionals and student midwives, as well as many other projects. We hold a monthly support meeting at St David’s Hospital in Canton, Cardiff on the last Thursday of the month between 7pm - 8.30pm, and also a next pregnancy meeting at the same venue from 7.15 -8.45pm. Thanks to our befriender Pip who came up with the idea and ran it for a number of years, we now have a sunshine and rainbow baby group as well. This is for parents who have young children who are unable to make evening meetings. These meetings are held during the morning and the children are welcome. They are now run by Carolyn on the second Friday of the month between 10am -12pm at the Little Black Sheep Pottery in Pontyclun. We are hoping in the next couple of months to start a Grandparents meeting once a quarter.

Being able to talk to her and her understand made such a huge difference. Dave and I really wanted to be in a position where we could help other couples. Sands put us in contact with Caroline Allsopp and Claire Roberts who were both bereaved mum’s who were interested in helping to set up a group. Our first event was held for Babyloss Awareness Month and our first meeting was held on the last Friday in October 2006.

For more information please contact : cardiffsands@hotmail.co.uk

We started small with just one hospital – University Hospital Wales, Cardiff, and over the years our meetings became busier. As well as Dave and I, we gained more befrienders – William, Lisa, Sara, Gemma, Naomi, Pip, Fi, Ed, Carolyn, Caroline and Claire. Having dad’s at the meetings encouraged other dad’s to attend as we appreciated how much dad’s also needed an outlet to talk. As we became bigger we branched out to become ‘Cardiff & Newport Sands’ and also covered the Royal Gwent and Royal Glamorgan Hospitals.

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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!

Wyburn: You can say that again! Wayne: Cheeky! Well I love The Santa Dash ‘cause it’s so much fun, The Rock Choir were there and it was a real party atmosphere.

Wyburn: Happy New Year! Wyburn: It was so good to tick off The Albert Hall from our list of places to visit too.

Wayne: Happy New Year!

Wayne: We’ve always wanted to go to The Albert Hall and finally got the chance. We were invited to ‘Its Christmas’ a televised concert featuring Shakin Stevens, Alexandra Burke, Melanie C, Holly Johnson and so many more amazing acts.

Wyburn: Hope everyone had a great festive season. Wayne: We certainly did, it’s probably our busiest time of the year, lots of events and parties.

Wyburn: It was a fantastic concert and we also got to see all the wonderful Christmas Lights throughout London. It’s a magical place at Christmas.

Wyburn: We started December with a massive fundraiser for The Terrence Higgins Trust at Mary’s. Wayne: It was a great night judging a Fashion Show. The outfits were created by Cardiff University’s Costume Design students and they were outrageous and amazing.

Wayne: You did some incredible art projects last month too, I don’t think I’ve ever known you to be so busy. The perks of being best friends with a celebrity portrait artist is sometimes I get to meet celebrities I love.

Wyburn: Yes they looked perfect on the Cardiff Drag queens that modelled the outfits. Wayne: December really is the most giving month even for charities, we attended so many charity events last month.

Wyburn: You certainly do and how cool was it we got to meet The One And Only Gemma Collins at her home in Essex! I’ve always wanted to do a portrait using pink glitter and who better to create than the GC herself.

Wyburn: It was great to be part of Welsh Hearts Santa Dash again down at Cardiff Bay. Such a wonderful turn out with participants growing in numbers every year.

Wayne: She was so cool, really friendly and she loved her portrait. Wyburn: She even had us carry her Christmas tree up to her apartment. Super Lovely girl.

Wayne: I’m not much of a runner..

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Wyburn: We also had some great guests on The Wyburn And Wayne Show in December, as well as Snow White we had Edith Bowman and Ashley Gilmour who played Chris in Miss Saigon at The Wales Millennium Centre.

Wayne: And you added another feather to your cap last month becoming a catwalk model for Penarth based fashion designer Nathan Palmer. Wyburn: I was incredibly honoured to be part of Nathan’s #ThisIsTheatre fashion show. The designs were beautiful and the show was very dramatic. It was great to be part of Nathan’s Show, I’m a huge fan of his work and loved wearing his suit.

Wayne: It’s been a great year doing our show on Radio Cardiff and we are super excited to get a bigger show in 2018. Lots of exciting things ahead for Wyburn and Wayne.

Wayne: It was a great party too! Lovely to bump into Dilys Price at the event. We were so pleased to see Dilys receive a Pride Of Britain Award last month. She’s great and a real inspiration.

Wyburn: Can we possibly do anymore haha! Between our jobs, our Karaoke Night at The Golden Cross, our Radio Show plus attending events all over the country can we actually fit anymore in!

Wyburn: My childhood heroes returned to Cardiff in December and we got to Party On The Dance floor with my favourites STEPS!

Wayne: We always find room for a bit of fun and a good night out!

Wayne: Who would have thought that in 2017 The Vengaboys And STEPS would be selling out arenas to massive excited crowds!! The show was amazing.

Wyburn and Wayne: We would like to wish you all a happy New Year and big thanks for all your support.

Wyburn: Incredible Show and STEPS loved the artwork I created of them using all their single covers.

Cardiffian Of The Month: Name: Matthew Wilson-Cole Occupation: Restaurant Supervisor Fave Bars in Cardiff: Golden Cross or the Mount Stuart in the Bay at summer. Face Places to Eat: Madeira, Viva Brazil and of course Frankie and Benny’s Cardiff in 3 words: beautiful, vibrant, lush Fave Cardiffian: Terry Nation. Creator of the Dr Who Darleks. Doctor Who is one of my favourite shows to watch.

Wayne: And while we are talking incredible shows, how amazing was this years Christmas On Broadway at City Hall. Wyburn: It really was, we got to host the event again and it was great to see our friend Lloyd Macey make his return to a stage in Cardiff after his success in last years X Factor. Wayne: Lloyd was sensational as was Aled Jones and up and coming superstar in the making Reuben Demaid. The event was another huge event put on by Welsh Hearts. It’s become a Christmas tradition for a lot of Cardiffians to attend this event each year. Wyburn: And another Christmas tradition is to attend Panto at The New Theatre. This years Snow White was so much fun. We got to interview Gareth Thomas and we had Stephanie Webber (Snow White) on our Radio Cardiff Show. Wayne: Without a doubt it was the best Panto I’ve ever seen. Mike Doyle was hysterical as always. In fact I can’t imagine a Cardiff Panto without Mike Doyle. .

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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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‘freddie’ is ready for children’s hospice A Cardiff care home donated a huge fluffy toy dog to a children’s hospice in the Vale of Glamorgan last month. Tŷ Llandaff, a private nursing, residential and respite care home in Pontcanna, presented the giant stuffed animal to Tŷ Hafan, a registered paediatric palliative care charity which offers care to children and support for their families throughout Wales. The care home also raised £100 for the hospice after coming up with a ‘guess the name of the dog’ competition. Staff bought names off a made-up list with Tŷ Llandaff laundry assistant Gail Henderson guessing the name ‘Freddie’ correctly. James Dhale received the fluffy dog and cheque on behalf of Tŷ Hafan from Tŷ Llandaff care home manager Janice Evans, who came up with the name. She said: “Tŷ Hafan has supported nearly 600 children since it opened in 1999 and every year has to raise £4million to provide free services to families in Wales. It’s really important that people continue to help them and raise money in any way they can in order for Tŷ Hafan to be able to be there for families for however long they need them. We’ve raised a small token and really hope that ‘Freddie’ continues to put a smile on some of the children’s faces after Christmas.” For more information about the Tŷ Llandaff Open Day please call Jan on 02920 600 100, email info@ tyllandaffcare.com or visit www.tyllandaffcare.com

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your child can win a scholarship to an amazing independent school fields, and this year saw graduate Karan Mann progress to study medicine at Keele University with straight A*s and A grades. Dan Harding, another Kings Monkton graduate, where he is supporting local communities in Cambodia with a charity, before commencing study of economics at university next year.

Prospective pupils and parents in Cardiff can now apply for a scholarship to study at one of the most prestigious independent schools in Wales. Kings Monkton School, which has been providing a first-class education for more than 150 years, is one of the top schools in Wales, and has been declared ‘exceptional’ by Estyn, an independent education governing body.

Education goes beyond the classroom at Kings Monkton School. This year, Kings Monkton was the first school in Wales to loan a rare collection of moon rocks and meteorites for an interactive workshop in one of its science labs. The School has also built a professional kitchen, introducing extra-curricular cooking classes and a food technology qualification for its pupils. Kings Monkton engages with a variety of community outreach programmes, and this year its pupils produced a selection of artwork and Christmas hampers for children staying at Ronald McDonald House in University Hospital Wales.

The School opened its state-of-the-art sixth form facility earlier this year, with its first cohort of sixth form pupils experiencing immense A-level success in the summer. The School’s results were far higher than the national average, and 88% of its pupils achieved a pass rate of A* to B. There are multiple scholarships available at Kings Monkton, each covering up to 50% of a pupil’s fees for the entirety of their education at the School. Scholarships are available for pupils starting year 3, 6, 10 or year 12 in September 2018, and will be awarded to pupils who demonstrate exceptional capabilities or talents within a specific educational field. For those in key stage 2 and 3, pupils or prospective pupils can sit exams for scholarships in maths and English. For those commencing GCSE study or post-16 qualifications such as A-Levels, pupils can sit exams for scholarships in their chosen subjects.

Paul Norton, principal, said: “These scholarships are a fantastic opportunity for gifted young people looking to study somewhere special. We are passionate about providing a world-class educational experience for pupils of all abilities at Kings Monkton. Lessons here are insightful, teachers inspirational, and each pupil receives the emotional support they need to flourish.”

The scholarship exams will take place on Saturday 27 January 2018 at the School. Applications are to be made through the School’s main office, and are open until Wednesday 24 January.

Kings Monkton School welcomes visits from prospective pupils all year round. For more information, visit: www.kingsmonkton.org.uk or call 02920 482854.

Kings Monkton provides a diverse curriculum, which currently includes subjects such as mandarin, global perspectives and computer science, as well as a vast array of extra-curricular learning opportunities and one-to-one teaching. Sixth-form pupils have engaged with the Schools pioneering co-curriculum this term, inspired by the world-renowned International Baccalaureate, incorporating four distinct ‘learning pathways’ of business and law, education and humanities, natural sciences, and the creative arts. The curriculum is designed to thoroughly prepare students for university and careers in a variety of

When are the scholarship exams? 10:00 AM on Saturday 27 January 2018. Who are they for? Pupils starting year 3, 6, 10, or 12 in September 2018. How are applications made? By calling the School’s office on 02920 482 854. When is the application deadline? Wednesday 24 January 2018.

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cadwch eich meddwl yn brysur yn 2018!

keep your mind active in 2018!

Ydych chi’n chwilio am her newydd? Gallai hwn fod yn gyfle perffaith i chi. Mae’r tîm Addysg Barhaus a Phroffesiynol ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd yn cynnig cyrsiau rhan-amser mewn amrywiaeth eang o bynciau i astudio ar wahanol lefelau. Gallwch astudio i ddatblygu eich hun, i wella eich rhagolygon gyrfa, ac i gynyddu eich gwybodaeth. Rydym yn cynnig cyrsiau: • Dyniaethau (gan gynnwys ysgrifennu creadigol, llenyddiaeth, hanes, astudiaethau’r cyfryngau, athroniaeth a cherddoriaeth) • Ieithoedd • Busnes a Rheolaeth • Astudiaethau Cyfrifiadurol • Gwleidyddiaeth a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol/ Y Gyfraith • Gwyddoniaeth a’r Amgylchedd • Gofal Iechyd • Astudiaethau Cymdeithasol

Are you looking for a new challenge? This may be the perfect opportunity for you. Continuing and Professional Education at Cardiff University offer part-time courses in a wide range of subjects to study at different levels. You can study for personal development, to enhance your career prospects and to increase your knowledge. We offer courses in; • Humanities (including creative writing, literature, history, media studies, philosophy and music) • Languages • Business and Management • Computer Studies • Politics and International Relations/Law • Science and Environment • Healthcare • Social Studies Have you always wanted an undergraduate degree? Make this January the date to change your life! Our friendly Co-ordinators will be on hand to discuss all the pathways which lead to undergraduate study in the humanities subjects including: • English Language, Literature and Philosophy (Inside Narratives) • Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies (Our Media, Our World) • History, Archaeology and Religion (Exploring the Past) When: 10/01/18 at 12.00 to 14.00 Where: Cyber Café, Continuing and Professional Education, 21-23 Senghennydd Road, Cardiff CF24 4AG. There is no need to book, just turn up. For more information visit www.cardiff.ac.uk/ learn or call 029 2087 0000

Ydych chi wedi eisiau gradd israddedig erioed? Gwnewch i’r mis Ionawr hwn fod yn ddyddiad i newid eich bywyd! Bydd ein Cydlynwyr cyfeillgar wrth law i drafod yr holl lwybrau sy'n arwain at astudiaeth israddedig ym mhynciau’r dyniaethau gan gynnwys: • Saesneg Iaith, Llenyddiaeth neu Athroniaeth (Naratifau Mewnol) • Newyddiaduraeth, y Cyfryngau ac Astudiaethau Diwylliannol (Ein Cyfryngau, Ein Byd) • Hanes, Archaeoleg a Chrefydd (Archwilio'r Gorffennol) Pryd: 10/01/18 am 12.00 a 14.00 Ble: Gwe-gaffi, Addysg Barhaus a Phroffesiynol, 21-23 Ffordd Senghennydd, Caerdydd CF24 4AG. Does dim angen cofrestru, dim ond galw heibio. I gael rhagor o wybodaeth ewch i www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn neu ffoniwch 029 2087 0000

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WORDS OF TRUTH ‘THOU SHALT CALL HIS NAME JESUS: FOR HE SHALL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS’

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Please follow this link to sign up: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ ymca-cardiff-sleepeasychallenge-2018-tickets41003313013

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puzzle mania! Crossword

Across 1. Punch(4), 4. Soggy (3), 7. Go over again (4), 10. Middle of an apple (4), 11. French abbot (4), 13. Bodily organ (6), 15. Low position (6), 17. Publisher hype (5), 20. Hard metal stamp (3), 22. Sensory organ (3), 23. Greek goddess of dawn (3), 24. Large rodent (3), 26. British statesman, Jon ... (3), 27. Suppose (5), 28. Carp-like fish (3), 29. Slide on snow (3), 30. Fowl (3), 31. Expensive (6), 35. Opportunity (5), 38. Complete defeat(4), 39. Mental uncertainty (4), 40. Fame (6), 43. Sweet plant juice (6), 46. Compete (with) (3), 48. UK Strom troops (1,1,1), 49. Scottish coastal town (3), 50. Foolish (5), 51. Uncle Sam (1,1,1), 52. Secret meeting place (3), 54. Pet medic (3), 55. Bony pike (3), 56. Film actor, 2 Marvin (3), 58. Adversary (5), 61. Of the occult (6), 64. Period in office (6), 67. Having little rainfall (4), 68. Those people (4), 69. London Art Gallery (4), 70. Exploit (3), 71. Jupiter, by ... (4).

Down 1. Baseball stick (3), 2. Boggy area (3), 3. Pass in a mountain range (3), 4. In good health (4), 5. Asian wild goat (4), 6. Alphabet (1,1,1), 8. Old French coin (3), 9. Squeal for surprise (3), 10. Places to wait movies (7), 12. Abrasion, corrosion (7), 14. French word for yes (3), 16. US intelligence agency (1,1,1), 17. Cook meat on a fire (5), 18. Single entity (4), 19. Forest tree (5), 20. Shows a theory to be false (9), 21. Having luxurious tastes (9), 24. Practice, exercise (9), 25. US state (9), 32. Inhabitant (suffix) (3), 33. Also (3), 34. Japan’s monetary unit (3), 35. Tin (3), 36. South African party (1,1,1), 37. Rolled tea (3), 41. Blissful state (7), 42. Compose a book (5), 44. Sombre poem (2,3), 45. Medieval joust (7), 47. Story (4), 53. Make a blunder (3), 57. Ever poetically (1, 2), 59. Tamil 2, India state (4), 60. Husband or wife(4), 61. Busy insect (3), 62. Hundredweight (3), 63. Unit of work (3), 64. Infused drink (3), 65. Flying saucer (1,1,1), 66. River of SE Devon (3).

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WORD WHEEL

C S

I T

R

M

E.g. TAR

A

S H

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

Sudoku Easy

Hard

1

5

9

4

6

2

6

9

5 7

6

8

5

8

9

2

4

1

8

6 9

4

5

7

8

1

6

3

7

6

9

7

9

3

8

1

7

4 8 6

6 1

2

3

9

5

2

6

8

4

2

5

8

3

4

1

8

4

5 7

2

9

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CARDIFF

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kidney wales launches 2018 cardiff 10k with new nation radio partnership The Cardiff 10K, powered by leading Welsh charity Kidney Wales today announced a new chapter for one of the UK’s top 5 road races with a Nation Radio Wales partnership and a new flat and fast city route.

Speaking of the new partnership Lynette Nedza Commercial Director at Nation Radio Wales said: “I am very proud and hugely excited for Nation Radio to be the Title Sponsor in 2018. The Nation Radio Cardiff 10K and 2K has a very special sound to it. I look forward to working again with Kidney Wales who put on the event, who we have a unique partnership with throughout 2018.”

Established in 1985 by Kidney Wales, the Cardiff 10K has grown from accommodating 500 to 8,000 runners in 2017, attracting professional athletes and runners from across Wales and England as well as international participants.

Professor Roy J Thomas, chief executive of Kidney Wales, who has been organising the annual race for the last 32 years, said: “We receive incredible feedback each year on the Cardiff 10K, and we are very much looking forward to bringing an even bigger and better race in 2018 with new partners - our title sponsors Nation Radio Wales. We will continue to develop this race to reach our goal of becoming the most sought-after Race in the UK.”

The date has been set for The 2018 Nation Radio Cardiff 10K, taking place on Sunday 2nd of September 2018 with increased capacity for a planned 10,000 runners. Entries will open on New Year’s Day with an early bird discount available for the first 750 applications completed. The launch was marked by a visit to Nation Radio’s broadcasting studios near St Hilary where their Big Welsh Wake Up breakfast presenters Carl Hughes and Rachel Chew joined the Kidney Wales team and the Cardiff 10K Race Director Graham Finlayson to officially launch the partnership. Leading UK and Welsh Athlete Dewi Griffiths, winner of the 2017 race said: “The Cardiff 10k is one of the leading UK 10K running events and I was honoured to win it this year. However, it was the 8,000 runners in 2017 along with the supporters that created a great atmosphere and that made such a difference to everyone on the day.” After a record-breaking event in 2017 which saw over 8,000 people take to the streets of the city centre, The Nation Radio Cardiff 10K will soon share with Cardiff Council further details on its revamped flat and fast route. Leader of Cardiff Council, Councillor Huw Thomas, said: “Each year the Cardiff 10K is a core focus for running in the Capital for all ages, and it’s our aim this year to attract over 10,000 runners, bringing in visitors from outside of Cardiff and across Wales.”

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“And Another Thing…….”

By Vince Nolan

job offers, royals and rhymes My Dear Insomniacs, many of you will know that it is commonplace today for employment agencies to use sophisticated algorithms to ensure that job candidates are well-suited to the posts for which they apply. I give you a cautionary tale which I can only attribute to this particular algorithm having gone off on its holidays. Picture the scene, the current Mrs Nolan was sent an unsolicited job offer online which claimed to suit her particular skill set. There were three problems with this:

The guy says "OK"... and drives away. The next day, the officer sees the guy still driving around with the truck full of squirrels and they're all wearing sun glasses. He pulls the guy over and says: "I thought I told you to take these squirrels to the zoo yesterday?" The guy replies..."I did, and today I'm taking them to the beach!" Meanwhile down the local pub, The Bigoted Egotist, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I overheard a bloke talking about organ donation: “When I leave this mortal coil all I know is I don`t want to leave my bibs and bobs to someone else,” said he. This mangling of Hamlet and “shuffling off this mortal coil” was punctuated by a large smattering of Anglo Saxon expletives. I thought that it was fortunate that brains could not be transplanted because whoever was given his would have been very short-changed indeed. You would not want his bibs and bobs either (whatever they are). He went on: If you carry a (swear) donor card or don’t (swear) register to opt out of organ donation you are (swear) doomed. The NHS will not (swear) treat you because they want your (swear) organs and this is how they shorten the (swear) waiting list.

• She was not looking for a job • She had not engaged any employment agency on her behalf • She had no desire to become an AA motorway patrol woman which they were offering. Talking of which, the other day I saw this AA man crying hysterically in his van. I thought, he’s heading for a breakdown. Unsolicited information must be catching. It is the junk-mail of the internet. Anyway, I am on a circulation list at Welsh Government which usually results in me being sent consultation documents on a number of business related issues. However, the latest one I received took a bit of beating: “Draft Grey Squirrel Management Action Plan for Wales!” Oh please. What about the red ones? That’s discrimination that is.

Hmm, what a well-informed organ, donor, I thought. As Royal Wedding fever grips the nation I, like many others, wondered what had gone on behind the scenes at Buck House. Here we have a possible transcript of the first meeting between the Royals and Meghan Markle.

So a police officer sees a man driving around with a truck full of Squirrels. He pulls the guy over and says: "You can't drive around with squirrels in this town! Take them to the zoo immediately."

Prince Harry: “Granny, Grandpa, Daddy, this is my fiasco, Meghan.” Queen: “It’s like Piccalilli Circus round yer. Meghan, call me Queenie love. This is Phil. We’re orfentic West Ender types. Nice to see a Welsh girl with HRH H.” Meghan: “I’m American.” Phil: “Cor blimey Liz, he’s marrying a septic-tank.” Queen: “Your old man got any dosh stashed away cos this Brexit fing ave left me a bit boracic lint.

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CT Feature

In middle-class 18th Century England when this was writ, Sukey was short for Susan and Polly for Mary. So in essence we have Mary and Susan stuck in the kitchen with a bossy parent or Governess waiting for passing strangers to come to take tea but they don’t turn up so tea is off and that is the excitement over for another day.

Still, I know a geezer called Canterbury who can let you ‘ave a church cheap, cash only mind. Charles: “You know that they say that an Englishman’s ome is his castle and we got a few to spare if you didn’t want no church wedding.” Queen: “My castles Chuck, not yours. Remember, I am still the Govnor round yer.” Phil: “What do you for a living Peg?” Meghan: “Its Meg actually.” Phil: “Ok, Meg actually, what do you do to earn a crust?” Meghan: “I’m an actress.” Queen: “I’ve ‘ad a few roles to play in my time too love.”

In next month’s nursery rhyme spot we examine why Jack managed to break his crown when he had gone up the hill with Jill to fetch some water and why she also came tumbling down that hill. My suspicion is cannabis. And who thought “Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub” was appropriate material for a nursery rhyme. I have heard it all now. It is currently under discussion that pole-dancing should be a demonstration sport at the next Olympic Games. It struck me that at some stage in the future there could be a Pole in pole position in the pole dancing. What next I ask myself? What about Hoopla, Hopscotch or Extreme Ironing?

The Royals all sing in pure cockney (with their Pearly outfits on): “Consider yourself at ‘ome Consider yourself one of the family We’ve taken to you so strong It’s clear we’re going to get along.” Finally, and staying with sport, a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool. I gave him a glass of water.

To be continued!!!!!!!. Talking of old traditions, what about nursery rhymes? They don’t really stand up to scrutiny do they. Here’s one:

In next month’s issue I shall regale you with international tales from the far side of the world, but for the time being I wish only health and wealth to your good selves.

Polly put the kettle Polly put the kettle Polly put the kettle on we’ll all have tea. Sukey take it off again Sukey take it off again Sukey take it off again, they’ve all gone away. I bet you were singing it.

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CT Feature

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new year resolutions from youth across the world By Ameera Fouad 2018 is now here. For some, it might be like any other year coming by and living in. However, for youth, each day marks a significant leap. No matter what your colour, religion, or race, all youth share almost the same dreams and hopes to live a better, much fulfilling life. Here are some of the youth resolutions across our five continents. Fame Kwesi Atitsogbe, from Ghana Undoubtedly, 2017 has been a very good year and the month of December was a period of reflection and stock-taking ahead of the new year. The year has been characterised mainly by academic work at Cardiff University and musings of my Chevening journey in the UK. I look forward to 2018 with so much enthusiasm, optimism and a sense of pride after completing my masters in International PR and Global communications Management. Having acquired so much academic and practical knowledge in the UK, I can confidently say that I have become more assertive and responsive in both my professional and social interactions with people. I have a better appreciation of communicating with a global audience. I hope to translate these attributes as a game-changer, influencer and leader in whichever role I find myself playing in Ghana. I aspire to bring change and development to my community. I also aspire to inspire and impact knowledge to the younger generation of students and media/communications professionals. 2018 will certainly see me as going beyond borders.

Si Liang from China In 2017, I’m glad that I’ve done about 90% of my annual plan, including completing my master-degree course. I’ve had a great year with some fabulous

people in Cardiff. For the coming year, I hope I can learn more about photography and film, and I also hope more and more people get to know me because of my work. I’ll take some time to find what I really want to do for my career and fight for it until I become a real “Ace”.

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Nour Mandil , from Egypt For me, next year should be very special or I might even say that it should serve as a huge turning point in my life. Why? Because it is the year in which I will graduate from college and actually face the real world! You can imagine how overwhelmed I am. I have so many goals to reach and dreams to fulfill both on a personal and professional level, so here are my New Year’s resolutions: • Graduate with a satisfying degree. • Get the job of my dreams. • Read LOTS of books go on more trips with my friends. • Get more in touch with my spiritual side. • Develop my writing skills and maybe

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CT Feature work on my own novel. • Exercise on a weekly basis and lose some weight. • Get involved in civil work and also charity work and to attend concerts. I will always make time for the things which make my soul happy.

I would love to continue this journey in journalism in the year ahead. I wish to be more active this year, especially when it comes to shouldering home responsibilities. But on a bigger scale, I genuinely hope I can bring some good to common people, to unsung heroes through my work. I believe there are many people who are doing a fantastic job of reporting that which affects the masses. I would like to be the one putting a smile on an ordinary man.

Olga Tsvetkova, from Belarus A comfortable life does not mean a successful life. On the contrary, it is the challenges that life throws at you that make you a stronger and a better person, that make you see the other side and that make you think wisely. So, let’s embrace the challenges, learn our lessons from them and make choices that would bring a change in other people’s life. But not as to make it comfortable, but to make it a successful and fulfilling one. Challenges shape future leaders. Leaders shape the whole community.

Iman Taleb , from Lebanon living in Australia Driven by a strong faith and by the suffering of millions of people who pray daily for a miracle, my resolution for 2018 is to carry what I started in 2017 and work harder to try finding a cure for cancer, and more specifically for melanoma. As optimistic as it sounds, but with faith, hard work and determination anything becomes possible. Since my family is my life, I also intend to spend more time with my family, aiming to implant in my kids the desire and willingness to make a positive change in the world when they grow up. As a Muslim living in a non-Muslim country, I feel like a flag bearer for the values of my religion. Hence, I intend to make 2018 rich in social activities. I'm planning to get involved in several voluntary activities around Victoria in order to reflect the real image and the peaceful nature of Islam and help clearing the misconception that the media has been propagating.

Emanuele Lele Bussa, from Italy I would like to find a job as a journalist in Italy, I would like to earn enough money from my job in order to rent a house and move there with my girlfriend. These are my priorities.

Tanvi Patel, from India I am Tanvi Patel and up until last month I would call myself a journalism student. But I am now working as a writer for an alternate media website called ‘The Better India’, so that’s one of my accomplishments in 2017. This last year has been crazy for me! I got a degree in a subject I genuinely care about. Of course, the journey to this degree wasn’t easy and all the lessons through my MA are major milestones for me. I lived away from my family for the very first time too. Still do1

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christmas - a time of hope and love By Michael James

Did you have a good Christmas? I really hope so.

wonderful time of Christmas Carols and Songs, rounded off by the 2000 strong audience singing 'Happy Birthday' to me and another lady. A really special time for me although my daughter said that she thought that I rather 'milked' the applause (Kids, no respect!)

Christmas means so many different things to different people these days. A day, a time, a season or a holiday period to be looked forward to with joy and excitement by many and on the other hand a period of sadness or loneliness for others. It saddens me that in many ways it has become just a time to have a break to set us up for the coming New Year and whatever that holds in store for us.

The next day began in Church, lighting a candle to celebrate the first Sunday in Advent and then, in the afternoon, another really special time, the Causeway Carol Concert. Causeway is a group of young people and adults with learning disabilities, who meet twice a month in Albany Road Baptist Church and who enjoyed dressing up, singing, dancing and acting out the timeless nativity story of Joseph and Mary's journey to Bethlehem and Jesus' birth in the stable there. Hardly a dry eye in the Church and followed with a party and mince pies. What a joyful weekend!

As a Christian, it means much more to me than that. December is the month of Advent, which is, 'A season observed in many Christian Churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ'. (Wikipedia). Indeed, the clue is in the very word itself, 'CHRIST-MAS'.

The following week was (a little) more relaxed. Oh, I forgot the last minute Sunday evening spent writing some 60+ Christmas cards to be finished before the next day's posting of Scout Mail. Incidentally at only 25p each, a great way of supporting your local scout group while saving some money on postage stamps. I digress for a moment, where was I? Oh yes, a somewhat relaxed week with only the rest of the Christmas cards to be written and posted, followed by getting out and trimming the Christmas tree and house (Is there anyone else out there who still 'trims' the house and tree, rather than putting up the decorations??) What about all the lights? Is it only me that, after untangling miles and miles of lights, finds that half of them don't work? There must

For me December started brilliantly. On Friday 1st , together with many other proud grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters and other extended family, I was in a packed New Theatre to see one of my Granddaughters and Grandson in the DanceFit (Cardiff) Christmas Showcase. An amazing show of young girls and boys from our local primary and secondary schools and dance classes. Over 250 children, between the ages of 4-18, thrilled the audience with two hours of non-stop modern dance. What talent we have in Cardiff. The Saturday was my 79th Birthday, which I spent in St. David's Hall with Cambrensis, the Cambrats and the St.David's Choir and Orchestra preparing for and singing in the 'Promise of Christmas' concert. A

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CT Feature

whom it will be a period of sadness and a big struggle. There will be those who mourn the passing of loved ones or families separated by many miles and many different reasons. Also there will be many who are lonely or ill or homeless. To all these, this time of year will be difficult, so please consider them while you celebrate and offer help where you can.

be a little elf or Santa's little helper who mischievously spends the whole year determined to cause my Christmas spirit to nosedive but not for long because I love this time of year. The following Sunday evening was spent with a houseful of friends to help celebrate my Birthday and to take my mind off the next day in which I was scheduled to spend four hours attending a Driving Awareness Course. Yes you've guessed it, I had been booked for speeding a couple of months earlier and had been given the choice of attending the course (at a cost of £92.) or pay a fine of £100 and three points on my licence.

I said at the beginning of this article that Christmas means so much more to me than just another holiday period. Today (Thursday 14th December), as I write, I reflect on today's Grenfell Tower, Multi Faith, Memorial Service held at the Christian Cathedral of St. Paul's in London. A time of remembering those who died and those who are still coming to terms of what happened and who ask, ”Why?” That is a hard question to answer on so many different levels but I take heart from the words spoken afterwards by the Muslim Imam who took part in the Service. He said that he would like to sum up the message of the moving service in just one word, HOPE. He thought it would be a blessing to all who were present, those of different Faiths and those of no Faith.

Then on the Tuesday, my Wife and I went to visit her Sister who lives right at the top of the Rhondda Valley, to be followed by attending a Carol Concert in Pontyclun later that evening. We left Cardiff at 4.00pm and got caught up in the rush hour traffic heading up the A470. Did I say 'rush hour', it was anything but! We crawled along in the dark and the rain and eventually arrived at our destination nearly two hours later. Cardiff had received a sprinkling of snow that morning, hardly anything but as we got further and further into the Rhondda the snow got thicker and thicker. The main roads had been cleared but parked cars, many covered in snow, reduced the width of the carriageway, making driving difficult. However, fortified by tea and coffee and catching up with family news we left with little time to drive back through the snow to the concert and yes, we arrived late.

I too believe, and pray, that many will receive comfort in Hope but I would suggest another word too, LOVE, because I believe that, 'Love Came Down at Christmas', to bring Hope to the world. Both words lie at the very heart of what Christmas means and are what we will all need to strengthen us in the days ahead whatever our circumstances and beliefs .

The Carol Concert was a lovely, fun filled time with all the proceeds from the evening going to provide gift filled shoe boxes of Christmas presents for 'Operation Christmas Child', an annual project run by the Charity,'Samaritan's Purse' which supports under privileged children in Africa, Asia and Europe. It was an evening of great joy with the bonus of being able to help those in need while at the same time meeting up with friends. We drove home full of the Christmas spirit happily looking forward to what the next couple of weeks will bring.

I hope that your Christmas was filled with Hope and Love, and may the New Year 2018 be kind to us all. God Bless.

As I write this column to meet the publishing deadline of 15 December, there are only 11 more sleeps to go. I am as excited as my Grandchildren in looking forward to Christmas and to the start of the New Year 2018, but I also remember those for

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Cardiff Times Magazine January 2018  
Cardiff Times Magazine January 2018  
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