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january 2019


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Trying for a


Wednesday 9th January 6.30pm Cardiff Open Evening CRGW’s independent centres offer the latest scientific treatments and facilities to offer you the best chance of pregnancy. All clinics are adjacent to the M4 in Cardiff, Swansea and Bristol. Thursday 17th January 7.00pm Swansea Open Evening

Free consultations and free sperm testing appointments available. Join us at our free monthly open evenings where you can chat to us one on one or alternatively ‘ask an expert’ via our website. Visit our web site to find the next available dates and book yourself in.

Saturday 2nd February 9.30am Bristol Free Consultation/ Free Sperm Test Day

Cardiff: 01443 443999 | Bristol: 01174 409999 | Swansea: 01792 644 999 2 2

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Competitively A







At Charles James, we’re competitively priced all year round, meaning we don’t need a January sale. Save yourself the hassle of shopping around and come in for a non-obligatory chat at our new showroom on Wellfield Road. However big or small your project is, you can trust our experts to handle every aspect of the job with care, professionalism and attention to detail from start to finish.

Visit our NEW showroom Tel: 02920 484 144 13 Wellfield Road, Cardiff, CF24 3NZ

editors letter

cardiff times

Welcome PUBLISHER Cardiff Times Hi All, and welcome to our January issue - Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and Santa was his usual generous self!

EDITOR Louise Denning 07903 947594 FEATURES EDITOR Mark Denning 07758 247194 SALES & MARKETING Beth

CONTRIBUTORS Wyn Evans, Vince Nolan, Carl Marsh, Sarah-Jane Outten, Michael James, Sara John, Timothy Wynne, David Stewart, Aga Maciejewska, Sophie Kerlin

December seemed to pass in a blur of attending shows, school Christmas concerts, shopping and lots of rain! At the time of writing, Mark and I are pleased to say so far we have survived the mayhem, and are planning to take some time off over Christmas and the New Year to spend some time with the children - we can’t wait! As mentioned in last month’s edition, our new feature writer Carl Marsh has written his first column for us, which we were super excited to read, I’m sure you will be too! See page 40 for full details. Carl is an experienced and professional feature writer, with over 200,000 followers on twitter, which is very impressive. A warm welcome to Cardiff Times Carl from the both of us! The January issue has its usual mix of light-hearted and slightly more serious articles which we hope you enjoy. Sara John’s follow-up to her December piece on ‘Seeking A Soulmate’ is written in her own inimitable and amusing way, while we both enjoyed reading about a group of people with learning disabilities and autism who are making a real difference to some people’s lives in Cardiff, so much so that they have been recognised for the work they are doing. There are also several mentions of Cardiff’s very own Geraint Thomas, who capped off a memorable 2018 by winning the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year award, a truly fantastic achievement. Until next month, happy reading.


029 2046 3028



Louise & Mark

Follow us on Twitter


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40 “In The Words Of…”


By Carl Marsh

48 People With Learning Disabilities And Autism Making A Difference In Cardiff Celebrated in First Ever Leader’s List

14 January Diary 18 Festivities, Ferries And Forgetting By Wyn Evans


24 Beauty - Beautiful You 25 The Beauty Edit By Sarah-Jane Outten

32 Health - Don’t Let Winter Get You Down 37 Repair Café Wales Needs You!

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52 ‘And Another Thing…’ By Vince Nolan

56 Puzzle Mania 61 Feature - Fun Ideas For An Exciting Start To The New Year

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64 Sussing Out A Soulmate By Sara John

69 Books To Look Out For In January 72 My Mate Steve By Michael James

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CARDIFF CARE HOME GETS FESTIVE WITH UKULELE BAND Residents at a Cardiff care home were treated to an afternoon of uplifting music and song when local ukulele band visited them for a special performance before Christmas.

events are always a big success with our residents, and the Ukulele Wolves were really entertaining performers. “Our residents enjoyed the show immensely and it was a great way to get into the festive spirit, in a slightly untraditional way.

Staff at Tŷ Llandaff, a private care home offering nursing, residential and respite care, organised the concert by Cardiff’s Ukulele Wolves, at the home in Pontcanna.

“We know music has been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and improve mood and we always find that musical events really lift the spirits of our residents. It was easy to see how much everyone enjoyed the performance and we can’t wait to arrange to have the Ukulele Wolves back.”

The band of ukulele players gave the Tŷ Llandaff residents a truly festive show, dressed in Christmas jumpers and Santa hats, performing all the popular Christmas hits. Residents relished the music whilst enjoying mince pies and other festive treats to help get everyone in the mood for Christmas.

For more information about Tŷ Llandaff contact 02920 600 100, email or visit

Tŷ Llandaff activities co-ordinator Melanie Geoghegan said: “Musical

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january diary        

    -2 2     Seen by over 8 million people and the winner of over 85 international awards, Matilda The Musical is the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl. With book by Dennis Kelly and original songs by Tim Minchin, Matilda The Musical is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a clever mind, is determined to change her own destiny, even if it means being a little bit naughty. Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay



A Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast comes to our stage for the holiday season. Featuring an array of famous faces, including Lisa Riley and Gareth Thomas, it’s bound to be a hit! Packed full of laugher, eye-catching costumes and amazing sets, with fun-filled entertainment for all the family. Showing until Sunday 13 January, 2019 with early afternoon and evening shows. Family deals and discounts for children and over 60s are available, so what are you waiting for?! New Theatre, Cardiff



You're invited to a very special sleepover - discover what goes on after dark in an action packed night at the Museum. This event is suitable for children aged six to twelve. Children must be accompanied by an adult, at all times. National Museum, Cardiff



The second best reviewed show of Edinburgh Festival 2017 from award winning star of the West End hit ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’. Trump. Your wrong. Brexit. Your wrong. Facebook. Your wrong. Tinder. Your wrong. Religion. Your wrong. Fashion. Your wrong. Grammar. Your wrong! We are being watched. Whether it’s the grammar Nazis on the internet, the court of public opinion in the media, the government through our smart phones, the aliens from deep in the crust of the moons of Jupiter, or by God himself, we are being monitored. The pressure to "get it right" is tremendous! Right? The Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

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January Diary



Through their voice and their music, the children of the African Children’s ChoirTM are taking Africa to the rest of the world. For over 29 years, the choir has been performing throughout North America and the UK. Each child has a story; they have experienced more tragedy in their young lives than most of us will ever know. Yet each has hope for tomorrow. Your support helps build schools and deliver education throughout Africa in Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. St David’s Hall, Cardiff www.stdavidshallcardiff



Riverside Real Food will be joining us once again for their monthly pop-up food market. A chance to support local food producers, pick up something delicious to take home and enjoy a visit to the Museum. St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff



Only a few artists in history have been capable of defining an entire era in pop music. Ronnie Spector is one of those artists: the embodiment of the heart, soul, and passion of female rock and roll in the 1960s. And to this day, no one has ever surpassed Ronnie's powerful trademark vocals, her gutsy attitude, or her innocent but knowing sexuality. Tramshed, Cardiff



To celebrate 50 years of Laithwaite’s we’re taking the wines on tour in our Laithwaite’s Wine Roadshow 2019! Our first stop will be to Cardiff City Hall on Saturday 26th January. We’ll be bringing the best of our wines direct to you and, to help us celebrate, the lovely, talented folks behind our wines will be joining us. Don’t miss unlimited samples of over 100 wines, brand-new tasting experiences, delectable delights from local food producers plus exclusive event offers. City Hall, Cardiff




Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas, MBE, BBC Cymru Wales Sports personality of the year, and recently crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year, will discuss his historic win with broadcaster Ned Boulting for one night only. The first ever Welshman to win the Tour de France, Geraint Thomas will return to his hometown to chat cycling - from the Welsh valleys to the cobbles of the Champs Elysee via Olympic and world titles. He will reveal untold stories from the tour, and will relive the unforgettable moment when he crossed the finish line to secure his own place in the history books. Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

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festivities, ferries and forgetting By Wyn Evans

It’s the weekend before the weekend before Xmas. The media are full of Storm Deirdre (which promises flooding across South and West Wales), Brexit (which promises an answer to all our country’s woes - or the economic equivalent of Storm Deirdre, depending on whom we believe), and the end of tolls on the Severn Bridges. Closer to home, The Girl, my twelve year old daughter, and the Boss, my ‘coughs loudly’ year old wife, are busy planning what to pack to take with us to Longleat Centre Parcs (on the weekend before Xmas). And, this afternoon, we deck our halls with boughs of holly and balls of tinsel and enjoy the triumph of optimism over experience that comes with putting up the Xmas decorations.

those lights, and twinkling snowmen, and a SLEIGH ON THE ROOF!!! That’s sooo cool!” But once boxing day is past we count down not the Twelve Days of Xmas but the Six Days to new year’s eve, which is when the Grinch in me surfaces and the decorations get packed away for another year. The local TV news last night broadcast an interview with the engineer from Roads England who has been tasked with packing away the toll booths on the Severn Bridge road crossings. It sounds like quite a task. On Friday night the booths were demolished, on Saturday there would be preparatory work and on Sunday the new road surface laid, ensuring that at least three westbound lanes were usable from Monday. Many of the reports are highlighting these works as ‘the end of an era’. Of course, there have been a great many bridges, tolls, tunnels, and ferries across the Severn; Wikipedia lists one hundred and twenty six, of which thirty-one are listed(1), and this whole ‘end of an era’ thing applies only to the cessation of tolls upon entering god’s own land.

I’ve written previously of dad and mam leaving the Xmas decorating until Christmas Eve, a tradition The Boss and I tried to continue. The delayed gratification that attended upon waiting thus was sharp. By the time the box of lights was brought down from the attic I was literally bouncing with anticipation! As our daughter grew out of her infancy, however, she persuaded us, through a mixture of excitement and nagging, that we ought to decorate prior to the last week of term, so that she could talk about it with her school friends. So, in the tradition of firm parenting everywhere, we caved-in; the decorations are going up this afternoon.

When I was a lad and the Severn Bridge opened, our next door neighbour queued for a couple of days to be amongst the first to cross it, though I have no idea whether he travelled from an easterly or a westerly direction. Dad took mam, me and my sister over the Bridge a couple of weeks after it

Though they go up early our decorations don’t go up as early as some. It’s been fun in recent weeks to hear The Girl echoing The Boss’s annual mantra: “decorations shouldn’t go up ‘til late December”, interspersed with contradictory, excited affirmations to “look at that house, all


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CT Feature

opened and I remember thinking it was the most magical, fantastical thing I had ever seen. And here my memory lets me down, let me explainB

positioned on a round, pulled with ropes to move the whole thing so the car pointed towards the ramp, then had to drive off. Many times we saw cars kangaroo across the jetty, and hang perilously over the side of the jetty! When the tide was in, this was even more hazardous! What fun for small children - perhaps not so much fun for those affected!”.

Before the first Severn Bridge opened in 1966 there was a little ferry that ran between Aust and Beachley. I remember that dad used to dislike the journey up through Gloucester which was the route to England by land. Compared with the route after the estuary bridge opened it was a full sixty miles and two-and-a-half hours further. I’ve since learned that there were in fact three little ferries, the Severn King, the Severn Queen, and the newest, the Severn Princess. The most cars each could take was nineteen. The cars would enter from the side and a little turning circle on the ferry was used to manoeuvre the cars into as tight a fit as possible. In fact, I’ve discovered that the cars were sometimes packed so snugly (i.e. dangerously) that it would have been impossible to open their doors.

... Now here’s the thing, I vividly recall sitting in the car at Aust jetty with mam and dad waiting to go on the ferry. I don’t recall my sister being with us which means I was not yet seven years old. I remember looking across the water and being excited. But I do NOT remember being on the ferry itself. Did we go on it and has sheer terror wiped my memory? Did the ferry miss the tide necessitating our taking the road trip up through the West of England? Did mam, or dad himself, decide that it all looked a bit iffy and that we should take discretion over valour? I somehow doubt this latter theory – the Health and Safety standards that applied at the time were normative for the time and there’s no point judging by today’s norms; ergo they wouldn’t have pulled out of the ferry trip as it was the route everyone used. But, I can’t remember. And dad died a few years ago so he’s not here to ask. VERY frustrating! Still, cold, wet Deirdre is lashing our Velux windows and The Girl is getting wired and wondering when I am going to join her and The Boss putting up the decorations. I hope you all have/had a happy Christmas and wish you many blessings for the new year. Don’t make too many resolutions you can’t keep! It’s goodbye from The Girl, The Boss, and me until 2019!

What’s worse, because of the Severn’s exceptional tidal range and riptides, the ferry trip across the river was in itself no small thing. The queues to board the ferry could be lengthy. There was no guarantee whether, after waiting your turn, the ferry would actually run(2) – if the tide dropped and the last ferry was missed it was a trip through Gloucester and Chepstow that awaited you. And as for health and safety, forget it. Quite apart from being crammed in like kippers, here is a tale to make you sit up, told by a then Chepstow child(3): “...even more exciting was watching the cars come off the ferries. They were

Footnotes: 1. List_of_crossings_of_the_River_Severn 2. news/14238105.THE_LONG_VIEW__When_you_could_ta ke_the_ferry_across_the_Severn/ 3. Carol Adkinson (nee Ward) now in Suffolk (http:// people_and_places/history/newsid_7972000/7972108.stm)


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Are you looking after your hearing? We’re here to give you FREE advice and answer any questions you may have about your hearing health. Viney Hearing Care is holding a week of events to promote hearing awareness in the community. Call today to attend any of our events. Spaces will be limited.

Hearing Awareness Week February 11th-15th 2019

Monday 11th FREE Microsuction

Limited Spaces

The SAFEST way to clean your ears. If you have problems with dull or itching ears, it could be wax blocking your ear canals. Come and have a FREE hearing health check to see if wax is the problem. If it is, we can remove it with the latest and SAFEST techniques. Places will be limited (Normal cost £45)

Tuesday 12th FREE Tinnitus management skills Tinnitus affects 1 in 10 people in the UK. It’s classed as a noise that comes from your head and not the environment around you. Tinnitus has many causes and can severely disrupt people’s lives and that’s why it’s important to know how to manage it. If you are curious, distressed or concerned, we can help so please call to book your FREE session.

Wednesday 13th Latest hearing instrument technology demonstrations

Friday 15th Speech Mapping

Do you struggle to hear in company, watching the TV or on the phone? We understand that having hearing loss can make these listening situations very difficult. Allow us to demonstrate how the latest connective wireless technology can take away the strain of listening and see how easy it can be to enjoy these simple pleasures again. Book your free appointment to see how the latest wireless technology could improve your quality of hearing.

Do you wear hearing aids but still feel that you aren’t hearing the full picture? Is speech clarity a problem for you? Speech mapping is the latest revolutionary way to test the performance of your hearing aids and to see how well they help you hear. You will be provided with a print out of your hearing aid results and information on how speech can be improved for you. Call today as places will be limited.

Thursday 14th Exhibition of the world’s smallest hearing instruments The new era of ‘invisible hearing’. We work with the world’s leading hearing instrument manufacturers to provide the most discreet instruments with the finest hearing quality. Instruments that you can’t see and can’t feel - just excellent hearing in all walks of life. Book an appointment for your FREE hearing screen and a demonstration of invisible hearing.

Viney Hearing Centre 66 Merthyr Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff CF14 1DJ

029 2025 0121 23


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Beautiful You... For Her Dermalex® Repair + Restore Research conducted by Dermalex® found that a third of women don’t feel confident about their skin, with 62% never receiving a skin-related compliment. One fifth of dry skin and eczema sufferers don’t use an emollient or dedicated dry skin moisturiser to alleviate or prevent symptoms and 25% don’t moisturise daily even though doing so could improve their skin complaints. This product could help hydrate, strengthen and prevent the return of eczema. For more information on Dermalex Repair + Restore visit or check out

Jimmy Choo – Fever A hypnotic play on contrasts between floral and gourmand, Jimmy Choo FEVER is an addictive new scent that carries its wearer into the night, leaving an addictive sensual trail. The fragrance opens with the sweetness of plum, which is blended with accents of lychee and countered with subtle bitter tones of grapefruit. At its heart, the powdered roundness of heliotrope mingles with an exotic vanilla orchid, contrasted with ultra-feminine jasmine. It then evolves with base notes of creamy sandalwood, the balsamic warmth of benzoin and the roasted almond facets of tonka bean, giving the fragrance its carnal velvet sensuality. 100ml RRP £79.00 60ml RRP £57.00 40ml RRP £43.00

Vera Wang - Princess A sheer, fruit floral rich with vanilla and exotic flowers. The scent sparkles with delicate lady apples and dreamy water lily kissed lightly by golden apricot and mandarin meringue. The heart of ripe pink guava and the rare, coveted tahitian tiare flower, wild tuberose and dark chocolate join the revolution. Tempted with a tasty vanilla chiffon, the fragrance is wrapped in a mysterious air of amber and forbidden woods. The set includes Eau De Toilette 30ml • Body lotion 75ml RRP: £40 Available from Boots &

For Him David Beckham – Inspired by Respect The scent is built around a contrasting and unexpected duo of bergamot and amber Xtreme™ with one; the energy of bergamot conveys David’s radiant kindness, whilst the richness and volume of Amber Xtreme™ express his warm vibrancy, combining to create a sophisticated masculinity. Top Notes: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lavender Heart Notes: Cardamom, Clove Leaves, Pineapple Base Notes: Cedarwood, Iris Root, Amber Xtreme™ RRP: £21.95 - Available from Boots

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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.

The Inkey List are a relatively new company on the block, providing no nonsense products that do exactly what you need. Their Hyaluronic Acid Serum is an absolute winner, priced at just £4.99, it’s a bargain. Apply the serum before moisturiser for maximum results. Superdrug are winning when it comes to affordable skincare. They have a range of Vitamin E products that deliver great results. For tired eyes, that require nourishment and a reduction in puffiness I recommend the Vitamin E Nourishing Eye Cream. Apply morning and night for the best result. This effective product is just £2.99.

Happy New Year! Welcome to the January edition of The Beauty Edit. I’m sure, just like myself, you made the most of the festive season. Too many late nights, a few too many beverages and food packed with plenty of sugar? All these things leave us feeling a little worse for ware – including our skin. So, now is the perfect time to treat ourselves to a little pampering or even start some new routines that will see us through the year ahead. Just as our skin may have suffered, the bank balance can too. This month I am suggesting some skincare essentials that won’t deepen the hole in those pockets.

Finally, some lip service is in order! Dry and sensitive lips can always be a problem, but during the winter months they become more bothersome. I really recommend Lippy Cow by Cowshed. This lip balm is infused with sweet orange oil to revive the lips while rose geranium and ylang ylang soothes. For the best results gently exfoliate the lips with a soft bristle tooth brush before applying. Priced at £6.00, it’s the most expensive product in this month’s recommendations, but money well spent.

A must have hero ingredient for me is Hyaluronic Acid. It works beneath the surface of the skin and holds up 1000 times its weight in water. So, for anyone feeling dehydrated – this is the product for you. As soon as our skin craves moisture it becomes dry, dull and fine lines begin to show.

Until next time. Happy 2019! x


Sarah Jane Outten - The Beauty Edi... page 1

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Before & After 2 Skin Rejuvenation IPL Treatments

Before & After Microblading

Free Skin Analysis Under Our Skin Scanner

Before & After 4 Laser Leg Vein Removal Treatments

Before & After 4 Laser Tattoo Removal Treatments

Laser Treatment

Our Relaxing Treatment Room

Laser - Skin - Beauty

LaserWise Skin & Beauty Clinic

202 Whitchurch Road Cardiff CF14 3NB 029 2132 2424 Like on Facebook, follow on Instagram & Twitter

Laserwise - January 2019 page 1

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Craniosacral Therapy brings about a eep state o relaaon

Are you feeling stressed. Is life getting too much?

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

Do you feel like you have nowhere to go? Looking for somewhere safe to talk?

Craniosacral Therapy enhances health an well–being

We listen & work with you for change

or more inormaon, contact !uy Clover RCST on 029 20 481844 or mail@juyclovercouk wwwjuyclovercouk Tel: 07874114416

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

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

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

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

3. “Only women can get cellulite.”

If you would like to find out more about Cellfina go to our website ( 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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Llanishen Golf Club Probably The Friendliest Golf Club in Wales

15 Months Membership for 12 Plus a Free Lesson with the Pro Are you looking to join a golf club for the 1st time, or maybe restart playing again ?

Member Benefits Include : - Fantastic Social Calendar of events - Regular social & competition golf - Complimentary Hire of Function Room (worth ÂŁ100) - Play 23 other courses FREE once per year (worth over ÂŁ1000)

For more details contact us on 02920 755078 Or e-mail us :

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don’t let winter get you down Tips to protect yourself against Seasonal Affective Disorder and the winter blues Do you dread the winter months? Do you feel tired and depressed when the clocks go back and the nights start drawing in? If you also have mood swings, sleep problems, carbohydrate cravings, headaches, irritability, weight gain or feel you have little interest in life, you may be one of the estimated 2 million people in the UK who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or the less-severe form, often referred to as the winter blues.

See the light Getting outdoors on a bright winter day may help relieve the symptoms of SAD and the winter blues. Try getting out of your home or office at some point during the day for around 20 minutes or longer. And if you can’t get outside, try sitting near a window whenever possible to soak up some natural light. Many people with SAD or the winter blues also respond to light therapy, which involves sitting in front of a special light therapy lamp – or light box – at home. These lamps produce very bright light, and using one – often during the morning – is thought to help boost serotonin production while suppressing your melatonin levels.

Nobody really knows what causes SAD or the winter blues. But some experts believe SAD – described by the NHS as a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern – is caused by fewer hours of sunlight during the winter months that deplete your body’s levels of serotonin – often called the ‘feel-good’ chemical – which affects your mood.

If you decide to buy a light box, make sure it has been made by a fully certified manufacturer and is designed for treating SAD.

Low light levels are thought to affect the production of a brain chemical called melatonin, which can disrupt the body’s internal clock (or circadian rhythm). The pineal gland produces more melatonin during the hours of darkness, making you feel sleepy. But some people who have SAD are thought to produce more melatonin than usual, making them feel tired throughout the day. If you’re diagnosed with SAD, your GP may recommend treatment with antidepressants called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, are also often recommended. But if you have milder symptoms, the wellbeing charity CABA have some tips you can try to protect yourself against the winter slump:


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CT Health

good breakfast and try not to let yourself get too hungry: have smaller meals with healthy snacks in between, and avoid anything sugary.

Get active

Many nutrition experts also recommend eating carbohydrate snacks throughout the day because carbohydrates help with the tryptophan-to-serotonin conversion in the brain. Try to choose complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, wholemeal bread and wholemeal pasta. These release glucose into your bloodstream more slowly than processed carbohydrates such as white bread and sugary foods, which may help keep your blood sugar levels stable.

Physical activity is widely thought to be an effective way to boost your mood, and there’s a solid body of evidence that suggests exercise may help to alleviate depression. Exercising outdoors, especially when it’s sunny, may have an even stronger effect on SAD/winter blues symptoms.

Some also believe omega-3 fatty acids may enhance serotonin activity, so eat oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and fresh tuna at least once a week (if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, try adding flaxseeds or chia seeds for an omega-3 boost).

You don’t have to turn into a fitness fanatic. Just being more active in your day-to-day life can have a huge benefit on the way you feel, especially during the winter. For instance, try taking a walk in the park instead of lunching at your desk, or walk to the shops instead of taking the bus.

Pack your bags Most people take a holiday during the summer, but for anyone who suffers from SAD or the winter blues it might be worth going away in the winter instead. Many people affected by SAD say their symptoms are at their worst during January and February, so it’s a good idea to take advantage of the cheap off-peak package holidays and get some winter sun after Christmas.

Stay warm Some SAD sufferers say their symptoms improve when they keep warm, so make sure your home and workplace are properly heated and wrap up well when you go outdoors. If you find it difficult to stay warm in bed, take a hot water bottle with you or invest in an electric blanket (never use both at the same time and always follow the safety instructions that come with your electric blanket).

Eat mood-boosting foods Many experts believe what you eat can make a huge difference to your mood, especially during the winter, particularly foods that contain the amino acid tryptophan, which converts into serotonin in the brain. Foods rich in tryptophan include bananas, turkey, chicken, fish, cheese, eggs, milk, nuts, avocados and pulses.

Winter has only just begun, and the shorter days may make you feel less able to cope with the symptoms of depression or winter blues. It can also be difficult to tell if you or your loved one is experiencing SAD, so the wellbeing charity CABA has tips available on spotting signs of depression and understanding its effects.

Also try to avoid fluctuations in your blood sugar levels, which can make you crave sweet foods and feel tired and irritable. Always start the day with a


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

Antiques, Retro, Mid Century, Modern Furniture, vintage clothing, jewellery, toys and more. Over 45 Traders. A quirky and eclectic mix. 02920 221 085 Penarth Road, Cardiff, CF11 8TT


Detached House. 3 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, cloakroom, kitchen dining living room, separate lounge. Large patio. In quiet road but within short stroll of Roath Park Lake, nearby shops at Rhydypennau and walk to Rhydypennau Primary School and Cardiff High School For viewing ring 07946476598 after January 11th or email

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repair café wales needs you! A shell of what you were before. The spark you once had has gone. I flick your switch, I push your button, but you refuse to turn back on! I stare at you from across the room. I fold my arms and squeeze tight. My source of entertainment has gone. No pictures. No music. No light. Two days have felt like an eternity. I read books but it isn’t the same. It is grim in this room. It is lifeless and grey. I am bored and your absence is to blame! The cogs in my head begin to turn. My eyes frantically scan all around. I am lonelier now than ever before. Silence replaces the sound. Through you, I escaped my daily stress. You are more than an object to me. You are perfectly imperfect: you are damaged, you are old, but to me you’re my priceless TV! Out with the old and in with the new? Abandon it? Throw it away? Give into the lure of a shopping spree? A rash purchase would brighten-up my day! Yet – My credit card is maxed and my savings at zero. No extra cash to be found. I am balancing on this financial high wire, a 500-foot plunge to the ground.

I arrive at my destination. It was only a mile. TV in hand as I enter. I am greeted with a smile. ‘Hi my name’s Jack, can I help you today? One TV to be repaired at the Repair Café?’ I sit next to a man who is different to me: different age, different race. A nice man indeed. He inspects the TV and speaks about life. His eyes ignite with happiness when he mentions his wife. I am overwhelmed by the benefits of this conservation, as I break free from the shackles of instant gratification. Though after 10 minutes he says ‘I’ve got some bad news'..You’ve come all this way for a change of fuse’. We smile and chuckle in a jovial way. It is the first time I’ve done so in a number of days. TV now repaired. I look all around. I take-in the people, I take-in their sounds. The smiles, the laughter, a hubbub of noise, people of all ages repairing electronics and toys. A cultural melting pot, working together as one. Irrespective of differences, they get the job done. Repairing various things and having fun too. I’ll be coming again8. Maybe you could come too. Scientists, doctors, shop assistants, or cleaners whistling a song. The Repair Café could do with your skills, so come along! Each person has something to offer, irrespective of age or creed. If you have time and a collaborative mind, you are the person they need!

Would a bank loan help to scratch the itch? A solution to a problem that I am unskilled to fix. Or would short-term material gratification, lead to long-term financial devastation? ‘I want it. I need it’ I am awash with desire, as my anxiety level raises higher and higher. The devil on my right says ‘Bank loan – that’s what to do!’ While the angel on my left says, ‘WAIT – think this one through!’ I feel trapped in a spiral of indecision. Desperate to escape this juxtaposition, of needing what I want and wanting what I ‘need’. My anxiety flows like an irreparable bleed.

About The Repair Café

Descend deeper into debt? That would not be wise. A feeling I hate, I deplore, I despise. This TV is okay though it is just a bit bare. It needs some love, some attention, a repair.

The Repair Café launched its first café in April 2017. The principal aims are: • Fix items, which are destined for landfill, free of charge for the public in order to reduce environmental harm. • Teach repair skills to local communities to increase recycling and run upcycling workshops. • Each café opens for three hours a month.

I search online; there must be a way. Google directs me to the Repair Café. A place that repairs for people like me. The best thing of all is the price tag, it’s free. Could this be a sign things are going my way? It opens once a month and that day is today!

Following the success of the initial café, there are now six Repair Cafes in Cardiff, which have seen a growth of volunteers and items repaired.

It is a few streets away, it isn’t too far. I’m environmentally conscious so I won’t take the car. I have not walked for so long; my lungs fill with fresh air. I feel alive as the wind blows through my hair. What initially started as a grey and cold day is becoming warm and sunny. Things are going my way.

For more information, please go to:


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“in the words of…” By Carl Marsh

It’s a new year and I am your new columnist for Cardiff Times. I wish you all a Happy New Year for 2019, and it is a real honour and privilege to be writing all things entertainment for you all.

Busted, Shakin’ Stevens, Dan Snow and Graham Gouldman from 10cc all penciled in, with many more lined up. I aim to chat to a whole spectrum of talent that hopefully will appeal to you all, whether that be every person or at least one of those that I interview.

I have been writing for a few years now, my interest being in interviews and reviews. I got to become a writer after having an operation not long after I was medically discharged from the Army, whilst I was lying in my hospital bed . I just needed something to keep me motivated, so I set up my own blog, where I got to interview many writers, actors, musicians and those in the public eye. Now I am now writing for this amazing magazine amongst other brilliant writers that contribute monthly.

Local Mentions Having had the privilege of attending two local birthday celebrations recently, one for The Dead Canary’s third birthday, which is a hidden gem of a ‘speakeasy’, a place where you press a buzzer and they let you in, (if you are of the welcoming type). Inside is the most relaxing atmosphere one could wish for, and the staff, so, so friendly, very informative, whilst being very discreet. The choice of cocktails wouldn’t look out of place of any high-end cocktail bar in London, New York or Paris. My first visit but definitely not my last!

Looking Forward As mentioned above, my main interest is in interviews, so each month I will have at least four interviews written up to the following page. You will see a photo and then a brief ‘snippet’ of some of the words from the interview, and then underneath, there will be a link for you to type into the internet so you can read the rest of the interview. The sole reason for this is that it is all down to word count and we only have so much space on these pages, whereas on an internet web page, there is no real limit.

A local musical theatre school was my next birthday celebration, this being the fifth birthday for Kinetic Theatre Arts which was held for all the young children and parents/etc at Mary’s in Cardiff. Set up by director, choreographer & teacher Kris Crowley to give the kids of Cardiff somewhere to go and learn the skills needed to enter the performing arts industry. I take my hat off to Kris and his team, as he gives the youth of Cardiff an out-of-school activity that is so worthwhile, and to think Kris works full-time as teacher, and does all this. He needs a medal, or an MBE for his dedication and passion and ethos!

This month I got to interview the 2018 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Geraint Thomas, Cardiff born and bred. I also speak to Eve Myles, recent winner of the BAFTA Cymru Actress of the Year 2018 for her role in Keeping Faith. My next interview is with ex-Dirty Sanchez star Matt Pritchard who has gone all vegan these last three years and he has a cooking show, (yes really) called Dirty Vegan which airs this month on BBC One Wales. This will be a hit show and is nothing like his previous things he has done for camera, watch it and let me know what you think? My last interview is with comedian Phil Nichol who is appearing at the Sherman Theatre on the 11th January. Phil Nichol is a guy at the top of his game who in 2017 had the second best reviewed show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Surely an achievement most comics can only dream of!

Entertainment Previews & Reviews On my last page, I will highlight all of the entertainment content that I have either watched, read or heard. Sometimes this will be diverse as I know everybody has different interests, so I will cover all genres and not just interests that only I would purchase. I give everything a mark out of five stars, five being the highest.

For future months I have the likes of Katherine Jenkins, Dr. Michael Moseley, Anita Rani, Matt Willis from


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Matt Prichard - Dirty Vegan If I can ask about the initial idea for this cooking show, how did it come about? So, when I turned vegan three years ago, and I was a chef anyway as that is what I trained as before Dirty Sanchez and was what I did as soon as I left school. I had a bit of a bad experience in the job, so I just left and started window cleaning and stuff. Then I ended up going down the skateboarding route as a professional skateboarder, and then (Dirty) Sanchez happened, blah, blah, blah. Now it’s almost done a full circle, and as soon as I became vegan, and I’ve always been interested in cooking, I had to find another way of cooking my food. So I looked on Youtube as it was the culture to be putting cooking shows on there but I couldn’t find anyone that was doing the kind of stuff that I’d like to do00..

Geraint Thomas - chats to Carl Marsh just before the announcement of the BBC Wales and BBC GB Sports Personality of the Year 2018 Awards are announced. He won both! Cycling is probably one of the cleanest sports at the moment, and negatives from before have been turned into a lot of positives now, does this mean that the future of cycling is just going to get better and better? Yes, I think so, obviously, in any walk of life there are always going to be people that try and cheat the system, so there is always going to be someone out there who is going to try and do something wrong...........

For the full interview, please go to : p8TFEc-4Fy

For the full interview, please go to: p8TFEc-4Fp

Appearing at the Sherman Theatre on the 11th January 2019 - comedian Phil Nichol0 What do you want the audience to take from your show? Well, first and foremost it’s a comedy show so I want the audience to have a good laugh and I want them to go away feeling uplifted having had a good night but I’ve been working for the last 13 years or so writing these longer-form narrative shows which are a kind of theatrical, and they have a light philosophy running through it. I talk about stuff that’s a little bit deeper than say just simple observations like dropping your phone or whatever, it's just about how my brain works and how faith works00. Eve Myles is currently well known for Keeping Faith but we chat theatre, and, Torchwood0

For the full interview, please go to : p8TFEc-4Fs

Do you miss the theatre as I know this is where you did a lot of acting work before? Yes I miss it very, very much as I am always being offered some lovely, lovely stuff in theatre but you know, I have a four and an eight-year-old, and I live in Cardiff, and the thought of going away to London and West End or touring is just an impossibility for me until the girls are older.00

For the full interview, please go to :

Carl Marsh - January 2019 page 2


You can also read the full interviews on our blog pages at

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Arabian Peninsula, travelling through 13 countries by camel, foot, mule, truck, car, donkey and battle tank. with him experiencing the same highs and lows of him and his travels. Not an easy task with some of the countries he visits, and at times downright crazy, but he writes from an unselfish point of view, and one that you really do want to know more about the places he mentions in this book. I love the style of this writer, and he is first and foremost a writer, not just a TV personality with a ghost-writer. He recently told me it annoys him when people think it’s not his actual hand that writes all the words. A travel writer (of sorts) at the top of his game. A real treat of a book to read. (Five Stars)

Entertainment Previews & Reviews Educational/Interest Seeing as it is the new month of the year and one where we all speak about our New Year’s resolution(s), for me I chose to learn a new language. I’ve been given the opportunity to better my skills above the basic 'hello, thank you and good morning' that I know in Spanish. So, Spanish is my choice. The package I have been given to trial is the Michel Thomas Method, it is available via a downloaded App across the usual platforms, and you can also listen via the website The cost of the package is £80 and that’s for the ‘Foundation Spanish’. At first glance and listen, this is something that I was looking forward to as the information I was given by Hodder & Stoughton says you will be speaking a new language in hours, not years! It's an eight-hour digital course that promises significant results. So far (and I will keep you all posted about my monthly progress) from the first few lessons, I really have learnt more from them than I had in the years of trying previously. The only gripe I have is that as the method of this package is to have Michel Thomas himself talk to two students, one being a bit more switched on than the other, whilst the other has made me reach for my stress ball! I know he is meant to replicate a complete novice, one which he does to my (our) annoyance and perhaps a little too often! (Four Stars - so far!)

Cinema Only one film at the movies this month that I saw prior to publication of this months magazine, and that was Aquaman which was released just before Christmas from Warner Bros. It is the latest instalment from the DC Comics Universe about a half man/half fish man who can talk to fish. It may sound daft, (and I did a lengthy review online) but it is true escapism. I left my brain in the foyer before the film started at the Premiere Cinema in Cardiff. It was also my daughters first ever superhero movie and she really enjoyed it. It is a family film, 12 certificated, and a real blast. It has a lot of CGI but also a lot of proper choreographed stunts, with the scenes shot in Sicily reminding me of the action scenes in any of the current James Bond or Mission Impossible films. I (we) loved it. (Four Stars)

Literary There are two books that I have read that I wish to talk about this month. The first is On This Day in History by Dan Snow. Everybody knows Dan as an historian often seen on our TV screens. This book therefore is just that, history, and a book that shows us how each day of the 365 days of the year offers a different and unexpected insight into our past. I did speak to Dan about the difficulties he had in finding something for each day, and I will get the interview for you to see in March’s edition. I bet everybody that buys this book will automatically skip to the page they were born, married, birth of a loved one and then some other significant date in history to them. This book allows that, as each page is for a different day. Some obscure events have indeed happened in history, some known and many not. As January can be quite cold, this is a book to settle back in your favourite chair and read, and at times will have you testing your own history school’s teachings as to why you didn’t know about most of the content in this book! (Five Stars)

A show I got to see at the press launch and wrap party was Dirty Vegan (BBC Wales) which has Matt Pritchard cook up delightful meals, all vegan, for various groups of people. The episode I watched was the one where he got to create a nutritious meal for the Llanelli Scarlets Women’s Rugby team before an away match at Bath. To say that all the ladies weren’t sceptical as to how a vegan meal can provide them with the same amount of energy as say a meat-based meal, well, you’ve just got to see the conclusion! Matt is comedy gold. He is just himself, what you see on the screen is what he is like in real life. Down to earth, likeable, dare I say ‘loveable’, one who can cook, one who isn’t afraid to reinvent himself. Do not be put off by his past shows he did for MTV, this is nothing like that. If I could give this six stars I would, it is a class production. One which will keep you entertained in January and beyond! (Five Stars)

The second book is an autobiography called Arabia by Levison Wood, he who walked the length of the Nile a few years back. This time he circumnavigates the

Thank you all for reading, see you next month, and do feel free to contact me on Twitter @InTheWordsOf_



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“I greatly looked forward to class each week and enjoyed trying something new” Jordan Graham

"Roeddwn i'n edrych ymlaen yn fawr at y dosbarth bob wythnos ac yn mwynhau rhoi cynnig ar rywbeth newydd" Jordan Graham

If like Jordan, you would like to learn something new, interesting, enjoyable and compelling in 2019, then view Continuing and Professional Education’s vast array of courses starting in January.

Os hoffech chi, fel Jordan, ddysgu rhywbeth newydd, diddorol, difyr ac ysgogol yn 2019, edrychwch ar yr amrywiaeth enfawr o gyrsiau sy'n dechrau ym mis Ionawr gan Addysg Barhaus a Phroffesiynol.

We provide part-time courses in a wide range of subjects including: Business and Management, Computer Studies, Humanities, Languages, Politics and International Relations, Science and Environment, Healthcare, and Social Studies.

Rydym yn cynnig cyrsiau rhan-amser mewn ystod eang o bynciau, gan gynnwys: Busnes a Rheolaeth, Astudiaethau Cyfrifiadurol, y Dyniaethau, Ieithoedd, Gwleidyddiaeth a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol, Gwyddoniaeth a'r Amgylchedd, Gofal Iechyd, ac Astudiaethau Cymdeithasol.

We also provide pathways to undergraduate degree studies at Cardiff University for adult learners who may have been away from education for some time.

Rydym hefyd yn cynnig llwybrau at astudio gradd israddedig ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd i oedolion a allai fod wedi treulio sbel heb fod ym myd addysg. 029 2087 0000 029 2087 0000

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people with learning disabilities and autism making a difference in Cardiff celebrated in first ever leader’s list Cardiff is leading the way as a city improving understanding and inclusion for people with learning disabilities and autism. Four remarkable individuals in the city have been named as winners of the first ever Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List.

She is determined to ensure others don’t suffer the way she did, and set up Campaign for the Awareness of Covert Bullying. Her current project focuses on giving a voice to children who have died as a result of bullying – her photography will feature in the project.

The Leaders’ List is an initiative spearheaded by not-for-profit Dimensions, which supports people with learning disabilities and autism throughout Cardiff, Swansea and Bridgend to lead ordinary lives in their communities. Developed in association with Learning Disability England and VODG, the Leaders’ List is the UK’s first national listing of people with learning disabilities and/or autism who are breaking stereotypes and challenging prejudice, making communities better for themselves and others. The list celebrates stories of individuals in Cardiff who have risen above challenging experiences, to drive change for others:

Phoebe was nominated by Willow Holloway, who is also a winner on the Leaders List. Willow Holloway

• Phoebe Howells-Darcy – experienced severe bullying at school, and now works at the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute in Cardiff, and set up a campaign to ensure others don’t suffer the way she did • Willow Holloway – received a late autism diagnosis and set up a network to campaign for the recognition, acceptance and equality for women and girls with autism across Wales • Stephen West – was told he was ‘too stupid to work’ and has gone on to train tens of thousands of medical professionals and students • Michelle Williams – set up a friendship group to help disabled people like herself beat social isolation

Willow (48) wasn’t diagnosed with autism until she was 44, having grown up not fully understanding who she was. Willow founded The Autistic Women’s Empowerment Project – a network which campaigns for recognition, acceptance and equality for women and girls with autism across Wales. Willow’s daughter, Anne, said: “My mum has had to deal with her own challenges and health conditions. She prefers to work away behind the scenes but I really feel she greatly deserves recognition for the work she does.”

Phoebe Howells-Darcy Phoebe (18) works in Cardiff and experienced severe bullying in multiple schools. She was forced to complete her A-Levels while dealing with the physical and mental impacts of abuse. Phoebe battled through and at college, she was selected for a Nuffield Research Project at the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute in Cardiff.


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CT Feature

Stephen West

The group is now 90 people strong, and provides activities to help members get the most out of life, including meals out, karaoke or travelling to see shows in London. Michelle says: “My personal experience of disability has made me passionate about making life better for other people. I want to give something back. My goal is that people get more confidence and go out and mix. I feel I’m making a difference here – the friendship group would not be going if not for me.” Michelle is also a representative to the National Council of All Wales People First – a member-led organisation that represents the voice of men and women with a learning disability. Welcoming the Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List, Sarah Newton MP, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work said:

After growing up being told he was ‘too stupid to work’ and he'd never achieve anything, Stephen (60) has gone on to train tens of thousands of medical professionals and students.

“The list celebrates the extraordinary achievements of people with learning disabilities and autism, offering role models to inspire our future leaders. It is also an opportunity for the media to accelerate change and break down unnecessary barriers and stigma.”

For the past 15 years, Stephen has been a trainer with Cardiff People First. His influence is so remarkable, one of the doctors he once trained as a student recognised him at the hospital recently.

Sarah Clarke, Campaigns Manager at Dimensions, who is spearheading the Leaders’ List, said:

Michelle Williams “All of the winners make an important contribution to their community by changing public perceptions around autism and learning disability, while at the same time acting as role models and changing our society for the better. The achievements of people from Cardiff are truly remarkable – and we are honoured to be able to celebrate them on the Leaders’ List.”

10 years ago, Michelle (37) set up a ‘friendship group’ as part of Conwy Connect, a local organisation for people with learning disabilities.

“We hope that those stories inspire others and help them realise that their ambition, however big or small, can make a real difference.”


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Also Showing All Six Nations Games

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“And Another Thing…….”

By Vince Nolan

new year bread-stick As we kick-off the New Year in sober and serious mood (not), I wanted to reflect briefly on the Current Mrs Nolan and the sterling efforts she made to go through Dry October for the Bullies Out Charity. I was never in doubt that she would manage not to drink for a month but was more concerned that she would see me through sober eyes for too many days and realise what she was living with.

programme for Radio Wales. One of his regulars phoned up and it went like this: OM: “Where you working now Mike?” M: “Can’t tell you O as you are not allowed to advertise on the BBC.” OM: “Or go on mate, nobody will mind.” M: “All right then I will give you a clue. I am working for a well-known supermarket ending in the letter A. OM: “That’s easy<<<<..ASDA.” M: “No mate. Tesco Extra.” Prior to Christmas we at St.Peter’s RFC were approached by a guy in Ireland whose Dad, Tim, had played for us many years ago and had moved back to Ireland with his family after his retirement from The Bank of Ireland. Tim had been good mates with my Dad. Anyway, given the superb work Tim had done for the Club over many years it was unanimously agreed to make him a Life Member. I had the great honour of writing to him via his son to congratulate him and give him the good news. I understand he was given this letter on Christmas morning which was totally unexpected on his part and hugely moving. On the downside, they made my Dad a Life Member and he died two weeks later! Like the Murphy’s, I am not bitter.

Anyway, whilst advertising is normally to be paid for in this fine publication we wanted to put on record the fabulous generosity of local company Midas Construction who donated a brilliant £250 to her campaign. The Leader of the Opposition raised a splendid total of £700 which almost equated to what we saved that month with her not drinking. Bread-Stick is so bad a subject and a huge unknown that there are very few jokes associated with it because nobody understands or cares. It seems to me that Bread-Stick was like the UK got drunk and accidentally unfriended Europe on Book Face. A guy down the rugby club told me this story. He was listening to Owen Money’s phone-in

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CT Feature

So Billy stops Paddy in Dublin and asks for the quickest way to Cork. Paddy says: “Are you on foot or in the car?” Billy replies: “In the car.” “Well that’s the quickest way” says Paddy.

Have you ever wondered how our feathered friends communicate and particularly how they decide to congregate at a given point and all fly off in some sort of organised formation without having any recognisable common language? This goes for a murmuration of starlings, a murder of crows and a flamboyance of flamingos. Then it came to me. They must use the Internest @

An Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman in a psychology lesson. Teacher asks the Englishman what's opposite of joy? He says sorrow. He asks Scotsman what's opposite of depression? He says happiness. He asks Paddy what's the opposite of woe? He says giddy up! I was intrigued with the origin of the phrase “caught red-handed.” Apparently this logically refers to blood on a murderer's hands and originally signified only that crime. Talking of being caught, I used to be a happily married trapeze artist until I was caught in the act.

Last Boxing Day we were at the Races in Royal Randwick, Sydney. This time around we were watching sheep racing at The Big Sheep Amusement Park in Devon. Where did it all go wrong? When we were in Sydney, I met this bloke with a didgeridoo and he was playing Dancing Queen on it. I thought, that’s Abba-riginal.

It’s amazing the things you see when you don’t have a gun on you. I watched a job interview unfold in McDonald's recently. I was not eating there I might add, merely having a coffee. This Scouser was interviewing a candidate and left him with a book of multiple-choice questions to answer whilst he went off and sampled the delicious menu. The candidate could not answer the questions which involved a lot of head scratching and looking out of the window. I wanted to help him but he would have definitely not got the job if I had done. Very sad to witness.

Having been forced to do some DIY recently, (not by Current Mrs Nolan,) but by the arrival of flat-pack furniture, I needed to purchase some tools so I asked my neighbour if there was a B&Q in Newport. He said no, but there is an n,e,w,p,o,r and a t. Anyway, it’s a store I will not be returning to any time soon. I watched a drug deal go down in the car park in broad daylight and within 20 feet of my car. Three real dodgy looking geezers alighted from three black executive cars, a BMW 635 Coupe and two Mercedes S Classes which they could not possibly afford given their age and state. Various packages changed hands and then they drove off sedately so as not to arouse suspicion! This was the day after 130 cops raided half of Newport to break up organised crime gangs. They should have gone to B&Q. And finally, She Who Must Be Obeyed asked me to do some odd jobs for her. She gave me a list of ten so I only did 1,3,5,7 and 9. Happy New Year Chums.

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puzzle mania! Crossword 1














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Across 9. Living thing (8), 11. Portable computer (8), 12. Tag (5), 13. Lazy person (6), 15. Restart a computer (6), 17. Female rabbit (3), 18. Increase an engine’s speed (3), 19. Harwood tree (3), 20. Intensely ardent (5), 22. Pertaining to the eye (5), 25. Russian mountain range (4), 27. Area of land (4), 30. Grave, sedate (6), 33. Guard (6), 35. Greek letter (3), 36. Princess +, Opera (3), 37. Crib (3), 38. Type of engine fuel (6), 41. Small Rodent (6), 44. Bee +, pop group (4), 45. Impose (4), 46. Additional (5), 49. Opposite of white (5), 51. Float up and down (3), 53. English river (3), 54. Rubbish (3), 56. Language of Kabul (6), 59. Housing area (6), 62. Sleeping place on a train (5), 63. Bus finishing point (8), 64. Giving health (8) Down 1. Well-built (5), 2. Nimble (5), 3. Paul +, Canadian singer (4), 4. Land ringed by sea (4), 5. Only (4), 6. Art+, 1920s style (4), 7. Game of chance (5), 8. Sneak (5), 10. Wed (5), 11. Jimmy +, British comedian (5), 14. Lawyer’s charge (3), 16. In spite of this (3), 20. Andy Capp’s wife (3), 21. Naval spirit (3), 23. Filled pastry (3), 24. Taxi or sedan (3), 25. Take washing of the line (5), 26. Stage whisper (5), 28. Ride a bike (5), 29. Competition attempt (5), 31. Caustic liquid (3), 32. No score (3), 33. Droop (3), 34. Small flap (3), 39. Prefix meaning equal (3), 40. Adam’s wife (3), 42. Former measure of length (3), 43. Type, sort (3), 47. Express enquiry (3), 48. Tiles used in fortune telling (5), 49. Root vegetables (5), 50. Fitting (3), 51. Quarterback sack (5), 52. Child (5), 54. Broadcast (5), 55. Capital of Japan (5), 57. Profit (4), 58. Adjoin (4), 60. Small cormorant (4), 61. Malarial fever (4) 56


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sussing out a soulmate By Sara John

I also had the Vet’s emergency phone number, when we lived in the country we found most people would ring the vet for a quick word before calling the doctor.

The phone rang. I was nearby and expecting a call from my friend Viola. Writing in the December issue of The Cardiff Times, I had attempted to explain, in an entertaining manner if that is not too oxymoronish, her dilemmas, love affairs, and her rather repetitive and consecutive heartbreaks. It seemed her life was wearing her out.

When I arrived at Viola’s house I could see her standing at the window looking bleary eyed. I suddenly felt like a District Nurse who was moonlighting for The Samaritans.

I picked up the phone, yet again wondering if I could tell who was calling by the urgency, loudness or musicality of the ring. Was it Viola?

Kettle on. Emergency pack unpacked. Viola was disappointed there were no cigarettes but the chocs made up for it. Coffee mugs in hand we landed on the comfy sofa. I was still wondering about the extent of Viola’s dilemma on this occasion, having shared disappointments, bereavements, lost jewellery, nasty letters from her Bank Manager when we had Bank Managers, and her 17 attempts to pass her driving test. At the 16th try she was failed by the examiner who asked her what colour traffic light came after green. “I dunno”, she replied, “I’m gone by then.”

“Hello” I said, two or three times. “It’s Sara John, can I help?”. All I could hear was a blubbing sound like a dishwasher overloaded with very dirty dishes, on the verge of a mechanical breakdown. “Who is this?” I asked, trying not to sound as though I was in the house on my own, and that I would certainly know how to deal with creepy, kinky weirdos by pointing out that I had, actually, recently retired from the S.A.S. having spent time with the Gurkha regiment in most of the world’s trouble spots.

Maybe the planned date with the potential new boyfriend to see Madame Butterfly - WNO - at the Wales Millennium Centre had been too emotional an experience for her. We have all had our Madame Butterfly moments. Painful teenage memories maybe? That top ‘C’ in “One Fine Day” always makes me well up. But no, it was nothing like that.

“It’s Vi” came a small mouse voice. I thought I was speaking to a chararcter from a Disney cartoon of the 1950’s. “Speak up!” I insisted. “It is me, Viola,” sniffle, sniffle. “Whatever is the matter?” I enquired. “I can’t begin to tell you,” came the unpromising reply, followed by more crying. Action was clearly required. And fast. This was an emergency.

Viola on her second mug of Alta Rica and her ninth chocolate took a deep breath and began. “You remember when I rang you and said that the New Zealander who had replied to my soulmate seeking advertisement – in the Quality Press of course – had responded with an invitation to the Opera, Madame Butterfly, best seats, champagne in the interval, supper in that French place, the works. All paid.”

I found both my specs and car keys. They were both around my neck along with a spare pen on a chain as I peeled the stick-it notes I had on the front of my jumper, which said ‘lock the back door’, ‘get cat food – not tuna’, ‘phone Diane’. I read them and decided to stick them back on. That constituted my ‘to do’ list for the morning. Apart from the first priority, that is innocent and hapless Viola, a good friend, who would I am sure rush around to me if I needed support.

“Well.” Another deep breath and a slight swiveling of the shoulders, reminding the world I thought to myself, of her ample ‘chest charms’ as she called them. “Well, he met me as arranged and as I stepped out of the taxi, it happened.” She was talking very slowly, building up the anguish and the drama.

My emergency kit was packed ready in the Hall cupboard. Inside the canvas bag was a lukewarm bottle of Prosecco, two plastic picnic glasses, Lindor chocolates – the white chocolate ones with the strawberry filling, two boxes – one for her and one for me, emergency men’s tissues – the big strong ones suitable for use on lifeboats, Panadol, Savlon, small jar of Alta Rica coffee, the one from South America made from only Arabica beans, and a small jar of smelling salts – just in case.

“Yes, yes but what happened?” I demanded and woke the cat who was sharing the sofa with us, her black cat was called Catmandu and was bored to the point of exhaustion with an overlong prologue. Catmandu’s face was saying, “for the gods’ sakes get on with it woman,” (cats are rarely Christians and tend to worship many Gods mostly themselves, their friends and deceased relatives).

Oh! and a St. John’s Ambulance ‘Guide to Emergencies’ published during the War showing diagrams for tying a triangular bandage, undislocating a shoulder on a five bar gate and dealing with a pregnant woman in the second stage of labour. And, ‘no’, I do not understand the probable connection between a triangle bandage and the arrival of a new baby.

“Well”, continued Viola in a low conspiratorial voice, as if Catmandu would tell Cato next door and Pixel across the road and then everyone would know. “He was NOT alone!” “You mean he had another date with him?” I ventured.


Article - Sara John - January 2019... page 1

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 19:15 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

CT Feature

“No, no, no.” Viola was blubbing again but this time it sounded more like a washing machine in its final throes of cleansing heavily soiled cottons. “He had a young man with him. He introduced me to Alphonso whose hand he was holding, so I knew it was all up for me.” They had met in London the night before in a cocktail bar.

Viola had by now realised that her so-called date was certainly not an All Blacks type, which is what she had been rather hoping for. In fact he was quite the reverse. By then she had decided to cut her losses and flounced off, leaving the two ‘chums’ in the rain. She pushed her way through the watchers and, although on the verge of tears, decided she was NOT going to cry in the street. Some of the street audience were trying to decide who had written these lines, the woman with matching shoes and handbag who had had her hair done that afternoon, announced that it was definitely postmodern Ibsen.

“And the opera?” My mind was racing and I only asked trying to assess the damage . “You know how expensive those posh seats are.” The Date if you call him that had a real cock and bull story. We sniggered verging on laughing at that description, so I knew there was hope for Viola, a little more laughter and I reckoned she would pull through once more. The very unlikely story which unfolded that night was about him being a writer, widowed (really?) and having a bucket list of things to do before he was too old to enjoy himself. That was his version.

But Viola did yell after the errant couple, her voice breaking with emotion, “don’t you know two’s company, three’s a crowd!?” In her cold rage, realisation dawned as she decided: He was not from New Zealand at all. He was from Bridgend. He had never been married. He had no idea where Auckland was. He thought girls who advertised for dates with men - even in the quality press - were “up for anything”. It had been fibs from the start.

Top of his list was London, the Tower, the Thames and all that, but next came his curiousity about having a young male chum, that he decided would be “a nice change”. He went on to explain that he had always fancied having a young male ‘chum’ with whom he could travel, climb mountains, go on safari - “And play dirty tricks on trusting women!” added Viola very loudly.

The ‘date that never was’ was not worth it. Barely containing her rage, she explained to him that most people have things to do on their bucket lists: like going on a train to Tashkent, sailing into New York past the Statue of Liberty and seeing the Taj Mahal (not the restaurant on City Road) by moonlight.

But then Viola remembered something that was worth it. The ticket. When “he” had phoned previously to finalise arrangements, he said, “in case of an emergency arising your ticket will be at the desk for you to collect.” She had thought no more of it. Late trains? Wrong sort of leaves on the line? Collapse of Severn Tunnel?

Apparently she had said this very loudly and clearly as she was deeply hurt and upset outside the Millennium Centre, as a tidy crowd had gathered. By this time the first responders were explaining to newcomers that this scene was Street Theatre, funded by the Senedd, therefore free to the public, with hot chocolate in the interval.

She hurried in to the Centre and recognising the duty receptionist, knew her bad luck phase was over. It was Stephanie, her second cousin. “Hi Viola, what are you doing here?” she asked innocently. “I‘ll tell you next week at Welsh Class, can you give me my ticket please and then take it back and refund me the money?”

“Oh! I have done all those things,” responded the New Zealander with Alphonso looking on in admiration. The audience booed, clearly recognising the behaviour of an absolute bounder when they saw one.

“Of course” came the reply. Viola returned the ticket once she had checked it and put a substantial sum – cash – no questions asked – in her purse. “Diolch Steph, see you.” Third coffee. The chocolates were finished. “I must say I’ve learnt a hard lesson,” Viola declared to me, safe at home on her comfy sofa. “I must stop being SO positive about everything and SO trusting and optimistic.” I agreed and asked, “what next?” “Oh!” she went on, “I must tell you, the local branch of the Retired Steam Train Spotters and ex-Bell Ringers association have invited me to their Winter Social. They said not many women seemed interested in their activities but would I come? They all seem very nice. “Do you want to come with me?”


Article - Sara John - January 2019... page 2

Wednesday, 19 December 2018 19:16 Magenta Yellow Cyan Black

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Books To Look Out For In January Geraint Thomas: How A Welshman Won The Tour De France by Phil Stead Phil Stead watched his first live Tour de France in 1994. During the past 25 years he has slept in his car on the Ventoux, frozen on the Col du Galibier and hitch-hiked to a time trial in Morzine. He has cheered on legends like Ullrich, Indurain and Contador from the roadside in France, and been sworn at by Marco Pantani. He had thought he had seen it all. But he never thought he would see a Welsh winner in Paris. In 2018, all that changed when Geraint Thomas took the yellow jersey, and of course, Phil was there to witness one of the greatest moments in the history of Welsh sport. This is the story of 25 years as a Cycling fan. This is the story of how a Welshman, Cardiff’s very own Geraint Thomas, won the Tour de France.

Cooking With Scraps

Ultra Marathon Mom: From the Sahara To The Arctic by Holly Zimmerman Holly Zimmerman, mother of four, has endeavoured to take on some of the world’s most difficult and dangerous foot races. A gruelling 160 -mile ultramarathon through the Sahara Desert is the core of her story. Tales of running under a scorching sun, living on granola bars and nuts, and sleeping on the ground of an open tent are balanced with heartwarming stories of friendship and camaraderie. Interspersed between her Sahara adventures, Holly recalls previous races and training runs full of mishaps, written in her own humorous style. Training and planning for ultramarathons as well as nutritional tips for fueling the body before and during the race are also described. Ultramarathon Mom tells a unique story and delivers a meaningful message: Live your dreams.

by Lindsay-Jean Hard

Matthew Rees: Reasons 2 Smile

In this her first book, Lindsay-Jean provides a friendly illustrated reference to turn to when you don’t know what to do with all those widely neglected odds and ends - peels, cores, rinds and stems. ”Waste not, want not” is a well-known mantra and this book is full of ingenious ideas and innovative recipes to help attain this objective. Carrot tops make a zesty pesto. Water from canned beans behaves just like egg whites, perfect for vegan mayonnaise. Broccoli stems with olive-oil are poached on lemony ricotta toast. Reducing waste one dish at a time, Cooking with Scraps has 85 recipes for zero-waste cooking, from leek tops to pumpkin webbing, watermelon rind to grapefruit peel, and mushroom stems to general vegetable and fruit leftovers.

This autobiography details the life and career of Scarlets, Cardiff Blues, Wales, Lions and Barbarians rugby player Matthew Rees - aka ‘Smiler’ who was a key member of the Welsh team which achieved momentous Grand Slams at the 2008 and 2012 Six Nations Championships, and is the most capped hooker of all time for the Welsh national side. In the book, the Cardiff Blues hooker reveals all on his battle with testicular cancer in 2013, which changed everything for Matthew and his family. He reveals the ordeal of the treatment, and his fight to get healthy again, and back playing on the rugby field. The book includes a foreword by Wales coach Warren Gatland, who describes Matthew Rees as a team player who is “tough, leads by example, focused, resilient - but it keeps coming back to him being ‘just a good bloke’.”

Book page - January 2019 page 1

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                                                                                


                                                     


    NEW  regula r  weekly   cleanin g         

                          


Cardiff Times  


my mate steve By Michael James

To bring in the New Year 2019 on a happy note, let me introduce you to my mate Stephen (Steve) West. Why do I write about him? Because he has recently received a National Award, that of the 'Learning Disability and Autism Leaders' 2018 (Work and Education), which is richly deserved, and I believe that this honour to one of our local characters should be widely known. Steve is 'Kadiff Born and Bred' and one of the nicest, kindest, helpful, lovely chaps who seems to know everyone and in turn seems to be known by everyone, especially in his local patch of Roath and one of his favourite places, Cardiff Central Station. Readers of Cardiff Times may have seen him in the area and even if, on the unlikely chance that you don't know him yet, within minutes of you meeting him for the first time, Steve's cheery demeanour will make you believe that you have been his friend for life and you probably will be from then on in. Whether, in the words of the old song, you are 'Two or Ninety Two', you will be greeted by a big grin and the words, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hi, I'm Steve.â&#x20AC;? As you may gather from the title of his award, Steve has learning disabilities. He is now 60 years old but in many ways is still a child. From a very young age he has encountered many difficulties in life, first in school and then in adulthood, when little was known about people with disabilities and employment was almost impossible to find. What a sad reflection on society (us) and how hurtful to those and their families, who suffered from our perceptions of their disabilities. I say suffered

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because, thankfully, today more is understood about those with learning and physical disabilities and their ability to take on a variety of tasks, and become valued members of society to the benefit of all of us and more importantly, for themselves. Although unable to be part of the workplace, Steve has gained confidence in himself since he became involved in a wonderful organisation, 'Cardiff People First'. A somewhat strange title which could imply, (to me anyway), that it was only concerned about Cardiffians. I soon learnt that it was the Cardiff branch of a national organisation which promotes the need for us to see the person (people) first and only then recognise the disability. Steve has become a valued member of 'Cardiff People First' from the first moment he joined, to become part of a friendship group with his peers, and now has gained enough confidence to be able to tell others how difficult life can be for him. For the last 15 years Steve has had a voluntary role of speaking about his disability. His role is that of a provider of information of what it is like to have a disability and what is expected from us in how we provide for and engage with those with disabilities. Steve is part of the 'Cardiff People First' training team and regularly speaks to groups of doctors and nurses, and members of the South Wales Police, as part of their ongoing training. His straight forward, common sense approach to the matter enables them to see just what he and others face in life. It is mainly for this that Steve has received the accolade and it is very well deserved. He is now the 'go to man', on this subject and he and his family can be justifiably proud of what he has done and continues to do. Yet this award is

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CT Feature

only part of Steve's full life. He and others from 'Cardiff People First', like Peter Lewis, his sadly departed and sorely missed friend, live by the Charity's motto, 'Disability is not Inability', and they prove it daily by the way they cope with life. I first met Steve way back in 1976 when I came to live in Cardiff. As a family we joined Albany Road Baptist Church and one of the first to welcome us was Steve. Both our families have been firm friends ever since, sharing many adventures together, such as European bus tours, Church weekends away and events such as 'Spring Harvest' and 'St David's Praise' concerts. Steve and I have a strong bond through our mutual love of sport, although I have great difficulty stopping him telling me the soccer results before I get a chance to see them on 'Match of the Day'. Steve and some of his friends regularly attend the bi-monthly meetings of the 'Cardiff Causeway Prospects Group' held in our Church on the first and third Sunday afternoon of each month. They are lovely services for those with learning and physical disabilities and are hugely enjoyed by all who attend ( including their carers) The Meetings are filled with much laughter, singing and dancing for those who are able, as well as a gentle, simply expressed bible story, and rounded off at the end of the year by a moving Christmas Carol Concert and the telling of the Nativity story where everyone has a part to play. This is followed in the New Year with a party, enjoyed by all. As you read this, the concert and the party will be over but Steve will remember everything and, if he gets the chance, will encourage you to come to the monthly meetings and join us for next years celebrations. As well as his interest in sport, Steve's main passion is train spotting, something he has been doing since a child and which he continues to do enthusiastically on an almost daily basis. He and his father, who is also his official carer, are familiar figures among the railway community as they stroll along the platforms of his beloved Cardiff Central Station, notebook and pen in hand, and his enthusiasm knows no bounds when a new engine and number is spotted. Wherever he travels in the UK or on his many family camping holidays all over Europe, the USA and Canada, Steve always seeks out the local train

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station. He was in his element when on a recent holiday with his Dad, they visited Brighton Station. Loads of new engines and their numbers made his day and to cap it all, one of the drivers spotted him and called out “Hi Steve, fancy seeing you here. You are a long way from Cardiff!”. As I said earlier, everyone knows Steve. Through all the difficulties life has thrown at Steve, he has the nature to overcome them all. He also has had the huge advantage of the support he has received from his loving family, which continues since the loss of his dear mother Marion last year, which was a huge blow to Steve and to everyone who had the pleasure to know her. A truly lovely lady. Steve's dad, John, who himself is another well known local character, is also a great mate of mine, and it was he who encouraged me to write for Cardiff Times, (although you may not want to thank him for that!) and is still a huge encouragement to me. My mate Steve is genuinely a 'One Off'' and I mean that in all sincerity and as a complement to someone I am pleased to call my friend. He greatly deserves the honour which has been given him and I am pleased to be able to tell you about that. To me it is such a heart warming story and a great way to start the New Year with, I suspect, a big smile on your face. If you should see him in the street, just say “Hi Steve”. He will be so pleased and will regard you as a friend. May God bless you and all those you love in 2019.

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JANUARY 2019 - PART 2 page 76

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Profile for Cardiff Times Magazine

Cardiff Times January 2019  

Cardiff Times January 2019