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News | History | Schools | Competitions | Interviews

Rhiwbina Living

At the heart of the community

Issue 33 Winter 2015

Christmas in Rhiwbina

Why we love Rhiwbina at Christmas Competitions:

Win family tickets to Christmas shows Plus details of the Christmas Festival

Sam Warburton: Why I moved back to Rhiwbina

Your Multi Award-Winning Magazine For Rhiwbina

Contents What’s on in Rhiwbina 3-4 News Catch up with the latest in Rhiwbina 5 Rhiwbina Library News and fundraising 6 Letters 11 Competitions Win tickets for all the family 12 Why we love Rhiwbina at Christmas What you said 18 Rhiwbeina Primary School Latest achievements and news 21 Squidgy the Squirrel Kids’ page 24 Sam Warburton The Welsh captain talks Rhiwbina 28 Monico Movies Rhiwbina’s community cinema 33 Welsh in Rhiwbina 37 Pet Questions 39 Gardening In search of the Holy Grail 42 Wine guide to getting through Christmas Tips for survival 46 Short story Spring Issue deadline: Friday 12th February 2016 Published 29th February 2016 a: 222 Pantbach Road, Rhiwbina, Cardiff CF14 6AG t: 07772 081775 / 07974 022920 w: www.livingmags.co.uk e: editor@livingmags.co.uk or danielle@livingmags.co.uk While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents, the publisher cannot accept any responsibility for errors or omissions, or for any matter in any way arising from the publication of this material. Every effort has been made to contact any copyright holders. Rhiwbina Living is an independent, apolitical publication.

Winners at the 2014 UK Independent Magazine Awards 2

Sunday 22nd November Rhiwbina’s Handmade Market at Rhiwbina Memorial Hall 11am-4pm. Saturday 28th November Rhiwbina Christmas Festival. Christmas Lights Switch On, rides, stalls, street food, Santa’s Grotto. From 4pm onwards in Rhiwbina village. Friday 4th December Rhiwbeina Primary School Christmas Fayre, Rhiwbeina Primary School 3.45pm-6.30pm. Saturday 5th December Christmas Extravaganza at the Pantmawr Inn, with cakes, stalls and music. The fun starts at 11am.

Thursday 10th December Father Christmas visits Rhiwbina Tennis Club 4pm-6pm. Tickets are £6 and include fun party games/after school tea/gifts. Thursday 10th December Cardiff Round Table brings Father Christmas to Rhiwbina. 6.45pm outside Nest, Heol Llanishen Fach at 7.30pm. Saturday 12th December Monico Movies will be showing Scrooged at Canolfan Beulah from 7.30pm. Tickets from Ginger Whites, Deri Stores and the Honey Pot. Sunday 20th December Father Christmas visits Rhiwbina Garden Village on his sleigh.

Welcome / Croeso

Welcome to your Winter issue of Rhiwbina Living Magazine. We are very excited to be bringing you our 9th Christmas issue of the magazine, since launching in 2007. The magazine has been so successful that we are able to welcome our Pantmawr residents to their very first issue and to extend the magazine delivery to the area of Rhiwbina that was previously outside of our postcode of CF14 6. So, welcome to all our new readers! We thought Christmas was the perfect time to launch our bigger and better magazine with a total distribution now increased from 4,400 to 5,500. It is thanks to your support and the support of local businesses that we are able to produce this magazine for the community and to deliver it to households, and so we urge our readers to please make a point of using the services of the advertisers in this publication. Keeping our local businesses going means that we can all continue to enjoy the wonderful village in which we live. Please mention that you have seen their advertisements in Rhiwbina Living magazine. This way, the magazine can also continue to thrive and we can ensure everyone receives a free copy. We have enjoyed working on this festive issue so much and have thrown ourselves into trying to make

it our best issue yet. It is also our biggest issue ever at a staggering 48 pages! We have tried to ensure there is something for everyone to represent the varied demographic of Rhiwbina and are thrilled to have received so many contributions from our readers. This is your community magazine so please feel free to write to us about what you think of it, suggestions on anything else you would like included or to send us editorial of your own. Our contact details are listed to the side. Finally, we want to wish all our readers and the community of Rhiwbina a very Happy Christmas and New Year. Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda. Danielle and Patric Editors

Small inset photo of Lantern Parade courtesy of Sarah Barnes Photography


NatWest to provide pop-up mobile bank

Rhiwbina optician named as ‘Optician of the Year’

Beulah Road Rhiwbina optician Emily Kingman has won the prestigious title of Optician of the Year at a glittering ceremony in London. Emily, who has been practising in the village for ten years, was thrilled to receive the award. She told Living Magazines: “It all began back in the summertime when I received an email to say I had been nominated Optician of the Year in the Macular Society’s Annual Awards for Excellence. I learned that it was one of my patients Caroline Noall who had nominated me for all the care and attention I have given her and her father over the years. It was such a privilege to be nominated. I was in work one day in August and I received a phone call to say that the judging panel had chosen me to be the winner of Optician of the Year.” Emily travelled up to London to pick up the award in late September. “It’s lovely to be recognised for going that extra mile for people. It’s something I pride myself on in business – the personal touch,” she added.

It’s lovely to be recognised for going that extra mile for people

NatWest Bank decides to open mobile bank after closing its Rhiwbina branch Pantbach Road NatWest Bank has announced that Rhiwbina will get its own pop-up mobile bank after closing their branch in the village. MP Craig Williams revealed the news last month that NatWest had secured funding to run the mobile branch on a weekly basis from March 2016. He said: “I’m thrilled that NatWest have listened to local people. A weekly presence, in a location arranged with Jayne Cowan, is a great step forward. I know that residents and local businesses will be relieved and will continue to support the NatWest Bank.” MP Craig Williams , AM Julie Morgan, and Rhiwbina councillors Jayne Cowan, Adrian Robson and Eleanor Sanders have met

representatives from NatWest to discuss the proposed closure since the news was first announced in August. Julie Morgan AM welcomed the news, but felt like the village was getting ‘second best’. “The arrival of a mobile branch, if it is fully accessible, is some compensation but I still feel it is second best. The branch closed last week but yet people will have to wait until March next year to get a service once a week. What are they supposed to do until then? “That said, I will of course work with NatWest to do anything I can to facilitate the mobile bank van coming to Rhiwbina and I look forward to its arrival in March.” NatWest closed its Rhiwbina branch on October 28th.

Rhiwbina Festival promises to bring The Spirit of Christmas to the village

Christmas Festival Rhiwbina’s Christmas Festival will take place on Saturday 28th November. The popular event is being organised by the Rhiwbina Events Committee and promises to get residents in the festive spirit. Father Christmas will be in his grotto at New Roots Garden Centre

from 4pm and there will be live acts on Heol-y-Deri. At 5pm, there is the great Christmas Tree Lights switch on, followed by the Lantern Parade starting at Lon Fach at 6.15pm. Christmas Carols will then be sung around the village Christmas Tree from 6.45pm onwards. The Festival will also boast stalls, rides, late night shopping and street food. Heol-y-Deri will be closed from 2pm onwards and will re-open at 8pm. Pen-y-Dre will also be closed to traffic during this time although Beulah Road will remain open.



Rhiwbina Squirrels hit the headlines SPORT Rhiwbina RFC was very much in the news during the Rugby World Cup. They featured in the Google #HometownHeroes Digital Countdown to the RWC and were featured with Sam Warburton’s No.7 shirt number with seven days to go to the big Kick Off! The Google ground view cameras visited Caedelyn where the team was photographed along with a 360 degree view of the first team pitch and changing rooms. To see the pictures, just Google Rhiwbina RFC. The club also appeared live on ITV Good Morning Britain, where a room-full of mini and junior players made it quite clear who they thought would win the Rugby World Cup! The minis and juniors were also featured on ITV Wales News, with a focus on respect and fair play and positive behaviour in rugby. Rhiwbina have put up ‘Respect Boards’ inside and outside their changing rooms, to ensure that players, coaches, parents and supporters behave respectfully at all times.

The Trade Centre Wales has also sponsored Rhiwbina’s Under 15s. Jac Bowen, of The Trade Centre Wales said: “This is one of the largest, younger teams that we have ever sponsored. During the process of organising the kit, and meeting up with the coaches to present the kit, it was clear to me that this is a great, locally run club. “The hours and dedication that the coaches and committee put in to make sure the boys can play is second to none. We’re thrilled to have been given the opportunity, and wish Rhiwbina RFC the very best of luck for the season, and hope the good luck continues since wearing the Trade Centre Wales logo.”

Pizza shop given permission to open on Thornhill Road THORNHILL ROAD A Papa John’s pizza shop is set to open on Thornhill Road, despite opposition from local residents. Cardiff Council gave the green light to the project in October. The go ahead will allow Papa John’s to move into a former estate agents. The approval is subject to the company adapting its opening hours to between 11am and 10.30pm from Sunday to Thursday, and from 11am to 11pm on Friday and Saturday, meaning the takeaway would close half an hour earlier than it had hoped to. Residents had raised concerns that traffic would cause problems, especially if delivery drivers were leaving and returning to the shop after closing times. One resident told Rhiwbina Living: “Parking up there is very limited 4

as it is. I often have to park on Beulah Road if I am wanting to visit the shops and the roundabout is dangerous enough as it is. I’m not happy with this decision.” But Lynda Thorne, Labour councillor for Grangetown, told the press: “It’s a local centre. It does have offstreet parking and local centres are very often busy. “I can see no reason why the applications would be refused. It’s not like a chip shop where youngsters hang around.”

The club recently took delivery of a defibrillator from Welsh Hearts. Over 20 people attended the first training session at the club’s changing rooms at Parc Cae Delyn. Nick Evans from Welsh Hearts was there to deliver the training, and there were representatives from every Mini and Junior section, as well as all Senior teams. Following the tragic death of young Llanishen RFC player Owen Morris in 2013, Rhiwbina resolved to provide a defibrillator at their ground. Vice Chairman Dave Hobbs said: “The community was shocked by Owen’s tragic death and we wanted to do all we could to ensure that we had the equipment and expertise on hand to help prevent such an incident at Rhiwbina”.

Blue Plaque Unveiled To Honour Local Author A blue plaque was unveiled in Rhiwbina Garden Village in October, to honour the work of author Kate Roberts. Kate was one of the foremost Welsh-language authors of the twentieth century. Known as Brenhines ein llên (“The queen of our literature”), she is known mainly for her short stories, but she also wrote novels. She was also a prominent Welsh nationalist. She lived at 8 Lon Isa from 1929 to 1931.


Sandra and Wayne who are retiring this month

Hello from Rhiwbina Library!

We’re happy to report that our book borrowers are still as keen as ever and reading seems to be high on the agenda within the local community! We’d like to say a big thanks to all the children who participated in our annual Summer Reading Challenge and read 6 books over the school summer holidays. A huge number of children signed up and we’ve been busy visiting local schools to hand out well-deserved medals and certificates to all those who completed the challenge. We’re also proud of the new knitting club that’s been up and running since May. You don’t need to be an experienced knitter to come along and we have sessions for both adults and children – pop along and join us. It doesn’t end there – we’ve got tablet and laptop one-toones and Family History sessions, as well as lots of regular activities for children and special events throughout the year. As we start thinking about plans for the New Year, we also have to say goodbye to Sandra and Wayne, who will both be retiring at the end of November this year. Sandra has worked at Rhiwbina for over 38 years (minus a brief hiatus or two for secondment opportunities), and Wayne has been here for 7 years out of the 22 he’s worked for Cardiff Libraries. Our regular customers will know them both and I’m sure will be just as sad to see them go as the rest of the staff. We wish them the best and hope that they’ll be coming back to see us often!

Book borrowers still as keen as ever!

Rhiwbina Library remains a vital hub in the community

Friends of Rhiwbina Library Friends of Rhiwbina Library has been set up by a group of local residents who love Rhiwbina Library and want it to thrive. Our goal is to support the library in its present form for the well-being of current and future generations. We will be: # Fundraising # Putting on events # Supporting the library staff # Promoting the library as a community amenity. Our events so far have included Summer Festival Storytelling with local award winning storyteller Tamar Williams and our popular ‘Quiz and a Cuppa’ event which we plan to hold again soon. We celebrated National Poetry Day with a special ‘Poetry Please’ session at the library, and had ‘Spooky Stories’ for children at Hallowe’en, when we were joined by some fantastic witches, vampires and pumpkins! We are running a jigsaw library every Saturday (10am–1pm) through the winter. Nearly 200 jigsaws have been donated by the local community and we have a large number of jigsaws for children and adults. The jigsaws are free to borrow for children, with a suggested donation of £1 for adults. If you are interested in joining the Friends of Rhiwbina Library, you can email your

name and contact details to friendsofrhiwbinalibrary@gmail. com and we’ll add you to our membership list; or you can leave your details in the ‘Friends of Rhiwbina Library’ box at the library desk. We have lots of ideas for events and ways to raise money to support the library, but we would love to hear suggestions from the local community. You can also let us know if you are interested in attending our meetings (held monthly) to help plan events, or in volunteering to help run events or the jigsaw library.




We always love to hear from our readers. Email us or write to us!

Two sides to Thirty years since the every story Dirty Dozen transformed Rhiwbina Bowls Club While I sympathise with Geraint Lewis regarding behaviour of cyclists on the Taff Trail, there are, inevitably, two sides to a tale. I cycle the trail regularly and always ring my bell to warn pedestrians that I am passing and say a quick thank you. You would be amazed at the reaction of many folk from furious glares to verbal abuse. The use of earphones by walkers, runners and cyclists can also be a danger.

I despair at the lack of basic good manners and common sense of people today. The trail is a dual use path so pedestrians have a duty to pay attention, be aware of wandering children, dogs on ridiculously long leads etc. and the cyclist to treat the path, not as a race track but a facility for all to enjoy. So cyclists - watch your speed, use a bell and a friendly greeting; and pedestrians - don’t spread yourselves across the whole path. Jim Taverner Rhiwbina

Loved my visit! I recently visited Rhiwbina to see a friend and was impressed by the welcoming nature of all the shop owners and all the people I met. Your village is a credit to you all I’ll be back! Anne Williams Newport 6

Honours boards show that Rhiwbina Men’s and Ladies’ Indoor Bowls clubs were formed in the season 1968/1969, bowling on roll down/roll down/roll down again mats in the Main Hall. Each mat ran from the kitchen door/ hatch to the concertina screen which currently separates the Main Hall from the Sportsman’s Bar. Short green bowling at its best! What is now the Tudor Lounge used to be the Outdoor Bowls Men’s locker area, and it was realised that if the lockers were moved out at the end of Summer Season, Indoor Bowls could take place during the winter. For some years, this was the case. Short green bowling became a bit longer. However, the area eventually became the Tudor Lounge and everyone had to return to the Main Hall. Around 1983, it was realised that knocking down one of the walls of a line of little-used rooms would make one large room. Plans were drawn up and the decision was taken to proceed with the project – with prayers said that the roof would stay up. It did and work began. Twelve members, known thereafter as the Dirty Dozen, undertook tasks in which most had no experience whatsoever. For example, a bank manager and a College Assistant Registrar squatted cross-legged on the floor, chipping cement off bricks to make an ‘in-fill’ at the far end of today’s facility. Members of the Dirty Dozen who were retired worked during the whole week, others at weekends. Work always stopped at 11am (tea time), to be resumed until noon, when the Club Bar opened and everyone had a free pint. After

all, it was dusty work. Carpet, heating, lighting and suspended ceiling installation was rightly left to the real experts. Come September 1985, we had the luxury of permanent rinks and longer ones at that. The rest is history, as they say. The completion of the project was marked by a grand party in the Main Hall, at which members of the Dirty Dozen were presented with appropriately engraved glass tankards. The party was grand because a) the Ladies expressed their appreciation of what had been achieved by providing superb refreshments and b) one member of the Dirty Dozen somehow had ‘access’ to a plenteous supply of good wine. It is now 2015. Thirty enjoyable years have passed. Here’s to another thirty. Perhaps a note for your diary: Indoor bowls started at Rhiwbina in 1968, which means that in just three years’ time, we can celebrate our 50th anniversary! Names can be taken! Norman Rendle Rhiwbina

Indulge yourself this Christmas and New Year Here at , we fully understand that buying, selling or letting a property is not something that you do every day. However, that is exactly what we do. Therefore when it is time to choose your agent

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Rhiwbina Christmas Festival

From 2pm Lantern decorating at The Art Workshop on Lon Fach From 4pm Father Christmas will be in his grotto at New Roots Garden Supplies on Beulah Road From 4pm DJ Sparky Marky and live acts on Heol Y Deri 5pm Christmas Tree Lights switch on 6.15pm Lantern Parade from The Art Workshop on Lon Fach 6.45pm Christmas Carols around the village Christmas Tree

Christmas Lights Switch On

Meet Father Christmas

Lantern Parade


RHIWBINA VILLAGE NOVEMBER TH 28 2015 4pm - 7pm ROAD CLOSURES: Heol Y Deri will be closed to all traffic from 2pm on the 28th November and will re-open at 8pm. The road closure begins at the crossroads of Beulah Church and continues to Lon Isa. Pen Y Dre will also be closed to traffic during this time from the crossroads to Lon Y Dail. Beulah Road will remain open to traffic and the buses will be diverted along it.

Raymond Gubbay presents

Russia’s acclaimed ballet company returns to the UK

The Snow Maiden The Nutcracker Swan Lake

Performed by The

Russian State Ballet of Siberia Accompanied by The Orchestra of the Russian State Ballet

The Snow Maiden

The Nutcracker

Swan Lake

Protected from the outside world by Father Frost, the exquisite Snow Maiden plays innocently amongst the dancing snowflakes in the enchanted Land of Frost. Based on a traditional folk-tale, set in the snow covered landscape of rural Russia, this seasonal sparkler follows the Snow Maiden as she dances into the human world. Captivated by the colourful village and the people who live there, she ventures too far and is swept up by feelings of love, temptation and betrayal. When finally she surrenders herself completely and warms to that love, her heart melts in a tragic embrace.

This most famous of fantasy ballets for all the familybegins as night falls on Christmas Eve. As snowflakesfall outside, the warm glow of the open fire sends flickering shadows across the boughs of the Christmas tree and all the presents beneath. When midnight strikes we are swept away to a fairytale world where nothing is quite as it seems, toy dolls spring to life, the Mouse King and his mouse army battle with the Nutcracker Prince and we travel through the Land of Snow to an enchanted place where the magic really begins...

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

19 - 21 December

22, 23, 24, 27 & 28 December

19 December - 3 January

29 - 31 December & 2 - 3 Janaury

Win tickets to top shows this Christmas St. David’s Hall has got the festive season all wrapped up this Christmas with the sensational UK premiere of The Snow Maiden from the acclaimed Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia! The world renowned classical ballet company has never staged this show before, and this brand new production is now set to delight the whole family at the National Concert Hall of Wales. Five magical shows including matinees at 2pm and early evening performances at 5.30pm will take place on Saturday 19 – Monday 21 December. You can be there with a fantastic Family Ticket (2 adults and 2

children) with this exclusive competition for the opening of The Snow Maiden on Saturday 19 December at 2pm. Originally titled The Snow Maiden: A Spring Fairy Tale, this breathtaking ballet is a re-adaption of Alexander Ostrovsky’s story set in freezing mid-winter. Even the coldest of hearts will be melted by such an enchanting tale. Protected from the outside world by Father Frost, the exquisite Snow Maiden plays innocently amongst the dancing snowflakes in the mesmerising Land of Frost. This seasonal sparkler follows the beautiful girl as she dances


Win tickets

into the human world. Will she find happiness once she finally surrenders herself to the warmth of love? To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize, please answer the following question: What is the name of the ballet from the Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia, which celebrates its UK premiere at St David’s Hall on Saturday 19 December? Please email your entries to SDHpress@cardiff.gov.uk with your name, address and a phone number by Friday 11th December.

Win tickets to see The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to the theatre would it? Sherman Cymru are renowned for their festive shows so come with us as we step inside the wardrobe to meet kindly Mr Tumnus, Aslan the brave lion and the cruel and wicked White Witch! This adaptation of CS Lewis’ timeless tale will whisk you away to Narnia, a land where it always snows and adventure is just around the corner. Featuring a company of actormusicians, magical songs and directed by Rachel O’Riordan (Director of last year’s much loved Arabian Nights), The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is perfect Christmas storytelling guaranteed to leave you spellbound! We’ve teamed up with Sherman

Cymru to offer you the chance to win a family ticket of four tickets to see the show. All you need to do is answer this very simple question: Q: Who wrote The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Email your answers to editor@ livingmags.co.uk before 4th December, or if you’d rather post your entry, please forward to the address on the inside front cover of this magazine. Please remember to include your contact details so that we can let you know if you are the lucky winner. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe opens on 4th December and runs through until 31st December.

Children an under 2 d 5s half pric e

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe Get ready

to step inside the wardrobe ...

4 - 31 December 2015

029 2064 6900 shermancymru.co.uk Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Age 7+ and their families

@ShermanCymru #ChristmasattheSherman By Directed

C S Lewis

Image Design

Burning Red


Rachel O’Riordan



Why we

Rhiwbimnaas at Christ

Rhiwbina has always held Christmas close to its heart. Residents explain what they love about our village at this festive time of year

Mary and Linda MARY I love the traditional side of Christmas in the village. Singing carols around the Christmas tree in Y Groes is one of my highlights, as is the Father Christmas Run that I help organise. Although the kids love it, organising it can get very stressful - I’m usually a degenerate wreck come Christmas! One year, our Father Christmas was a former policeman. One night, we were struggling to get Santa’s sleigh up the road. One motorist stopped his car, got out and told us in no uncertain terms to move or that he would phone the police. Santa stood up and shouted back at the top of his

voice: ‘I AM THE POLICE!’ Santa is always offered sherry as he makes his way around the Garden Village and we need to make sure that he limits the amount of glasses he consumes. We don’t want him slipping over like I did once after we’d had some heavy snow, not that I was drunk. I was heading to Y Groes for the carols and went head over heel. I managed to get myself home to patch up my bruises and as soon as I got back, my phone was ringing, asking where I was! I had to head straight back out!

We’ve lived in Rhiwbina for 14 years. We love heading into the village at Christmas to visit the shops and have a hot drink or toddie! Adam and Nicola


Rhiwbina is like a reallife Advent calendar

Adam and Nicola


We moved here from Pontprennau because we loved the community feel that Rhiwbina offered. We now feel that we are part of the community and at Christmas, we always try to support our local businesses rather than go elsewhere. The village itself is a great hub and we are always bumping into our neighbours or other people that we know when we are out doing our Christmas shopping - the village is the place we always head to first. Andrew and Charlotte

A village within a city

I always head into Rhiwbina village as an appetiser for Christmas. There’s always something going on in the run-up and for that reason, Rhiwbina feels like a real-life Advent calendar. The shops always make a real effort at this time of year. You’ll never be short of anything to do and it all adds up to the Christmassy feel when you see all the happy families getting read for the festive season. If we were to ever get snowed in here, at least we’d have everything we needed on our doorstep! The village thrives because it is a great mix of people of all ages. Ruth Williams

The shops always make an effort at Christmas. The Christmas Festival always goes down well and the one thing I always love about the village is the display of flowers! Anne Wranba

Christmas spirit Rhiwbina is great at Christmas because it is very child-friendly and not commercialised. We love going to all the Christmas concerts because it really gets us in the mood for Christmas. Gwyn and Laura

Andrew and Charlotte

Bright lights and mulled wine

My daughters live in Italy and the first thing they do when they get home for Christmas is head to Snails for a warming breakfast and coffee. I prefer to sit in the quiet of the Whittaker Lounge with a glass of mulled wine, watching the shoppers bustling about. Pauline Douglas

Mari and Julie People of the village love the excitement of the Christmas tree, the lantern parade and everything else that comes with Rhiwbina at Christmas. Even better, there’s always the odd local celebrity lurking around!

I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!

Ann There’s a lovely community spirit in Rhiwbina at Christmas. I travel around the country a lot but I’ll be back for the festival – the event brings in lots of families and kids and everyone has lots of fun. 13

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Monday 8oz Rump Steak with chips, peas, grilled tomato & either a pint of Carling, Strongbow, Real Ale or a glass of 175ml house wine for £10

Tuesday 2 Mains for £12 or 2 Grills for £15 (Selected Mains and Grills)


Ale & Pie Night Choose from our homemade pies & either a pint of Carling, Strongbow, Real Ale or a glass of 175ml house wine for £8

Thursday Curry Night - Choice of curries & either a pint of Carling, Strongbow, Real Ale or a glass of 175ml house wine for £8 (from 5pm)

Tyla Teg, Rhiwbina, Cardiff, CF14 1EF


Client satisfaction is our reputation

Rhiwbina Living speaks to Philip Grimson, FNAEA, Principal, Mansell’s licenced residential estate agent with over 40 years experience in the industry.

What’s changed in Rhiwbina?

Where would you recommend to live in Rhiwbina?

Since opening my own estate agency office in Rhiwbina in 1991, I have noticed the age group demographic has changed. Rhiwbina always had a varied style of properties, but a shortage of family houses has led to buyers converting bungalows to create family homes. Previously most bungalows where bought as a home to retire to.

I would recommend all of Rhiwbina as a good residential area to live. The district is very fortunate to have numerous areas of public parkland. There are a number of roads which have become highly sought after, amongst these are Heol Wen, Heol y Coed, Heol y Bryn, Charlotte Square, Gernant and Beulah Road as they are all within walking distance of the village centre. What has not changed in my experience being in estate agency since 1973, is the demand has always been greater than the available supply. For buyers planning retirement, bungalows located within walking distance of the village centre and on level roads have become far more sought after. Contributing to their desirability are their proximity to the local shops, library, railway station and bus service.

The two primary schools in Rhiwbina are highly regarded and have always been an attraction for families. The popularity and increasing attendance of both the Winter and Summer Festivals in Rhiwbina have provided an opportunity for families who were formally unfamiliar with Rhiwbina to discover it as a desirable place to live. Historically the biggest change within Rhiwbina is the sale of the Garden Village housing to their former tenants. The Garden Village is a conservation area and its housing is now CADW Grade II listed which has helped to ensure the character of the homes will not physically change. This contributed to the desirability of the houses which has resulted in the prices rocketing to what must be eye watering levels for those who were fortunate to have bought in at the beginning.

3 Heol-y-Deri, Rhiwbina, Cardiff CF14 6HA www.mansellsestateagents.co.uk

In short once you have moved into Rhiwbina, no one wants to move out.

029 2052 1600

e: property@mansellsestateagents.co.uk

Season’s Greetings

from Rhiwbina Baptist Church

Merry Christmas and New Year blessings from Rhiwbina Baptist Church. We are a church of all ages, right in the heart of the community. And there’s a place here for you. We believe that a relationship with Jesus transforms everything; and we’d love to share His hope, peace and love with you this Christmas time. SERIAL: Birth in the City Thursday 3, 10 & 17 December, 7.30pm @The Olive Branch, Heol y Deri A three-part dramatic retelling of the Story of Stories in the style of a radio-show. Join us after late night shopping in Rhiwbina Village! Nursery Christmas Concert Monday 7 December, 10.45am @ RBC Share in the childlike wonder of Christmas with our Nursery Children. Christmas Through the Keyhole Saturday 12 December, 10am - 3pm @ RBC Enter into the Christmas story through this imaginative & interactive retelling of Jesus’ birth, for all the family. Sound of Wales Acapella Christmas Concert Saturday 12 December, 7.30pm @ RBC We are thrilled to be hosting the acclaimed “Sound of Wales” for an evening of contemporary acapella music, reflective carols & mulled wine. Messy Church (with Messy Christingle!) Sunday 13 December, 4 pm @ RBC Oranges, sweets and an amazing light show! Sharing in the delight of Christmas through crafts, games, story & song.

Christmas 2015 in RBC DIY Nativity Sunday 20 December, 10.30am @ RBC Join us for a “do-it-yourself” nativity for all the family at our Sunday worship service. Community Carols By Candlelight Sunday 20 December, 5 pm @ RBC A celebration of Christmas for the whole community. Join us for a great family event with carols led by the Melingriffith Brass Band, Christmas reflections and...a Hog Roast! Christmas Eve Holy Communion Thursday 24th December, 11.15pm @ RBC A service of reflection, communion & advent wonder. Christmas Day Family Service Friday 25th December, 10.30am @ RBC Come and join us to worship Christ, the Newborn King, on Christmas morning. Sunday Worship Sunday 27 December, 10.30am @ RBC “When you wish upon a star” - exploring the meaning and significance of the star of Bethlehem.

Rhiwbina Baptist Church Lon Ucha, Cardiff CF14 6HL Phone: 029 2062 3791 www.rbc.ac

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3a Beulah Road, Rhiwbina, Cardiff CF14 6LT 029 2061 1283

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Serving award-winning meals in Rhiwbina for 20 years Rhiwbina’s Gateway of India has been serving up delicious Indian meals to thrilled residents for 20 years. But it wasn’t all plain sailing for the popular takeaway. Owner Moslaur Rahman, who knows practically all his customers by name, explains: “In the beginning, it was a difficult concept to sell. We introduced our Heat & Eat idea in 1995, moving to our current premises in Rhiwbina. 20 years later and the people of Rhiwbina have totally put their trust in us which is great, as serving the people of Rhiwbina is our top priority.” In those 20 years, the Gateway of India has won a flurry of top awards, including top prize at a national food award ceremony earlier this year. “Our gratitude goes to the people of Rhiwbina for their support. The residents have spread the word far and wide and as a result, we were proud this year to be named as Overall Winner at the Welsh Food Awards. Thoughtful locals have also been showing their support to us at the Curry Oscars, which are being held this month.” The Gateway’s rise to prominence comes down to the quality of ingredients that are selected and prepared: “Our quality is the very best. I will not compromise on quality and we only use the best ingredients. Our chicken is fresh grade A British fillets from Norfolk for instance. If you eat chicken elsewhere, you will notice the difference. Our lamb is premium quality, locally-sourced Welsh lamb. We don’t use any artificial food colourings – the colours that you see on your plate are all natural. In India and Bangladesh, we don’t use artificial colours so why should we use them here? We’ve introduced healthier ways of cooking our food too – we are baking more, steaming more and frying less. We are proud to prepare healthy food for the people of Rhiwbina but without compromising on taste.” The Gateway’s unique concept calls for ultra-high standards in the kitchen. Renowned for its cleanliness, the food is carefully prepared and cooked before being chill-blasted. The kitchen’s strict hygiene procedures mean that the meals can be safely stored in the fridge for 2-3 days after purchasing. And if you specifically ask, food can be stored for up to 5 days. “We had our food scientifically tested in the lab for its shelf-life. We maintain a HACCP monitoring system for all our food products to maintain the highest standard.” But Moslaur sees eating as more than just nourishing the body. “It’s an event. Good food brings people together, whether that be family or friends.” Originally from Bangladesh, Moslaur came to London in 1975 aged 5 and moved to Cardiff in 1979. “We have loved our time so far in the village. I have some ideas of where I’d like to take the business in the future but for me, I’ll be staying right here in Rhiwbina. I also have a dream of selling our food in Harrods – with the help of the good people of Rhiwbina, we could make it happen! We are delighted to be embarking on a new twice weekly free delivery service from 12pm -5pm on a Friday and Saturday. For a Friday delivery, please phone your order in before 10.30pm on a Thursday and for a Saturday delivery please order before 10.30pm on a Friday. We will endeavour to deliver to your specified time. We can even deliver to your work if you aren’t home until the evening. We are also running a competition in the run up to Christmas. The winner will receive £250 of catering vouchers. See our Twitter page for details.

We wish all the people of Rhiwbina a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

From the Team at Gateway of India

236 Pantbach Road, Cardiff, CF14 6AG Phone: 029 2052 9029 Overall Winner 2015



Rhiwbeina Primary School Rhiwbeina Primary has been a hive of activity over the last few months. Here are a few of their highlights

Attack of the Pirates! Pupils of a Year Six class have developed their oracy and history skills by bringing the topic of ‘Shipwrecked’ to life. Studying the Age of Sail, pupils performed their final primary class assembly about life on board ship, which included an appearance by our very-own local pirate, Sir Henry Morgan himself! Aargh..! Welsh History Assembly Dosbarth 6L performed an assembly all about the rebellion of the last native Prince of Wales, Owain Glyndŵr. Their assembly was a chance for the children to make history ‘come alive’ by acting out the battles and stories surrounding Glyndŵr’s uprising. All of the children enjoyed taking part re-enacting some of Glyndŵr’s famous battles and learning about this important time in Welsh history.


Art Gallery Visit As part of the Key Stage 2 Art National Curriculum Study, Class 6L visited the Gallery in the National Museum in Cardiff. Their task was to study a number of paintings and sculptures which focused on Welsh landscapes. Each group was asked to make a presentation on their chosen piece and to explain the different artistic elements included. All of the children spoke maturely and with impressive artistic knowledge about each piece. As you can see from the photographs they all look like budding art critics!

Project Paddington Last month all children participated in ‘Project Paddington’, a nationwide pupil-led charity to raise funds and donate teddy bears for refugee children. The unique event was enjoyed by all, with pupils even dressing up as the refugee Paddington Bear himself. Children donated soft toys, each having a personalised name-tag and an individual message for the receiver.

Lights! Camera! Action! During September, children in Years 5 and 6 at Rhiwbeina Primary entered the ITV’s Good Morning Britain National Schools Competition. The challenge was to create a one minute film on the theme of Anti-Bullying to coincide with ITV’s ‘November AntiBullying Month’ campaign. Altogether 120 children volunteered to take part in the film, working to communicate clearly the school’s message that by working together we can stop bullying. Children were involved in acting, filming, prop-making and creating an effective soundtrack for the film. It was hard work but good fun. At the beginning of October we were excited to receive a phone call saying that we had got through to the finals of the competition! Just before half term, a film crew arrived in school to re-shoot the film professionally – it was very exciting (and exhausting), re-shooting scenes over and over again. It was a great insight into how television works – a lot of standing around and then suddenly thrown into action! We came second across the whole of the UK which is an amazing achievement. Sporting Success Once again we have been very fortunate in Rhiwbeina Primary to have experienced yet another successful year of sport. Our Girls’ Cricket team followed on from last year’s success as South Wales champions to win our cluster and our athletics squad also did tremendously well, once again winning the North Cardiff Sports tournament. Success has continued with our school rugby team. Three of our current team have been selected to play for Cardiff School’s Under 11’s rugby team this year. Congratulations to Ben S., Luca K-R, and Sol R. Congratulations also go to our budding footballing stars. James R. has been selected to play for ‘Cardiff School Boys’, whilst Lauren L. and Emily C. have been selected to represent Cardiff and Vale County School Girls.

A Big Year for Rhiwbeina Primary School PTA

School dinners, games in the playground or being in a school concert. Most of us have fond memories of our first years in school. Since the 1920s Rhiwbeina Primary has been a central part of life for the village’s children and for decades the school’s PTA has been working to make their time in primary school even more rewarding. They are only three letters but behind every good primary school is an active PTA, and Rhiwbeina Primary relies on the work of its Parent Teacher Association. Take a look at the school playground or in the classrooms and you’ll see the fruits of the PTA’s work; from climbing walls and climbing frames, to 32 new iPads, purchased with PTA funds last year. Typically Rhiwbeina PTA has raised about £6000 a year for the school. But this school year they are looking to increase that amount to £10,000 or more, to pay for much needed equipment for the school. On the PTA’s shopping list for this year are new interactive projectors and whiteboards. These are essential pieces of equipment to help teach the children, and all need to be updated in the school. The PTA are about to purchase new ‘buddy benches’ for the playground: a new initiative that came from the pupils themselves. The children involved in the School Council decided it would be great for the pupils to have more places to sit down and talk during break times. The pupils each were asked to bring in £1 towards a ‘buddy bench’ and, thanks to their hard work, the PTA now have just over £500 to pay for

two or three new benches. The PTA have, in addition, had a kind offer of sponsorship for another two benches from Youngers Fish Bar and Beulah URC. But the PTA isn’t solely about raising money. It’s also about bringing the school community together at fun events, such as the Christmas Fayre, Ladies’ Night and the upcoming Christmas shopping trip to Bath. This school year the PTA have a great calendar of events that they ask the whole Rhiwbina community to support. Saturday the 28th of November Christmas Shopping Trip to Bath Hurry and join our fantastic trip visiting the shops and restaurants of Bath to get your Christmas shopping in style. Coach leaves Rhiwbeina Primary School at 8.30am and leaves Bath at 4.30pm. Tickets are £15 and there are only a few left. Email committee@friendsofrhiwbeina.org. uk Friday the 4th of December - Rhiwbeina Primary School Christmas Fayre 3.45pm to 6.30pm Come along and shop at a range of craft stalls, try your luck on the tombola or tuck into a hot turkey roll. Plus of course Father Christmas will be making a special visit. 18th of November and 20th May Rags 2 Riches Clothes Collection For the past two years the PTA has raised valuable funds through clothes collections. Simply put your old clothes, shoes, bedding or curtains in a black bin bag and drop them off at the school before 9.30am on the morning.

Friday the 26th of February Ladies’ Night Come along to the school for an evening of indulgence with an array of beauty treatments and concessions stalls on offer to relax. Also coming in the summer are the

popular Summer Fete and the Rhiwbina Village Fun Run, held in partnership with the Rhiwbina Village Festival. Easy Fundraising The PTA want to get as many parents and friends as possible to support the school and raise money through Easy Fundraising. With nearly three thousand major brands on Easy Fundraising whenever you buy anything online - from your weekly shop to your annual holiday, car insurance or all of those fantastic Christmas presents - you could be raising a free donation for Rhiwbina Primary PTA. It’s simple to use. 1. Click and Register with Easy Fundraising (save site to desktop and set up reminders), search to find Friends of Rhiwbeina PTA www. easyfundraising.org.uk/for 2. Select your chosen retailer (there are over 2,700) and you will go straight to their website to complete your on-line shopping. 3. Your retailer provides a cash reward to Easy Fundraising, which comes direct to Rhiwbeina School PTA. Scooters for Schools The PTA has joined the Scooters for School Scheme with MicroScooters. Every time an order is placed on www.micro-scooters.co.uk website using the code 401606, the PTA receive 10%, so if someone spends £124 on a Maxi Micro Scooter then that is an easy £12.40 for the school. It doesn’t matter how big or small an order is, or who places it (friends, family, work colleagues, grandparent, teachers etc) as long as the code is entered at the checkout. This scheme is active all year, but if you plan on purchasing scooters for Christmas, then please use the code to support school fundraising. Finally, if you are an ex Rhiwbeina pupil, parent or someone who would just like to help the PTA reach its fundraising target of £10,000 and want to donate, please email committee@friendsofrhiwbeina.org. uk Rhiwbeina PTA would like to thank the parents and community for their support, and wish you all a Happy Christmas and New Year. 19

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Fresh from the Rugby World Cup, Sam Warburton talks rugby, Rhiwbina and what happened one night while he was out throwing snowballs from a car window

There’s nothing finer than living in Rhiwbina

It was just before we played our last game in the World Cup last month. Dan [Lydiate] and I were sat on the end of our beds in our hotel room. Both of us were nervous - that time leading up to the game is the worst. “Dan turned to me and said: ‘Why do we do this to ourselves? Right now, all I want to do is work for the Council and be sat on a lawn mower, cutting the grass in the local park.’ “I had a little chuckle to myself and told him that all I wanted to be was a professional dog walker.” It is perhaps a situation that only a small percentage of the population ever get to experience. For Rhiwbina’s Sam Warburton, it’s something that he still hasn’t quite got used to, despite playing rugby at


the highest level for nearly ten years. Sam has, of course, recently returned from the Rugby World Cup, where a Wales team, depleted by injuries, bravely bowed out at the Quarter Finals stage. “It was like someone sticking a pin in a balloon after we lost in the quarter finals. Four years ago, we knew that we had two weeks ahead of us because we were in the semi-finals. We knew that worst case scenario, we’d have to stay for two weeks to play in a third-place playoff. “This time round, I just suddenly found myself sat in front of the TV watching a tournament I’d just given two years of my life to. “People have been kind since the World Cup. People have been very complimentary and the injury crisis we endured did unearth some depth to the Welsh squad. It gives us a lot of confidence going into next year’s Six Nations. “I’m looking forward to playing some rugby at the Blues now in the run-up to Christmas. The pressure is off a little bit at the Blues. As it’s not knock-out tournament rugby, I can always rectify anything I’ve done wrong the previous week instead of being sent home! It means we can enjoy the game a bit more.” Sam has spent all of his professional career at the Cardiffbased club. “I’m not sure quite how it all happened but I now feel that I’m in the second half of my career. It’s all happened so fast - I can’t quite get over the fact that I’ve been contracted to the Blues for ten years now. I remember getting

signed to the Senior Academy when I’d just finished my GCSEs. I was paid £500 a year and thought I was living the dream!” Sam was made Wales captain for the first time in 2011, when Wales took on a Barbarians team at the Millennium Stadium. It’s a position that he’s never taken for granted and he is always on the look-out for upand-coming talent, who might one day take the captain’s armband from him. “I’ve been really impressed with a player down at the Ospreys called Sam Underhill. He’s an openside like me and he’s the sort of player I could see going on to be captain material.” For now though, Sam is grateful for the time off. “After all the work spent on the World Cup, it’s nice just to take the dogs out for a walk around the village and switch off. Spending time with my nieces and nephews is one thing I enjoy doing - I spend half my life at Jump but it is great fun there. I get stopped a fair bit and asked to have my photo taken - I don’t mind that at all. I do find it strange sometimes because I see myself a normal guy from Rhiwbina. “Only 1% of my life is me playing for Wales. It is such a high-pressure situation. After a game, I try to get as far away from rugby as I can; it’s something I need to switch off from. I had a friend call around with his little one a few months back and he asked if his son could throw a few passes with me out the back garden. He was a little put out to discover that I didn’t have one rugby ball in the house.” Rhiwbina is Sam’s spiritual home. He recently moved back to the Photos: Patric Morgan


village after spending a year over in Thornhill. “First and foremost, I’m a member of the Warburton family. And as most of the Warburton family and most of the Thomas family (my wife’s family) live here in the village, it made sense for my wife and I to move back. I enjoy family time when I’m away from the game - it’s something I make a point of doing. When there is a big rugby tournament going on, I get stressed because of the pressure and life under the microscope. Then my family get stressed because I’m getting stressed and then I get stressed because my family are getting stressed. So you can see why I like just walking around the village with the dogs or going to the local shops!” Rhiwbina is a special place at Christmas, particularly for Sam and his family. “I’ve got fond memories of Christmas in the village - heading down to the Deri with my family when I was a kid is one vivid

memory. I also remember heading down Rhiwbina Hill one Christmas in my mate’s car when I was in my late teens. It had been snowing heavily and we thought it’d be a laugh to throw snowballs at people as we drove past. I was sat in the passenger seat with a huge snowball in my hand and the window wound down. “I was all ready to go - the snowball I had in my hand was massive and I had my arm cocked back ready to launch. But before I knew it, I got smashed in the face by a snowball myself. I didn’t see it coming until it was too late. “A few years ago, this lad came up to me and asked if I remembered having that snowball hit me in the face. I told him that I did and he shook my hand and admitted that it was him who threw it. “I love Rhiwbina at Christmas and I’m glad that my wife and I are back in the village this year. I enjoy meeting up with my old mates from Whitchurch High School for a drink, although the last time I got

slightly tipsy was just after the last Lions tour. I never touch alcohol over Christmas - not even a glass of sherry - and never have done. The best bit of all is that we live just four doors down from my wife’s family so after we’ve had Christmas dinner at our house, we’ll be nipping down the road to join the in-laws. “My family have made it a tradition over the last 15 years to visit the Juboraj at Christmas so I’ll be looking forward to that too. Rhiwbina at Christmas is such a lovely place to be. I turned on the village Christmas lights a couple of years ago. I was blown away by the amount of people who turned up to see it and it made me feel very proud to be from here.” It’s clear how proud Sam is of Rhiwbina and in return, the residents are proud of the man who has become a true ambassador for the village. “There’s nothing finer than living in Rhiwbina,” he says. And he’s probably right. 25

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Monico Movies

(from l-r) Sue Harding, Garry Edmiston-Taylor, Vivienne Jones, Jennifer Griffiths, Harley Jones, Justin McCarthy, Janice Lane


s a child, Harley Jones went to a weekly cinema show that was held in a youth club in the small village of Birchgrove near Swansea. Seated on long low wooden benches, he would watch 16mm comedies featuring Laurel and Hardy and many classic feature films, all projected on to a big screen with an audience of other children. “I recall fights breaking out when the film broke in the projector.” It was in the austere 1950s and refreshments were free jam sandwiches in the interval when the

Dr John Grierson with Harley Jones (first and second from left)


projectionist changed the reels. As a youngster, and bitten by the film bug, Harley was a regular fan of the Saturday morning cinema club held at the Embassy cinema in Bridgend. He went on to make his own films as a teenage amateur film maker. Harley met his wife Vivienne, when they both worked in the BBC Film Unit in Cardiff. Harley was a film editor and Vivienne secretary to film producer John Ormond. Leaving the BBC, they went on to work for Dr John Grierson - the legendary father of British documentary film - on his weekly TV programme ‘This Wonderful World’ for ITV’s Scottish Television. Not many knew that the show was actually scripted and edited in a small studio in the Western Mail office here in Cardiff. Vivienne and Harley would then fly up with Dr Grierson to the Theatre Royal Studios in Glasgow to record the programmes. Harley later went on to set up the Newport Film School and after some years, with

Vivienne, established Celtic Films making many programmes for S4C, The National Trust and Wales Tourist Board amongst many. An idea of a pop up cinema here in Rhiwbina had been simmering for some time and was born after the pair attended a workshop earlier this Summer in Burnley, Lancashire. It was run by ‘Cinema For All’ - a support group who have enabled film clubs to be set up in other areas of the UK. Having been inspired by what they learnt, they thought long and hard about how to bring the idea to Rhiwbina; they invited a handful of community-minded people to a meeting to put forward the idea of starting a not-for-profit community cinema. After a glass or two of wine and lots of discussion, they were amazed and delighted with the response and real enthusiasm of the group. The name of the cinema would be of great importance and it was decided to build on everyone’s

Monico Movies fond memories of Rhiwbina’s famous cinema, The Monico; so to strike a chord with local people ‘Monico Movies’ was born. It was agreed to screen monthly films in the heart of the village so that residents could walk to that special shared cinema experience. Harley and Vivienne feel that they have struck lucky with the enthusiastic, hard-working team. Within hours, Garry Edmiston Taylor had designed the website, Suzanne Harding the Facebook page, Lloyd Williams designed the fantastic art deco logo, Meurig Williams the tickets and posters, Justin McCarthy had agreed to act as Treasurer, Janice Lane to make promotional badges and Jennifer Griffiths to help with ticket sales! But how to create an enjoyable viewing experience to rival that of the Showcase or Odeon? With advice from ‘Cinema For All’ and with technical support from Film Hub Wales, Monico Movies now achieves very high quality projection and audio playback. The most difficult task was finding a suitable venue. There are many halls around but most have regular meetings and are heavily booked. However, ‘The Studio’ in Canolfan Beulah was hired for the first few screenings where seating was limited to only 60. With bumper ticket sales and audiences aged between 16 and 95 years for the first two screenings, the group was encouraged to look for a larger hall and are planning to hold the December show in a larger

Harley behind a camera

room in the Canolfan. Different venues are being considered as the group would ideally prefer a permanent home. Ginger White’s, Deri Stores and The Honey Pot are selling the tickets. Future ideas include building on the social side of the evenings by offering refreshments, ‘themed evenings’ and possibly outdoor screenings during the summer. The group also plans to show a variety of films, a mixture of popular, unusual, animation and so forth. Monico Movies is a community cinema established by cinema enthusiasts in Rhiwbina who wish to share a love of cinema. It is hoped that the cinema will go from strength to strength, draw the community together and have a permanent place in the cultural life of the village. Harley and Vivienne Jones

It was decided to build on everyone’s fond memories of Rhiwbina’s Monico cinema

The Monico Cinema The original Monico Cinema opened on 19th April 1937 with Gary Cooper in ‘Lives of A Bengal Lancer’. It had an original seating capacity of 950 in stalls and circle. The Monico survived as a twin screen cinema (seating 433 and 156) until closing on 30th January 2003 under the management of Circle Cinemas. The building was demolished and a block of flats was built on the site. Details of Monico Movies can be found at www.monicomovies. wordpress.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ MonicoMovies

Monico Movies’ Christmas special show will include Bill Murray’s side-splitting comedy ‘Scrooged’ on Saturday 12th December at 7.30pm in the larger hall in Canolfan Beulah, Rhiwbina 29



2 HEOL Y DERI, RHIWBINA, CARDIFF CF14 6EF TEL: 029 2061 1471 Please contact Sarah James or Rachael McCarthy Sarah James: sarah.james@oblj.co.uk Rachael McCarthy: rachael.mccarthy@oblj.co.uk

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An award winning, family firm,established for over 30 years We all have a favourite place to sit in our homes, whether it’s our seat at the dinner table, our spot on the sofa, or the plush chair in the living room. Unfortunately, for many of us, there comes a time in our life when our favourite chair no longer gives us the support we need. There are 3 main questions to ask yourself if you feel your favourite chair is no longer sufficient: 1. Are You Sitting Comfortably? If comfort is an issue when you are trying to sit and relax it could be a sign your chair is offering you insufficient support. 2. Do You Sit In Your Chair For Extended Periods? When your mobility needs change you can find yourself spending long periods of time in the same chair. If this is the case you need to ensure your chair is giving you the maximum support possible. 3. Do You Find It Difficult To Sit And Stand? Sitting and standing eventually becomes a problem for the majority of people, and it can cause individuals to find themselves restricted and dependent on help. A rise and recline chair can help you retain independence by easing your mobility. How A Rise And Recline Chair Can Help Rise and recline chairs give you support when and where you need it most. The right chair should support your entire back and neck, so you are sitting comfortably when you are in the chair for an extended period of time, and help you to sit and stand. • Rise – There will be a button located on the hand control which raises the whole chair upwards. When you are sitting the chair will ease you into a standing position, and when you want to sit you simply position yourself on the raised chair and press the button which will ease it down slowly. • Recline – The recline function allows you to get into more comfortable positions when you’re sitting so you can avoid soreness and pain. They also allow you to put your feet up and lie back, which can relieve pressure and allow you to rest without having to go to bed. At Recliner Chair Centre we have a wide range of premium quality and stylish rise and recline chairs that are ideal for any environment. We have been providing excellent mobility solutions in South Wales for over 30 years, and our dedicated and experienced team are always on hand to offer you impartial advice and fantastic products.

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Let’s end Loneliness. We can’t do it alone. Let’s end end Loneliness. Loneliness. We Let’s Wecan’t can’tdo doititalone. alone. ’s endVolunteer Loneliness. We can’t do it alone. Drivers and Companions Needed. Volunteer Volunteer Drivers Drivers and andCompanions Companions Needed. Needed. unteer Drivers and Companions Needed. Clients like and Clients like Beryl and Peter live Peter live Clients likeBeryl Beryl and alone with few visits from family Peter live alone with alone with fewtovisits from family Clients like Beryl and Peter live or friends. Beryl loves go out few visits from family or friends. Beryl family loves to go out foror coffee and alone with few visits from friends. Beryl loves to go Peter enjoys for coffee and go out or friends. Beryl loves snooker. You could to out for coffee and Peter Peter enjoys make impact on their lives fora big coffee and enjoys You could by volunteering tosnooker. support them Peter enjoys snooker. in these activities. make a big impact on their lives

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Welsh in Rhiwbina Today, Rhiwbeina is a predominantly English-speaking area. But scratch the surface and one will discover a layer of Welshness that has existed throughout the years. Back in the 19th century, Rhiwbeina, or Rhydwaedlyd as it was known then, was a rural area with a number of farms and a scattering of houses, as well as a chapel founded in 1851. With works such as MelinGruffydd being established, it attracted many English-speaking people and slowly, the area became anglicised, so much so that members of the chapel called Beulah decided to hold their services in English in 1898. But in 1982, the Welsh Methodists, who had a chapel called Bethel (situated in the centre of Cardiff), came to share the Methodist cause in Maes-y-Deri and subsequently became a Welsh medium chapel. When the Garden Village was established in 1913, many Welshspeaking academics came to live here – people such as Dr. Iorwerth Cyfeiliog Peate, who became the first

Rhiwbina has a thriving Welsh language community. Gwilym E. Roberts charts its history and its modern day usage

curator of St Fagan’s Folk Museum; Dr Kate Roberts the novelist and short story writer; and Professor WJ Gruffydd, Head of Welsh at Cardiff University. The Civic Society has placed blue plaques on the walls of the houses where Kate and Dr Peate resided. As the village grew and expanded, more and more Welsh speakers came to live in the area, and according to a fairly recent census, there are now over 1,000 Welsh speakers here. This was reflected when a group of men decided to establish a club called ‘Cymry’r Wenallt’ that met in the Pantmawr pub and then in Whitchurch Rugby Club. Then in 1992, the Rhiwbeina Welsh Society came into existence, and in 2013, the society celebrated its 21st anniversary. In 1959, a Welsh medium nursery opened in the Memorial Hall but later moved to Bethel’s vestry in Maes-y-Deri. Pupils from this group attend the Welsh medium school Ysgol y Wern Llanisien. Many of the shops and businesses

Bethel Chapel

Photo courtesy of Google images

in the area have Welsh speakers or learners of the language working in them. Welsh can be heard in places like Snails on Beulah Road and on the streets of the village. One can purchase Welsh cards for all occasions in Serenade and buy the Welsh newspaper ‘Y Cymro’ in the Co-op and the Deri Stores, as well as the Welsh local paper ‘Y Dinesydd’ at the Deri Stores and Victoria Fearn Gallery. Long may the language remain and flourish in this part of Wales.

Bethel, Maes Y Deri Cynhelir Oedfa Gymraeg bob bore Sul am 10.15 yn y capel ac mae croeso cynnes i bawb ymuno â’r gynulleidfa yna. Dros gyfnod y Nadolig cynhelir Gwasanaeth Nadolig yr oedolion ar fore Sul y 13 Rhagfyr am 10.15 a Gwasanaeth Plant yr Ysgol Sul ar fore Sul yr 20 Rhagfyr. Yna, Noswyl Nadolig am 11 cynhelir gwasanaeth llith a charol yn y capel dan nawdd Cymdeithas Gymraeg Rhiwbeina. Cymdeithas Gymraeg Rhiwbeina / Rhiwbina Welsh Society Am fanylion am Y Gymdeithas ffoniwch yr ysgrifennydd ar 20 615243. For details about the Welsh Society, phone the secretary on 20 615243.

Many Welsh-speaking academics moved to Rhiwbina when the Garden Village was first built

Nadolig Llawen! 33

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Celebrating our 15th year in the heart of Rhiwbina village

CHIROPRACTIC Established since 1998, Rainer Wieser and our team at C3, Chloe Stamper, Lia Biancheri and Niki Douglas have been providing effective chiropractic care to thousands of patients. Our team are qualified and experienced members of the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) the Royal College of Chiropractors (RCoC), and are registered with the General Chiropractic Council (GCC). They work within a professional setting, utilising the latest equipment and techniques in order to provide effective diagnosis and treatment for many conditions including back and neck pain, arthritic pain, headaches and migraine, hip, knee and ankle pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, sports injuries, repetitive strain injury and sciatica. Our team are also registered practitioners with leading health insurance companies including BUPA, AXA PPP, AVIVA and many more.

CHIROPODY / PODIATRY Our chiropody/podiatry clinic located within C3 Chiropractic clinic located in the heart of Rhiwbina Village is now in its fith year and continues to go from strength to strength, providing professional foot care for residents in Rhiwbina and North Cardiff. Our team of Podiatrists/ Chiropodists, Lynne and Poppy are qualified to degree level and are registered HCPC health care professionals. 223-225 Pantbach Road Rhiwbina, Cardiff CF14 6AE

10 tips to keep your feet healthy and happy during the festive period Here is a list of tips for keeping your feet healthy during the winter months compiled by one of our Podiatrists, Lynne Griffiths 1. Winter weather and central heating can cause dry and cracked skin. Remember to moisturise your feet daily, paying particular attention to any dry areas, particularly the heels, which have a tendency to crack. 2. Use a foot cream rather than a general moisturiser, one with a minimum 10% urea content. Urea is extremely hydrating and really helps bring relief to dry skin. 3. Use a pumice or foot file on any dry skin or callus on your feet before you shower or take a bath and then apply the foot cream after your shower or bath. 4. Make sure you dry your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes, as the area between the toes is prone to development of fungal infection. Do not apply foot cream between the toes, as this can increase the risk of infection. 5. Make sure you keep your toenails neatly trimmed. Carefully cut straight across your nails, before gently filing any rough edges. Don’t be tempted to cut down the sides of a nail, as this increases the risk of developing a painful ingrowing nail.

6. Keep your feet warm and ensure they are dry at all times. Damp feet are a breeding ground for conditions like fungal nail infection and Athlete’s foot. Keeping your feet toasty also reduces the risk of chilblains developing (small, itchy swellings that occur as a reaction to cold damp conditions). 7. If your feet are cold, do not be tempted to warm them in hot water, on hot water bottles, radiators, or any other form of heating device, as warming the skin too quickly can cause or exacerbate chilblains. 8. Prevent heat loss from your feet by wearing good quality socks and appropriate footwear. Natural fibre socks such as wool are recommended. 9. If you are shopping for new winter or party shoes, go in the afternoon, as feet have a tendency to swell as the day goes on, and shoes that fit when your feet are at their largest, are more likely to be comfortable. 10. Avoid tight fitting shoes or boots, as these can restrict the circulation to your toes and feet. If you have any problems with, or concerns about your feet, or just want to get them ready for the festive season, book an appointment with one of our Podiatrist’s at C3 Clinic. Poppy and Lynne are qualified and experienced Podiatrists/ Chiropodists and are HCPC registered health professionals.

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Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral Choir Christmas Concert

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Pet Questions Chris Troughton of Heath Vets answers your pet-related questions I’m aware that chocolate is poisonous to dogs but are there any other foods that could be harmful to my dog that I need to be aware of over the Christmas season? There are quite a number of foods that could be bad for your dog, and several are more common in the Christmas season. The most common and potentially serious is grapes and their derivatives (sultanas and raisins). This risk has only been widely recognised in the last few years, and we still don't know why it happens, but some dogs will develop kidney failure after eating them. Not all dogs are susceptible, and the dose needed to cause poisoning is not known, but amounts as small as 3 or 4 raisins have proved fatal. So it's best to say no grapes, raisins or sultanas at all - and that means no mince pies, Christmas cake or Christmas pudding! Another seasonal item is macademia nuts which can cause symptoms of weakness, tremors, and vomiting. Other common food items to avoid include onion and garlic, avocado, coffee, and of course bones, especially turkey and chicken. Also, watch out for the stones of apricots and cherries and apple pips, which contain cyanide! I have a neighbour who keeps her two Westies in her garage. One of the dogs escaped a few months ago – I found him wandering around in the road. It took a few hours

to find out where he lived as his microchip was out of date. Is it ‘normal’ to keep dogs in a garage – they do bark a lot during the day. The RSPCA seemed disinterested in the whole story when I phoned to tell them. Although to some people it sounds unkind to shut the dogs away in a garage, it is not uncommon, and as long as they have food and water and a comfy bed, it is not cruel, which is why the RSPCA weren't interested. In fact, for some dogs it might be safer than being shut in the house as all the dangerous things dogs like to chew – like electric flexes – can be removed out of reach in the garage. The garage is likely to be dry and draft-free, and is usually secure (but not always, as you found). The barking can be a nuisance for neighbours, but I doubt it happens because they are in the garage. They would probably bark if they were in the house too, as it's likely to be motivated by anxiety at being left alone. You found that the microchip contact details were out of date, and that is a reminder to everyone to keep their contact details current. So if you've moved house or changed your mobile phone number, make sure the information on the microchip database is updated.

stung by a bee. In case the same thing happens next year, is there kind of first aid that I can do on my cat and would he need to be seen by a vet? Sounds as though your diagnosis is correct. Cats, especially the youngsters, quite often get stung because they are curious and like to try to catch flying insects. There is no first aid you can administer, but if you think your dog or cat has been stung by a

Over the summer, my cat appeared to be in some pain under his chin. It settled down after a day or so but then noticed that he’d been sat near a bush that was full of bees. I’m assuming (I hope correctly) that he got

Pets Questions page is sponsored by Heath Vets

bee, do make sure the sting is not still embedded in the skin, as it will continue to pump poison into the skin. Pull it out with a pair of tweezers, being careful not to squeeze the poison sac. If the resulting swelling is painful or in an area which might compromise breathing, it's worth taking the patient to the vet for an anithistamine injection.

a: 123 Heol-y-Deri, Rhiwbina CF14 6UH t: 02920 621511 w: www.heathvets.co.uk 37

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In Search of the Holy Grail

By Kevin Revell The most requested plant in garden centres today must be low maintenance, evergreen, flower all year round and be suitable for growing in a pot on the patio. Finding such a plant is like undertaking some impossible Arthurian quest for the Holy Grail. While the search may not be fraught with danger, there are plenty of blind alleys and what seems a perfect choice often falls at the last hurdle. In truth, there are no garden plants that do better in pots than in the ground but some are more tolerant than others of the alternating wet and dry or hot and cold conditions to which they are exposed. Rather than expecting one planted pot to perform all year round, I always recommend that three or more similar pots are planted up throughout the year to provide interest for each season; moving them forward when looking good. This way you can treat the patio or entrance like a theatre so that when one performer dies dramatically or fades to exit stage left, another is waiting in the wings for its turn in the limelight. ‘Hero Plants’ - Saviours of the Plant Universe Our gardens are furnished with plants of all sorts from trees, shrubs, flowering herbaceous perennials or annuals and herbs. These all serve some purpose or another, possessing certain attributes such as evergreen foliage or autumn colour, fragrant flowers or ornamental fruit. Few possess all or most of these characteristics; those that do can truly be described as ‘hero plants’, coming to the rescue of the tired looking gardens of suburbia, injecting some whoomph Images copyright Farplants Sales Limited

into genteel cottage gardens and generally sticking around in chic urban spaces when most other plants have long since gone out of fashion. With so much choice available in garden centres, it is hard to decide which plants to buy but the following five varieties perform above and beyond the call of duty and deserve a place in any garden. The plants perform heroically but are not indestructible and require regular care and watering but little in the way of feeding or pruning which makes them low maintenance and easily pleased. Nothing flowers all year round but these plants give it their best shot, occasional dead heading will prolong the flowering display. All are well suited to pots and containers provided that a well drained soil-based John Innes compost is used. Multi-purpose compost, despite its name is suited to very little, drying out too quickly in summer and sitting too wet in winter.

Lavandula ‘Hidcote’ - Lavender Nothing sells better than lavender in May to June, when English lavender is at its most fragrant, the variety ‘Hidcote’ has the deepest blue flowers. It is also among the most compact making it ideal for low hedges and container growing. Once established, it is also surprisingly drought tolerant making it well suited to growing in pots. It is however, intolerant of wet and cold conditions making it a poor choice in heavy clay soils unless large amounts of grit are added. The flowering period is prolonged in garden-grown plants, while cutting back the flowered growth in late summer will keep them compact. Lavender is the absolute favourite plant of bees; a low hedge will attract them from far and wide, keeping them happily occupied from dawn ‘til dusk. Flowers can be cut for indoor decoration or pot-pourri or to fragrance rooms or drawers.

Erysimum ‘Bowles Purple’ Perennial Wallflower This plant is no shrinking violet - there are several perks to being a wallflower. Unlike its large brash cousins which are planted as bare-root plants in autumn to flower with the tulips in spring, this is a compact perennial form with soft lilac purple flowers produced from March to November, which is really about as good as it gets for continuity of flower. Attractive to butterflies and bees, the long flowering season is useful to attract pollinating insects when little else is in flower, making it ideal for wildlife gardening. It offers a pit-stop to those roused from hibernation by warm, early spring weather. The light, sweet fragrance is another advantage along with its compact habit and fresh blue-green evergreen foliage, a sunny spot in well drained soil is ideal.

Pieris ‘Forest Flame’ - Shrubby Andromeda Another candidate for the most requested garden centre plant, mainly around Easter when the new foliage turns bright cerise-red to contrast with the cascades of white bell shaped flowers which are popular with bees. Like many spring flowering plants such as azaleas and camellias, they require ericaceous compost which has a low pH, containing no lime. Pieris will tolerate sunny conditions if the soil is moist but they do best in a lightly shaded position, particularly in high summer. Although compact and slow-growing for a number of years and being happy in pots, they can eventually reach over two metres when they will light up the garden like a torch.

Hebe ‘Caledonia’ - Shrubby Veronica Of all the plants listed here, hebes tick all the boxes in terms of being evergreen with a long flowering period, compact and doing well when planted in pots of free-draining, soilbased compost. All hebes are worthy of attention in early spring when the glossy foliage often takes on bronze or purple tones in the cold weather but ‘Caledonia’ combines the best early colour with flowers that are among the best in terms of colour and quantity and are much loved by bees. One of the most popular plants sold in garden centres, they associate well together in mass planted groups and with other varieties to provide contrast and texture.

Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’ Scabious Scabious is a plant loved by bees, and as well as the native wildflower, there are a number of garden varieties. This one flowers and flowers with remarkable continuity from April to November. Its dwarf habit makes it ideal for planting at the front of borders or in pots, while the charming lavender blue flowers associate well with other plants such as lavender and hebes. Kevin Revell is Plant Manager at Caerphilly Garden Centre



To make an appointment or for more information on my next drop-in surgery, please contact me:

Office of Craig Williams MP, Unit 5, Heol Llanishen Fach, Rhiwbina, Cardiff, CF14 6RG 029 2240 1350 craig.williams.mp@parliament.uk www.craigwilliams.wales @Craig4CardiffN fb.com/Craig4CardiffNorth

Reflections on 2015

by Craig Williams MP

2015 has been an interesting year and, after a hard fought general election campaign, I was delighted in May to be elected as the new MP for Cardiff North. The first couple of months were spent getting settled in with the role in both Westminster and the constituency. I was pleased to open my new constituency office (upstairs at the old Thornhill Garage Site, Heol Llanishen Fach) in September and many Rhiwbina and Cardiff North residents have already been in touch on a wide range of issues. Some of the main concerns already raised with me have related to local issues. When NatWest announced they wanted to close their Rhiwbina branch, I arranged a key meeting with the NatWest Wales management, the three local Councillors, David Melding AM and myself. It was a good opportunity to express to the decision makers how closing this branch would affect local residents and eliminate banking facilities in Rhiwbina. I have also been supporting the campaign to reverse the decision to close a Household Waste recycling facility in Wedal Road and co-hosted a public meeting with the three Rhiwbina Councillors. I see this simply for what it is - a Council cut directed at the hardworking residents of Cardiff North. On a more positive note, I have been impressed with the new shops in Heol Llanishen Fach. I was pleased to join the Lord Mayor at the opening of the relocated Post Office which along with the new Hopkins Butchers, Timba and SP1 Hairdresser shops, will help to revitalise this row of shops. I wish all the businesses whether established or new, every success. In Westminster, I only had to wait a month for an opportunity to make my maiden speech in the House of Commons chamber. As well as paying tribute to my predecessor Jonathan Evans, I made sure that Cardiff North communities, including Rhiwbina, were included in my contribution. I led an adjournment debate with the Cardiff City Deal as the topic. The deal is a key opportunity for Cardiff and I have been stressing the importance of the South Wales Council, the Welsh Assembly and Westminster working together for the good of the city. I hold regular drop-in surgeries throughout Cardiff North which are advertised in shops and at www.craigwilliams.org.uk. When I am in Westminster, I can hold meetings via Skype linked from my constituency office or can arrange one-to-one person meetings when I am in Cardiff. If you are going to be in London, please let me know and I can arrange for my team to give you a tour of Westminster I’d like to wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Craig Williams

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It comes around so quickly but before we know it, we are back in work. In the meantime, Living Magazines helps you get through some of the more stressful parts of the holiday season

Your Wine Guide to Getting Through Christmas Spending ages strategically winding the Christmas tree lights around the tree and then waiting with baited breath to see if they actually still work ‘Have you checked every single bulb?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Why don’t they work?’ ‘I don’t know dear.’ When they’re finally working, the woman will advise that they are in the wrong place and will need to be taken off and put back on their way. Lads – if at first you don’t succeed, do it the way your lady told you to do it in the first place. Wine required:

Realising that the little compact tree that looked so good in the garden centre has completely overtaken your living room ‘But it looked just the right height at the garden centre…’ That great centre-piece of Christmas – the mighty evergreen – has finally arrived in the house, has finally been untied and sits majestically in your living room. Sadly, there’s little room for anything else and the only way you can get to your sofa is to slide along the wall, arms stretched either side like someone moving along the ledge on a high building. Why don’t they just sell half trees that you can place up against the wall? Wine required:

Endless shopping The more presents you buy, the more you seem to remember the stuff you haven’t bought. And every year, you vow that you’re going to be 42

more organised. Come Christmas Eve, you find yourself in the feigned festivities of desperate Christmas shoppers. The only reason you stop shopping is because the shop has officially closed for Christmas and you’re being physically manhandled out of the door by security. Wine required:

Christmas markets with tantruming children Even if you’re not a betting person, you can always guarantee that there’ll be some red-faced kid, straining like the Incredible Hulk to get out of their buggy and kick off. You try not to look and you try to pucker your lips inwards to keep that chuckle in. That’s until your kid gets ‘tired’. Then the meltdown begins. Wine required:

Not being able to watch your own TV Do you remember that thrill of sitting down with the new Christmas edition of the Radio Times? Blimey, you’ve even bought a copy of the TV Times and that gives the exact same listings. But who cares? It’s Christmas! And do you remember the evening you sat down with a glass of sherry and circled all the things you wanted to watch with a ball point pen? Do you remember that tingle of festive excitement? Do you? Well you may as well stick it where the sun doesn’t shine because you’ll never watch any of it. Not one minute of it. Nice idea while it lasted though wasn’t it? Wine required:

The pressure of making homemade things In October, you sneered at the

shoppers in the supermarkets picking up their Christmas decorations. ‘How crass,’ you thought to yourself. ‘I’m going to be making everything home-made this year and make it a true traditional Christmas’. By Christmas Eve, you’re back in the same supermarket in a blind panic, picking up the exact same Christmas decorations as the shopper you saw in October, and cursing them with all the names under the sun because they’ve taken the last of the matching set of table napkins.

Wine required:

Your mother coming in to ‘help’ in the kitchen You can’t make it any more obvious than wearing your ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’ apron, yet she still insists on tip-toeing into the kitchen in her new slippers to check on the cooking and to pick at the turkey. Get out of the kitchen will you mother! Wine required:

Pretending you’re enjoying your relatives’ cooked dinner You’ve built it up in your head for weeks. It’s been the only thing that’s kept you going through the dark, dim months. And when it finally arrives, it’s the biggest let-down since the announcement that they are making a remake of Ghostbusters. For starters, it’s bowl of lukewarm tinned tomato soup. The main arrives and the meat looks like it’s been on an intergalactic space expedition to the surface of the sun. Even the dog turns his nose up at it. And no – Arctic Roll is not classed as a dessert. Wine required:

Having relatives over It all seemed such a good idea back in the autumn when the idea was mooted around. What you completely forgot to take into account was the sibling rivalries, the in-laws who get on each others’ nerves and the fact that meals have to be planned around Nan’s religious-like devotion to watching The Chase and Emmerdale. Wine required:

Feigning excitement at opening another pair of slippers You know as soon as you even clap eyes on the present with your name on it that it’s a pair of slippers. Even as you’re opening it, with all eyes watching, you’re thinking in your own head about the lies you’re about to have to utter: “Oh how lovely. I always need slippers. I can finally throw out my old pair.” The truth is, the old battered bird nests that you’ve been shuffling around in since last Christmas are the comfiest pair of slippers this side of Comfyville. And they’re not going anywhere! Wine required:

Loitering for the turkey delivery at M&S like it is a military operation So they’ve sold out of fresh turkey at M&S. You’ve gleaned classified intelligence from a shelf stacker that there’s another arrival coming in from the west and due in the store at 06.00 hours. Under the cover of darkness, you and your crack team position yourselves at all exits and synchronise watches. At 6am precisely, you launch your attack with blistering speed and accuracy. Go, go, go! Wine required:

Going up in the attic at 3am to get presents without waking the children It’s Christmas Eve and you’ve finally flopped onto the settee with a glass of Baileys. But wait. What’s that? That’s right. It’s time for helping Santa. The feeling of dread washes over you as you realise that you’ve got to get up into the attic to get all the presents down – and without waking anyone. If only your partner had thought of this earlier. After

several attempts and near-misses (‘Is it morning yet?’ ‘No. Go back to sleep’), you finally get up and down the attic like some festive Ninja. All you need to do then is get them downstairs without waking the kids. What you weren’t accounting for was the Lego brick that had been left in your path to the sleeping children and yes – you should have put those new slippers on - the ones you just unwrapped. Every swear word under the sun rattles around your head, desperate to find its way out. A few glasses of wine will be required before bed.

Day?’ is probably the most commonly heard question on Christmas morning. Mothers across the land brace themselves and pay an annual visit to the ‘Man Drawer’ in the kitchen in a hunt for triple A’s. ‘Are these ones new or dead?’ they shout. The man will then often curse himself for not throwing out the old batteries. ‘What’s this bank statement doing in here?’ is often the man’s cue to drop everything and immediately attend the Man Drawer to restore order for another year. ‘No. Those batteries are dead and no, I don’t know why I kept them.’

Wine required:

Wine required:

Sourcing nativity outfits and trying not to get drawn into competition Aw. Christmas concerts are so cute aren’t they? But then you get a letter outlining the school’s plans. The Head had decided that this year’s show will be some sweeping Siberian epic, complete with flying scenes and a chorus of singing reindeer. Your child needs to appear as Rudolf and as far as you’re concerned, they have to look better than all the other kids because, hey - this is Rudolf and he goes down in his-tory. Cue endless visits to Hobbycraft and an empty bank account. The members of staff there greet you with wide smiles, tapping their fingertips together – they’ve been expecting you.

Recoiling in embarrassment as your child tosses a gift from Grandma to one side saying its rubbish That hot-and-cold-at-the-same-time feeling is overwhelming. Your blood drops to your feet. And the more you try to get your child to say thank you, the bigger the hole you find yourself in as they continue to say how rubbish the present is and the bigger the sulk gets.

Wine required:

Watching your partner defiantly attempt to put something together without using the instructions (who needs instructions?) whilst your child gets more and more wound up ‘I don’t need the instructions. I’ve done this before.’ Those famous last words always come back to haunt the DIY expert, who at some point during the assembly, will stand up, scratch their head and ask where the instructions are. Wine required:

Realising the most anticipated toy you bought for your child doesn’t have batteries… and dealing with the consequences ‘Is the Co-op open on Christmas

Wine required:

Finding out there is no wine left You’ve checked the cupboard three times and nothing has magically appeared in those five minutes. You’ve checked the fridge in case you hid a bottle amongst the vegetables three weeks ago. And even the Co-op is shut. We’ll say no more as words cannot describe how the night suddenly comes to a premature end. That’s unless you open the bottle you’ve just wrapped up for the woman at work. Wine required:

Your mother having one too many and dancing to Black Lace’s Superman song in her new dressing gown and reindeer slippers in front of your new partner Trust us. We speak from experience on this one. Wine required: Best not have any more eh? 43

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Short Story

The Anniversary

by Alice Morgan


he flicked through the channels on the television, tutting at the repeats that were on every year - was there a person left in Britain who hadn’t seen them?! They didn’t make anything original these days, not like the old classics she loved. Her thumb ached from the arthritis that had flared up so she settled on a programme about elaborate Christmas decorations and laid the remote control on the arm of her chair. ‘Cup of tea, Annie?’ John called from the kitchen. ‘Yes please, love.’ She heard the kettle begin to boil and John’s slippers shuffling around the tiled floor. Every Christmas for the past few years, they had gone to one of their children’s houses but this year, they’d decided to spend it alone. The children would visit tomorrow with their families but it was important to John and Annie

“ 46

She heard the kettle begin to boil and John’s slippers shuffling around the tiled floor.

that they had Christmas Eve for themselves. It was their 65th wedding anniversary. Annie and John were at their friend Janet’s wedding to Brian the butcher when they decided they would get married. It was such a wonderful day and the bridesmaids - Annie included wore red velvet shawls that she never forgot. They were made of cheap material that Janet’s mother had bought from the market and stitched together but she felt like royalty. John had held her close at the end of it all and said that they should probably get married too. And that was it! No big fancy proposal; it had all been so simple and they had organised it for Christmas Eve. Annie had saved her money from working in the Beach Café and bought a white chiffon dress that stuck out at her hips and stopped just below her knees. It was a small wedding - only their parents, siblings and a few close friends were in attendance - but it was one of the most memorable days of their lives and Annie wore a cape of deep crimson velvet that she had dreamed of since she had worn the shawl at Janet’s wedding. They had a party in the church hall and ate fish and chips from her uncle Terry’s

shop across the road. It was perfect. Annie smiled to herself as she remembered the way John’s mother had complained that there weren’t any plates to eat off - she collected china and was disappointed to find that there wouldn’t be anything to show off about next time she saw her friends. John walked into the living room slowly as he brought in two cups of tea and a packet of custard creams. ‘There you are,’ he said, setting a cup down beside her. ‘Thanks Johnny.’ John settled himself down on the settee, taking the remote and browsing through the channels until ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ came on. ‘How do you do that?’ Annie said. ‘I can never find anything good on here!’ ‘Ahh, that’s why you’ve got me,’ Johnny replied, winking. ‘Happy anniversary love - here’s to us.’ John raised his cup of tea and Annie clinked hers against it before they both took a sip. The lights on the Christmas tree danced in the corner and they settled down by the fire for their cosy Christmas Eve. More stories from Alice Morgan at


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Profile for Rhiwbina Living

Rhiwbina Living Issue 33  

Bumper Christmas issue of Rhiwbina Living. Featuring an exclusive interview with Sam Warburton and the latest news from the North Cardiff vi...

Rhiwbina Living Issue 33  

Bumper Christmas issue of Rhiwbina Living. Featuring an exclusive interview with Sam Warburton and the latest news from the North Cardiff vi...