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RHIWBINA Living

At the heart of the community

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FR EE Issue 18 Spring ‘12


Welcome Croeso 3-4

News

5

Letters Letters to the Editors

8

Sam Warburton We meet Rhiwbina’s most talked-about sportsman

12

Memories Growing up in Rhiwbina in the 1930s and 40s.

16

New Faces Rhiwbina’s newest business

19

Pick and Mix A short story by a reader

22

Gardening Seasons Rhiwbina gardens throughout the year

25

Pets’ Page Your questions answered

27

Photo Album Daffs in Rhiwbina

31

Backlash Wedding bells

Welcome to your spring issue of Rhiwbina Living. I’d like to start with the words ‘It’s been a long, cold winter’ but in truth, it hasn’t. Compared to the start of 2011, we’ve had it pretty easy. Even so, it’s still nice to see the daffs pushing their way up to the yellow spring sun. We’ve had time to get some rest but it does feel good to be back at it again. We’ve put together a nice shiny issue for you. First up, we spoke to Sam Warburton, the name on everyone’s lips this spring. Although he’s missed a few games in this year’s Six Nations, he’s already held the Triple Crown aloft. I shan’t mention the other prize up for grabs when we play France because by the time this magazine is hitting doormats, we’ll either be rueing a missed opportunity or be delirious with delight. Sam told us candidly about his World Cup experience, and how he’s adjusting to the fame and plaudits that have come his way already. We get plenty of submissions from readers. On page 12, you can read about our village in the 1930s and 40s. On page 19, Eric Fletcher has put pen to paper to create a short story that is devilishly good. On page 17, we say hello to some new faces in Rhiwbina. Our magazines were created to help local businesses and we’re more than happy to help promote the new Garden Village Garage. See what they can do for you on our centre pages. Elsewhere, Kevin Revell takes us through spring as seen from a gardener’s eyes. His inspirational piece on page 22 is guaranteed to tempt you out into the garden. Local vet Chris Troughton answers your pet-related questions on page 25, and we’ve even got some photographs of Rhiwbina from yesteryear (well, the 1980s anyway) on page 27. And lastly, you can hear me waffle on about marriage on the inside back cover. Please remember to support our advertisers - our magazine exists to help them so please support them and keep businesses thriving in the area. Enjoy all that spring has to offer you. See you in the summer!

Patric and Danielle Editors

Rhiwbina Living & Whitchurch and Llandaff Living Editors/Advertising: Patric Morgan & Danielle Dummett Address: 222 Pantbach Road, Rhiwbina, Cardiff CF14 6AG Tel: 07772 081775 and 07974 022920 Email: editor@livingmags.co.uk Web: www.livingmags.co.uk Rhiwbina Living Page 2

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. Proof-reading by Katie Stephenson with thanks.

Advertising booking and copy deadline for Issue 19 Friday 18 May 2012 Issue 19 publication date - June 2012 Rhiwbina Living is published 4 times a year.


RHIWBINA SCHOOLBOY CALLS ON LOCALS TO HELP HIM WALK

NEWS RHIWBINA CHILDREN’S HOME SHUTS DOWN

A Rhiwbina schoolboy is calling on locals to help him undergo a lifechanging operation later this year. Thomas Harries was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 18 months old. He is unable to walk and normal day to day tasks require assistance. But now the 8 year-old has been given the chance to undergo life changing surgery in St. Louis, USA. If successful, he will be able to walk with a walking aid, something he can only dream about doing now. Unfortunately the surgery is not funded by the NHS in Wales. £60,000 is required to get Thomas and his family to the USA for this pioneering neurosurgery, additional orthopaedic surgery and the aftercare required to ensure future progress. Thomas’s mother Jo Harries told Living Magazines: “We live in Rhiwbina and need all the awareness and support we can get. The money will not only pay for the operation in the US, but it will cover costs for the intensive physiotherapy needed when Thomas will need to work muscles that are currently too small and have not been used before.” Mum Jo has been actively raising funds for Thomas’s operation and is hoping that she can help provide Thomas with his wish to walk. “Local people have already

shown their support but we need to keep on going. We’ve been using lots of different ways to raise money - fun runs, raffles and a whole host of events. We’ve set up a website so that people can stay updated on events and news and we’ve also produced posters that people can put in their car windows.” If anyone is able to donate either money, prizes, venues or some kind of entertainment to be used at fundraising, you can visit the website at www.thomaswishtowalk.co.uk. You can also donate using your mobile phone by typing the letters TWTW95 £1 (or £5 or £10) and sending it to 70070. There is also a Facebook page set up. Cheques can be made payable to Thomas Harries and can be sent to: Thomas’ Wish to Walk c/o Nicky Erasmus Peterstone Lakes Golf Club Peterstone Wentloog Cardiff CF3 2TN

Thomas’s only wish is to be able to walk like his friends

Thornhill Road Children’s Home in Rhiwbina has been closed just seven months after it was opened at a cost of almost £2m. The Cardiff council run home was forced to shut down following a scathing report by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW). The social services watchdog found that the home was understaffed and morale was at rock bottom following a long-term absence of the manager two months after the home had opened. The report concluded that ‘most staff felt let down by managers within the home and at the council.’ There was an equivalent of seven and a half full-time vacancies filled out of a possible 17 and a half, leaving staff feeling ‘understaffed, overwhelmed and unable to work.’ Authorities were alerted to significant incidents related to the children; the report, published on December 23, said very few aspects of the service had been delivered in ‘a manner suitable to adequately safeguard or promote the welfare of the young people.’ The inspector also found the behaviour of some young people staying at the home had a ‘considerable and unacceptable impact on the quality of life, wellbeing and positive development of others.’ The report added that ‘The quality of life observed at the time of the inspection was not one that would support the positive personal development of young people.’ The home, at 150 Thornhill Road – previously the site of another council-run children’s care home, opened in May 2011. Rhiwbina Living Page 3


NEWS RHIWBINA BUSINESS CELEBRATES 20 YEARS

A Rhiwbina-based school and group tour operator is celebrating 20 years of success this year. Schools Into Europe was started by Paul and Lesley Denison in 1992, and has since gone from strength to strength, now employing 17 staff, ten of whom are Modern Foreign Language speakers. “We are a family-run business specialising in educational travel within Britain and to Europe” said Lesley, who grew up in Whitchurch. “Our offices in North Cardiff work with over 600 schools across the UK. We also work with a number of different groups and organisations. For example, in March this year we are carrying over 1,000 children and adults to St David’s Welsh Festival at Disneyland® Paris.” Schools Into Europe is an ABTA bonded company, and is proud to be one of the national leaders in school and group travel. The company maintains its personalised service and attention to detail, whilst also offering the security and experience of a large organisation. The company has furthermore recently been awarded the prestigious Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge, which is presented to organisations and educational establishments who provide inspiring, engaging and memorable learning experiences beyond the classroom walls. The business is one of the largest of its kind in the UK. Rhiwbina Living Page 4

SPORTS VENUE OPENS DOORS TO NEW EVENTS The Diamond Sports Ground on Forest Farm Road in Whitchurch is welcoming new members to take part in a range of sporting and social activities, from rugby and cricket to running and Zumba. “It always surprises us to hear some local people were unaware, until very recently, of the existence of the sporting and social facilities available at the ground,” says club president Richard Pexton. The ground, home to Cardiff Harlequins RFC, has attracted rugby players from all over Cardiff, including Blues centre Jamie Roberts and Welsh women’s captain Rachel Taylor. Set in an idyllic location alongside the river Taff and adjacent to the Country Park, the club hopes locals will get involved in its wide range of activities. The men’s rugby club is keen to attract players who can help in its drive for promotion to Division 3 of the WRU Swalec National Leagues. At Christmas, the first team was second in the Division 4 East table. The ground also has a Clubhouse with three separate bars and two function rooms which are available for parties and special occasions. Tel 02920 693552 or visit www.cardiffharlequins.com for more details.

LOCAL PARK TO BENEFIT FROM NEW PLANS Caedelyn Park in Rhiwbina could become one of Wales’s first ‘quiet areas’. The proposals currently put forward by Cardiff Council would see the park legally spared any future developments to maintain its distinctive sounds and habitats. Eleven possible locations have been submitted by Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan councils, and a 12week consultation period run by the Welsh Government is now under way. Cardiff Council has also nominated Heath Park, adjacent to the University Hospital of Wales, to also be covered by the proposals. The park there has an 18-hole pitch and putt golf course, a model railway and woodland, which is home to many forms of wildlife. The proposals have been met with positive comments from residents and environmental groups.

CELEBRITY SHEEP TO GET SHORT BACK AND SIDES Rhiwbina’s celebrity sheep, Nick Boing, will be having his annual shearing in the Wendy House at the end of May. Owner Dave Palmer told Living Magazines: “A definite date will be posted in due course - so keep an eye on the Wendy House notice board!” Dave also added: “All are welcome, there is no charge. And I want to assure everyone that Nick Boing will be treated more gently than last year.”


LETTERS

Rhiwbina Memorial Hall’s legacy Dear Editors The Rhiwbina Memorial Hall and Community Association is a Registered Charity, depending for income on the fees it charges to its members, i.e. the Bridge, Drama (RATS), Floral Art and Badminton Sections plus revenue earned from the regular and occasional hirers. The Hall is run by a Council of volunteers elected annually at the AGM in September and is made up of representatives from the member groups plus representatives from the local community known as Independents. Any interest group with a regular booking can elect to become Hall members and are thereby entitled to representation on the Hall Management Council. Individuals with an interest in the Rhiwbina community can put themselves forward to serve as Independents providing they become Hall Members. Despite rising running and essential maintenance costs the Hall Council, have kept the rates at a very competitive level. The Hall is well used with a Bridge Club that meet most days, the very strong Drama Group meet every Wednesday and Sunday evenings with four productions per year, The

Floral Art meet on Tuesday evenings once per fortnight with occasional major demonstrations and the Badminton meet twice a week on Monday evenings and Thursday mornings. All groups are pleased to welcome new members. Even so there is still spare capacity to accommodate additional regular and occasional hirers. If the Hall is used to maximum capacity it goes without saying that the fees can be kept down. The Hall comprises of the Main Hall which can seat up to 200 theatre style with a stage (plus lighting and sound if required), a lesser hall suitable for meetings or functions of up to 50 people and a smaller committee room useful for small meetings or functions. A kitchen is available also. Anyone interested in hiring the Hall, smaller hall or committee room should contact the Booking Secretary on 02920692251. Ivan Gibson

Dear Editors

us Rhiwbina residents! On a positive, I’d like to congratulate you on producing such a high quality publication that has become such a talking point in the village. Paula Brown Heol-y-Deri Rhiwbina

I very much look forward to hearing the clunk of my letterbox and receiving your magazines and have done for many years. I was however disappointed that my last copy appeared to arrive with a glut of other flyers which promptly went straight into the recycling bin. In an age when we are being careful about waste, I found it a bit of a let down that you have resorted to a practice (ie junk-mailing) that you never used to impose on

Editors’ Response: Thanks for getting in touch Paula we’re glad you enjoy our magazines. With regard to the

RhiwM bin yastery

of debris at Taffs Well sidings

If you ever walk along the west bank of the Taff at Radyr Court Road and the track that leads up to the old Radyr Sidings, you will find lots of pieces of broken pottery, china and glass on the river bank. The area between the railway and river was obviously a dump for many years. Indeed, when they were building Clos Gerddi Taf, I collected wheelbarrows full of old bottles from where the foundations had been dug. I have given any bottles of local interest to the City museum. I would love to know more about this area. When was the area used as a dump, and how did the rubbish get there - by road or by rail? Was it ever officially a dump or was it just a fly-tipping ground? The high definition maps in the city library do not offer many clues. Tony Moon Radyr Court Rise, Llandaff

deliveries of your magazines, we never have, and never will include anything with our magazines. We pride ourselves on providing a comprehensive solus (on its own) delivery so if anything else was lying there with your copy of Rhiwbina Living, it was most probably posted before or after our delivery. As we personally distribute the magazines ourselves, we’d find extra things to post just too much to carry as the magazines are heavy enough as they are! Rhiwbina Living Page 5


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interview

Born To Lead oung female teachers, all neck rashes and flushed cheeks, squeal like mice. The few male teachers try and play it a bit cooler, leaning back on their chairs and raising a hand to the young man who’s just walked into the back of the school hall. The kids sitting cross-legged on the floor can’t sit still though and crane their necks to see the local superstar in their midst. Then Sam Warburton strides to the front of the school hall. His god-like status sends the children into raptures. A ‘throne’ awaits him at the front of the hall, and he takes his rightful seat at the front. Sam is making a welcome return to his old primary school in Rhiwbina. The visit is helping promote hard work in school, something Sam was renowned for as a pupil. But for Sam, it also bring back memories:

Y

Rhiwbina Land iving Llandaff Page 8 Living Page 8 Whitchurch

“It’s funny the things you remember - stupid things - the guttering, the slats in the fence that we used to climb through to fetch our footballs back.” Sam is addressed by small pupils, clutching their prepared questions on pieces of paper. “Which teacher gave you your first rugby lesson?”; “How do you prepare for a big match?” and “What was your favourite subject in school?” Over the past few years, Sam has become accustomed to questions, media and fame. Later on, we head down to Caedelyn Park to shoot a few photos. “It’s all still a bit odd to be honest though - I walk into a school full of kids and they’re all singing songs about me. It’s all a bit bonkers - it’s only little me.” But his rise through the ranks of Welsh rugby has come as less of a

surprise to those who have been keeping tabs on the 23 year-old. He represented Wales at all levels, including captaining the Under18’s, 19’s and the Wales Under-20’s team for the 2007–08 season. He also led Wales to the under 19`s and under 20`s World Cup semi-finals. But his real rise to prominence came in last year’s Rugby World Cup. His performances were lauded, but cut short by an infamous tackle on a Frenchman.


“I saw Clerc coming at me. At the time I thought it quite cheeky that he would try and attack my channel but I knew I had to stop him. We’re always told to tackle at a 45 degree angle as this takes a lot of the power out of the hit. But most players would also try and run through me; most of the time I go back in the tackle. But not Clerc on this occasion. It’s almost as if he wasn’t wanting the collision. I came in hard as I always would. But Clerc’s sudden unwillingness to make contact meant that he took the full hit upwards. At the time, I thought nothing of it but then as I got up, there was a bit of handbags. And then I got shown the card. “My mind went numb. There was nothing I could think. It was too big to take in. It was only when I sat down on the bench and looked at the replay, that I realised how bad it was. I couldn’t blame the referee because as the rules go, that was a red card. Neil Jenkins, who was acting as waterboy came over to me, oblivious to the red card: “What’s up Warby?” “I’m off.” I replied. “What? For ten minutes?” “No. For good.” Neil smashed one of his water bottles to the floor in anger. Then he burst into tears. “The boys didn’t let it affect them too much though. They came in at half-time still talking about winning the game. There was a genuine belief that we could win it.” Sam holds no grudges against Alain Rolland, the referee who sent him off. “He was just doing his job. Things like that happen to all players in their careers. I just hope that it all equals out and that I get something positive happen that’s as equally dramatic. In an ironic twist of fate a few days later, Sam found himself sat next to Vincent Clerc, the French player he’d tackled and been red-carded for on the flight out of Auckland. “There must have been about ten flights out of there that day. I’d had to stay behind for an IRB dinner. But Photographs © Patric Morgan

the chances of me sitting next to him were thousands to one. But that’s what happened. I didn’t particularly want to speak to him. It was quite awkward anyway but to make it worse, he spoke broken English. He joked about getting a massage, we briefly spoke about our immediate plans once we got home. Then I stuck my headphones on and didn’t speak to him for the rest of the journey.” Sam was quick to move on from. “The last thing I was going to do was blame the referee and drag the whole thing out for longer. Blaming the referee is not something I’ve been taught as such - just the way I’ve always played the game.” His attitude, both throughout the World Cup, and after, drew plaudits from across the world. It was perhaps quite fitting then that Sam should pick up the Rugby Union Writers Club's personality of 2011, beating off the likes of Graham Henry and Shane Williams. “I didn’t know too much about it to be honest. My agent rang me up and told me that I needed to be at the awards ceremony in London as I had a good chance of winning. So I went up, thinking it’d be a small affair. When I walked in, there were about 500 people sat there - people like Jonny Wilkinson and other wellknown faces. I read the list of past winners and thought ‘they’ve got this wrong’. The names on there read like a Hall of Fame - Jonah Lomu, Francois Pienaar and Gareth Edwards. I nearly fell of my seat when I was announced the winner. I genuinely thought there had been a mistake and that I should have been in some kind of newcomer’s category.” Despite Sam’s success with the Welsh team, he’s realistic about holding onto the captaincy of Wales. “It was a weird concept at first taking charge of a senior Welsh side. But once I’d gotten over myself, it felt totally natural. I know that other players have just as much right to be captain as me so if it gets handed to someone else, I can completely understand.”

Interview interview

Neil Jenkins said: “What’s up Warby? “I’m off” “What for ten minutes?” “No. For good” Neil smashed one of his water bottles to the floor in anger. Then burst into tears.

As for long-term plans, he’s got no desire to move away from Cardiff just yet. “My girlfriend and I have been looking at houses in Rhiwbina. I’m a Rhiwbina boy and it’d be nice to settle down here.”

Rhiwbina Living Page 9


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The Golden Years memories

Rhiwbina resident John Chapman recalls our village during the 1930s and 40s. y life in the village began in 1939 when we moved from Canterbury to 39 Pen-y-Dre. Earliest recollections however stem from 1941 when hours were spent at night during air raids in our Morrison shelter (a dining room table by day). Staying with us at the time was a young girl evacuee from London. One of the raids resulted in a bomb basket landing between our gate posts. My dad had a blue Morris Minor (OD1181) which he garaged in one of the two garages opposite, a Mr Evans had the other. In 1942 I listened to daily reports on the wireless of the North African battles and victory at El Alamein. Our wireless ran on a battery which we took to Barrauds in the village to be charged when necessary. Next door neighbours were Mr & Mrs Wilkins. Sadly we heard one night that their son Herbert had been killed in action.

M

Rhiwbina Living Page 12

My days usually began with raking out the fire grate before laying and lighting a new fire. Breakfast consisted of porridge and a boiled egg. We kept chickens in our garden, giving us fresh eggs daily. Mum had lived in Malaga and gave each one a Spanish name (Rosita, Pipita, Juanita etc). The chickens attracted rats which we killed regularly, cutting off their tails and nailing them to the side of our garden shed as souvenirs. One rat proved illusive so we shot it with a 4-10 shot gun. Ambulance trains often passed, bound for Whitchurch, bringing wounded home from the war. Jimmy Taverner and I sometimes watched from the road bridge at Whitchurch as the wounded were taken off for transfer by road to the hospital nearby. Dad had two allotments in Pen-y-Dre providing us with fresh vegetables for much of the year. Food shortages resulted in all of us having ration books so we had to use our coupons when purchasing sweets from Arthur Davies, whose shop was next to the Midland Bank.

From 1942 -1944 I attended Rhiwbina Junior School. The headmaster, I think, was a Mr Pugsley and my teachers were Miss Emrys and Miss Proud. We were all given 1/3 pint of milk each day. When the air raid siren sounded we all had to run home quickly. During playtime, we often ventured into Smart’s old tea gardens to amuse ourselves in the derelict old cars left to rot there. My friends at this time included:Diane Mardrom, Cecilia Griffiths, Cynthia Flay, Audrey Kier, Julie Sanderson, Charlie Blackburn, Malcolm Smith, Mary, Anthony & Jim Taverner, Timothy & Christopher Raven, John Hitchins, Ken Marshall, John Highland, Brian & David Phillips. Pen-y-Dre often became flooded when the brook overflowed after heavy rain. The water would creep slowly down the road which gave us time to roll up the carpets, take them upstairs and raise the furniture on blocks to minimise damage. During 1960 the road culvert was widened which rectified the problem.


Pleasures were simple in those days and the Rhiwbina brook was a magnet to youngsters, giving us hours of entertainment catching bullyheads and other small fish. One day I caught a small trout which my mother cooked for my tea. Occasionally we used to go through the culvert under the main road. You had to maintain a crouching position as you went through because the roof was very low. The culvert turned to the left after a short distance and for a while in the centre each end was not visible, at this point it was very dark and only the trickle of water could be heard. We feared rats but never saw one. The tunnel then turned again to the right when the exit could be seen. We always entered with the flow under Brook Garage to emerge in Pen-y-Dre. I think I went through about four times, always with two or three others. Often on Sunday mornings, my dad took me to Cardiff docks at 6am and I went on board many ships where he tested for gas prior to hot work taking place. We sometimes had to board on a narrow gang plank with no railings and also climb down and up the long ladders in the holds. During the journeys to and from the docks I used to sit on his lap to steer the car and change gear which I found exhilarating being so young. Unfortunately my legs were too short to reach the pedals. On some other Sundays a group of us used to cycle to Penarth baths and back. Our bread was delivered daily by Charlie who worked for Idris Evans and came with a horse and two wheeled cart. Occasionally his horse sat down, resulting in the loaves of bread being deposited in the road much to our amusement. Milk was delivered by Poyners with a horse and four wheeled cart, later with a small van. I often helped with the milk deliveries at weekends which consisted of silver topped bottles for pasteurised milk, gold topped for Tuberculin Tested and small narrow necked bottles for goat’s milk, which few people bought. I met many people in Rhiwbina whilst on these

rounds and at Christmas often collected over £5 in tips when my pocket money at the time was two shillings (10p). One day the horse became frightened in Heol Wen and began to gallop towards the junction with Peny-Dre with John Poyner tugging at the reins and me hanging on to the roof rails at the back. As we turned right into Pen-y-Dre which was unmade and very rough at the time, some empty crates of bottles flew off the roof of the cart. It careered down the unmade road bouncing about with bottles rattling and more fell off before John Poyner brought the horse under control at the end of the road near the golf links entrance. It was an experience I have never forgotten. Groceries were bought from Miss Tanner whose shop was next to Duggan & James, or from the Co-Op where our membership No was 26068. Meat came from Raybould and fish from Excell in Beulah Rd. My favourite shop was Silvesters, where my first train set came from. Trimmers had a green grocers shop in Lon Fach. About this time a fish & chip van visited the village weekly. The fish & chips were superb and cost about 1/6 pence (7.5p today) they were always wrapped in newspaper. An air raid shelter made of brick, stood on rough ground where Rhiwbina library now stands and girls were sometimes entertained within in ways their parents would not have approved of. Adults seldom ventured inside which was dark, damp and miserable. After two years at Rhiwbina Junior School my parents sent me to prep school in Cardiff which entailed daily journeys by train. Penarth Grammar pupils used the same trains and we had great fun on the afternoon return journeys when no adults were present. During these daily trips I became very friendly with Ann Mathews who had a long blond pigtail; she attended Penarth Grammar and lived at Coryton. We used to meet each evening on Queen Street station, share a Chelsea bun purchased from

memories

the station café, and then travel home together on the 4.30pm train. During summer weekends we used our railway season tickets to travel to the beach together at Lavernock and Swanbridge and by Western Welsh bus to Southerndown. Her family moved to Durham about 1948 and I was devastated. Though we wrote to each other for a while, we never met again. She remains forever in my memory. The new prep school in Cardiff had a very strict regime which resulted in almost daily canings, failures of any kind were not tolerated. However, it had the desired effect because all except one in my class passed the eleven plus to enter grammar schools. In February 1947, there was a great blizzard resulting in snow to a depth of four to five feet, being above the lower window sills of the houses. I helped the men dig a trench in the snow along the centre of Pen-y-Dre to enable us to reach the village, where by some miracle milk had arrived from the farms and was being distributed. We had to go to the bakery in Whitchurch for bread. I am not sure how long this lasted but life was difficult for some while. Each one of us made a toboggan which we used to speed down the steep slopes on the Wenallt near Rhiwbina Hill. We always went down head first and there was considerable competition to see who was fastest. We steered with our feet trailing behind and attempted to miss the railings or the brook at the bottom. I finished up in the brook twice, whilst Alan Barr from Pen-yDre hit the railings once, resulting, I think, in a trip to hospital. About 1949 the film The Third Man came to the Monico cinema which was packed for about three weeks with long queues outside beforehand. Dick Barton was famous on the radio together with Tommy Handley in “ ITMA”. As the decade ended we moved to 20 Lon-y-Dail where I spent the next 21 eventful years before emigrating to Llanishen.

John Chapman Rhiwbina Living Page 13


Celebrate Easter with us

Easter Is A Time For Inspiration And Hope

We’d love to meet you at Rhiwbina Baptist Church over this special season and help you meet the God who loves you and gave himself for you.

Here’s What’s On At RBC This Easter Time Palm Sunday 1 April 10.30: A Royal Visit Good Friday 6 April 10.30: a time to reflect on the most significant death in world history Easter Sunday 12 April 10.30: Worship the King of Life

How About An Easter Gift?

Looking to buy that special gift for a loved one? Feel like treating yourself? Pop in to the Olive Branch on Heol y Deri and find the ideal present. Whilst you’re there you can enjoy a perfect cup of coffee!

Rhiwbina Baptist Church, Lon Ucha, Rhiwbina, Cardiff, CF14 6HL Tel: 029 2062 3791 email: office@rbc.ac

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Rhiwbina Squash Pro and Welsh No.1 Peter Creed won his first professional squash title in Wroclaw, Poland in January, lifting him to No. 98 in the world. Creed defeated Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Eddie Charlton, in 34 minutes during the final winning 11-7, 12-10 and 11-9. This is the third Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour final for Pete. Last year, Peter lead Rhiwbina Squash to team success by becoming South Wales Premier Team champions for the first time in the Rhiwbina Squash clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history. Peteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success has followed many great achievements from the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thriving junior section with Lloyd Rutter becoming the North Wales Junior Open (U15) Champion and Joe Rhys a finalist in the U13 age category. The club welcomes players of all abilities from experts to complete beginners. Rhiwbina Squash Club has 7 UKCC fully qualified and insured squash coaches who will be happy to provide coaching sessions to improve your fitness or just start you off on the basics. Social events are an integral part of Rhiwbina Squash Club, with regular events being hosted throughout the year. If you are interested in joining Rhiwbina Squash Club, please visit www.rhiwbinasquashclub.co.uk or call 07946 568098. There is a free Squash Open Day on Saturday 31st March between 1-4pm with some free coaching.

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new faces

Award Winning Service returns to the High Street

Opened to bring service back onto the high street, The Garden Village Garage offers an innovative car ‘collect and deliver’ service from either home or office. With online internet viewing available, we place you straight into our workshops to see what’s going on! Our service experience could not be simpler. No more stress or time off getting your car across the city to your dealer - we will take care of it all. Our award winning partners, The Nantgarw Garage will undertake all matters relating to service, MOT testing and repairs; they will even clean the car ready for its return. We offer all main dealer facilities and will collect early morning or the evening before, whichever is easier. If your car is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, we will use original parts to protect the car’s cover. Our primary goal is complete customer satisfaction and we have a proven track record. We are independently monitored, controlled and audited by the Good Garage Scheme. Check out our feedback at www.GardenVillageGarage.co.uk and just click the Good Garage Scheme link at the top of the page. We are confident that once you have tried our service you will visit again, call us on 0333 121 2012 (it’s a free phone number, so we will even pay for the call!)

Matthew and Heather - two new faces in Rhiwbina

We found the Garden Village Garage to be very efficient, reliable and friendly. The car pick up and drop off service was especially helpful to us. We also genuinely appreciated the professionalism, ‘old-fashioned’ honesty and attention to detail that Matthew and his team have employed in conducting their business. Sioned and Gordon Harold Groes Lon

I have used the services at Nantgarw Garage a number of times in the past two years and received a warm welcome, attention to detail and an overall excellent level of service. I have no hesitation in recommending Nantgarw Garage to anyone and will be happy now to take advantage of the Garden Village Garage Denys Thomas, Beulah Road The level of service I have received from the Garden Village Garage has been first class.The convenience of having my car collected on time and delivered back cleaned inside and out with all work done to a high standard and at a good price means I have no hesitation in recommending Matthew and his team to family and friends Jackie Fischer, Heol Wen We used the Garden Village Garage recently, the whole experience was friendly, effective and efficient! It's good to see a new business providing a user friendly service to the local community and we would thoroughly recommend the Garden Village Garage Huw and Karen Moores, Pen-y-Dre Rhiwbina Living Page 17


         

 

               

            

     

   



   

 



  

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Pick and Mix readers’ stories

By Eric Fletcher

I don’t know how many there are. A couple of dozen; maybe thousands. I have no idea. You can’t count things you can’t see; things you cannot hear or feel. Possibly there’s one sitting next to you as you’re reading this; maybe one standing behind you as you load your shopping into your car outside Tesco. We need a name for these unseen, unseeing mystery beings. The best I can come up with is the inbetweeners. Try as you might, there are no references to them on Google; no mention in even the most comprehensive of dictionaries. How do I know of their existence? I was at school with one, one who became, and presumably still is an inbetweener. His name was John but everyone with the exception of his mother called him Jack. He was never what you’d call a Jack of all Trades, but he did become the master of one, if you can call a life of crime a trade. It all began at the ‘Pick and Mix’ in Woolies. Jack and I would stroll towards the display, all innocent like. I was the look-out man, keeping an eye on the shop assistants while Jack filled his pockets with toffee creams, sherbet lemons, Turkish Delight anything that was going. I suppose I was as guilty as him, an accessory I think it’s called but we were only nine or ten, just a bit of fun, a laugh. It was about that time that Jack’s family moved house. He went to a new school so we saw less of each other. We’d meet up occasionally, perhaps share a can or two of coke. After A levels, I went away to Uni, so didn’t see Jack for, oh could have been four years, maybe more. I remember I did meet him once outside the football ground, but to be honest, he wasn’t the same Jack I’d known at school. Ok, we all change, grow up, our lives go in different directions, but Jack’s seemed to have carried on as before except he’d progressed, if progressed is the right word, from stealing sweets from Woolies, to running a black market operation, dealing in the latest ‘must have’ trainers and designer tee shirts. I asked where he got them. ”Fell off the back of a lorry, didn’t they?” he replied. Anything not tied down was

fair game to Jack. A few times my father would cut out pieces from the Echo about Jack. Usually under a heading such as LOCAL BOY MUGS ELDERLY SHOPPER. Another one I recall was OLD AGE PENSIONERS SAVINGS STOLEN. LOCAL MAN ARRESTED. We did meet once more. Wasn’t planned to be honest. Our lives had gone in totally different directions. We had nothing in common any longer. But I must tell you the strange story. Jack told me at what would turn out to be our last meeting. He reckoned he was ambling down the road making his way towards the park. He’d pinched one of those long French loaves and a couple of bananas from outside the deli. When all of a sudden, (and this is where I began to have serious doubts about Jack’s mental state) he was adamant that there was a strong smell of burning and standing in front of him was the Devil. According to Jack, this Devil looked him straight in the eyes and said ”I’ve been keeping a watch on you and you are just the man I need - an apprentice to help me in hell.” Jack took a few steps backwards, the Devil’s hot breath was scorching his face, and shouted: “No way! I’m getting out of here!” He dropped the bananas and tore the French loaf in two, holding the two pieces of bread in front of him in the shape of a cross. Jack strode towards the Devil, who, covering his eyes, backed away. The Devil had only taken a few steps when he bumped into a road sign. He turned around, screamed an almighty yell of anguish. It was a cross roads sign. I almost felt sorry for the Devil. There he was, unable to move backwards because of the cross on the road sign or forwards because Jack had lain the bread in the shape of a crucifix on the road just out of his reach. Believe it or not, it’s up to you, but that’s the story as Jack told it. As I said that was the last time I saw Jack. A few months later, he was dead. I seem to remember it was a day or two before the New Year. He came out of his local pub, possibly for a smoke and stumbled into the path of a speeding taxi. The paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. I went to his funeral, after all, our mothers had been friends and I think

our dads would sometimes meet up at the football. Didn’t recognise anyone. Looked like an ‘away day’ for the local Mafia. You know - closely cropped hair, tattoos and sunglasses. All it needed was a couple of violin cases. Now I don’t know how long it takes from being a corpse at the side of the road to arriving outside the Pearly Gates, but no doubt Jack was very surprised to find himself surrounded by fluffy white clouds and celestial music. Anyway Saint Peter said ”Hello Jack. We were expecting you.” “Well it’s a total surprise to me. Who do say you are?” replied Jack. “You don’t know? Didn’t they teach you anything in R.E. lessons? I’m Saint Peter. I’m in charge of the gates…..” “Oh I know. Pete. Like a bouncer outside the Pig and Whistle club in town.” Jack interrupted. Saint Peter looked puzzled. He reaching out to make sure the gates were secure, and replied. ”Two things you need to know Jack. The first is – don’t address me as Pete. I’m Saint Peter, never Pete, never mate and certainly never butty. Only ever Saint Peter. Got that?” “And the second?” Jack asked. “Well I’m afraid we’ve had a meeting and the committee decided, unanimously I may add, that we don’t want you here. You’re too disruptive, a real danger. We don’t do crime up here. Sorry Jack but you’ll just have to go back down. You could try the Devil. I’ve heard he’ll take anybody.” So Jack, or at least Jack’s soul, arrives back on terra firma. Guess who’s there to meet him? Yes . That’s right. The Devil. ”Before you ask Jack I don’t want you anymore. I was stuck up against that road sign for hours, couldn’t move until a stray dog ran off with your broken loaf and that was after he’d cocked his leg up against my cloak. I’m afraid you’re destined to spend eternity as an in-betweener. “What’s one of those?” Jack shouted. Too late. The Devil had vanished. All that was left was burn marks on the road. Now I don’t know if this story has a moral but if any of your children or grandchildren start hanging around the ‘Pick and Mix’ display, take note. Beware - they may be on the road to becoming an in-betweener.

Rhiwbina Living Page 19


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spring gardens

Spring Of Hope LLANDAFF NORTH’S KEVIN REVELL TAKES US THROUGH THE JOURNEY OF SPRING AS SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF A GARDENER RWhitchurch hiwbina Liviand ng PLlandaff age 22 Living Page 12

UNFURLING Slowly but surely the extremes of winter ease and almost imperceptibly life begins anew as hesitant new life unfurls from the leaf mould. Showing no respect for artificially imposed calendar dates it begins when it begins; when a number of natural phenomena come into alignment and the weather becomes more temperate. Spring seems to be the longest of the seasons stretching from the uncertain flowering of the first bulbs to the voluptuous blooms of the first rose of summer. Winter flowers don’t count – spring is at hand when the snowdrops fade not when their buds emerge uncertainly through residual snow and hellebore flowers fade as the days warm up. Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’ bears an occasional blush pink flower throughout winter whenever the sun shines for a day or so and temperatures deign to stay above freezing. An extraordinary transformation occurs in early February when previously unremarkable trees reveal themselves to be the ornamental plum, Prunus ceracifera, as pale lavender-pink blossom billows across suburbia. A particularly fine show is to be seen on Whitchurch Common; there is no going back now - spring is truly sprung.

CHERRY BLOSSOM Ornamental cherry blossom soon follows; Prunus Okame is among the first and most striking, shortly followed by a plethora of Japanese hybrids. For a few weeks, Britain’s parks and gardens resemble those of some Eastern paradise, westerly gales and April showers notwithstanding. The flowering season of ornamental trees is multi-layered in its complexity, some requiring longer days, others responding to the increasing warmth of the sun and the two do not always go hand in hand. In some years the display goes on for months but as with last year when a hard winter is followed by a warm spring, the whole display is concertinaed up into a few hectic weeks. First the introductory blossom of ornamental plums and cherries, then the pretty, fragrant crab apple blossom before the darker pink, long lasting ornamental hawthorn trees. The steady procession of blossom on trees and shrubs slowly builds and threatens to become a riot before the calming green leaves emerge to restore order and outrageous individuals are merged in one homogenous verdant crowd. Magnolia buds have been swelling, gently changing in colour from winter silver to spring gold and


amber before the sepals split and fall revealing the silken petals within, which expand like chalices to capture the spring sunshine. LLANDAFFâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S COLOURS Llandaff is blessed with some wonderful magnolias and a walk around Palace Road at this time is breath-taking while the hidden gems of Insole Court are worth seeking out. Bursting with inherent energy, an unholy alliance of pink and yellow is revealed in suburban shrub borders with the flowering of Forsythia and Ribes, sure to get the pulse racing or the blood boiling. Whether these colours associate well together is a matter of taste but these two certainly come as a pair to herald spring in no uncertain terms, soon to be followed by the frothy spumes of white that are the inflorescences of Spiraea arguta. Hedgerow blackthorns are mirrored in the orchards and fruit gardens by the damson, gage and plum trees which are star-spangled white, shortly followed by pears and finally the pretty, pink buds opening pure, perfumed white of apple blossom. They light up the garden like great white torches before scattering their floral confetti around the garden leaving an unfeasible number of miniature fruitlets behind. Perhaps the epitome of spring is the blossoming of the fruit trees which given good weather will ensure a fruitful autumn harvest. Bees are the obvious vectors of pollination but it is surprising how many other insects share the task from hoverflies to small beetles which remain largely unseen in the garden for the rest of the year. BEAUTY OF BLOSSOM Blossom laden branches peak and fade with the emergence of the foliage as a million green window panes filter the warming sun, harnessing the energy like mini-solar panels, casting dappled light of the ground beneath which diminishes as the season progresses. The view of the garden from the lounge window changes daily as green tinged branches become draped in their

verdant finery. Bright green becomes the dominant colour in the countryside as trees and hedgerows re-foliate and newly fertilised pasture springs into growth. Plants on the woodland floor or growing under taller trees and shrubs need to grow and complete their life cycles early before the canopy closes over. MAGICAL WOODLANDS Now is a magical time to visit ancient bluebell woods alive with birdsong. Fragrant lilac and wisteria take up the floral baton as dull twiggy branches are transformed by the emergence from anaemic pale violet bottlebrushes erupting into cascading waterfalls of fragrant, brilliantly bi-coloured lilac and amethyst flowers when spring truly arrives between April and May. This dramatic transformation is presaged by a gentle rain of protective sepals falling to the floor where they blow and collect in corners like the husks of winnowed grain. At first the flowers are shy to emerge and cling to the warm south facing wall for protection or sulk through April showers but within a week they emerge in a floral crescendo to be admired for a few short weeks. The inflorescence consists of tightly closed clam-like individual flowers grouped together in racemes which reveal their beauty on opening to the familiar pea-like blossom. The pendant clusters of jewelled flowers are gilded with a touch of gold about their honeyed throats, each of which

spring gardens

communicate news of this bounty far and wide for all the bees in the neighbourhood are drawn to this floral cornucopia. To stand underneath, beguiled by the perfume and lulled by the humming of bees is surely the highlight of spring. The final flowering of commonly grown blossom trees comes with the laburnum as spring slides imperceptibly into summer. Perfumed golden chains hang free; a metaphorical sign of the release of summer. Another true indicator of spring has long been apparent â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the chirruping of birds and their constant activity as they attend to the many nests dotted around the garden. Now is the time to see wildlife gardening in action as the roses and fruit trees are stripped of their aphids and caterpillars, an experience denied to anyone impatient enough to spray insecticides about with abandon. Hastily grabbed moments spent in the garden between spring showers are soon replaced by long sultry evenings dead-heading roses as the nights shorten and summer has finally arrived.

produces a small hint of scent but the flowers are produced in such profusion that an invisible, perfumed cloud emanates from the pergola. The floral canopy comes alive with bees from dawn till dusk. They must

hiwbina Living Living Page Page 13 23 Whitchurch andRLlandaff


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South Wales’s largest grower and supplier of home-grown plants for your garden. We have a large range of 3 vegetable plants and flower bags of plants. We also stock loose compost seeds, award-winning for £ 10 hanging baskets, a full range of composts, greenhouse glass and perspex, perennials, shrubs, fruit tress and much much more.Visit our website for more details or call. Bring your children to see our army tanks!

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Pets

Pets’ Page Heath Vets’ Chris Troughton is happy to answer any of your petrelated questions. Drop him a line at editor@livingmags.co.uk

I have a friend who has a very friendly dog. I've often seen this dog licking things it shouldn't. My friend lets the dog lick her face saying that the dog is giving her a 'kiss', but I always stop the dog from licking my child's face. Am I right to do so? I can't imagine the dog's mouth being particularly clean. Puppies lick their parent's face when the adult has returned to the den after hunting. The licking stimulates the adult to regurgitate food for the puppies to eat. Face-licking of the owner is often seen in adult domestic dogs and it starts as a submissive greeting behaviour, though it may become more widely used by an individual who is rewarded for it by the recipient's response. However,

you are right to be concerned about the health risks of allowing this, particularly with a child. The dog's tongue is used for all sorts of exploratory and cleaning purposes, and is definitely not clean! The commonly-held view that licking a wound will clean it and help it heal is a myth. There is also a risk that facelicking could infect the child with roundworm eggs. You should definitely NOT allow this behaviour.

I'm thinking of joining a needlework class. Having a very playful cat called Mollie, but I am concerned that she will want to play with the thread that I'll be using. Worse still, I'm worried that she may try and eat it. Although I'd be extra vigilant, what should I do if Mollie did eat thread? Do I try and pull it back out? Surprisingly, it is not that rare for cats to ingest needles & thread , and they can certainly cause serious injury. Amazingly, a needle alone will rarely cause problems and often will travel right through the digestive tract and be passed without incident. The cotton can be much more serious as it can ruck up the intestines causing an obstruction. If Mollie were to eat thread, and you could still see an end in her mouth, you could gently try to pull it out. If there is any resistance, don't pull hard but take to the vet as an emergency. If you can tie the loose end to something to stop it being completely swallowed, that would be very helpful. If she has swallowed the whole thread, try to estimate how long it is, and then take her to the vet - but not as an immediate emergency. If you see a thread protruding from her bottom, you could gently pull it - but again, any resistance would indicate the need for a vet's help.

Pets’ Page is sponsored by the Heath Veterinary Group

What can I expect after my puppy is spayed? Will there be anything I need to look out for in particular ? These days, most puppies get over their spaying operation very quickly, thanks to modern anaesthetics and painkillers. When she comes home, you will need to make sure she rests - we always recommend lead exercise until stitches are removed. Jumping up onto furniture or going up stairs is also best avoided as it will stretch her tummy where the stitches are. The more active she is, the more the stitches will pull and get sore. If you are worried about her comfort, ask your vet to have a look at her. After an anaesthetic, a small light meal is advisable on the evening she comes home. The following day, light meals are best. I would expect her appetite to be fully recovered by the second day after the operation - if it's not, get her checked out.

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Whitchurch andRLlandaff hiwbina Living Living Page Page 25 25


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IT’S EASY TO SEE WHY LIVING MAGAZINES ARE PROVING SO EFFECTIVE FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES AND ORGANISATIONS

WHITCHURCH AND LLANDAFF LIVING Launched in 2008 in response to requests from businesses in Whitchurch and Llandaff. 6,000 copies are available from our established distribution network, including our custom-made stands in Tesco Extra (Western Avenue), Tesco Express Whitchurch, Co-op Whitchurch and Spar in Llandaff. Published five times a year.

RHIWBINA LIVING Rhiwbina Living was launched in 2007 with the aim of helping local businesses who didn’t want to spend money on expensive adverts in regional publications that overlooked the potential business on their own doorsteps. Published four times a year, and personally handdelivered door-to-door by us (ensuring that they don’t end up dumped in a stream!),we ensure that everyone of our 4,400 copies land on our readers’ doormats.

DANESCOURT LIVING The latest addition to our portfolio, Danescourt Living is the ‘little baby sister’ of the bunch. 1,500 copies are personally delivered by us to homes in this Llandaff suburb. Its A5 size has been a hit with commuters of this younger population. Launched in 2010, the magazine replaces the now defunct Danescourt News.

NEW! NEW! ONLINE ADVERTISING! Our popular website has attracted over 350,000 individual visitors since we launched it in July 2010. We actively promote our advertisers through our Facebook and Twitter. We have now launched online advertising. For £50 a month, you’ll feature on our home page, and your advert will even be clickable to take viewers straight to your website.

WHAT OUR ADVERTISERS SAY “We have been advertising in both Rhiwbina Living and Whitchurch and Llandaff Living since their very first issues, and not a week goes by without someone saying that they have seen our advert in the magazines. We are pleased to be associated with such professional magazines and we can honestly say that it’s far better to be in the magazines than not!” Paul Ballard, Serenade, (South Wales Echo’s Winner of ‘They’re the Business’ Award 2010), Rhiwbina “We decided to advertise in both editions of your publication in 2010 and were very pleased with the response it generated in terms of attracting new customer enquiries and comments received from our existing customers. Your magazine is eagerly anticipated by its readers and most importantly read unlike other free publications. Has advertising in your magazines worked for us? Yes it has. Will we be advertising in the future. Yes we will!” Matt Trevett, Absolute Care (Wales) Limited, Roath, Cardiff I placed an advert in Rhiwbina Living in autumn this year to try to boost my food trade and was extremely impressed with the results. The advert generated a terrific amount of new trade through the door. Its now very difficult to get a table in my restaurant on a Sunday afternoon! I was so impressed that in the next quarter, I placed an advert in both the Whitchurch and Llandaff Living magazine as well as the Rhiwbina Living magazine for a second time. Paul Beales, Landlord, The Butchers Arms Rhiwbina.

Call 07772 081775 or visit www.livingmags.co.uk for rates and dates and discounts! Rhiwbina Living Page 29


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Melanie Coles PG Dip Counselling (CBT), MBACP, IIHHT MICHT Tel: 07980 183933 Email: melaniecoles@fsmail.net www.cardifftherapist.co.uk Address: The Back and Neck Clinic, 87 Beulah Road, Cardiff CF14 6LW

Zumba with Ingrid Watson your licensed Zumba Instructor (383789)

Have any 6 sessions signed off and receive the 7th one FREE (£4/class)

Mondays: Whitchurch Rugby/Social Club: 6-7pm Llandaff Rowing Club: 8-9pm Fridays: Beulah Church Hall, Rhiwbina: 9.30am-10.30am Beulah Church Hall, Rhiwbina: 11.30am-12.30pm

NB: The Friday sessions in Rhiwbina welcome parents with babies/toddlers; exercise with your child on the side and see to them as required. The music will be quieter than other classes. All classes term time only.

M: 07810 440 868 E: Ingrid.zumbafitness@gmail.com


Column

hen the clock struck midnight on December 31st 2009, I was under the impression that 2010 was going to be another straight-forward year. I’d planned another year’s worth of magazines, but I’d also planned to finally settle down for a life of singledom. It seemed ok sat there on my shelf. I’ll get myself a nice telly, maybe a nice computer. To me, they were exciting things that’d keep me occupied every evening (such was the extent of my ambition). But in 2010, I met my future wife. I didn’t know she was going to be my future wife when we first met. We’d known each other from our teens when Clare (my wife) worked in a shop. I’d come in pretending to browse, when in fact, I was visiting to ogle. Clare remembers me as ‘boring and skinny’. Her words, not mine. Yet we lived less then five minutes away from each other, on opposite sides of a hill in Barry. I remember seeing Clare walking home on balmy Saturday evenings after finishing work. It would be nearly 20 years later before we saw each other again. By then, Clare had been around the world with various jobs. Our first date was at a bar in Cardiff Bay. I’d promised her a Greggs sausage roll (which sadly, I never bought her). Things were a little nervy at first, as they always are on a date, but after 20 minutes or so, we were talking like we’d known each other for years. By the end of our first week, we’d written up a Life Plan. It’s still stuck on our fridge. The wedding in the autumn of 2011 was a small affair. Despite its size, it was still a stressful affair in the months and weeks running up to it. We’d had it quite easy really,

W

deciding on the date, venue and dress after two pints of Peroni in the summer sun of Cardiff city centre. But as with all most things that cause you headaches in life, it’s the little things- the little fiddly things that you think would take a few minutes. Then it was off to New York for a few nights. To me, New York was a city of childhood dreams. The sheer cheek of placing buildings so huge in one place always amazed me, especially since I’ve always taken a dislike to heights. But there I was, on an icy November day, stood at the top of the Empire State Building, looking out over this sprawling metropolis. It was then that I realised that sharing your life with someone is what helps you achieve dreams. By sharing my ambitions with my wife, she’s helped me do achieve things that have been sat on my ‘To-do List’ since I was a teen: visit New York, get married and even fly a ‘plane (I was bought an aerobatic flying lesson as a gift from Clare for our first Christmas together). But more importantly, I’ve become content with my lot. I don’t have a flashy car or a house with electric gates (in fact, I’ve no gates at all!). But I do have happiness. But before I get too slushy, there of course, a few down sides to being married. #1 I can’t leave dirty dishes in the kitchen to do the next day. If Clare is away for a week, I can leave all my week’s dishes and do them quickly a few hours before she comes home. She never knows the difference. I’ll even leave the hoover out and maybe casually throw a towel over the edge of the bath to make it look like I’ve had a bath while she’s been

gone. #2 Invariably, two different people are going to like different things on telly. Whereas Clare likes these American dramas (too full of murder and homocide for me), I prefer to watch historical documentaries and the like. We’ve signed up to LoveFilm, where movies are sent by post for you to watch. We both pick separate lists to reflect our differing interests. Several months ago, Clare’s offering of the latest cinematic blockbuster arrived. My DVD was a programme about ants. #3 Differing body clocks create worry. If I dash out of bed when the sun rises, my wife thinks I don’t want to spend time with her. Later on, when I’ve finished watching my programme about ants and want to go to bed at 9pm, my wife thinks I don’t want to spend any time with her. #4 I can’t actually think of a fourth one. I guess this goes to show that these things are nothing compared to what I’ve gained. So the next time you moan about what you haven’t got, just take a minute or two to take in what you do have and imagine what life would be like without it. These days, my wife and I both sit watching telly together and eating our tea. But that’s fine. I wouldn’t want to be sat eating my tea on my own, like I thought I would be at beginning of 2010. So the small things become the big things. Eating tea together should be savoured. The dishes can wait till the following day though.

Rhiwbina Living Page 31


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Rhiwbina Living Issue 18 Spring 2012