Changing Times Change comes at us in many ways, sometimes without warning, sometimes sudden and out of our control, forcing us to adapt like never before.
DESIGNER & ART DIRECTOR
We welcome you, then, to our Winter edition. After our last issue I reflected on the shift that we as a community came across and I wanted to highlight the positive elements of change, the Change Makers. A way for us to celebrate those breaking boundaries within their chosen fields and the positive impact for our community.
EDITORIAL & COMMUNICATIONS
Karine Laudort Olivia Tucker
Sophie & Hannah Pycroft Yvonne Jones Lauren Green Polly James Luca Malacrino Stephen Truelove Saul David Talk to Coco Style of the City Magazine, 6 Cathedral Road, Castle Court, Cardiff. CF11 9HA.
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With so much anxiety about lockdown, firebreaks, mask wearing, and the constant worry of ‘Will the schools shut down again?’ and with all of us keeping watch via social media and the news channels for the next big change, The Changemakers comes as light relief, a way to feel uplifted as we choose to focus on those making a difference, pushing the narrative, changing perceptions and ultimately bringing positivity into the community. On a cold winter morning at the Coal Exchange hotel Cardiff, along with my team and amazing photographer Justin Harris (founder of Justin Harris photography), we went about putting our social distancing skills to the test. Thanks to Justin’s incredible skills, we shot each cover star separately and used the wonders of technology to create a group picture. We share our Change Makers’ stories in our interview section (p15). We have filled this edition with all the things you enjoy and are pleased to introduce our brand new health and fitness columnist Lauren Green, who will be sharing tips and advice in every edition to keep us feeling motivated and healthy. We also shine a light on Barry, the seaside town making waves, quite literally! (P41). We wish all our readers a prosperous and healthy new year as we look ahead with hope and clarity. In the end we will remember the community, not the chaos. Happy New Year and thank you for taking the time to read us, it really means a lot.
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Fashion & Beauty
SHOP LOCAL INITIATIVE We highlight the best of what local businesses have to offer in our first Shop Local Initiative
OUR COVER STARS Talk to Style of the City on the boundaries they’ve broken within their industries
COOKING BYDEI Shelma Dei shares her stylish recipes
POLLY’S BABY BLOG Our Parenting Columnist, Polly James, shares the truth behind being a mum
CLOCKWISE Work at new stylish offices in Cardiff City Centre
NATWEST NatWest Group share their commitment to racial equality
SOCIAL BUTTERFLIES We share the highlights of the sold-out Beaujolais Brunch at the iconic Coal Exchange Hotel
FASHION We share our winter must-haves
SPECTRUM SISTERS Sophie & Hannah Pycroft update us on their latest venture
CARDIFF BEAUTY CLINIC Inside Cardiff’s award-winning salon
Health & Wellness P66
LONELINESS Mindset Coach Stephen Truelove shares his advice on dealing with loneliness during these uncertain times
THE CHANGE YOU DESERVE Our new Health & Fitness Columnist, Lauren Green, is here to guide you through
TALK TO COCO Shares her experience of becoming her authentic self and being an advocate for mental health and LGBTQ+ communities
EUROPEAN SCANNING CENTRE Offers open MRI service for patients during the Covid-19 crisis
Barry & The Vale P42
WEST QUAY ESTATE & LETTINGS The friendly estate agency you have been looking for
BARRY ISLAND GIN Barry Island now has its very own gin
SIMON BASTON We sit down with the man behind the Goodsheds in Barry
THE BOX EDIT Ashley & Helen share their journey on establishing their boutique 4
VOLVO SUVs The new electric offerings
olvo’s commitment to the environment has been a cornerstone of the brand for decades, and alongside Safety, it has been one of the most important factors considered for every car manufactured. The full range have offered hybrid engines for some time now, and the XC40 Recharge full electric is now available to configure and order, with the actual models coming in early next year to purchase at dealerships. This flagship fully electric model comes with all the usual standard and optional features across the range such as 360 camera which gives you a birds eye view of with an impressive 260 mile range and can be 80% charged in just 40 minutes.
emissions at all. No carbon dioxide. No particles. No nitrogen oxide. The reasoning behind the design of the XC40 Recharge is to reduce environment impact, including the use of sustainable material. For example, the interior carpeting is entirely made of recycled plastic. The vision is that 25% of all plastics in Volvo cars will be made from recycled materials by 2025. At the end of the car’s lifecycle, the battery and 95% of the complete car can be recycled – ensuring that limited resources can be reused again. FAQS How much does it cost to charge the battery of the pure electric XC40 Recharge? • The cost for electricity varies depending on local conditions, but the cost can be lower compared to petrol or diesel. The lowered fuel cost is also one of several reasons to switch to an electric car. And for even lower costs, you can pre-set your pure electric XC40 Recharge to charge at the times when the tariffs are the lowest, often at night.
Performance wise, a highly impressive 0-62 mph for the compact SUV delivers in just 4.9 seconds from its 408 horsepower electric motor.
How much maintenance and service is needed for the pure electric XC40 Recharge? • The electric motors are sealed for life and maintenance-free. So compared to a combustion engine-propelled car, the pure electric XC40 Recharge needs much less maintenance which may result in lower running costs.
The XC40 Recharge emits no tailpipe
How much can I tow with the pure
electric XC40 Recharge? • We believe you should be able to drive pure electric without compromising on everyday versatility. That’s why the pure electric XC40 Recharge can tow up to 1,500 kg/3307 lb.
What is the load capacity of the pure electric XC40 Recharge? • Smart battery design means all occupants have as much space as in an ordinary XC40. This also gives uncompromised versatility and smart storage solutions. The rear load compartment capacity is 413 litres above the load floor. The battery encroaches on the space below the load floor, but this is to a large extent compensated by the front load compartment under the hood, which offers space for charging cables and other items. For more information or to book a test drive or consultation, call us on 02920 644 300 or visit volvocarscardiff.co.uk where you can talk to us on live chat or send us a message.
*Important Information. Finance subject to status. 20% minimum deposit. Maximum term 36 months. Minimum £8,000 to finance. 18s or over. T&Cs apply. At the end of the agreement there are 3 options: (i) Part exchange the vehicle, (ii) Pay the Optional Final Payment to own the vehicle or (iii) Return the vehicle. Further charges may be made subject to the condition or mileage of the vehicle. Offer on selected cars excludes XC40 and NEW plug in Hybrid. Guarantees may be required. Volvo Car Financial Services, RH1 1SR. Abbey Garages Ltd, trading as Volvo Cars Cardiff, are a credit broker not a lender for this financial promotion. We can introduce you to a limited number of carefully selected finance providers and may receive a commission from them for the introduction.
THE SHOP LOCAL INITIATIVE Pink and Green Leopard Throw Designed by Alis in the comfort of her own home studio based in Cardiff, the ALIS KNITS THROWS are knitted with 100% fine lambswool on a hand powered knitting machine. A luxurious statement piece for your home. Measurements: 170cm x 115cm. £175 www.alis-knits.com
Christmas Trio The White Daffodil’s Christmas Trio consists of 3 mini Cube Candles. Each candle is packed with 3 of their festive scents and hand poured with our vegan friendly Cocosoy Wax. Each trio of candles are presented in a Kraft window gift box and finished with a Christmas hand-tied bow. £15.99 www.thewhitedaffodil.com
SHOP LOCAL Now more than ever, local businesses need our help. In every issue, we at Style of the City will highlight the best of what our local brands have to offer in our Shop Local Initiative. Take a look!
‘Woodland’ Screen Printed Cotton Tea Towel Anna Palamar Designs produces original handcrafted wares. Treat yourself to the fantastic homeware collection, from original screen prints, hand poured candles to quirky tea towel designs. £10 www.annapalamardesigns.com
Midnight Ring The midnight ring is made from eco silver and has a lapis lazuli stone set in it next to the silver crescent moon, the ring is adjustable for comfort and ease. You can also find these rings at Makers Arcade pop up in the Morgan arcade (Cardiff). £40 www.rhiankate.co.uk 8
THE SHOP LOCAL INITIATIVE Calla Lily Pendant A stunning handcrafted Calla Lily Pendant, combining gorgeous top grade freshwater pearls and sterling silver. A beautiful & timeless collection inspired by Art Nouveau. Dimensions: Silver calla lily pendant, 1.5cm long, set with a 0.6cm freshwater pearl. Assorted lengths. From £85 www.emmakatefrancis.com
Florence Dress The Box Edit Boutique is based in Barry, South Wales. A small box of style offering an alternative to chain store shopping. Size: XS – XL. £45 www.boxeditboutique.co.uk
Yoga Bag These beautifully handmade Hemp and Organic Cotton Yoga Bags will brighten up every home or yoga studio. Each collection raises awareness for a different cause from mental health to modern slavery, breast cancer, gynaecological cancer and more. £55 (Free UK Shipping) www.elizaelizauk.com
Hamptons A Taste Of Wales Hamper Indulge in Hamptons Luxury Hampers, packed with glorious things to eat, drink and enjoy. Their Taste of Wales Hamper is packed with a delicious selection of Welsh artisan foods and can be ordered in store, by phone, or email firstname.lastname@example.org £48.99 www.hamptonspenarth.co.uk
The Throw Company Silver Softee is the newest addition to their super soft Marilyn faux fur range. This delicate Dove Grey Faux fur is incredibly soft to the touch which makes it perfect for accessories worn close to the skin. Imitating the softest Chinchilla fur, the dense fibres produce a very thick and luxurious pile. A must have, if you want a super soft faux fur. Silver Softee Throw £115 Silver Softee Cushion £35 www.fauxthrow.com 9
CLEARWATER PARADE An exciting expansion has come to Lakeside
new beginning is among us, as Lakeside Shopping Parade in Cyncoed welcomes new businesses to the area. Waterloo Tea has gained new neighbours, as Cardiff Dough & Co, The Elephants Ear, Wing Stack, The Dropbar Workshop and the Indie Superstore have opened at the development. This expansion aims to help support local businesses in the area. The community of Cyncoed will now be able to indulge in sweet treats, buy urban jungle-inspired plants, experience an independent market, which offers vintage clothing and arts & crafts, and access to bicycle maintenance, craft beers, fine wines and good food. As a member of the Welsh Independent Restaurants Collective, Kasim Ali feels that such initiatives can play a crucial role in allowing new startups to test their concepts before they commit capital into longer-term projects. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The launch of the new concept has added vitality and zest to the area and we hope that the nearby residents will appreciate what has now been created on their doorstep. I hope that we can use this as a model for other areas also, and help re-address the balance between national chains and locally owned businesses. The impact of local businesses on our economy is huge and we should support the shorter supply chains as much as possible. Credit needs to be given to the landlord Silver Crescent Developments and also Shaz Haris who has orchestrated the renewal of the parade.â&#x20AC;? Many know entrepreneur Shaz Haris who co-founded the Corporation Yard in Canton. He is also the architect in leasing out the businesses that will now complement the area of Cyncoed. As first seen at The Corporation Yard, Mr Haris has brought Wingstack to Lakeside with business partner Jay Rahman-Miah. Locals can now enjoy
their tasty wings with stacks of flavour!
Clearwater Way, Cardiff CF23 6DL.
The new development of local businesses is now open to the public. Visit Lakeside Independent Collective at
Follow Clearwater Parade on Instagram @ clearwaterparade for more information.
CALLING ALL BUSINESSES... ...your community needs you!
Funding is needed for the Moving Around Safely App, which aims to help locate your nearest defibrillator. Maxine Ah-Mun hopes to develop the Moving Around Safely App, in honour of her son, Mason, who sadly passed away at the beginning of this year from Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome. She writes an open letter in hope to receive funding for the development of the Moving Around Safely App.
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The Change Makers
In such an unprecedented year, focusing on those who have made a positive change in our community, changing perceptions, eradicating stigmas and pushing the narrative is something we were keen on highlighting in our current edition. We highlight Cardiff’s first black Lord Mayor and those breaking boundaries within their chosen fields. DANIEL DE’ATH - The first black Lord Mayor of Cardiff SCOTT MCGLYNN - LGBTQ+ Lifestyle Creator B WRITTEN - Cardiff’s Upcoming Music Artist GABIN KONGOLO - Cardiff’s Rising Star VICTORIA SALMMAN - Founder of the feminist digital platform, The Cerve CHARLOTTE MORGAN & AMY HOLLAND - Changing the face of female networking
The First Black Lord Mayor of Cardiff
What inspired you to get involved in politics? I come from quite a political family, my grandfather was a County Councillor and he was a big inspiration. I also grew up in a deindustrializing mining town, but we were quite close to some of the wealthiest areas in the county, where people lived very different lives, and had very different expectations of what life could offer and their place in the world. That was certainly a strong factor, too. How do you feel being the first Lord Mayor of black heritage of the Capital City of Wales? It’s a huge honour to have been the Lord Mayor of Cardiff. The office goes all the way back to 1126 – which is quite incredible to think about. I really wanted to make sure I
IT’S A HUGE honour to HAVE BEEN the Lord Mayor OF CARDIFF
Daniel De’Ath was the 115th Lord Mayor and the first Lord Mayor of black heritage of the Capital City of Wales. It was a privilege to discuss the changes the former Lord Mayor made during his time in office.
did the role justice, especially as you’re in the public eye so much. The role of Mayor is strictly non-political, so you have to be mindful what you say, but I felt it was
important to talk about being black and my life and my experiences. There are very few black people in Welsh politics so people seem to have taken quite an interest. What changes do you hope to have been able to enforce in Welsh politics from this? I hope seeing a black person in this kind of role has had a positive effect. I don’t think it’s something people are used to and that’s something we certainly need to change. The events of 2020 have politicised a lot of new people, particularly young people, and hopefully, it’s encouraging for them seeing someone slightly different in a high profile role. What achievement are you most proud of during your time as the Lord Mayor of Cardiff? I’m proud of the events around me calling for the statue of the tyrannical slave owner Sir Thomas Picton to be removed from Cardiff’s City Hall where the Council meets. Not only did Cardiff Council vote to remove it but it
seems to have toppled dominos which saw the Welsh Government go on to promise to review all statues and street names in the country for links with slavery. The Queen has ordered a picture of Picton in the Royal Collection to have details of his horrendous deeds added to it and St Paul’s Cathedral is removing a monument to him. It also prompted Cardiff Council to set up a Race Equality Taskforce, which I’ve been invited to sit on, which will hopefully materially improve the lives of minorities in the city. I never imagined it would blow up so much. I was invited to Sky News several times, The BBC, and to The Daily Mail repeatedly. It’s all been quite phenomenal. Why did you decide to choose Welsh Woman’s Aid and BAWSO as the Lord Mayor’s charities for 2019/20? I’ve previously studied social work which involved me volunteering with BAWSO, which is a charity providing support to victims of domestic abuse and human trafficking, and a placement with a charity that was part of the Welsh Woman’s Aid network – so they seemed obvious choices really. They’re very different kinds of charities to the ones Mayors normally pick, but I think in the way the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted the need for potentially uncomfortable conversations around race, I think there’s also a need for something like that to take place around things like gender and class too, and this is a small step in that direction. The Coronavirus lockdowns have highlighted the seriousness and prevalence of domestic violence and gender inequalities. What impression of yourself, as Lord Mayor, do hope to have left with the people of Cardiff? I hope people have found me open, accessible and a bit more laid-back – whilst still having sufficient gravitas. We’ve also tried to get out and about as much as possible in the community, to lots of primary schools and events like the Butetown Carnival and things in the inner city. I love Cardiff and it’s been a privilege to represent the capital city. How do you feel about being defined as a change maker? It’s nice if people think of me that way, but I certainly think a lot of the change I’ve achieved has come about through being part of the mass mobilisation of people coming together around Black Lives Matter. These are things we’ve achieved together. By the strength of our common endeavour, we achieve more than we achieve alone. What’s next for your career? I’ve been selected as a candidate to stand on the regional list for the South Wales Central area in the 2021 Welsh parliamentary elections, which I’m very much looking forward to. I’m @DeAthCardiff on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram if you’d like to keep up with how I’m getting on!
Podcast Host & Online Lifestyle Creator Scott McGlynn is an author, LGBTQ+ activist, podcast host and online lifestyle creator. He is best known for creating the hit LGBTQ+ celebrity and gossip hit podcast ‘The Scott McGlynn Show’. He shares all with Style of the City. What inspired you to create the hit podcast ‘The Scott McGlynn Show’? I was so open with my previous book ‘Out’ and had a great response from it on my press tour. There, I met elderly men in their 70’s who were now openly gay and were so inspired by my journey and how I overcame bullying during school; they couldn’t believe society was still like this. I’ve also always been into my celebrity gossip and magazines so I wanted to combine the two. I created a podcast to share my journey and to interview celebrities for my audience. My guests have shared their coming out stories, career journies and so much more. It was really big in America and at the time no one really had anything similar with an LGBTQ+ voice and a showbiz/career base podcast all mixed into one. As a change maker, what message do you want to convey to you’re audience? I want to spread the message that you can be open about your sexuality, be loud and be who you are. I think this year so many people have come out, so the times are changing. What inspired you to become a voice for people in the LGBTQ+ community? I’ve always wanted to do something to spread awareness. I hated school, but I gained five good friends from that experience. I’ve also been lucky enough to have met my partner, who I’ve been with for over 10 years now. So, I wanted to share my story to show that the low times do get better. The response I’ve had has been amazing. Again, whilst I was doing my book tour I met the parents of these teenage boys and they could relate to my experience as it’s still an issue in schools today. I left school a while ago, so I only know what’s happening
through people sharing their experiences online, but these students are still sadly living through it. Did you have any support system whilst in school to help you through it? And, what would you like to see implemented in Schools to help students come to term with their sexuality? No I didn’t have a support system at school unfortunately. My teachers never really knew how to handle things with my bullies. Apart from sometimes telling them off, it was just a constant cycle that kept repeating itself. There was nothing to help with the mental health side of things either. But they weren’t trained on how to manage those situations back then. In school, I always tried to be inviable, because if you’re invisible they can’t get to you. My motto in school was head down, don’t speak and then people can’t say anything. I suffered quite badly with my speech because I would mumble and couldn’t
look anyone in the eye. But, now they have LGBTQ+ groups in schools, where students can share their feelings and feel support from their peers, which is amazing. I think the school system has now changed so much more, which is incredible. I’m not sure what training they provide teachers with now, but I feel that they should be aware of how to deal with every situation. Any advice to those who are struggling with their sexuality? There’s so much support now and people’s attitudes have changed. I remember when Will Young came out and it was on the front page of every newspaper, now it wouldn’t be such a big deal. There are also so many people in the public eye for teenagers to relate to now, like Sam Smith and Harry Styles, so they should take that inspiration and be confident enough to be themselves. Follow Scott on Instagram @ scottmcglynnoffical.
B WRITTEN Cardiff ’s Upcoming Music Artist
B Written is an independent British singer and songwriter rising out of the inner city of Cardiff. He sits down with Style of the City and shares his journey of breaking into the music industry. What inspired you to pursue music? Like most young people I felt the pressure of “fitting in”, knowing what to do with my life and generally figuring stuff out. It can get tough at times, especially if you come from the type of deprived area I do - it’s very easy to get lost in the situation or even lose yourself. I luckily found an avenue which allowed me to express myself through performing. Early on I joined a dance collective that allowed me to perform all over the UK and internationally in the World Hip Hop Dance Championships. This fuelled my desire to express myself more, but I wasn’t scratching the itch I had to make a difference to peoples lives, so I decided to pursue teaching which drove me to study and eventually lecture students in college.
Through your music what message do you hope to convey to your listeners? The message that I hope to convey to my listeners is don’t be afraid to be yourself and do what you want to do! It is really tough breaking away from the crowd sometimes. I just want to contribute to that learning process. If you have a dream or passion then you need to fight those fears and doubts, chase it and enjoy the journey not just the destination. Love for others what you love for yourself and actions speak louder than words! You have performed alongside some well-known artists what has been your favourite performance to date?
LIKE MOST young people I felt THE PRESSURE of “fitting in”
Coming from Riverside, Cardiff, did you find any challenges trying to break into the music industry? Coming from Riverside there were challenges breaking through, as the music scene in Cardiff is not as big as cities like London, Manchester and Birmingham. There are also other challenges like finding professional recording studios to record, videographers for videos etc. However, I have been blessed with finding the right people and now have a great team that I can build with and supports me to bring my ideas to life.
My favourite performance to date was supporting Ashanti in my home town, Cardiff. That was an overwhelming
experience, supporting one of the biggest artists of a generation. Because it was in my home city, I got to enjoy this with some of my loved ones, which made the whole experience an even better memory. I am so grateful for having that opportunity! How do you feel about being a change maker? This is something that really drives me! I’m conscious about making music that talks to people and has real meaning, without having to restrict myself by what’s “hot” or “current”. I feel like I am a voice for the voiceless, speaking on things that some might be afraid to talk about. It’s all about the energy, authenticity, creativity and expression – that’s B Written.
GABIN KONGOLO CARDIFF’S RISING STAR
What inspired you to peruse a career in acting? I came across acting by accident. I wanted to go on a school trip that made us miss a day of school but, to do that, we had to join the after school drama club. Since then, I’ve loved it and knew I could take it further.
EVERY NO should remind you WHY YOU want the yes
Gabin Kongolo is a 22-year-old actor from Cardiff. His credits include ‘Bulletproof’ (Sky One), ‘Doctors’ (BBC) and ‘Against All Odds’ (Universal/Motown). Gabin grew up in Cardiff and is trying to make a change through his craft and inspire young and older people to chase their dreams. He shares his journey with Style of the City.
What are some of the challenges you have faced and overcome in your industry? I think dealing with rejection is one of the biggest challenges. You hear so many no’s and at first, you take it personally but then you realise, it has nothing to do with you and you learn that whatever job you didn’t get, isn’t meant for you. Every no should remind you why you want the yes. How do you feel about being labelled a change-maker and inspiring others to pursue a career in acting? Man, it’s an honour to be labelled as a change-maker. I’m still so young and still got a long way to go because there are so many things I still want to accomplish as a young black actor from Wales. There’s a lot of change in my industry that I hope I’m at the forefront of and gives people younger and older than me the belief that they can act and chase their dreams. Tell us about your new featured role in ‘Against All Odds’? I play the character of Yemz in ‘Against All Odds’ which is directed by Nicky Slimting and Femi Oyeniran. The film is about the beginning of Grime music and what a young MC would have to juggle to chase that career. My character Yemz is Active’s (main character) manager and he keeps everything
together when things go wrong no matter what obstacle comes his way. What is next for you? I have got a couple of things lined up. I have
got a personal project called My Skin Is My Logo coming, and I have also got a film that I am making with National Museum Wales. Who knows, there also may be ‘Against All Odds’ Part 2.
VICTORIA SALMMAN Founder of The Cerve
Victoria Salmman created the digital platform, The Cerve, which gives everyone access to material on female empowerment. She shares all with Style of the City. Why did you feel it was important to create this platform? Before The Cerve, there wasn’t a platform collating what to read, watch and listen to in the female empowerment arena, so that all of this amazing material could be found in one place. Many publications and platforms for women focus on beauty and fashion. I was also having conversations with my friends about the empowering things I was discovering and they would say, “how do you find all this?” So, I recognised that there was a gap in the market. When did you realise you were a feminist?
The most googled feminism questions are: • Why are feminist so angry? • Do feminists hate men? • Does a feminist have to be female? Would you like to set the record straight on these assumptions? I think female anger is misconstrued. I’m angry about gender inequality a lot of the time and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Anger for me is a huge motivator. I think when we talk about women being angry, we see it negatively, as women are “supposed to be meek and mild” and this is one of the problems that feminism is trying to tackle. Women can be angry and can be competitive without being aggressive.
I WAS a feminist before I KNEW WHAT a feminist was
I was a feminist before I knew what a feminist was. I’ve always been very passionate about equality and fairness. I believe this is the reason that I was drawn to a career in Law, that sense of seeking justice. When I joined the workforce, I became more aware of the impact of gender in business and began discovering books like Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, which made me realise that feminism isn’t this historic term linked to the SUFFRAGETTE MOVEMENT, it’s still very relevant today.
In terms of men-hating, it annoys me when women preface their feminism with “oh, we don’t hate men”. Ultimately, it’s the patriarchy that feminism is battling, a lot of men uphold the patriarchy, a lot of men benefit from the status quo and so they don’t
necessarily want to change it. I feel frustrated at men who do that and am not afraid to say that. I don’t think people should be intimidated by feminism, women aren’t trying to strive for global domination, we’re trying to achieve the same opportunities, the same access and the same treatment that men have. In terms of ‘does a feminist have to be female?’, absolutely not. You can have misogynistic women and feminist men. How do you feel about being defined as a change maker? I’m so passionate about women’s rights and what can be accomplished by women, and the injustices we currently face. So, being able to create change and inspire women to create change is an incredibly privileged position to be in and I’m humbled by that opportunity. Read more about The Cerve on www.thecerve.co.uk
CHARLOTTE MORGAN & AMY HOLLAND
Co-founders of Warrior Women Collective
How did you come up with the idea for Warrior Women Collective, and how did you make it become a reality? It all began back in 2017 when we decided to create a networking event with a difference in our home town Cardiff. We wanted to create a space where women could share their experiences and like-minded women could be inspired, learn and make meaningful connections. Traditional networking events generally didn’t benefit our careers, but also us as women, and typically didn’t really shine the spotlight on the issues that women face daily - in careers or day to day life. We also were coming across incredible women, who all had their own journeys, experiences and knowledge and we thought wouldn’t it be incredible if we got these women in a room, with a whole load of other women. Fast forward three years, and we have held over 30 sell-out events and over 2,000 women have attended, our online community of supportive and like-minded women is growing and we produce thought-provoking, inspiring content through our newsletter and podcast. Who/ what inspired you to create this brand? Amy and I both studied marketing together at university (which is how we met) but went on to have very different career routes - I went down the marketing communications route and Amy the third sector - however, we still came up against the same issues regardless of our different careers so why couldn’t there be an event that would be suitable for both of us?
WE WANTED TO CREATE a space where WOMEN COULD SHARE their experiences
Co-founders of Warrior Women Collective, Charlotte Morgan and Amy Holland, launched their brand in 2017 with the aim of creating a space for women to share their experiences and be empowered and inspired by other like-minded women. Since then Warrior Women Collective has grown in popularity. They share all with Style of the City.
Traditional networking events are great but they are often suitable for one type of person and role. They didn’t benefit either of us and certainly didn’t delve into issues that impact women such as gender equality, gender pay gap, climbing the career ladder, juggling child care, maternity leave, imposter syndrome, post-natal depression and other issues that can impact women. We also questioned the connections that were being made at traditional networking, were they meaningful? Could they really benefit you? Why did these type of events need to be suitable for just one type of person? We always get our panel to share their journeys to where they are today because it’s through these journeys that women have their own unique experiences and advice to share.
pick their brains. Moving our events online as meant that we are able to reach an even wider network and bring more people together to connect, with attendance from all over the UK and even across Europe. Where do you see this platform heading in the future? We have such exciting plans for WWC in the future, we have recently just completed a Crowdfunding campaign where we successfully reached our funding target. We have a vision of growing our tribe, expanding our online offering and hosting more events in more locations. We want to support, empower and inspire even more women.
Why do you feel this platform was needed in Cardiff? Cardiff is where we both grew up, but both moved to London together after university. We returned to Cardiff because it’s a great city that we are lucky to call home.
What subject matters do you discuss? Through a diverse programme of inspiring events, we cover a range of relevant and important subjects. Past events and content have covered everything from career to self-love, interior design to money and sustainable fashion to personal branding.
Cardiff and Wales are full of incredibly talented women, we were blown away by the talent on our doorstep here in Wales and wanted to shine the spotlight on them and
Our September online event featured an expert panel of women discussing Imposter Syndrome - a subject and issue that impacts six out of 10 women - and over 170 women
joined. Our podcast allows us to explore these topics even further. How can people get involved with Warrior Women Collective? Attending one of our events, being on the panel or our podcast, signing up to our newsletter, following us on social media and joining our Facebook group. Get in touch! From creating this brand, what changes do you hope to see in the business industry?
Networks and events like these are so important because they address an imbalance and inequality in female speakers and amplifying their voices. They also create a network and platform of female role models to inspire and empower other women to do more. Our network aims to educate and provide a platform for knowledge sharing between women. By creating a safe space for women to discuss the daily challenges that women
face, it is giving people the confidence to follow their goals which ultimately addresses issues within the business industry. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next for you both? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an exciting time for Warrior Women Collective, we will be back in 2020 with some amazing online events and planning how we can grow our online and offline offering.
Watch this space!
FASHION Scarf - £39 Plumo Trainers - £169 Pretty Ballerinas
Coat - £269 Plumo
Pumps - £169 Pretty Ballerinas Dress - £229 Plumo
Ash White Knit Jumper - £35.88 The Half Boutique
Snow Knitted Dress Long Sleeved Red - £28.69 The Half Boutique
Eva Satin Playsuit - £30.35 The Half Boutique
A timeless pattern we all need NO 5 Tweed Mini Dress - £37.52 The Half Boutique
Tartan is taking a stand as a must have this season, dress it up or dress it down, you’ll be standing out wherever you go! It’s the staple piece to every outfit Compiled by OLIVIA TUCKER
Sweater Vest - £89 Plumo
Boots - £189 Pretty Ballerinas
Alice Dress Check - £1550 Suzannah
Blazer - £1600 The Deck
Aaliyah checked mini skirt - £31 The Half Boutique
Poppy Midi Velvet Skirt in Yellow - £27.82 The Half Boutique
Peggy Bucket Hat Check - £125 Lock & Co.
Brodie Coat Sparkle Check - £2450 Suzannah
Trousers - £700 The Deck
Ihvaiana Top - £55
Ihzemira Top - £35
Ihamara Rib Knit - £45
Vijolie Top - £35 Vifine Blouse - £35 Ihalpa Cardigan - £35 Ihfionn Dress - £65
THE BOX EDIT
is an independent womenswear Boutique based at the Goodsheds, Barry Raven Jeans (BCI Cotton) - £45
Holding a curated range and offering an alternative to chain store shopping
Ihvauna Dress - £65
Iheagle Dress - £65
Ihamara Cardigan - £40 Ihbiance Jacket - £55
Ihfirolla Dress - £60
Ihkanabila Jumpsuit - £70
Ihfionn Top - £45 Ihdantan Shirt - £45 Vilosana Dress - £60
MOSCHINO Branded-tape cotton-blend sweatshirt - £165 MOSCHINO Logo tape jersey jogging bottoms - £150
CP Company zipped overcoat - £485 Emporio Armani embossed logo clutch bag - £135
XUMU Ephemeris patterned raincoat with dark finish - $470 HAREM Oversized ELI hoodie - £160
Indie vs Designer Menswear Winter 2020 Raw War hoodie (P.O.R) Adidas Superstar - £80
XUMU Regnal raincoat with detachable pockets - £680
Creative Director & Styling: Karine Laudort XUMU Contingent X marked sweatshirt - $240 HAREM Tailored joggers - £180 Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 - £180
Photography: David Wilkins - WLX Visuals Model: VM THE MODEL WARDROBE Designer brands: Dylan Capelle - Noir Nice Indie brands: Black PR
DSQUARED2 “mountain” jumper - £360 7th Heaven ripped jeans - £150 Christian Louboutin non-strap leather trainers - £1,180
HAIR & BEAUTY
DON’T FEAR CHANGE EMBRACE IT!
hange is a good thing, that’s always what we tell ourselves isn’t it? But then with so many huge changes taking place this year that are completely out of everyone’s control, how much change is a good thing is the real question we’ve started to think about here at Spectrum. 2020 has brought about a lot of differences
Sophie and Hannah Pycroft are the sisters behind the incredibly successful Spectrum Collections, the fabulous makeup brush brand taking the world by storm. Launching their brand from their garage in Wales, Spectrum Collections has grown at an incredible rate, their brushes are loved by countless celebrities, and have been called the “World’s most Instagrammable.” In their exclusive column for Style of the City the sisters will be sharing their beauty and makeup advice as well as highlighting some of their must-have Spectrum Collections brushes.
here, for a start you may have seen our new HQ situated in the heart of our home town, the Goodsheds development in Barry on our Instagram (if you haven’t where have you been?!) It may look like a pink paradise and we’re sure a lot those who do see it on our Instagram think all we do is pop champagne (well it is the season). But what this place means for us is a new phase of the business, one where teamwork is key and communication is paramount, between ourselves and with our wider audience. After spending so much of this year working separately and at times feeling quite isolated, to have a new place of work that encourages collaboration feels like a
BEAUTY huge re-fresh and one that is very welcome. It also provides some really good peoplewatching opportunities for those who walk past and have a nose! If you are still WFH or feeling isolated, some small changes can work wonders to help lift your mood, especially if you feel like you’ve been living in Groundhog Day for most of this year, and you’re now starting to wonder where has all the time gone. Why not try wearing a different colour lipstick, when you lift your mask and those around you see a bright red, we guarantee it will be a welcome flash of colour and is an instant confidence boost. We love our
vibrant warm red, ‘Jupiter’ for those days when we need that extra brightness.
Finally, if you’re after a lifestyle change, why not try doing Veganuary? Most of us will feel the need to detox after the festive season, but that is easier said than done when we don’t have easy access to gyms and fitness classes we once did. You don’t have to throw your whole lifestyle and diet into veganism, neither of us are fully vegan as it’s quite a difficult status to achieve, but just by reducing your dairy intake is a great start, our favourite drink is a coconut milk flat white from Academy. Why not make one small tweak to your coffee order and go for a dairy alternative? You might just decide you like change after all.
With the nights getting darker, we all want to feel some comfort in the evenings and there’s no easier way to achieve this than simply lighting a candle. Don’t underestimate the power of scent, if you want to relax go for more earthy notes, brighter fresher notes will help you focus, and some more comforting scents can even relieve stress. We love our Malachite candle, the scent is an earthy ‘wild fig’ and the malachite print is designed to make you feel more at ease. Malachite crystal is known for detoxifying your thoughts, we always feel like lighting a candle at the desk or in the evening is a little act of self-care that we all need right now.
Love Sophie & Hannah
Created by Dr Bob’s Balloons
Follow the sisters: @spectrumsophie @hpycroft
PURE TRAINING ACADEMY
Pure Training Academy Based inside Cardiff Beauty Clinic Are you looking to develop a new specialist skill in 2021? Pure Training Academy has a new course for you! Pure Training Academy is now offering Microblading for beginners, hosted by Charlotte McNeill, who has recently won The Official Make-Up Awards Semi Permanent Make Up Specialist Of The Year 2020 for Wales. The fully accredited training academy will be based within Cardiff Beauty Clinic. Nurse practitioner Abigail Crean will be offering dermal filler and injectable training early 2021.
Microblading for beginners at £999 Includes: • Full kit • Lifetime support • Social media & business guidance • Live models
Next course dates for 2021: • January 28th and 29th • February 25th and 26th
Advanced Microblading Machine Work at £1,200 Includes: • Full kit • Lifetime support
• Social media & business guidance • Live models • Machine Next course dates for 2021: • January 27th • February 24th For more information, please contact Cardiff Beauty Clinic at 02920 364 500 or follow the business on Instagram @cardiffbeautyclinic. www.cardiffbeautyclinic.co.uk
Helping to bring your confidence back ohanna is a qualified CPD certified Scalp Micropigmentation practitioner based in Cardiff. She was trained by the highly acclaimed award winning Brandwood Clinic, in Birmingham.
also ideal for scar camouflage, including FUT and FUE and plug scarring. Scalp Micropigmentation is the ideal solution for any type of male and female hair loss. Prior to every procedure a thorough free consultation would take place where your options would be explained including suggestions to make sure that you are comfortable with your enhancement plan.
What is Scalp Micropigmentation? Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) is a highly advanced method of cosmetic pigmentation. The procedure is noninvasive. SMP involves the use of highly specialized equipment and techniques to inject pigment into the scalp. Scalp
Contact Johanna Website www.scalpdesign.co.uk Call: 07532819752
Micropigmentation is an extremely intricate procedure with a guaranteed result. The procedure is an affordable, non-surgical solution to all types of hair loss, for both male and female clients. There are many causes that can attribute to male and female hair loss including alopecia, health problems, and side effects due to medications from cancer treatments. Contributing factors affecting male hair loss are also hereditary, with varying patterns of baldness. Overaggressive hair styling can also cause bald spots and thinning hair. This procedure is
WINE & DINE
Bashed UK Started in their kitchen, now they are here!
o Bashed, the unique burger take away is growing! Bashed pride themselves on being a burger brand ‘like no other’. Their homemade sauces and deliciously different burgers capture the LA vibe and bring it to Barry! They offer homemade beef burger patties and famous crispy chicken with a menu looking to expand very soon. Starting in their home kitchen, serving their unique burgers, was an idea to bring some Californian sunshine to people’s lives during the lockdown period. However, with the burgers selling out every single weekend and having to turn people away, Bashed knew they had outgrown their home kitchen very quickly. It was time to upscale and uplevel. Now working from a unit, after creating their own commercial kitchen space with the plans to open the front of the unit into a ‘Bash & Dash’ take away spot - people will soon have the option to preorder or walk in and out with their burgers! Bashed is a family run business with the two Bashed children involved in new menu ideas, and packaging prep. Bashed are proud to use local butchers and local greengrocers to source their delicious ingredients. Also supporting not just local but international businesses, with their chillis coming all the way from Mexico. The chillis are one of the ingredients that make the Bashed famous
chip dipping sauce that people have been requesting they sell by the bottle! The most exciting thing for Bashed is that they have so much more to share, new ideas and new flavours are coming and we are all excited
to watch the ‘like no other’ Bashed menu and brand grow! Follow the Bashed Instagram page @ bashed_uk for the official launch date and address of their new location.
COOKING BYDEI Hey Guys, My name is Shelma Dei, my love for food stems from my childhood and also being rather fussy when it comes to food. I am very passionate about food and love to create dishes that spring into mind. I love to experiment with different ingredients, often things you wouldn’t expect to put together. Due to the covid Britain has now been subjected to lockdown part two . This is unfortunate but I keep telling myself that it’s for the best and the Britain will return to business as usual soon. I was due a trip to Italy but unfortunately I had to cancel due to covid . I was reluctant to travel due to health and safety concerns. I deceived to make a Italian pasta dish that I had on a previous trip to Italy. It was tasty and nutty with a zesty tangy after taste I wanted to make the dish to feel better about kissing out on Italy. After eating the dish I was rather happy and satisfied and kept telling myself I’ll be in Italy next year. Try this dish , it will not disappoint during these trying times. Food glorious food is always a good idea.
COOKING BYDEI Shelma Dei shares her new found favourite recipes during lockdown PISTACHIO PESTO WITH LINGUINI
Serves 2-3 Ingredients 3 cups lightly-packed fresh basil leaves 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan 1/3 cup pistachio Kernels 3 cloves garlic 1 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper 150g Buratta cheese 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 25g butter 200g Linguini Half a lemon grated (lemon zest ) Method In a food processor or blender, pulse the basil, Parmesan, pistachios, garlic, salt and pepper together until finely-chopped a tiny bit of lemon juice . With the food processor or blender still running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until it is completely combined. Pause the food processor or blender and scrape down the sides, then pulse again until the mixture is smooth. Meanwhile in a boiling pan with sea salted water and a knob of butter add the linguine. Cook for 8-10 mins or until el dente once cooked drain the linguine in a colander over the sink. Now it’s ready to toss through the pistachio pesto – it’s best to do this in the pan, adding splashes of cooking water and mixing as you go until your sauce coats the pasta and is the perfect consistency. Spoon onto plate and garnish with burrata cheese, crushed pistachios and lemon zest.. Enjoy!
BARRY & THE VALE
We focus on our favourite seaside town, Barry
LOOKING TO MOVE? W
Look no further than West Quay Estate & Lettings
est Quay Estates and Lettings Ltd, the premier estate and lettings agents in Barry, aims to provide a high-quality service with a personal touch and at very competitive prices. Their friendly and experienced Lettings Team, with over 50 years of experience combined between them, will guide you step by step through the process of letting or renting a property. Located on the development of the quays, West Quay Estates and Lettings Ltd has an excellent office presence, with large window displays, in a popular busy location and has its own office car parking spaces for clients. It is also close to the Goodsheds and other local amenities on the main road leading to Barry island. What makes West Quay Estates and Lettings Ltd different?
West Quay Estates and Lettings Ltd three Core principles are professionalism, specialism and customer service. Their staff have an abundance of local knowledge, an in house independent mortgage advisor, a lettings department and recommend solicitors to help with the process moving forward. They also nurture
first time buyers purchasing their new home. With Coronavirus still looming for the foreseeable future, West Quay Estates and Lettings Ltd ensures all viewings are accompanied with Covid-19 restrictions, to keep their customers and staff safe. They offer clients access to floorplans and videos;
WEST QUAY they also highlight new property listings on Rightmove, Zoopla, On the Market, their social media channels and their website westquayestatesandlettings.co.uk. You are still able to access their office, which has a warm and friendly atmosphere with social distancing, safety screens and unmissable floor markings to follow to keep everyone safe. West Quay Estates and Lettings Ltd is open 6 days a week. For mor information visit westquayestatesandlettings.co.uk or call 01446 506 060. Meet the Team
and property values to best assist clients • Develop positive and trusting relationships with customers by addressing individual needs • Negotiate final price and draft sales contracts Lorraine’s strongest attribute is her years of experience matching clients with properties that suit their needs and streamlining the negotiation and closing the process through effective communication. She loves the personal touch that we bring to our sales. She is a great team leader and is very proud of her professional team.
new sites developments. • Assisted clients with buying and selling homes and apartments according to individual needs. • Nicola has telephone and communication skills matched by no other agent in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Nicola Davies Lorraine Baker Lorraine joined Westquay as the Branch manager on the 18th June 2018 and she has never looked back after two and half years of helping to build a very successful business opportunity where we consistently sell properties throughout Cardiff and the Vale. • Lorraine has over 33 years of Estate Agency experience and is Westquay’s Sales Valuer and she is always looking for new opportunity’s and customers to maximise the business. Stay up-to-date on market trends
Nicola Davies senior sales negotiator and has over five years Estate agency experience and is a pivotal member of the sales team Nicola Joined Westquay in 2018 and her strengths in the team are: • Ability to generate new business through targeted marketing strategies and client referrals; • Develop positive relationships with clients by staying up-to-date on individual needs, market trends and contract negotiations to carefully answer questions • She has Show homes experience and has sold many properties on our new homes and
Harriet joined the team as lettings manager in 2018 and has taken lettings in the business from strength to strength where she has built a large portfolio of properties Harriet has prepared herself for the upcoming regulation of the estate agency industry and is ARLA registered in the Residential letting and property management. The rapid growth in the lettings business has, of course, brought with it a rising number of new properties and her workload has more than doubled since she joined the business. Harriet gives 100% support to a large number of Tenants and Landlords as she is both ambitious, self-motivated and a good communicator. Part-Time Sales and Lettings Negotiators Lauren joined the team in November 2019 as a lettings negotiator and is a highly thought of as a key member of the team having previously had 9 years’ experience in the lettings and housing market. Lauren as our senior Letting Negotiator has become the public face of our lettings department and the key person who deals with our landlords and tenants. A good communicator and skilled at letting properties. Carys recently joined the team at Westquay and has quickly adapted to the key roles of Lettings and Sales Negotiator, Carys is the public face of the team and carries out the important tasks of view properties with our potential customers and is an excellent communicator and helps people along the way to purchasing or letting a property.
Lauren Dacey and Carys Edmonds
BARRY ISLAND GIN
Barry Island Gin raises a cheer with pick from Heston restaurant
It’s got golden beaches, great views and of course that famous TV show - and now Barry Island also has its very own gin, with a seal of approval from Heston Blumenthal’s Michelin starred restaurant. Barry Island Gin is a high quality, locally produced Welsh gin, made by Claire and Tim Whalley, the husband and wife team behind Craft Republic, the independent bar and bottle shop at the GoodSheds development in Barry. The new product is a labour of love for the pair, who both left high profile corporate jobs to follow their dream of opening a bar and turning their passion for craft beer, wine
and spirits into a successful, local business in their hometown of Barry. Since opening, Tim and Claire have been keen to develop a house gin for Craft Republic and worked with a Welsh distiller to choose a unique blend of botanicals, thoughtfully hand-crafted to deliver the perfect balance of juniper, citrus and spice and distilled with pure Welsh water to make a truly local gin. The result is a fresh quartet of blood orange, lime, juniper and thyme, with subtle spice notes to elevate the citrus and deliver a rounded taste that is clean, fresh and bright. The unique flavours of Barry Island Gin have already tickled the tastebuds of some prominent connoisseurs, including the chief sommelier at The Hinds Head in Bray - the Michelin starred pub run by world renowned experimental chef, Heston Blumenthal and part of The Fat Duck Group - which has chosen Barry Island Gin as its gin of the month for December. The small batch, hand crafted Barry Island
Gin is also available to buy direct and Tim and Claire have already had orders from across the UK and have been busy hand labelling and packing orders to send to Scotland, Devon, Leeds and Yorkshire, each with a handwritten note. Speaking about the business idea behind Claire and Tim have also just launched Barry Island Rum, and have other products set to launch in early 2021 as part of their range. Claire added: “It’s been tough launching a business in the middle of a global pandemic, but we’re really lucky that our hard work and planning has paid off and we’re now in a position where our dreams have become a reality; we’re bringing cool, unique and quality drinks home to Barry - by making them ourselves!” Barry Island Gin is available to buy online for £34.95 at www.wearecraftrepublic. co.uk/shop or for store pickup at Craft Republic, GoodSheds Lofts, Hood Road, Barry.
SIMON BASTON The Man Behind The Goodsheds
How developer Simon Baston put a new spin on Barry town with the Goodsheds development Situated in the centre of Barry, South Wales, The Goodsheds is the first new sustainable urban high street in the UK where people can work, eat, live and play. We sit down with the developer and creator of this exciting new concept. Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into building and developing? My interest in construction and development started at quite an early age of 13-14 years old when I worked with my fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s construction company, which led on to me, in the end, completing a degree in Construction Management. When leaving university, it was
the depths of recession so I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think I had any choice but to start my own business! To start with it was a classic any job, painting, changing gutters, any house clear-outs etc to get the business going, 1992 was quite a difficult time. As soon as we built up a portfolio of work, my father joined me and we have worked together ever since. I have spent my whole working life with my father and now my son Alex has joined us in the business. To have three generations working together, I think is a great achievement for us. What inspired you to create The Goodsheds in Barry?
To create the Goodsheds was a lifelong ambition really in terms of creating a new model where there are high levels of social collaboration and interaction. I think everybody understands now that we are moving towards a more independent nature with people reconnecting in their local areas. The Goodsheds itself is a beautiful building and directly opposite the awardwinning Pumphouse and alongside all the housing stock opposite, it just felt that there was a new start needed for this area and a huge amount of amenity needed. From this point, we took a look at what people would
SIMON BASTON probably want of a scheme and we felt it would need a place where people can work in a very innovative and cost-effective manner but also be able to cross collaboratively with everybody working there. The actual structure of the scheme can evolve as markets change and desires change.
call the Goodsheds their meeting place for what is now undoubtedly a new way of life.
What can people expect from The Goodsheds? From the Goodsheds, you can expect a full-blown “independent” experience where you can have an outdoor gym, drive-through coffee, hotel stay, many fantastic food operators, a great independent retail sector etc that we believe is the first of its kind in the UK. Next year the scheme will be finished off by adding five more serviced apartments which will be built out of small railway carriages and twenty pod offices for three to five people to work inside the confines of the Goodsheds. What we really hope is that people will make it a home from home for them and
How do you feel about your influence in changing the perception of Barry? Hopefully, as a company and the great individuals that work with us and the fantastic professional team, we have helped to improve the perception of Barry in terms of what a fantastic place to live, work and play. My whole family are settled in Barry. We have realised, especially with Covid, what a fantastic place it is with the beaches, parks, great infrastructure and now with the Goodsheds, hopefully, a huge choice. What we guess we would hope to achieve in terms of influence is for everybody to quickly understand what the Goodsheds is trying to achieve and to become a way of life for everyone. What advice would you give aspiring developers? In terms of advice to inspiring developers,
I think the most important thing is that you have to be true to yourself in terms of what the end product you want. I think the hardest thing for developers or entrepreneurs is that I generally feel you have to be able to, in your mind, see the end product and walk your way through it, taste it, smell it, feel it etc before you even start. I think this is critical to any project before you begin. For us as a company, we want to be part of a social impact movement and we want to be part of a change in terms of society reconnecting. Based on this, our advice as a company to aspirational developers is that, whilst the return of profit is essential to ensure a healthy business, producing a scheme that you are going to drive past in thirty years and still be in awe of it, is the most important point. What’s next for you? For us, our company is looking at a smaller scheme in Barry which will come to the market place the middle of next year (you will be the first to know!) which again, will add and compliment where we believe Barry is moving. Also, we just managed to gain planning permission for the conversion of Newport market into a full-blown live, work, play position and we hope to start in January with a completion for under a year. Follow The Goodsheds on Instagram @ goodsheds.
THE BOX EDIT BOUTIQUE
The Box Edit Boutique
shley & Helen opened The Box Edit Boutique at the beginning of 2020, which brought the latest fashion trends to Barry. They share their journey on bringing their vision to life with Style of the City. Creating a must-have curated collection of clothing for the woman who appreciates good clothes and great quality, that’s our main goal! Before establishing The Box Edit Boutique, we both worked in London in design and buying & merchandising at head office level for several High Street retailers (including Warehouse, Miss Selfridge, Debenhams, All Saints and Coast). Using some of these key skills and our previous fashion experience has been instrumental when building the business during Covid 19. Sourcing the right pieces is paramount. We want each garment to have longevity and we are wanting to change people’s attitude to ‘fast fashion’, which is not good for landfills! We stock well established Danish brands as well as Independent labels and hold a Conscious Edit in our shipping
that you will wear year after year.
container. Supporting labels based in the UK was always important to us, showcasing high-quality items which are ethically made from spare bedrooms and studios across Britain. This slow fashion process means there is as little waste as possible, again assisting in reducing landfills. Our Edit allows us to buy in small quantities and rerun popular lines quickly. We strive to source independent labels which are not widely available and of exceptional quality, adding statement pieces to your wardrobe
We are passionate about community and collaboration, which is why we wanted to create a small independent boutique, shopping small and shopping local is the future. Sourcing our collections during the pandemic was particularly tricky, without our fashion background it would have been a struggle; however, our knowledge of fabrications helped enormously when viewing ranges online and our skills in buying/merchandising were put to the test when logistics proved tricky in lockdown. We can honestly say we have pulled on every previous experience we have had to navigate the problems that arose in light of the pandemic. The location for our Box of Style was important to us- we both agreed that Barry was the place we wanted to open the boutique. There is an incredibly exciting vibe around Barry at the moment and it is definitely THE place to be and it feels that all eyes are on Barry. We both just love the Vale and specifically Barry! For more information, visit www. boxeditboutique.co.uk and follow us on Instagram @thebox.editboutique
Celebrating 25 years of Castle Fine Art
he UK’s top retail art company, Castle Fine Art, is celebrating 25 years of success and will be marking its landmark anniversary with a look back on some of its finest artists and collections. Over the last quarter of a century, Castle Fine Art has showcased a portfolio of limited-edition prints, original artworks and sculptures from the best contemporary artists around the world. First launched in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1995, the brand has gone on to establish itself as experts in the accessible art market and now boasts 40 prime high street locations across the UK, including London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and of course its art space in Cardiff’s biggest shopping centre, St David’s Dewi Sant. From exhibiting the work of exceptional contemporary artists to the specialist knowledge of its consultants, Castle Fine Art has built a strong reputation for offering clients exclusivity, the very best in customer service and an immersive shopping experience.
Since its launch, the team has welcomed thousands of customers, including a host of celebrity clients, supported countless charities, seen their work featured in the national press, as well as displayed in homes and venues across the world. It has
showcased an ever-expanding portfolio of limited-edition prints, original artworks and sculptures by cultural icons Bob Dylan, Billy Connolly and Ronnie Wood, as well as developed the careers of now globally collected artists such as Raphael Mazzucco,
CASTLE FINE ART
ROBERT OXLEY “I’ve worked with Castle Fine Art for six years now, and it’s been great. Without sounding dramatic, they’ve saved my life. They put me on the map artistically and they’ve given me a sense of identity, which I’ll forever be thankful for. One of the most memorable times for me was right at the beginning of my career, and it was just seeing my work in print and on the website. People could go into the gallery and see them and I could say to my family, “Look what I’ve achieved!”.”
Paul Kenton, Stuart McAlpine Miller and Nic Joly. Ian Weatherby-Blythe, Group Managing Director at Castle Fine Art, commented: “Despite it being a very difficult year for retail we are enormously proud to have maintained our strong position on the high street, and this success has been thanks not only to our amazing artists and staff but also our loyal customers. Over the last 25 years it has been wonderful to see our art transform the homes of our clients. “Working with some of the biggest names in the industry has been a real privilege, while nurturing the careers of so many homegrown artists and allowing them to be seen by a wider audience has been our honour. In our journey to make art accessible to everyone we have grown into the country’s leading retail art company, something every member of our team is rightly proud of.” If you’re a regular visitor to Castle Fine Art in St David’s Grand Arcade, you will undoubtedly be familiar with many of their amazingly talented artists. Here’s how they congratulated Castle on their silver anniversary…
SCARLETT RAVEN “Castle Fine Art has helped me beyond words. They’ve had faith in me when I’ve lost faith in myself. They know artists; they understand them and let them grow and support them in being the best they can be. Castle go beyond their role as a gallery, they are a family. “They believe in the importance of art like no other gallery I’ve worked with. Their publishing and print abilities are out of this world. Anything is possible with Castle: they believe in what they do, and they believe in you. It’s magical.”
EMMA LEONE PALMER “It doesn’t feel like a business, it feels like a family. Everybody I’ve met loves what they do. I’ve been in galleries where they just stick your art on the wall, but Castle is so much more than that: it’s an experience. I love what I’m doing too, and the synergy of my vision and paintings with their attitude just seems to gel really well.” Castle Fine Art invites you to pop into the gallery the next time you’re passing, to meet the team, here more about their history and heritage, and get the inside track on what new artists and collections will soon form part of their next chapter.
RICHARD ROWAN “25 years – happy birthday! It’s been a fantastic journey, and one that I never thought I would have been able to do. Fourteen very fast years have passed with Castle Fine Art and it’s taken me around the world and back again. I feel extremely lucky that I am able to do something like this and have so many people from Castle on the journey with me. Where next?”
JOHN MYATT “Quite simply, it has been my great pleasure to work alongside the team at Castle Fine Art. It’s a rare privilege for any artist to be represented in so many galleries by so many enthusiastic and hardworking people. I have also enjoyed meeting collectors.
Castle Fine Art Grand Arcade, St David’s Dewi Sant Cardiff CF10 2ER E: email@example.com T: 02922 130 100
Declutter your home
ust the thought of decluttering can be a daunting task. If so, then just start with small steps; allocate one hour of your time and do not be too ambitious. Try and make the task more pleasurable by playing your favourite music so that it becomes a nicer experience. A well organised home can boost your wellbeing as you are creating a more relaxed and orderly space. Kitchen – Look at your worktops for clutter. Is there something that does not belong in the designated space? If there is something on the worktop you do not use on a daily basis should it be on view? Would it be better stored in a cupboard? The less you have on view, the easier it is to clean the space. Drawers and Cupboards – Group all the kitchen utensils and decide how often you use them. We all have our favourite knives so do we need all the others we never use? How many frying pans, saucepans and baking trays do we use on a regular basis?
replenish any items until you have run out. Bathrooms – empty your medicine cabinet and put back what you use regularly. Don’t let your bathroom cabinet become the ‘graveyard of unused products’. It’s better to invest in beautiful products you love and use them up completely before you buy more. Interior design columnist Yvonne Jones has over 30 years of experience in interior design, having trained at the Royal College of Art and is founder of ‘Chameleon Interiors’ based in Pontcanna Cardiff. Yvonne regularly works for clients in London, Monaco, Italy and Spain. Her intricate eye for detail and design has seen her stay a consistent and trusted figure. Crockery – get rid of chipped and mismatched items. Food cupboards – check all the sell by dates and items you never use. Do not
Bedrooms – my best advice here is to make up your bed perfectly everyday. It sets the tone for the rest of the day. Just as a streamlined, stylish space is a must to help you rest and relax after a long day. Wardrobe space / storage – tackling this area can be a bit precious and maybe daunting so perhaps go through a drawer at a time. Put your clothes in category order, ie shirts, sweaters, dresses, etc. and consider streamlining even further into colours or summer and winter. The key point is to allocate time and not to be too ambitious. Just a few hours work is cathartic and lends towards a less stressful, organised life.
FAMILY & EDUCATION
POLLY’S BABY BLOG
Mum’s moment of truth: 2020
By Polly James eing a new parent and adjusting to a new life is challenging at the best of times, throw in a global pandemic and it’s not just your life, but the world changes before your eyes.
If you are a new parent in 2020 and still standing, give yourself a big high five! YOU DESERVE IT! YOU HAVE SURVIVED! Moment of truth. It does suck that my baby was born in a year that everyone despises
and a year that history will look back on like a scorned woman. Even though 2020 has been a massive year of change and upheaval, mentally and physically for my mind, body, and soul. I will look back at myself and all parents who brought babies into this world during the COVID-era and will admire our strength. When there was a lack of community, the community spirit shone brighter than ever. When there was uncertainty, there was support, kindness and solidarity from friends and family. As the year comes to end Christmas has extra poignancy for me. A time to take stock, try
to process what this year has thrown at us and concentrate on loved ones and focus on building new perspectives. This year has been a trigger and I take great comfort in knowing 2021 will be a year of peace. I hope! Peace of mind at least. I want to re-evaluate what is important. Who is important and what makes me happy. I think I have, just like you, been trying to survive this year and get through it week by week. There have been some awesome times don’t get me wrong, watching Indy everyday just blows my mind, we laugh so much together. I love being a Mum. I adore my family and the months we were locked in the house together were the best, the love has been strong and grows daily. I have certainly put some great foundations down for 2021, it’s just time to start living again. I’m still a little unsure on my New Years resolutions. But regardless of what they may be, I’m going to try hard to keep to them. Longer than 3 days anyway! I read somewhere that by the 3rd January most people have already broken them. That’s me when I tell myself that this year is for healthy eating! Not a chance! Haha. I just hope in 2021 to spread more positive energy on my platforms, like those sickeningly happy people on Instagram-haha. I want to be one of them in a world where it’s so easy to get bogged down on all the horrible stuff happening. Surround myself with positive, good people, follow accounts that inspire me to be a good mum and stop using social media for validation, listen to more awesome music, go to more gigs (we only hope) be a great mother, belly laugh with my baby girl everyday, be a great girlfriend and a great radio DJ. I want happy vibes only and I’ll shut out all the rest hopefully that should rub off on my mood and lifestyle. Good luck everyone... roll on 2021!
My best Mum bits of 2020...
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Fostering with Cariad
ostering with Cariad is a very small independent fostering agency based in South Wales, probably the smallest in Wales.
Originally set up as Cariad Fostering in 2008, the agency has maintained its ethos of remaining small and providing an extended family feel to foster parents and children. To this end all Foster Parents and staff get together twice a year to plan training, activities and support so that everyone takes part in the decisions. They are given lots of opportunities to provide feedback and we listen, review and adjust procedures as necessary. Although small, our foster parents stretch across the M4 corridor from Carmarthen to Newport. Our office is based in the middle in Pencoed, Bridgend, where all our training and meetings are held (COVID has prevented this from happening this year but we have adjusted to virtual meetings and support groups). We also hold lots of get-togethers and activities for the children and foster parents, for example, ice skating, paintballing, picnics, BBQs, Christmas meals and frequent support groups. We aim to provide long term stability for
children in care to enable them to achieve their best and give them a really good foundation for their adult life. To do this we need foster parents of all shapes, sizes, ethnicity and age. Then we make sure that we provide a very high level of support 24 hours. What do we look for in Foster parents? We need people who are dedicated, who will not falter at the first hurdle, who have a sense of humour, who are prepared for the ups and downs, who are willing to learn, who are willing to advocate for a child, who are prepared to attend meetings for the child and write daily recordings and have a spare bedroom. Sometimes there is a misconception for new foster parents that if they have their own children fostering will be easy as they know what to do. But unfortunately most ‘Looked After’ children have had very difficult backgrounds which may result in behavioural issues and how this is managed can be quite different from birth children. A good foster parent will therefore be open to training to help them understand the reasoning behind the behaviours and how to deal with different situations which may arise. We will support you through all this.
Cariad is committed to making the right matches between Foster child and Foster parent. We look at the specific needs and interests of the child and match those with the interests and ability of our Foster Parents. This has worked successfully over the years and many of our children are placed with their foster families on a long term basis. We have supported carers to adopt children or prepare children for adoption, to take on Special Guardianship orders for children, to enable young people remain with their foster families post 18 under a When I’m ready Scheme, to return to family or to go onto independent living. That is not to say that we don’t need carers who are looking to offer short term or respite care. A good mix helps provide stability and continuity of care within Cariad. Cariad has a reputation for providing an extremely high level of support and training to our Foster Parents on a one to one basis and in group form. Foster parents are allocated a supervising support worker who will visit regularly, offer support at meetings and get to know the family and foster child extremely well. The advantage of being small is that Foster Parents have the opportunity to get to know all staff and vice versa. We offer in-house out of hours support so when you phone you know exactly who you will be talking to. If you think you would make a good foster parent please contact us on 01656 861650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
HEALTH & WELLBEING
Mr Gywnfor Lewis with his physiotherapist and bike, at the Vale hospital
Health Change Makers
hether in the pandemic or during ‘normal times’, Nuffield Health Cardiff and Vale Hospitals is on hand to make huge improvements for people, so they can get on with enjoying their lives in comfort. Here we talk to patients who have experienced superb care from surgeons, physios, nurses and healthcare staff at the two Cardiff independent hospitals, part of the UK’s largest healthcare charity. These stories show how being a change maker is everyday work.
surgery just walking more than 200 yards was impossible and the knee problem was affecting my ankles and my feet.” “From my arrival at the Vale hospital through to the aftercare provided, I could not have felt more at ease. From day one, I was up and about with a frame. The Nuffield Health physiotherapists even arranged to adjust my bike to make sure it was the right set up for me! I spent a week at the Vale hospital and it is really friendly.” “After my knees were fixed, I got active again quickly. I can’t put into words how fabulous the hospital is – it’s utterly unbelievable! I would heartily recommend it, especially Mr Pemberton.”
Two New Knees
A Return to Sight
Retired owner of an agricultural merchants, Mr Gwynfor Lewis, of Lampeter had led a very active working life and very much wished to continue cycling in his retirement. In 2019, he had two partial knee replacements at the same time and rigorously followed his physiotherapy routine to return to full fitness. He was bowled over by the care and attention of the entire team and has nothing but praise for everyone he met there and was soon back
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr David Pemberton to cycling 30 miles in a day. Gwyn says,“ The nature of my work did cause a lot of wear and tear but I do have good upper body strength. It was probably because of this and my determination that my surgeon, Mr David Pemberton, decided that I would cope with having both knees operated on at the same time. Before the
After nine months of sight loss with cataracts in both eyes, at 70 Mrs Judith Palmer was at risk of losing her sight permanently until she was referred to Mr Dan Morris of Nuffield Health Cardiff and Vale Hospitals, which totally changed her outlook. Mrs Palmer regards herself as being’ very, very lucky’ for coming under Mr Morris’ care. She had no experience of hospitals or operations and says she is a very nervous
NUFFIELD HEALTH At both the Nuffield Health hospitals in Hensol and Cardiff Bay, I had consultations, X-rays, MRIs, nerve blocking injections and physio, with an excellent experience at both hospitals clean, friendly and most hospitable! After my laminectomy and discectomy I came out of hospital two days later. My back was very painful to touch for about 10 days. Six weeks later, I was back at work and darts soon after, with my mobility much improved.”
Mrs Judith Palmer after her procedure hospital team.”
Spinal Surgery Success
Consultant Ophthalmologist Mr Dan Morris individual but he was able to put her at ease and explain everything in detail. She says, “I recommend Mr Morris to everybody. If you can afford it, it is worth every penny, not just for yourself but for your whole family to benefit.” Mrs Palmer was overjoyed by her experience, saying, “The Cardiff Bay hospital was excellent and they try to do everything for you to make you comfortable. The staff there treated me like royalty – they are a real credit.” Pleasantly surprised, the instant the eye pads were removed, her vision was as clear as crystal. Mrs Palmer says, “Everything was so bright and I no longer need my glasses, except for reading! The moon that night looked amazingly crisp – it was unbelievable! I was able to watch my grandson play rugby on TV and enjoy looking at photographs again. Having cataracts gives you a massive appreciation of sight problems - the limitations of doors, steps, caring for yourself and how the whole family is affected. We are so very grateful to Mr Morris and the whole
IT specialist and League darts player David Cheal had suffered with back problems for 10 years and when it spread to sciatica in his leg and worsened, he underwent microscopic surgery at the Vale hospital. He is now pain free and can enjoy both being active and being able to sleep. Patient Mr Cheal describes his symptoms and treatment, “Standing still for more than a couple of minutes kicked the sciatica off in my left leg, tightening all my muscles and causing numbness in my leg. I was in a lot of pain for the rest of the day with sitting down providing the only relief. Simple things like boiling a kettle or chalking a game of darts left me in a lot of pain. Walking slowly also kicked off the sciatica. I have corporate health insurance, so thankfully I was referred to consultant spinal Neurosurgeon Mr Iqroop Chopra. “
Spinal Neurosurgeon Mr Iqroop Chopra “Mr Chopra and every member of staff that I met at the hospitals were very good to me. My consultant is a friendly, kind and knowledgeable man who did his upmost to keep me informed from my very first visit to my post op appointment. I would thoroughly recommend this procedure.” To get back to feeling like yourself again, make an appointment with a Nuffield Health specialist. Visit www. nuffieldhealth.com/hospitals/cardiff-andvale or call 02920 836714 - a very warm and professional welcome awaits.
Patient Mr David Cheal (right) and his teammate with their winning darts trophies
A proud son of the South Wales Valleys, Stephen Truelove is a mindset coach with over 20 years experience, co-author of The Therapy of Cooking with Cardiff restaurateur Giovanni Malacrino and author of A Journey of Discovery and Self-Learning. Having experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows of life, Stephen developed the Love Life Love You process, Breaking Limitations, and now helps people tackle anxiety, depression and other obstacles to become the best possible version of themselves.
The Other Epidemic
LONELINESS All the lonely people, Where do they all come from? - The Beatles, Eleanor Rigby
By Mindset Coach Stephen Truelove oneliness - a natural survival mechanism.
We may have destroyed or subdued virtually all other life on earth, but deep down, biologically, psychologically, we’re not predators - we’re prey. And we don’t want to be all alone when that sabre-toothed tiger turns up. With people we know and trust, even a beloved dog, we feel safe and cared for, sleep better, worry less. Heart rate and blood pressure are lower, depression rare. But like any other social animal, in solitary
confinement we start to unravel. So with Christmas round the corner and Covid still upon us, what can we do to help one another and ourselves?
But I’m in touch with old friends and family, have plenty to do, eat and sleep regularly and can relax with a good film, an online pub quiz or whatever. (Social loneliness)
Which of the following are You?
No one’s coming home to me again ever and I don’t ring anyone because they’re all busy and wouldn’t want to talk to me anyway. Even if I could go out, I wouldn’t because I’m useless with other people and they’re better off without me. I’ve lost faith in everyone and everything, including myself. (Psychological loneliness)
I’m stuck in my cave and I want to be out seeing people, but someone will be home later or I’ll ring a good friend and make sure all’s well. (Circumstantial isolation) I’m stuck in my cave and no one’s coming round because my partner left and I don’t know anyone here.
GREEN won’t do much harm in the long
run (how long it feels like to you will depend on your age, situation and social skills) if you keep busy and look out for your health and your friends. Solution: Wait it out, try to help others in a worse hole, keep in touch with existing friends and family - we are physically separated, don’t get socially isolated AMBER is genuinely lonely, but susceptible to self-help of one sort and another, some of which seems to be already on board. Anything from losing a partner to going away to uni can be got over in time, often with your own resources (including your existing friends and family). You should survive reasonably well and be ready to go out and make new friends again soon. So long as you don’t fall into feeling sorry for yourself, sleeping all day, eating junk food takeaways at random times, achieving nothing and never being awake when anyone calls, in which case you’ll be at risk of slipping into a real hole. Solution: With a bit of help from your friends and perhaps a bit of advice and encouragement from a professional, you should be all right eventually. Take a leaf or two out of Green’s book if you can, keep to a routine and talk to someone every day to avoid slipping into Red. RED is serious stuff and calls out for help asap. You may find that difficult, but the sooner you reach out the greater your chances of feeling massively better. If you’ve had a huge loss and somehow turned in on yourself so that everything outside seems threatening, you need help asap. This is the land of agoraphobia, getting sucked into conspiracy theories online and beaten up by strangers if you disagree. If you think you’d just be a burden or even a negative impact for others, you need help right now – the internal barriers you’ve somehow acquired won’t go away by themselves. Solution: This is a truly horrible place to be – give us a shout and we’ll help you out. NB It is possible to move from one group to another as time goes on - for the better if you make a big effort and get help if you need it, for the worse if eating, sleeping and everything else go to pot (even if you don’t). Are you Lonely or just Alone? Lonely is a feeling, alone is a fact. You can be lonely in a tiny village or a great city,
Edward Hopper, Automat stuck at home with a baby or running a great corporation, or even in a long-lasting marriage. We all need others we can be our authentic selves with. The apparent loner may be solitary but well connected. The life and soul of the party may feel part of nothing at all. Our family are the friends we’re given to get us started, our friends are the family we find for ourselves. In all the surveys, people invariably say that what they want in a friend is loyalty, understanding, kindness. It’s not about your wallet or your weight or how clever or successful you are. So just about anyone can make friends while being exactly who they are – in fact, that’s the most important requirement. © Stephen Truelove 2020
We’re strapped for space this time, but for information or advice just get in touch. ----------------------Love Life Love You Steve is available to work online and at various locations. Please visit www.lovelifeloveyou.co.uk Telephone: 07790003075 Email: email@example.com youtube.com/c/LovelifeloveyouUK Twitter: @stephentruelov1 Techniques Stephen uses include: Hypnotherapy, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Emotional Freedom Techniques, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Emotional Coding, Emmett Technique, Reiki, Matrix Re-Imprinting. Registered with the GHR, CNHC and DBS.
HEALTH & FITNESS
THE CHANGE YOU DESERVE Our new Health & Fitness Columnist Lauren Green is here to guide you through
Hello and welcome to my first very own column for Style of the City, you may recognise me from The Gratitude Edition, but if not let me introduce myself. My name is Lauren, I am the founder of Empowered Women Fitness. I am a mother, a qualified
personal trainer, a fitness instructor and I am in my third and final year of university studying strength and conditioning. My passion is fitness and my mission is to help as many women as I possibly can to gain strength and confidence through the
power of fitness. March 21st, 2020 (the beginning of lockdown) as the gyms were forced to close, at such a difficult stressful time, I knew that all of my clients and many other women would need uplifting. I went live on Instagram every single day at 10am throughout the whole of lockdown and trained with hundreds of women, these classes were more than just fitness, these classes became a huge support network for many women, throughout such a difficult time. I now train hundreds of women online every Left: Crab walk. Place resistance band above knees, get into squat position, keeping your core tight, your head and chest upright, transfer bodyweight from one side of the body to the other for 15 reps.
Above: Glute Bridge. Resistance band above knee, laying on your back, feet shoulder width apart, driving up weight through your heels, raising your hips up to the ceiling, squeezing your glutes at the top. Complete 15 reps.
THE CLEAN LEAN KITCHEN Preparation is key. In your own fitness journey whatever your goals may be, it is important to plan and be prepared. Some weeks when I am really busy I use clean lean kitchens meal prep service. Clean lean kitchen is an independent meal prep company, serving customers in the Cardiff and Vale area. They provide healthy, delicious meals, fresh to your door, using only the highest quality, fresh ingredients. They prep, cook and deliver to make your lifestyle as convenient as possible.
Above: Donkey kick. Resistance band above knees, on hands and knees, brace core, raising one heel towards ceiling, squeeze glute at the top, 10 reps on each side. day through my empowered women members only group. Empowered women members offer live workouts every day, a supportive group of women and a huge library of hundreds of workouts suitable for all women of all ages and fitness abilities. I understand that everyone has their individual fitness goals, whether it be weight loss, muscle tone, glute growth or just the feel-good factor, I have a workout suitable for you. To join empowered women members only please visit www. empoweredwomefitness.co.uk. My favourite product for working out from home is the fabric resistance band, they are small, light and can be stored away easily. A lower body resistance band workout can be just as challenging as a gym workout. Working out from home doesn’t have to break the bank, you don’t need a house full of weights and equipment. I love to use resistance bands for leg day. if you have weights at home fabric resistance bands are also useful for glute activation before your weight’s session or as an extra challenge.
Whether you’re a fitness fanatic, lead a busy lifestyle or just looking to eat cleaner, clean lean kitchen will have the plan for you. Instagram: @cleanlean_kitchen.
As we are in a global pandemic and local business need to support each other more than ever now I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourite local business that I use on a regular basis.
THE WELSH JUICE COMPANY THE WELSH JUICE COMPANY are a local company based in Cardiff. The juices they offer are cold pressed made from 100% raw fruit and vegetables, all ingredients are sourced locally, and the juices are delivered directly to your doorstep. They offer four types of juices, Green glow, Immunity, Beet it and Just Celery. My personal favourite is Immunity it is made with orange, turmeric, ginger and pineapple, they all taste amazing and are great for a boost of nutrients through the winter months. Instagram: @thewelshjuicecompany
ALEXANDRA NICOLE BEAUTY I have been going to Alexandra Nicole studio since she first opened four years ago, here she offers a wide range of beauty treatments from having your make up done, to nails and HD Brows. Al has her very own make up range of which I love. I use the lip glosses every day on my live workouts. Whenever I go here I instantly feel relaxed, well looked after and pampered. Ladies if you haven’t already you need to book in. Instagram: @al_crean_beauty.
To purchase an empowered women fabric resistance band please visit www. empoweredwomenfitness.co.uk
EUROPEAN SCANNING CENTRE
OPEN MRI SERVICE... ...for patients during COVID crisis European Scanning Centre remain open, available and COVID secure
ith the United Kingdom still adjusting to a ‘new normal’ during the coronavirus pandemic, there is a risk that many might avoid going to the doctor or seeing a specialist if they have a health concern. Medical investigations remain a valid reason for travel. If you have a health concern, don’t delay your medical care; there are still people here to help, including European Scanning Centre Cardiff. The European Scanning Centre (ESC) is a diagnostic imaging centre, with sites in London and Manchester. They offer a wide range of diagnostic imaging services and pride themselves on their relaxed and patient friendly environment.
The centre in Cardiff Gate Business Park, which contains the only Open and Upright MRI Scanner in Wales, has been carefully designed with patient’s comfort in mind. Like many businesses, they have adapted their service to the current climate, ensuring they can safely continue to operate and scan patients who need an MRI prior to medical treatment. Melanie Jones, radiographer and Centre Manager at ESC Cardiff, has worked with MRI for over 30 years and has witnessed how MRI imaging is being used more frequently in the diagnosis of conditions, treatment plans and assessment of how effective treatment has been. There are many reasons why patients are unable to use a conventional ‘tunnel’ scanner – it may be because they are claustrophobic, bariatric or have a physical difficulty. European Scanning Centre’s unique Paramed system is completely open above, behind and in-front of the patient, creating a less intimidating environment and allowing full upright, weight-bearing imaging of the major joints and spine.
Patients are able to communicate with the radiographer throughout the examination with the use of an intercom, and the special ‘U’ shape of the machine allows radiographers to see the patient at all times. Patients are also given the option of watching TV or listening to their favourite radio station during the scan - a relaxed and comfortable patient allows more accurate imaging, which in turn leads to a more clinically relevant result. The team at European Scanning Centre are happy discuss how the scanner works and what can be expected on the day of the appointment; and all staff are prepared to deal with any queries or concerns patients may have. Melanie is always on hand to reassure patients. “The health and safety of our patients, colleagues and the public is always our highest priority. There is no
need to be worried to attend for a scan,” she says. “We have taken all necessary precautions to make sure everyone is safe. We are a very small team and ensure contact is minimised. “I wear a gown, mask and gloves and everything is constantly sanitised. Most of our items are single use and we disinfect all the equipment after every patient. “Patients can park right outside the building and we advise to only bring one person with them if needed, so that we can minimise the number of people in the centre. All plants and magazines have been removed from the centre to minimise cross infection, as well as spacing out the chairs in the waiting room to maintain
social distancing.” European Scanning Centre also makes sure every patient is well enough for their appointment by asking a series of questions before the booking are made. For example, if a patient has had a cough or has been in contact with someone who has had coronavirus, they have to wait at least two weeks before booking. These extra precautions allow the European Scanning Centre Cardiff to safely continue to offer appointments to patients who need an MRI scan. Melanie is also keen to stress that the centre is not a hospital but a stand-alone clinic, allowing social distancing measures to be enforced. “We
are not a hospital and we make sure that all appointments are staggered so patients don’t come in contact with each other,” said Melanie. If you need an MRI scan, it is recommended to seek advice from your doctor as they will be able to refer you to European Scanning Centre. We work with all major private medical insurers and offer competitive pricing for patients wishing to self-fund, with all results returned to your doctor within 48 hours. To find out more about European Scanning Centre, visit europeanscanning.com or call our friendly, helpful team on 0292 073 1654
MENTAL HEALTH & LGBTQ
Talk to Coco
Coco from Talk to Coco shares her experience on becoming her authentic self and being an advocate for mental health and LGBTQ+ communities
ell, where to start?
I guess there is always the feeling of dread and self-doubt when discovering who you are, especially at the age of 14, like I was. With all the barriers in front of you that society creates and the worry of how the world may see you - this was probably the hardest part of coming out for myself. People always say to me, “how did you come out?” (I don’t like to use this term as I don’t believe LGBTQ people should have to come out as, heterosexual people don’t?). In some ways, my journey of saying out loud ‘I’m gay’, was a walk in the park and I was extremely lucky regarding my family accepting me. One day, my mum texted me and was telling me how as a mother she knew I was gay and that she had known for years and, the whole family was accepting + supporting me, no matter what. However, I didn’t quite get the same loving, happy, positive reaction from the ‘school sector’ let’s say. I’ll never forget the moment my friend texted me letting me know that the
WHOLE school had found out I was gay, and people were talking about it. I was never that person; I was popular, a well known liked human, and for the first time I felt at the opposite end - I felt so victimised and alone, that it was enough to make me not attend high school for at least 12 days. I felt depressed and even suicidal; I knew something had to give. This was the major turning point for myself. At 14 years old I had to face my fears – the fear of accepting myself - and then, nobody could ever make me feel worthless again for being myself. Now, 14 years later nearly 30 years old – I can truly say I love who I am, every part of me. Through my journey of self-acceptance, I have learnt more about myself than I knew and not to conform to the ‘social norms’ society says we should be, but instead to be who I am 100% and be proud. The LGBTQ community has a variety of people with many similarities and many differences, which is how it should be. We are able to educate and help each other out, whether that be how we identify, to who we love, and how there isn’t one box for us all to fit into, and that’s ok. For instance,
one persons’ story can educate and give understanding for others and to just have people around you that you can relate to and not feel so alone; It’s a super special bond for sure. So, my advice to anyone on their pathway of ‘coming out’, would be to take your time, it isn’t a race, just make sure it works for you, your journey and circumstances. As long as you’ve given yourself enough time to pursue your true self and can be proud and open about who you are. Remember, you’re not alone, and never will be even if it can feel like that at times. For the people that desperately inside want to scream from the rooftops, ‘I’m gay’, hold tight, don’t put pressure on yourself. Your time will come when you’re ready for that. Therefore, if you find keeping who you are locked away is effecting your mind open up! Even if it’s just to one person, it will help and you will have someone to talk to and understand the true you. Being true to yourself gives freedom, a freedom that nobody controls but you! For more advice, follow @talktococo on Instagram.
CULTURE & LIFESTYLE
or many, work and life have become less of a balance and more of a blur in these recent months. With people working from home, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see where being at work ends and being at home begins. This in turn is having a detrimental effect not just on our productivity, but also our wellness.
own home for work, Clockwise can arrange a dedicated desk. A space to call their own and connect with others. space to come to whenever their business demands.
Clockwise offices in Cardiff are dedicated to creating a safe space for businesses to turn to for a more constructive option than the kitchen table. Covid secure with the highest levels of hygiene and cleanliness, the light and contemporary space promotes a comfortable and supportive work environment. Clockwise creates space for socially distanced collaboration, but also the vital boundaries that business, and our lives, demands and deserves.
Above all, Clockwise champions the wellness of all of their members. By providing an outlet away from personal commitments, it is a place where productivity can flourish and healthy boundaries are maintained. Clockwise looks to always provide support to businesses and their people.
Private offices at Clockwise are designed for focus and productivity. Businesses can settle in and get to work, safe in the knowledge that they are supported by their own service team who are ready to make their time at Clockwise as seamless as possible.
With memberships to suit everyone; from â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;solopreneursâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to large tech firms; Clockwise can support all business types. Offering hot desking, dedicated space and private offices all on monthly rolling contracts, the flexibility that Clockwise can offer makes returning to the office a breeze. The all-inclusive packages at Clockwise mean members donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to give a second thought to utility bills, Wifi set ups, cleaning and maintenance contracts, and most importantly security who are on site 24/7. For the lone worker who wants a quiet space and a good coffee, members can make themselves comfortable in the Club Lounge. A newly refurbished space, perfect for working independently or collaboration and used to host events and conferences - when government guidelines allow Without the need for an office but a desire for a professional environment and their
To learn more about working your way at Clockwise visit: workclockwise.co.uk
LUCA MALACRINO Photo: www.yolandakingdon.co.uk
Luca Malacrino is a Welsh actor, living in Los Angeles. He has worked on over 30 projects, including works such as Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy, Coronation Street, Distant Vision with the Godfather’s Francis Ford Coppola, and his first self-produced movie, Elephants is now available to watch on Amazon Prime.
LUCID DREAMS, Quality Filmmaking, and an Inspiring Story
ello Wales :)
It explores a young lost man and his journey in overcoming social anxiety with the help from the teachings of lucid dreaming. The movie itself looks like a lucid dream, like an abstract oil painting, a fond memory. I was excited to see this motion picture and how Adam was planning on putting his stamp on it.
Oh what a wild time to be on this planet! Usually I would find an iconic place in Los Angeles to write from but since we are in our second lockdown, my bed will have to suffice. I just bought new sheets if that makes it any better? When thinking about what to write in this edition I kept wanting to share stories that inspire me and act as a distraction from all the uncertainty surrounding us. Luckily, I happen to work in the film industry where I am fortunate to know some really cool artists. Today I would like to introduce you to a good friend of mine, writer/director/actor Adam Morse. Adam and I met at a movie premiere at the Roosevelt Hotel last year and all I can remember is how inspired I was about his story and how our group demanded that we find a bar which played old school hip hop all night. It was a good memory. My head still slightly hurts. This edition of Style of The City Magazine
The film garnered great reviews, as well as being welcomed with open hands to the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Dinard Film Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival, Sedona Film Festival and Sci-Fi London. The film won 6 awards in total including 2 Best Supporting Actor awards for Billy Zane. is designated to ‘change makers’ and I can confidently say that Adam is the literal definition of that word and so much more. A change maker in my mind is someone who chooses to ignore the usual rules and definitions that have been placed within our chosen industries and prove that they are simply goal posts. Adam has just released his debut feature film, Lucid, starring Billy Zane, Sadie Frost and Laurie Calvert.
You’re probably asking what makes this specific filmmaker a ‘change-maker’? Well… Not only is Adam able to make beautiful art in an industry that is already extremely competitive, but does it while being legally blind. Yes, you read that correctly. Adam had perfect vision until 2009, when his eyesight suddenly deteriorated while he was in Dubai working as a production assistant on the film City of Life. Eventually, doctors diagnosed an
incurable mitochondrial disease, Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy. Within weeks, his musician brother, Jake – three years his junior – also began to lose his sight. The part that really inspires me is that initially, Adam did not go yelling this out to the world. He kept his lips sealed, mind focused and made his film without needing to tell anyone of his condition. It wasn’t going to dictate his life and dreams. He rolled up his sleeves and did the work. He walked the walk. When you see this film on Amazon Prime, you will be blown away by the beautiful framing, lighting, and everything in between. He not only achieved a dream, but he literally made it. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Adam and ask him a few questions! I hope you enjoy and stay safe out there!
prove that I was capable of delivering first before coming out of the blind closet. Being a changemaker can often mean that you have your own way of doing things.
How does your method of filmmaking vary from other filmmakers? I prep harder because I need to feel fully informed in advance so that on the day I can be super decisive and afford a looser approach to shooting scenes because I’ve already explored so many different ways of capturing every moment. Also, I have an abnormally large director’s monitor and I have to stand a little closer to it than other filmmakers.
lucid dreaming without having first hand experiences in the practise. I would nocturnally rehearse camera moves in my subconscious and use pre cognition to foresee the next day of filming in dream states. I also know you are a very talented actor. What have you recently been working on as an actor? I recently wrapped on Season 2 of the Apple TV+ series SEE (starring Jason Momoa), I play a witch finder called Frye who is tasked with hunting down the sighted. I did most of my own stunts because I want to surprise audiences and change the stigma that surrounds visually impaired actors, it was an awesome experience because I learnt how to horse ride and sword fight! I also acted in a short film called Suppression during lockdown to raise awareness for mental health. It’s the directorial debut of Julia Varvara and is coming out in 2021.
What are some of the rules you set yourself in life in order to grow and achieve your dreams? Don’t live in the problem and never settle for any amount of success because there is always more to be done.
QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS: 1. Dog or Cat? Dog 2. Netflix or Prime? Netflix 3. Call or Text? Call 4. Facebook or Twitter? Facebook 5. While walking: Music or Podcasts? Music 6. iOS or Android? iOS 7. What’s worse: Laundry or Dishes? Dishes
Do you feel your other senses have improved as a result of being visually impaired? If so, have these other senses shaped your style of filmmaking? Yes, my telepathy and emotional sensitivities have been heightened as a result to my sight loss and this has certainly shaped who I am as person as well as the way I work. The film Lucid looks at lucid dreaming. Did this concept of dreaming within your mind contribute to the making of this film for you? I don’t think you can write a film about
8. Bath or Shower? Shower 9. Marvel or DC? Favorite hero? Marvel - Iron Man 10. Name 3 actors you would love to work with? Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Viola Davis
Do you have any other passions in the arts, aside from filmmaking? I’m currently writing and recording my first mixtape. I will be releasing some new music in the new year. By sharing your visual impairment after the release of your first feature film, you have created a change in the way people look at disability, how do you feel about being a ‘changemaker’ in your field of work? It feels great to know that I’m inspiring people. I want to use platforms like this to uplift others and encourage everyone to be more optimistic and positive in their own situations. I’m just as passionate as being a changemaker as I am being a filmmaker. What advice could you give anyone reading who has a film idea that they’ve been putting off writing for years? Hurry up and do something about the idea because if you don’t then someone else will. If you can think it up, so will someone else.
What inspired you to become a film director? Being 6 years old and going to the cinema to see Star Wars. When making the film ‘Lucid’ was there a reason why you kept your visual impairment to yourself? Were you at all worried about being treated differently? I kept my condition a secret during the making of Lucid for that exact reason, I didn’t want to be treated differently. The truth is that we are still living in a time right now where people are discriminated for being differently-abled and I wanted to
What’s next for you? I am working on a new movie with a great company called Radar Pictures. Executive producers Ted Field and Justin Smith have attachment me to direct a brilliant screenplay about cancel culture and fake news. It’s a sci-fi/comedy that we are planning to film next year.
Alison Rose at panel event
his autumn NatWest Group set out its commitment to racial equality. Here Alison Rose, CEO of the bank, explains to Style of the City readers why it is so important that NatWest challenges the inequalities faced by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people in Wales and the rest of the UK. Our purpose as a bank is to champion potential, helping people, families and businesses to thrive. It is a clear call to action for all of us in the bank as we break down barriers that get in the way and fight inequalities that hold people back. This includes inequalities and barriers faced by people from Black, Asian and Ethnic
Minority backgrounds. These inequalities and barriers persist, and I believe we at NatWest Group have a substantial role to play in tackling them. Simply put, it’s not enough to recognise the problem; organisations like ours must be a part of the solution.
Throughout the summer they collaborated with people from all backgrounds right across the bank and beyond. They spent time listening and learning, including conducting a bank-wide survey on race, diversity and inclusion which drew over 21,000 responses from our colleagues.
In June, following the rise of the Black Lives Matter protests across the world, I established a Taskforce led by the co-chairs of our 5,000 strong multicultural network and members of my leadership team.
They carefully analysed all that they heard and learnt. And from there they planned for action.
The Taskforce’s role was to help us listen, learn and better understand the issues we are facing, and consider the key actions we can take to tackle inequalities for Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority customers, colleagues and communities.
This autumn I was proud to share their report: ‘Banking on Racial Equality: A Roadmap for Positive Change’. Informed by the Taskforce’s findings, this report outlines commitments from NatWest Group designed to make meaningful, positive change for our Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority colleagues, customers and
NatWest communities. We’ve also introduced a new target to have 3% Black colleagues in senior UK roles by 2025. We’ve introduced this target because we have a higher under-representation of Black colleagues in senior roles than other Ethnic Minority groups, relative to the UK’s working population. Getting to this point has been a joint effort. There have been many open and honest conversations taking place across all teams and levels of the organisation. Though these conversations have at times been difficult and uncomfortable, they have been absolutely vital in the Taskforce’s work. I’m extremely proud of my colleagues for the courage they have shown in speaking up, asking challenging questions, and sharing their views and different perspectives. The commitments we’ve launched build on the progress we’ve made in the last five years to become a more inclusive and diverse organisation. Alongside targets to increase Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority representation across our workforce that have been in place since the beginning of 2018, our Executive team and senior leaders across the bank have taken part in a reciprocal mentoring programme with Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority colleagues. We’ve shared inclusion learning resources in our NatWest Group Academy and are making important progress with our early careers initiatives, such as our Social Mobility Apprenticeship programme – a first of its kind in banking. However, we know that we still have a long way to go. The purpose of the Taskforce’s work was to intensify the focus and accelerate progress. The commitments we have launched will set a new standard for how NatWest Group engages and champions those from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority backgrounds. And that includes businesses and entrepreneurs. We are committed to helping create an additional 50,000 new businesses across the UK by 2023, through inspiring and supporting over 500,000 people to consider enterprise as a career option. The focus will be on underrepresented populations, with women making up at least 60% of those we support and crucially more than 20% being Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic-led businesses. We know that there are barriers within the communities we serve that we have to challenge too, and we take our responsibility to tackle them seriously. We will therefore partner with the Sutton Trust, an educational charity in the UK which aims to improve social mobility and address educational disadvantage, and the Social Mobility Foundation, a charity which aims to improve social mobility for young people, to reach communities where we have the opportunity to make a positive impact for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic audiences. And we will
Alison Rose - CEO NatWest Group further commit to researching the barriers holding back Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic entrepreneurship and acting on that research. We have also launched a new partnering scheme to match ethnically diverse entrepreneurs with our experts for tailored 1-2-1 business sessions. Business owners will gain unique access to professional support and guidance on the topics that are important to them as well as talking through their challenges. Given the role that banking plays in the lives of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic customers, it is time for us to invest more in improving our understanding of the biases in our service delivery to customers. We have acknowledged that we must change our way of working in light of this and build on previous work. To help us we will partner with organisations like the
Runnymede Trust 12 who have a history of listening to and working with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities and releasing data on their experience. To have an impact, we must act on the understanding that we gain and be prepared to innovate and change to serve Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities more fairly and effectively. I am fully committed to building a culture at our bank that will embrace inclusivity to allow everyone to thrive. At our best, we are an open, inclusive, progressive organisation, but until that is everyone’s experience every time - we have more to do. And that is what we will strive to achieve each day. Find our more about the NatWest Group’s commitment to racial equality by visiting www.natwestgroup.com/news/2020/10/ We-have-set-out-commitments-to-racialequality.html
A BRUNCH OF SOCIAL BUTTERFLIES On Thursday 19th November 2020, the Butterfly Brunch headed to the iconic Coal Exchange building for a sold-out Beaujolais Brunch. 90 mins of free-flowing Prosecco, a 3-course lunch and the best DJ’s in Cardiff put together a playlist of all things Motown, disco and soulful house. It was the number one spot for the city’s aspirational and inspirational crowd on what is the hottest date in the Welsh social calendar.
A cleaning service like no other!
illy Cruttenden and Debbie Sullivan are the founders and directors of Posh Mops. They started the business in April 2018. It was born out of love and belief that human beings thrive and function much better in clean, comfortable organised surroundings and that this optimises personal health and mental and emotional wellbeing. Jilly is a trained Beauty Therapist and Debbie is a Medical Secretary; therefore, both professions know the paramount importance of cleanliness, hygiene and maintaining it to the highest standards possible. Nevermore so now than in a Global Pandemic. The ethos behind Posh Mops In the 21st century, so many people are living such busy, stressful lives and after working long hours they are too tired to keep on top of domestic cleaning and also in such a competitive business environment Posh Mops commercial clients are relying on that â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Extra Sparkleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; that makes them stand out from the crowd. We wanted our company to also stand out from the crowd and pride themselves
on being unique, so we decided to offer extra bespoke services. These services add that special finishing touch to the stylish beautiful homes that we service. We charge an hourly rate for our services
which allows flexibility for their clients. As a team we offer a range of services from pre-party cleans to post-party cleans, deep cleans, builders cleans, end of tenancy cleans and so on. The Queens are extremely
methods. If they were good enough for our grandmothers then they are good enough for us. The old ways are the best. Top cleaning tips 1. Pure old fashioned elbow grease, if you’re not prepared to put the effort in and scrub you won’t get the best results. We as a Team are absolute grafters.
versatile, we have boxed up items for clients moving house, stripped/removed old wallpaper and one of our special unique services is ‘The Wardrobe Detox’. We can offer any kind of help in a domestic situation that could be required.
2. Zoflora is life. An extremely versatile product, it’s been killing germs since 1922 and each one smells incredible. 3. Baking soda eliminates musky smells. We like to pop a pot at the bottom of your wardrobe after a detox. It will keep your clothes smelling fresh for longer. 4. When completing our ‘wardrobe detox’ for our clients we realised a lot of people launch shoes at the bottom of their wardrobe with no organisation what so ever and we couldn’t have that! After some research, we came across these fantastic clear shoe boxes which you can stack on the top or bottom of your wardrobe and with them being clear you can see which shoes you’re looking for. These can be purchased from Amazon or eBay and are very reasonably priced and our clients love them.
As the business grew we were also getting amazing feedback on our social media and marketing. We always wanted to make it fun, friendly, relaxed and quirky to showcase how much fun we have in our job even though cleaning is very hard and physically demanding work but we wanted to show a relatable side and show everyone how much personal satisfaction we get from helping people keep their homes clean and tidy. When choosing our brand and logo we wanted something to elevate the idea of cleaning as a basic service to one that could be valued as a high profession. Calling our team of girls ‘Queens’ happened organically
following the design of our crown logo. It makes them feel special and is a symbol that they are recognised for being on the top of their game/profession. It takes knowledge, skill, discipline and teamwork to clean to the highest standard (and also maybe a bit of obsession in the mix as far as perfectionism is concerned). We maintain high standards professionally, we are trusted with access to our client’s homes and we always wanted to be approachable enough to become almost extended family members while at the same time being respectful at all times. We are grateful and appreciative for the trust and confidence they give us but we are relaxed and friendly enough to have some fun and banter with our clients. We portray that fun side of ourselves in our socials. In our experience, we find that traditional cleaning tips/hacks are the best cleaning
5. A toothbrush is our secret weapon those little guys can get in every nook and cranny and are so handy for the most intricate jobs.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07594170384. posh_mops
BOOK / REVIEWS
Monmouth-born Saul David is a historian, novelist and broadcaster. His many critically acclaimed history books include The Indian Mutiny (shortlisted for the Westminster Medal for Military Literature), Zulu (a Waterstone’s Military History Book of the Year) and Operation Thunderbolt (an Amazon History Book of the Year.)
Talking bestsellers, blockbusters and the books that inspired him to become a writer B y S A U L DAV I D
I’m making excellent headway with my latest book Devil Dogs, which follows the story of a small unit of US Marines as its fights its way through the Pacific, from Guadalcanal to Okinawa. It will be published in 2022. Meanwhile, I continue discussions to turn my new authorized history of the SBS in World War Two (Silent Warriors), out next year, into a TV documentary. More next time.
BOOK OF THE MOMENT
IN THE NEWS
This autumn saw the muchanticipated publication of Tom Bower’s biography of our PM, Boris Johnson, The Gambler (W. H. Allen, £20). The scourge of the rich and powerful, Bower has taken down, among others, Robert Maxwell and Rupert Murdoch. This latest book by our leading investigative author is not quite so brutal, yet it contains enough grim detail – in the form of ‘lies, betrayals, amorality, jealous, xenophobia, misogyny and depression’ – to keep even the most worldweary of us glued to page.
The man of the moment is undoubtedly Captain Tom Moore, the 100-year-old Second World War veteran who, while recovering from a serious fall, spent the first lockdown walking laps of his garden to raise money for the NHS (the final figure, £38 million, is a Guinness World Record). Now he has written his autobiography, Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day (Michael Joseph, £20), and it’s a wonderfully instructive read of how Moore overcame adversity by trusting in hard work, common sense and a belief that things will be better tomorrow (hence the books title). Moore’s book, I wrote in my 5-star review for the Daily Telegraph, ‘should be required reading for politicians everywhere’. If a man like him had been in charge of the response to Covid-19, ‘we wouldn’t be in our current predicament’.
It’s not an easy read but, given the recent 75th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Japan, it is a good time to try Hiroshima (Vintage, £7.99) by Pulitzerprize winning American author John Hersey. It tells the stories of six survivors of the blast which killed more than 100,000 soldiers and civilians, and is one of the earliest examples of ‘New Journalism’, when the storytelling techniques of fiction are adapted to non-fiction. Harrowing, yet at the same time curiously uplifting, it has sold more than three million copies since it was published in 1946 and has never been out of print.
Given the bizarre year we’ve had, it seems entirely apt to read arguably the greatest dystopian novel of them all, 1984 (Penguin, £8.99) by George Orwell. Published in 1949 as Orwell’s ninth and final book, it explores the consequences of totalitarianism, mass surveillance and way in which truth and facts are manipulated (a theme entirely relevant to a modern audience). The story takes place in an imagined future, the year 1984, when the world has fallen victim to perpetual war and government by three totalitarian superstates (Britain is part of Oceania, ruled by Big Brother). The main character, Winston Smith, enters into a forbidden relationship with a colleague, Julia, and starts to remember what life was like before the ‘Party’ came to power. Will their love conquer all? Thought-provoking and brilliantly imagined.