Whitchurch and Llandaff Living Issue 27

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Issue 27 Mar/Apr 2014

Spring in the



My Time As An Air Hostess on Cambrian Airways


Will YOU Be Going?

3 8




Welcome Croeso


contents 3 News 5 Letters 8 Flying High nce 13 Remembra 16 Nom Nom lustrator 21 Meet the Il loved 22 Cry The Be Country y News 29 Communit 30 Recipes mn 31 Guest Colu

Blimey. What happened there? Y THAT YOU’D R TO S A E V A H DO YOU One minute it’s 2013 and the next, we’re two OUR READERS? H IT W E R A H S months into 2014. LIKE TO It’s always tempting to write about the weather in and these editorial sections. I don’t know why. I guess We often get letters it’s the one thing that we all have in common. So emails from people submit I’ve vowed to myself not to mention it (apart from asking if they can ure or at fe just then). a news story, a Instead, I’ll talk about what we’ve put together even recipes. ched for you this issue. And where do I start? Well, on Since we first laun page 8, we hear from Gloria Gee. Gloria was an air our magazines in an hostess back in the 1950s. Her experiences as an air 2007, we’ve more th k or hostess on Cambrian Airways will certainly raise a welcomed such w e’ve few eyebrows. from readers and w ndreds of them. We feel that they hu On page 13, we have a timely reminder of the probably published the interest of our magazines, as to tly sacrifices made for us by locals as we enter the ve something contribute grea spirit. So if you ha ers, please ity un m m co e centenary year of the start of World War I. th well as r read be of interest to ou On page 16, local gardener Eirlys Rhiannon that you feel would h via our contact details below. uc gleefully tells us about growing tasty treats in our feel free to get in to own garden while on page 22, Peter Davies recalls his first day at grammar school. In an interesting project, seven ladies recently collaborated to address body issues in today’s society. We have extracts from two local ladies on page 24. Local vet Chris Troughton ardiff answers your pet questions on page 25; we hear ad, Rhiwbina, C Ro h c a tb n Pa 2 A: 22 from members of the community on page 29 and we CF14 6AG welcome our guest columnist, Alice Morgan on page 022920 081775 / 07974 2 77 07 T: 31. Alice is an award-winning writer and her article mags.co.uk E: editor@living should give you the lift you need after a tough winter. ags.co.uk W: www.livingm We are off now to start work on our next issue so publisher of the contents, the ing e the accuracyfor any way arisrigh sur in r en tte to ma de y ma an t en s be s, or enjoy the sun if you see it! contact any. copy ors or omission to err While every effortanha de for ty ma bili en nsi be po s res on ha cept y of this material. Every effort endent, apolitical publicati ac ot nn ca See you in May! blication d Llandaff Living is an indep from the puitch an e for holders. Wh urch d copy deadlin n a g n ki o o b g Advertisin Patric and Danielle (editors) 18th April 2014. Issue 28 - Friday - May 5th 2014. publication date 28 es a year. e su Is 2 Cover Illustration: Sian Jenkins is published 5 tim d Llandaff Living Whitchurch an

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WHITCHURCH YOUTH CLUB THREATENED Whitchurch High School Youth Club has been threatened with closure by Cardiff Council due to funding cuts

CATHEDRAL ORGAN PIPES UP A lightning strike in 2006 finally ended the life of Llandaff Cathedral’s one hundred year old organ, and an appeal was launched to raise £1.5m to design, build and install a new organ. Following consultations, The Dean and Chapter instructed Nicholsons of Malvern to provide an instrument of 4,870 pipes spread over four manuals and pedals, which was finally completed in 2013 with the installation of the solo organ. The Cathedral now possesses one of the finest instruments in Europe and to celebrate this historical achievement, the appeal committee have arranged a celebration recital on St.David’s day, March the 1st 2014, when everyone who contributed to the appeal is invited to attend. The recital will commence at 3.00pm. The distinguished Welsh organist Huw Tregelles-Williams will be the recitalist and entry is free but only on the production of a ticket which is available through the Cathedral office. Please send or hand a stamp addressed envelope to Linda Quinn, The Cathedral Office, Llandaff Cathedral, Llandaff, Cardiff, CF5 2LA.



Two backpackers from North Cardiff have been making the headlines in Australia after a giant tree crashed onto their camp - shortly after they’d moved. Peter Ashford, originally from Whitchurch and Rob Costley, originally from Llandaff North, survived certain disaster by moving into the shade to escape the searing heat that has been gripping the country. The pair said that they heard a ‘boom’ as a 50 foot eucalyptus tree crashed down as they slept in the city of Shepparton, Victoria. Since the incident, the pair of campers have become a local media celebrities. Mr Ashford told the local press: “If it had hit the van it would

HANDMADE MARKET RETURNS Following a successful November debut, Rhiwbina’s Handmade Market will return to the Memorial Hall on Sunday 2nd March for a Mothers’ Day themed special. The event will be sponsored for the first time by Ginger Whites of Beulah Road, Rhiwbina. Over 1,000 people flooded through the doors before Christmas to browse the 32 stalls of contemporary craft,

have ruined our plans but we would have worked something out. As long as you have your health that’s all that matters.” He added: “We were really surprised to be honest; we didn’t think it was a big deal but I guess it is for such a small town.” They were later told by locals that the heatwave or an infestation of white ants could have caused the tree to topple. The two met in Melbourne at the beginning of December. Before that, Peter had been travelling throughout Asia having left Wales in November. and to show their support for small businesses and makers, many of whom are based in South Wales. April Liddell, founder of the Handmade Market explains: “We had such an amazing response from the local community at our first event and were so grateful to everyone who queued in the cold to get in! “The 2nd March market promises to showcase new makers as well as welcome back popular stallholders who will all be selling unique gifts suited to our Mothers’ day theme.” 3



South Wales Neighbourhood Watch Association Cardiff received a very welcome and much appreciated boost recently when Martin Player, High Class Butcher of Whitchurch, offered to sponsor them for one of their projects. Chairman of the Association Bill Farnham explained: “Neighbourhood Watch is not funded in any way whatsoever. We have to use any means we can to obtain financial support in order that we can carry out projects that will be of benefit to all Neighbourhood Watch members, as well as members of the public. “Several years ago we

purchased 10,000 of our Neighbourhood Watch leaflets at our own expense, which depleted our bank balance somewhat and we are now down to our last 50; so I was looking for a way in which we could order another 10,000 and ease our financial problems at the same time. As Martin Player is my local butcher and we normally have a chat every time I visit his premises, I mentioned our problem to him and straight away he told me that he’d sponsor us. I was so very grateful for his magnificent gesture that I was speechless for a while but we have now ordered the new supply of leaflets. “As a result of this, we are now able to carry on promoting Neighbourhood Watch around Cardiff for quite a while thanks to this wonderful man and his support.”

NEW LIDL STORE SET FOR LLANDAFF NORTH Plans are currently being discussed to build a Lidl on a now-disused space in Llandaff North

BBC CYMRU BUILDING CONSIDERED FOR LISTING BY CADW Plans for a new £170m headquarters for BBC Cymru Wales have been put in jeopardy after Cadw announced that it is considering listing the broadcaster’s existing building at Llandaff. Cadw, the Welsh Assembly Government’s service for protecting Welsh heritage and environment, has statutory powers to protect buildings deemed of architectural importance. It is now debating whether to list the 10-acre Broadcasting House site on Llantrisant Road. Cadw can only make an assessment on the site’s architectural merits and cannot take any economic considerations into account. The listing consideration doesn’t cover the smaller seven acre Ty Oldfield site.

THE CLASS OF ‘74: JOIN THE BIG REUNION THIS SUMMER A school reunion is being arranged for former pupils of Whitchurch High School. The Class of ’74 Reunion will take place in the evening of Saturday, 12th July 2014, at The British Legion Club in Whitchurch. Organisers are urging past pupils to set this date in stone in their diary. Organiser Howard Wilkins told Living Magazines: “For some of us, it’ll have been 40 years and probably the last opportunity we´ll have of meeting up again. There are no partners being invited; it defeats 4

the object and we’d probably end up being too many as the school is/was the biggest in Britain. It will be an evening do with a buffet and some sort of music too. We´re looking at about 10 pounds per person to cover costs of venue, food and music – and any left overs will be donated

to charity. Please try and make it – it is a once in a lifetime opportunity!” A website has been set up where past pupils can take a trip down memory lane, uploads old photos, connect with old friends and register for the event. More at www.classof74.co.uk

If you’d like to get in touch, you can find our address on the inside front cover. Alternatively, you can email us at editor@livingmags.co.uk



As Chairman of South Wales Neighbourhood Watch Association Cardiff, I feel that I must reply to the letter from Pam Coombes and Derek Hector which was published in the last issue of your magazine regarding Neighbourhood Watch. I have worked with and supported them (both as an individual and as Chairman of our Association) from the first day that both of their watches were set up so I know how much hard work they put in. But I am very saddened that they have deemed fit to tell the world, and I quote ‘other than initially setting up a Watch, there is no on-going support provided by the local NW association’ unquote, when we do not know what their grievance is. When other co-ordinators throughout Cardiff have a


This year, Cardiff is celebrating its status as European Sports Capital. Whilst this is a welcome boost for the city, it only takes a cursory glance around our suburban sporting facilities to see what’s really going on. Scratch the surface and you will notice that if our bowling greens aren’t being concreted over, their maintenance by the Council is becoming so scarce that they are turning into cabbage patches. Gone are the halcyon sunny days in Hailey Park, listening to the melodic clunking of bowls. Instead, we are left scratching our heads and wondering what to do with ourselves. We are told that the main ethic resting with Cardiff being a

problem, grievance etc. they contact me, usually by telephone, and we sort it out there and then or, if not, I go out and visit them. Unfortunately, neither Pam or Derek have done this. Also, although they are sent all the details of our meetings, at which any problems that co-ordinators may have can be discussed, they do not attend. I also have a place on the ‘top table’ at our local PACT meetings where I update members of the public, including Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators who are present at the meetings, of our activities and all the latest news regarding Neighbourhood Watch, but again, they do not attend these. I notice that they are using the title “COMMUNITY Watch Co-ordinators” to describe themselves. Could I respectfully point out to them that when their Watches were set up they were registered as Neighbourhood ‘Sports Capital’ is that it will give us “...a commitment to providing sport as a social function while using it to improve the quality of life and well-being of its citizens”. What I fail to see is how the ‘well-being’ of its citizens is taking place. Private clubs pay on average about £7,000 a year for bowling green maintenance. Most of them do the maintenance themselves but for those bowling greens looked after by the Council, standards are slipping as maintenance is cut back. I appreciate that the Council is facing a tough time with their finances but we never asked to be put in that situation - that would be more down to them. As a result, we have to pay the price for their mismanagement. If our local facilities aren’t cared

Watch Co-ordinators and, as such, they are registered with National Neighbourhood Watch under that title in order to qualify for our Public Liability Insurance scheme. If they have to make a claim and use the new title they are unlikely to be recognised. Many thanks BILL FARNHAM Chairman South Wales Neighbourhood Watch Association Cardiff

for now, we will find ourselves without a legacy that is fit for the title of European Capital of Sport. What do we tell our children then? KEN GOLLOP Whitchurch 5

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Life as a Cambrian Air Hostess


had finished my training to become a State Registered Nurse at the Middlesex Hospital in London and had returned home to Rhiwbina to look after my father whilst my mother was in hospital in Cardiff. After she returned home, I needed a job and decided to apply for the position advertised for an air hostess in the South Wales Echo. It was snowing heavily when I went for my interview to become a hostess with Cambrian Airways at Rhoose Airport. I can still remember what I was wearing - a long black coat and a bright blue woollen hat covering most of my hair. It couldn’t have done much for my appearance! At least I was warm on what was a long journey from Rhiwbina. I had travelled on the bus to Cardiff, then on to Barry and another bus to Rhoose Airport. I was interviewed by the Managing Director, Wing Commander Elwin, who was very handsome

by Gloria Gee

and charming. I didn’t hold out much hope of being employed when told they had received three hundred applicants! A little while later, I was thrilled to hear I had been accepted. I am not sure of the date I actually started but before we became air hostesses, we were taken on board a Dakota aircraft and shown the escape hatches. We did not have a training programme as such but we were given a ‘manual’. Pam Morris and I went to a tailor on Fenchurch Street to be measured for our uniforms and have further fittings. We thought they were very smart. I believe we went to a department store in Cardiff to choose light blue seersucker blouses, navy shoes, gloves and handbags to complete our uniform. We had a few trips as passengers, supposedly to get used to flying although we couldn’t board one plane going to Jersey as the payload had reached maximum. We did eventually get to Jersey as passengers on a Dakota and I know I went on a Rapide, but am I dreaming that it landed on the beach? I went to Le Bourget in a Dove and can remember listening to ‘Women’s Hour’, sitting in the cockpit crossing the Channel on the way to Southampton. My log book shows I started flying as a hostess on the 3rd June 1955. The last date is 5th August 1955. My first flight on the 3rd June 1955, I flew to Jersey in Dakota GAMSW and the pilot was Captain Perrott and First Officer Penrose. We left at 1915 arriving in Jersey at

Gloria Gee and Pam Mor


2015. We then left Jersey at 2030 and arrived in Cardiff at 2130. So quite a quick turnaround! There is a piece in T.G. Staddon’s History of Cambrian Airways where Captain Perrott tells of an incident when he had to make an emergency landing in an Auster in August, flying to Bristol with First Officer McKendrick and a stewardess. I had a similar experience on my second day of flying (4th June) when Captain Carson had a forced landing coming into Bristol Airport. He landed some way from the airport but we could see the buildings. I was cramped in the back and was told to get out and push. I said “You are joking?” but no - First Officer McKendrick took one wing and I the other, and we pushed. Then the plane flew off, leaving us stranded. My high heels sank in the grass and I was grateful when an ambulance came and took us to the airport. My story changes as the years go by but I reckon that day I went in two private cars, two taxis, two airplanes, one ambulance and a fire engine. We left Bristol in GAMSW at 1236 for Jersey arriving 1357. Jersey 1451-Bristol 1550. Bristol 1635-Jersey 1749. Jersey 1840-Cardiff 1945. It was a long day and I still had to get home to Rhiwbina. 11th June 1955 I flew with Wing Commander

Elwin and First Officer Keeble. Cardiff 0627-Jersey 0737. Jersey 0818-Liverpool 1011. We liked going to Speke Airport, especially when we had time for a meal, usually a super fry-up. Speke 1140-Cardiff 1247. Cardiff 1258-Jersey 1406. Jersey 1434-Cardiff 1543. The 20th June 1955 was a very exciting day as it was the inaugural flight to Nice. Wing Commander Elwin and Captain Carson were the pilots and Pam Morris and I were the hostesses. We welcomed on board VIPs from Cardiff and Alun Williams (who recorded the event for the BBC). We left Cardiff 0820 arrived Bristol 0840. Bristol 0900-Eastleigh 0930. Eastleigh 1015-Nice 1445. The weather was not good when we arrived but the photographer took us to the Promenade des Anglais and took a few photographs. In Staddon’s book, it says that the Nice service was popular as there was there was plenty of time to spend on the beach. I left Nice at 10.25 and 10.30 on the two dates logged. No time on the beach for me! 21st June 1955 Nice 1025-Eastleigh 1510. Eastleigh 1525-Bristol 1600. Bristol 1615-Cardiff 1640. 24th June 1955 I flew with Captain Carson (no mention of First Officer). Cardiff 1425-Liverpool 1525. Liverpool 1605-Cardiff 1705. Cardiff 1715-Jersey 1825. We were unable to take off for Cardiff as there was trouble with the engine and then the fog rolled in making visibility ‘on the deck’. I thought we would be spending the night in Jersey but we were able to fly out at 0030 arriving at Cardiff at 0140 hrs. Here I must mention George Handy as he was a great character and used to pick me up in the company car at my home in Rhiwbina if I had an early start or was late getting into Cardiff. If I had an afternoon flight, then I had the tedious ride on the bus into Cardiff on to Barry then to Rhoose. The next morning the 25th

June, I was on the early flight to Jersey so he must have picked me up from home. I couldn’t have had much sleep as I left Cardiff at 0650 for Jersey. The pilot was Captain Perrot and again, there is no mention of the First Officer in my log book. We flew from Jersey to Liverpool, Liverpool to Jersey then Jersey to Cardiff arriving at 1540. Although I have given the take-off and landing times I must mention that some time was also spent making sure the aircraft was ready to receive passengers. We had a supply of magazines and sweets to hand around and there was a locked container for cigarettes. We couldn’t sell cigarettes until we were three miles out. On the 21st August for instance, there is a slip of paper showing an opening stock of 1375 and closing stock of 850. The Customs Officer was quite strict but we smuggled in cigarettes and whiskey for him. Once the ground staff had closed the door and it was checked, the most important duty was to take the ship’s papers and log book stowed in the valise to the pilot in the cockpit. You had to make sure there were ‘five locks and two pins’ put on board and duly reported this to the Captain before we could take off. 1st July 1955 I flew with Captain Gibson (no mention of First Officer). We left Cardiff at 0825 but were unable to land at Jersey (log book says clamped at Jersey). We landed instead in Dinard at 1030 and we had a delicious lunch (the Camembert was superb.) We were able to leave at 1230 arriving at Jersey 1320. Jersey 1425-Guernsey 1450. Guernsey 1500 - Cardiff 1605. 23rd July 1955 George Handy called for me very early that day for a takeoff at Cardiff for 0555hrs. I can remember we saw some magpies in a field on the way and being very superstitious, we said that’s

More at www.cambrianairways.org.uk

OK no worries - there’s more than one. “One for sorrow, two for joy.” On this day I flew with Wing Commander Elwin and First Officer Twomey. We flew from Cardiff at 0555 to Jersey. Jersey to Liverpool and Liverpool to Jersey then Jersey to Cardiff arriving back at 1505. We heard during this time that one of our planes had crashed but we didn’t know the details. We were worried all day and finally when we got into Cardiff we were told that Captain Carson had crashed in the New Forest and he had brought his plane down in such a way that although injured no one was killed except him. I was very upset. I had flown seven times with him and he was such a wonderful personality. I was told he was a bomber ace during the war. Someone told me to have a cigarette. I didn’t smoke at that time but I accepted and I became a smoker. Cigarettes were duty free in Jersey so I was hooked. I have recorded thirty-nine days of flying time in my log book. I am not sure of the dates of my employment, it certainly wasn’t very long. It was an experience I have never forgotten. I believe I was emotionally and physically drained by the time I gave in my notice. Some days were very long and I felt like a glorified waitress! I know that my parents were very worried. Even today, my sister recalls them talking and worrying when I was late home. I eventually returned to England to take a post-graduate course in Casualty Nursing. My apologies for any mistakes or discrepancies in my little tale. It was a very long time ago! Gloria Gee 9

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Remembrance 2014 marks the centenary of the start of the First World War. This year, we aim to remember the local men and women who have given their lives for their country.

Many Whitchurch residents will have noticed the War Memorial next to the library. I recently decided to have a closer look at the stories behind the names, and was shocked by the number of Whitchurch residents who gave their lives in both World Wars. To my surprise (and shame, never having looked at it properly despite walking past it daily) the Memorial has the names of the fallen on three sides and also lists the names of ten residents of the village killed in air raids in WWII. The monument lists 127 casualties in the WWI and 143 killed in action during WWII. Even without doing research into individual casualties, the mere sight of the names is deeply moving. Alec and Albert Sprudd of Davies Place both died in 1918, Albert in April and Alec in October, just a month before the end of the war. One can only guess at the grief experienced by their parents, Harry and Emily. Thomas Jenkins was assistant article first published 2010

by Paul Walden

cook on the SS Rapallo and died on 13th January 1918, aged just fifteen. The ship was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Sicily en route from Taranto to Messina. Hugo Webber served as an able seaman on HMS Good Hope and died in the Battle of Coronel in the South Atlantic on November 1st 1914. This was the first British naval defeat since 1812. The Good Hope and HMS Monmouth were both sunk by a German naval squadron and 1,600 men were lost. There is a memorial to them in the Falkland Islands. From the Second World War list, one name that sprang out was Marcel Amerlinck of the Welsh Guards. Marcel was the son of Whitchurch resident Alice Jenkins, who met and married Henry Amerlinck, a wounded Belgian soldier, in Cardiff. They moved to Brussels where Marcel was born. Sadly, Marcel’s father died of his wounds and Alice returned to Whitchurch with her son where she married William Thomas. Marcel met and married a

Polish refugee in France in 1940 after she had escaped from Cracow following the Nazi invasion. He was the first BEF soldier to marry in France since the start of the war. His bride, Mariana, came to the UK at the end of their honeymoon to join her mother in law. Tragically, Marcel was killed in action on 22nd May 1940. He is buried at the Arras Communal Cemetery. Harry Watkins Arras Cemetery was a Petty Officer on the minesweeper HMS Cromarty and died in 1943 when the ship struck a mine in Bonaficio Strait near Sardinia. The next time you pass the monument, stop for a few minutes, have a good look at it and think about the sacrifices that were made, the debt that we owe to the men and the individual stories behind every name. 13


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A short story by Whitchurch novelist Rhys Thomas

When it comes to gardening, it doesn’t all have to be a chore. Llandaff North gardener Eirlys Rhiannon reminds us that tasty treats can make the hard work worthwhile

I can’t stand gardening,” my friend said, cheerfully. It was a tad surprising, since at that very moment, he was up to his wrists in soil, covered in muddy smears, weeding, on his had-it-for-three-years Llandaff North allotment. So if he ‘can’t stand’ it, what’s the attraction? “Flavour,” he answered promptly, standing up to address the question with the full level of enthusiasm he felt it deserved.


“There’s nothing like the taste worthwhile. Think of it this way: of a raspberry fresh off the edible plants are your garden cane in the sunshine, knowing saying ‘thank you’ for giving it you’ve grown it. Makes it all some love. worthwhile.” So if you’d like to grow some Now, don’t go thinking that you edibles, here are some easy have to have an allotment - in suggestions for making a start fact, given the recent popularity this spring: of grow-your-own, getting any 1. Evergreen herbs further than a waiting list might Year-on-year joy, good for be pretty hard. Nor do you containers if you don’t have have to dig out your garden to much garden, and great in the replicate an allotment, because kitchen. Rosemary, sage and while many folks think that thyme can be bought as small ‘growing edibles = veg patch’, the plants for just a few quid, and truth is that edible plants there are some really interesting can fit very well into any colours of foliage available ornamental garden. They try purple and yellow sage, it’s don’t march themselves stunning. Get them in over into rows just ‘cos you can March and April so that they’ve eat them. No, really, trust grown healthy roots by the time me. the weather gets dry (yup, I’ve And here’s the best got my fingers crossed too). If bit: tasting your garden you know someone with plants makes maintaining it already, ask them for cuttings even more of a joy. Or, if they take longer to get going, but you’re anything like my will reward your patience with friend, it makes the work flavour and flowers. Top photograph courtesy of Eirlys Rhiannon

2. Easy seeders Rocket is the taste sensation for those who like to grow from seed. Sow in clumps in sunny patches between your other plants, any time from February onwards. You get a tasty salad, plus pretty flowers. When the plants die back after flowering you can either collect the seed or bend the stalks over to save yourself the hassle of sowing the next batch. Tidy.

Calendula (also known as English Marigold) is another fab one to sow, and March is the perfect time. Pick a bright orange variety - the petals look stunning scattered on a salad. They also self-seed, but very sparingly - they’re like a polite, friendly visitor that won’t outstay their

welcome. And they’re loved by beneficial insects, so they bring other great visitors along too. 3. Fruit bushes As with herbs, early spring is a good time to get these in the ground. (As a rule of thumb, if it feels like the winter has been here forever and will never ever leave, you’re allowed to call it early spring. The gardening books don’t say this, but I’m sure it’s true.) So which fruit to start with? As my friend testifies, raspberry canes are fabulous, but they’re also enthusiastic (that’s a technical gardening term for ‘messy’), so they need a little bit of care - tying in so they don’t flop over, which means getting good supports in or planting them near something you can tie to, e.g. a sturdy fence. They also send out runners (underground shoots which send up new plants). The runners can be a bonus (yay! I was hoping for a raspberry patch in the middle of the lawn!), or a weed - or even a combination of the two: dig them up from the spot where you



didn’t want them, and pass them on to a friend, feeling just a little bit proud of your offspring. If you’re wanting something a little tidier in the fruit department, my top suggestion would be a currant bush; redcurrants are particularly good and don’t mind a not-so-sunny spot. And guess what? You can get cuttings of these too. As you might guess by now, plenty of edible plants can be grown easily from existing plants, so if you’re reading this, and thinking to yourself “I’ve got a rosemary, and some spare space,” then why not pop some cuttings into the ground now? They may have grown roots by this time next year, and then you can pot them on for sale at next year’s Spring Fairs or community events. While the rest of us are waiting, we can pop along to a local garden centre and start our own collection. One day, we’ll be raising cuttings just like you. If we can stop ourselves from eating the whole lot, of course.


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Meet the Illustrator


How did you get into illustrating? I took an art foundation course at Glamorgan University. I knew that I wanted to do something to do with art and design, but I wasn’t sure what. The foundation course allowed me to try out all aspects of art and design, and while in classes such as photography and fine art, I realised how much I missed simply drawing. I knew then that illustration was the right route for me. Where do you start with an illustration? 

With a lot of thumbnail sketches! Illustrating a piece of text is relatively easy; I get a visual image of the text quite quickly. The difficult part is leaving that idea behind and trying out new options before deciding on the final one. I am always attached to my first idea, but more often than not, the ideas that come later are the ones I choose. Are your illustrations handdrawn or made on a computer? They’re a mixture of both. I start with a pencil sketch, which I then go over it with a fine liner to create a simple line drawing. I scan this in, and create each section of the illustration individually on Photoshop, giving each piece a different pattern or texture, and then add them all together like a jigsaw.


What’s your proudest achievement to date? I’ve got to say my proudest achievement was winning an illustration competition last year, in which my illustration will be published in a children’s poetry book called Over The Hills and Far Away. I was able to travel up to London and visit the publishing company, which was a brilliant experience! The book will be published in October this year and I can’t wait. More at www.letmeillustrate. weebly.com/

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Cry The Beloved Country Y

ou could tell I was worried – just as most ten year olds had finished with that sort of thing. I had started to wet the bed. I had come to live in Whitchurch having spent an idyllic early childhood in the Rhondda Valley. Mind you, Whitchurch could have been Garmisch-Partenkirchen as far as I was concerned. It was a different world, a world where freshly-scrubbed kids went around wearing socks without holes; a world where my mother tried to put on a posh accent when talking to the neighbours; and where my uncle, whose butcher shop we lived behind – as we had done in the Rhondda – started fiddling his middle class customers, a thing he would almost never have done up in the valleys. At Whitchurch Junior School, they didn’t know quite what to do with this strange-sounding, podgy little urchin who stood before them in his bendy tortoiseshell National Health specs. But eventually, they stuck me in the back row of Standard


Peter Davies

was brought up in Whitchurch, but now lives in Suffolk. He recalls his first day in grammar school in 1948

4A. I had descended upon them as the annual ‘sitting the Scholarship’ fever was gripping the place. In those days, as well as grooming the swots in Standard 5A for exam, they also entered a few children from Standard 4A, picked at random – ‘just for the experience’. Dear reader – I passed the Scholarship! I reluctantly took the letter home from ‘Tosser’ Thomas, our Headmaster, to give to my mother. “I doan wanna go, Mam.” “Well, let’s see what your father has to say when he comes home from work shall we, cariad?” “I doan wanna go, Dad.” “You’re bloody going and that’s an end to it!” And so, as I prepared for another traumatic move, the scene was set for me to become the youngest kid ever to Amo Amas Amat. And to add insult to injury, they told me that I wouldn’t be going to the perfectly good school right opposite Hughes the Butchers in Penlline Road, Whitchurch – that would be too easy. Instead, I was going to have to travel, each day, to some toffee-nosed place out the other side of Cardiff. Now this is where the worry and lack of urine retention that I mentioned earlier comes in. Not only had they made me leave

my beloved home in Ton for the concrete wastes of Cardiff suburbia. But in no time at all, they were interfering with my inside leg at Bon Marche and putting a tape-measure round my head so that I could be togged up with something they called grammar school – and one that was 10 miles away by train, in the bargain. At ten past seven, on the first morning of term, trembling with fear underneath a massive plastic satchel, and luminous cap, I set off on the long trudge down Church Road to the station. I will not bore you with every detail of my first day at Penarth County Grammar School. Suffice to say, that the Initiation Ceremony on the train, traditionally masterminded by the Lunatic Fringe of Form 3C, saw my season ticket ritualistically ripped in half and each half placed in each of my shoes which, in turn, were thrown up onto the luggage rack of the compartment. But the extreme wing of Form 3C did not have it all its own way and I did manage to deploy my pencil, sharpened to perfection by my father the previous evening, sufficiently well to put Fatty Llewellyn off his stroke and so prevent my cap from going out of the window during the ‘I throw/you pull up the window strap’ part of the proceedings. Wetting the brand new short trousers so early in the day because I didn’t know what the word ‘urinal’ meant seemed quite a catastrophe but I’m glad to say

that Pongo Daniels, my form teacher, miraculously came to my rescue when he made me stand facing the radiator for half an hour – a punishment for eating my Marmite sandwiches while singing Forty Years On, half-way through Assembly. My free-floating fear of the unknown continued into the afternoon and manifested itself quite dramatically when the effect of eating my first ever portion of school dinners’ frogspawn coincided with my first ever intake of breath in the Physics Lab during a double period of that strange subject. The journey home on the train was fairly uneventful except that one of the girls from Form 2B, Myfanwy Evans, who was from the rougher end of Llandaff North, took a fancy to me. That would have been fine if it wasn’t for the fact that the way to pledge my undying love in her particular neck of the woods, was apparently, to smash the object of your affection full in the mouth! I turned into Penlline Road

from Church Road with the strap of my plastic satchel broken the yellow braid of my erstwhile pristine blazer a horrible brown colour, the stiffening of the peak of my cap poking through the material and with half a season ticket clasped in each hand. In a split second, my mother, who was out talking politely to the neighbours, took all this in, as mothers do – as well as noticing the congealing blood down the front of my white shirt from Myfanwy Evans’s right hook, not to mention catching a whiff of the stale urine gently wafting upwards from my


1 o.

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trousers area. “Oh! My poor cariad!” my mother cried loudly, regressing into her Rhondda Valley vernacular, much to the disgust of the neighbours. “Whatever sort of day have you had a Big School, my bachgen bach?” “Duw Mam.” I said, “it was brilliant!” Peter Davies

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WALES_POSTER_and_AD_131010_AW.indd 2

10/10/2013 15:22:04


Our lives with makeup

SEVEN LADIES FROM SOUTH WALES HAVE RECENTLY COLLABORATED ON A PROJECT DESIGNED TO ADDRESS ISSUES OF BODY IMAGE IN TODAY’S SOCIETY. MAKEUP ARTIST BETHAN JAMES APPROACHED SIX DIFFERENT AND GLAMOROUS LADIES FROM VARIOUS BACKGROUNDS TO WRITE A BLOG POST AROUND THE THEME OF ‘WHAT’S IN MY MAKEUP BAG’. THE BLOG WAS RECENTLY PUBLISHED, THROWING UP VERY DISTINCT TWISTS TOWARDS HOW WE ALL FEEL ABOUT OURSELVES, OUR HANG UPS, OUR ATTITUDES. “In this day and age, we all like to look our best, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of our attitudes towards our bodies.” says Bethan James, Make Up Artist at Betty Red. “We need to be comfortable in our natural form in addition to utilising the mental and physical benefits of looking after ourselves.” The end product of the project is a collection of very different perspectives - on beauty and its drawbacks and hang ups. It’s designed to show ladies that we all have our issues, but we’re all lovely. The blog is published at www.bettyredmakeupartist. blogspot.com.

Trials, Tribulations and Triumph with Michelle I currently work as a makeup artist in Cardiff city centre. I also work for a charity called Look Good Feel Better which visits Whitchurch’s Velindre Hospital every few months. I’ve been with this charity for nearly 20 years and in the last two years, I became the regional coordinator. The charity helps women living with cancer deal with the after effects of chemotherapy (loss of hair, eyebrows etc). I love both my jobs but for very different reasons; I enjoy the interaction I have with customers in my day job, while I love the 24

way makeup puts a smile back on women’s faces during one of the most difficult times of their lives with my charity work. I’ve been through a lot of highs and lows in my life myself, but I know I’ve now come out on top. When I was 19, my brother died, and in the same year I was raped by a man I knew. I started being very withdrawn, hated looking in the mirror and thought that what had happened was my fault. I started making myself sick, I finally felt like I was in control, but how wrong I was. I put my family through hell which I’m now deeply sorry for. My confidence had gone, my parents were my rock. I was absolutely devastated when the only man I would ever trust - my dad - was diagnosed with cancer and after battling with this disease for two years slipped away, it made myself, mum and sister a lot stronger as a family. So as you can see makeup for me was like a mask, it hid the person I was behind it. I went through a stage of wearing really gothic makeup, my makeup these days is a lot more reserved. I love experimenting with colour for going out normally making my eyes my main focus, but I do love a bit of red lippy .

Defining What Beauty Is With Lizzy Why do I wear makeup? This is something I’ve debated with myself and I more often than

not, tell myself that I wear cosmetics because it’s motivated by creativity and self expression; that it’s a reflection of my mood and most importantly myself. Let me be completely honest - this is actually a big fib. I use makeup as a way of disguising my own insecurities stemmed from the belief that I don’t look good enough without it. You only have to read a magazine or watch TV to understand what world we live in. Do I look at these beautiful women and wish that I could have their bodies or their perfectly airbrushed faces? I would be lying if I said no. However! I feel no more jealous of these women than I do when I see Stephen Fry and wish that I had his intelligence, or wish that I had Christina Aguilera’s voice or Jessica Ennis’ sporting ability. We as a population will always want what we can’t have but it will never stop us from trying. Of course the beauty industry is flawed but there will never be equality between those blessed with natural beauty and those who are crippled with insecurity whilst we always villainise the opposing side. I have many insecurities but do I blame gorgeous women for this? Do I look at top models and hold them accountable for my own anxieties? No I don’t. I reflect on my own (what I consider) inadequacies and do what I can to improve them. Why can’t women just support and empower other women?



IF YOU HAVE ANY PET-RELATED QUESTIONS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE CHRIS TO ANSWER, PLEASE EMAIL US AT EDITOR@LIVINGMAGS.CO.UK AND WE’LL PASS THEM ON. I’m allergic to many things but I’m wondering whether animals can be allergic to things too? Can they be allergic to foods for instance? My cat always has always had water but my mother tells me that she should be drinking milk. As a dairy-free person myself, I’m wondering who’s right! Cats can certainly become allergic to many things among them food (including dairy), pollens, dust, washing powder, carpet cleaners, fleas, etc. There is a widely-held belief that cats should not have milk; this is because many cats are lactose-intolerant and milk causes diarrhoea. However, if your cat does not get diarrhoea when she has milk, give her some if you (and she) like. Having said that, if she is on a balanced commercial cat food diet, she has no nutritional need for milk. (But then saying that, I have no nutritional need for a glass of wine...)

Myself and my family are considering getting a small pet for our house but I’m unclear how pet insurance works. Is it a simple payyour-premiums-and-claim-when-necessary process?

The main purpose of pet insurance is to meet the cost of treating your pet if he/she is ill. There is nothing worse than having to compromise on the optimum treatment or even having to chose euthanasia, for financial reasons. Modern veterinary treatment is becoming more and more sophisticated, but this comes at a price and if you want the best treatment, insurance is well worthwhile. Some insurance policies also include ancillary insurance, such as refund of purchase price if your pet dies, offer of reward if they are lost, or third-party liability insurance. A monthly premium is paid to the insurer, and if your pet needs treatment, you settle the bill with the vet and reclaim the cost from the company. There is always an ‘Excess’ for you to pay, usually between £50-£100 (though it can be a percentage of the cost - say 20% - especially for older patients), which will be deducted from the claim before you are paid. Occasionally, with large bills, the vet can make a claim directly from the insurer, which avoids you having to pay and then wait for reimbursement. Insurance does not cover conditions which were present before the contract started. Many of the Page is sponsored by Heath Vets 02920 621511

cheaper policies last for one year only, and this means that when you renew the insurance at the end of the year, any conditions that were treated previously will not be covered. This pitfall is not always obvious, so you must read the small print carefully to avoid buying one of these policies if you want comprehensive cover. There are other exclusions which may apply to some policies, and you should consider the merits of each before you choose. At Heath Vets, we have a different kind of insurance scheme, called VetProtect Total Care, which provides lifelong cover for treatment given at our surgeries, as well as specialist treatment given at a referral centre. It also, uniquely, covers the cost of routine preventative care (vaccinations, regular check-ups, parasite control). Most people find that it’s a very good deal, because we’ve largely cut out the insurance underwriter and that keeps the price down. If you’re interested, call in to one of our surgeries and have a chat, or look on our website (www.heathvets.co.uk). Sorry about the plug – I don’t usually do that in this column, but this is so unique that I think it’s justified!

We have a one year old cavachon who, on the whole, behaves very well. The only problem we seem to have is when I come home from work – he jumps up and nips and gets very excited. This is the total opposite to when my husband comes home from work – they both ignore each other and there is no nipping. What am I doing wrong?

All behaviour is learned behaviour, and your little dog has learned if he jumps up and gets excited when you come in, he is rewarded by attention from you. The attention was originally a big fuss and greeting, though that may have changed to you shouting at him now as you are fed up with it, but it’s still attention! The nipping is just a part of his excitement. Conversely, he has also learned that there’s no point getting excited when your husband comes home as he is not rewarded – you point out that they ignore each other. So the key to changing the behaviour is to stop rewarding it, and find a more controlled way of greeting each other. Stop reacting to him in any way when you come in – turn your back, don’t speak, don’t touch him. Ideally someone else should get him to sit quietly, perhaps in his bed, and when he is doing this, you go to him and give him a restrained greeting. The minute he starts jumping up, you stop the greeting and turn your back. This takes patience and time but retraining should be quite possible at his young age. 25

Happy 1st Birthday to The Whitchurch Clinic! After working in Swansea since graduating as a chiropractor, Andrea Howell was keen to practice closer to home and amongst the community she grew up in. Committed to improving patients’ quality of life through chiropractic care, in a friendly and professional environment, Andrea established The Whitchurch Clinic in late 2012. With a great deal of help from family and friends to renovate the building, the clinic became a warm and welcoming space, and in February 2013 the clinic doors opened to the public. As well as treating her patients Andrea enjoys holding talks for local community groups both inside and out of TWC, to educate them about neck and back pain and giving tips about what they can do to help themselves.

Andrea Howell M.Chiro, D.C. Chiropractor

Andrea always intended TWC to be a multidisciplinary clinic to ensure her patients could get the best care from the appropriate specialists who she could get to know and trust. The clinic has since gone from strength to strength incorporating many different types of practitioners, but always with patient centred care as a first priority.

First to join Andrea in May 2013 was Karen Thomas, a solution focused hypnotherapist & psychotherapist. Karen is passionate about getting peoples lives back on track, and has since helped people from across Wales with issues including; depression, weight-loss, smoking cessation, stress, phobias and much more! She also visits local schools where she holds lectures to help children deal with the pressures of exams, low self esteem and anxiety issues. Karen has particularly enjoyed working with athletes, sports men and women of all levels to enhance both motivation and sports performance.

Karen Thomas DHP, HPD, NCH, AfSFH Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist

In July 2013 Laura Carpenter joined the Whitchurch Clinic, complementing what Karen and Andrea were trying to achieve by offering a natural based approach to health care. Laura treats a wide range of problems ranging from mild ailments to more long term health issues.

Laura Carpenter MNIMH Medical Herbalist

Laura has run several free herb identification walks throughout Cardiff, which start again after the winter period on the 6th April in Whitchurch village. She also holds talks inside at the clinic about herbal medicine, and workshops teaching people how to make their own herbal remedies and creams (see ours and Laura’s web site for more details and dates).

First Floor, 2 Merthyr Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff, CF14 1DG (029) 20617700 www.thewhitchurchclinic.co.uk

Joanna Williams joined the clinic shortly after Laura as a holistic therapist, offering a wide range of complementary therapies and beauty treatments. More recently her home made products are being certified for sale, which boast all natural products and no SLS (a skin irritant) at very reasonable prices. Some of you may have been lucky enough to sample these when she was selling them in aid of charity at the Earl Haig Christmas market! To complement her all natural products Joanna has recently qualified as a microdermabrasion therapist offering a non-invasive alternative to chemical peels. She uses all natural products for this deep exfoliating treatment, and she will soon be releasing her own line of skincare products to complement this treatment.

Joanna Williams Holistic & Microdermabrasion Therapist

Bernadette Davies joined the TWC team in September as a professional weight management coach. After other diets had failed, she successfully lost two stone using the ‘Ideal Weight Plan’ and more importantly maintained it. This made her decide that she wanted to help others do the same.

Her experience as a director of a local charity and over 30 years of working in the health sector has given Bernadette a great ability to empathise with her clients and assist them with challenges they face. She already runs a successful group in Newport and decided she wanted to set up a group in Cardiff to help people here too. Correana White is passionate about health, fitness and holistic living, and has worked in the fitness industry since 2000. She started as a personal trainer but found she wanted a better understanding of how lifestyle could affect us in a more holistic sense. Training as a C.H.E.K. practitioner has given Correana a greater understanding of the effect that diet, lifestyle and exercise have on over overall health. This enabled her to become a more effective personal trainer in assisting people to reach their goals.

Bernadette Davies Ideal Weight Coach

Correana White Personal Trainer & C.H.E.K. Lifestyle Coach

Leah Clarke is a fully qualified sports massage therapist and is the most recent addition to the team at TWC. Having trained at Cardiff Metropolitan University to level 4 in sports massage, Leah has been using her skills to treat a range of clients. From your average gym goer to high ranking athletes, ranging from MMA fighters, triathletes, contortionists, dancers and aerialists. Leah has worked professionally in the fitness industry for several years, in both the competitor and trainer role, and so understands the demands placed on an athlete’s body and the problems that can occur.

TWC Celebratory Open Day To thank everyone for their support we are holding an open day at the clinic on Saturday 22nd March between 1.00 pm an 4.00 pm, offering the general public the opportunity to see inside the TWC and meet our practitioners. You are all most welcome to join us for a tour and refreshments! Practitioners will be on hand to answer your questions, providing a great opportunity for you to meet them, and see if they can help you. There will also be various discounts available to you on the day for future treatments. If you are already a patient of ours you should have received a personal invite in the post, and as an extra ‘thank you’ a gift voucher. Please feel free to contact us if you haven’t already received yours.

Leah Clarke SPS Dip Sports Therapist

Discounted offers available on the day!

Are parents getting a fair trial? Kate Roberts of Watkins & Gunn Solicitors considers the law surrounding child abuse cases following a recent Panorama programme which investigated the issue. The programme featured parents who believed they have unfairly lost their children forever as a result of failings in the system. The babies featured all sustained tiny fractures, which doctors claimed were evidence of abuse. Some experts now believe that lack of vitamin D or rickets might be another cause for such fractures. The parents felt, though, that the system was against them and did not afford them a fair trial. The paramount concern is the welfare of the child. Every decision is made with the best interest of the child at heart; but is it made with the best of evidence?

The family justice system is in the midst of reform. There has been the introduction of the requirement to conclude cases within 26 weeks. Expert evidence is now restricted to that which Watkins and Gunn Llandaff office is “necessary to assist the court to resolve the level playing field. proceedings.” Kate Roberts is an Associate The Legal Aid Agency has Solicitor in the Family Team placed restrictions on the fees at Watkins & Gunn Solicitors of experts. In consequence, in Llandaff. She specialises many believe that the leaders in all aspects of family law, in the field will stop providing particularly complex child evidence in these cases. care cases. She is an accredited It is argued that these reforms Children Lawyer enabling her act as a further obstacle for to act on behalf of children parents. Only time will tell. through their court appointed What is clear is that parents guardians and parents involved who are being accused of such in care proceedings. a crime must act quickly and Call 02921 154313 for get the best legal advice and more advice or visit www. expertise as early as possible to watkinsandgunn.co.uk. give them the best chance of a

Exceeding Expectations...

Getting Divorced?

Ydych Chi’n Ysgaru?

There is another way... resolving disputes constructively.

Beth am ddatrys pethau yn defnyddio dull ymarferol.

Our specialist team can advise on all aspects of a relationship breakdown.

Gall ein tîm arbennigol gynhori ar bob agwedd o dor perthynas.

Divorce Unmarried couples Separation agreements Financial settlements Residence/contract arrangements for children Change of name deed Living together agreements

029 2115 4313


Ysgariad Cyplau di briod Cytundebau gwahanu Cytundebau ariannol yn sgîl ysgariad Trefniadau ar gyfer plant wedi ysgariad Trefniadau cyd-fyw Gweithred newid enw

46-48 Cardiff Road, Llandaff, Cardiff. CF5 2DT

Local News

News in the Community NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH With Bill Farnham Since my article in the last issue of the Whitchurch and Llandaff Living magazine, I have been criticised for mentioning other areas of the city in a ‘local magazine’. I do this for two reasons :- (a) I know for a fact that these magazines are read in many parts of Cardiff and (b) I am trying to promote Neighbourhood Watch where ever I can. Our last year, November 2012 to November 2013, was a very busy one indeed. We launched 25 new watches around the city which included two in Whitchurch, Kelston Place/Camborne Avenue and Ffordd Morgannwg; we attended 6 Operation Perception exercises in conjunction with South Wales Police (this is where SWP select a certain area and carry out a door to door survey asking residents if they know their local Policing Team, have they had any cause to contact SWP etc, and I accompany the Police Officers and try to promote Neighbourhood Watch, often with great success). We attended several Fun Day events organised by SWP and attended the SWP Open Day at

Cardiff Castle. We also attended 14 events during National Neighbourhood Watch week. Since the last issue I have launched three new watches, one in Riverside, one in Fairwater and one in Whitchurch (The Avenue) and have another one in Whitchurch due to launch very soon. I have another in the pipeline. Small Business Saturday in Whitchurch on 7th December was a great success. I worked very closely with SWP and carried out another Operation Perception in Church Road, Bishops Road and Blandon Way, whilst the SWP staff who manned the Mobile Police Station engaged with approximately 400 members of the public. On January 15th this year, I took part in another Operation Perception with SWP, this time in Tremorfa, and the feedback was very encouraging indeed with 77 residents stating that they were interested in joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. 30 stated that they would be interested in setting up a Neighbourhood Watch group so I am expecting a meeting with these residents very soon. I also took part in an other Operation Perception at Asda, Cardiff Bay on Saturday 25th January and that was very interesting indeed, meeting people from all parts of the city including Whitchurch and Danescourt to name but two areas. Again interest was expressed in setting up Neighbourhood Watch groups so I will wait and see what happens

with this. Our next General Meeting will take place before this issue is published and our guest speaker is Mr Alun Michael, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales who will be talking about his first year in office. If anyone is interested in setting up a Neighbourhood Watch group please contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team or contact our office on 02920 527301. Bill Farnham Chairman BAKE FOR BOBATH THIS SPRING AND RAISE CASH During the week of St David’s Day, from 1st – 8th March 2014 people throughout Wales will Bake for Bobath and raise vital funds to help us to continue to provide our specialist service to children in Wales who have cerebral palsy. It would be fantastic if you could join us this year. Your support is extremely important to Bobath Children’s Therapy Centre Wales, we have raised over £65,000 to date from Bake for Bobath and in 2014 we are hoping to raise £15,000 in just one week. There are many ways you could helps us to raise the most ever this year For further information and a fundraising pack, including a recipe booklet, stickers, balloons, and a Welsh Brew tea bag please contact the Bobath fundraising team on: 029 20522600 or fundraising@ bobathwales.org.



Very Veggie Vegetarian food doesn’t have to be the predictable stuffed peppers and vegetarian lasagne. Clare Morgan stocks up on nutritious vegetables, cracks open the spices and cooks up some delicious vegetarian dishes.

Vegetarian Chili

175g/6oz green lentils 2 tbsp sunflower oil 1 large onion, chopped 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed 1-2 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 red and 1 green pepper, stalk and seeds removed, and chopped 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 2 x 400g/14oz cans chopped tomatoes 1 heaped tbsp tomato purée 300ml/½ pint vegetable stock 100g/4oz frozen peas 175g/6oz mushrooms, wiped and quartered 1 courgette, chopped salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 can kidney beans, drained 1. Place the green lentils in a large bowl and pour boiling water over them. Leave to soak for 30 minutes. (Alternatively, buy a tin of pre soaked lentils.) Drain. 2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and garlic together with the chilli and cumin, about ten minutes or until the onions are soft. 3. Add the peppers, carrots and drained green lentils and cook for five minutes, stirring all the time. Add the tomatoes, purée, stock and peas, bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils are tender (about 30 minutes). Add the mushrooms and courgettes and simmer for five minutes more. Season to taste. 4. Add the cooked kidney beans and simmer for five more minutes. Serve with cooked rice.

Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup 2 tsp medium curry powder 3 tbsp olive oil 2 onions, grated 1 eating apple, peeled, cored and grated 3 garlic cloves, crushed 20g pack coriander, stalks chopped thumb-size piece fresh root ginger, grated 800g sweet potatoes 1.2l vegetable stock 100g red lentils 300ml milk juice 1 lime

1. Put the curry powder into a large saucepan, then toast over a medium heat for 2 mins. Add the olive oil, stirring as the spice sizzles in the pan. Tip in the onions, apple, garlic, coriander stalks and ginger, season, then gently cook for 5 mins, stirring every so often. 2. Meanwhile, peel, then grate the sweet potatoes. Tip into the pan with the stock, lentils, milk and seasoning, then simmer, covered, for 20 mins. Blend until smooth using a stick blender. Stir in the lime juice, check the seasoning and serve, topped with roughly-chopped coriander leaves.

Guest Columnist ALICE MORGAN



he spring brings with it new beginnings. It is the calm after the storm. The madness of Christmas has died down and there is a slight serenity in the way we return to our everyday routines. A slight depression in the reoccurrence of normal life. But nevertheless, a fresh start. Nothing really changes in the space of twenty four hours between the end of one year and the beginning of another. Yet time changes us all. This year, I intended to change myself a little. Instead of the usual New Year’s resolutions such as ‘I’m going to lose weight’ or ‘I’m going to put more effort into my work’, I made only two this year that I think I might just stick to. One was to appreciate every moment of the year ahead and the other was to not be happy all the time. Sound strange? I’ll explain. Last year was a very difficult one for me and my family. We lost my father in the middle of the summer when the sun still cast its beautiful rays over us and we battled our way through the darkness of the winter months without him, always keeping in mind that he was still looking after us from a faraway place. Emerging into the spring with its fresh colours and fragrant blooms, the grey clouds that had crowded the skies finally began to clear. I’m lucky to be surrounded by wonderful family and friends. I usually have a smile on my face because I have many reasons to be happy. But I sometimes forget that I’m allowed to grieve. The comfort of ‘he’d want you to be happy’ doesn’t always compare to the overwhelming absence of a loving

father. So I will allow myself moments to miss him this year. I will not be happy all the time because I simply cannot be happy all the time. On the other hand, there is a lot to be grateful for. This is where my first resolution comes in. ‘I will appreciate every moment of the year ahead.’ Whether I am crying or laughing, I am living. That is something to appreciate in itself. I’ve created a list of the beautiful places I want to see in the world but while I’m saving money to get myself there, I’ve started to take in the beauty of things around me every day. In Richard Curtis’ 2013 film ‘About Time’, the main character Tim has the ability to travel through time. Following his father’s advice, he lives a day as he normally would; rushing around and stressing. Then, using his time travelling skills, he relives the same day but instead of noticing every day worries, he sees the bigger picture. I took on the challenge of living every day like Tim’s second day. Through the absence of an iPod (which is admittedly broken) I have noticed the birds singing on my way home. I usually take lots of photos to capture memories but sometimes, just a couple of photos are enough. You need time to actually live the memory that you are capturing! If I need to cry,

I will wallow in my grief for a while before taking a deep breath and carrying on. Going out in the rain is fine because I have somewhere warm to come back to. Going to the beach in the rain is an experience I would recommend to anyone! I intend to spend lots of time with my nieces and nephews before they become teenagers and prefer to be with their friends instead. Of course, the occasional viewing of trash TV may occur (it’s too addictive!) but I will also broaden the range of books I read. And not just because it is required reading for university. I will eat good food and won’t deny myself that chocolate bar or that cake. I will travel on a budget. I will appreciate life in its entirety. The difficulty of making resolutions is keeping them. Sticking to these two abstract goals isn’t hard. Whenever I’m in a stressful situation, I compare it with the grand scheme of things. We are, after all, a tiny speck in the universe. So when that deadline is putting pressure on you, keep that thought with you. It’ll either calm you down or completely terrify you. Either way, it’s taken your mind off the deadline. Read more of Alice’s work at www. alicemariarose.wordpress.com




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