Friday, 23 June 2017

Friday Frivolity - Dogs

Friday Frivolity

This week we're talking about dogs.

Also, if you're in the UK, don't forget to check out my current competition to win a Meg Heath dog collar and lead. :)


When I was a kid my favourite monkey was the little red monkey - the cast of BBC radio comedy Take It From Here released it as a novelty record in 1953. I've tried to convince Marianna it is better than her modern favourites but to no avail.


And then once I was a little older everyone was mad for that Bloodhound Gang track where they dressed as monkeys. Apparently they're still around and even released a new album in 2015 - 16 years after The Bad Touch hit airplay. Man, I feel old..



Monday, 19 June 2017

Review: Meg Heath Dog Leads

Meg Heath Dog Leads Review

If you're looking for dog collars or leads, Meg Heath has you covered. They also sell head collars, training leads and harnesses, and are always adding to the range. Everything is available in a wide range of colours - 18 right now! - and if you have something special in mind they will work with you to create bespoke collars and leads. In fact, none of their products are pre-made as you can customise the size, colour and fittings of every item you buy.

We went for the Double Tag Flat Collar (from £9.99) and the Double Up Lead (from £8), both in electric blue. The latter is particularly handy as you can use it at full length or half length, which is great if you don't want to carry multiple leads with you on walks.

Meg Heath Dog Leads

I was really impressed with the quality - all items come with a five year guarantee and the stitching has a lifetime guarantee! Based in Lincolnshire, Meg Heath have been working with dogs in rescue, training, and boarding kennels since the mid 1980s. In other words, they know what they're doing when it comes to creating top notch products for your pooches.

Here is Bracken modelling her new collar:

Meg Heath Dog Collar

Not satisfied with the challenge of getting Bracken to stay still long enough for a photograph, I then decided to get Marianna to pose with Bracken and the new double up lead. The lead is awesome. Getting a two year old and her best friend to co-operate... not so much.

Meg Heath Dog Leads Review

Meg Heath Electric Blue Dog Lead

Still, you can see what a gorgeous colour that lead is! Check out the range for yourself at Meg Heath Dog Leads. You can also connect with them on social media via Facebook and Twitter.

Meg Heath are also kindly offering a dog collar and lead to one lucky reader! Fill out the Gleam form below to get up to five chances to win. :)

Meg Heath Dog Leads Giveaway







For more like this, please click the image below:
Reviews from Babi a Fi - food, fashion, beauty, baby, toys, books, tech, days out, and more!




Sunday, 18 June 2017

This Week - 18/06

Always treat people as ends in themselves, never as means to an end.
Life This Week

I opened my first shop this week! I was invited up to cut the ribbon at Pretty Little Paws, a new dog grooming parlour at Fairwater shops. After that we went on to the offices of Vitalize Radio for the official launch - read more about the venture HERE.

On Friday we went to an open day at Llanyravon Court Care Home. Greenmeadow Farm had brought some of their petting animals down, and we were given a tour of the home and met some of the residents. Everyone was super friendly!

Saturday was the annual Painting in Pontypool Park competition. Marianna and I went along and chatted to some of the artists - or, in Marianna's case, complained ceaselessly that we weren't going to see the slide... Afterwards we went back to Pontypool Museum for a cup of tea and a scone.

On Sunday we went to the first of the local civic services, in Newport. It was a combined service with Armed Forces Day so there was a nice mix of readings and a good turnout. My own civic service will be Holy Trinity Church, Pontnewydd, on Jul 16th - all welcome. :)

Photo of the Week
I Have Been Mostly...

☆ READING: Magazines.

☆ WRITING: About 14,000 words.

☆ WATCHING: Snow White. Over and over again...

 LISTENING: Let Me Go - Three Doors Down.

☆ REVIEWING: N/A.

On the Blog

Nothing new to report!



For more like this, please click the image below:
This Week - Weekly Overviews




Friday, 16 June 2017

Friday Frivolity - Monkeys!

Friday Frivolity

This week's theme is monkeys! :D

When I was a kid my favourite monkey was the little red monkey - the cast of BBC radio comedy Take It From Here released it as a novelty record in 1953. I've tried to convince Marianna it is better than her modern favourites but to no avail.


And then once I was a little older everyone was mad for that Bloodhound Gang track where they dressed as monkeys. Apparently they're still around and even released a new album in 2015 - 16 years after The Bad Touch hit airplay. Man, I feel old...


Did you know that chimpanzees are not technically monkeys? They're still pretty amazing though - and even better in their natural habitats. Back in the day of course we had no such scruples, and here are some of the famous PG Tips chimps spoofing dating show Blind Date. It's so 90s it actually hurts.




Thursday, 15 June 2017

Vitalize Radio

Vitalize Radio Torfaen Banner

It was the official opening of Vitalize Radio - The Voice of Torfaen - today so we went up to cut the ribbon!

Vitalize Radio is a really awesome project spearheaded by Dan Williams from Cwmbran. Dan became involved with community radio back in 2011 when he began volunteering with Newport City Radio, and was keen to establish something similar in Torfaen. With support from lottery funding and the Communities First programme, Vitalize Radio has set up base at Fairwater shops and is hoping to grow from strength to strength.

Vitalize Radio Official Launch

In addition to playing great music, this non-profit venture aims to give back to the community. Volunteer presenters are trained up and put on air, delivering local and topical news to listeners, and hosting shows. (If you're interested in becoming a volunteer presenter, sales executive, etc, check out their current opportunities HERE.) The station also provides exposure for the wealth of unsigned talent in and around Torfaen.

Their goal right now is to attract interest from local businesses looking for new ways to reach potential customers. If you're reading this and are interested in advertising with community radio, drop the Vitalize team an email at info@vitalize.org.uk.


Find out more - and listen in! - at vitalize.org.uk, or connect with them on social media via:

Link to Vitalize Radio Facebook page. link to my instagram profile Link to my Twitter account.


For more like this, please click the image below:
Out and About in Torfaen







Friday, 9 June 2017

Friday Frivolity

Friday Frivolity

Our host theme for this week is doughnuts! I love doughtnuts - ring doughnuts, filled doughnuts, those little mini doughnuts. They're all good.

Homer Simpson
Which type of doughnuts are your favourite? :)




Friday, 2 June 2017

Friday Frivolity - Doughnuts!

Friday Frivolity

Our host theme for this week is doughnuts! I love doughtnuts - ring doughnuts, filled doughnuts, those little mini doughnuts. They're all good.

Homer Simpson
Which type of doughnuts are your favourite? :)




Friday, 26 May 2017

Friday Frivolity - Wine

Friday Frivolity

May 25th is National Wine Day in the US, so it's the perfect time to celebrate the beverage! I don't drink much these days - the last time I went all out on wine it resulted in a broken laptop and a near death experience! - but I still have the occasional glass. For this week's post, here are some characters who never have any intention of taking it easy on the wine...

Bernard Black really loved his wine.

Like, really really loved it.

As did Father Jack.

And even Del Boy gave it a go...




Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Mayor Making 2017

Me, Anthony and Marianna at Torfaen Mayor Making Ceremony

It was the Council AGM today (webcast HERE) - electing the Leader, Mayor, etc and confirming appointments - followed by the Mayor Making ceremony. I'm so pleased to say I'll be Mayor of Torfaen for the coming civic year! :)

My charities will be:

Torfaen Mind. Based in Pontypool, Torfaen Mind promotes better mental health and wellbeing throughout the borough. You can read more about the good work they do at their website www.torfaenmind.co.uk.

Cyfannol Women's Aid. Based in Pontypool and Abergavenny, Cyfannol provides support and services to women and children in Torfaen and Monmouthshire affected by domestic abuse. Find out more at cyfannol.org.uk.

Lincoln's Legs. This appeal is raising money for a life changing operation for Lincoln Hope of Garndiffaith. For more info, check out the Facebook page.

Fingers crossed for lots of successful fundraising!


I am looking forward to getting out and about and speaking to lots of people this year. You can follow Mayoral engagements at the @MayorofTorfaen Twitter account, and I'm sure I'll be writing about lots of them here too. If you have an event, etc, you want the Mayor to attend send an email through to chris.slade@torfaen.gov.uk in democratic services who keeps the civic diary in order.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Jeremy Corbyn Style A-Z

An A-Z of Jeremy Corbyn's Political Style

Volume 50 of This Week In Fandom introduced me to 'Maylennials', the name given to fans of Theresa May, the UK's Conservative Prime Minister. The fandom mostly consists of fangirling the PM's fashion choices on Tumblr, Instagram, and blogs like Political Style. The latter is currently running a series on an A-Z of May's sartorial decisions, from jaunty hats to oversized accessories.

It inspired me to redress the balance and celebrate the real political style icon of our times: Jeremy Corbyn.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Friday Frivolity - Museums

Friday Frivolity

History has always been my passion - it stems right back to being a little kid and being amazed at the very idea there was a world before I was a part of it! This week #FridayFrivolity is celebrating International Museum Day, so I figured I'd dig up some of my favourite history songs. :D

Horrible Histories is the best!


Epic rap battles of history are always, well, epic.

The history of the Vikings set to soft rock. xD





Friday, 12 May 2017

Friday Frivolity - Food

Friday Frivolity

First things first, I want to apologise to everyone for being so flaky over the last few weeks. It feels like I've just got through the longest job interview in history! Last Thursday was local election day here in Wales and we spent the night at the count. (Well, I spent most of it in the toilets literally sick with nerves.) It was a long hard slog of campaigning but it paid off and all three seats in Pontnewydd went to Labour. :)

Anyway, now life is settling down again and I'm back with Friday Frivolity. This week's theme is food because May 11th is 'Eat What You Want Day'! I'm celebrating with some of my favourite food jingles...

McDonalds first arrived in the UK in the 1970s but it wasn't until the late 80s that it really started to threaten homegrown franchises like Wimpy Bar. With jingles like this one, it was always inevitable!


This jingle is a classic - even if I don't actually like Milky Bars!


The Chewitsaurus likes to chew it. Apparently.


You'll never put a better bit of butter on your knife.




Thursday, 27 April 2017

Friday Frivolity

Friday Frivolity

TBA



Thursday, 20 April 2017

Friday Frivolity - Rain

Friday Frivolity

I'm forever playing catch up with the linky the last few weeks - it's election season. I'm standing for re-election in the local council elections (two weeks to go!) and the Prime Minister has just announced a snap general election (six weeks to go!).

Rain is kind of summing up my mood every time I think of all the canvassing still to come...

Who wants to be foretold the weather? It is bad enough when it comes, without our having the misery of knowing about it beforehand



Friday, 14 April 2017

Friday Frivolity - Easter

Friday Frivolity

I'll edit - and catch up with comments - in the morning! x








Friday, 7 April 2017

Friday Frivolity - Spiders

Friday Frivolity

This week's theme is my greatest fear - spiders! Man, I hate those creepy crawlies. Just the thought of them makes me feel ill, and look around the room to check there isn't one lurking... The only spider I'll give the time of day is Anansi and, even then, I try not to look at the illustrations!








Sunday, 2 April 2017

This Week

A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water
Life This Week

It's been a long week. We've been out canvassing every day for the council elections in May which is always a slog - let's face it, nobody really wants politicians banging on their front door! We've pretty much finished the initial knocking now, so it will be leafleting next week and that's both quicker and easier.

On Wednesday a water pipe burst in the kitchen. We spent the night at my mum's and the landlord got it all sorted the next day so it was fine; the only real victim was my stress levels. I've done something to my leg too, so the end of the week had me hobbling about the place, and then I almost bust yet another laptop. I dropped my own in the middle of March and have had to share with Anthony which has been just as awful as you might imagine. Then that one wouldn't load... thankfully my dad fixed it.

Pay day has finally arrived though so today I'm ordering a new laptop, and doing nothing but sitting on the sofa entering competitions. I mean, I might have to move at some point, but I won't be happy about it!

Photo of the Week
Marianna and Anthony
Marianna and Anthony. :)
I Have Been Mostly...

☆ READING: I've reviewed what I've been reading this month HERE. Mostly kids books, and a critical study of existing LGBTQ themed children's and YA books by B. J. Epstein.

☆ WRITING: I haven't had much time to write this week to be honest!

☆ WATCHING: Check out my monthly film review post.

 LISTENING: You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon.

☆ WEARING: Labour rosettes. :)

☆ EATING: Sandwiches.

☆ REVIEWING: N/A.

On the Blog

I've got a couple of new competitions running - one for a paperback copy of Five Go Adventuring Again and another for Desierto on DVD.




For more like this, please click the image below:
This Week - Weekly Overviews




Friday, 31 March 2017

Friday Frivolity - National Cleaning Week

Friday Frivolity

The fourth week of March is National Cleaning Week, a time for me to be reminded why I keep putting off all those cleaning jobs in the first place... In celebration, enjoy some retro advertisements for the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.

Keep Britain Tidy with Ronnie Corbett

Keep Britain Tidy with the Bee Gees

Keep Britain Tidy with ABBA
And the mascots of litter picking, The Wombles:






Thursday, 30 March 2017

What I Read In March 2017

What I've Read This Month

Here's what we've been reading this month!


The GruffaloThe Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fiction, 1999. This is a modern classic for a reason! Very easy to read, fun to listen to, and a lightly done message about brains beating brawn.



The Gruffalo's ChildThe Gruffalo's Child by Julia Donaldson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fiction, 2004. A worthy sequel and another really fun read. I like that it paints the Gruffalo as a more sympathetic character too, showing children that we all have many aspects to our lives and personalities.



Tyrannosaurus DripTyrannosaurus Drip by Julia Donaldson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fiction, 2007. I didn't like this one - the writing and art is fine, it's just that the central message didn't sit well with me. Not everything has to be cutesy and heartwarming, true, but I wouldn't read it to my toddler again all the same.



mor hyfryd yw'r byd (what a wonderful world)mor hyfryd yw'r byd by Bob Theile
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fiction, 2014. Lovely illustrations and bilingual lyrics to the song.



Are the Kids All Right? Representations of LGBTQ Characters in Children's and Young Adult LiteratureAre the Kids All Right? Representations of LGBTQ Characters in Children's and Young Adult Literature by B.J. Epstein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 2013. Interesting study of 60 LGBTQ children's books and the kinds of messages being disseminated to young people. I don't necessarily agree with all of Epstein's assertions - I felt the case against 'issue books' was somewhat overstated, given that a lot of the sample texts were explicitly written for the purpose - but the work as a whole certainly highlights the continuing scarcity of LGBTQ themed children's books in general, and the lack of intersectionality within them.


To help you get started with your reading for April, I have a copy of Enid Blyton's Five Go Adventuring Again to give away. Just fill out the Gleam widget below to get up to five entries.

Win Five Go Adventuring Again


Win Five Go Adventuring Again



newerPageTitle olderPageTitle Home