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Showing posts from September, 2015

Weigh In

Weight: 15st 1lb ( +2 )


I was outraged to find today that a delegation of councillors from Torfaen County Borough Council have just yesterday, at the rate payer’s expense jetted off to one of UNESCO’s world heritage site for a jolly old outing. ... Using council funds for lavish private transport and to fund entertainment expenses all on their jolly, it’s this sort of excess that makes people despair of local government. That's how Anthony - being the cheeky git that he is - described a council trip up to Blaenavon yesterday on the bus. The 'entertainment' was actually a cup of tea and a Welsh Cake at the Heritage Centre. (And very nice it was, too.) The view from the Heritage Centre. The point of the trip was to see what has been achieved in Blaenavon over the last few years. The town of about 6000 people was made a renewal area in 1999 - that is an area "identified as having poor housing conditions, coupled with social, economic and environmental needs" - and was then d

Giveaway: Tutu Baskets

Tutu baskets, as the name suggests, are baskets with tutus. They're really pretty, and make great gifts, flower girl baskets, hamper baskets, and even table centrepieces. My mum made all the baskets in the picture above - she sells the little flower girl type on eBay, and makes them to commission if people are looking for a particular colour scheme. You can check out her eBay HERE . Or, you can read on to win one of three tutu baskets! 3rd Place Small flower girl oval basket (about 8cm across) with pink tulle tutu and daisy embellishments. Inside is a little pink teddy and a small package with sweets and hair clips. 2nd Place Small flower girl oval basket (about 8cm across) with blue tulle tutu and snowflake / Frozen embellishments. Inside is a little cream teddy, three mini Frozen chocolate bars, and a small package with hair clips. 1st Place Large rectangular basket with white and purple tulle tutu and sparkly embellishments. Inside there is a pack

This Week #2

It was Full Council on Tuesday (webcast HERE ), and Joint Scrutiny (webcast HERE ) on Thursday so I got to see plenty of the inside of the Chamber. On Wednesday Anthony decided to go out at midday and roll in at 2am - alright for some! - so Marianna and I spent the day singing, riding in / pushing the toddle car (respectively), and watching Rainbow. We were also in the local paper this week , talking about local facilities for babies. Most of the weekend was spent without internet access (bar 3G) which was a living nightmare. It reminded me of that episode of High Hopes where Charlie and Hoffman ask Fagin what people did before television... Fagin : Nothing. We was as bored as hell. Endless nights just sitting around, waiting to go to bed. People think we're sisters!  Marianna with her Baba - she's even started saying Baba now, it's so cute. ☆ READING: I finished Outlander (review HERE ). ☆ WRITING:  More True Crime, this time the murder of K


Outlander is now an award winning TV show and, from the few clips I've seen, doesn't look too bad. Still, I figured I ought to at least try and read the book before watching it. I say try because I knew Diana Gabaldon, its author, more by reputation than output: Gabaldon explains how fanfiction is like white slavery. Seriously. What raised that rant from the realm of the ludicrously unreasonable to the utterly hilarious is the fact that Gabaldon happily admits to basing her own romantic hero, eighteenth century highlander Jamie Fraser, on eighteenth century highlander Jamie McCrimmon, a character she spotted in a re-run of Dr Who. We can only guess how Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke feel / felt about seeing their character say idiotic things like: "Aye, I mean to use ye hard, my Sassenach", and enact simple-minded sex fantasies along the lines of: "he pressed me down, hammering me, a solid, inexorable pounding that reached my womb with each stroke.&qu

Midnight Tragedy: The Murder of "Poor Kitty" Roman

Last week I wrote about the 1898 murder of Eliza Roberts in the same house the Ripper had killed Mary Kelly. This week we have yet more proof that Miller's Court had some seriously bad vibes, with the murder of 24-year-old Kitty Roman in the cottage opposite, at around midnight Thursday 1st July / very early Friday 2nd July 1909. Links out generally go to Wiki, newspaper reports, or contemporary records, as relevant. The Victim Kate Roman was born in 1884/5 to Andrew Martin Roman, a house painter. Roman had been born about 1855 in New York, as was Kate and her siblings Gertrude, Annie and Joseph (1883). Roman married Margaret Hart Mulligan on June 18th 1889 but the arrangement clearly didn't suit him; within months he had moved to England and taken Katie with him. Family tradition has it that Andrew came over with the '89 European Buffalo Bill tour which, true or not, is totally irrelevant but rather cool. Andrew set up home with an Oxford born woman

Mini Mart: Minimum World

The photo envelope with negatives on the table is from Minimum World, as is the little blue glass jar on the shelf in the background. Supplier: Minimum World Website: . You can also find them on Facebook and Pinterest . Products: Wide range of 1/12 with some 1/16 and 1/24 scale miniatures. The website is easy to navigate, and there is a working search function if you're looking for something specific. They stock lots of big brands, including Richard Stacey bricks, tiles, etc. This is probably my favourite purchase - it's available HERE . As usual, I was on the lookout for accessories. I bought some tools and garden gnomes for the Sindy green house I'm working on, an artist's paint set, photo negatives, some glass jars and bottles, and some really tiny metal coins . Post and Packing: Free domestic postage on orders over £40, otherwise it's £3.95. You can upgrade to special delivery for £4.95. They ship worldwide, and even of

Child's Play

We even made it on to the front page! (kind of) I had a call yesterday from Hayley Mills who works for the South Wales Argus, our local paper. She was writing a piece on how baby friendly Torfaen is and wanted some comments. Before I had a baby it riled me somewhat that everything in Torfaen seemed geared towards pensioners or families with young children (what with those dreaded words advertising any and every event, 'family fun'). Now I'm a mum myself I recognise that that's not entirely true, but there are still lots of things to do and places to go with a baby. I sent in this photo my mum took a couple of weeks ago at Greenmeadow Farm . Cwmbran is particularly well geared towards people with babies - as a new town it was designed for the purpose. There are play parks, playgroups, and a pedestrian only town centre. The housing estate where I live, Northville, was literally built to make life easier for mothers. It has nice wide pavements for prams, but narr

Dolls without Hair

Dolls are a great tool for helping kids to make sense of the wider world, and provide a means for children to act out and address their own hopes and fears. This is especially true in the case of bald dolls produced for children affected by cancer, alopecia and other conditions which cause hair loss. When I was researching the posts on dolls with disabilities I came across a number of different brands who had produced such dolls, and thought it worth writing a specific post for them. * All pictures come from Google images, I claim no ownership * American Girl Find out more at the AG Doll Hospital page . You can purchase a doll without hair for $115, or send in an existing doll to have her head replaced. Barbie Barbie's friend Ella was first produced in 2012, with the small run of dolls donated to hospitals in the US and Canada. The response was positive enough for Mattel to commit to keeping the doll in production - they are then distributed