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Showing posts from March, 2017

Friday Frivolity - National Cleaning Week

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 . And the mascots of litter picking, The Wombles:

What I Read In March 2017

Here's what we've been reading this month! The 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 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 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 by Bob Theile My rating: 5 of 5 stars Fiction, 2014. Lovely illustrations and bi

Film Reviews for March 2017

The Ring (2002) was the scariest film I ever saw. That's not to say it's the best horror film ever made by any stretch of the imagination, but it's the one that shook me up most. It's the one that gave me nightmares, and the one that made me sleep with the light on and want to cover up mirrors and the television set. That image of Sadako / Samara (I watched the Japanese version straight after because, like any horror junkie, I want to be scared) climbing out of the well still has the power to creep me out. So, I was really looking forward to Rings this year. It had a few interesting ideas, and some cool imagery - the rain falling upwards, for example - but ultimately it falls flatter than a pancake. The backstory of Samara's conception had the potential to lead to some truly creepy cinematography and story telling, but it ended up feeling more like a 70s road trip horror. None of the storylines felt particularly well developed, and they didn't even m

This Week

There's been lots on this week - looking back I don't know what, but I feel exhausted so there must have been! I had school governors at Croesy on Monday, and I officially joined the board of Bron Afon Housing Association on Thursday. The new CEO, Alan Brunt, has just started too so it's a really exciting time to get involved. On Friday we started canvassing for the council elections on May 4th - I had Marianna with me for the afternoon session and she was really good for the first 45 minutes or so. Then we went to Brooklands Park for a bit and Marianna actually climbed to the steps to the slide on her own for the first time! But then she didn't want to leave the slide and threw a massive tantrum when we went to canvass Lowlands. We got back just after 7pm and I was in bed by 8:30pm. She broke me! We did another two sessions on Saturday, then I spent the evening in front of the TV like the cultured person I am... Marianna with Uncle Rhys and Auntie Han

Friday Frivolity - 80s Music

The 80s is my musical home - at least in spirit! The bulk of my favourite music comes from the decade, and I'm generally obsessed with 80s fashion and movies. Still, I figured for this post I'd feature a few songs about the 80s. I was feeling meta, I guess! #4. In Love With The 80s (Pink Tux To The Prom) - Relient K  (2003). And I'm only gonna pierce my left ear, And I've been working on this mustache all summer long, And my favorite band will always be tears for fears, And I'm gonna wear a pink tux to the prom. #3. Acceptable In The 80s - Calvin Harris (2007). #2. 1985 - Bowling For Soup (2004). She's seen all the classics / She knows every line. Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink; even Saint Elmo's Fire. She rocked out to Wham! Not a big Limp Bizkit fan.  Thought she'd get a hand, on a member of Duran Duran. #1. PoP! Goes My Heart - Music & Lyrics Soundtrack (2007).

Movie Night

Sorting through some of the endless junk in the house lead me to an old scrapbook from my teens. Just check out this page of carefully collected cinema ticket stubs. I can't believe I actually paid good money to see most of these films! Most of them are from the Cineworlds in Newport and Cardiff, and the little paper stubs are from the old Scene 123 cinema in Cwmbran. It opened in 1972 and basically remained exactly the same until it closed in 2013. Apparently it was the last remaining cinema in the UK using an original mirror periscope system. You can see some photos of the interior - looking much, er, fresher than I remember it - over at the Cwmbran Life blog . As kids we used to go to cinema club there every Saturday morning (£1 admission!) where I saw the 1998 remake of Godzilla about eight times. I went most weeks when I was in sixth form too, usually after my Saturday morning shift as a kitchen help at St. Joe's Hospital in Malpas. There were three screens, allege

Licensing Committee Explained

Welsh local government elections are coming up - May 4th - so it seems as good as time as any to write about the work local government councillors do. I served on Torfaen's licensing committee for two years (iirc!) after being elected in 2012. Local authorities must have a licensing committee consisting of between 10 and 15 members, as laid out in the Licensing Act 2003 . Most decisions are taken at sub-committee level, which is made up of three members and relevant officer support, while full committee receives monitoring reports and updates, in addition to briefings on legislation changes, and makes decisions on policy changes. The licensing committee is a quasi-judicial body  - basically meaning it has judicial qualities but is not as strictly bound by procedure, etc, as a court would be. It has four key objectives: ☆ Prevention of crime and disorder. ☆  Public safety. ☆  Prevention of public nuisance. ☆  Protection of children from harm. These must be kept in min

This Week

It's been ages since I've done one of these updates! This week has been pretty standard, nothing particularly exciting to report. I had healthier scrutiny committee, and planning committee, and a meeting of the Gwent Police and Crime Panel. Possibly other things I've already forgotten about... ☆ READING:  I scanned in a news clipping about the launch of the poppy appeal last year. ☆ WRITING:  About my favourite flowers . ☆ WATCHING: Southland . It's equal parts compelling and frustrating. One episode they're shooting people at the drop of a hat, and the next they're all 'omg, I am totally overwhelmed by this criminal, if only I had some kind of weapon at my disposal...' ☆   LISTENING:   All Time Low . I'm feeling nostalgic for my youth. (RIP) ☆ WEARING:  My engagement ring. I thought I had lost it last week, but I found it under a pile of paperwork upstairs. ☆ EATING:  Pizza. :) ☆ REVIEWING:  N/A. I scanned i