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Showing posts from July, 2017

Coopers Cafe - Trevethin

On July 5th we went up to Trevethin to open a new cafe! :) From the council press release: A brand new cafĂ© enterprise has established in Trevethin. Luan Haynes from Cwmbran has opened Coopers in the Bron Afon enterprise premises and has already built up a strong local following. Serving teas, coffees and breakfasts, Luan’s business should prove to be a great addition to the already established businesses in Trevethin shopping centre. Supported by Torfaen Country Borough Council Economy and Enterprise and Communities First Luan is looking to embed the business within the local community there. Richard Murphy Communities First Business Development officer “Luan’s whole focus has been to get to know the local community and people in Trevethin and to provide a service there. This is a venture which is very much community based and the local people and shopkeepers have welcomed Luan to the area and this is a business which hopefully will thrive in the coming months and years. On

Fic Writers Week 2017

Fic Writers Week is an initiative over on Tumblr to celebrate fandom - the writers who create all that free content, and the readers who consume it.  Here is a masterlist of my contributions for the week: ☆ Day #1 - Words of Validation . ☆ Day #2 - The Muses . ☆   Day #3 - Small But Mighty . ☆  Day #4 - The Devil's in the Details . ☆  Day #5 - Verbatim . ☆  Day #6 - Unsung Heroes. ☆  Day #7 - Spread the Word . For more like this, please click the image below:

Fic Writers Week Day #7

Fic Writers Week is an initiative over on Tumblr to celebrate fandom - the writers who create all that free content, and the readers who consume it. Find out more at my masterpost . The task for day seven is... Spread the Word! Today’s task for @ficwritersweek is to self-rec some of your favourite things you’ve written.  For more like this, please click the image below:

Henllys Village Nursery Graduation Ceremony

On Monday I went to the cutest event ever - a graduation ceremony at Henllys Village Nursery. They even wore tiny little caps and gowns! There was another ceremony on Tuesday, so I took Marianna to that one as she didn't have playgroup. She was absolutely transfixed by it. :) The South Wales Argus covered Monday's ceremony: MINIATURE mortarboards were thrown into the air by the departing pupils of a Torfaen nursery school at their graduation ceremony. Now in its eighth year, Henllys Village Nursery honours its outgoing pupils by holding a university-style celebration, even if the children are preparing for the next step of their educational adventure.  Dressed in purple gowns and matching caps, the first of three ceremonies was held at the nursery on this morning, with parents and other relatives in attendance. It was the first of the three ceremonies of graduating pre-schoolers at Henllys Village Nursery.  Stacey Russell, the head of pre-school, said: “It is a pro

Fic Writers Week Day #5

Fic Writers Week is an initiative over on Tumblr to celebrate fandom - the writers who create all that free content, and the readers who consume it. Find out more at my masterpost . The task for day five is... Verbatim. Writers: Share your favourite quotes from your fics - There’s always those passages that you’re the most proud of writing. This prompt is so you can proudly showcase them to your readers! For more like this, please click the image below:

Fic Writers Week Day #4

Fic Writers Week is an initiative over on Tumblr to celebrate fandom - the writers who create all that free content, and the readers who consume it. Find out more at my masterpost . The task for day four is... The devil's in the details. Writers: Highlight details you put into your work - Foreshadowing? External reference? Show off some subtle details you’ve included in your fics that readers might have missed! For more like this, please click the image below:

Fic Writers Week Day #3

Fic Writers Week is an initiative over on Tumblr to celebrate fandom - the writers who create all that free content, and the readers who consume it. Find out more at my masterpost . The task for day three is... Writers: Highlight your new/underrated fics - Have a story you’re proud of but that you wish had gotten more attention? Just published a fic and want people to see it? This day is the perfect chance to talk about them! For more like this, please click the image below:

Fic Writers Week Day #2

Fic Writers Week is an initiative over on Tumblr to celebrate fandom - the writers who create all that free content, and the readers who consume it. Find out more at my masterpost . The task for day two is... The Muses. Create some extra content based on one of your fics. Rather than inflict my terrible attempts at art on the world, I figured I’d do something a little different. My favourite of all the fics I’ve written this year was a WW2 AU. Here’s some of the background history to explain how it all worked… Overpaid, Oversexed, [Overfed] and Over Here!  I loosely set the fic in my own area of the country, which was one of two initial reception points for US troops. Those guys became the 8th Air Force and like the RAF (Royal Air Force) and other air units were well regarded. The problems began when the trickle of Americans became a flood of untrained GIs in 1942, stationed in camps around the city and private billets across the South Wales Valleys. They then proceeded t

Fic Writers Week Day #1

Fic Writers Week is an initiative over on Tumblr to celebrate fandom - the writers who create all that free content, and the readers who consume it. Find out more at my masterpost . The task for day one is... Writers: favourite comments - There’s always those comments that stick, the ones that help you push through a story or personal favourites that you just have to reread from time to time. Writers, this is the day to share some of those! Comments mean so much because they inspire you to keep writing, to carry on pouring time and effort into this hobby over others, and they help create a sense of community within fandom. I got back into fandom last year after about 2 years away and there is no doubt that it had changed. But the squee and the encouragement I got through comments made me still feel a part of it, even though I’m not the type to be on discord or chat. So far this year I’ve written about 500,000 words of fic and it’s been amazing stress relief from the most h

Trolley Free

We went out this morning with Bron Afon's neighbourhood caretaker team to deliver a new poster to help tackle abandoned trolleys. It has been a longstanding problem in Cwmbran - we're sadly renowned as one of the worst areas in the UK for it - and Northville is a particular hotspot. In one day alone 229 abandoned trolleys were counted around the estate. Everyone knows why it happens: a high concentration of supermarkets in a small area, easy pedestrian access, and the low car ownership among residents. What is more difficult is coming up with a workable solution to the problem. Trolleywise collection service work with a number of the stores, and have just signed a contract with Morrisons which will hopefully have a big impact over the coming weeks. The Bron Afon leaflet lists contact information for Cwmbran stores, or you can also use the Trolleywise app to report trolleys for Asda and Morrisons. We had a pretty good response on the doorstep, and walking back we sa

Pontypool Town Educational Digital Resource

I was up at Pontypool Museum this morning for the launch of the Pontypool Town Educational Digital Resource - otherwise known as the Townscape Heritage Initiative Educational Resource. That's a bit of a mouthful but, basically, it's a new online tool for schools, students, and anybody else interested in the history of Pontypool. The base of activity is the website - www.pontypoolmuseum.org.uk/thi - which has a page for each module or topic. These include Pontypool Town Centre, Pontypool Park and The Hanbury Family, Pontypool and Japanware, Pontypool Market, Pontypool Townscape Heritage Initiative, and 21st Century Pontypool. Each module is supported with worksheets, downloadable resources, digital heritage trails (which have their own app), and online games . I particularly like the town jigsaw and the Georgian or Victorian? architecture games! :) The other great feature is that alongside the teaching guides and suggested activities are a wealth of copyright free

Canadian Cops in Miniature

The bulk of Canadian policing is provided by RCMP - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - who are known the world over for their distinctive dress uniform. This post looks at the available miniatures in 1/6 scale. Action Man never could resist a dashing uniform! Introduced as part of the star reward scheme in 1968, the uniform was also available as a regular uniform set until the early 1980s before being re-released as part of Action Man's 40th Anniversary collection. For more info and lots of pictures, check out the Action Man HQ page . Geyper Man, Spain's answer to the man of action, also had a RCMP uniform of his own in 1975. Meanwhile GI Joe, Action Man's transatlantic cousin, was also getting in on the Mountie action. In 1966 Simpsons-Sears started stocking the figure above as a Canadian exclusive. (This version was sold concurrently with the Action Men of the World window box version , presumably depending on packaging availability.) There's an aweso

Blogger Q&A

☆ When was the last time you cried?  The other day when I was feeling ill. :( ☆ If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself? I like to think so, but we might just be too similar! ☆ Do you use sarcasm a lot? It may be the lowest form of wit but yes. Yes, I do. ☆ What's the first thing you notice about people? Their eyebrows. Seriously! ☆ Scary Movie or Happy Ending? Why not both? ☆ Favourite smells? Creosote. Mmmm... ☆ What's the furthest you've ever been from home? Turkey. So about 2,000 miles. ☆ Do you have any special talents? Does sleeping count? ☆ Where were you born? County Hospital in Griffithstown, back in the days when it still had its maternity wards. ☆ What are your hobbies? Blogging, comping , short story writing, and collecting doll house miniatures. ☆ What did you want to be when you grew up? Rich. Or, failing that, a famous author. There's still time... ☆  How many countries have y

Friday Frivolity

Torfaen Family Information Service

Torfaen Family Information Service is something you might not have heard of before, but once you've checked them out you'll wish you had known about them sooner! They provide free and impartial information on childcare (providers, careers, and tax credits / vouchers), services and activities for children, young people and families (including parents-to-be) in Torfaen. The website - www.torfaenfis.org.uk - is crammed with useful information about local childcare providers, explanations of the early years curriculum and its delivery, as well as things for kids to do in Torfaen from a listing of sports clubs to support groups for children with additional needs. If you have children it's well worth following FIS on social media as they post regular information on what's going on in the area - especially the free and the inclusive. Probably the best thing about the FIS however is that they can tailor their information to your inquiry. If you send them an email at fis

Unique Boutique Salon - Beauty at Furley's

Since becoming Mayor I've been invited to all kinds of different events, but one of the more glam was definitely an open evening for Beauty at Furley's! (There was even a topless waiter who you can kind of see in shot there. Definitely a change of pace from the usual Mayoral engagement!) Leanne Furley is a hair and make-up artist, beauty therapist and nail technician - she even managed to work my own nails into a condition that has had people complimenting them. I literally cannot remember the last time that happened. It was before Marianna came along, I know that much. The open evening was to celebrate Leanne making Unique Boutique Salon her new operating base, offering everything from prom and bridal hair / make-up through to tanning treatments and acting as a rep for Timeless Truth face masks. Check out the full range: A huge thank you to Leanne for inviting me - and raising some funds for my Mayoral charities with a raffle! It was super appreciated and I had

Torfaen People's Panel

The Torfaen People's Panel is all about having your say on the issues which matter to you. It's a consultative panel of people living in Torfaen and aims to give local people a chance to have their say about public services and life in the Borough. The idea is for it to be broadly typical of Torfaen's population in terms of gender, ethnicity and geography - so we need people of all ages from all across the borough to sign up if we want it to be truly representative! Panel members will have the chance to take part in: Surveys: members will be invited to respond to postal questionnaires, telephone or internet surveys. Workshops: members will be invited to participate in community workshops. Scrutiny: members will be able to examine local issues in detail by listening to information from public officers and then discussing their views in light of what they have heard in order to advise how local public/voluntary bodies should deliver their services. Focus groups: