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Showing posts from February, 2018

Marianna's Jukebox

When Marianna asks to have songs on it's only going to go one of two ways. It either means Swifty - Taylor Swift encompassing every female starlet of the last fifty years or so to Marianna's mind - and at least three repeats of Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass. Or a random mash-up of vintage music hall and comedy songs. When Father Papered The Parlour This was actually one of my favourite songs as a kid, courtesy of a 'Hello Children Everywhere!' compilation tape from the local library. Now Marianna loves it too, though of course it has to be the 1912 recording by Billy Williams . The song was written for him in 1910, when Williams - born Richard Isaac Banks in Melbourne - was the toast of the British music hall. He was a prolific recording artist with over 500 recordings which continued to sell well long after his premature death in 1915. Wait 'Til You Get 'Em Up In The Air, Boys! The world was a different place when Billy Murray record

Civic Life in the UK

Civic life, according to, can be defined as 'the public life of the citizen concerned with the affairs of the community and nation, as contrasted with private or personal life.' In other words, civic life is all the stuff that is going on across the country, day in day out, for the good of the community. The fancy civic dinners and the engagement consultations in drafty halls. The fetes, and the fairs, and parades - and the litter picks, the neighbourhood committees, and the town council meetings. Before I became involved in local politics there were so many aspects of civic life I had no idea about. I'd never heard of the high sheriff, for example, and I had no idea what the difference was between a borough and community council. Serving as Mayor gave me chance to learn so much more about the intricacies of public life - who's who and what's what - and I figured it might make for an interesting blog series to share what I've learned with anyo

A - Z Fandom Ask Tag

Fandom asks meme I found on Tumblr... A - Ships that you currently like a lot. (Friendships, pairings, threesomes, etc. are allowed.) Right now I'm liking Hastings/Poirot, Jim Gordon/Clancy O'Hara, and Gaston/LeFou. B - A pairing–platonic, romantic or sexual–that you initially didn’t consider, but someone changed your mind. I didn't see the attraction of Jim/Harvey in Gotham until I came across some fanart. Then I saw that scene where it looked like Jim was going in for a desperate snog and suddenly I was like, yeah, okay, I get it now! C - A ship you have never liked and probably never will. Sherlock Holmes / Moriarty. I mean, I get the appeal, what with the hero/villain dynamic. But I just can't like a ship that encroaches on the epic love of Holmes and Watson... D - A pairing you wish you liked but just can’t. I really wish I was fannish about Nygmobblepot - Nygma / Penguin. It would probably make my time in Gotham fandom much easier

30 Days of Tumblr

#01 - How did you find out about Tumblr?  Probably on LiveJournal. I used to be pretty active on there but as it died down more and more people moved over to Tumblr. #02 - Have you had another account before this one? No; I've just changed usernames a few times. #03 - What other URLs have you had? I don't remember them all, but they include starrrz, babiafi, and horrorsaurus. #04 - What does your current URL mean? Serenwib is Welsh for shooting star - all my fandom accounts have names related to stars. #05 - How many posts do you have? 852. I go through now and then and delete posts that are no longer relevant, etc. #06 - Is your portrait photo actually you? Nope, not unless my mirror has been lying all these years... #07 - Let’s see your Tumblr crushes! All the fanartists. They're amazing! <3 #08 - How many followers do you have? 726. #09 - How many people do you follow? 4683. #10: Do you follow back? Yes,

Just Married!

The Great War - The Terrible War

L-R: Cllr Gaynor James, Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Cllr Alan Jones, ? (it'll come to me!), Anthony, Ashleigh Taylor (TCBC Community Heritage Development Officer), Me, Marianna, Ivor Davies (Museum Chairman). We attended the opening of a new exhibition at Pontypool Museum on Saturday, commemorating those who lived and died during WWI. It was a small exhibition, but very moving. The South Wales Argus published an article about it in February 18th edition : The people who lived during the First World War are remembered in a special exhibition that opened on Saturday. People of all ages attended the unveiling of The Great War The Terrible War exhibition at the Pontypool Museum.  Welcoming people to the launch museum chairman Ivor Davies said he was very proud of the exhibition. He said: “We are very proud as a trust to put this on show. It will be the last time it will be on display and the schools have been very involved.”  This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end

Nodffa Baptist Church Outreach

At Garnteg Primary with pupils, headteacher Susan Roche, Pastor John, and Cllr Giles Davies who is very much taller than me! The thing I love most about being Mayor is getting to visit schools and youth events, so I was really pleased to attend a series of special assemblies recognising the work pupils had put into a project run by Nodffa Baptist Church in Abersychan. It aims to help deliver some of the primary RE curriculum in a fun and accessible way, and at the assemblies children were receiving certificates and awards for their success in a quiz completed at the end of the project. Pastor John always has such great energy, and it was fab to see the kids singing and really joining in! Our local paper, the South Wales Argus, came along to one of the presentations at Garnteg Primary and printed a story in the Feb 14th edition : A church project bringing costumes, workshops and exhibitions into schools has been embraced by pupils and staff in the Abersychan area. Earlier t

500 Writers Who Started Out In Fanfiction

While researching my International Fanworks Day post on creators and their thoughts on fanfiction - cue obligatory pimping of that article - I kept running into listicles of authors who started out in fandom. It quickly became clear to me that these represented only the tip of the iceberg, especially as many of them struggled to actually name writers who had been in fic fandom rather than who wrote stories independently for their own amusement, or who are known to be okay with fandom like, say, John Scalzi or Neil Gaiman. I figured I could do better, so here I am putting my money where my mouth is. You'll find huge household names in this post, rubbing shoulders with obscure writers with a single self-published book to their name. And every possible permutation in between. It's just not the oddity the newspaper articles would have you believe. Fanfiction is absolutely everywhere in published fiction. For the most part it is not labelled as such, and the authors probably

Mini Mart - Dateman Books

Supplier: Dateman Books Website: Webstore - Ebay Store - Etsy Store . Products:  1/12 scale books and magazines. You can buy books in kit format for £4.50 or, if you're lazy like me, ready made books for £7 or £8.50 each. Some titles cost a little more, like the Rupert Bear annuals which due to licensing and so on are £16 each, but £7 or £8.50 is the norm. The books come in two sizes - large which equates to A4 in 1/12 sale, or small which equates to A5 - and the price for each title is the same regardless. (i.e. the price difference depends on book series not size.) The first one I bought was Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys; it's a hardback with printed cover and legible pages. It really is so well made! Then, a couple of years back, Dateman Books were at the Cwmbran miniatures fair at the Stadium and obviously I couldn't resist buying something from their stall. I went with one of the James Bond titles (the first chapter is printed in miniature), which ev

Man Who Has It All + Giveaway

The Man Who Has It All changed my life. Because it didn't matter how many trashy tips or bullshit lifestyle advice I read in the women's mags, there was always a nagging little voice inside of me insisting that if I was just better at making home made face masks and packing creative lunch boxes the rest of my life would all surely fall into place. Wife online? Kids in bed? Time to relax with a glossy magazine to find out what's wrong with your skin, hair, nails and testicles. 'Me-time.' — manwhohasitall (@manwhohasitall) February 10, 2018 What the  @manwhohasitall Twitter account highlights is how dumb that notion is. Simply by switching the gender this advice is aimed at it becomes ridiculous - something you can't imagine anybody taking seriously. In fact, it's really kind of hilarious! Working dad? Learn to relax! Lose yourself in a salad, take a bubble bath or laugh out loud at your favourite fridge magnet. — manwhohasitall (@manwhohas

30 Days of Thinky Thoughts

1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? As old as you wanted to be. 2. Which is worse, failing or never trying? Never trying, for sure. 3. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done? I do like talking, so quite possibly. 4. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? Somewhere in the middle, I'd say. 5. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? I'd be way more picky about the things I'm willing to put up with. 6. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken? Limited, really. I've kind of fallen into things more than actively chosen them. 7. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? Doing the right things. 8. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? Don't let anybody tell you that you can't achiev

Fanfiction and TPTB

Today is International Fanworks Day, aka the day to celebrate fandom in all its geekish finery. So I'm going to talk about fanfiction and, more specifically, its relationship with TPTB - The Powers That Be. Those who create or own the work can often feel threatened by the existence of fanfiction, and over the years many have attempted to ban transformative works based on their creations. Of course, that's a thankless and nigh impossible task, so these days more and more creators are embracing fandom. For one thing they're more likely to know what fandom is and what it's all about and, correspondingly, they're also much more aware of how an active fandom can benefit their brand and their own ability to make money from their creative work. Because fanfiction has come a long way since I first stumbled across it some 20 years ago. Back then there was real fear - justified fear, at that - that your uncool hobby could bring the legal might of big name authors, TV co