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Showing posts from June, 2019

This Week - 30/06/2019

This week feels like it's gone on forever! The main things at work were  full council on Tuesday which ended up being a very long, drawn out meeting. With a request for another meeting right at the end of it. Thursday was visioning (i.e. forward planning) for Children and Young People committee. I still feel really nervous every time I chair it; I'm not sure why, really. Just my nervous disposition, I suppose. Yesterday Marianna stayed the night at Anthony's mum and dad's, so I mostly just slept. There was a time when a free weekend meant sightseeing, or a night out, or whatever, but now it's just a chance to sleep as much as possible! I did get up eventually and finish off a post on the Broad Haven Triangle  mystery I've been working at on and off since last October though. We also watched that new Netflix film, Murder Mystery . The reviews haven't been great but I really enjoyed it. I mean, sure, it's not a cerebral masterpiece, but it's gre

The Broad Haven Triangle

Over the years I have heard this story dozens of times, and that's a conservative estimate. Any time UFOs came up as a topic of conversation my mum would tell me about her own otherworldly sighting back in the 1970s. To tell the truth I was always kind of dismissive. Aliens? Yeah, right. And just how good would the memory of a kid on holiday be, anyway? It was far more likely to have been a nightmare that only became more vivid with the retelling. Later, in my twenties, I first heard of the Broad Haven Mystery. The Dyfed Enigma. Welsh Triangle. Whatever you want to call it, the bare bones of the incident involved over twenty children and school staff witnessing a strange craft and being at Broad Haven Primary School in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. Picked up by BBC Newsround, a news and current affairs programme aimed at children, the story quickly went international. Throughout 1977 people in Broad Haven and the surrounding area were plagued with sightings of UFOs, strange l

Friday Five: 1880s Film

FIVE FILMS OF THE 1880s Five films even older than me... #5. Cockatoo - stop-motion photography by Eadweard Muybridge (1887) #4.   Pferd und Reiter Springen über ein Hindernis  [Horse and Rider Jump Over a Barrier] - Ottomar Anschütz (1888) #3. Hyde Park Corner - William Friese-Greene (1889) #2.   Monkey Shines No. 1 - William Heise and William K. L. Dickson (1889) #1.  Roundhay Garden Scene - Louis Le Prince (1888) Le Prince shot the world's first known film, Man Walking Around a Corner, in 1887. Read more about the man, his inventions - and his mysterious disappearance! - in a post I prepared earlier . For more like this, click the image below:

Carpet Samples x 100

Read on for 100 places offering completely free carpet samples, delivered direct to your door!

Land of the Dragon - July 9th

If you're free on the evening of Tuesday July 9th (5:30 - 7pm), check out Ysgol Gymraeg Cwmbran's Land of the Dragon show! It's a bilingual family show, arranged and promoted by Night Out Young Promoters group from years 5 and 6 with the help of Puppet Soup theatre company . There will be magical creatures, mythical stories and spellbinding tales from Wales in this exciting new piece of puppet theatre inspired by folklore, legends and ancient stories from The Mabinogion. Age 5+ Doors open at 5:30pm for 6pm start. Tickets are £4 for adults, £3 for children, or £12 for a family of four. Tickets are  available on the door or by contacting the school on 01633 483383. Marianna and I have been invited to go and I'm really excited for it! So far Marianna's only real exposure to Welsh has been basic counting at nursery, and kids shows on S4C and YouTube. It will be interesting to see how she reacts to seeing it 'in action'. :) For more like this,

Full Council - June 2019

It's been ages since I did a write up of full council, but I told myself I'd blog more about real life which encompasses work just as much as whatever shiny new topic is holding my interest that week! This is my third year as chair - 'presiding member' - now so I've been given more responsibility for the meeting than I had in the beginning. Eg. When I started an officer wrote me an idiot proof script to read from, whereas now I write my own (less idiot proof) version. Democratic Services also [unwisely?] trust me to operate the webcast myself. So every time the agenda items don't match up with the timings, you know whose fault it is... Today we had a short flag raising service lead by the Reverend Canon Harald Thomas to commemorate Armed Forces Day . Harald was my chaplain when I was Mayor, and was then asked by the council leader to continue saying prayers before meetings when we changed the constitution. I'm not religious but it is kind of nice to h

Trailer Trash Dolls

Arsenic and Apple Pie unleashed their first three creations on the world in 1999. In 2004 the company attracted a lot of media attention for their upcoming release 'Trash Talkin' Turleen' which lead to the re-release of earlier doll Trailer Trash, and another talking addition in Jer Wayne Junior. Here's the 'About' blurb from their website in 2005: Arsenic & Apple Pie has enjoyed an established track-record of excellent support and service from our loyal customers and accounts since 1998. Our story begins in December 1996, doctored dolls made by a famous doll toy maker began to show up in the store windows of retailer Injeanious, based in San Francisco, California. It was here that the first Trailer Trash Doll was introduced and formulated. The dolls were an instant hit and in time the store offices were flooded by phone calls from all over the world. To make a long story short, a major toy maker caught wind of this due to media coverage on a national

This Week - 23/06/2019

The weather has been mostly miserable this week - so miserable Marianna's sports day was cancelled on Wednesday. She was not happy! Hopefully they'll be able to have it some time soon. I had Maendy school governors on Tuesday. It was the AGM and I got elected Chair this time. I've been vice-chair for a couple of years now so it should be interesting. (There's always a need for new governors. If you're interested in becoming one, read more about it HERE .) Work was fairly quiet this week - mostly Labour party stuff, and I had licensing panel on Thursday morning. I hadn't been on licensing committee for a few years now, so it felt a little strange doing a panel again. On the blog I've written about Clueless dolls , FAD dolls , Apne Dolls , and Middle School Moguls . For my Friday Five I wrote about my Top 5 Scary Movies , and also posted a list of 100 places to get free artificial grass samples . For more like this, please click the image below:

FAD Dolls

Sababa Toys, a subsidary of Grand Toys International, was a Manhattan-based merchandising company specialising in licensed products. They released a series of nine FAD - Fashion Attitude Dolls in 2001. The dolls stood nine inches tall and had oversized heads with molded plastic hair. Their selling point was tie-ins with popular fashion brands (Dollhouse, Jordache, Nick & Nora) meaning the dolls and their owners could be wearing the same kind of looks. They came packaged with shoes and an extra outfit, and a branded shopping bag which doubled as a 1:1 scale keyring. A further two Claire's dolls were released later in the year. Sababa also released at least some of the fashions in the set as separate packs to fit Barbie sized dolls. The dolls came in a wide variety of hair / skin / eye types, and you can find examples of each for every release. Dark skin + cropped black hair / bobbed black hair / long black hair. Dark skin + cropped white hair. Mid skin + cropped bl

Friday Five: Scariest Movies

FIVE SCARIEST MOVIES #5.   The Tommyknockers . It gave me lots of childhood nightmares. #4.   The Exorcist . #3.   Ring . #2.   The Ring . Yeah, it freaked me out so much both versions are on the list! #1.   Threads . No contest. For more like this, click the image below:

Free Artificial Grass Samples x 100

Here are 100 places you can get free artificial grass samples in the UK. I've put the number of samples you can get from each supplier in brackets; '1+' means you get a pre-chosen pack of samples.

Apne Dolls

I just caught up with the June edition of Toy News and saw this ad for the 11" Bhabi-Ji Satty doll. Satty is joined at knee and elbow, has waist length rooted hair, and a traditional wedding outfit. For £27.99 you get the doll, the storybook, and free shipping within the UK. Check it out at apnedolls.com . I like that you can also get add-ons through the website of sweets, balloons, gift wrapping, etc, so if you're buying as a gift everything can be done for you. I always love seeing new dolls hitting the scene, especially from UK based companies. For updates follow them on  Instagram ,  Pinterest , or  Twitter . :) For more like this, please click the image below:

Middle School Moguls

Beginning life in 2014 as 'iBesties', the Middle School Moguls brand was created by Gina and Jenae Heitkamp to help girls consider careers in business and leadership, particularly in the tech industries. A successful Kickstarter campaign resulted in a line of four 11 inch dolls launching in 2016. They have rooted hair and are jointed at elbow, knee and ankle - you can see a picture of a nude doll HERE . Last year Nickelodeon commissioned a short animated series featuring the characters, so hopefully we'll be hearing more from the brand soon! ★ Izzy - box front / back . ★ Jada - box front / back . ★ McKinley - box front / back . ★ Sunny - box front / back . You can check out in depth reviews of all four at the Monster Crafts blog. For more like this, please click the image below:

Clueless Dolls

I never knew these existed before today but, omg, back in 1996 Mattel released a tie-in line of Clueless fashion dolls. It had three dolls, four fashion packs, and even the iconic white jeep! ★ Amber - box front / back . ★  Cher - box front / back . ★ Dionne - box front / back . ★ Jeep - box front / back . (Greenlight did a 1/64 scale Clueless jeep  too if you need a 'toy for a toy' version.) Fashion Packs: ★ Blue - box front / back . ★ Green - box front / back . ★ Pink - box front / back . ★ Purple - box front / back . For more like this, please click the image below:

This Week - 16/06/2019

It's Fathers' Day. :) Marianna's been swimming with Rhys and Hannah today, then we went to give my dad his present. Anthony had his early because we blogged about it for our Fathers Day Gift Guide - it would have been kind of difficult to keep it quiet after that! This week has been mostly focused on work stuff. There was the LCF (local campaign forum) AGM on Monday, along with Labour group, and I had a licensing committee meeting  Thursday and a scrutiny meeting of the Torfaen public service board on Wednesday. (The links go to the council webcasts.) Marianna's been practising for her sports day all week, then they had a teacher training day on Friday so she has been demonstrating her running everywhere . So much so she now wants to be 'Flash Marianna'. Or, so she said on Tuesday, Darth Vader's girlfriend: the very originally titled 'Darth Girl'. I'm not quite sure what the obsession with Darth Vader says, but it's probably not the be

Matchbox Real Model Collection

1989 saw Matchbox launch their The Real Model Collection dolls. These were 11.5 inch fashion dolls in the likeness of three real life models: Christie Brinkley , Beverly Johnson , and Cheryl Tiegs . ★ Christie Brinkley - box front / back .  ★ Beverly Johnson - box front / back . ★ Cheryl Tiegs - box front / back . For more like this, please click the image below: