Get motivated to take enthusiastic action that will help you turn that dream into reality. One step at a time and you will surely achieve anything.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Swansea Market film

Swansea Market celebrating 50 years

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Elysium Gallery Bus Stop Cinema

Friday was the private viewing of Bus Stop Cinema, a collection of 12 short films chosen by the organisers as a representation from the submitted entries.
I personally find some works of art and arty films difficult to understand. maybe I'm a pleb!! But I was pleasantly surprised to find a wide range of film that was, in the main, interesting and understandable. I was late by a few minutes so was unable to read the programme. And there wasn't a lights-up period between films to catch up. So that meant that I couldn't read the synopsys of each. Do you judge films on entertainment or information value? presentation? or do you look at the artist's notes to gain a perspective.  guess it's a bit of all these. 

In the end I found some films stood up on entertainment value whilst others I had to wait until the end of the Show to gain an insight. And maybe I'm impatient so I found some too long. The gallery was converted into a small blacked-out cinema for the event and a nice touch was the popcorn we were given. And supplied in cups went there wasn't that appalling rustle that you normally get. I missed the drinks before the show but there was an opportunity to take a glass afterwards and discuss the productions.

I particularly liked Foto by Thomas Canning. Strong story and although it began with a stereotype character that was particularly necessary and actually enhanced the film for me. It was fast paced and full of twists and turns that had me wondering throughout. Interestingly this is Cannings debut as writer and director and he certainly pulled it off for me. In fact he has shown at several festivals and was awarded best thriller at the Limelight Film and Arts Awards in 2009.

Jayne Wilson's All that Might Heart did tell a particular story that tied the film together when I read the synopsys at the end but I just enjoyed the images and music which gained pace, peaked and slowed down to the end leaving me feeling that this was a piece to relax through, and that I'd be happy to play in the background, just as I play music that I enjoy.

David Marchants's Love Boat was lively with plenty of action and although I didn't necessarily pick up on the writers inner thoughts and motivation I did feel that the story flowed well.

And my final selection is Downfall: Self Service Tills and Jaffa Cakes which had me suddenly sitting up and enjoying this humour that mocked the 20th century's most iconic monster: making him look ridiculous. The message came across within a few seconds and was well written so that the humour stayed tight and continuos.

I think you'll find that my selection probably tells you I'm a real pleb and do like films that are pacey and with a strong storyline. Go and take a look. Is my selection sound? Would you choose a completely different group?

It is brilliant to have the Elysium Gallery in town where artists of different disciplines can display and share their work. But of course without you popping in to see what is on then there is no point. Artists like us all like feed-back.  Well done guys.

The Elysium Gallery is open until Saturday 3rd September on Wednesday through til Friday afternoons 12 - 5pm. You can pop in a get a taste or sit through the show which consists of 12 short films with a total performance of an hour and a half. 

Comments are welcome.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Theatre is alive and ready to entertain you in Swansea this Week

Filming The Doll here in Swansea back in February went well and the editing is now on couurse again so watch out for the finished film. Two of the cast are performing in plays locally until Saturday so this is a great opportunity to enjoy great entertainment at either the Grand or Dylan Thomas Theatres. Why not take in both.

Michelle Morris is appearing at the Grand Theatre until Saturday in Ian Dickens Productions International Ltd present Jack Popplewell’s comedy thriller Busybody. The story centres on a meddlesome cleaning woman who keeps telling the cops how to mind their business and who steps forward with the right evidence in every pinch.

She lives in the basement of the office building she cleans and one night finds a body. By the time the police arrive, there is no body and no evidence. The wrong alarms are sent out, murdered men turn up alive, and the whole thing is chalked up to the cleaning woman’s imagination until. . .

Meanwhile Rob Stradling appears at the Dylan Thomas Theatre 
Date / Time: 17th - 20th August 19:30

Swansea Little Theatre is proud to present an hilarious new comedy. It will receive its World Premiere at the Dylan Thomas Theatre in August 2011. Written and directed by Dave Jenkins, his last play, “Welcome To The Neighbourhood” was a big hit at Swansea Little Theatre in August 2010.

Gareth Evans is 35, English and unlucky in love. After splitting from his latest girlfriend, he moves to Swansea looking for a brand new start. He has no choice but to move back in with his parents for a while, which brings along several problems of its own! After unwanted help from his family, he soon meets the girl of his dreams, a lovely Welsh girl named Bronwyn. But will her extremely patriotic Welsh Father be so impressed with his daughter’s decision to go out with a football loving Englishman!

This is a heart-warming, feelgood Wales based comedy that looks at what it means to be Welsh and what it can often mean to be English!

Go on. Get out and have an evening at the Theatre. 

Brighten up your garden with a rare treat

Plant and garden lovers will be in for a rare treat at the Botanical Gardens in Singleton Park this weekend. Walk or drive down to the entrance just below Sketty by the Zebra Crossing. Walk into the park and keep going straight ahead, bearing just slightly to the right. You'll come across what is to many people a secret garden. Stroll through and be delighted by the many plants on display for this is where plants are grown on or from seed to be planted across the City. Some of the gardens are for staff only but there's sufficient to keep all gardeners interested for a couple of hours. Apart from the outside beds there are also the greenhouses.

This is a great place to take the kids too. Especially if you aren't a gardener because there are some real gems for them to see and often someone who can tell you more about a particular plant.

And this weekend sees the popular rare plant sale taking place on Sunday August 21 from 10am to 5pm.The rare plant sale is part of the Botanics in Bloom festival which runs throughout August.

Green fingered enthusiasts will get a chance to pick up a bargain and unusual additions to their gardens from the huge choice of plants available. The available plants will range from herbaceous perennials to herbs and fruit trees.The event also gives gardeners an opportunity to seek expert advice direct from the growers or from other keen gardeners.

Through Saturdays and Sundays in August the general plant sale takes place and is organised by the Friends of the Botanics.Saturdays plant sales are from 10am to 2pm and Sunday plant sales take place between 2pm and 5pm.

Steve Hopkins, Swansea Council Specialist Parks Manager, said: "Some of the finest nurseries in Wales are bringing their finest rare plants to the gardens this weekend and this gives keen gardeners an excellent chance to pick up a rare treat to brighten up their gardens."

As a bonus the Morriston Big Band will also be playing in the band stand and plenty of children's entertainment will be available to generate an excellent family atmosphere. If you havent attended one of these events then make this your first. I particularly like listening to the band and having a cup of tea with a slice of cake. A chance to relax and just enjoy the atmosphere. The Morriston Big Band recently went over to Disneyland and performed there. They have CD's available so you can support this band who have made such an impact at many events over the years.

Have a look at for more information or call 01792 205327.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Help make our market matter at celebration event

IT'S celebrating its 50th birthday this year after being rebuilt following the Swansea Blitz and now a major event is being held at Swansea Indoor Market later this week to help raise its profile.

The Making Markets Matter roadshow is coming to the city on Thursday August 18 between 10am and 4pm to help persuade the shopping public to savour the joys of the attraction.
The event is being held in collaboration with the National Market Traders Federation and will feature cookery demonstrations, free face-painting and a find a fruit treasure hunt.
It's one of many similar events being held across the UK this summer to help put the country's 1,400 markets on the map and show people why they matter.

The Making Markets Matter mascot Victor the Lion will be on hand to entertain children throughout the day and many of the 100 plus traders will be running special offers.
Presenters from the Wave will undertake a live radio broadcast between 10am and 2pm and other fun activities will include a voucher vault grabber and a Play Your Cards Right stall.

Joe Harrison, Chief Executive of the National Market Traders Federation, said: "Making Markets Matter is all about encouraging people to appreciate their local market and all it can offer. The Federation's road show is designed for the public to have a fun day whilst experiencing a great retail offer."

Have a look at for more information or call 01792 476370.

Though the days of huge landings of fish at the old docks are long gone, we are still blessed with a great choice of fishmongers, many of whom are to be found in the Swansea covered market. Each of these displays their own unique products as well as some of the more well known fish and shellfish.
One such fishmonger, occupying a corner plot on the main thoroughfare, is Coakley-Green. With a 150 year old pedigree, this business has become a local by-word for quality seafood and also does pretty well for a nationwide reputation. Opened in 1856, the original business was situated at No.1 Goat St., near the current location of the former David Evans’s building, but like much of the city centre was destroyed in the Blitz.  ( We are looking forward to returning to the market on Saturday where Adrian has promised us his usual weekend display of ice sculptures and giant fish. Watch this space for some fabulous photos and a forthcoming video about Swansea Market

The counter takes some time to prepare from being empty and we'll be rising early to follow Adrian through the day in his life. hat'll be an early one.

 Samphire is also known as sea asparagus is very slaty to the taste but this decreases with preparation and cooking. Blanching for a minute or so seems to be the trick.

The wonderful ice sculptures are made in amould that was specially created  for Adrian. They will last all day in the winter but melt very quicly duringt tyhe summmer. Fish is kept cool with constant ice being added to the counter. Adrian tells me that the ice maker is kept busy through the hot months.

 Here you see ice being sprinked over the counter area. The selection of fish is just so comprehensive to suit every pocket and palate. I took some white bait, fresh and of a good size. I must say that after being lightly shaken with seasoned flour they cooked quickly in hot oil to a crispy coating and where served with a spicy rice dish and salad were filling and healthy.  I recommend you visit the market and sample Adrians fish.

Watch out for the Swansea Market video coming shortly.

Toy Story in Castle Square

Castle Square Swansea presented Toy Story on the Giant Screen. The gardens were full of parents and children enjoying watching the film on a really sunny day. 

Fils will be shown over the next few weeks, every Wednesday at 2.30 so get your picnic packed and get the kids out in the fresh air for a fun packed afternoon

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Broken Britain

Here are a couple of poem by Ollie that is part of a CD I produced two years ago. Does it ring any bells?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

If Dylan Thomas was around today!!

How would Dylan Thomas see Swansea today, nearly 100 years since his birth? And how would he be making his way? Would he be writing TV soap scripts? Would he be scrounging drinks off locals or tourists?

And how would he write about our city? As most of his writing was based on his experiences and observations what stories would he be writing? In his book The Artist as a Young Dog he writes about adventuures he had in the local park, on the local beaches and with his friends and relatives in and around both Swansea and Carmarthen. 

There are still tramps about and one might scare him into writing a modern The Hunchback in the Park. And after all the fountain is still there.

Monday, August 08, 2011

What's on Offer in Singleton park this month

Botanics in Bloom 2011


image depicting Botanics in Bloom 2009

1 - 31 August, Singleton Botanical Gardens, Singleton park

We say with such huge open parks such as Singleton that Swansea has just about everything within walking distance (or at least a short bus ride) from beach, castle, shopping centre, open parkland, large indoor market, gardens, woodland and small urban villages.

Wherever we live we all say the same thing "Oh! I've never been there! or "Haven't been there since I was a kid!" With healthy living at the forefront of the search for a longer better life this is the opportunity to get some easy exercise and enjoy some interesting sights.

Singlton Park is full of surprises from the Sunday afternoon music, plants for sale, a perfect place to take the kids biking, a picnic or a simple stroll. t's agreat time to think things through in peace. And it's a fact that when you exercise yor brain becomes more creative. Don't beleive me? Get out to Singleton Park and discover nature and maybe your inner self too.

To contact the Dog Training call Liz Ellis on 01792 798962

Botanics in Bloom is celebrated every year throughout August when the Botanical Gardens in Singleton Park are in full bloom and at their most spectacular. 
During this time you can see many specimens of rare and exotic plants from all over the world, as well as more traditional plants. 
There will also be a variety of events including children's entertainment, brass band concerts, guided tours, workshops, demonstration and plant sales.
A visit to the gardens in August is a must so come along and join in with the fun activities and celebrate Botanics in Bloom.

Main Programme of Events 

Band Concerts:
Sundays 3.00pm – 5.00pm
Relax in the beautiful surroundings of the gardens whilst being entertained by some of Swansea's finest bands. 
7 Aug  City of Swansea concert band
14 Aug  Constellation Big Band
21 Aug Morriston Big band
28 Aug Swansea Accordion Orchestra
FreeImage depicting Cacti and succulents in the Bots

Children's activities:

Mondays 1pm - 4pm (excludes Bank Holiday),

Sundays 3pm - 5pm (includes Bank Holiday)

There are so many activities to keep the children happy.  Monday session includes arts & crafts, an entertainer and face painting.
Mondays - £ 0.50 all inclusive with entertainer (unfortunately we can't guarantee that every child will get their face painted due to time constraints)
Here are a list of children's entertainers that will be present every Monday throughout Botanics in Bloom and will be providing a range of activities and entertainment from magic shows and storytelling to clowns and glove puppets;
Monday 1 - Diamond Dust
Monday 8 - Mike Church
Monday 15 - Loopy Loo
Monday 22 - Mr Bubbles
Every Sunday - Free (arts & crafts and face painting)

Guided tours of the gardens with slideshow:

Tuesdays and Thursdays 2.00pm – 4.00pm.*

A guided tour is a great way to explore the magnificent gardens and experience all they have to offer.  Guided tours for 10+ people can be arranged at £1.50 per person, which can be booked any time.
Adults £1.50, children £0.50
(*meet at main gate)

Bird and wildlife slideshow and tours with an experienced wildlife guide:

Wednesdays 10.00am – 12noon.*

Discover the wonderful variety of birds and wildlife that live in the Botanical Gardens.  An experienced guide will take you to all the best spots to catch a glimpse of the gardens' inhabitants.
Adults £1.50, children £0.50
(*meet at Ty'r Blodau)

Image depicting Marigold bedding Workshops and demonstrations

 Wednesdays 2pm - 4pm

Have you ever wanted guidance on garden design? Or perhaps you would like to learn about growing vegetables? If so, there is bound to be something of interest for you at these workshops which incorpoarte many interesting topics.
Adults £1.50; children 50p (not suitable for very young children)

Plant sales:Saturdays 10.00am – 2.00pm

The extremely popular plant sales, organised by the Friends of the Botanics, offer a great opportunity to purchase high quality, locally grown plants at competitive prices.
Free admission

Rare plant sale
Sunday 21 August, 10am - 5pm
The rare plant sale will give you a chance to pick up something special for your home or garden.

Whats news in Swansea today?

Swansea stars of tomorrow take centre stage 
MORE than 20 talented children from Swansea schools have scooped places on a national stage recognising their performing talents.

The talented youngsters from Swansea Council have won places in top Welsh choirs and orchestras as well as dance and theatre groups.

The youngsters will be able to take up their places with some support of Swansea Council.

Mike Day, Cabinet Member for Education, said: "This is great news. Swansea has a wealth of musical and performing arts talent and the success of this latest group of young people proves that we are helping produce the next generation of Welsh stars.

"I would like to congratulate the young people, their teachers and their parents for all the hard work they've put in so far and wish them well for the future."

In all Swansea can now boast seven students in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales, eight in the National Youth Choir and Training Choir of Wales, three students in the National Youth Jazz Wales, two in National Youth Dance Wales, one student in the National Youth Theatre and another in National Brass Band of Wales.

In a letter to the Council Gareth Pierce, Chief Executive of the WJEC said: "This represents a significant achievement for these talented young people, their local teachers, local music/theatre and dance services and the unitary authority.

"WJEC expresses its thanks and appreciation to Swansea Council for its continuing support and for its high regard of National Youth Arts Wales activities, events and services."
We say that Swansea is certainly retaining it's well earned reputation for producing top rate young performers, many who are going on to careers in acting, dance and music. It is good to see that there is such an interest in subjects a school outside those that are purely academic. With such a wealth of talent of all ages we should all be taking advantage of the many productions and shows throughout Swansea. An opportunity to  forget the TV and slip into a world of imagination, suspense, excitement and glamour.

Libraries urge children to find their inner Dylan

BOOK experts say libraries are perfect places for children to seek inspiration and follow in the footsteps of Swansea's most famous son.

Swansea Council library bosses are urging children to enter the first ever Finding Dylan competition and make their own mark on the literary world.

The competition is now open and is aimed at all of Swansea's year six children who have just left primary school.

Children are asked to write an essay, poem or diary of no more than 1,000 words on any of the following subjects: My Summer, My Team, My Swansea or My Wales.

Swansea Council is behind the competition in association with the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize.

Steve Hardman, Swansea Council's Head of Library Services, said: "Children can use libraries as inspiration for their competition entries by accessing a variety of books, poems and information about Dylan Thomas as well as examples of his work.

"Our libraries also have seating areas where children can sit, think and write and we hope the competition will inspire children to think imaginatively about the place they live.

"Swansea is a very vibrant city and the themes of the competition allow children to base their writing around their own experiences. The competition also gives children the opportunity to base their story in fact or fiction and, if they need some inspiration, then their local library is a great place start."

Finding Dylan is being supported by Travel House and the winner will pick up a family break to Disneyland in Paris.

Entries can be submitted in hand-written or email form but must be in by September 5 this year.

A short-list will then be announced in mid-October before the winner is unveiled at a special ceremony on November 9.

Have a look at for application details.
We say with the age of screen based learning we should all encourage kids and teenagers to read more and to write too. Poetry and short story writing helps us communicate our feelings and gets the creative juices flowing. What is life about if you can't sit down with your children and worrk on something just that bit different. And I bet you will learn something about each other that you didn't know before. Give it a try

We'd love you to comment on these issues or any other. 

Events weekend 6th and 7th August 2011

Outside South Wales it is appalling that there are riots once again on the streets of the UK. Just now it's Tottenham, Edmonton, Brixton and Enfield. Groups of mainly young people driven by social media (Twitter and Facebook) swept through these areas following the terrible riots in Tottenham. Mass hysteria driven by a small group of hardcore anachists seems again to have been so easy to orchestrate. Bristol is probably the nearest that it's been to South Wales. Lets hope that this now dies down and law and order is is brought back again. The damage, looting and theft has left the local community devastated. Amazing to see the police dogs clear a scene  Bring them on again for swift sharp success.

Back in Swansea we saw a Local Produce Market at Sketty which is a real commmunity project that is not just providing a real service but has also become a place to meet and greet old friends. These markets are a place to by real food from real people. Vegetables that may not be perfect in shape or size but ooze flavour that you don't get in supermarkets: home made cakes made from ingredients you'd find in any kitchen cupboard and were prepared fresh iether the night before or even early morning. And much, much more. 

Coming up next Saturday is the Festival of the Tides from 1pm starting outside the Royal Oak at Penclawdd. Looking at video of previous years this is a real family day with loads of mini events for the whole family going on. £2.50 entrance is great vale and all profits go to local charities. To date they have given just over £10,000 which is pretty amazing.

The Gower Show was a wonderful event and probaly one of thev few remaining real county shows with home produce competing, dogs, horses, displays of all outside activities. The crowds poured in despite the threat of heavy showers.  The ground stood up well against the heavy raain that fell in the night and everyone seeed to be enjoying themselves. A real booster when so many people are having concerns about job losses, high power hikes, petrol 50% higher than 18 months ago and much more.

Swansea City and played in Singleton Park. Another regualr even both here ad in Clyne Park where you can juust relax and hear some great music played by local musicians.

We are anxious to hear about your events so call and tell us., tel/text 07976364681. If you don't tell we can't be there.

Thanks to all organisers for making us so welcome.