Blogs

Anti-Aging Cream


By Paul Steffan Jones AKA, 2020-02-15

I hope I don't grow old and declining

running out of ideas

running out of running out

depleted of free will

knowing that I will depend on others

burdened with unreliable memories

irredeemable consolation prizes

and an unreachable hole

where I used to be

with people who have since left

there's little certainty

a leaf lands where it falls

then is moved by a breeze

or the industry of insects

the tramp of shoes

I am but a leaf

from a great tree

called family

I will land where I will fall

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Here's the 6 Nations remaining games schedule - https://www.sixnationsrugby.com/fixtures

How to stream online free if you're in the UK and directions on how to stream via VPN from outside the UK are here - https://www.techradar.com/nz/news/six-nations-2020-live-stream-how-to-watch-every-rugby-union-game-online-from-anywhere

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VOICES FROM WALES – FORTY-THREE OF FIFTY-TWO , AUNTY MAGS PART 7


Aunty Mags re-appears for another trip down memory lane with her reminiscences of family life in Carmarthen.

Ramblings and tales of Priory Street and the Printers Arms: hairdressers, horse fairs, tall jockeys, Great War farewells on a Carmarthen railway station, berserk horses and sapper trenches in Gallipoli. It’s all here!

There’s one more instalment! But I have been phoned and asked when am I coming up next as she has got loads more stories to tell!

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Arts Council Wales and BBC Cymru Wales are calling for talented Welsh artists and bands to apply for the Launchpad fund this year. Aimed at emerging musicians that already demonstrate promise, Launchpad is part of the Horizons/Gorwelion scheme to develop new and independent contemporary music in Wales.

The Launchpad fund was launched in 2014 and since then it has invested £170,000 supporting over 170 new and emerging Welsh artists from all corners of the country. 

The fund aims to support a diverse mix of musicians to develop their creative work, such as studio time and equipment, photography, artwork and video. Artists who have benefited from the Launchpad fund vary in experience from: Carmarthen’s Adwaith with a Welsh Music Prize-winning album last year; Radio 2 folk award nominee Gwilym Bowen Rhys; Flintshire hip-hop artist Ennio the Little Brother who used the funding towards a UK tour; Dutch-Welsh singer songwriter and visual artist Accu and Bandicoot from Swansea who recorded their first Welsh-language singles.

Last year, Newport-based singer-songwriter Jack Perrett was awarded support from the Launchpad fund . He said:

"Applying for the Launchpad fund was one of the most important things I did in 2019. Launchpad helped me record and release a single which managed to get played on BBC Radio 1, Radio X and BBC Radio Wales. If any musicians in Wales are serious enough about their musical careers, I would definitely advise them to apply." 

The funding also helped R & B artist Aleighcia Scott to produce an official music video and digital marketing campaign:

“Receiving the Launchpad fund was like a weight lifted from my mind, it meant I was able to build on my craft without having to worry where I would find the funding, which is one of the hardest parts of being a self-funded musician - thank you!”

 Antwn Owen-Hicks, Portfolio Manager with Arts Council Wales said:

“These grants can make a real difference to new artists, a timely injection of funding to help with costs like recording or promoting new material. It’s important to support new creative talent and one of the main aims of Launchpad is to encourage emerging artists from all over Wales, exploring all kinds of contemporary music. We’re particularly keen to support more artists from diverse backgrounds and disabled musicians. These artists are underrepresented in the sector in Wales and it’s important that they are supported through the Launchpad funding.” 

 DJ & Horizons founder and Project Manager Bethan Elfyn added:

“Launchpad is a key part of Horizons’ work. It introduces us to a wealth of artists from bedroom DJs, MCs, producers, to new singer songwriters who might not have ventured out of their local gigging scene. The other side of the scale is helping more experienced Welsh artists promote new albums, and Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, HMS Morris, Adwaith, Silent Forum, I See Rivers, and No Good Boyo, have all benefited from a little extra promotional push through Launchpad grants. It’s a joy to be a key part of the Welsh music tapestry right now.”

 Applications are now open to Wales-based artists and bands writing, producing and performing original contemporary popular music. Entries for 2020 will close at midnight on Sunday, February 9.

 For more information about Launchpad and how to apply, as well as the horizons initiative, go to  bbc.co.uk/horizons

And you can follow Horizons Cymru on Facebook @HorizonsCymru and on Twitter .

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VOICES FROM WALES – FORTY-TWO OF FIFTY-TWO


We have been working on this video for the past six months off and on. It is part of an educational project on behalf of the Carmarthen Coracle Netsmen Association.

It was part funded by the Heritage Lottery. Alongside this on the People’s Collection of Wales is a vast archive of stories and tales surrounding the practicalities of coracle fishing and the myths and stories that have surrounded the fishing community of Carmarthen.

It has been put together as a heritage project for local schools.

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26th January


By Huw Llywelyn Rees, 2020-01-26

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Today is Australia Day (also referred to as Invasion Day by indigenous Australians) 

On this day 1788, Mary Watkins, a 20 year old from the Vale of Glamorgan, along with four Welshmen men and two other women from Wales, were passengers of the six convict ships that had docked in Port Jackson (now known as Sydney) and a deputation had been sent ashore to establish the first permanent European colony on the Australian continent. 

Mary's adventure had begun after being sentenced to seven years transportation overseas for stealing sixpence worth of clothing.  She was boarded onto the "Friendship" in Portsmouth and the fleet set sail  on 13 May 1787.  Conditions on board were harsh and food soon ran short, as officials organising the trip had underestimated what was needed for the 8-month voyage.

 Mary went ashore with the other women on the 6th February and set up camp.  However, that night soon descending into chaos, as there was a violent storm that flattened many of their tents and the men broke into the women's quarters.  Order was restored the following morning and the convicts put to work, building houses and clearing land, but life remained hard. Crop failures, drought and bushfires were common and food became short when the cattle they had brought with them were lost in the bush.

To alleviate the food shortage, some of the party, including Mary, were sent to Norfolk Island, where she and her partner, Issac Tarr, converted 3/4 acre of bushland into farmland and bought a sow, which produced litters and thus a supply of fresh meat.  The last record of Mary is in 1794 after she had returned to the mainland with Issac. 

 It was the  discovery of copper and gold in the early 1850s which caused the provinces Welsh population to increase sharply. The census of 1851 indicates that there were about 1,800 Welsh-born settlers in Australia and by 1871, there were almost 7,000 in Victoria alone, which increased to 12,000 by the turn of the century.  However, not all settlers came to find work in the mines. Joseph Jenkins, from Cardiganshire, fled from a nagging wife in 1868 at the age of 51. Later he became an infamous swagman in rural Victoria.   It was the chapel and the Welsh language which provided a sense of cohesion and identity to the emerging Welsh communities at this time.   In Victoria, the chapel leaders organised Cymanfa Ganu and the first Welsh-Australian Eisteddfod in 1863.  



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The Abermule train disaster on the 26th January 1921 resulted in the death of 17 people.

The crash was a head-on collision between a train from Whitchurch and another from Aberystwyth, which arose from a miscommunication, which allowed both trains  onto a section of the line that was single tracked.  The subsequent enquiry found that safety measures had been relaxed and resulted in major changes to British Rail's safety procedures.   



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The Menace of the U-Boats; 

On 26th January 1918, twelve crew were killed, when an Irish steamship, the Cork, was torpedoed by a U-boat off Point Lynas in Anglesey.  

This followed the Kaiser declaring in 1915, that the waters around the British Isles were a war zone and he also instructed U-boat captains to sink merchant and neutral ships without warning.  Subsequently, over 6,000 such vessels were sunk during World War One, including the RMS Lusitania with the loss 1,198 lives.  To counteract the threat, Britain introduced escorted convoys, which ultimately allowed enough Allied shipping to survive.



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Born this day 1934 in Butetown, Cardiff,

Joe Erskine - heavyweight boxing champion, who was a credit to both Wales and boxing game he graced with such dignity. 

The great Joe Erskine defeated many of the big names of his time, including Henry Cooper and Brian London.  He was considered small for a heavyweight, relying on outmanoeuvring rather than overpowering his opponents and it was said of him that had been just a bit bigger he would have been World Champion.  After his glory days, Erskine he died broke and alone in his Adamsdown flat.



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Died on this day 1716. 

The Rev Dr Daniel Williams (born in Wrexham, c.1643 – 26 January 1716) - benefactor, Presbyterian minister and theologian (  Presbyterians are Christians outside the Church of England, who govern themselves by representative assemblies of elders)

Williams left the majority of his £50,000 estate, to charities including the formation of Dr Williams's Library, in Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, London, a centre for research on English Dissenters (Christians who parted with the Church of England in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries). He also left money to aid the foundation of seven charity schools in North Wales.

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Today is St Dwywen's Day in 2020, the Welsh patron saint of friendship and love, you can find out more about her here: https://americymru.net/americymru/blog/940/dont-forget-st-dwynwens-day-january-25th-the-welsh-valentines-day?fbclid=IwAR1W3Cqjh2vjV0ddovu0guxwfUuqDdPhlGjmS43yqfSvHI5zn67bLQjX6Fw   

And send someone you love a free St Dwywen's ecard, funny or serious, here - http://welsh-american-bookstore.com/index.php/st-dwynwen-s-day/rwcard/1/

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VOICES FROM WALES – FORTY-ONE OF FIFTY-TWO


Mother Bear has been sick and poorly ill over Christmas and new year so hasn’t been able to get out and film any specific Xmas activity.

The natural storytelling of Margaret Lee is once again the subject. There’s not many left I promise!

Social history is so important, and everyone should archive their own in whatever way they can. In this digital world it’s easy to take photos but it’s just as easy to record testimonies through video or audio recording. I urge people to get out there and press the record button.

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Ani Glass Releases Debut Album MIRORES on 6th March 2020 via Recordiau Neb





ani_glass.jpg Ani Glass releases her new single  ‘Mirores ’ this new year ahead of her forthcoming album of the same name. With infectious harmonies and a pulsing dance floor beat, ‘Mirores’ depicts the journey from dark desperation to motivation and inspiration, showing how we quickly build barriers in reaction to experiences but often forget to lower them. The song represents the liberating feeling of opening up to the world; the alignment of ideas, motivation and energy and that rare but illuminating experience of feeling inspired.   

On 6th March 2020, Ani Glass's debut album MIRORES finally sees the light of day; the culmination of four years developing her own sound and visionary artistry. With its tapestry of electronic sounds, elliptical melodies and samples threaded into a song cycle, MIRORES is based around the idea of movement and progress - one which takes us on a journey around her hometown of Cardiff. The title is taken from Ani’s bardic name - created when she joined the Cornish Gorsedh in 2013. The Gorsedh itself is a celebration of the Celtic spirit of Cornwall and Bardship is awarded to people who contribute to its cultural and linguistic heritage. MIRORES is a play on words which incorporates the name of one of her favourite artists – Joan Miró – along with the Cornish word for “to look”, which is miras. Therefore, MIRORES essentially translates as ‘Observer’ thus presenting the album as Ani’s observation of the city in which she was born and now lives. 

MIRORES also represents Ani’s first foray into production. Having been inspired by her experience of working with  Martin Rushent  during her time as a member of indie-pop group  The Pipettes , Glass has spent the past few years teaching herself the art of recording and production. Her sound is inspired by many leading electronic and avant-garde artists and producers of the 1980s including  Martin Rushent, Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre  and  Arthur Russell  whilst the wider themes are inspired in part by the works of abstract painter  Agnes Martin  and the renowned author and activist Jane Jacobs. Despite some of the album’s heavier themes, Ani maintains a strong pop sensibility throughout, most certainly cemented during her time as a member of R&B pop group  Genie Queen  – managed by  OMD’ s Andy McCluskey.

Following a year of touring and playing at festivals across the UK and beyond including Sound City, Future Yard, Greenman, Sŵn, Focus Wales and POP Montreal (as part of the FOCUS Wales delegation with the support of PRSF and WAI) as well as supporting acts such as  Audiobooks  and  Stealing Sheep , Ani will be returning to her hometown of Cardiff and to towns across Wales for a series of very special performances.



Ani Glass MIRORES 2020 tour dates:

6th March - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

7th March - Railway Station, Caernarfon  

14th March - Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham 

21st March - Tangled Parrot, Carmarthen



Follow Ani Glass:

Website  Instagram  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  YouTube

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VOICES FROM WALES – FORTY OF FIFTY-TWO


Life in Carmarthen Town during WW2 with Aunty Mags. Margaret Lee talks of pub life in The Eagle Inn, Priory Street during the war.

Billeting soldiers and VE Day.

Four of Eight and she threatens to record more!

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