Archive – 2019

Please find some of our older blog posts below, with hits in brackets.  This news archive from the official Pontypridd Town website only runs from 2014 when we moved the old html, css site over to WordPress.  Previous years work (1998-2014) has unfortunately been lost in the ether somewhere.


Did you know this about Boris? – 6 Dec 2019

Our current PM, Boris Johnson, was born in 1964 in New York City to upper-middle class British parents and educated at the European School, Brussels and Eton College.  He read Classics at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was elected President of the Oxford Union in 1986.  He was dismissed from The Times for falsifying a quotation but later went on to work for The Daily Telegraph as Brussels correspondent.  He was an assistant editor of The Telegraph from 1994 to 1999, and edited The Spectator from 1999 to 2005.  He was elected MP for Henley in 2001, before being elected Mayor of London in 2008.  He was re-elected in 2012.  During his mayoralty, he banned alcohol consumption on much of London’s public transport, oversaw the 2012 Summer Olympics, and introduced the New Routemaster buses, cycle hire scheme, and Thames cable car.

He is a well known right winger, Eurosceptic and former member of the Oxford University Bullingdon Club – a notorious champagne-swilling, restaurant-trashing, ‘pleb’-taunting elite.

In the news he is always good for a laugh of course:

Commenting about police probes into historical child abuse allegations during a radio interview he said money spent on the investigations had been “spaffed up the wall” and would have been better used putting officers on the street.

He has famously called Muslim niqab and burkha wearers as letter boxes and said that some restrictions on wearing them were ‘sensible’.  That reminds me, I must post my Christmas cards this week.

Asked about a recent visit to Libya, where fighting still continues eight years after Muammar Gaddafi’s fall, he praised the ‘incredible country’ with ‘bone-white sands’.

While foreign secretary on a visit to a Sikh temple (in Bristol) he talked about increasing whisky exports to India – despite alcohol being forbidden in the Sikh faith.

Mr Johnson described suggestions that ‘free movement of people was among the EU’s founding principles’ as ‘bollocks’.

As Prime Minister, his salary is about £150,000. He gave up an additional £275,000 which he used to get for his weekly column in the Daily Telegraph.  He also makes plenty of money on royalties from his numerous books including his 2015 biography of Winston Churchill however Johnson also reportedly donates about £50,000 to charity each year.

Call back in a few days and we’ll have a look at Corbyn.


Did you know this about Swinson? – 2 Dec 2019

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson was born in Glasgow in 1980 and was educated at Douglas Academy and the London School of Economics. She has pledged to stop Brexit altogether but why would you trust her when she previously backed a referendum on UK EU membership, has a strange relationship with squirrels and after many years of hard work and faithfulness by local lad Mike Powell (who is now standing as an independent) she ditches him in favour of racist-loving Plaid Cymru?

As many people have pointed out, no matter how people voted in 2016, cancelling Brexit is far from democratic.  This is the big policy of the Lib Dems now.  Nothing to do with Transparency International (Swinson’s husband, Duncan Hames, who was an MP from 2010-2015, works for the UK branch) getting a grant of 4m euros (£3.4m) from the European Commission in 2018.

Swinson has also said she won’t work with Corbyn, even though he is ‘neutral’ (don’t all laugh at once) on Brexit.  There is also a rumour she’ll work with the Tories again (remember tuition fees) so, as SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said, ‘it’s very difficult to trust the Lib Dems’.

Scottish Tory sources have said informal talks are ‘ongoing’ with the Lib Dems about ensuring the SNP do not have a ‘clean sweep’ of Westminster seats at the next election.  Mmm?

This isn’t the only example of a huge inconsistency between what Swinson says and the evidence of her voting record either.  Swinson’s website claimed she’s ‘campaigned tirelessly to save our environment’.  But her voting record shows she supported the badger cull, fracking, HS2, and voted to sell off public forests.  Swinson also accepted donations totalling £14,000 from Mark Petterson, director of a company with several fracking licences.

It seems hard to trust a single word Swinson says.  In fact, it’s hard not to suspect she’ll say whatever she can to pull votes and do whatever she wants to afterwards.

“I can be the next prime minister,” the megalomaniac insisted.

The only Lib Dem policy (apart from scrap Brexit) is a £50bn Brexit bonus.  Not sure where that cash is coming from, maybe under the dumb dumb tree?

She also said that Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn and their aides’ were ‘six white men stuck in the past, conspiring to wreck our future’.  What has the sex of someone or the colour of their skin got to do with anything?  Why are politicians so sexist and racist these days?  Oops, forgot.  All white men are evil and if you spout this racist, sexist crap enough times it must be true!  Yet there was no condemnation from the left – usual double standards again, yawn.

Do we want someone who insults the majority of the country as PM?  I don’t think so.

Call back in a few days and we’ll have a look at Boris.


Did you know this about the Green Party? – 25 Nov 2019

I studied zoology at University. I love animals, our beautiful natural world and protecting it is very important to me.  I used to be a member of Greenpeace, FoE, Liberty, WWF, EIA, WSPA and have raised quite a bit of money over the years for various wildlife and conservation charities.  As a biology teacher I was warning of global warming thirty years before ‘Greta’ was mitching off school to sail around the world, all expenses paid.  My poor, working class pupils even bought acres of rainforest in Belize with money they couldn’t really afford to spend.  And yes, I have been a veggie, a hippie (with short hair) and voted for ‘The Greens’ many a time.  But would I vote for them now!  Absolutely not!  So why you might ask?

Well first let’s have a bit of science (or maybe reality would be a better word for it).  We keep hearing that the greatest threat to the planet is climate change.  Mmm?  No it isn’t.  If climate change kills all the human beings on the Earth that will actually be quite good for the planet, no more pollution, no more rainforests chopped down, rhinos poached, tigers shot, melting glaciers, plastics in whales etc. etc.  As James Lovelock turns in his grave so the Earth will regenerate and it’ll be party time for the worms with our species finally gone – hurray!

Unfortunately, the greens have changed.  They certainly haven’t evolved as that would imply they’ve got better.  Now all we get is the same meaningless soundbites as all the other political parties give us.  In the good old days the @TheGreenParty campaigned for the real ‘greatest threat to our planet’ (read humanity here of course) – #overpopulation but now they seem to have morphed into some woke, men-hating, middle class numpties with no idea what they are talking about and they never mention that the world has ‘too many people’!  Looking at their Twitter feed and contradictory manifesto it appears they are all for mass immigration, anti-semitism, bigger government (remain in EU) and votes for kids (lol)? #culturalsuicide?  Strangely enough the Green Party manifesto does say that “indigenous peoples whose traditional lifestyle would be adversely affected by in-comers should be able to stop immigration” (MG204b) but obviously the Welsh, Scots, English and Irish don’t count as indigenous people – doh!  Bit racist isn’t it?

Why have they done this?  What has happened to reason, common sense, fairness?  All they have done is add themselves to the ever-growing list of political parties that sensible people can’t vote for anymore (yeh I know, it’s a long list…)

The Green Party says that the election is not about Brexit, but is instead a ‘climate election’.  OK, maybe it should be but no it isn’t.  Whether we like it or not – It’s about Brexit.  The Green Party’s manifesto also says that a 2030 ‘Net Zero’ target would be achieved by spending £100 billion a year over the next decade.  This includes £91 billion per year of borrowing.  Not including interest, that trillion-pound ‘Green New Deal’ is equivalent to £15,000 per head of the population – bloody hell, I don’t earn that!

I could go on but why bother, these nutters are beyond help now.  They seem to have abandoned all sense and just gone all out to do what all snowflakes do these days – shout louder.  Very sad.

Call back in a week and we’ll have a look at the Lib Dems and Swinson.


So You Think You Know Modern Poetry? – 17 Nov 2019

Welsh writer Dave Lewis has just published his twentieth book, a new poetry collection – ‘Scratching The Surface‘.

The book is available in both paperback and kindle versions.

Already a #1 Amazon Bestseller!


“The poems are sharp, clear, and confident.  He has a clarity only a real poet possesses.” – Brian Patten

“An epic collage of nature, history, adventure and grief that leaps off the page and thumps you in the chest.  From Celtic mythology, to the African bush and ‘The Matrix’, through the lives of Ho Chi Minh, Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker, an abused porn star, a transgender cousin, to ex-lovers and close family this collection ebbs and flows as mesmerically as a river on its journey to the sea.  A fluid and heartfelt abstraction that speaks loudly to the passion that should run through all of us.” – Mark Davies

“Dave Lewis’s latest collection ‘Scratching the Surface’ is an engaging and diverse range of poems. It begins with the long, often rhythmic ‘Rivers’ which gifts the lines with a sort of onomatopoeic authority. It’s almost a metaphor for what follows, a series of well-crafted poems driven by theme and form. There are start of line rhymes (You and I), prose verse (A Dream of Gawain), end of line rhyme (Christmas Dad) and every combination between. The subjects are varied, but this confident poet succeeds in melding them into a coherent and rewarding collection.” – David J Costello

“Once again Lewis explores mankind’s relationship to his environment, whether that be natural, love, urban or wild. His writing is richly embedded at the confluence of place, space and identity and constantly challenges us to look at the landscape we inhabit and reflects upon it in new ways.” – G. Rees

“Scratching The Surface does far, far more than the title suggests as Lewis not only holds our whole world in his unswervingly brave hands, but also excavates its secrets and lies so cleverly spun for too long. His often hard-hitting poetry also shares intimate memories, which resonate with grace and passion, while fascinating author notes at the end, further enrich the reader’s experience. This remarkable collection is surely his best, most profound yet, and those who’ve not yet: ‘made the choice that benefits the planet and our place in it rather than continue along this narrow, selfish path to doom,’ will hopefully have pause for thought and be inspired. Bravo!” – Sally Spedding

Sample poems:

You and I

You’re an ocean wave, when I’m a grain of sand.
You’re a skyscraper, when I’m a pane of glass.
You’re a mountaintop, when I’m a flake of snow.
You’re an open road, when I’m a car that goes.
You’re a waterfall, when I’m a drop of rain.
You’re a blue, blue sky, when I’m an aeroplane.

You’re a rainforest, when I’m a monkey’s cry.
You’re a stadium, when I’m a drunk barfly.
You’re a warm blanket, when I’m icy cold.
You’re a clear lake, when I’m offered gold.
You’re a spinning world, when I’m a photograph.
You’re a savannah, when I’m a small giraffe.

And when I’m lost in the desert you’ll kiss me with wine,
and when I’m drowning in sadness you’ll be my sunshine smile.

March, 2019

The blueness of his eyes is just a vague memory now,
a single day like The Hundred Years War.
You do the washing up, shower and sit,
watch the sparrows in the birdbath,
read a book, tidy drawers again.
Catch the bus to fetch a paper,
the one he always used to buy.
You put your slippers on,
then your shoes away,
until it’s shopping day.

Now it’s time to check the fridge,
then the TV page in your terraced cage.
You tell me about the garden
and all the weeds that are there,
then you brush your hair,
like someone cares.
You mention the bank statement,
how it’s late this month,
then you wash your cup
and fill the kettle up.


Social Media Strategy For Growing A Small Business – 14 Nov 2019

Social media is one of the most powerful forces in the business world today. It can potentially give you access to millions of users from around the world with very little upfront investment. It’s not to say that the task is easy because it’s not, but with the right strategy, social channels can help you grow your business at a much faster pace.

As a salesperson or a business owner, you need to increase your digital footprint to stay competitive. After all, if your personal or business brand is not visible on channels like LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, or Snapchat, you’re missing out on an opportunity to bring new business to your doorstep.

When developing a successful social media strategy, your first step is to identify the exact demographic you’re trying to reach. If you’re in B2B, LinkedIn and Facebook will be your platforms of choice. But if your offer is geared towards younger users, Instagram and TikTok might be a smarter choice.

Once you know which channels to concentrate on, the next step is to come up with a consistent content strategy that you will execute daily. Consistency is vital when it comes to building a following on social media, so set specific daily, weekly, and monthly content publishing goals for each of your channels. For example, you could go with two YouTube videos, ten Facebook posts, and fifteen Instagram posts per week to start growing your social media presence. The key is to stick with it because you are not likely to see spectacular results from the get-go.

But regularity pays off, and within a couple of months of consistent effort, you should see your engagement and brand recognition grow in your specific niche. You should know, however, that it’s not only the amount of content that counts, but rather the quality or what social media experts call “the creative.” You need to think through the type of messaging and delivery that will make the biggest splash in your market. Don’t be afraid to act boldly and use an unconventional style of communication, as this just might be the thing that lets your small business concept stand out among competitors.

If you’re not very creative yourself, consider hiring an external marketing agency or growing your in-house marketing team. You can also outsource a large part of your social media marketing efforts with the use of freelancers who can manage your social channels for as little as £300 per month (which you can easily count as a business expense). In the end it all comes down to your level of persistence and determination. You will see that the more you publish and interact with potential clients, the higher your chances of success.


Road Trip to Some of the UK’s Best Gaming Destinations – 4 Nov 2019

Photo by Kay / License

The people of England are known for gardening, bird watching and tea drinking, but a lesser-known fact is that many also love to indulge in competitive games.

Whilst London’s gaming culture is alive and well, you can get in on the action by planning a road trip from Pontypridd to any of the UK’s premier gaming destinations. All of those listed here are less than three hours away by car.

Cruise down to this coastal casino

For well over a century, the English have been fond of gaming. When you take a look back through history, the beginnings of some casino games can be traced back to London. In fact, the country is to thank for granting the first patents for coin-operated spinning wheel games in the late 1800s.

However, if you want a gaming experience with great views and amenities, the Grosvenor Casino Cardiff is only a 25-minute drive away from Pontypridd. Just hop on the A470 and head southeast to Cardiff.

Get an early start, because there is plenty to do there, and your agenda for the day can fill up fast. There are many activities you can enjoy at your leisure, including having a drink at the bar, visiting the sports and entertainment lounge and taking a seat at one of the poker tables.

This dynamic casino is centrally located in Cardiff Bay and often hosts events such as beauty pageants and fashion shows. From authentic Indian food to hand-crafted stone-baked pizzas, the restaurant offers a wide variety of unique dishes made with some of the region’s finest ingredients.

Play a huge game of Checkers

It will take you about two-and-a-half hours to reach Cookham, where the Bel & The Dragon Country Inn is located. The pub has a giant Checkers board in its gardens. When the weather is nice, the attraction is known to draw large groups of people who line up to play. Even if you do not play the game yourself, the larger-than-life board game is a great place to snap a photo.

Visit the Gfinity Esports Arena

For those who are up for a longer trek, the Gfinity Esports Arena is just under a three-hour drive from Pontypridd. It is located in Fullham, London.

Today, eSports arenas are popping up all over the world, and Gfinity decided to open its premier dedicated eSports hub in the UK. The arena opened in 2015 and provides a little slice of heaven for eSports enthusiasts.

The space has all of the latest eSports amenities and is filled with gamers who meet face-to-face rather than competing against each other over a virtual connection. Professionals and amateurs alike have a place at this gaming hot spot. Call of Duty, FIFA and Counter-Strike are among the popular games that you will find being played at Gfinity.

Try your hand at Bingo

Do you want a premier gaming experience without driving too far? Castle Bingo Nantgarw is a fun option that is located in Pontypridd.

The game hall offers modern Bingo technology in the form of an eCUB – a handheld device that takes the place of a paper ticket. When using the device, players can play multiple tickets simultaneously and mark numbers off with a digital pen. You can also play slots and mini-cash games from the eCUB.

For those looking for a more traditional Bingo experience, Majestic Bingo Limited could be the place for you. It is the third-largest retail Bingo operator in the UK. There are 16 clubs in all, and one of them is conveniently located in nearby Tonypandy. Drive northwest up A4058, and you will arrive in 10 minutes.

Photo by Christopher Paul High / License

Get back to the basics

Do you fancy traditional board games? While Pontypridd is full of inviting pubs, there are several others throughout the UK dedicated to gaming the old-fashioned way. If you are planning a stay in London, stop by the Loading Bar, where there are more than 60 board games guests can play for free (whilst they sip on game-themed cocktails). The bar also features gaming Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo gaming systems.


Scratching The Surface – 25 October 2019

The kindle version is now available for pre-order at the reduced price of £2.99.  The paperback version will be released on Friday 8th November.

Pre-order a copy before Friday 8th November to take advantage of the discounted price.

Click here to download a copy.


“The poems are sharp, clear, and confident.  He has a clarity only a real poet possesses.” – Brian Patten

“An epic collage of nature, history, adventure and grief that leaps off the page and thumps you in the chest.  From Celtic mythology, to the African bush and ‘The Matrix’, through the lives of Ho Chi Minh, Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker, an abused porn star, a transgender cousin, to ex-lovers and close family this collection ebbs and flows as mesmerically as a river on its journey to the sea.  A fluid and heartfelt abstraction that speaks loudly to the passion that should run through all of us.” – Mark Davies

“Dave Lewis’s latest collection ‘Scratching the Surface’ is an engaging and diverse range of poems. It begins with the long, often rhythmic ‘Rivers’ which gifts the lines with a sort of onomatopoeic authority. It’s almost a metaphor for what follows, a series of well-crafted poems driven by theme and form. There are start of line rhymes (You and I), prose verse (A Dream of Gawain), end of line rhyme (Christmas Dad) and every combination between. The subjects are varied, but this confident poet succeeds in melding them into a coherent and rewarding collection.” – David J Costello

“Scratching The Surface does far, far more than the title suggests as Lewis not only holds our whole world in his unswervingly brave hands, but also excavates its secrets and lies so cleverly spun for too long. His often hard-hitting poetry also shares intimate memories, which resonate with grace and passion, while fascinating author notes at the end, further enrich the reader’s experience. This remarkable collection is surely his best, most profound yet, and those who’ve not yet: ‘made the choice that benefits the planet and our place in it rather than continue along this narrow, selfish path to doom,’ will hopefully have pause for thought and be inspired. Bravo!” – Sally Spedding

Click here to pre-order a copy.


Welsh Independence – 7 October 2019

Firstly, can I say I’m all for Welsh independence.  Wales has been oppressed for many hundreds of years by its nearest neighbour, England.  We survive on the crumbs that the Westminster government seems fit to dish out.  But.  Plaid Cymru, like all political parties at the moment, seem to have lost the plot. In 1975 they campaigned to leave the EU, but then changed their mind for the 2016 referendum and said they wanted to remain.  Despite this Wales voted 52.5% in favour of leaving Europe.

Now their policy seems to be contradictory.  On the one hand they want us to leave England and break free of their control, yet on the other hand they want an independent Wales to be part of Europe.  How can we ever hope to stand on our two feet if instead of having one richer, more powerful overlord controlling our affairs we have 27 others all trying to do it?  Crazy? Perhaps?

Adam Price (Plaid Cymru’s leader) says ‘we don’t want charity‘ but that is probably what Wales will have if we stay in Europe (or rejoin after the UK leaves Europe and Wales then becomes independent!).  Although there will be a ‘Price’ to pay (get it).

There is certainly a growing call for independence, Eddie Butler for example.  And to all those who say ‘No, we can’t afford it.’ I say just read this here.  There are many pros and cons with every argument of course but a Nazi government in London and in Washington must surely be enough to scare us all into voting ‘Leave’.  Leave the UK that is.  We’ve already voted to leave the EU remember.

Europe has 44 countries but only 28 are in the EU.  Switzerland has a land border with 3 of the biggest contributors to EU coffers (after the UK) yet is NOT in the club.  They seem to do alright on their own and no-one complains about the customs border etc.  They also control immigration although it is rising from within the EU.

Iceland are not in the EU and they are pretty rich. Liechtenstein, Monaco and Norway are also not exactly poor.  Of course other countries want to join – Albania, Serbia, Ukraine, Turkey etc. which means Wales will be even lower down the list for handouts (oops, sorry I forgot we don’t want charity).  A bit like sites not covered Gamstop.

Why is Wales so poor though especially as we get millions of pounds of EU money from Brussels?  Well, the reason is England.  Westminster says, ‘Oh look you’ve had loads of cash from Europe, we don’t need to fund you anymore!’  Because we don’t control our own affairs (i.e. budget) we are always going to be kept poor by England.  Of course many argue that an independent Wales within the EU means we have the best of both worlds, we keep our own money but also get cash from Brussels – certainly worth thinking about.  But, will tiny Wales then have to turn Muslim to accommodate all the ISIS fighters shipped out of Turkey and passed on from mighty England?  Will big bad bullying Germany tell us we can’t call Welsh cakes ‘Welsh’ ‘cos there are no Welsh people in them?  It’s a tricky one.  Wales could be turned into Greece.

No, far better to leave the EU, then leave England.  Do a Costa Rica, become neutral, a green tourist centre, control our border and keep our population small.

Wars are fought over oil as we all know so looking ahead, what limited resource will become so valuable that it’ll either cause wars or make countries with it rich?  Yep – water.  Now ask yourself how much a litre of petrol is compared to a litre of bottled water in Sainsbury’s, then think again if Wales can afford to be independent.

Oh yeh and finally, ask yourself – does it ever rain in Wales?


Ponty Online Today? – 17 September 2019

This website was started in 1998 with the sole aim of giving local people an online platform to voice their opinions and as a result of this we (the people of the town) would get some great suggestions about how the local council, business owners and decision makers could improve the town centre for the benefit of its residents.  We have always been non-political (although many try to argue we’re not) and have always offered solutions as well as highlighted concerns.

Every few years it’s worth looking around the town to see if things have improved at all of course. So where are we today?

Well the biggest change as far as this website / forum / message board is concerned has been the scourge of free speech everywhere – no, not the BBC (although they are pretty bad) but Facebook. This US-run, multi-billion pound empire of advertising, fake news and propaganda has taken over much of the web where once local people had created their own little boards and online communities (policed by locals who understood the complexities of IT chat and freedom of expression).  Not anymore though alas.

In the old days this site used to get 50,000 hits a week with ten times that on the message board as local people posted what they thought about the precinct bomb site, the ‘red thing’, the fortunes of the best rugby team in Wales or the number (and names) of the councillors that parked their cars in the War Memorial Park just to do a bit of shopping. Now though, unfortunately, I feel that people are scared to speak out. Scared that a gang of social media trolls with a complete disregard for spellcheckers will hurl abuse at them if they suggest that the town’s demographic is changing far too rapidly due to immigration or that the market is worse now than it’s ever been or that foul-mouthed druggies are everywhere and you don’t feel safe walking through town or that the rugby team are finished or that there are never any police around or that councillors (of whom there are far too many) are paid far too much for doing far too little or that the new precinct development, whilst very modern, doesn’t fit in with the town’s Victorian heritage and the only benefit to the town will be that Greggs profits will increase whilst 4000 extra cars will jam the streets every morning and evening. (Not my thoughts by the way just things I hear people saying.)

Yep the Internet has changed forever and nasty, vocal lefties, Trump-loving racists, climate change deniers and remoaners seem to have replaced genuine local people who just want to know when the Lido is open next but are afraid to ask in case they get drawn into a game of ‘What Pronoun Do We Call You?’ People are leaving the Facebook groups as fast as new members are joining. Personally I don’t leave, I just get banned but that’s another story, lol. Everyone is a lurker now. Everyone too busy to vote in a simple poll or sign a petition that may help improve their lives yet they seem to find time to slag off the people who suggest such solutions rather than produce any of their own. It’s a sad world we live in. Thatcherism has won. ‘I’m alright Jack’ the mantra of the hour whilst apathy claims the rest of the population.

As for real life, i.e. the town, well we have the Lido which is a great success and we have a massive, city-like development which will no doubt have some impact on how the townsfolk interact with their town centre – we will soon have three gyms within walking distance of each other, a library in Taff Street (near to the museum) and lots of office workers looking for a sandwich and hopefully a beer or three on a Friday afternoon.

On the down side we are still a poor area with high levels of unemployment, low waged jobs and many social problems. In RCT we have a council starved of cash and top-heavy with overpaid managers, in Cardiff Bay we have a government (and opposition) who want to ignore the will of the people and somehow they think that will help them get voted back in again! In Westminster we have a bonking-mad nutter with a crazy hairdo that doesn’t even know where Wales is, but at least we have Eddie Butler who wants us to be independent.

In fact, all around the country we have tens of thousands who want rid of London but as cultural genocide continues (more English and overseas immigration into Wales) we will probably never have enough truly ‘Welsh’ people left to get a majority in an independence vote. You can compare this to what has happened in Tibet. Ask yourself where diversity stops?

So the future? Mmm? Bit depressing but I can’t really see one. Wales might win the RWC of course. They will probably have to beat Australia, England, (France or Argentina), (or Ireland), South Africa and New Zealand so not very likely is it? There is still the outside chance of winning the lottery I guess, moving to Hungary and spending the rest of your days sipping a fruity red but for most of us… doh!

So what can we do? Well here’s some ideas:

  • don’t give up
  • ask questions / sign and create petitions / vote / email your councillor (MP etc.) / suggest something to them
  • either give up social media or use it properly
  • stop watching mainstream news (e.g. BBC, Sky, Channel 4 etc.)
  • keep recycling (it does help)
  • read some f***** books (it’s amazing how many facts you can find in them and it makes you come across all intelligent in pub quizzes)
  • use the Lido / get a Ponty RFC season ticket / drink in the pubs / eat in the independent cafes / buy fruit and veg from the local stalls
  • walk rather than use your car
  • be nice to people

OK, speak to you again in a few years.


Vikings go Berzerk Slot Game guide – 6 September 2019

Go to war with fearsome warriors in Vikings Go Berzerk slot from Yggdrasil Gaming. Although many sequels flatter to deceive, this Viking-themed slot is even better than its brilliant predecessor, Vikings Go Wild, and can be played on all devices from between 25p and £125 per spin – follow this link now.

Game Features

Vikings Go Berzerk is a 5-reel, 4-row, 25 payline, high-variance slot. Boasting superb graphics, an RTP of 96.1%, a Berzerk mode with sticky wilds, a free spin feature that grants you up to 21 free spins, and a jackpot that pays you up to 4,000 times your stake, Vikings Go Berzerk is definitely one of the best slots out there.

How to Play

With all usual the buttons at the bottom of the screen, Vikings Go Berzerk plays like most other mobile slots. Use the ‘-’ and ‘+’ beside ‘COIN VALUE’ to set your betting stake and then press the spin arrow to start playing. You can avail of the Autoplay feature by clicking on the icon to the right of the spin button.

Game Symbols

Vikings Go Berzerk contains a variety of symbols. The lower value ones include bronze, silver and gold coins, while the Viking symbols act as higher ones. The wild is easy to spot as it contains the word ‘WILD’ and replaces all other symbols, bar the scatter. The scatter contains a female character and the words “FREE SPIN” and can give you free spins.

Bonus Features

Landing 3-5 scatter symbols grants you 7-21 free spins and one of the following features:

  •         All Vikings are Berzerk
  •         A sticky wild
  •         1-3 extra free spins
  •         5 treasure chests

Furthermore, all Vikings can become sticky wilds in this round by fighting off the Siren (this is guaranteed to happen when they’re in Berzerk mode). Respins can’t be retriggered with this feature, however.

Keep an eye out for the treasure chest and golden treasure chest as they are special symbols in this game. If the treasure chest appears on reel number 4, you win a prize of between 2 and 40 times your stake. The treasure chest can also trigger the Free Spins feature and award you up to 21 free spins.

Meanwhile, when the golden treasure chest turns up on reel 5, things really go berserk! Why? Well, it can grant you a Rage Boost, up to 21 free spins, wins of up to 400 times your bet, or access to the Ragnarök Free Spin feature. Vikings are always Berzerk during this round and thus always defeat the Sirens.

More about the Developer – Yggdrasil Gaming

Even though Yggdrasil Gaming was established in 2013, it’s already one of the most respected developers in the industry. It won the Innovator of the Year award at the International Gaming Awards in 2018 and some of its other titles include Jackpot Riders, Double Dragons and Vikings Go Wild.

Final Thoughts

You’ll go absolutely berserk for Yggdrasil Gaming’s Vikings Go Berzerk slot. So, hurry up and give it a spin!


Hadrian’s Cycleway & Coast 2 Coast – 3 September 2019

Welsh writer and poet Dave Lewis has just completed a week-long cycle across the north of England. He covered 275 miles, completed two iconic cycling trails: Hadrian’s Cycleway and the Sea to Sea / Coast to Coast (C2C) and has just published a book of his adventures.

In the past Dave has cycled the famous Land’s End to John o’ Groats challenge (back in 2005) and also created a circuit of Wales, after which he set up ‘Wales Trails’ in 2016.

‘Dave’s third cycling adventure is another little gem for fans of amateur cycling memoirs. Following on from the success of his LEJOG and Wales Trails books his latest outing charts a week in the north of England where he tackles two iconic cycle routes: Hadrian’s Cycleway and the Sea to Sea (C2C).

‘In true Buddhist fashion Dave cycles clockwise across Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Durham. Taking in ancient Roman sites, great modern cities and the beauty of the Pennines and Lake District. Once again he makes his journey come alive with his witty comments, weird references and superb photographs.

‘If you’re thinking of doing a similar ride then this account will act not just as a guide but also highlight the pitfalls of a lack of planning, reliance on technology and disregard for the power of the British weather.

A very funny book.’ – Derek Goode

So if you fancy a challenge then why not dust off that old bike, oil your chain and follow in Dave’s footsteps and discover some of the best landscapes anywhere in the UK.

If you want to find out more why not visit Dave’s website or pick up a copy of his book. More than just a guide, but a funny and thought-provoking account of what can be achieved in just one week while travelling around the country.

‘Hadrian’s Cycleway & Coast 2 Coast’ is available from all good bookstores, from Amazon and Dave’s own website as a paperback and e-book.


Cooking Nazis – 18 August 2019

I was flicking through the channels on my TV the other day (before giving up and watching Netflix) and couldn’t help but notice the number of cookery shows on TV. I must admit I never watch then for more than five minutes because the sight of some celebrity I’ve never heard of licking their lips as a poor dead animal burns doesn’t really appeal. OK, don’t get me wrong, I’m not some extremist vegan who wants to torture and murder all the planet’s ‘carnivore’ humans (we are omnivores of course) but I do try to limit the amount of meat I consume to a minimum. Why you might ask? Well, firstly for health reasons. It’s scientifically proven that meat is pretty much bad for us. Even the NHS tells us to be careful how much and what we eat. Here is another article from The Independent which is pretty neutral.

The other reason of course is that I love animals and don’t really want to hurt them, let alone take them away from their mothers when they are babies, imprison them in tiny cages and then kill and eat them. It’s just not a nice thing to do. There is also a third reason to give up (or at least cut down) on the amount of meat consumed and that is to save the planet. Rainforests (the lungs of the Earth and our species reservoirs) are chopped down just to plant grass for cows to eat so we can have a cheap burger. Not a very sensible way to manage the planet is it? Still not convinced? OK, read this – click here.

Anyway, back to TV. I had a quick think about how many cooking programmes we’ve been offered.

Here is a brief list:  Back in Time for…, Bake Off: The Professionals, BBQ Champ, The Best (British TV series), Big Cook, Little Cook, The Big Family Cooking Showdown, Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook, The Chef’s Protege, Chinese Food in Minutes, Chinese Food Made Easy, A Cook Abroad, Cook Me the Money, Cook’s Night Out, …Cooks!, Culinary Genius, Dinner Date, Eggs ‘n’ Baker, Exploring China: A Culinary Adventure, The F Word (British TV series), Farmhouse Kitchen, First Class Chefs, Food and Drink, Food Glorious Food (TV series), Food Poker, Food Uncut, Foundations of Cookery, Get Stuffed, Gok Cooks Chinese, Gordon Behind Bars, Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live, Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking, Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course, Gordon’s Great Escape, The Great British Bake Off, Great British Menu, Great Food Live, Greatest Dishes in the World, The Hairy Bikers’ Asian Adventure, The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook, The Hairy Bikers’ Food Tour of Britain, Heston’s Fantastical Food, Heston’s Feasts, I Can Cook, Iron Chef UK, ITV Food, Jamie at Home, Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals, Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals, Jamie’s Comfort Food, Jamie’s Ministry of Food, Jamie’s Super Food, Josephine Terry’s Kitchen, Kitchen Criminals, Let’s Do Lunch with Gino & Mel, The Little Paris Kitchen, Local Food Hero, Market Kitchen, Mary Berry Cooks, MasterChef (British TV series), Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch, Monster Munchies, Nadiya’s British Food Adventure, Nadiya’s Asian Odyssey, Nadiya’s Family Favourites, The Naked Chef, Nigella Bites, Nigella Express, Oliver’s Twist, Paul Hollywood’s Pies and Puds, Ready Steady Cook, Return to River Cottage, Ronnie Corbett’s Supper Club, Saturday Kitchen, Step Up to the Plate, Sunday Brunch, Sunday Feast, The Taste (British TV series), Taste (TV series), Two Fat Ladies, Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose, What to Eat Now, What’s Cooking? (TV series), Who’s Doing the Dishes?

OK, I’m sure you can add a few more. Plus there are all the other programmes on about healthy eating, diets etc.

Guess what? Not one of these is 100% vegetarian or vegan. Why?

Do TV channels get lobbied by the meat, farming or diary industries? Do they advertise during these shows? There must be a reason surely? Especially as we all know that meat is murder and going meat-free is so healthy.

So why doesn’t the BBC start a vegetarian show? After all they have every other ‘PC’ / minority / fringe group etc. on the channel. Time for a few emails and shares on social media me thinks.


Why your Insurance Business Needs UK Software – 15 August 2019

People are becoming more aware that accidents, injuries, and calamities happen without warning. If the provider of income in the family got into an accident while going to work, then who will provide for the family’s needs? This is where life insurance comes in.

If you are a UK company that provides insurance packages, you may want to make things easier for your clients. Life insurance is not just for people with a family to support. It is also for students, employees, the elderly, and people from all walks of life. This is why your company needs to be transparent, and it should cater to all the people who are investing in the company. What does this mean?

You should have a website, software, and an application that people can access any time of the day. Read more about software in this site: They should see their contribution, the maturation date, the coverage, and a lot more. Transparency is where you can get an edge over your competitors.

Modern Technology and your Business

Lots of complicated tasks and communications are sent out every second of the day. Before modern technology entered into the industry, letters are sent by couriers, which take weeks to arrive. By then, new policies are being implemented, and changes have already taken place. There are times when people do not receive the messages, and they just get surprised that their packages have already expired.

As the industry became more complex, many recognized the need for software especially in the UK. When Microsoft came up with software that helped a lot of people, it became a big hit. Another breakthrough came in the form of a customer relationship management tool or CRM. It provided insurance corporations a place where they can record data and transactions. When customers want to make changes into their policies, the changes are integrated into the CRM. However, why stop at it?

How about Getting Software that Meets your Needs?

Imagine how easy life can be for the investors, employees, and business owner, who work for the insurance companies when they have a piece of software made specifically for them. They are provided with the forms that they need. The software provides detailed instructions to customers about the information that needs to be placed on the forms. It also delivers metrics, documents, information, and other features that can help the business a lot. This will be a massive increase in productivity and efficiency.

When there’s software that includes a tutorial for employees to increase familiarity, then it will be easier to streamline all the tasks daily. The deadlines, memorandums, follow-ups, and reminders are accessed on a single platform. The communication will be easier internally and externally. Clients will receive emails or texts that contain important information.

How would you find the Right Company?

  1. Exclusive to the Insurance Industry

The best company should have ex-underwriters that know what you are talking about. Agents who were previously in the insurance industry are the ideal people to give you the best service on how the software should work. They should know the latest trends, the median of the premiums, and everything that is new on the insurance industry today.

  1. ISO Certified Level of Security

Many consumers want to know that they have signed up to a company that prioritizes the protection of their information. Get a company that has an ISO certification. Read more about ISO here. They should have solid security against hackers and scammers. Their staff should be trained to handle different kinds of computer programs and should know how to be safe when navigating between platforms. You should research these companies first before getting their software packages.

  1. Great Customer Support

You need someone who’s responsive to your needs. If you need to update the program to the latest version, there should be staff that can help you with this. If you have questions about how the software works, how you can input data, and how you can integrate it to your clients, there should be customer service that will give you clear information about those. Your time is valuable so having quick and responsive support can let you star on top of your business.

  1. Less Downtime

Look for a company with at least 99.99% up times. Your website should be up and running at all times. If hundreds of your customers will need to make changes in their policy every day, you should be able to do what they want and the system should record it real-time. Downtime can mean backlogs and you will always run after deadlines and be late with claims if you don’t have efficient software.

On the End Users’ Perspective

With a cutting-edge platform that lets your end-users see the basic features of your company and their packages, you can attract more clients in the future. Customers can view and edit their information without the need to go to your office and they will find it a huge convenience.

Features are just part of the package. You need to speed up your website and let your customers fully experience a personalized profile that is made just for them. For examples, Millenials, who make up a huge percentage of the insurance industry, expect faster loading times and they want to see plan features that are just made for them. They want to see their names when they open your application, see their information, their monthly contributions, and a lot more.

With a personalized online experience, you are making your customers happy. If customers can do things where at one time, they need agents who would have once help them with, they will feel empowered to continue their policies. If everything in your company can be found online, your customers can access their information day and night if they have an internet connection.

Make use of modern technology by using software for your insurance company. But don’t stop there. Get software that is specifically tailored for your company needs. Get in touch with people who know how the ins and outs of the industry work and you will surely succeed.


Our Favourite Grief Poems – 13 August 2019

Losing a loved one can be an extremely difficult time in anyone’s life. The grief that follows this loss can leave you in great emotional pain and it can be extremely difficult to return back to a busy working life. We have gathered the top three grief poems to help you find some peace during this difficult time.

Long Distance II

Throughout this poem, there is a recurring theme that grief relates to everyday situations such as popping out to get the tea. It can be greatly reassuring to realise that although a loved one may be gone you’re not alone. Everyone around you has dealt with a loss of some sort and it’s greatly important that you talk about this difficult time to those who mean most to you. This poem was created in 1937 by Tony Harrison and we believe it is the perfect way to start our favourite ‘Grief Poems’.

One Year Less

This poem is created by Cheryl McDonald and is about the loss of a child. Losing a child can be an extremely difficult time and we believe you should be supported through the entire funeral plan. The line “No one word for the pain, the longing, the brevity” really grasps how difficult it can be to deal with the emotional pain of grief.

Stop All The Clocks

This poem perfectly describes grief in a very modern and easy to understand format. It can almost feel like time stops when you have recently lost a loved one and it can seem the norm to shut yourself away from the rest of the world. Creating an environment when you are disconnected with the rest of the world can only make grief worse. Dealing with grief is no easy task but reading this poem will help you understand that you are not alone during this difficult time. This poem was written by W.H. Auden.

We hope you have enjoyed our collection of the top poems about grief. It can be very difficult to arrange a funeral when you are suffering from grief so it’s important that you visit one of the leading funeral directors in caerphilly and receive the support and guidance you need.


Managing Company Expenses with the Help of Business Cards – 9 August 2019

Throughout the UK, more than 5.7 million businesses exist, spanning several different industries and serving millions of consumers each day. Over the last decade, business ownership has grown in the region given the opportunities that are inherent in operating a company. However, the prospects that come with owning a business are, at times, diminished by the countless responsibilities business owners have. One of the most important facets of being a successful business owner is managing the company’s finances for both the short- and long-term, and this is no small feat.

Many businesses in the UK struggle with cash flow management, particularly those that experience seasonal shifts in revenue. Fortunately, managing expenses can be handled in an efficient and cost-effective way with the help of various business cards. It is essential, however, for business owners to understand the types of cards available to help with expense management over time, as well as which card may make the most sense for ongoing efficiency.

Types of Cards for Businesses
According to the UK Card Association, several different categories of business cards are available to companies, regardless of size or industry. Each card type offers different features and use cases, but there is likely a solution to help with the management of expenses for each business in operation today. The most common business card types include:

• Credit or charge cards – these business cards extend a credit line to businesses, allowing them to make purchases and pay for ongoing expenses without tapping into cash reserves immediately. These cards, however, carry interest in most cases, which can make for an expense management system if expenses are not paid in a timely fashion.
• Debit cards – these business cards are linked to a business checking account. Any purchases or expenses are immediately debited from the linked account, and no interest is charged since spending is paid for out of available funds.
• Purchasing cards – these business cards are generally reserved for large corporations, as they are used to cover purchase orders from suppliers.
• Prepaid cards – these business cards can either be pre-loaded or re-loadable with available funds. They can be used link debit or credit cards, but only up to the amount of cash added to the card.

Any combination of business cards can be used to help manage expenses over time. This is because purchases and other spending is easily tracked when utilising a card, and businesses have the option to provide cards to employees for company-related expenses. Although companies can use any of the cards mentioned above to help manage their finances over time, there may be a specific case for prepaid cards when expense management is a glaring issue.

The Case for Prepaid Cards
A finance specialist from Money Pug, a site used to compare prepaid cards, suggests there are certain advantages to using prepaid business cards specifically for expense management. Prepaid cards eliminate the need for employees to use personal cards or accounts to cover company spending, and businesses can often acquire multiple employee cards through a prepaid card provider at a minimal cost. Additionally, prepaid cards only allow for spending up to the loaded cash limited, making it far easier for businesses to restrict spending either for certain employees or for the business overall. Prepaid cards also offer the security of carrying a card rather than cash to cover spending needs.

Companies benefit greatly from using prepaid cards because they often have lower transaction fees than comparable credit cards. They also do not accumulate interest, given that the available spending limit is linked to the amount of cash added to the card. Most prepaid card providers allow businesses to add funds online, at cash machines, or over the phone when necessary.

Considerations When Selecting Cards
The use of cards to help manage expenses from a business perspective can be incredibly helpful, but there are considerations to think through before selecting a category of the card to use. Companies should seriously consider the fees associated with the card of choice. For instance, prepaid cards may have reloading fees or additional charges associated with creating employee cards. Credit cards for businesses accumulate interest on unpaid balances, and some providers charge annual fees for simply having the card in the first place. It is necessary to evaluate these costs to ensure a card selection makes the most economic sense for a company, both now and in the future.


Tiny Perdita knocks spots off her rivals to land nurse Charlotte her first Hickstead title – 29 July 2019

Pontypridd’s Charlotte Leonard and Nicky Nelson’s prolific miniature mare Karosel Alamo’s Perdita took yet another title at Longines Royal International Horse Show in West Sussex.

This time, she added the BMHS Supreme Miniature Horse Championship to an impressive tally that includes back-to-back wins in the BMHS Three Years Old and Over Championship for miniature mares.

“I’m ecstatic – it’s something we’ve tried so hard to get, and we’ve been reserve champions three times, and she’s won here four years in a row,” says Leonard, who exhibited the mare in the arena. “She knows her job and she loves it.”

The spotted mare might only measure in at 87cm tall, but getting her in peak show condition requires a similar amount of work as much larger equines.

“A British miniature is just like a tiny show horse, so they take a lot of work – a lot of lunging, and a lot of in-hand exercise,” Leonard explains. “It’s a bit like producing a lead-rein pony, except without the jockey.”

Though many of her competitors work full-time as showing producers, Leonard shows horses as a way to unwind from her busy job as a nurse. Alongside her miniatures, she also produces ridden horses and native ponies.

“It’s a massive family affair, and a real team effort to do it,” she says. “We had a very famous stallion who did so well and was reserve in this championship, but never quite won it – so we’ve won this for him.”

The Longines Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead in West Sussex runs from 23-28 July, with international showjumping being held alongside championship showing classes and national jumping competitions.


Llywelyn Bridge

There are many reasons why the naming of a bridge is important to the cultural identity of a nation and in Wales, which has had an English prince forced upon the country since 1301, it is paramount that ancient, out-dated feudal associations and traditions are abolished if Wales is ever to progress into the next century with any confidence.

The second Severn crossing bridge is a potent symbol of our contemporary nationhood and as the gateway to Wales the large signs above the bridge are the first and last thing any visitor sees upon entering or leaving the country when travelling along the M4 motorway.

As such the name is crucial in proclaiming that whilst Wales is still an important part of the United Kingdom it also has its own unique and diverse character. In these modern, progressive times the people of the world should not be reminded that Wales belongs to the English crown or be told that they are now entering a land of obedient, imperialist subjects. Surely this kind of imposed cultural uniformity went out with the notion of Empire and the subjugation of races.

Crucially, there was no consultation between the Welsh Government and the Welsh people about such a significant decision and only an unelected English Queen and the Prime Minister Theresa May approved the decision to rename the second Severn crossing bridge.

Only a very small minority of people in Wales supported the changing of the name of the Second Severn Crossing to the Prince of Wales Bridge, according to a YouGov poll, while 34% opposed the renaming (51% in Cardiff). A petition opposing the renaming got 37,000 signatures and much press coverage.

If Wales is ever to become a forward looking country, that is dynamic, ambitious and presents a positive national identity to the rest of the world we must be allowed to celebrate our language, cultural heritage and our approach to equality and diversity. For Wales to be truly presented as a land of values, which include fairness, solidarity and concern for the future we must be able to take key decisions that affect our distinctiveness such as this.

Therefore, we the people, demand that the Prince of Wales Bridge be renamed the Llywelyn Bridge in honour of the last true Prince of Wales.

To sign the petition – click here.

(Note: The bridge is operated by English Highways)


Black Bond – 18 July 2019

Had to do this one right?  News that the next James Bond, a white Scottish lad who grows up to become the sexist, hard-drinking, womanising killer all boys love, is to be played by a black woman has been met with the usual two polar opposite arguments. On the one side, Bond’s 007 character is white and a bloke (can’t argue with that says Ian Fleming’s ghost) and on the other side he should be ‘all PC’ and therefore NOT a white bloke but anything but… so we have Indians, blacks, aboriginals, women, lesbians, Guardian reading wimps, Thai ladyboys, wheelchair users, Jewish Nazis, Chinese, gay Nicaraguan whales with one flipper reading the weather on Channel 39 all in the running (or swimming)?  The list is endless really and I obviously apologise to all those three-headed aliens, feminists, snowflakes etc. who I’ve overlooked and therefore discriminated against and who now feel oppressed and victimised by this column no-one reads. Of course the world of espionage is a strange one and this might just all be hype to get us all wound up about cinema boycotts and talk of the biggest box office flop in history…

Personally, I think ‘Irish Pierce’ was the best 007 and Daniel ‘boring’ Craig one of the worst. But what do I know? I’ll tell you what I do know. Re-making Ghostbusters with unfunny women was a bad idea. It was a great original franchise so why mess with it just to embarrass women?  Bond is the same. Leave him alone. There is nothing stopping a black, female producer making a film with a black actor portraying a great character that was written by a black writer. There is nothing stopping Phoebe Waller-Bridge (posh feminist) writing crap about lesbians taking over the world like they’ve already taken over the BBC but don’t pinch someone else’s ideas.

There have been some fab black characters in film already, take Virgil Tubbs, Shaft, Apollo Creed, Uhura, Alex Cross, Huggy Bear, that woman from ‘The Help’ and many, many more so if pc-liberals want to create some more then there is nothing stopping them. But why stoop so low to ‘steal’ a great white character?

I’m a writer (of sorts) and I’ve written a crime thriller trilogy that many people think is great. The books have great characters, it’s a great story and would make a great film or even Netflix series. Guess what? Yep, no luck so far. Do I scream ‘oppression, victimisation, is it ‘cos I’m white, working class and poor? (it probably is actually)’ as the reason that my books aren’t huge Hollywood blockbusters yet? No, it’s probably for a number of reasons that I’m not sipping cocktails with Halle Berry or snorting coke off Lashana Lynch’s tits! It might be because I use the word ‘tits’ a lot.

So, whilst craggy Craig is still actually Bond and it’s only his number (007) that has been given to a black woman we all know that this is censorship via the front door. Take the remake of ‘The Sweeney’, a great old (yet very sexist and of it’s time) TV series and film series. It was fab. It had strong male and female characters and was great entertainment. Nowadays though it seems we can’t make a film which just entertains or one that reflects what is real and that I think is sad.

You might ask what is my point? Why can’t we have a black, female Bond? Well my answer is simple. Call me old fashioned but I just don’t want one. I like my Bond to be white, heterosexual, funny and sexist. Just as I like my Marvel superheroes to be drawn by Stan Lee, my beer to be cold and my black women big-bootyed and hot.


How Far Can Wales Go In the World Cup in Japan? – 9 July 2019

Author: Alex Dudley

The 2019 World Cup is the most pivotal event in Welsh rugby for many years. It will be the final competition under the stewardship of Warren Gatland before the Kiwi leaves his role. It will be no easy feat for Wayne Pivac to replicate the success that Gatland has enjoyed. He will leave his position as Welsh coach having been the longest-serving and most successful coach that the national side has ever seen.

The recent Six Nations success has raised hopes that a first World Cup could be delivered as a farewell gift for Wales, and while all the form points to that being within reach; the test ahead of them remains stern. The betting markets certainly feel that the Welsh will face difficult competition from New Zealand, England and Ireland.

Still, there is no reason why they can’t defy the odds and win the showpiece event; after all, Gatland truly thrives in competitive rugby, and he will be hoping that he can leave the Welsh side in a blaze of glory.

Six Nations Form

Winning the Grand Slam is no easy achievement, and as soon as the threat of England was seen off Gatland knew that questions of potential World Cup glory would follow. The Kiwi batted around these questions from journalists and told reporters that there was no scientific link between winning the Six Nations en route to World Cup success.

Indeed, he does have a point there as only England have won a major tournament and the World Cup in the same calendar year. It’s almost like saying that because a tennis player has won the Australian Open, they are almost guaranteed to win Wimbledon. The form is a positive factor ahead of a massive tournament, but success in one doesn’t mean that there is more glory to follow.

Of course, that 2003 English side that won the Six Nations before their World Cup glory does draw comparisons to this Welsh side. The most evident of those is the fact that both won the Grand Slam and looked irrepressible throughout the fixtures. However, it will be wise to consider the Six Nations as a morale-boosting tournament rather than an indicator of future success. The style of rugby, weather and atmosphere in the Japanese stadiums ensure that the World Cup is an entirely different ball game, but nonetheless, the signs are good.

Group Stage

Upon being drawn in Pool D alongside Australia, Uruguay, Georgia and Fiji hope began to rise further. These hopes were so high because the route to the final was clear for all to see, but the path as group winners seems far more comfortable. Much will depend on the result against Argentina in the team’s second game of the competition. A win in this fixture and topping the group would be a formality with fixtures against Fiji and Uruguay to end the group stage.

Gatland will be well aware that a first-place finish in the pool would mean that his side will avoid the likes of England, New Zealand and a possible rematch with Australia until at least the final. As winners, the Welsh would likely place France in the quarterfinals before a showdown with Ireland in the semifinals.

The latter of which will be an exciting occasion, but if their Six Nations fixture was anything to go by, then the Welsh should have enough to get past them. The 25-7 victory over the Irish to cement the Grand Slam was much more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.

The Welsh will have to be in the sparkling form that they have showcased throughout their 14-match winning run which culminated in the win over Ireland to close the Six Nations if they are to win the World Cup. However, it would be a wise bet to predict that it could be a memorable summer for Wales.


Still Raking It In – 8 July 2019

We did a story on the huge salaries the BBC pays some of its Welsh TV presenters back in 2017. We were told that many of these, quite frankly, insulting wages for pretty mediocre talent would be cut. Well, have they?

Cardiff’s John Humphrys, presenter of Radio 4’s Today programme was in the £600,000-£649,000 pay bracket, then he dropped to £400,000-£409,999 in 2017/18 and now he is down to £290,000-£294,999, which whilst a huge cut is still pretty amazing and ten times what most people earn in Wales.

We should also feel sorry for Bridgend-born Huw Edwards, who… mmm, reads the news.  He’s just taken a huge pay cut as well (more than most people in the UK earn). He now only earns £490,000-£494,999.  How will he ever manage?

Jason Mohammad however, who was earning £250,000-£295,999 a year, has had a huge pay rise!  He now earns £355,000-£359,999.

Gabby Logan, daughter of former Wales manager Terry Yorath, has also had a pay rise.  She used to earn between £200,000-£249,999 but now is on £290,000-£294,999.

So nothing much has changed at the BBC.

Meanwhile almost a quarter of people in Wales are trapped in poverty as levels of deprivation rise among some of the country’s most vulnerable groups, a new report shows.

Rising living costs, especially housing costs, combined with cuts to working age benefits and poor quality jobs, is leading to an increased risk of living in poverty for families both in and out of work, according to research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The study shows that 710,000 people in Wales are now living in relative poverty – meaning their household whose income, after housing costs, is less than 60 per cent of median income. This figure includes 185,000 children, 405,000 working-age adults and 120,000 pensioners, making Wales the most poverty-stricken nation in the UK.

And for those that love figures here are some more, the salaries of some of our most loved and hated politicians. You decide which is which, lol.

Jeremy Corbyn has said he does not think he is wealthy, despite his £137,000 salary. Once he retires, he will receive a pension of around £1.6 million.

Nigel Farage earns around £70,000 a year as an MEP (although it has been halved because of a recent scandal). His EU pension will be £73,000 when he reaches the age of 63. However he did add nearly £400,000 last year to the coffers of a company that he is the sole director of.

Boris Johnson is worth about £1.5 million.  He gets paid £79,468 a year as an MP and also earns £275,000 a year for writing his weekly column in the Daily Telegraph. An amount he said was ‘chicken feed’.  He continues to be paid tens of thousands of pounds a year on royalties from books and translations of his biography of Churchill. He called London’s wealthy a “put-upon minority like homeless people and Irish travellers and should be protected from any further bullying from the public…”.

Either way it’s great to know we’re all in this together 🙂


Your first home: 4 myths about buying it – 4 July 2019

If recent statistics are to be believed, it’s understood that the average age for purchasing a home is quickly increasing. Ten years ago, 55% of 25-34-year-olds were homeowners. Now, this figure is down to 38%. As we all know, this is a topic that is covered a lot in the news. There is a lot of negative press about the process – mainly surrounding house prices and how they are pricing young buyers out of the market.

While we can’t disagree with the above, today’s article will take a look at some of the myths that tend to do the rounds about first-time buyers, and debunk them for good.

“You can move in as soon as you have the deposit”

As we all know, one of the biggest battles for a lot of prospective first-time buyers is scraping together that initial deposit. Once they have got this, the big misconception is that they can move in to their desired property straight away.

Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In truth, this is only the start of the process, and you’ll find that paperwork roadblocks (usually related to solicitors) as well as housing chains make the whole moving progress very frustrating indeed. Quite often, you’ll need to turn to local storage options and you could consider the opportunities for self storage in Cardiff to help you manage the move.

“You only pay the asking price”

Again, it might have taken you years to collect your deposit, but there can be some rude awakenings when it comes to pushing the deal through.As it turns out, there is far more to this than meets the eye. You’ll have to pay solicitor fees, surveying fees and in some cases, stamp duty. It means that you can be paying several percent more than you initially budgeted – which can be of huge significance.

“All mortgages are equal”

If you believe this next myth, you are probably set to lose a lot of money.Once upon a time the only way to get a mortgage was through the high-street. Now, things are changing. Brokers have entered the scene and while some will charge for you to use their services, there’s no doubt that they get buyers a much better deal with a lower interest rate.

It means that the days of having to settle for a 20% deposit are long-gone. Sure, this sort of arrangement might net you a better deal and lower your monthly repayments, but there are plenty of options out there and not exploring could be costly.

“The costs stop when you move in”

Congratulations, the deal is done. However, what tends to happen is that you then have to deal with a whole host of other costs. Granted, these costs are usually self-inflicted. A lot of people find they are desperate to invest in their home further when they move, whether it is with new furniture or even alterations to the home itself.You might assume that you won’t fall into this trap but as you start to fall in love with your first property, it can happen very easily.


Our Top 3 Tips for Trending Business Ideas – 3 July 2019

If you’re planning on starting your own business, you might be concerned about the initial start-up costs. An authorised direct lender, like, can give you the helping hand you need with a quick and convenient online application. Otherwise, there are plenty of funding, mentoring and loan schemes available in Wales – both on a local and national basis.

Before taking the plunge and investing time and money, it’s worth researching the market to find out what the latest trends are. Even the most brilliant business idea won’t make money if there is no market for your service and/or product.

Depending on your area of expertise and interests, you might transform one of the following ideas into a moneymaking enterprise:

  1. Men’s beard products

Facial hair has made a comeback. According to YouGov statistics, the number of men with a beard, moustache or stubble has grown by a third since 2011. 18% of men now have a full beard while 17% have stubble.

Apart from grooming equipment such as trimmers, combs and brushes, there is also a growing market for beard care products like tonics, balms, oils and conditioners.  This trend is particularly popular among the younger generation – 61% of men aged 18-39 now sport some kind of facial hair. This demographic is positive for a start-up since this is the age group with the largest disposable income to spend on grooming products.

  1. e-learning

It has been estimated that 16% of new apps come under the category of educational tools. For a generation which has grown up with electronic devices, this is their preferred way of learning and the category covers everything from languages to fitness workouts.

One example of a successful learning app was one created by Cardiff-based Eiry Thomas. Her bilingual interactive app follows the adventures of Y Sbridion (Flitlits) and encourages literacy skills among the young.

With more and more people interested in learning another language and many Americans wishing to discover their Welsh heritage, an app aimed at an older audience could be a real money earner.

  1. The lure of the Orient

Although Chinese restaurants have long been a regular sight on British High Streets, the fastest-growing Asian cuisine over the past decade has been Japanese restaurants. According to Mintel, their numbers have grown by over two-thirds.

If you are reluctant to enter the restaurant business, the latest lifestyle trend is Kintsugi. Also known as Kintsukuroi, this 15thcentury philosophy and art form is concerned with making the broken look beautiful again. In its original form, it involved repairing broken ceramics using a lacquer coated with a precious metal to create veins of gold, silver or platinum over the lines of the breakage.

Its use isn’t restricted to pottery. The influence of Kintsugi can be seen in many other sectors such as jewellery-making, home décor and clothes.

Even if none of these trends appeal to you, they might still give you the spark of an idea for your own start-up. For further inspiration, you should read the celebrity news and lifestyle sector of a tabloid like the Mirror.


Welsh Poetry Competition – 2 July 2019

The organisers of the International Welsh Poetry Competition have just announced this year’s winners. The Pontypridd-based, English language contest is the biggest in Wales and once again has received a bumper crop of entries and some fantastic poems from poets from all over the globe!


1stPrize          THE MAP-MAKERS TALE – Damen O’Brien, Queensland, Australia

2ndPrize          THE DEVIL’S SHOES – Pauline Plummer, North Shields, England

3rdPrize          WHAT ARE YOU OWL? – Rob Miles, Leeds, England

To read the winning entries and also see the other 17 runners up just visit the Welsh Poetry Competition website.


Man-Hating Feminist Crap – 25 June 2019

Who’s watched ‘Killing Eve’? You know, that TV programme about British military intelligence being run by women. Posh, public school women, Asian women and pregnant black women. At best a comedy script (although in reality just plain sexist) that tries to subtly slip in a ‘men are crap and useless joke’ every episode. Then they waltz about Europe whilst they laugh at and continue to make pathetic jokes about how shit men are at everything. They live in a fantasy world where armed police are so crap that they fail to clear a building properly, where office workers are suddenly field agents, where a demented (but very clever / funny / beautiful / add more adjectives to describe female hero) killer who assassinates loads of weak men in sick, depraved ways is somehow our favourite person. Well, she is mine I must admit. Jodie Comer is fantastic! Just a shame this truly brilliant acting creation had to be stuck in this shit, cartoon drama where it’ll just be lost to the world along with all the other BBC pc-liberal nonsense (like Fleabag). Take her character out and what have you got? A big pile of nothing.

So why do they do this? Is it because women now control the light entertainment arm of the beeb?  I say ‘light’ because you cannot take this drivel seriously. Comedy yes, albeit sexist, but serious no.

And why do so many people like this nonsense? Don’t they know that the latest BBC ‘star’, writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, is landed gentry from Sussex who attended fee-paying schools to keep her away from us all? Her family is full of Tory MPs, business magnets, Lords and baronets. She is laughing at the oiks while raking in the cash.

Is this what feminism has reduced itself too? Kick a man (or hang one upside down in a brothel and gut him like a pig) and feel good about yourself? Where were the guts or pints of blood btw!? But I digress. All this crazy attention seeking is not going to help women get equality (I’d argue they are getting a far better deal than white, working class, heterosexual men at the moment anyway) but rather cause men to start hating them.

As much as I despised her, Maggie Thatcher proved that women could achieve and that was way back in the mid/late seventies. Girls have outperformed boys at school for as long as I can remember, they seem to dominate the media and are soon to be the majority in medicine and law. So why turn the clock back? Why try to do to men what they did to women back in the mists of time? Two wrongs don’t make a right.

What about the workplace? Women in their 20s and 30s probably earn more than most men now. The boardroom is next and politics (another high earning profession) is becoming more female each positively discriminated by-election.

Of course it will backfire on these middle-class, modern-day suffragettes from the big cities as more and more men (that’s the real men btw, not the wimpy twats with The Guardian’s under their weedy arms) just bugger off to their sheds, pubs, pornography and computer games. Some will even leave the UK for other countries where women are still allowed to be beautiful, sexy and show off their tits if they want to attract the alpha male.

Surely now is the time for real men to stand up and be counted. But I wonder how many of these oh-so-oppressed women will stand in solidarity with men as we wave our banners and demand equal opportunity for all the under-performing boys out there?

How many ‘modern’ women will protest to help change the laws around adoption, dowries, circumcision, child custody, divorce, domestic violence, education, female privilege, health, government structures, homelessness, prisons, military conscription, paternity fraud, false rape claims, social security, suicide rates?

As for TV, bring back ‘The Sweeney’ I say 🙂


OneClass Now Offers On-Demand Homework Help – 18 June 2019

Today, education is much different than it used to be. Of course, we all realize how much technology has changed things. However, the pressure for students to succeed is higher than ever. The high cost to attend university makes it important to do well in class and make the investment count. After all, a student’s future career and potential success on the line.

The OneClass online platform has become a valuable resource for students. Its multinational presence covers schools in Canada, the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. More than 2.2 million students have used the academic platform to get better grades, and 90 percent have improved by at least a letter grade.

Now, OneClass just got better, and access to academic resources has expanded to any student in the world. With 24/7 Homework Help, students enrolled in High School or University classes can get expert help when they’re struggling with class material.

The Homework Help app is accessible from anywhere and at any time. Simply enter your academic question, and subject matter experts will provide step-by-step solutions within 24 hours.

Use it as a micro-tutoring platform to get a single question answered, or ask a series of questions to build out explanations across multiple concepts. You can even search the previously answered questions to see if another student struggled with a similar class assignment.

Plus, your first Homework Help question is FREE.

Here’s how it works. Begin by choosing your class subject. Currently, OneClass’s online experts can answer questions in accounting, biology, chemistry, economics, engineering, mathematics, physics, and statistics. Next, choose the grade level of the class that you’re taking.

To ask your question, the easiest option for many students is to snap a photo of the homework problem. Students also have the option to type their question or use the online formula builder. Keep in mind that a tutor can customize your solutions based on your teachers’ preferences or the class’ academic requirements. For example, if your teacher prefers that you solve problems using a specific methodology, specify that when you ask your question so that they can help you understand that specific method.

After asking your question, you’ll receive an email notifying you when your solution is ready. Solutions are ready within 34 hours, and often they’ll be ready in less than 12 hours. In fact, you can check online at any time to see how many tutors are actively answering students’ homework questions.

When your answer is ready, you’ll have the step by step explanation to your question, clearly showing how it was solved. Not only can this have an immediate impact of improving the grade on your current homework assignment, but the explanations can also help you to study for your exams.

All solutions are guaranteed, and if you’re not satisfied with your solution, it’s free. OneClass is committed to high-quality education tools. To keep standards high, there’s even a rating system so our tutors can understand how well they’re helping students.

If you have an academic question you can’t solve, try OneClass’ Homework Help.


9 Things You Might Not Know About Tom Jones – 5 June 2019

Tom Jones is one of the best success stories to come out of Pontypridd in the last few decades, but how much do you know about the legendary singer? The local Welsh hero. Here’s a list of nine things you might not have known about the Welshman.

His hit Delilah is sung at Stoke City FC

You heard that right. A song about murder is sung on the terraces at Stoke City. Why? Well, some fans claim that it was sung after a rock concert in 1975. The Sensational Alex Harvey Band covered Tom Jones’ Delilah that year, and their rendition of the song was sung after that gig ever since. It’s still, to this day, very popular amongst Stoke fans.

It hasn’t helped them on the pitch, though, as they were relegated from the Premier League in 2018. They failed to bounce back at the first attempt, but can Delilah inspire them to return to the top of English football in 2020? They’re 4/1 with most bookmakers to go up. Why not get a bet365 promo code and use a free bet rather than your own money? You’re welcome. They have a chance, that’s for sure.

The Fight With Tuberculosis

In his younger days, Tom Jones actually spent a full two years in bed recovering from tuberculosis. It was during this time that he found his passion for music. The rest, they say, is history. If it weren’t for the music, he probably would have ended up working in the mines like his dad.

Married at 16

Melinda Rose Woodward. That was the name of Tom Jones’ childhood sweetheart. They married when they were both just 16 years old. It wasn’t a faithful marriage as there have been endless stories about the Welshman straying while on tour in different places. However, they stayed together until Melinda sadly passed away in 2016 from cancer.

Sandie Shaw Nearly Sang It’s Not Unusual

That’s right, the hit was not originally intended to be sung by Tom Jones. Sandie Shaw was offered it, but she turned it down, which lead to Tom Jones’ career taking off.

He Got Dai Perry out of Trouble in Venezuela

Perry was Tom Jones’ bodyguard in 1974 and also his best friend. After a little bit of a set two between Perry and journalists in Venezuela, he was arrested awaiting sentencing the next morning once the courts opened. However, Tom Jones had other ideas. He managed to get his best mate on a plane back to Miami before he was thrown in jail.

He’s Loaded

Tom Jones is worth well over £200m. You have to admire his passion to continue working. He loves it. He could easily have retired on an island somewhere remote by now.

Tom Loves After Eights

If you ever see Tom Jones walking down the street and you’ve got a box of After Eight mints in your bag, let him know! He’ll probably say yes to dinner at yours as long as the mints were on offer as a dessert. A female fan had Harrods send her a box every time she knew she was going to see him. Now that’s a top fan.

Elvis and Tom Had a Falling Out

They were very good friends most of the time, but there was one occasion where things turned sour for a few days. It happened when Elvis decided to perform in his hotel suite. He was sitting on a piano stall when Tom’s manager pulled it away from underneath Elvis. The King was not best pleased and fell out with Tom of the situation for a little while. They made up in the end, though.

He Doesn’t Like What’s New Pussycat

Hate is a strong word, but Tom Jones’ feelings towards the song are too far from it. He didn’t like it at the time, and he still doesn’t like it now. It’s his least favourite track from everything he’s ever done. It topped the charts in 1965, though, so it’s not all bad.


Welsh Nationalism. I’m Confused? – 20 May 2019

OK, I could write a novel here but there is one thing that puzzles me. I’ll keep it simple and try not to annoy too many people (unlikely these days) but perhaps someone can explain in the comments section or on the message board what I’m missing…

Brexit happened. OK, it hasn’t yet and might never, but the vote happened. We had a people’s vote where the majority voted to Leave the EU. Yes we know it’s a shambles, mainly due to the Tories not having a majority in Westminster and people on both sides are getting understandably annoyed and frustrated that it is taking so long to actually sever ties with the political monster that is the European Community. But forget all that nonsense for a bit. Here is my problem…

Plaid Cymru, the self-styled party of Wales consistently says that it wants to remain in the EU. Even though Wales voted to leave.

They also campaign for Welsh independence.

Not seeing it yet?

OK, I’ll make it easier for you. Plaid Cymru and most of my Welsh nationalist friends want to rid themselves of the Westminster government and political system that we never vote for. OK, seems fair enough.

Plaid Cymru also want us to have our own tax raising powers and stand on our own six million feet (think about it). In other words independence – hurray! Again, so far so good.

And even though I don’t really see myself as a nationalist I do agree with this view and do want an independent Wales. Despite the negative opinions, I do think we could make it work. Don’t listen to those brainwashed English voices that say we’re too poor. Think of ways we CAN do things for ourselves.

Here’s a few examples:

We have a low population (we might need to build a huge wall to keep the foreigners out but…), we have plenty of water (we could sell that to England) and we have great beer.  We wouldn’t need an army anymore, we have Alun Wyn anyway.  We could turn Cardiff into a ‘City II’ and be like Switzerland and encourage all the world’s criminally insane despots to deposit their blood diamonds, cocaine takings and other ill-gotten gains here in good ole Cymru.  We’d be rich I tell you!  We also have great tourist opportunities.  We also have a fab, extra long runway and could fly to the US and the new world every day.  OK, so far so good.

BUT. And it’s a big but as far as I’m concerned.

Once we’ve left England, Plaid Cymru then want us to stay in (or rejoin) Europe!  Hang on a minute, why on Earth would the party that was formed in 1925 with the sole aim of breaking away from the political control of one larger, more powerful, richer, oppressive political system then want twenty-seven other nations to have an even stronger, bigger, richer, more powerful political control over our lives?  Please read this paragraph again.

Also, Plaid Cymru claims to be a socialist party. Didn’t Karl Marx advocate small government or even no government at all? Why would you want to free your people from one big bad wolf (England) and give your small, poor, defenceless country away to twenty-seven other lupines!? Pure madness.


Heritage Project – Ponty Park – 8 May 2019

Plans have been submitted to RCT Planning for a major heritage and horticulture project at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park. The aim is to build a horticultural centre and to refurbish the former toilet block and bandstand. The council is applying for Heritage Lottery Parks for People funding to carry out works in the heritage and horticultural zone of the park. It has already received £208,500 in funding and will be applying for more money in August.

Planning permission and conservation area consent is being applied for as part of stage two of the process and includes the building of a horticultural centre in the eastern part of the park. The works will involve the demolition of a small single room park manager building, the removal of two glasshouses, the construction of a purpose-built single-storey training facility, a garden range (including a glasshouse) and screen wall and the conversion of a derelict toilet block into a parks staff welfare facility. As well as these, the plan includes a new pedestrian link between Pontypridd Lido and the woodland garden, improvements to the rock outcrop and woodland gardens, restoration and improvements to the bandstand and the sunken garden.

Stage two will also include an activity programme which includes the development of a volunteering and training programme within the park.

The horticultural training centre will provide space for education and recreational activities for members of the public and students with a training room, office, covered outside area for demonstrations and activities, potting shed and outdoor planting area.

A design and access statement submitted with the application said the scheme would bring positive benefits for the community.

This all sounds great of course but with £2 million being wasted on a new footbridge it does make you wonder about the sense of having all these different pots of money around the place, that are applied for and dished out once someone fills in the right form, rather than one central pot of either council or WAG cash.

We at suggested to the council (about 20 years ago) about creating an environmental centre, very much along the lines of this proposal, in the Park, that the town’s folk could use so great that someone has finally opened those letters. Anyway, fingers crossed it will happen.


The Continued Effectiveness Of Offline Marketing In A Digital Era – 29 April 2019

Many businesses feel that in order to compete in our growingly digital-dependent marketplace, that they have to focus their promotional efforts completely toward online marketing. Online marketing is, of course, highly effective and has many benefits – but businesses of all sizes need to take a step back and consider just how useful offline marketing still is.

A business that prints online with a specialist online printer – such as – is tapping into a rich seam of tried and tested offline marketing benefits, that many businesses are simply ignoring. Here’s why offline marketing continues to be so effective.

It’s affordable

Money matters, no matter how big your business is – regardless of the size of your marketing budget, you want to make every penny count. This is why offline marketing will always continue to be appealing, it’s affordable. The days of custom printing being prohibitively expensive are long gone, now you have access to a wide range of marketing materials, all of which can carry your business branding. Online print specialists are able to print much cheaper than traditional high-street printers, and they pass those savings on to you.

It’s tangible

As we transition to a more digital age, many people are growing to appreciate simply being able to touch and feel something. A banner ad or a popup is usually closed or ignored in moments, it flashes by and then it’s gone. Offline marketing materials such as brochures, printed t-shirts, and bags all have tangible qualities about them – they can be felt, touched, and used, which automatically makes customers pay more attention. Digital marketing has become so ubiquitous that unless you’re getting very creative, you’re simply not engaging your audience.

It’s useful

Customers are growing more savvy by the day, and they have proven time and again that they do not appreciate blatant marketing attempts. To get around this, you need to make it seem more like a gift than an advertisement – and the best gift is a useful one. Many offline marketing materials such as hats, t-shirts, pens, mugs, USB flash drives, and bags, all have a use independent of the branding they carry. This is a benefit to you, because it means the recipient is more likely to use the item in their daily life – putting your branding in front of more eyes.

Offline marketing is still highly effective in today’s digital age, make sure your business is capitalising on it.


How To Reduce Disability Discrimination In The Workplace – 27 April 2019

Disability in the workplace is becoming ever more of a current issue. Employers strive to assist every employee to fully participate in the workplace and ensure that they are fair when employing people with disabilities. However, it can be difficult to understand the best way to solve problems concerning disability in the workplace. This guide will help to provide solutions to any issues that may occur.

How can you make your office disability friendly?

To reduce any concerns over injury and accessibility, you should attempt to make your office disability friendly. Not only is it a legal requirement, but doing so will encourage disabled employees to work for you without any issues arising. You should install wheelchair ramps and lifts alongside stairways, which will allow disabled employees to access all areas of your office. Additionally, braille-operated lifts and accessible parking spaces are other options to ensure that your disabled employees feel happy and content to come to work and have the same opportunity as everyone else.

How can you prepare for emergencies?

When you are employing any member of staff, you need to be aware of potential injuries and accidents which may occur. However, you increase the chances if you have not taken the appropriate safeguards. You are required by law to take out employer liability insurance. It is crucial when employing staff to review the insurance requirements for employers. Doing so prevents loss to your business in the event of any claims concerning personal injury or illness. Hiscox can ensure that you are covered in the event of any legal costs or compensation expenses that this claim may incur against your business.

How can you teach your employees about disability?

One of the significant problems that may arise when employing disabled people is how other employees may interact with them. Sometimes employees will show either a positive or negative bias towards those with disabilities. However, training courses can help employees to understand how to interact with their disabled team members and prepare them for how to help their colleagues in an emergency. It will help all employees to communicate more efficiently, and contribute to dispelling any problem-causing biases that may occur.

How can you help your disabled employees?

Another problem which may concern disabled employees is the ability to carry out the same duties as their colleagues. However, there is a host of assistive technology available for businesses to help disabled employees to work without constraints from their disability. These include online applications and technologies that you can install, such as colour-coded keyboards, Braille displays, and sign language applications, to name a few. Enabling disabled employees to have the same opportunities as other employees are essential and should be a significant priority for employers, in all areas of the workforce. While help for the disabled in workplaces is still lacking; you will be able to make your workplace an accessible and disabled-friendly place to work.


Writers of Wales – 20 April 2019

A new project that aims to highlight many of the great Welsh writers in the country, both past and present has been launched.  A-Z listings of as many Welsh (or Welsh-connected) writers that can be found from throughout history as well as all the new, modern authors out there will be added as time goes on. So whether you’re a Brythonic historian, a best-selling TV celebrity, a sports star, a celebrated crime writer, a politician, priest or poet, or one of the new breed of ‘indie’ writers Writers of Wales wants to hear from you. All they ask is that you have some strong connection to Wales.

The website will also be adding blog posts where they hope to bring you information on Welsh writing news, literary events, open mic nights, competitions, magazines as well as the launch of new books throughout the year. If you have something you think we should add or news you wish to share please feel free to get in touch.

Please be patient though as updating this site will take rather a long time!  In order to launch the site just a handful of Wales’ most successful, important or influential writers have been included, with lesser writers omitted.

There is also a small links page where you will find other useful websites.  If you have a Welsh-related / literature-related website that you think should be there then let the website know.

This site will be free to use but will also offer adverts, Amazon book widgets and paid blog posts.

The success of this venture, like all online projects, will rely on the goodwill of the participants so with this in mind please share, post, email our web address to as many people as you can who might be interested in Welsh writers and literature.

Thank you


Changing Demographics

I used to live in Cardiff. I spent four wonderful years getting hammered, learning about our planet and meeting interesting people. I had over twelve different addresses (for various reasons) and lived in Cathays, Roath, Canton, Adamstown, Penylan and Riverside. I drank in almost every pub in Cardiff at one time, over half of which are now closed. I enjoyed living in a truly multicultural part of the UK and had friends from all backgrounds, races, religions and cultures. It was a fun time and most people just got on with their lives.

There certainly wasn’t this constant bombardment of pc-values that we get today. The barrage of ‘Empire Was Evil – Do You Feel Guilty Yet?’, ‘Stone A Gay For Islam’, ‘Race Hate Crime On The Increase’, ‘Love A Burkha Week’, ‘Hug A BBC Paedo’, ‘Black History Millenia’, ‘Women’s Turn To Be Paid More Forever ‘cos They Have Babies And Do Different Jobs Anyway’, ‘#NotYouTooDuckie’ and so on. And as far as I can remember there weren’t any monocultures in town, apart from the Somalis maybe. Now though, in Cardiff, there are areas that I used to live in, eat and drink in, and walk around that resemble a third-world slum.

The demographic situation in the United Kingdom is changing and it is changing rapidly. In some areas of the city no-one supports Wales in either football or rugby and no-one goes to the local pub anymore – hence they close. Not many people go to church anymore, unless you count the evangelical cults (often with African congregations) that spring up and then just as quickly disappear when people realise how silly those belief systems are. Many old churches have already been converted into mosques and Islamic centres (a common strategy amongst Muslims over the centuries btw).

I used to buy chips from an Italian guy who always asked me how I got on in my last college rugby match. I had a Turkish friend who used to say, ‘Hey wasn’t it great, we beat England again!’ My Bangladeshi mate Mia, in the Jubilee Tandoori used to cheer me up over a Madras and tell me that there were plenty of other girls in the sea. (I think he meant fish, but who can tell?).

After the pubs and clubs closed at 2am we’d head for an ‘Indian’ (actually Bangladeshi) and even had credit in the Akash curry house before perhaps popping into town and ‘Cabbies’ to drink with the (white) taxi drivers until 3am or later. Other nights we’d get freshly cooked takeaways at the grill down Clifton Street from the gay Maltese guy at 4am, or we’d get high on passive weed down the docks from all the Jamaican guys smoking there whilst watching live reggae music. We used to play pool with the prostitutes down the Custom House and tell them to hurry up ‘cos it was their shot when one of them ‘got a date’. Once I remember some of the rugby boys took an Iraqi home to hide him from some Iranians who wanted to kill him. It was all good fun.

Then I started work and left my beloved city, only returning occasionally to look up old friends and see if the old haunts were still there.

Last year, over thirty years on, I took a drive down Clifton Street. I used to live near there back in the 80s and it was a fab community. I noticed three things. Firstly, the traditional Welsh butchers (that used to sell pork sausages) had closed, the Polish shop had relocated to Newport (I later heard that racist Muslim youths had chased the Poles away, smashing their windows etc.) and I also noticed a Burkha shop. I got out of the car and walked around for a bit but got strange looks from everyone. Maybe it was because I was the only white face there?

Then I wandered down Broadway and couldn’t help notice the piles of rubbish in the street and all the pubs that were boarded up.

Now for some statistics. As of the 2011 census, 13% of the population of the UK were foreign-born. So what you might say? I agree. The native, white British population of England sits at just 79%, a dramatic fall from the 91% recorded in the 1991 census. In the 10 years to 2011, the Pakistani, Indian and African communities increased their shares of the overall population of the United Kingdom by 37%, 57% and 63% respectively. Asians not from China or the Indian sub-continent increased their share of the population by a massive 247.9% in the same 10-year period. Suddenly this becomes interesting, if not slightly alarming.

Meanwhile, the fertility rate of native British women has fallen well below the accepted replacement rate (2.1), to a staggering 1.7, possibly even lower, whilst the fertility rates of women from Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan (living in the UK) – stand at 4.19, 4.25 and 3.82 respectively.  Put simply this means that 1 in 3 newborn babies in the UK are not white British. There are many schools in the country that do not have a single white British child in attendance. Major cities such as London, Leicester, Birmingham and Luton have seen native, white British people become an overall minority.

OK, so what, some of you are saying? Wales isn’t like Birmingham you say. True, it’s much smaller in terms of population. We can always vote to become independent if things get too dark (no pun intended). But 20% of the population of Wales are English born (2001 Census) so I doubt those foreigners would vote for it?

Since 2001 asylum seekers have come to Wales from 78 different countries and speak at least 25 different languages. Since May 2004 more than 16,000 migrants from Eastern Europe have registered to work in Wales. OK, a lot of figures to take in so if you’re struggling just look at the graphs.

Predictions about the native white population of the UK becoming a minority are NOT predictions anymore. It has already happened in certain areas. But whilst the trend is still the same in Wales, like everything we are lagging way behind England. If you remember the ‘old’ Cardiff, get out of the corporate centre and take a stroll down City Road or Broadway and see how many pubs have closed. If the situation doesn’t change then very soon (in our lifetimes) then this will be the case in many areas of Wales as well as the UK. Then who will play rugby for Wales? Where will the next superstar like Gareth Bale come from? Where will we watch the big match if all the pubs have closed? Sound dramatic? Maybe?

Now before some fool (“There are none so blind as those who will not see.“) shouts ‘racist’ or ‘populist’ (the new trendy word for racist) all I’m pointing out is what has happened and what is still happening. The multicultural assimilation I lived through seems to have stopped dead in its tracks in certain areas and that can’t be a good thing. The land I once knew has already changed and is still changing. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

Another curious fact is that more British citizens leave the UK than return each year. This means that foreign immigration is to some extent offset by net British emigration which has averaged around 50,000 a year in recent years. In simple terms you can add 50,000 to the graph. In Wales we have often talked about the ‘brain drain’ too where young Welsh people move to England for better job prospects.

Here is a video from London, 1960s. Not that I’m a fan of the bowler hat mind you.

Notice any differences to today’s London?

Public concern about the mass immigration of people of many different backgrounds and cultures is consistently clear and strong. Migration Watch would like to see net migration reduced so that it is no longer an issue of public concern. This would help to ensure a harmonious society that continues to welcome migrants and the contribution they make to our society.

We live in Wales (for the last few thousand years or more) because, in our case, this place seemed right for us, our culture and our values. If mass immigration (since the year 2000 if you look at the graphs) continues then we are in danger of losing our way of life, of it disappearing or getting out-voted by a different culture. You might think that’s great but I don’t. Personally, I consider myself Welsh (sometimes African) and love to embrace all the good things that different cultures can offer (like pizza from Italy, lager from Czech Republic and blonde, big-boobed volleyball girls from Poland), but I would like to make that choice not have it made for me. What I don’t want to embrace though is all the bad things that different cultures offer (Sharia Law, acid attacks, FGM, forced marriages, knife crime, rape, honour killings, county lines, face veils, people trafficking, no-go zones and Australians), or in some cases what different people or groups (the looney left, EU, millennials, Westminster government, pc brigade, BBC and snowflake thought police) are attempting to force upon me.

Think about it.


Preparing for a night out in Ponty – 9 April 2019

There’s plenty on offer in Pontypridd if you’re looking for a good night out.

Whether it’s a pizza with your partner in Trattoria, or a few drinks with your mates in the Bunch of Grapes, you’ll always find something to do. With that in mind, here’s how to prepare for a great night out in the town.

Living it up in Pontypridd

  • Work out the venue. There’s nothing worse than meeting with friends in town, then spending ages debating where you’ll go. If you’re looking for some good music or the occasional cultural night, Globetrotters is a solid option. Want somewhere quiet for a chat and a bit of food? The new Italian at the back of the Llanover Arms might be the location for you. Figure out what sort of night you’re after, then take it from there.
  • Relax before you go. If you’re stressed out beforehand, whether because of work or other life-related issues, you’ll find it difficult to unwind and enjoy the night. Before you head out, take some time to de-stress; even if it’s just watching a quick programme on tv or reading the papers. It makes a difference!
  • Get dressed for the occasion. Some nights, you won’t want to bother with getting dressed up; especially if it’s a casual evening and you just want to relax. However, there may be times when you feel like making more of an event of it. In which case, splash on some quality aftershave like Aventus perfume, pop on a decent shirt and make some effort. This particularly applies if you’re taking your partner out for a meal.
  • Plan on lining your stomach. If you’re going out, it’s worthwhile making a good night of it. Having a meal not only lines your stomach nicely; it also gives you and your friends or partner the chance to catch up without having to shout over the top of the noise in the pub. Jamil Indian Restaurant is great for a traditional curry, or otherwise, plenty of the pubs do some pleasant grub.
  • Arrange your own event. If you’ve got a lot of friends, you could consider clubbing together to hire out a function room in one of Pontypridd’s pubs. For example, the Rose and Crown has a private room that can be used for parties and gatherings.
  • Factor in special days. If Wales is playing rugby, or it’s a special day, you can bank on the pubs being hectic. This is great if you want a lively night out, but not so good if you want to get a table and cosy down for the evening. Check the calendar before you start planning.
  • Harness the power of technology. Struggling to get everyone organised for the big night out? This is a common problem, and one that’s easily resolved, thanks to modern technology. Get your friends to sign up to WhatsApp (or Facebook) then create a group, which everyone can post to. Then, you’ll be able to update everyone with the latest plans, without having to send out huge numbers of texts or emails.


Family Cycle Ride – 2 April 2019

For the last few years a small gang of local ‘Ponty’ cyclists have been brushing away the cobwebs with a short, family-friendly, cycle ride from the Llanover Arms to the Old Bwl pub in Ynysybwl.  The outings have been rather infrequent although well attended.  All that is about to change though.

The ride has now become a permanent fixture.  The plan is to do the ride once a month, every month, on the first Sunday of the month.

Our next ride will take place on Sunday 7th April (rain or shine, but do check the Facebook page if inclement weather forecast) starting at 11:30am and hopefully finishing by 3:00pm at the latest.

Meet: Taff Trail (just past the Trallwng Club), 11:30am

Cycle: a leisurely ride along the Taff Trail to Cilfynydd, then across the river to the Clydach Trail and up to Ynysybwl.  There is a short stretch on the road, then a shortcut past the lido to the welcoming warmth of the log fire in the Old Bwl Inn. (4.5 miles)

Refreshments: a pint or two of real ale (or squash) can be purchased, along with snacks, or for those with big appetites there is always the fabulous Sunday dinner in the lounge.

Cycle: the return trip is mostly downhill for 4.5 miles.

This event is for everyone: keen cyclists, mountain bikers, kids, men, women, boys, girls etc. but is NOT a race.  The ride is open to all and is just a way to get local people out and about, off social media, away from the TV and is a healthy activity that everyone can enjoy throughout the year.

So just turn up and join the fun!

Note: Any updates, changes, weather etc. will be posted on the Ponty Town Facebook page.


What Is A DMP? What Are Its Benefits? – 8 March 2019

If you are asked What is a DMP? you should know is a debt resolution method (Debt management plan) that aims at making your debt repayment more manageable to you. Unlike individual voluntary arrangement, with DMP you make payments to an agency which acts as the intermediary between you and your debtors.

It is a strategic way of handling conventional loans and avoiding facing a heavy penalty like your assets getting auctioned. Other benefits of DMP include;

Channeled debt payment

With DMP, all your debt is handed over to an agency. It is there for the responsibility of the agency to make sure that your debtors receive a certain amount of money from the monthly payments that you make to your agency. The fact that you will only make a single payment every month to cover your debt allows you to have better management of your finances. Additionally, it saves you from all the complicated calculations you may need to go through to confirm if you have made the right payments to the correct debtors.

No direct contact with the creditor

Debt collectors can push you to the limit failing to understand that maybe you have a financial crisis that you require more time to fix. With DMP, the debt collectors are prohibited from contacting you directly. Instead, they have to go to your agency in case they need any assistance concerning the developments of the debt repayment. However, it is good to know that some of the requirements for DMP are that you make a single lump sum of money as a down payment for proceeding with your plan.

Avoid selling your house

Debts can be life ruining, and that is why you need to be prepared when you have to come face to face with your obligations. Instead of doing something that you will regret for the rest of your life like selling your house, you can always go for DMP. Remember that at times, all you require is a little more time for you to get your financial status back on track. By selling your house, you may end up regretting since you may not have known ha there are other ways of handling your debts without having to sell the one place that holds all of your family moments and history.

The possibility of interests and other charges on loan evoked

One of the reasons why paying back a loan can be impossible is because the debts become too big for you to settle on your regular salary or budget. With DMP, such charges like interest rates can be frozen until you can clear your debt. The advantage of this is that you will no longer have to compete with the ever-growing debt that keeps draining you all the time. However, it necessary to know that, this depends on the debt collector because they don’t necessarily have to agree to freeze the charges.


Handling debts today should not stress you out because at the end of the day you need a piece of mind for you to figure out how to handle your obligations. With DMP services, your debts will no longer ruin your life.


St David’s Day – 1 March 2019

Saint David’s Day (Welsh: Dydd Gŵyl Dewi) is the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, and falls on 1 March, the date of Saint David’s death in 589 AD. The feast has been regularly celebrated since the canonisation of David in the 12th century (by Pope Callixtus II), though it is not a national holiday in the UK.

Traditional festivities include wearing daffodils and leeks, recognised symbols of Wales and Saint David respectively, eating traditional Welsh food including cawl and Welsh rarebit, and women wearing traditional Welsh dress. An increasing number of cities and towns across Wales including Cardiff, Swansea and Aberystwyth also put on parades throughout the day.  (Source: Wikipedia)

The 1st of March is the National Day of Wales, when Welsh Culture and History is celebrated. This important day in our Nation’s Calendar should be a bank holiday, just like Ireland has St Patrick’s day and Scotland has St Andrew’s day, we should also have St David’s day a bank holiday in Wales.


How should a non-football fan get started with football betting? – 28 Feb 2019

How should a non-football fan get started with football betting?How should a non-football fan get started with football betting?Humans have been gambling for thousands of years. From games of dice to which country is going to win a particular war, humans have placed a bet on anything they can. The rise of the internet has made betting even more popular and accessible and now doing something like placing a football bet is a very easy task. However, there is one type of betting that has always been the most popular ever since the time of Rome and that is sports betting. Here’s why.

The biggest reason that sports betting is so popular is that it mixes the rush of watching a team give it theirall on the field with the excitement of knowing that your money is riding on their success. You become a part of the game in a way that a person who isn’t into sports might never truly understand. The bolt of adrenaline flowing through both your and the player’s veins as the game enters its final minutes is something which can make even the most stoic of people burst into a frenzy.

But unlike most other types of betting where luck is all that actually matters in the end, sports betting is more of an art. Making a careless bet will almost definitely end up costing you and depending on how much you are betting, that might not be something that you can afford to do.

Sports betting, especially football betting, is nothing short of a proper art which can take a lifetime to truly master. But once a person has become a true sportsbetting expert, they can cash in on it big time.

While luck is definitely a factor in any game of football, it’s not just your luck that you are placing your bet upon. It’s the luck of every single person on the field that dictates if you are returning home with your pockets full or completely empty. Making a blind-luck bet is frowned upon in the world of football betting because there are a lot of things you can do to drastically increase your odds.

But for someone who is a beginner, and especially someone who isn’t a football fan, but still wants to make it big in the world football betting, there are four things that they absolutely must do to ensure that their journey doesn’t end before it even really begins.

Step 1:- Do your homework!

No one loves doing homework but if you plunge yourself into football betting without doing it then the result can be a lot more severe than a scowl from your teacher. If you have never followed any of the leagues you are going to place your bets upon then you have a lot of work that needs to be done before you even think about placing one.

Start following these leagues as much as you can. If you don’t have the time or the inclination to watch the actual matches then at the very least keep up with the news. Keep a track of which teams have been performing well constantly, which players are emerging as the star performers and how often there are draws.

This will give you the basic minimum information you need to start betting but if you are serious about it then you can take things up a notch. Start talking to people who have been a fan of the leagues for a few seasons and learn from them what trends they have seen in their years of watching football. They can give you amazing insights into how the league progresses and how some teams that start strong end up falling apart completely in the end and while another one that gives an average performance throughout, shakes the entire game up and takes the trophy but outdoing everyone else in the final weeks of the season.

Once you have all this knowledge you are ready to make an informed bet which has a much higher chance of getting you the desired results.

Step 2:- Understand the bets

A non-football fan who has never placed a bet on a single game might have the misconception that betting is very simple and you just have to pick one team which one to win and if they win you get your rewards but if they lose you lose your money. But things are hardly ever that simple in life and football betting is no different.

There are actually a lot of things that are bet upon in a single game and this makes understanding the bet you are going to make very crucial. Bets are placed on individual players, on many goalattempts,there are going to be and even on how many goals the goalkeepers of either team will save.

However, special care must be taken while making bets based on goals. Some bets only count the goals that are scored during the 90 minute play time and exclude any goal scored in the 3-4 minutes of extra time that is usually given in nearly every game. This can mean that even though the team you bet upon ends up winning the game, if they were losing before the extra time was given, then you still lose the bet.

Read all the bet-relateddetails very carefully and decide if you are confident enough to place it.

Step 3:- Finding the best place to bet

Before online casinos were a thing, the only way anyone could take part in serious sports betting was my actually attending the game and becoming a part of the stadium’s official betting pool or by going to shady underworld gambling circles.

Thankfully online casinos have made sports betting extremely accessible and now you can place even the most outlandish of bets right from the comfort of your home. But different online casinos may have different types of betting they allow you to place and there might be limits on how much you can bet and if you can raise that bet during the game.

Properly read the terms and conditions of that online casino and then find one you are the most comfortable with and is in tune with your own preferences and style of betting.

Step 4:- The Right Time to bet

This one is most complex of out of all the steps but if you end up mastering this then you are already on your way from being a non-fan of football to becoming a real football betting expert.

Not every game is going to be of the same level of importance for a team. Placing bets every time on the same team just because it has been on a consistent winning streak is not a wise thing to do. Ask yourself, which team of the two has a better motivation to win and if they really have the skill back it up. A team which is sitting comfortably on the top the chart and a team that is playing to secure its spot in the top 4 will have very different mindsets and reading this can be instrumental in placing a winning bet.

By just following these four steps someone who has never even a single game of football can comfortably enter the world of football betting and ensure that they have bright future ahead for themselves and while it will take some time before they fully master this art, it would be a goal they can actually accomplish one day.


A to Z of Political Correctness – 24 Feb 2019

Here’s an A to Z compilation of some everyday words, practices and concepts that have fallen foul of the new Political Correctness orthodoxy.

A is for avoiding eye contact

Oxford University’s Equality and Diversity Unit tried to accuse people who avoid eye contact with others of ‘racist micro-aggression’ — before it was pointed out that such advice might be seen as discriminatory against people with autism who may struggle to look others in the eye.

B is for ‘born a man’ or ‘born a woman’

Transgender campaigners condemn such phrases as inaccurate and offensive. Even ‘biologically male’ and ‘biologically female’ are deemed ‘problematic’ by the influential U.S. gay rights ‘media monitoring’ group GLAAD (which used to be called the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, because they ‘oversimplify’ the ‘complex subject’ of gender. We’re told the correct usage is to say an individual is ‘assigned’ or ‘designated’ male or female at birth.

C is for cat’s eyes

Suffolk County Council stopped using traditional signs warning drivers ‘Cat’s eyes removed’ after fears that real cats may have been killed to manufacture these reflective road safety measures.

Ipswich resident Rebecca Brewer was reported as saying: ‘I have a five-year-old daughter who was very upset the first time she saw the sign — she really thought cruel people were torturing cats.’

Instead, signs across the county now state: ‘Caution, road studs removed.’

A council spokesman said: ‘The term “road studs” is one we now use as standard.’

C is also for clapping

Applause was banned by the National Union of Students’ Women’s Campaign over concerns that it could ‘trigger anxiety’ among nervous students. Whooping and cheering have also raised concerns. Instead, politically-correct students now show support for a speaker with a bizarre display of ‘jazz hands’, a form of exuberant but silent manual acclamation taken from musical theatre.

D is for dreadlocks

Use of this braided hairstyle by white people is said to represent cultural appropriation. When the designer Marc Jacobs was criticised for using a group of predominantly white models wearing dreadlocks in a show, he argued — not unreasonably — that this was similar to black women straightening their hair. This was met with further outrage from (mostly white) commentators who complained that hair-straightening had been ‘forced upon the black community due to beauty ideals based on white archetypes’.

E is for ‘Exotic’

A word some social justice warriors claim carries ‘nasty racial underpinnings’. U.S. fashion editor and blogger Katie Dupere says ‘exotic’ is ‘a major verbal micro-aggression’.

F is for ‘Fat’

An unacceptable term, which, according to so-called ‘fat-liberation activists, is used ‘to shame people who might not fit the conventional beauty standards of our society’. Contradictorily, though, anyone with a fuller figure is allowed to ‘reclaim “Fat” as an empowering identity’.

F is also for ‘forefathers’

A word that Cardiff Metropolitan University’s code of practice states is sexist (because it includes the gender-exclusive ‘fathers’) and should be replaced by ‘ancestors’ or ‘forebears’. The code lists 34 words and phrases to be avoided as part of efforts to ‘embrace cultural diversity’.

G is for ‘girls’

A sexist word according to Cardiff Metropolitan University, which said that it should never be used about adult women, as it is a way of belittling them.

G is also for ‘genius’

One of the words that Lucy Delap, a lecturer in British history at Cambridge, says should be discouraged as it ‘carries assumptions of gender inequality and also of class and ethnicity’.

H is for Hate Speech

Any view that departs from the social justice agenda is at risk of being seen as ‘hate speech’. Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s speech to last year’s Tory party conference was reported to police as a ‘hate crime’ by Left-wing Oxford professor Joshua Silver.

The speech — which the academic later admitted he hadn’t actually watched — had included promises of tighter controls on immigration.

Credulous police duly recorded Rudd’s speech as ‘a non-crime hate incident’.

I is for ‘Illegal’

This is apparently a pejorative word and therefore unacceptable when applied to migrants — even to describe those who have, indeed, entered a country illegally. One set of guidelines in the U.S. states: ‘Actions are illegal, people are not . . . The word ‘illegal’ has been applied and abused by those advocating harsh immigration policies that are undoubtedly racist and xenophobic.’ The politically correct terminology is ‘undocumented immigrants’.

J is for Jamaican Stew

This traditional Caribbean dish became a recipe for a race row when chefs at Pembroke College, Cambridge, were ordered to rethink the menu after ethnic minority students complained that the ‘Jamaican Stew’ — as well as other dishes including ‘Tunisian Rice’ — constituted ‘micro-aggressions’ against them, since such offerings did not properly represent the foods of their native lands.

K is for Kilts

Some Scots have suggested any non-Scot who wears one is guilty of cultural appropriation — particularly considering England’s long history of ‘oppression’ against its northern neighbour.

‘Scottish Gaelic culture has been subject to rampant cultural appropriation for centuries as a result of its subordination to Anglophone culture in an Anglo-centric British Empire,’ laments Michael Newton, author of Warriors Of The Word: The World Of The Scottish Highlanders.

L is for ‘Lame’

A word deemed offensive by some disability campaigners, particularly when used in the sense of being ‘ineffectual’ or ‘unappealing’. According to the ‘Ableist Word Profile’ (an online guide that ‘explores a variety of feminist issues through a disability lens’), use of the word ‘lame’ is ‘pejorative’ as it ‘reinforces ableism in our culture by reminding people that disability is bad’.

M is for ‘mother’ (AND ‘MANFULLY’)

Mother is a word that’s far too old-fashioned in our modern world where there is sensitivity about transgenderism.

In January, the British Medical Association advised members that mothers-to-be should be referred to as ‘pregnant people’ to avoid offence and ‘celebrate diversity’.

Another previously innocuous M-word frowned upon by the PC brigade is ‘man’: censors at Cardiff Metropolitan University have stipulated that ‘manpower’ should be replaced by ‘personnel’, ‘human resources’ or ‘staff’ to avoid offence to women. ‘Sportsmanship’ and ‘taxman’ should not be used, either.

N is for Native American headdress

Another victim of the cultural appropriation police. Singer Ellie Goulding was accused of racism after tweeting a picture of herself wearing one. ‘Don’t mock a dying race, you insensitive and ignorant excuse of a person,’ screeched one virtue-signalling critic.

David Beckham’s son Brooklyn was the target of similar howls of PC anger over his tattoo of a Native American Indian. Actor Colin Firth’s wife Livia faced online abuse for wearing a Native American headdress at the Isle of Wight Festival.

O is for ‘Land of Opportunity’

This phrase — often used to refer to America — is said to constitute verbal micro-aggression because it ‘asserts that race or gender does not play a role in life’s successes’.

P is for party costumes

LAST year, a senior professor at a college at Yale University had to resign after he and his wife were accused of downplaying concerns over ‘inappropriate’ Halloween costumes. He was accused of ‘creating space for violence’ and of trivialising students’ concerns because he suggested people could turn away if they felt offended by students in ‘culturally inappropriate’ fancy dress such as Mexican or Native American outfits.

P is also for pronouns

Sussex University Students’ Union warned members against using the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘she’ to avoid assumptions about identity. ‘They’ and ‘Them’ are said to be the correct, gender-neutral terms.

Q is for queens

Drag queens were banned from a Gay Pride event in Glasgow in 2015 in case they caused offence to transgender people.

R is for ‘real men’ and ‘real women’

Jenni Murray, presenter of Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, upset transgender lobbyists when she said men who had undergone sex-change operations could not claim to be ‘real women’ since they did not have ‘the experience of growing up female’.

S is for Sombreros

The Students’ Union at the University of East Anglia in Norwich banned a local Mexican-themed restaurant (Pedro’s Tex Mex Cantina) from handing out sombreros to students in 2015 as part of a marketing drive. Union officials claimed the hats breached a policy forbidding stall-holders from handing out materials including ‘discriminatory or stereotypical imagery’.

S is also for ‘sensitivity readers’ increasingly employed by publishers to check manuscripts for ‘racist, sexist or otherwise offensive content’.

T is for ‘trigger’

This refers to anything the hyper-sensitive might find upsetting. Universities now widely use ‘trigger warnings’ to advise students that something may cause them distress.

This kind of alarmism even extends to classic literature such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, which is said to feature ‘gory, abusive and misogynistic violence’. Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway needs to be treated with caution because of the ‘suicidal inclinations’ in the text — a warning that would rather ruin the book if you have never read it.

T is also for ‘twerking’

THE provocative, rump-grinding dance style which singer Miley Cyrus has been accused of culturally appropriating from black musicians. Lily Allen, too, has been criticised for using black women dancers twerking in a pop video — ironic, as she sees herself as a cheerleader for right-on behaviour.

U is for Uniforms

In an attempt to appease the transgender lobby, some police forces are scrapping traditional men’s and women’s uniforms. In response to its ‘Gender Identity Working Group’, Dyfed Powys constabulary in Wales switched to ‘gender-neutral’ outfits, including a unisex hat and neckwear.

‘We have learnt there may have been times when practices and procedures have adversely impacted our trans communities and their engagement with us,’ said Dyfed Assistant Chief Constable Liane James.

Northamptonshire Police now issues U.S.-style baseball caps which they think will somehow encourage transgender recruits.

V is for ‘violate’

A lecturer at Harvard Law School (whose alumni include Barack Obama) was urged by a student not to use this word — as in the phrase ‘does this conduct violate the law?’ — as it might trigger traumatic fears about rape.

It was even suggested that rape law should not be taught to protect students from ‘distress’.

W is for ‘Where are you from?’

Even the most innocent verbal exchange can become a minefield. Guidance from the University of California, Berkeley, has decreed that asking ‘where are you from?’ or ‘where were you born?’ could be racist micro-aggression — because the phrases are ‘a covert way to say you don’t belong here’.

X is for X Factor

On the ITV talent show last year, Saara Aalto from Finland was accused of cultural appropriation for dressing in a Japanese kimono and a long wig, like a geisha. With the pious relish that typifies Twitter comments, one viewer said: ‘I found Saara’s performance very offensive. A culture is not a dress up costume.’

Y is for Yoga

Another victim of the appropriation puritans: in 2015, the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa banned yoga sessions. The teacher was told it amounted to Western ‘cultural appropriation’ of a practice with its origins in Indian Hinduism. She was told: ‘There are cultural issues involved in the practice’ because of ‘oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy’.

Z is for Zero Tolerance

Defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as the ‘act of punishing all criminal or unacceptable behaviour severely, even if it is not very serious’.

It is the key policy of many lobby groups in their drive to outlaw language and behaviour they decree insensitive. The ultimate irony is that in the name of tolerance for minorities, all concept of essential and hard-won freedoms enjoyed by the majority are in danger of being lost.

The most important of these losses is, of course, freedom of expression.

Source: Daily Mail


Where will this madness end?  They’ll be banning Benny Hill next!  Oh yeh, they have already 🙁

How to run an effective and efficient office – 19 Feb 2019

Whether your office is occupied by five employees or five hundred, if you’re in charge of making sure everything inside your office is running smoothly, there’s plenty to take into account. You need to ensure that you’re well stocked of office supplies and that everybody’s computer systems are running well. You’ll also need to oversee employee behaviour and make sure that everyone’s performing at a reasonable level. This short guide should help you maintain the running of an office for your business, ensuring that conduct is both effective and efficient throughout your time at work.

Keep Stocks Replenished

Your primary objective as an office overseer is to ensure that all of your staff are well equipped to fulfil their roles. This means keeping all the essentials well-stocked, and ordering in new supplies not as they run out, but some time before. Keeping a strict record of purchases and the frequency with which you have to restock will make this process fairly automatic once you have your head around how long it takes for certain supplies to replenish.

Some of the most important include:

  • Printing supplies. You should buy extra HP Envy 4520 ink for your printer long before your ink levels hit low. You should also maintain a high stock of A4 paper in case of large print runs.
  • You should ensure that notepads, pens and other note-taking equipment arealways highly stocked so that employees won’t be caught short in the middle of a phone call.
  • Software subscriptionsThis is sometimes overlooked by companies that forget that some software runs on a yearly subscription which, when completed, won’t renew. Get on top of this to prevent a break in your workflow.

Keep Computers Running

Every medium to large-scale business should employ at least one It professional to deal with unexpected hiccups in computing performance. Ensure that the IT professional’s number is available to all staffso that if they have a problem with their work computerit’ll be fixed within an hour. The longer employees have to wait for repairs, the more money your company will be losing due to inactivity.

The other side to keeping computers running is to ensure they’re updatedwith the latest patches and software updates. These are often run through your computers to fix bugs and glitches in software, and if they’re not run, they’ll lead to your computers operating more slowly and freezing on occasion, interrupting workflow.

Monitor Performance

Other than keeping everything stocked up and in working order, it’s also important to monitor your human resources to ensure that everyone is happy, fulfilled and productive in their various roles. Without this oversight, you may be allowing certain individuals to slip into port performances where you would otherwise have been able to intervene and help them overcome their problems. This isn’t, of course, to say that you should either spy or report on your colleagues – simply make sure that the working environment itself is pleasant enough for all workers who are engaged in work in your office.


Never Seventeen – 17 Feb 2019

Award-winning writer, Dave Lewis, has recently published his eighteenth book, a collection of modern, haiku-like moments written over the last few years. Published in Oct 2018 by Publish & Print.

This is his second full ‘haiku‘ collection, although others can be found in some of Lewis’s other books.


“This collection of modern, haiku-like moments is an absolute joy. Beautifully honest, these short, simple poems are extremely easy to read yet are constructed with great artistry and wisdom. Lewis’s poetry is honest, relatable, eloquent yet quite breath taking. He possesses a rare vision and this collection will surely bring any reader to an enlightened state of self-awareness. Powerfully expressed he captures both universal human experience and many of those particular struggles that we face at some point in our lives.

Lewis should be at the forefront of a poetry renaissance and this stunning work will breathe new life into the art form, communicating, as he does, complex emotions subtly weaved within razor-sharp observations – he distils life down to a bare minimum. A book to dip into over and over again and one which reveals more with each read.” – Andrew Davies

A great little present for anyone interested in poetry, nature and our place in the world.

This book can be purchased as a paperback for £7.99 (plus postage) or as an e-book on Amazon kindle for £3.99.

Sample poems:

ocean art class

driftwood, seaweed, shells

walking from Tenby to Penally

silence after sighs

the river still dripping

from the kingfisher

Roshach’s jackdaws

spilled across a blue and white sky

questioning my sanity each Tuesday

the FTSE up

on the wine bar TV

more ‘Spice’ victims in the park

buttercups and daisies shake

as the old horse ambles along

– summer field

getting to know myself better

the Kalahari

through the truck window

garden spider weaving

an old world map

autumn dew becoming sea


Family Bike Ride – 18 Jan 2019

For the last few years a small gang of local ‘Ponty’ cyclists have been brushing away the cobwebs with a short, family-friendly, cycle ride from the Llanover Arms to the Old Bwl pub in Ynysybwl.  The outings have been rather infrequent although well attended.  All that is about to change though.

As of March, the ride will become a permanent fixture.  The plan is to do the ride once a month, every month, on the first Sunday of the month.

Therefore the first ride will take place on Sunday 3rd March (rain or shine) starting at 11:30am and hopefully finishing by 3:00pm at the latest.

Meet: Taff Trail (just past the Trallwng Club), 11:30am

Cycle: a leisurely ride along the Taff Trail to Cilfynydd, then across the river to the Clydach Trail and up to Ynysybwl.  There is a short stretch on the road, then a shortcut past the lido to the welcoming warmth of the log fire in the Old Bwl Inn. (4.5 miles)

Refreshments: a pint or two of real ale (or squash) can be purchased, along with snacks, or for those with big appetites there is always the fabulous Sunday dinner in the lounge.

Cycle: the return trip is mostly downhill for 4.5 miles.

This event is for everyone: keen cyclists, mountain bikers, kids, men, women, boys, girls etc. but is NOT a race.  The ride is open to all and is just a way to get local people out and about, off social media, away from the TV and is a healthy activity that everyone can enjoy throughout the year.

So just turn up and join the fun!

Note: Any updates, changes, weather etc. will be posted on the Ponty Town Facebook page.


Bear and Coins Dominate Playtech’s New Slot Releases – 14 Jan 2019

Playtech is set to give players both barrels at their online casinos this week, as a dynamic duo of new games is set to be unveiled. The popular casino software providers have chosen to go for bears and coins aplenty in their titles, which should be available now.

Each of the new Playtech slots is entirely different from the other, so whether you favour animal-themed fun, or want to potentially grasp a progressive jackpot for your efforts, there is something for everyone in these releases.

Bag a Bonanza With Big Bear
First out of the bag is Playtech’s Big Bear. This 243 ways to win slot makes its debut as a typical North American wildlife-themed game, so players can expect to find plenty of beavers and cats, eagles, salmon and wolves spread across its 5 reels.

Some may say that Big Bear is bare bones, but a landing 10 spins with 4x-16 multipliers, 15 spins with 3x-9x multipliers, or 20 free games with multipliers ranging from 2x up to 4x is going to appeal to most. The only other feature in this slot can see wilds held in place while a free re-spin is offered with that sticky wild potentially making a difference to a win.

The Game So Nice They Named It Thrice
Also popping up at casinos this week is Coin! Coin! Coin!. This simply titled new game has a progressive jackpot to throw your way and is themed on Ancient China. What is most notable about this game is that even though it has a progressive jackpot, it is totally devoid of special features. Not even free spins make the cut. Wilds, however, can be found in abundance.

Wilds can expand horizontally on reels whenever coins appear, and if players cover the 5 reels and 10 paylines in the game with wilds, the progressive jackpot is theirs. One thing that should be noted is that Coin! Coin! Coin! won’t be cheap. It costs at least 80p a spin and may set you back up to £888 if you’ve got money to burn.

Double Down on Both New Slots This Week
Both new games should be available for players to get to grips with this week. Any leading online casino which offers Playtech slots or is directly powered by the casino software developer will likely be carrying these games for you to play.


Ponty Park Run – 12 Jan 2019

I’ve always been a lover not a fighter, and a sprinter not a jogger (not sure the ladies want to hear that) but this morning my wife and I did the ‘Park Run’, although technically I should say park walk.

It was fab!  Very well organised, loads of helpful, smiley marshals and tons of encouragement en route.

The course is just three and a bit laps of the park (5km) and you can run, walk, talk and even high-five the man with the big blue hand.  Dogs, kids, pushchairs, all welcome.

A global phenomenon, once you have your barcode you can take part anywhere in the world.  It’s easy to sign up, just visit the website, print out your barcode and turn up Saturday morning about 8:45.  The start is just over the bridge by B&Ms.

After you finish you get a token, scan your barcode and your time appears on the website a few days later.  We decided to walk most of the way, got around in about 50 mins so next time it’ll be easy to jog a few yards and get a PB (personal best).  Cunning eh!

Afterwards many runners / walkers grab a coffee in nearby cafes so it’s a great social event too.

Ponty also has the National Lido of Wales of course, plus the Llanover to Old Bwl cycle ride so there is plenty to keep us all fit and healthy.  And above all – happy!

So get off Facebook and get involved.  The Ponty run had over 400 participants last week which was a record and it’s suitable for all ages and abilities.


How to use the correct envelope to promote yourself – 2 Jan 2019

The presentation is the key when you are putting your name out there in the world. Not only self-promotion but having the right A5 envelope for the right situation does go a long way in establishing your name in the minds of your recipients.

It’sthese little things that matter when you’re building your name as an entrepreneur. This isn’t an article about sparkling envelopes wrapped with ribbons and glitters. It’s to make sure you get the most out of those marketing campaigns, all the while maintaining an air of professionalism.

We, unfortunately, live in a world where most people judge a book by its cover. The mails are no exception. Ask yourself, how many mails does an average person receive each day? What makes your mail any special?

Studies have revealed that the average person is more likely to open a mail that stands out from the others. It doesn’t have to be color coded or anything. Some minute alterations in size or colour tone areenough to grab their attention.

Choosing the proper envelope for your profession depends on your target clients and your services. The goal is to introduce enough change so that your mails don’t get a blend with the rest of the lot.

Some might argue that a C4 size envelope is best for the job. Although they are bigger and stand out more often, the A5 envelopes are also a viable option. They are not that far away from C5 envelopes and are considerably big, considering that standard mails arrive in much smaller envelopes.

After deciding the size, the next line of business (pun intended) is the style. The rule of thumb dictates that for business and marketing purposes, ‘pocket’ and ‘wallet’ envelopes are your best choice. If however, you’re looking for a more personal touch, the ‘banker’ envelope should be your go-to option.

Sending efficient marketing mails is no walk in the park and requires a great deal of research effort. Finding a place that offers the best deals on the internet isn’t easy especially where quality is involved. That’s why is a great place to shop for such stationaries. Not only do they offer great deals, but they also have some of the best-designed envelopes on the internet. Visit the site today and get yourself some amazing envelopes that will surely help you reach out to far more people than you have ever imagined.


Shift That Turkey Bike Ride – 2 Jan 2019

Well, Christmas and New Year is over and the pounds have no doubt been piling up so why not shed a few with a leisurely cycle ride from Pontypridd on the Taff Trail, then the Clydach Trail from Cilfynydd / Coed Y Cwm up to Ynysybwl.

So, if you fancy a bit of exercise, some great banter and a pint of ale at the Old Bwl Inn why not pump those tyres up and join the gang for a gentle New Year ride.

Sunday 6th January 2019

Start: 12:00pm Taff Trail by Trallwn Workmans Club

Cycle to The Old Bwl Inn (4.5miles)
Pint of ale (cider, lager, wine…)
Cycle back to Llanover Arms… (4.5 miles)

Our last trip, the weather was great and the beer cold.

The Old Bwl Inn also does great Sunday lunch if you wish to maintain your post-Christmas weight, freshly cooked and delicious. 🙂