Hello & Welcome

to the first issue of the Bay for 2017

As we go to print on this edition, the weather has a distinctly icy chill to it, so it’s fitting that our February/March issue also has a wintry feel. We welcome Nick Smith to the fold this month. Nick is a photographer, writer and magazine editor who was educated at Olchfa and later at Balliol College, Oxford. He’s a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Explorers club. It is safe to say that Nick’s well travelled – when deciding on his debut article he gave me a list of possible locations including Antarctica and Zanzibar then virtually a country for every letter of the alphabet in between.

Articles this month include the suitably chilly ‘From Abertawe to Antarctica’, followed closely by news of the Banff Mountain Film Festival which is coming to Porthcawl and Llanelli in mid-March. We’ve got a pair of tickets to either venue available to WIN. If you enjoy watching others risk life and limb from the comfort of your theatre seat, then this film festival is for you. I have been to a couple of screenings by their sister film company The Ocean Film Festival and have been totally enthralled by the cinematography.

As one contributor joins us, another leaves. Ashley Lovering has bowed out after many years of writing about his favourite classic motors for us. I’ve loved reading the stories of people’s passion for their cars and the time spent on restoration and upkeep. If you’ve got a classic vehicle and a story to tell, do let me know and we can feature it in future issues. I’d like to say a huge thank you to Ashley for his commitment and wish him the best of luck in his future ventures. I’m sure he’ll be back in the summer with his Festival of Transport – I’ll keep you posted.

Ian Bateman has a circular walk for us this month which takes in Rhossili and the picturesque little church at Llandewi. Ian warns that this walk does include some mud – he’s not kidding. Simon and I followed in his footsteps in the middle of January and it was indeed very muddy – but it didn’t detract from the fact that this is a really satisfying walk. You’ll pass by a number of derelict buildings and I guarantee you’ll comment ‘why hasn’t someone renovated this place?’

Kim Jones has also been investigating some out of the way residences – which are more than a little off the beaten track. Bothies are basic mountain shelters available for anyone to use – a long as you’re prepared to rough it.  They generally have no beds or bathrooms and if they do have a fireplace there’s no guarantee that there’s any firewood. Let me know if you get bitten by the bothy bug!

If you’re a gin lover, you’ll want to enter our competition where we are giving away a bottle of Madam Geneva  London Dry Gin courtesy of Eccentric Gin. This gin is made in a secret location in Caerphilly by a small team of artisan distillers. If you can’t wait for the prize draw, then head down to the Brangwyn Hall for the last weekend in April to the Gin Festival. Here you’ll be able to sample over 100 gins – or I should say that there will be over 100 gins to choose from to sample!

Do you fancy a go at dyeing with onion skins? I met Fran Rushworth before Christmas at a craft fair in the King Arthur, where she was selling scarves that had been coloured with natural plant dyes. The shades were so subtle, I was intrigued to find out more about this method of dyeing. If you have a go, do send in your pictures or post them on our Facebook page.

Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that this issue is for February and March – we are taking a little break but will be back with our April issue. Do keep sending in your ideas and letters, we love to hear from you.

See you in April