Hello & Welcome

to the September edition of the BAY magazine with editor Lesley Williams

I hope you like our front cover this month. It’s of the West Pier that is currently undergoing major work after it was destroyed last year during Storm Dennis. The pier was built in the 19th century to help ships navigate their way in and out of the docks. I love the image and its drama – Simon spends ages sourcing local locations for his illustrations often hopping on his bike to go and take photographs for inspiration.

He’s enjoyed discovering areas of Swansea so much, that last month he bought me a bike of my own so that I could join him on his explorations. As I have a gammy knee he thought that an electric bike might help me along – it does but it hasn’t improved my cycling skills. I’m practising whenever possible and trying to gain confidence – I’ve only fallen off once – so far.

Kim Jones has a right royal ride for us this month, taking in the hills around Mynydd Mallaen that have a very regal owner. It looks like a lovely ride, but I’m not sure I’m ready for it yet. Simon and I spent a lovely day on the Brecon Canal last month with Kim and his partner Tracey. We hired a boat and took our 6-year old grandson Archie for a day on the water. The weather was pretty good and we only got caught in a shower or two. It’s a great day out; an 8-seater electric powered boat can be hired for about £90 for 7 hours giving you ample time to pootle about enjoying the views and the wildlife, with plenty of time to stop off at a canal side pub for lunch. You’ll find more information at beaconparkdayboats.co.uk.

On the subject of royalty, it’s the Queen’s platinum jubilee next year, when her majesty will be celebrating 70 years since she ascended to the throne. We will all be enjoying an extra-long bank holiday weekend next June and there will be lots of events to celebrate the occasion locally. On page 44 you can read about the role of Lord Lieutenant Louise Fleet and High Sheriff Joanna Jenkins, and how they represent the Queen at a local level.

September is a busy time in the garden, it seems to be when there’s a lot of clearing up to do. Sophie Lacey of Good Thymes Gardening is having a debate about weeds – when is a plant a weed or just a plant in the wrong place? I told you last month that my tomato plants were growing like the clappers and I was just waiting for them to ripen. Disaster struck not long after – the tomatoes started to go brown and the leaves died – a quick search on Google scarily diagnosed fusarium wilt or verticillium wilt, both being bacterial infections brought on by wet conditions. I can’t tell you how disappointed I felt after all my nurturing.

In the hard copy of the magazine we’ve got a competition to WIN tickets to the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Porthcawl. I’ve been to several of these film festivals and I always come away feeling quite in awe of the world we live in. There’s also a VOUCHER for a festive Christmas dinner at The New Gower Hotel. Make sure you hang onto it until December.

Enjoy whatever September has in store for us – we’ll be back in October.