Hello & Welcome

to the April edition of TheBAY

We have another issue packed to the gunwales with interesting articles and fabulous photography.

Sarla Langdon’s Written World this month recommends a book by a Japanese author Hiro Arikawa, The Travelling Cat Chronicles. Sarla is always keen to get me to raise my standards as far as my literary taste is concerned, and is quick to pass on to me any book that she thinks I will enjoy. I can highly recommend this little novel to any animal lover. It is a beautifully written story of the connection between a man and his cat which I confess made me weep. If you want to read it please pop into Cover to Cover to place your order – I cannot imagine a world without book-shops – but if we continue to support giants such as Amazon that’s exactly what will happen.

I often hear people say that they no longer go into Swansea city centre to shop as there aren’t any shops worth going to, and my immediate thought is ‘how much shopping do you do on the internet?’ If we don’t support our local shops, we will lose them and we’ll have High Streets that are purely made up of coffee shops, hairdressers, barbers, tanning shops and tattoo parlours – some things that can’t be bought remotely!

Charles Wilson-Watkins’ article this month is on the founding of the RAF on the 1 April 1918. Charles’ contributions each month seem to elicit more reader feedback than any other articles – last month’s piece on Gloucester Place generated several calls from people who had been born and lived there. I’m sure that Charles will update us on his findings in a future article.

Liz Barry’s account of a trip to the North Devon village of Clovelly brought back happy memories for me. As a child I would go with my family to this perfect ‘chocolate box’ village; one of the high-lights of the day would be the donkey ride up the very steep, cobbled hill. I don’t remember having to pay to go in, but that’s probably because it wouldn’t have been down to me to handle the holiday finances. The current charge for entry is £7.50 for adults and £4.50 for children age 7-16, children under 7 are free and dogs on leads are welcome.

Ian Bateman’s walk for this month is a favourite of mine. It’s about an hour’s drive to Stackpole from Swansea and even if you’re not up for an 8 mile walk, it’s still worth thinking about making the journey as there is a lovely little harbour with a National Trust tea-room. The scenery is very Gower-like but with the addition of some pretty phenomenal rock formation ‘stacks. Some of the land is owned by the MOD so do look out for the signs. The village of Stackpole has some good tearooms and a very nice pub with good food.

Simon and I went to the Wildfowl Trust centre in Llanelli last month when the weather was pretty arctic-like. We bought a couple of bags of bird food and ventured outside. It’s just as well we had bought food as the birds were waiting outside the door and I don’t think we would have been able to pass them unscathed. Isn’t it funny how some simple pleasures can bring such joy? We spent the best part of 3 hours wandering around the wetlands hand-feeding some of the most beautiful birds from around the world – but interestingly it was the cheeky little robin that ate out of Simon’s hand that had us smiling the most. If you’ve not been to the Wetlands Centre I would encourage you pop over, it has something for all the family and children can take part in lots of creative crafts.

I hope you have a great time in April – with a bit of luck the weather will start warming up and we’ll be able to look forward some sunshine. We’ll be back with you in May when we have a couple of Bank Holidays and a Royal wedding to look forward to.