Hello & Welcome

to the August/September edition of TheBAY

To this joint August and September issue.

Wow, what a summer it has been so far. To date it hasn’t beaten the record set by the summer of ’76 as there haven’t been 16 consecutive days of temperatures in excess of 30 degrees, but maybe it will still happen – there’s plenty of time.

Fulke Andel has some gardening advice for you in our gardening section. My little garden has really struggled during the drought; my handkerchief size lawn is completely dry and straw like and my pots and planters have needed watering morning and evening – I’m not looking forward to my next water meter reading.

Arachnophobes be warned that Dr Isabella Brey’s choice of bug for this issue is the spider. Dr Brey does her best to make them more appealing, but I’m afraid – very afraid, that this time I don’t share her passion.

Liz Barry has been to Ronda – when she first told me where she’d been I thought she said Rhondda and was a bit puzzled when I saw the fabulous photographs she sent in. I had a short break in Seville and Cadiz in June, and have completely fallen for Southern Spain. Flights are available from Bristol and Cardiff making it a great destination for a weekend away.

Nick Smith has been on an African safari, but rest assured, the only shooting he did was with his camera. His story is in the Lifestyle section and I’m sure you’ll love the photography. As well as the great shots of the big cats and elephants I love the image of the lilac-breasted roller; what a beautiful bird.

Kim Jones has been on a month long adventure in Albania. His account of the friendliness and generosity of the local people really got me thinking – they have so little but give so much. I love the concept of ‘pay it forward’ – if someone does something kind for you, instead of repaying them you do something for someone else. Some coffee shops participate in the scheme – you pay for an extra coffee and they give it either to the next customer or someone they feel could do with a little kindness.

We have another poem by Rae Howells illustrated by Simon Williams. Rae has recently published a small book of poems called ‘Five’ which features the woodcut inspired illustration that we published in the February issue on its cover. Only 25 numbered copies are available – you’ll find them in Cover to Cover in Newton Road priced at just £5.

I recently spent a couple of weeks with my goddaughter who was on holiday from her home in Java. She was keen to experience some of the arts based courses available in Swansea, and by pure luck her visit coincided with the Gower Open Studios fortnight. It made me realise just how many arts and crafts workshops there are to do locally. We spent a fab day with Sarah Bower in her home in West Cross, making felted wool seagulls, and on another day with Kara Seaman in the Swansea Print Workshop – two very different mediums but both great fun. If you are interested in textiles and crafts then you won’t want to miss The Festival of Stitch which comes to Swansea on the 18th and 19th of August – with venues and displays right across the city. Full details can be found at www.swanseafestivalofstitch.co.uk

We will be back with another issue in October, so until then enjoy the summer and all that it brings.