Hello & Welcome

to the Winter edition of TheBAY

Here we are at the end of another year. I always take a little time at the end of the year to reflect on the events of the past twelve months. This year has been tinged with sadness, as we lost a very dear friend and colleague in Sarla. But it’s also been a year filled with fun and laughter, which is just as it should be.

You will read in our business section, how I fell foul of a telephone scammer. I didn’t think I would ever be taken in by a telephone fraudster; I’m far too worldly wise to fall for their patter – or so I thought. One of our advertisers who will remain nameless actually said “if they can fool a wily old bird like you – nobody is safe”! As we went to print I received a letter from HSBC to say that they had recovered our money – I hope that they have also caught up with the softly spoken man with a West Country accent and that he gets a long prison sentence.

We’ve got a lovely pre-Christmas walk for you this month. Ian Bateman takes us on a relatively short stroll around Llandeilo, which will leave you time to do a spot of shopping or maybe a Christmas lunch. Kim Jones has been out and about too, north of the border taking in some of the islands and highlands of Scotland. I do envy him and Tracey being able to go where the fancy takes them – perhaps not on a bike though – I’d love to visit the island of Benbecula it sounds so romantic.

Nick Smith reviews an interesting book celebrating 40 years of prog rock band Pendragon – you can find out about its connection with Bay. Nick has been tied up with travel to contribute in this issue, but he’ll be back in February with another fascinating story from To the Ends of the Earth.

Emlyn Roberts-Harry has a family film for us in the Cine Files this month – Frozen II. I’ve yet to see the original Frozen but even I can burst into a rendition of Let it Go. This is one film I am sure will be in all the Swansea cinemas this month. The Banff Mountain Film Festival returns to Llanelli and Porthcawl in March next year. If previous years are anything to go by, there will be breathtaking cinematography of derring-do, which will have you on the edge of your seat. Details of how to book are on their website.

We are joined this month by Ben from The Front Room Café. Ben’s speciality is patisserie and he explains in detail how to make a show-stopping dessert for Christmas – a Bûche de Noël. If you do follow the recipe, please take a photograph and send it in to me at the email address at the bottom of this page – we’ll share them on social media and print the best. Fulke Andel has a seasonal vegetable recipe and it doesn’t involve sprouts, although personally I quite like them as long as they aren’t overcooked. I also like them shredded and stir fried with little bits of bacon. Steak lovers will appreciate the recipe from Eat Welsh Beef and Welsh Lamb. They have lots of recipes on their website if you fancy lamb or beef instead of goose or turkey this year. Charles Wilson Watkins has been looking at how our traditional Christmas foods have become so… well, traditional and it seems to have a lot to do with Charles Dickens.

Well that’s it for this year – we’ll be back in February with our batteries fully recharged. Have a wonderful Christmas and here’s to a happy and healthy 2020.

*lesley@theswanseabay.co.uk