Hello & Welcome

to the March edition of the BAY magazine

This lock down seems to have gone on for a lot longer than the previous ones – maybe it’s because the weather has been so awful and we haven’t been able to sit out in the garden or go for walks on the beach. But on the upside – there are signs of spring appearing and even seeing the odd clump of snowdrops can lift my mood.

I confess that I was very sceptical of mindfulness when the word first came into common usage. There is even a Ladybird book that gently mocks the concept of this type of meditation, but reading Sophie Lacey’s articles on gardening for mindfulness I have come to appreciate that there is something to be said for being in the moment. Too often I don’t concentrate on the job in hand – I expect it’s because I am usually multi-tasking – it’s what we do isn’t it? But in some ways this enforced lockdown has given a lot of us more time to appreciate the importance of concentrating on one thing at a time – and to enjoy doing it.

Fulke Andel too has some great advice for all gardeners. I love reading his hints and tips on getting the best from your vegetable patch, even though I don’t have enough room for more than a gro-bag for tomatoes and a few runner beans. His idea last month, for using razor clam shells as plant labels was pure genius, and one that I am definitely going to use in future.

If all this gardening sounds too energetic for you, maybe Nicky Holland’s article will be of interest. Here he looks at ways of increasing your energy levels by just moving more. One of his suggestions is to do some housework or the ironing – personally I’d rather go for a walk, but seriously, the more you move around the more you want to.

    Kim Jones has certainly been moving around – on his bike and with a bit of wild camping in the Brecon Beacons. He did this last year in between the lockdowns, so if you feel like a night under the stars please wait until it is lawful to travel. I’d actually advise you to wait until the weather warms up considerably and even then only think about it if you are fully prepared for all eventualities. Kim and his partner Tracey are seasoned travellers who have camped in some of the wildest places on earth, so to them Brecon is a walk in the park so to speak.

This month Nick Smith takes us out into the wilds of Africa. This is a trip that he made some time ago – well before the word pandemic became commonplace – and in true Nick style, what started out as a straightforward assignment in Botswana, commissioned by a broadsheet newspaper resulted in an unexpected trip to Victoria Falls. While for most of us, journeying to anywhere further than Mumbles is unlikely until next month, we can always dream of where we will travel when it is safe to do so.

From Africa’s big game cats to our own domesticated moggies we have a heartfelt plea from Swansea Cats Protection for donations of food and bedding. Following the death of a breeder, some 30 or so cats and kittens were rescued at the end of February from quite harrowing conditions.

Vaccinations are on everybody’s mind at the moment, and both the Bay Cluster Network and the Swansea Bay University Board, have taken it as their subject matter this month. I think that both articles will pretty much answer any questions you may have about the vaccinations being carried out.

I hope you enjoy this issue – we’ll be back at the beginning of April

Stay safe and well