Hello & Welcome

to the Winter issue of TheBAY

home-page-magazine-mock-upWe’ve got a bumper haul of articles for you in this issue – hopefully enough to keep you entertained until we return in February

Chantele Cross Jones returns following the birth of baby Elian in June. In between juggling with new motherhood and running the family photography business, Chantele has found time to pick her top 10 best buys in family fashion for the festive season. As usual, she’s found some fab items that really won’t break the bank.

We have a couple of new contributors this month. Liz Hinds is a mother and a blogger whose observations on everyday life can be found at liz-and-harveyblogspot.co.uk.

It’s funny, I’ve never actually met Liz but reading her blog I feel like I really know her well. She commented recently on the perfume Aqua Manda and suddenly I could smell orangey citrus notes and I was back in Christmas 1974. I expect the same applies to perfumes as places – better not to revisit and be disappointed. Also joining us is artist Rhiannon Thomas. Rhiannon’s work can be found at moogledoo.com. In this issue she gives a step-by-step guide to making a Christmas door hanging. First of all take a trip to the beach to find your piece of driftwood. If you make one, please send me a photograph and we’ll put them up onto our Facebook page.

Sadly, Liz Barry our photojournalist lost her mum last month; she loved penguins and Liz requested toy penguins in lieu of flowers at the funeral. All the penguins were taken to Morriston Hospital children’s ward; here is little Grace with her penguin (right). If you’d like to donate a penguin please contact Liz on lbarryphotos@gmail.com.

We have not one but two walks for you this month. John Ashley takes us to Carmarthenshire to explore the castle overlooking the sea at Llansteffan, while Ian Bateman stays local and offers a circular walk on Gower. They are both ideal if you’re looking for inspiration for a day out over the Christmas holiday. John also writes this month about his travels in Ethiopia, where he has been working for a British examination board. John isn’t the only BAY writer that has been on exotic travels recently; Kim Jones has been on a cycling trip to Kyrgyzstan and contrary to my preconceived ideas he assures me that he never felt unsafe. I know it is unlikely that readers are going to read these articles and immediately feel compelled to book their flights to these un-touristy places, but I’m sure you’ll agree that they make very interesting reading.

Our food and drink section is pretty bulky this month, which isn’t surprising since we are approaching the time of the year when most people’s thoughts turn to food. As regular readers will know, I have a healthy appetite for all things culinary so you won’t be surprised to read that I visited a free-range turkey farm last month, to place my order for a bronze turkey. Ian and Cheryl Roberts rear their birds in the hills above Neath, in Tonna. They are the only free range farm raising turkeys in the area – if you want to visit them do ring first for an appointment, or go up on the last weekend of the month when they open their farm shop, selling their own lamb and pork along with other local produce.

We have lots of other recipes for you to try; a vegan alternative to a meat Wellington as well as a lamb version, and a favourite from turkey farmer Cheryl Roberts that uses any left-over turkey in a pie. Spices are the subject of Meilyr James of the Herbal Clinic in King Edward Road. The spices that we associate with Christmas such as cinnamon, cloves and ginger all have medicinal uses and are used in making a chai tea. Apparently it’s warming and restorative properties make it perfect when you have a cold, sore throat or chest infection.

Finally I would like to thank all our advertisers and contributors for their continued support this year. Producing TheBAY is hard work but it is made enjoyable by the lovely people we get to work with. I also want to extend a big thank you to al the readers who support us through using the trades people, therapists, restaurants, service providers and retail outlets who advertise with us. Without you we wouldn’t have a magazine. Lastly I want to thank our delivery people who are the final link in the chain – without them; all our work would be pointless.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year – we’ll be back in February