Hello & Welcome

to the October edition of TheBAY

Just one more issue to go before we break for Christmas. There, I’ve said it – the C word. It seems to come around with indecent haste these days – it doesn’t seem that long since I took the twinkly star off my front door and stowed the tree in the loft. Dr Isabella Brey reliably informs me that she’s seen mince pies in the supermarket – we haven’t even got the sweets in for the Hallowe’en trick or treaters let alone the taffy apples for bonfire night.

With Christmas in mind, now is the time to book your seats to the pantomime in the Grand Theatre. This year it’s going to be Aladdin, with actor Tony Maudsley from ITV’s Benidorm playing the genie, and local celebrity Kevin Johns will be back in a flamboyant dress, as Widow Twankey. If you’ve never been to see the pantomime in the Grand, I urge you to give it a go. I went for the first time a few years ago when I took my late mother-in-law, and I can honestly say that we laughed until our sides ached. Yes it was silly and mainly aimed at children, but it was an evening filled with fun that can be appreciated by all ages. The cast exude such energy and are so entertaining, that it is hard not to be engaged. There has been a pantomime each Christmas at the Grand for over 100 years, so they must be doing something right.

Rachel Jamison has got a very seasonal recipe for us this month – pumpkin pie. Of course this is a vegan version and uses a plant based fat for the pastry. It’s the sort of sweet treat you’d want to come home to after a long walk or cycle ride – both of which we have in this month’s issue.

Ian Bateman takes us on an autumnal walk in Symonds Yat, while Kim Jones has a very long ride in the Brecon Beacons National Park. This ride will take you several days and requires a couple of overnight stops. It’s impossible to put a detailed map in the magazine, but on page 96 you’ll see how to get hold of a GPS file which will give you all the information you’ll need.

   Liz Barry too, has got seasonal colour in mind with her trip to Dyffryn Gardens in the Vale of Glamorgan. It’s many years since I was last there, but after seeing Liz’s photographs I think I will have to make the effort to go back.

   Nick Smith has gone further afield to the tropical island of Mauritius, where he encountered lions, giant tortoises and colourful geckoes. I hope you enjoy all our travel features, I’m sure you’ll agree that the quality of the articles belies the size of our little magazine – they look more like they come from a national or international publication. Dr Brey has also been looking at exotic looking creatures, but a little closer to home. I’m not alone in looking for bugs and beetles when I’m out and about. Isabella’s articles have made me much more aware of the wildlife to be found locally. You may have noticed the increase in big spiders invading our homes in the past couple of weeks, I am reliably informed by Isabella that they are not here for the sole purpose of scaring us witless but simply looking for a mate.

Next month’s magazine will be our bumper issue that spans November until January, and will be published in mid November, by which time winter will truly be upon us. So until then enjoy the colours of autumn and stay warm. See you next month.