Hello & Welcome

to the March edition of TheBAY

One of the best things about running a lifestyle magazine is being able to choose the articles that go in to each issue. I have to try to get a good balance of content, so that every reader will find something that interests them whether it is travel related or more to do with health and wellbeing. I often use the information that I glean from the articles in my own life – on the inside back pages you’ll find news on how your local pharmacy can be your first port of call when you need medical advice. Last month I did just this when my grandson came out in spots – was it chicken pox? There is a lot of this virus doing the rounds in nurseries and schools in Swansea, but I wasn’t sure that this is what he had. A quick visit to the chemist confirmed my diagnosis and a bottle of calamine lotion was purchased. I’m pleased to report that the boy is very much on the mend and will be back in school after half-term.

Staying on a medical note, in our Health & Wellbeing section Dr Lamah El-Sharkawi gives some advice on what to do should you see someone having a seizure. According to Epilepsy Action over 40% of people would take the wrong action and try and restrain someone having an epileptic seizure.

On the subject of taking the wrong action, Carmen Gresa-Alemany wants to educate us on the way that we eat. Personally, I find the thought of eating on the hoof quite abhorrent, not only because it would play havoc with my digestive system, but more because I like to savour my food. Apparently, I am doing my body a favour – in our Health & Wellbeing section you can learn all about being kind to your gut. Nicky Holland too wants us to look at our diets, making sure that we eat according to our metabolic rate, and The Herbal Clinic suggest kick-starting this spring by adding herbs to our smoothies.

Our travel features this month take us to Ireland and Scotland, as well as more further afield to Nepal and Arizona. Nobody can accuse us of being parochial. Closer to home Dan Rouse has been looking at the flora of Swansea and the bluebell in particular. I have often wondered what the differences were between Spanish and native bluebells. Well we have the definitive guide to identification in our Homes & Garden section.

Staying local we have an appeal for help. The Woodfield Animal Sanctuary in Welshmoor is in need of donations to help them to continue to provide a safe haven for animals on Gower. Set up by Robbie and David Bartington in 2013, the sanctuary takes in ponies, cats, dogs, sheep and cattle that are, in need of a refuge. Knowing how much it costs to keep one small cat, I can’t imagine the expense of looking after 60 horses.

On the subject of cats, Swansea Cats are once again asking that we neuter our moggies. One female can give birth to a litter from the age of just 6 months. She can have 3 litters of 6 kittens every year; you don’t need an abacus to work out that this could easily produce 180 kittens, if not more in her lifetime. A member of my family who will remain nameless as I don’t want to cause embarrassment, had a pair of indoor kittens. She took them to the vet one day and was shocked to find that the female was pregnant. ‘But they never go out’ she said. The vet gently told her that since one was a boy kitten and the other was a girl, nature had taken its course. ‘But they are brother and sister’ she said – horrified. That always makes me smile.

While we are on the subject of cats being prolific breeders, they are completely top trumped by rats who can have up to 12 litters a year with 6 to 8 babies at a time. Mark Miller of Swansea Pest Control tells me he’s been kept busy in the past few weeks dealing with rat and mouse infestations in the area. Mark tells us all about the house mouse in our Homes & Garden section. If you have a rodent problem, and don’t want the neighbours to know, you can call Mark safe in the knowledge that his van is a very discreet, un-signwritten white.

I hope you enjoy the magazine and its contents this month, we’ll be back at the beginning of April.