Too many times to date during this long lingering Lockdown I’ve said please take me back - but I actually meant to the halcyon days of the pre-pandemic, not to the raw racist times of 1993.
As always, kindness is the cornerstone of our brilliant Barry community who never fail to perfectly pull together for friends, families, and even total strangers whose story strikes a chord - especially during tragic times.
Nationwide calls for justice for Mahamud Mohamed Hassan, the Cardiff man who died hours after being released from police custody, are being led by Barry civil rights lawyer Hilary Brown.
Rest in Peace Robert Mitchell, also known, of course, as Mumbly, our unique first generation punk who was more importantly a son, a brother, a Dad, a Lover - and a mate to so many of us over the years.
Well, just like that Queen meme where she stares silently at her speech, I just don’t know where to start with my review of this year, which has lasted, let’s be honest, what seems like a decade.
So as Wales moves once again into a another long, lonely Lockdown, with Christmas cancelled at two minutes notice, surely it’s perfectly plausible to comply with the cruel Corona rules whilst also finding them deeply devastating from a personal point of view.
Our Soraya Kelly, the Barry breast cancer survivor whose triumph over adversity tale led to the launch of a global charity, has scooped a prestigious national award.
Is it me, or is our brazen but beautiful Barry turning into a bit of ‘two sides’ kind of town as even the crazy Coronavirus fails to stop the rapid regeneration of our sought after south Wales seaside resort.
Welcome to our wonderful LGBTQymru website, the home of Wales’ first ever online bilingual queer magazine for our community, by our community.
Long Hot Summers – The Story of the Style Council – now there was a treat of a title that jumped out of the TV Times to warm my cold, pandemic-battered heart.
Are you a young person, aged between 14 and 21, who is interested in delving deep into Barry and the Vale’s Black History with our local Stand Up To Racism crew.
I’m absolutely chuffed to bits that we have been the first nation to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for widespread use – and that it’s coming to Wales sooner than we can say ‘save our hospitality industry.’
Well, I’d like to say that my month has been dominated by bold Black History Month happenings, great nights at Goodsheds, and that warm fuzzy feeling of ‘living my best life’ in the town I totally love. But, I’m not going to lie to you, I can’t. The infamous brazen Barry vibe is now being totally taken over by this lingering Lockdown life we find ourselves fighting through on the daily.
Finally got to glimpse the genius of Mr Andrew Warhola at the Tate Modern, a much-missed Mother’s Day present that was brutally blitzed by that crafty Corona Virus back in March.
For God’s sake, get a grip please Barry. My Firebreak flabber is absolutely ghasted over the fury fuelled by the failure to buy an impromptu pair of supermarket undies, a crucial Kenwood kettle, or a two for one trashy paperback treat.
I'm super proud to be part of LGBTQYMRU Magazine - Wales first-ever online bilingual queer quarterly publication. After the success of Wales Wide Virtual Pride, we, at LGBTQymru, wanted to continue to provide an online space in which we can support, celebrate, and connect the LGBTQommunities of Wales. The magazine is the next exciting chapter in this story.
Never has the mental health and well-being of our youth been so important. Not only is it tough enough today to navigate the pressures of life as a young person, the adverse effects of this pandemic has also seen their education interrupted, social life slashed, and all the joys of teenage times taken away. So just before the valiant Vale was sent into into a local Lockdown, the team managed to slip away to the gorgeous Goodsheds for a photo-opportunity to promote the latest The Gloves Are On (#TGAO) goodie.
Jesus Wept, here we could go again then - bang into another long, lingering, lonely Lockdown...come on Wales, have a word with yourselves please. I’m not going to lie to you, I’m absolutely flabbergasted that after those four months of that queer quarantine we now find ourselves back bang in almost the same state. What was that all about then?
I am absolutely delighted to be one of the regular columnists for Style of the City's cutting-edge Voices of the Community Page. Sue’s View, is my regular reflection of a life lived large as an award-winning activist, dedicated arts lover, and voracious community supporter – often being a very visible voice for my home town when it struggles to find its own.
Barry doesn’t have a magistrates’ court any longer. That’s a real shame because it was a rich seam of interesting news stories for me working as a fledgling reporter in the early noughties and supplying stories to the Barry and District News where our esteemed blog host once ruled with an iron hand.’ Guest Blogger Robert Gage gives us a blast from the past.
Wow, doesn't that Goodsheds look gorgeous then. I never would have thought as I sat slurping a strawberry milkshake and eating egg and chips in the totally old school Terry's cafe, circa 1980, that Barry would one day boast the first new sustainable high street in the UK.In those days, we were just about clinging to a High Street, never mind an urban one. And Holton Road was dominated by Dan Evans which was hardly the cutting edge of couterie was it - even with Wallis.
I'm proud to be part of the newly-formed Stand Up To Racism Vale Group. Black-led campaigners who, with the strong support of Allies, are looking to unite our communities . As always, I'll be blogging about our activity and making the media sit up and take notice of us and our social justice stories. Please feel to join us if you're willing to help make that difference.
Wow, talk about not reading the room Barry Town Council. I stand back in amazement that our residents actually and actively engaged over the new name for the Cemetery Approach Community Centre – and were completely ignored.
Well, looks like the latest crazy Corona Virus chapter has closed, as we take small steps into the 19th New Normal. For a bit of fun, I've taken a little look back at all the things I've learned during my queer quarantine. Here's my Top Ten.
Barry Island went bonkers last weekend with a thirty thou crowd flocking to our beautiful beaches for sun, sand, sea and a salty bag of chips. I was at Marco's marvelling at the madness of it all - you couldn't move for bikinis, Boofy's Chip Queue, and Birmingham accents.
I just want to go to a bloody concert. Or do I. Ever since this long, lonely, no love lost Lockdown I've been manically moaning to my mates on how I have missed many of my cool music concert moments. But just how does the whole entertainment industry open back up, smoothly and so safely in the social distancing times.
Say what you like about beautiful Barry…and I know there’s many a tasty tale to tell about our often turbulent town. But one thing that remains staunchly standard is our cracking community spirit. And never has this been more totally tested as our town rides the no love lost lonely Corona Coaster.
Well, for someone who never used to watch the totally tragic telly, I'm now squiffily square-eyed from the screen with my much-neglected glasses delighted that they are getting taken out so often. Although, truth be told, I am very partial to a bit of that, often mean, and often, moody Nordic Noir.
Here was my all time fave, ‘Woking Class’ hero who I have idolised since I was a teen, whose voice can send shivers down my spine, and whose lyrics resonate with me more than any other musician ever. Wow! SVJ's Birthday 2019 will always be remembered as when I met my Modfather Mr Weller.
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