Pheww, this week I’m breathing a huge, happy sigh of relief and high-fiving our esteemed elected Welsh politicians for their bold move in making Covid Passports at enormous events mandatory.
Well, who would have thought that in the seventeenth (or whatever we are up to now) wave of this crazy Coronavirus pandemic, it would be easier to get in the middle of large, lairy, live Gig than saunter into the standard Doctor’s Surgery of old
So, now that the pesky pandemic parameters have moved to a new normal, I’m well-chuffed to see our buoyant Barry has swung swiftly into post-pandemic party mode.
Well, fancy kicking a fourth generation farming out of their lands and livelihood just to build a big business park – no wonder legions of our locals are livid.
So the big-time Barry Barbecue Restaurant that took our town to the heady heights of food fame has served its final bit of brisket then.
So what we going to do to ‘Save Our Skate Park’ – that cracking community asset that has once again, descended in decay and disrepair.
Read Issue Three of Wales first-ever, free, fully-bilingual, online queer magazine - written by the Qommunity, with the Qommunity, for the Qommunity here.
£13 million in reserves, a Council Tax Hike, revenue from traders' outside tables, cash from communities to park outside their homes - and still the Vale Council cash cow grazes on.
Well, I’ve seen some daft decisions in my time - many of which I’ve made myself to be honest, but I’m slightly shocked that our fabulous Firework Fiesta is finito for 2021.
Phew, it looks like this cruel Coronacoaster is finally coming to a shuddering stop at Alert Level 0 as the last Lockdown legislation lifts.
I’m absolutely flabbergasted, that despite a staggering £13 million quid reported in reserves, plus the rich revenue from our recent unreal Council Tax hike, the Vale seem keen to hit our hardworking folk with as many money-making moves as possible.
Seventeen year old Harry Baker survived alone, stabbed, stripped and lying on the floor of a dock yard for one to three hours before he died of his injuries. Let that slowly sink in.
Well, call me controversial, but I’m absolutely delighted that a top trio of Barry’s iconic pubs are being turned into social housing – and in the so sadly seen better days Holton Road area of our town.
A squad of Black Lives Matter knee-taking, PRIDE arm band wearing, free school meal campaigning, unicorn riding, NHS wage donating Warriors who conducted themselves impeccably on and off the pitch – what’s not to like.
Hello Glamorgan Star. Huge congratulations on the launch of our community’s newest newspaper, online and with the wonderful whiff of newsprint too.
Of course, I admire Wales’ careful approach to the Lockdown Lift, but who the hell wouldn’t be a just a little ‘well jel’ that England is throwing caution to the wind and the masks in the bin.
Read the second issue of our first-ever, free, fully-bilingual, online queer magazine - written by the Qommunity, with the Qommunity, for the Qommunity.
My flabber is gasted that after nearly a decade of the small screen and six superb series, I am left feeling flatter then the pathetic pancakes I serve on Shrove Tuesday. Self Care Sunday won't be the same for a while that's for sure.
Barry-based Stand Up to Racism (SUTR) Vale were proud to support Butetown Community Centre, and Life Skills Aid, at the first-ever Asylum Seekers Welcome Day in Cardiff.
Huge thanks to the Holm View crew for jabbing me up in a valiant vaccination process that was smooth, seamless, and so well-sorted it would put any deftly-run doctors surgery to shame.
“If you have a Black friend and you don’t understand what they are going through now, you don’t have a Black friend, you just know a Black person.”
Living the latest Lockdown life may mean we are not be able to glug a G&T in in many parts of these, often bold, buildings, but we can at least marvel at the move to make Barry a bit less cult and a bit more cultural.
Phewwww, what an absolutely appalling rollercoaster ride for us women this week. Did we really savagely and swiftly move from commemoration to criticism, validation to violence, and misogyny to Mother’s Day in just seven shocking days.
Remember the social media mantra of ‘Be Kind’ that boomed boldly all over the airways following Caroline Flack’s fate...that aged well, didn’t it.
Read our first-ever, free, fully-bilingual, online queer magazine - written by the Qommunity, with the Qommunity, for the Qommunity here.
Stand Up to Racism Vale are supporting a number of campaigns, and joining with the organisers to ask for your help in raising both awareness, and crucial funds.
It’s a Sin, did more to educate, inform, and entertain, than any panel event, swift social post, or fabulous flyer ever could – no matter how heavy they are on those trusty Rainbow colours.
In the community spirit of solidarity, locals, activists, and allies swiftly set up petitions, protests and fundraisers, to help a grief-stricken family, fight a crusading cause – or to simply just show some solid support for those floored by fate. Find out how you can help here:
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.
Chelsea Jones is a Welsh degree educated photographer now based in London. She specialises in Fashion, Portraiture and Editorial photography, in which she incorporates themes of representation, diversity, and empowerment whilst remaining creative.
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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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.