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.
As a former newspaper editor, my heart hurts a bit everytime I see yet another once profitable print finally fold - especially a six-edition weekly series axed with loss of five journalism jobs. And I’m saddened to see the Glamorgan Gem close after so many years in the game.
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.
LGBTQymru are a collective of passionate, and respected activists, and allies, dedicated to keeping our Qmmunity cohesive and connected. Formed during the Corona Virus pandemic, their first project was the inaugural Wales Wide Virtual Pride. Watch this space for their next queer project.
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.
Well, it’s a very happy First Birthday to my Blog. And I’m not going to lie to you, what a decade, that year has been. We’ve battled a global pandemic, witnessed a pivotal moment in our world’s social justice story, negotiated nineteen new normals, and seen all our town’s triumphs and tragedies, packed into twelve months of total trauma - mainly stuck behind a screen.
Welcome to my world - packed full of views, news and reviews. And my take on the communities we work, rest and play in. Big thanks to my loyal readers for letting me indulge my prolific passion for writing, and to those trailblazers who have given me the chance to tell their tales.
Would you like more purchasers, more profit, more profile? As a prolific blogger, creating compelling content, I am constantly approached by Barry, and beyond, business for advice on communications. This is across all the disciplines – from advertorial to affiliated links, copywriting to consultancy, press to publicity, marketing plans to social media posts. See how I can help you.
Sitting here silently in the early hours of the morning, frothy coffee in hand thinking about Baby Reign Miller-Hardy. How his Barry family are battling against time to find the bone marrow match to beat his deadly disease. And what we as a connected community can do to help.
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.
Win a cracking copy of 'Doing Nothing' - the sequel to 'Under The Clock'. The semi-autobiographical novel follows the lives and loves of a gang of mates in the Skatastic 80's. A Two Tone treat down Memory Lane - and a fab read too.
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.
I'm raising a large Quarantini Martini to all those who made the first ever Wales Wide Virtual Pride, such a stunning success. Over 20,000 LGBT life lovers turned up and tuned in, plus we raised nearly four grand to give straight back to our grassroots groups. Thank you.
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.
Who knew that the exact translation of our lovely language would see some citizens absolutely incandescent with rage. And a damn sight more than they were actually bothered about our black community feeling seriously slighted, truth be told. Go figure.
Call me controversial but I think the luscious lights under the once dark, dank, and depressing, Hood Road tunnel are absolutely fabulous. They are bold, bright, brazen, and, truth be told, with the current Rainbow vibe, a lot gorgeous and just a bit Gay - well thy are to me but...I would say that, wouldn't I.
Welcome to the Corona Virus Diaries - not a phrase I thought I'd ever be typing anytime soon at the fag end of February. Or even in early March, if truth be told, when most of us were shrugging our shoulders and saying, "Just a bit of Flu innit.' Well, we got that wrong - and then some...and then some more.
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.
Who doesn’t love a sexy French eighteenth Century…ish Sapphic love story on a Saturday night, in good company, in one of their happy places. Portray of a Lady on Fire firmly gets a fabulous five stars from me - and indeed from all I spoke to in the cinema when the lights went up. Truth be told, I can’t remember seeing such a mesmerising movie for many a moon. - and I'm a cinephile.
Absolutely bloody awful was my gut wrenching reaction to the Caroline Flack tragedy. Her needless, distressing death has left me shocked, saddened, and angry like many in our town. It took me by surprise, shook me to the core, and has stayed on my mind all week, We should have seen it coming.
With Bad Manners, it’s just pure sentiment. Nostalgia mixed with memories standing next to both the music, and the mates of my terrific, and sometimes turbulent, teenage years. Nothing says Comp Disco like manically dancing and having a laugh whilst skanking to punk and ska on a naughty night out.So I sure don’t want this Fatty to Lip Up any time soon. See you next Christmas Buster.
A very fond farewell to one of the most talented tattooists to ever come out of our ink-crazy town. His creative, sometimes colourful, consistently perfectly-crafted tattoo work will leave massive memories and a worthy lasting legacy. I include myself in that illustrious list. Rest In Peace Lee.
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.
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.