National Poetry Day

Its National Poetry Day. So here is one of my favourite poems, by Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: — Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Wine Review: Celteg Raspberry Wine

I’m going to put my hands up at the beginning of this review and say that Celteg Wines are hands down my favourite domestic vintners in the UK, it wouldn’t be Christmas in my household without their mead. So with that declaration out of the way I’m going to try and be as unbiased as possible in this review.


I picked up several different varieties of Celteg wine at the Vale of Glamorgan Agricultural Show in July and for whatever reasons had decided to cellar it behind the bar (on the bookcase) of my man cave, But tonight since I’m free of my offspring and have no pressing civic or work based commitments tomorrow I decided to dust off a couple of bottles of the old vino collapso.

The first I picked was a rather large red (A New Zealand Merlot Cab blend that was pretty chewy and went well with the chicken I had for dinner) then I moved on to the lighter, more fruity wine that I thought would serve as a nice little aside before Morpheus came to claim me for the night.

Out came the Celteg Raspberry it was a lovely and ripe fruity number as I expected and have come to expect from the Celteg range, and as I’ve never had the still version of their raspberry wine before I was pleasantly surprised at how fruity it was, but I was a little taken aback by the more alcoholic taste, and felt that the alcohol did over power the fruit somewhat, but the wine itself was a rather pleasant quaff and I feel that I may pick up a bottle (*cough*case*cough*) or two the next time I head over to the celteg website.

Blaenavon Civic Service

Yesterday I attended the Civic Service for the Mayor Of Blaenavon Town Council Phyllis Roberts, who happens to be Britain’s oldest serving mayor (elected to the post at age 93). I see phyllis at a lot of things as Blaenavon is one of the towns that make up the county borough of Torfaen (which Jessica and I serve as Mayor and Consort) and she is one of those people that has served their community her whole life, and I was glad that I and my family had the chance to take part in the ceremony, and celebration that seeks to bless all her endeavours as Mayor for the year.

21950069_485564065158387_5272066518078564024_o (1)
Mayor of Balenavon Phyllis Roberts, Mayor of Torfaen Jessica Powell, Mini Mayor of Torfaen Marianna Bird and Cllr Anthony Bird.

It was a beautiful service conducted by The Reverend Rufus Noy and The Reverend Philip Godsell, with a reading by Lord Murphy (the former Member of Parliament for Torfaen) and musical performances from both the Blaenavon Ladies Choir and the Blaenavon Male voice choir, both of whom were in fine voice . I had a fantastic time and would like to wish Her Worship The Mayor all the best for the remainder of her time in office.

Marianna’s Princesses

I, in a moment of writers block, decided to ask my darling two year old what I should write about, and she told me that I should write about her princesses, I think maybe because she was playing with them at the time, but they do seem to be her favourite things to play with at the moment, along with her Daleks.

The princesses in question are in fact licensed Disney Princesses from Fisher Prices Little People Line and Marianna seems to love them, playing out conversations between the different members of royalty, its good to see the development of he imagination in such a way.  And seeing her play with her castle and these things gets me right in the feels.


Impressions of Cwmbran

Its been almost three years since I moved from Newport to Cwmbran and in many ways I still feel like a new comer, I’m still discovering the best shops, which pubs serve the cheapest pint, which clothes shops carry things in my size etc. And while there is a lot that I’ll miss about living in Newport, like the more active nightlife, I do feel that I’m settling into Cwmbran, especially since I’ve taken a more active role in my new community.

Some impressions I’ve made since making the move are:

The Best Pub – Has to be the Queen Inn on Upper Cwmbran Road its a nice neighbourhood pub with a reasonably priced pint, a quiz that’s only a pound a team, and although I haven’t had the opportunity to try it out yet, I hear they do excellent meals.

The Best Shop- Until recently I would have said that it was Sin City Comics, but then they moved to Newport, so I’m at a loss for what to pick now, especially as Cwmbran Centre offers such a wide choice of shops, both established national firms as well as smaller independent traders. It was a bit of a shock moving from Newport to Cwmbran, because although Newport’s town centre has undergone something of a renaissance over the last few years, when I left it was on life support, with something like 40 odd empty shops on the high street so it was nice to come to a place where there were no empty units in the town centre.

The Best Restaurant- In terms of an actual sit down restaurant has to be Page’s fish bar, its a chip shop with a restaurant as well and the I find the restaurant to be far superior to the take away. In terms of take away I have to give the award to the Croesy Chinese and Fish Bar for their Chinese cuisine.

Nicest Park- Its gotta be the boating lake, no question.


Film Plots As Understood By My Two Year Old

Have you ever listened to a film plot relayed by a two year old sometimes its pretty funny.

Sister Act

The film where Jesus’ girlfriends sing all the songs


Where the princess is locked up and then on the boat with the silly chickens

Snow White

Snow White lives with lots of men, and then goes to sleep.


She didn’t have a costume so she couldn’t go to the party but then the mice and doggies take her in a pumpkin outside. She was naughty and lost her shoe

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 

The car drove off a cliff but didn’t crash, it flew.

Films That Should Not Have Had A Sequel



If you ever think an idea you have is shit, just think to yourself, at one point in history someone was there in a meeting and said out loud,  I want to make a movie about a tornado full of sharks, and somehow this spawned 4 sequels.

The Hangover


1 was ok but two just got worse and worse after that. And it just seemed to rehash the same story just in another location, at least 3 tried to do something different, but it wasn’t enough to make it good.

Indiana Jones 4


George Lucas just needs to learn to leave things alone.

The Blues Brothers 2000 


The original Blues Brothers was one of my favourite films of all time, it introduced me to the world of blues music and many other genres that my 8 year old self would otherwise have never had cause to listen to, But then the sequel came and although it does have a fantastic soundtrack and a few good car chases it offers little else and actually tarnishes the Blues Brothers Brand.