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.



Shakespeare Is Overrated

I recently saw a someone post one of those facebook things saying something along the lines “why can’t I find my romeo?” and I had to reply saying “why on earth would you wan’t a murdering paedophile who being with would cut you off from your family?” and that is because, aside from being a bit of a shit, I’ve actually read my Shakespeare.

I can recite Hamlet’s soliloquy word perfect and I know who made summer of our winter of discontentment. But having read widely of Shakespeare and seen numerous adaptations for radio, stage and screen I can say with outright authority that Shakespeare is overrated.

It’s probably not going to be a popular opinion, the bard is held up as the shining pinnacle of  literary achievement in the English language, and I don’t see why the contemporaries of Shakespeare such as Christopher Marlowe (who produced plays such as The Tragical History of Dr Faustus and The Jew of Malta) were far superior to old Bill.

Playwrights such as John Marston who produced some of the finest work of that era are overlooked and for what? Some half baked satires, some boot licking biopics and quite a few tragedies (and those were meant to be comedies). I just don’t understand it, I mean it could be a taste thing, but I just think that it is one of those things that people think that they should like to look cultured and so therefore pretend they do, even if they don’t actually have a clue how they really feel about it.

Long Long Day

I attended yet another Mayoral civic service today, it was in Merthyr, it was a very nice service but it was a long drive and then there was a big sit down meal afterwards, it was one of the nicest Sunday Lunches I’ve had in a very long time especially as I don’t really for other peoples Sunday dinners, but I was pleasantly surprised.