Monday, 28 February 2011

For John !

Sorry John this is the only picture I managed to get of you ! At least you took your hat off ! xx
see below-

Asda`s bag pack

Sunday morning 10 o`clock saw me standing outside my house clutching a large collection of balloons , 12 buckets , 20 sashes , 15 t-shirts , clipboard , bands , sweets and god only knows what else [ kitchen sink I think! ] waiting for my sister Ann to collect me to go to Asda`s some 20 minutes drive away-we were meeting everyone at 10.30, 10 past 10 -no sign of her ! Ann is always late- at quarter past 10 I started to fret -and then her car hurtles around the corner and screeches to a halt- without a word every thing is flung at breakneck speed into the boot ! Why is it when you are in a hurry everyone seems to be driving deliberately slow ? and every traffic light seemed to be on red. We sat in silence -willing the car to go faster ! it`s stressful this fundraising lark isn`t it ? she finally said- I replied -it is when your running late !
I needed the loo -just as I was leaving the house-sorry ! and then we both fell about laughing !
-with me threatening to announce just why I was late to everybody on arrival or worse, post it on the blog. [sorry Ann ] As we pulled up outside Asda I could see everyone waiting in the foyer for us- I was delighted to be greeted by our young dragons who turned out to be mostly Prestatyn young firefighters whom came to support us on our last bag pack -there were a few new faces, two lovely girls from the 1st Meliden guides, cllr Gerry Frobisher who is the N.Wales co-ordinator for the young dragons programme and several adult supervisors.The young dragons were brilliant-everything went very smoothly from then on -Stuart Lewis was on hand to take some photographs [hope your cold is better today Stuart ] The Dragons stayed until 1 o`clock and then it was the family and friends turn.
Pictured above from left to right is Steve Flavel [ a volunteer who came to us through facebook-his mum suffers with MND] nephew Chris [travelled from Ormskirk] , brother in law Tim , Chris` partner Rebecca and sister Ann .Followed by......
Andrew`s friend Marcia, my friend Debbie ,her daughter Jess and Jess` friend Leah [they travelled from The Wirral to take part ] Tracie who is married to nephew Pete- and Pete ! During the day I kept texting Andrew and Jayne to let the know how we were getting on -
The balloons went down a storm-we couldn`t blow them up fast enough to meet supply and demand- we were joined here by aunty judy,hubby Ned and friends Debbie and Peter- Most of us had finished at this point only John remained still packing ! we were also joined by cousins Karen and Ian and Ian`s wife Tina [ told you it was a real family affair !]
Back home with tea and biscuits- six of us set about counting the money-it took over an hour ! At first we were all chatting and laughing and distracting each other ! one by one we fell silent as we kept losing count and having to start over-
We are delighted to announce we made a whopping £764.13 for the MNDA. Andrew was delighted. The money will go to help fund a research project into finding a cure for MND; We had a smashing day-all our first time bag packers agreed that the day just flew by and that they had really enjoyed themselves !

I just like to thank Asda for allowing us to hold a fundraising event in their store-for Amy for arranging it for us-for the generosity of the customers who donated and to all our very hard working bag packers ! you were brilliant !

Cllr Gerry Frobisher [N.Wales co-ordinator for the young dragons tel 01745 369973 ]

1st Meliden guides - Harriet and Alice Frobisher

The Prestatyn Young Firefighters
Anaya Liptrot
Sion Price
Tom Evans
Grace Larter
Jade Liptrot

supervisors -Martin Parry , Jamie Brown and Linda Parry.

Debbie, jess ,Leah , Peter and Debbie ,Lynda , Marcia, Steve ,Stuart

Ann , Tim , John , Pete ,Tracie , Chris ,Rebecca , Ned ,Judy , Karen , Ian , and Tina .
Couldn`t have done it without you all x

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Update from Christchurch- Viv is safe

Last Tuesday after hearing on the radio the dreadful news of the earth quake in New Zealand my first thought was- those poor people - then realizing the worst hit were the people of Christchurch my thoughts turned to Viv- I hope to god he is alright , I immediately sent an email off to him , saying I was thinking of him and I hoped both him and his travelling companion were safe-Thursday [ and a big sigh of relief ] he emailed me back that they were both fine -on a borrowed computer so just sending quick emails out to everybody to reassure them he was okay. Today I had a more detailed email-[have edited it down slightly ]

Viv writes :-
Following the earth quake last Tuesday , Betty`s house , garden and foundations suffered another battering. There is still no water-best guess another week-or water or sewage-best guess is " a few weeks " official advice is not to flush toilets in affected areas-dig a hole in your garden instead !
The house will have to be demolished but is still habitable although will need securing and making weather proof before bad weather sets in-we are arranging a truck load of gravel to be dropped off to fill the gaps around the foundations [ one of these is a metre wide x metre and a half deep] We slept in the campervan for 3 nights not only because it felt safer but also because we had lights,stove and water.
We are at the moment living with kind and loving friends and sharing their undamaged home that has had services restored.The city remains completely sealed off.
Food has to be tracked down but there is no shortage , free water available from tankers, one man travelling from Darfield 30miles away filled a giant plastic tank from a well and towed it to a lay by in Christchurch on a trailer and together with his daughter spent the day filling containers.
Such generosity and support remains a feature of almost the entire population.
After shocks continue, they occur several times a day-although they are getting less frequent now. All the news has been via radio.
The quake lasted 20 seconds and I have to say it was one of the most frightening experiences of my life,[ [I was kneeling down at the time in the garage looking for something under the bench - Betty was upstairs on the balcony] we were incredibly lucky neither of us were hurt neither were our friends-though some of them have inevitably lost a friend or a colleague.
Twenty seconds that killed so many people and destroyed hundreds of properties including many iconic buildings,it changed the face of the city.

Just goes to show you how much the life you take for granted can all be changed in just twenty seconds- and there is nothing you can do-it is beyond your control- It has certainly made me stop and think how I would cope in similar circumstances. Thoughts and prayers to the people of Christchurch and to Viv and Betty- so glad you are both safe.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Young Dragons

Thumbing through our local newspaper a few weeks ago I came across an article which caught my eye-the article was about a charity bag pack at our local Iceland store and was carried out just before Christmas by "The Young Dragons " members from the first Meliden guides they were raising funds for Contact the Elderly.Hmm... Wonder if they would come and help us with our bag pack ? There was a contact number- well nothing ventured nothing gained !-I rang the number but unfortunately the gentleman I needed to speak to [Gerry Frobisher see picture on the left ] was not available-I explained who I was and quickly what I wanted..... I got a very enthusiastic response back .That sounds just up his street ! was the reply ..... [ Wow ! How often does that happen ! ] Phone back tomorrow I`am sure he will be delighted to help you ! Soon as I got home I did a little research , Young Dragons [Dreigiau Ifanc in Welsh] is a relatively new and exciting youth project which is being piloted in three parts of Wales-it aims to increase the number of young people involved in the uniformed youth organizations and also the number of volunteers who help run them. The vision of the young dragons is to promote citizenship to all the young people of Wales through fun and adventure by working together to support each other to deliver increased opportunities to children and young persons. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales provided the catalyst for the establishment of the young dragons and is its patron, the project is already building up a network in Denbighshire which includes Air Training Corps , Army Cadet Force , Sea Cadets , combined Cadet Force , Reserve Forces , Cadet Association , North Wales Young firefighters , St Johns Ambulance , Girl Guiding movement ,Boy Scouting movement , Boy and Girls Brigade and Princes trust Cymru to name a few and the list is growing !
For more information contact Gerry Frobisher who is the Young Dragons youth volunteering co-ordinator for Denbighshire 01745 369973 or visit
Thanks to Mr Frobisher we now have 10 young dragons bag packing for us on Sunday -they are arriving at 10.30 and will be staying with us till 1 o`clock, from then on we have a steady stream of friends and family ! On the last bag pack we did -my cousin Karen remarked that our fathers [my dad was the eldest of three brothers ] would be very proud of the way this family is pulling together [ I couldn`t answer her straight away-I had a lump in my throat ] Looking at all the names I have down on my timetable now brothers , sisters , husbands , aunts , cousins , nephews their wives and children I couldn`t agree more ! Roll on Sunday !

Monday, 21 February 2011

Charity Match

Sunday saw hubby and I hurtling along the A55 towards Bangor on our way to support Gethyn Owens M.N.D. Charity football match. We made a quick stop along the way at Asda`s supermarket to do a tally of how many tills were open in readiness for next Sundays operation bag pack take 2 ! [hasn`t that come round fast ?]
Y Felinheli Club is set in beautiful surroundings ,the pitch surrounded by open fields and edged with trees , the old wood and brick changing room / club house is full of old world charm, we arrived just before kick off-there was a good enthusiastic crowd mostly gathered round the club house and tea bar were we got ourselves a cup of hot tea to keep the afternoon chill off ! We didn`t have to wait long before the teams were out on the field warming up , it was at this point I managed to button hole the actor Llyr Evans [brother to actor Rhys Ifans ] for a photo call -which he was more than happy to oblige [see above photo ]
Hubby nipped over the railings to take a quick photo of the celebrity team just as the whistle blew for the game to start ! Both sides seemed evenly matched to start - Llyr getting a cheer from me or a well done every time he came into contact with the ball ! [ well he was so nice ! ] after a while the bankers started to take control of the game amid much good humoured banter between the opposing sides.
At half time- the score was 4-1 to the bankers ! [They had two very good girl players in their team which really helped them along ! ]
Unfortunately , we had to leave then as I wanted to call into Roger Jones` auctioneers-they were holding a viewing day- where there was some very nice antique hollow stemmed champagne glasses for sale with my name all over them ! We had a stroll first round the pitch with Jess to stretch our legs !
Five minutes down the road and this is the view of the snow capped mountains of Snowdonia mountain range . We made it just in time before the doors closed at Roger jones auction house ! and YES ! the glasses are all mine !

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Viv `s New Zealand adventures are coming to an end

To those of you who follow this blog regularly -you will- like me, feel like you have come to know our friend Viv quite well ! Viv has been" on the run " in New Zealand for several months now , he kept us guessing his location for quite a while before finally being rumbled ! He has just sent me a fresh batch of photographs and writes that he has just returned from a couple of weeks spent around the top end of the north island in his camper van [ nick named the mouse ] and that his adventures will be coming to an end in a couple of weeks time. I feel genuinely sad, as I for one will miss his adventures , emails and his photographs ! Just so you know- lots of my friends and family and bloggers have all asked after you Viv - they worry- especially if you haven`t been in touch for a while ! The photo above is captioned `Been across the desert in a truck with no name ` !! Love it ! can any one tell me the original title of that song and who sings it [win yourself a free wristband ] its one of my all time favourites ! Great photograph Viv- very clever !
This photo has been captioned "Paddling in my own canoe and not falling in " sounds like you have been getting plenty of practice in Viv !
And finally "hiding out in a toilet tree " What more could you possibly want ? it has a privacy curtain ! Thank you for taking the time and trouble Viv to send in all these photographs-it has been very much appreciated- we have enjoyed tagging along and sharing your adventures ! Look forward to that promised last photo !
After checking the weather forecast it looks like tomorrow will be a nice day- We are off to support Gethyn at the celebrity charity football match in Bangor-thought I would take some bands along with me and donate them to Gethyn and his family to sell-it all goes to the same charity after all !

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Scottish Anchestry

Hubby Ned has spent many enjoyable hours researching and tracing his family tree , he was born here in Wales and his Welsh roots go back many generations , but there exists a well known family tale handed down through the generations on his maternal side of the family, [they are MacDonalds ] that they arrived here on the north wales coast after being shipwrecked while trying to escape Scotland by boat heading for France sometime after the battle of Culloden in 1745, these were hunted men who if caught could have been hung by English troops from the nearest tree without any form of trial.
Every year on the 13th of February hubby Ned and his brothers don their kilts and travel to Glen Coe in Scotland to commemorate the masacre of the Glen Coe MacDonalds . The journey takes them through some stunning and dramatic scenery,the first picture is the pass of Glen Coe followed by Rannoch Moor-the most desolate place in the U.K.
Pictured above is Ned with fellow clansman Davy MacDonald [ both wearing their MND awareness bands ] who acted as bannermen for the wreath laying ceremony at the memorial stone and cross- with them are two Swiss girls who had travelled there to attend the ceremony. Ned and son Edward, brother Chris , friend Mike and Gwyn stayed in a local prison camp er... I mean b@b, this was not your usual b@b as they soon found out when the landlady informed them that they would have to be in by 12pm or the front door would be locked, and no alcohol was to be consumed in their rooms , no smoking.......etc etc [there was a very extensive list apparently!! ].Ned made it back in time but son Edward stayed on to finish his drink in the pub, but had craftily left a bedroom window open so he could climb back in undetected but his plan went pearshaped as he was caught by one of the guards when he was half in half out of the window and got a very stern telling off!. At 26years of age he`s a little bit old and big! [ he`s 6`.3" ] to be chastised !!. Needless to say they won`t be staying there again ! They did manage to have a brilliant time and met lots of wonderful people and enjoyed catching up with some old friends.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Re-Scheduled Event- Celebrity V HSBC bankers

Last year I wrote of an event taking place organized by banker Gethyn Owen in memory of his father Iolo Owen who passed away aged only 50 from motor neurone disease, the event planned was a celebrity football match between the cast of S4C`S Rownd@Rownd and the HSBC bankers . Unfortunately, due to bad weather conditions at the time the match was postponed , It has now been re-scheduled for this coming Sunday the 20th of February at the Felinheli Football Club Bangor-kick off will be at 2pm with a half time penalty shoot out with a chance to win some fantastic prizes ! So far Gethyn and his family have raised over £ 11 000.00 for the M.N.D.A. which is an amazing amount and are keen to raise even more ! So please if you get the chance to go and support this event - help Gethyn and his family give MND the boot ! Putting in an appearance will be the actor Llyr Evans [ brother to the actor Rhys Ifans ] as well as fellow celebrities from the the S4C programme . Some of the prizes you can win are listed below

Villa in Spain sleeps 6 for a week
Signed Jonathan Davies rugby shirt
Signed Wales and Arsenal shirts
Stadium museum tour for 4 Liverpool Football Club
Sunday Lunch at Signatures Conwy for 2

Raffle tickets £1
Contact details- G. Owen
2 Mostyn Terrace
Gwynedd LL575AB TEL. 07738022313

Friday, 11 February 2011

Can you name that tune?

This is my best friend Debbie and her daughter Jessica photographed here wearing their supporters bands- they are at a terminal about to embark on a journey across the water[ here in the UK ] -ah! but where are they ? Click on the picture to enlarge .
Struggling ? This journey was made famous by a pop group in the 1960`s reaching no 8 in the U.K. charts and no 6 in the U.S. charts ! Its easy ! first correct guess wins a free M.N.D band so go on have a go or get google-ing ! I will have the tune going round in my head all day now- can you name that tune ! and tell me the name of the group ?

Monday, 7 February 2011

Love Hope Strength

I just love this photograph ! It was taken last year during the making of the film Vinyl, Andrew was teching for Mike at the time and asked the Alarm`s photographer Andy Labrow to take this picture round the back of Dyserth church during a break in filming- from left to right is Eastenders actor Phil Daniels ,Mike Peters , Andrew and actors Perry Benson, Keith Allen [ singer Lily Allens father ] and Chris Turner. The movie is based on The Alarm frontman Mike Peters who had a song rejected and used a young band to mime to his record which became a hit getting into the top 30- his point was to highlight ageism in the music industry, the film was directed and co-written by Mikes childhood friend Sara Sugarman
Last year Andrew went on The Alarms "Release the pressure tour " as Mikes guitar tech, he met lots of wonderful people from all over the country-Mike`s fans are a very loyal bunch ! As I have mentioned before Andrew was determined to go and support Mike and the band at this years gathering as it was the start of the special " Sound of Fury " 30th anniversary tour ! I was contacted through facebook by James o`neill who purchased some bands from me- James is pictured here in the tartan shirt with from left to right -brother Eddie, son Steven and friend Jock .
James wrote that he hoped to see Andrew at the gathering that he had met him several times when he had been up his way[ in Scotland ] with the Alarm and could I think of something they could bring down as a wee present for him to let them know they were all thinking of him ! How kind was that ? I`am so sorry James that we missed you- just by a few minutes as it turned out but thank you so much for this wonderful photograph- and thank you for your support !It is lovely to see you all wearing the bands !
Mike Peters raises a lot of money for charity- he is a co-founder of the Love Hope Strength foundation[ which was registered as a charity in 2007 ] and is himself a two times cancer survivor , his charity promotes innovative music related outreach and awareness programmes for leukaemia and cancer sufferers and their families. The foundation provides grants through fundraising activities for cancer centres and hospices and hospital equipment and research.
I know Andrew is very proud to have played a small part in this charity and to have supported Mike over the last few years- and he will continue to do so - I have mentioned it before ! but this is the tattoo he had done while on holiday in Florida last year.

Friday, 4 February 2011

What a view !

Just look at this for a view ! It`s fabulous don`t you think ? So where in the world do you think our travelling bands are ? [ click on the pic to enlarge ] Well , to give you a few clues - you can stop at this lovely old restaurant for a bite to eat, it is called the St Bernards Hotel located on the edge of an ancient volcanic escarpment, it commands wonderful views of the Tamborine valley , this area boasts rain forest walks- nine national parks almost encircle the mountain escarpment . Walks starting from the hotel include five different water falls !
The hotel is an old establishment for this area and was moved to its present location in 1888 , it started a program of restoration and refurbishment in 2004 after being left for nearly thirty years in a state of decay-so far the owners have spent nearly £ 1 million pounds on it !
And here is the hotel mascot-his name is Leo ! So win yourself an MND wristband and guess the location !