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2014 – Year End

January 1st, 2015

And so we come to the end of 2014, this site really is becoming neglected, I have never been one for changing things around every few weeks but when you realise that I have only posted five entries over the last twelve months you need to start questioning why the site remains here.

Well it is that time of year again, has it really been 12 months, a lot has changed with how I use the internet and I am sure that for the few that will see this entry how you use the internet has also changed. Gone are the days of Fanlistings as most fans will ‘like’ the facebook page of a favourite tv show or actor.

Needless to say at the start of 2014 I made a list of six goals to achieve during the year

1. Renew my passport.
2. De-clutter my room.
3. Use my slow cooker to make a meal at least once a month.
4. Visit Beamish
5. Go see a show in a theatre.
6. Complete at least 10 years of transcriptions of Council records.

Overall I would say that like this site they have become neglected, my passport which would have been the easiest to achieve is still expired, I have as with previous years half heartedly started to de-clutter my room in fact have been doing little bits in the run up to Christmas – there is however still the tendency to keep hold of things just in case, the need to be more ruthless has never been so important. I spent New Years Eve clearing out and while the room still looks cluttered 5 bags were taken out for rubbish.

I do still use my slow cooker a lot, in fact once again I used it to cook my turkey crown but have not used it as far as I can remember to make a meal at least once a month. To clear up more space on my work top I am considering finding somewhere to keep the slow cooker when not in use, of course the danger is that it will get forgotten about and not used!

Beamish got put on the back burner as did going to the theatre, I suppose ultimately it was down to cost.

Work on the transcriptions of council records have been coming along slowly, I don’t think I have managed to complete ten years during the year but have made a fair amount of progress with getting the records “web ready”. It was nice during 2014 that the National Library of Wales contacted me asking to archive my Llangunnor Network site as a resource for the future.

However I did manage to get out and about during 2014 which a trip down to London in February to the Who Do You Think You Are Live event where I spent a day at the show, a day exploring the National Archives and generally having a look around London. I was also able to get a photograph with Natasha Kaplinsky. lee

I was also given a years membership to the National Botanical Gardens in Wales and did make a few visits during the year to take some photos – I have had the renewal forms for 2015 but am undecided if I used the membership to maximum potential.

I also joined CADW which gets me free entry to castles in Wales and reduced entry to English Heritage sites, that expires in a few months and again a decision will need to be made as to whether to renew it. I have if I recall correctly used it a few times this year to visit Kidwelly Castle and when I went with a friend to Castell Coch.

Attended service of commemoration for the start of World War One in Carmarthen at the start of August, I had contributed towards the costs and can’t say I was very happy when I turn up to discover that to effectively take part you needed to purchase a programme – all very nicely put together but you would have thought that they could have printed out a few order of services for those not able to pay the £5.

September and I ventured in my car to the Eden Project for the weekend, now I had been reluctant to go along as the spaces were supposed to be for people who want to make a change in their communities, while I do want to get the community engaged and working together I did find while I was there that people from all over the country had ideas that were much bigger than mine. I should explain a lot of them had ideas to buy land/buildings or make use of facilities already about – what I want to do cannot really be measured with bricks and mortar.

Besides that it was a good weekend and it was nice to talk to people from different communities and to share ideas. It could have been better if everyone had been staying in the same hotel, not that there was a lot of time but most of the people that I have remained in contact with were not staying at the same hotel.

A month later I held my first quiz night, which was a failure both financially and on the community engagement front, obviously more needs to be done to engage with the local people.

Did organise a craft fair late November that was relatively successful, managed to get a wide range of craft stalls but still finding it hard to get the large local population to come along – I think years of nothing taking place in the community has not helped neither has the fact that the most convenient location for activities is a sheltered accommodation community room but the residents don’t like outsiders.

Hopefully a Big Lunch event can be held at the local school this year and that will help to promote community.

I am sure that I would have done more during 2014 but ultimately it was a good year.

Community

October 5th, 2014

My last entry just under a month ago saw me writing about me wanting to get more involved with the community, in particular with the community of Llangunnor. I am already a community councillor, a member of the parochial church council, litter champion and behind the Llangunnor Network web site.

I also mentioned in my last entry that I was going to be visiting the Eden Project with Big Lunch Extras – (I shall write more of this again) and while this did offer encouragement it also made me realise how lethargic the residents of Llangunnor have become.

A week of events last week had a very poor turn out, okay it could be that the events did not interest people but a talk on “Riotous Carmarthen” pulled in 14 people!

Of course my quiz took place last Tuesday with a first prize of £40 in vouchers and a consolation prize worth £5 to the team in last position it does not take a mathematical genius to work out how well it went with 15 people each paying £2 to take part.

It is not so much the loss that was made it was the apparent apathy of local residents, nothing goes on locally but when something does they would much rather stay in and watch television!

Four faces that I was not expecting to turn up did and I am grateful to the ladies from St Cynnwr Woman’s Institute for making the effort. Nice to see some of the members from Llangunnor Church turn up but I do wonder where the team from Babell Chapel were on that night – I have supported quiz nights that they have held in the past with my overgenerous donations of first prize (£40 for the last two quizzes they have held)

Even taking a loss I am still committed to driving ahead so I look at my next project to latch on to the annual Christmas Tree light switch on. This event is arranged by the community council and it does manage to bring a lot of people together all huddled on the pavement for the 15 minutes it takes to sing a carol or two and switch on the lights – everyone then disappears.

I suggested after the event last year that it would make more sense if we the council invited everyone back to the school for a mince pie and maybe more singing, to actually make more of the event. Members were all for the idea and discussion of speaking to the school PTA were to follow.

I’ve taken matters into my own hands, I have spoken to the local chapel and asked to use it on the evening and have gotten the council to agree to invite everyone there after the switch on – I shall fund the mince pies and drinks myself and am looking to form a lantern parade, something that will extend the event and make it something more than it is at the moment.

Of course there is only so much money I can personally use to support these activities and my hope is that engaging with the community like this would encourage greater participation in future events so that a profit is made and that profit can then go on to support further events.

Community Minded

September 7th, 2014

Here we are at the start of September and I really don’t know what happened to summer, it has come and gone in a flash!

I have been trying to get more involved with the community and helped with a Big Lunch event held at Carmarthen Park in July and will be going to the Eden Project later this month for the weekend which is about helping individuals across the UK create positive change within their communities.

How much one individual can realistically do, especially when I work full time is another thing. Hopes that the community council would be receptive to working in the community appears to be non existent. I shall be carrying out a community quiz at the end of the month, I am funding this myself and I hope that it is well supported (it is very likely going to lose money) as for years local people have complained that nothing every happens around here but when something is organised there is always a long list of excuses as to why no one came to the event.

The last few months has also seen work on my project build up momentum, again this is very much community orientated with www.llangunnor.net being used to preserve the past as well as promoting the community. Work is slow with the old records but I have made some progress with creating information pages for local groups and organisations.

Hopefully give an update as to what happens when I go to the Eden Project later this month.

Charity Begins At Home

June 4th, 2014

I really don’t know where the last six months have gone, they have flown by at an alarming rate.

Yesterday was my birthday and it was a long day with various meetings, the last of those with the group of people who have been volunteering to maintain the graveyard of Llangunnor Church.

The church had signed up to Time Credits in July 2013 so that the volunteers could earn one for every hour these could then be used at a range of places – One of the conditions that the church had been made aware of from the start is that they would have to provide activities so that these earned credits could be used and other volunteers from outside organisations could also use their credits.

To date Llangunnor Church has not put on any activities that allowed anyone with Time Credits to use them and after last night it became clear that they had no intention of putting any on as it is more important for the church to raise funds, which they will be doing with a Strawberry Tea later this month.

This has left me feeling deflated as one of the things I have been trying to do for so long is to build community spirit and while money can be important in these times it is a shame that the people of Llangunnor Church seem to have lost sight that you need to have some give and take.

As a member of Llangunnor Church I effectively pay each week and am left wondering if the limited amount I give each week could be better utilised elsewhere I have bought 5 tickets to the Strawberry Tea at a cost of £15 to myself but ultimately the church will pay as I will ensure that they lose double that amount from me in collections. I will need to consider my position on the Parochial Church Council.

– Six Month Review –
Anyway six months ago I made the following list of what I wanted to achieve in 2014.
1. Renew my passport.
2. De-clutter my room.
3. Use my slow cooker to make a meal at least once a month.
4. Visit Beamish
5. Go see a show in a theatre.
6. Complete at least 10 years of transcriptions of Council records.

Ashamed to say that very little of this has even been attempted over the last six months. My passport has expired and I am sure very little effort is needed to renew it but it comes down to money. De-cluttering my room should have been done and no real excuse for this except lethargy mixed with some sentimentality. I had toyed with the idea of going to see War Horse at the theatre in Cardiff checked a few prices and left it on hold to see if I could get a better deal for a show in London.

The only thing that has been worked on has been the transcriptions of Council records but not 10 years yet.

No doubt it will be another six months before I find the time to post anything here.

2014 – New Beginnings

January 2nd, 2014

I wonder how many people made resolutions over the New Year period? Strange that people see the New Year as the best time to make a change in their life – of course you can make resolutions or start diets at any time of the year.

So what does 2014 have in store for me, I don’t make resolutions but do try and have a think about what I would like to achieve over the next twelve months (I’m still annoyed at the length of time it took me to finally give up on the 101 things in 1001 days challenge).

I just hope that 2014 does not continue as it started out with me feeling quite ill with a cold and doing very little yesterday – something not helped by the dreadful weather in this part of the world at the moment.

So what do I hope to achieve within the next twelve months – be good to review this in a years time!

1. Renew my passport.
2. De-clutter my room.
3. Use my slow cooker to make a meal at least once a month.
4. Visit Beamish
5. Go see a show in a theatre.
6. Complete at least 10 years of transcriptions of Council records.

Well once I started it was difficult to stop but 6 items to attempt to do within the next twelve months is a start. I shall hopefully review these in a few months time!