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Posted on 6:00am Friday 6th December 2013
Despite Town’s return to winning way last Saturday, it’s been the tug of war action in the boardroom that made all the headlines.
Posted on 9:20am Monday 2nd December 2013
Asperger Syndrome featured in employers event in Swindon
Posted on 6:00am Friday 29th November 2013
AFTER Town’s humiliation at the hands of Leyton Orient last Saturday, Mark Cooper’s side earned a credible draw in an eventless game away at Crawley.
Posted on 6:00am Friday 22nd November 2013
MARK Cooper’s tactical gamble paid off for Town at Colchester last weekend.
Posted on 11:39am Thursday 21st November 2013
If any evidence was necessary to demonstrate my commitment to both Swindon and Wiltshire it can be seen by the reading material currently on my table at home. (That’s reading… as in the written word. Not Reading… as in Berkshire.)
Posted on 6:00am Friday 15th November 2013
TOWN started to repair the damage of their humiliation at Macclesfield as they progressed into the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Area semi-finals after beating League Two side Wycombe on Tuesday.
Posted on 6:44pm Wednesday 13th November 2013
As I mentioned in a previous post – I recently took part in a Charity Trek to Mount Everest Base Camp. I was part of a team of seven volunteers raising money for the Prospect Hospice in Wroughton and five others raising money for other charities. The Trek took us away for 17 days, landing in Lukla airport, one of the most dangerous landing strips in the world. We aimed to climb from 2800 – 5700 metres where oxygen levels would drop from 80% to 50%. Over the coming weeks I will be writing a series based on the Trek, talking about the highs and lows of the trip and the experiences that we all shared in undertaking this challenge. Along the way I will be uploading photo’s and recounting the experiences of some of the other team members.
Posted on 6:00am Friday 8th November 2013
Town bounced back in style last Saturday as they easily brushed aside Port Vale at the County Ground.
Posted on 6:40pm Friday 1st November 2013
It seems that wine lovers the world over will soon be pouring less and paying more for their favourite tipple, following the announcement by American Financial Services firm Morgan Stanley that wine production has been decreasing. In fact Global production has been steadily declining since its peak in 2004, when supply outweighed demand by about 600m cases. In fact demand for wine outstripped the supply in 2012 by more than 300 million cases.
Posted on 6:00am Friday 1st November 2013
Whenever you come into a season as a fan you normally have a rough idea of what would be a successful season, be that survival, mid-table, a play-off place or automatic promotion.
Posted on 6:50pm Tuesday 29th October 2013
No 3 (C) in a series on Swindon's sculptures. Yeah, I know, strictly speaking a statue rather than a sculpture but it's close enough eh? And he has to be mentioned somewhere does old Isambard Kingdom Brunel - such an awesome name! - and he did rather put Swindon on the map I feel.
Posted on 5:48pm Monday 28th October 2013
I just wanted to take the chance to apologise for the length of time since I last updated this blog, I harbour no illusions that there was a great many people mired in a state of confusion and loss about the missing blog, but I feel that I must apologise none the less! I could go into war and peace as to the reasons for my poor showing but I won’t bore anyone with such trivial details, suffice to say that time out of the country, work commitments and a little trip to Mount Everest Base Camp for the Prospect Hospice, have kept me somewhat occupied in the last few months. I have returned to our beloved Swindon Advertiser with renewed vigour and hope to post regularly about the Arts, Current Affairs, Food and Wine, literature and much more, and particularly look forward to your comments and feedback.
Posted on 6:00am Friday 25th October 2013
TUESDAY’S defeat to Walsall – the first at home in the league this season – doesn’t change the fact that the club have enjoyed a great start to the season.
Posted on 3:27pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013
I’ve just read an article in the Adver that says the twice daily train that runs between Westbury and Swindon is about to receive a £1.2m subside, that means for the next two years it will run eight times a day.
Posted on 5:52pm Saturday 12th October 2013
I've written about Swindon Viewpoint and shared some of their films at various times on this blog. When I first wrote about them it was the first I'd heard of the organization and I was immediately impressed and intrigued by the whole thing. Now I enjoy an occasional root through the archives on their website. I especially like the Artpoint series.
Posted on 5:42pm Saturday 12th October 2013
I'm just doing a quick post about the Swindon Town Gardens Bowls club because until today I had no idea they existed. I swear to Heaven they've been doing a 'Brigadoon' and shrouding themselves in a mist only to appear once in a while, because I've been to the Town Gardens more times than I've had a hot curry (and that's quite a lot) and have managed never to notice the bowling green and their clubhouse until today. Anyway not only does it exist but it's celebrating its centenary, which is a bit impressive really.
Posted on 5:37pm Saturday 12th October 2013
Wednesday 21st August Oh blimey. What am I going to do? Not so long back there was just about only one place in town that I went to for coffee and that was U Piri Piri. Then I tried Cakes Heaven and THE 2WINS at Rodbourne. All of which I like very much, they all have their charms and different things to commend them. And I'm already at the stage of having to have part of lunch in one establishment and then going somewhere else for coffee and pudding so as not miss out. Yes, I've actually done that. In town with a friend one day we couldn't decide where to choose so instead did two places: a scrummy savoury wrap at Eggelicious followed by coffee and egg custards in U Piri Piri. Simples. Problem solved. But, now I've been in Cafe Strozzi there's a new element to the equation.
Posted on 5:25pm Saturday 12th October 2013
Thursday 19th August 2013 Well, yet another 'at last' this week. In this instance I finally managed to get beyond the threshold of Swindon's Museum of Computing in Theatre Square. I've only been meaning to go in for about 5 years. Oh well, better later than never eh? Small it may be - but it's perfectly formed. A real little gem tucked away in Theatre Square.
Posted on 6:00am Friday 11th October 2013
DESPITE Town’s decent start to the season, there are still plenty of fans that need convincing on the team’s style of play.
Posted on 6:00am Friday 4th October 2013
An own goal in football brings out contrasting feelings in football fans – if it goes in your favour, it’s hilarious, but if it goes against you, it makes you feel numb.
Posted on 6:00am Friday 27th September 2013
WE GOT to experience a glance at the glamour and glitz of the Premier League with the visit of former European champions Chelsea on Tuesday.
Posted on 6:53pm Friday 20th September 2013
As Swindon’s 2013 poetry festival and its accompanying poetry bus hurtle towards us once more, it’s timely to point out that Swindon IS the poetry capital of the world. Self-styled possibly but indisputable. The Poetry festival was conceived last year as a smaller sibling of the long standing festival of literature - events past and forthcoming can be read about in the Festival Chronicle - this year’s festival launch event is on-line now.
Posted on 6:24pm Friday 20th September 2013
I moved to Swindon about 20 years ago with my then 12 year-old daughter. We left a small village in Derbyshire, a part of the country left ravaged and war-torn (and that’s not too strong a term) by the miner’s strike and the Tory government. Not only were there no jobs and no prospects there was nothing to do and nowhere to go unless you had a car which I didn’t. Once Meadowhall and Cystal Peaks opened in the Sheffield areas, our local town of Worksop, simply died.
Posted on 6:17pm Friday 20th September 2013
At last! I’ve managed to get my copy of The Swindon book from the tourist information desk at the central library. As the back cover says, the book is: ‘The story of Swindon, from the earliest times to the present day, is here encapsulated in an alphabetical compendium of people who have influenced its development, places that have given character to its landscape and important events that have punctuated its history. The SWINDON BOOK, written by an eminent local historian, and writer on history, topography and architecture, is a unique and readable distillation of the centuries’.
Posted on 6:10pm Friday 20th September 2013
Wednesday 14th August 2013 As any regular readers of this blog will know, I've written a lot about the public art that we are so lucky to have here in Swindon - much of which I'm slowly discovering. I did know that the Swindon local collection had photos of some of Swindon's art works but I didn't, until tonight, know just how much. Now, yet again thanks to interactions on the Twittersphere, I have been further enlightened. They have a wonderful set of 257 photos, some of them with associated information, of Swindon's art works. Many of them are now sadly lost but luckily many are still with us.
Posted on 5:57pm Friday 20th September 2013
17th September 2013 Well dear readers, here we are with the last in my series of 10 things I think are worth celebrating about Swindon. As I said in No 9 it's not by any means a definitive list, just 10 things that have made an impression on me. Any one of you out there could make a completely different and equally valid list. The point being, and as Brian so eruditely points out in his post, Swindon and Swindonians - and after 20 years here I'd like to count myself as one because Swindon is definitely home to me now - has so very, very much to be proud of. And I don't think the 'powers that be' always do it the best of favours. Yes, we know it has faults but show me the town that doesn't. I get very cross about a lot things that go on here. But picking over them wasn't the intention of this blog - that's easy to do, there's other places to do it and anyway, who wants to read a blog full of rants? I just wanted to create something that minimized the negatives and emphasised the multitude of positives about this town and its people.
Posted on 6:00am Friday 20th September 2013
A HEINOUS, unjust crime took place at Molineux last Saturday.
Posted on 12:37pm Tuesday 17th September 2013
Event highlights Asperger Syndrome and associated mental health issues.
Posted on 6:00am Friday 13th September 2013
WATCHING Town take on Milton Keynes last Saturday, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Mark Cooper’s side.
Posted on 6:00am Friday 6th September 2013
WHAT with dumping QPR out the Capital One Cup and being handed a glamour tie against Chelsea, August has ended on a near-perfect note on and off the pitch.
Posted on 1:17pm Thursday 5th September 2013
Mention to someone that you like Marmite and you can gauge whether they do by their answer. Obviously if they say ‘Me too!’ you’re probably left in no doubt, but if they say ‘Marmite eh? Love it or hate it’, you can be sure they don’t eat it.
Posted on 8:06am Tuesday 3rd September 2013
You know, Swindon is not a bad place to be if you want to get yourself off the sofa and get into the great outdoors. I've written at length here about the West Swindon sculpture walk and the walk along the old town railway path where the wheel sculptures are. But there are dozens more walks and cycle paths to be explored.
Posted on 8:00am Tuesday 3rd September 2013
Well, you learn something new every day don't you? And it's amazing what you can discover in the Twittersphere. Until some interactions on Twitter yesterday I had no idea of the existence of Swindon Travel Choices.
Posted on 7:53am Tuesday 3rd September 2013
Prompted by a tweet - oh the joys of social media - I thought I'd do a quick post about Swindon's Gilbert & Sullivan society. Now I know G&S isn't to everyone's taste but I absolutely love everything about and have done since being introduced to 'The Mikado' when at school. 'Behold the Lord High Executioner, a personage of noble rank and station...'
Posted on 7:29am Tuesday 3rd September 2013
At the end of part 5 of this series, Kim and I had reached Nexus at Freshbrook, at which point we called it a day as we were ready for dinner. We'd been out for hours and had a great time but had still only visited 5 out of the 7 sculptures itemised on the tour.
Posted on 5:04pm Monday 2nd September 2013
Hiya guys, sorry for the long delay; I've had lots of changes in family circumstances and therefore I've been really busy! Sadly, not all of the changes were good ones, as I lost a dear Uncle in early July. He will be sorely missed by us all.
Posted on 11:31am Monday 2nd September 2013
The Swindon Mindful Employer Network started modestly with a handful of employers attending a meeting at a Swindon hotel in 2008 and now celebrates 5 years of operation - it is one of the truly remarkable success stories in the town. Concentrating on mental health and well-being issues for local businesses it addresses difficult subjects ranging from stress, long term sickness absence, depression and domestic violence to business culture and employee engagement. Mindful Employer is a UK wide initiative which has been particularly successful in Swindon and has grown a sizable and loyal following of local business chiefs, employers and media from both the private and public sector. Managed by Richmond Fellowship Swindon and Wiltshire, the network has received accolades from politicians and national business leaders alike for highlighting essential matters to support employers in a challenging and ever changing economic environment. Swindon employers appreciate the importance of supporting their staff, who in turn are essential to the survival and growth of businesses. Richmond Fellowship’s David Latham who manages the network is keen to point out the value of positive attitudes to employee health and well-being. “The case is very clear. A forward thinking business looks after their people and develops a positive culture of engagement and care. I believe this reflects in productivity and how staff interact with customers. Developing a more honest and open environment on mental health reduces sickness absence and encourages loyalty from employees.Its a win – win situation for the employer and the employee !” In a recent network meeting at the Menzies Hotel the group staged a best practice event on mental health and invited some top speakers to consider a wide range of topics based on stress in the workplace. With contributions from BT’s Steve Exall looking at company policies and practices to support staff, to spotting the signs of stress in ourselves and our colleagues from Geoff Windle of Lift Psychology. Some helpful nuggets of wisdom for delegates came from Adrian Embling, Lisa Monis and Jan Willis who were representing another widely acclaimed service called Work Life operated by the Richmond Fellowship which supports employees currently on sick leave with their GPs back to their place of work. With supportive contributions from Robert Buckland MP and Frances Mayes of the Public Health team in Swindon this was a morning out of the office well spent at a busy Menzies Hotel. So why is this network forging ahead ? Delegates put this down to growing interest in wellness and resilience matters – and a group which has focused on quality speakers and perfectly timed topics of specific concerned to managers and business owners. Looking forward to the next five highly successful and interesting years with this surprising and worthwhile initiative.
Posted on 6:00am Friday 23rd August 2013
When Cooper’s name was mentioned I winced at the idea but after watching Town this season, I have started to come round.
Posted on 9:14am Saturday 17th August 2013
In part 4 of this series my companion and myself visited 'Hey Diddle Diddle' which is in The Prinnels, West Swindon. I explained about spending the last twenty years seeing but not really 'noticing' that sculpture from the bus and never realising the significance of it - which is a bit shameful when you think of it. Well I'm sorry to say that my chagrin doesn't end there. Oh dear me no! The situation with this next one is very similar I'm sorry to say. Even as my friend and I were reading the 'bumph' about this sculpture I still wasn't making the connection - and 'connection' is actually very apposite indeed. It was only as we approached Freshbrook that I realized what we were going to. Doh!