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Blog posts

Random blog – November 11

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Weather forecast for Llanelli-on-sea today is ‘more than half tidy, well up to three-quarters tidy’.

McMillan Morning Notes (early walk) –

The pipes, the pipes they are a-calling . . . for Remembrance.

Anyone for a game of upside down wall bingo?

Make caring count, especially as some think ‘they’ don’t care.

Jumbo breakfast was very Joly in Llanelli.

Nothing prepared me for the hell of being a cancer patient in Wales in 2023 –


Devoted dad and local rugby player dies suddenly after facing mental health challenges –


The exact locations of mobile speed camera locations in Wales for November 2023 as enforcement of 20mph law set to begin –


Today’s random front page is the Stoke Sentinel. #SupportYourLocalPaper #RegionalFronts #buyapaper

Today’s South Wales Echo front page. #SupportYourLocalPaper #RegionalFronts #BuyAPaper

Today’s South Wales Evening Post front page. #SupportYourLocalPaper #RegionalFronts #BuyAPaper

Today’s Western Mail front page. #SupportYourLocalPaper #RegionalFronts #buyapaper

One for my pals in the north. Today’s Daily Post front page. #SupportYourLocalPaper #RegionalFronts #BuyAPaper

Today’s playlist is a random mix from Spotify. Includes Joni Mitchell, Mumford and Sons, Dave Mason, Eric Clapton and Fleetwood Mac.

Using a hot tub has left my little girl in constant agony for two years –


The pubs in Wales looking for new landlords and how much they will cost you –



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News Press releases

Climate change focus for WEA lecture in Llanelli

Posted By Robert Lloyd

News of the latest Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) lecture coming up in Llanelli next week.

The November lecture is on Thursday, November 16, at 7 for 7.30pm in the Selwyn Samuel Centre.

The lecture will be on Climate Change and Human Sustainability and will be given by Roger Middleton, Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development.

WEA Llanelli spokesman Ruth Price said: “This is a most pertinent subject for our times.

“Roger Middleton brings experience from water and wastewater, production automation, petro-chemical and marine industries to bear on engineering problems with a philosophy of developing technical excellence as a foundation for progress. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

“In 2003/4 Roger gained an MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development at Cambridge University and focused on environmental engineering and renewable energy culminating in a project to re-equip the Towy pumping station at Nantgaredig.

“Now retired, he works with the Energy, Environment and Sustainability Group of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers to foster long term plans to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

“We hope to see everyone next Thursday.  This will be our last lecture until the New Year, so we hope everyone has a pleasant festive season.

“Please see our lectures and classes for more details. As ever, our lectures are free for everyone to attend – why not ask a friend or family member to come along? We are very grateful if you share this information on any social media platforms you use, as well.”

Weblinks –




Membership renews every autumn. If you have not yet paid your membership, please do so – this supports both the lectures, classes and the publication of Miscellany.

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News Press releases

Scarlets welcome back Wales internationals to face Lions

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Wales caps Tom Rogers, Ryan Elias and Taine Plumtree return to the Scarlets starting XV for Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship round four encounter with Emirates Lions at Parc y Scarlets (17:15 S4C).

Tight-head prop Harri O’Connor, who came off the bench against the Barbarians last weekend, is also recalled to the side, while scrum-half Kieran Hardy is named among the replacements.

Head coach Dwayne Peel has made five personnel changes to the run-on team as the Scarlets look to build on last weekend’s bonus-point victory over Cardiff.

Rogers joins the experienced Johnny McNicholl and Steff Evans in the back three.

Joe Roberts and Eddie James continue in midfield, while Ioan Lloyd links up with skipper Gareth Davies, who produced an outstanding player-of-the-match display against Cardiff.

In the pack, Wales’ World Cup hooker Elias has recovered from injury to make his first appearance of the season alongside Kemsley Mathias and O’Connor.

Vaea Fifita shifts from No. 8 to second row to partner Alex Craig at lock and there is a reshuffle in the back row with Plumtree starting at blindside and Carwyn Tuipulotu coming in at No. 8. Teddy Leatherbarrow gets another run in the No. 7 jersey.

Hardy, who crossed for a try double at the Principality Stadium last Saturday, comes onto the bench to provide scrum-half cover. Second row Morgan Jones has passed his HIA and is also named.

Peel said: “It was important to win at home last weekend after a tough trip to South Africa. It is going to be another tough challenge for us, the Lions are a physical team who beat us in Johannesburg last year, it is important we put in another big performance and build some momentum. The boys have trained well this week and we’re looking forward to playing at home in front of our fans again.”

Scarlets team to play Emirates Lions Rugby at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday, November 11 (17:15)

15 Johnny McNicholl; 14 Tom Rogers, 13 Joe Roberts, 12 Eddie James, 11 Steff Evans; 10 Ioan Lloyd, 9 Gareth Davies (capt); 1 Kemsley Mathias, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Harri O’Connor, 4 Alex Craig, 5 Vaea Fifita, 6 Taine Plumtree, 7 Teddy Leatherbarrow, 8 Carwyn Tuipulotu.

Reps: 16 Shaun Evans, 17 Steff Thomas, 18 Wyn Jones, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Ben Williams, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Charlie Titcombe, 23 Ioan NIcholas..

Players unavailable

Josh Macleod, Sam Lousi, Dan Davis, Ken Owens, Samson Lee, Dan Jones, Sam Costelow, Johnny Williams.

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Blog posts

Random blog – November 10

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Weather forecast for Llanelli-on-sea today is ‘Springtime in November – definitely beach walk’.

McMillan Morning Notes (early walk) –

Tales of the tides, Gower’s best sides.

Please site on me, the daisy bench is calling.

Sea defences? Not so much a Maginot line as a seaweed line.

Stuck in the mud, a groyne navigation marker has fallen on hard times.

Just grazing . . . Sandy swans enjoy their breakfast.

Man died after being attacked by escaped cow in Carmarthenshire


£4-Million Investment for Carmarthenshire-based manufacturer  –

£4-Million Investment for Carmarthenshire-based Manufacturer

Carmarthen is hosting the start of the Roger Albert Clark Rally, the biggest event of its kind in the UK this year –


Today’s random front page is the Western Daily Press. #SupportYourLocalPaper #RegionalFronts #buyapaper

Today’s South Wales Echo front page. #SupportYourLocalPaper #RegionalFronts #BuyAPaper

Today’s South Wales Evening Post front page. #SupportYourLocalPaper #RegionalFronts #BuyAPaper

Today’s Western Mail front page. #SupportYourLocalPaper #RegionalFronts #buyapaper

One for my pals in the north. Today’s Daily Post front page. #SupportYourLocalPaper #RegionalFronts #BuyAPaper

Today’s playlist is a random mix from Spotify. Includes The Tornados, Genesis, Julian Lennon, Donovan and Medicine Head.

Striking farm feed workers have won a pay rise of up to 20 per cent. –


A daily bus traveller in Llanelli has said he is fed up with unreliable services from First Cymru and is calling for the firm to improve –



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Blog posts

Website back in action . . .

Posted By Robert Lloyd

This website is now back in action after something of a lull over the summer.

It is in need of some TLC, so bear with while I get categories, tags and pages reorganised – and fill in the gaps for the missing bits!.

But I promise I will update more frequently.

So, come back and visit every day, if you so desire . . .

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News Newspaper columns

South Wales Evening Post column, November 10, 2023

Posted By Robert Lloyd

DO you really want to know what gets up my nose?

It’s got five letters, starts with a V and isn’t a Vicks Inhaler!

The answer is, of course, Vapes.

The craze for vaping not only gets up my nose; it gets down my throat and generally winds me up to the point where it is not good for my blood pressure.

Believe it or not, I’m a tolerant fellow.

For example, I will concede that people have the right to weigh up the personal risk to their health and smoke cigarettes– just as long as they don’t give me a ‘Platters Moment’ (Some Gets In Your Eyes!).

My opinion on e-cigarettes and vapes is roughly the same – tolerable in the hands of adults who understand the risks and ‘smoke’ in areas which do not cause me grief.

On the flip side, I have a Moan List about vapes and vaping –

  • The legal age for buying vapes is 18, so I’m very distressed when I see younger teens vaping.
  • Disposable vapes litter our streets, posing a risk to the environment and human health. They contain Lithium-ion batteries which contain hazardous materials which can leach into the soil and water. They can be a danger to younger children, who, attracted by the bright colours, may pick them up.
  • The plumes of smoke some vapers create when walking through town centres winds me up. I don’t want to walk through mini clouds every 20 steps. Besides, has anyone done any research into the possibility vaping moisture and clouds may spread Covid and other bugs?
  • The ‘cloud factor’ also has me seeing red when driving. The open driver’s side window of the white van in front of me on Carmarthen Road this week was giving off so much in the form of vape clouds that I seriously thought the vehicle was on fire.
  • During a visit to a large retail store this week (no names as they all seem to be big on vapes), I stopped by an end-of-aisle ‘gondola’. Well, it wasn’t so much of a gondola as the front end of a medium-sized yacht – a retail space covered with the A to Z of vaping and more ‘flavours’ than you’d find in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

All of the above could, of course, be over-reaction on my part . . . yet more signs that I am turning into a Welsh version of Victor Meldrew!

Surveys can sometimes be very unreliable and I usually prefer to rely on the evidence of my own eyes.

So, my own ‘Milltir Sgwâr’ (square mile) survey of Swansea City Centre this week turned up no fewer than 10 specialist vape outlets (that’s not including other corner shops and stores where vapes are available). It is a similar story in Neath, Port Talbot and Llanelli.

Plainly, vapes are big business.

The problem – for that is what I think it is – is now being debated by greater minds than mine.

For example, John Griffiths MS weighed in last week with an excellent article on the Fabians Cymru Welsh Fabians webpage.

The group is part of The Fabian Society, Britain’s oldest political think-tank, so these guys know a thing or two about promoting public debate on key areas of Government policy (both in Wales and the wider UK).

Senedd member Mr Griffiths is singing from the same hymn-sheet as me when it comes to vaping, declaring, ‘Clouds of vapour and a variety of smells contaminate the air’.

Mr Griffiths points out –

‘Vaping and e-cigarettes are used by some as a tool to help quit smoking. A legal vape cartridge must not hold more than two ml of liquid, which allows for around 600 puffs.

‘Although thought less harmful than smoking, vaping can have negative effects on the heart and lungs, and we do not yet know the harms from long-term use. ‘The risk of nicotine dependency varies between e-cigarette products, with disposable pod vapes allowing particularly high levels of nicotine to be inhaled, and therefore a greater risk.

‘I am sure I will not be the only elected representative that has had constituents raise with them the problem of vaping by young people in school.

‘There is a strong debate on what is the best course of action for us to take to protect our young people and people of all ages from the harms of vaping.

‘There are 29 countries around the world which have decided to ban the retail trading of any equipment related to vaping, including Brazil, India and Thailand. Meanwhile, 14 countries have decided to ban vaping in enclosed/semi-enclosed public places, workplaces, and public transport, with a punitive approach taken for non-compliance in countries like the UAE.

‘A different view holds that a ban on sales would be counterproductive to the campaign to further drive down smoking rates, given vaping can be effective in cutting down or giving up cigarettes.

‘I believe a compromise here could be to make vapes only available at pharmacies by prescription as a smoking cessation tool.

‘Many of those who would stop short of a ban suggest restrictions on the marketing and promotion of vaping products, particularly to children and young people is what’s needed.

‘Currently, the packaging is often multicoloured and appears designed to entice younger people. Why is it, rather than having generic flavours such as mint or menthol, vapes are available which are clearly marketed to attract our young people.’

Always happy to modify my opinions, I’m now with Mr Griffiths on the idea of prescription-only vapes.

And, having cleared the air – and my lungs – of the topic of vaping, I will aim for a peaceful countryside walk this weekend.

That’ll keep my blood pressure down . . . just as long as I don’t spot any fly-tipping!

Twitter: @rlloydpr

Email: robertlloydpr@rlloydpr.co.uk

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