Happy Birthday to Baarbaara The Sheep (BBTS) Publications – Let the Tails Continue – Part 1

Today is the first day of the 5th year of BBTS publications – Not bad for a sheep – My work involves writing/editing and publishing. I also help people to understand the process of Self – Publishing or Indie Publishing as it has become popularly known. As little as 6 years ago Indie Publishing was frowned upon, thankfully today people’s views have changed for the better.If you would like more information on my services please email me at: baarbaarathesheep@hotmail.co.uk

What began as a one off publication, ‘Save Our Valleys – A Sheep’s Tail,’ printed and bound from the comfort of my field, has become a proper entrepreneurial adventure. After encouragement from friends and local people, I published the book via the Createspace Platform on Amazon.

The book was written to raise awareness of a local campaign group,  (UVAG) United Valley’s Action Group, who were opposing a proposal for an incinerator on the mountain at Ffos Y Fran, Cwmbargoed. Details of the successful campaign can be read at the following links:

Wales Online – Incinerator Battle Goes To Downing Street

Covanta Drops Incinerator Plans

Initially I wrote a story about the animals from the mountain helping the campaigners with their fight. This was to try and encourage younger people to get involved. Due to its political nature, no publisher would get involved, that is how I came to self-publish. The book now sits on the library shelves in Caerphilly County Borough.

Complete Cover Save Our Valleys

Click on the Image to view the book on Amazon

The second publication was a poetry anthology by locals to raise money for another, ongoing, fight. A new opencast mine opposite the existing black hole at Ffos Y Fran. Nant Llesg is an untouched site of natural beauty. The habitat is perfect for migrating birds. Rhaslas pond, situated in the middle of the site is of historical interest as well as being a spectacularly beautiful part of the area. Despite Caerphilly Council’s unanimous decision against the proposal in August 2015, the company involved, Nant Llesg Ltd, a subsidiary of Miller Argent, have decided to appeal. The most recent opposal by UVAG has been against Nant Llesg Ltd’s intention to fence off the area.

Rhaslas Pond Blog and Photos

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More about the Campaign (Americymru)

Black Hole Cover Image

Click on Image to view book on Amazon

Details of the ongoing campaign by UVAG against Nant Llesg can be read on the links below:

Best Outcome for Anti-Opencast Campaigners

Wales Online – Thousands Pen Objection Letters

Victory to Anti Opencast Campaigners

After the success of the first two books, I was encouraged to go to University by a friend of mine who had just completed her BA Honours in Creative and Professional Writing. To be honest, I didn’t think I stood a chance of getting in. The last time I attended school was over 30 years ago. But to my surprise I was accepted on the initial course which was a two year foundation degree in English and History at Lambridge University, formerly Glamorgan, Treforest, and now known as The University of South Wales.

 

Part 2 coming soon…. Watch this space.

 

 

 

 

 

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The TARAGGAN Tale – Bargoed

Doris and her six hoglets

***  Doris and her six baby hoglets  ***

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The TARAGGAN Tale

A concrete jungle atop a mountain,

You made it beautiful, you made it bountiful.

 

Red and yellow and pink and blue,

A rainbow of colours and an Eco-loo.

A green-fingered glory with quite a story,

About those who have tended it and those who inhabit it.

 

A haven for the hedgehogs, who help keep slugs away.

After dark those spiky balls will all come out to play.

There’s Brychan and Gwladys and Doris and her brood,

Tummy’s grumbling they’ll wake up and search the grounds for food.

 

In the daytime welcome feathered friends, like Cheeky and his mates,

Who fly around and feast on fat-balls, nuts and juicy gnats.

And don’t forget Mice Manor, where voles are welcome too,

And the great Buggingham Palace, with creepy crawlies running through.

 

Buzzing bees and pollinators visit for the wildflowers,

And the sensory garden full of herbs with healing powers.

 

The bottle greenhouse is impressive, it’s the biggest of its kind,

Aluminium tool-sheds are packed with tools for you to find,

To till and sow and work the land

And grow great things by your own hand.

 

New potatoes, old potatoes,

Red and orange Tiger tomatoes,

Russian Kale and cabbage green,

Big orange pumpkins for Halloween.

Artichoke heads blowing in the breeze,

Fragrant flowers on tasty sweet peas,

Carrots that help you see in the dark,

Radishes that give your taste-buds a spark,

Onions for frying, so good you’ll be crying,

Beetroot for boiling and juicing and pickling,

A wonderful variety of lettuce hearts,

Succulent strawberries for jamming and tarts,

Fruit bushes laden, ripe for the picking,

Gooseberries, raspberries, blackcurrants for tasting.

 

Aesthetically pleasing and teaming with life,

Once wasteland, now fertile and blooming with growth.

A station for sitting, a scarecrow for scaring,

A spade man, planted, at the entrance, for guarding.   

 

As you stroll along the log lined ash path,

A feeling of peace comes to pass.

Touch the standing stones before you go,

And salute this project that continues to grow.

 

The TARAGGAN Tenants And Residents Association

Green Gym And Nursery, you are an inspiration.

SPRING

SPRING
Hosts of golden daffodils.
Trees adorned and ripened hills.
Royal purple, petals bright.
Red tips, brown spots, cabbage white.
Snuffling hedgehogs mating dance.
New lambs frolic, ponies prance.
Bluebells carpet, mossy bed.
Thorny roses, crimson red.
Fine fern fingers, curly tips.
Queen bee buzzing, nectar sips.
Majestic kites cavort sky high,
Dandylion floating by.
Catkins wave, wind blows softly.
Copper beech, gleaming brightly.
Cuckoo, murmur, starlings flight.
Blue tits cheep in evenings light.
Swathes of green, primrose yellow.
Heather sprung, spring says hello.

May 2015

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Autumn Leaves

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Autumn Leaves

 

As autumn approaches, the evergreens stay the same,

But the cherry trees they turn to flame,

A festival of colours, as far as the eye can see,

Yellow, red and gold, adorn the maples and oak trees,

Sycamore and Poplar, Horse-chestnut and Ash,

Their shades change dramatically, as if painted in a flash,

Before the winter takes their leaves,

Before the swallows nest in eaves,

See their glory shining bright,

Against the backdrop of the light,

Even when the skies are grey,

Magical their beauty stays,

An ever changing colour scheme,

Is nature’s gift to us, as lucid as a dream.

NO TA to NATO

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Photographs courtesy of Nigel Pugh, Mark DarkMavis Davies and Wales Online.

NO  TA     to     NATO

Austerity measures in place

      Capitalism in your face!

Money spent on war – Food-banks for the poor.

Nuclear Alliance – Where’s the fucking sense?

So called humanitarian interventions!

Paid for by the tax-payer conventions!

A Berlin wall – 11 foot tall!

Billions of pounds wasted, on ego’s inflated!

Voted in by the people – In power deceitful.

These leaders – Soul reapers!

Our natural resources exploited, to the point of NO RETURN!

Mother earth is in turmoil but they have NO concern!

We must fight their oppression, regain possession,

Save our world from destruction, from overproduction.

Stop ethnic cleansing, we are brothers not others!

Our protests are peaceful,

But the police they are brutal.

Still we stand in solidarity – To stop this waste of humanity.

 

 

Dharma 11 Sept 2nd 2014

 

Our Garden – Biodiversity So Close to Home – Poems and Pics

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Biodiversity so close to home

As the sun shone in the blue sky high above,

I sat in our garden and acknowledged all we have:

Three chaffinches with little red berets, were busy investigating the flower beds,

Red Kites soared high above, playfully riding the warm thermals,

Jackdaws were calling, feeding young, their nest in a chimney top, safe from prey,

Blue tits brave upon the feeder, catch our gaze, chatting amongst the fertile Hawthorne, heavily laden with life sustaining nourishment.

Delicate fern fingers reaching toward heaven, bathing in the suns warmth, growing hearty,

Rosebuds cracking open, a hint of crimson colour,

Young elders, bushy, green,

Buddleia, their purple haze, nectar for our butterflies and  bees,

Lily of the valley, scent sublime, tiny droplets of ivory satin,

Carpet of blue Forget- me- nots, I’ll try…..

2/6/13

Dharma

Devil’s Bridge – Ceredigion in Photographs and Prose

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An old folk tale relating to Devil’s Bridge or Bridge on the Mynach in Ceredigion.

The Devil’s Bridge is the lower of three bridges spanning the falls and the river Mynach below.  The story goes that the Devil himself built the bridge as a ploy to harness an old lady’s soul.  The old lady’s cow had wandered across the river when it was low, to eat the lush green grass on the other side.  The Devil who just happened to be holidaying in Wales at that time, offered to build her a bridge in order to retrieve her, now very fat cow.

However, there was a condition attached to his kindly offer.  He said that he would build the bridge if he was allowed to take the first soul that crossed it.  The old lady agreed, but thought it strange, until she realised that he was expecting her soul.

The next day the bridge was built and as the Devil rubbed his hands in glee across the opposite side, the old lady threw a crust of Bara Brith onto the bridge, which her dog promptly followed.  The Devil was outraged, and extremely embarrassed at being outwitted by the old Welsh lady and vowed never, to return to Wales.  In a way he was quite glad because every time he came it always rained and he hated rain.

 

This is my experience of The Devil’s Bridge and Falls………

 

The Promised Land

A journey up the mountain,

A steam train from ages past,

Puff, Puff, Puff,

A wondrous experience, if you have no fear of heights.

The Valley below shrinks as we chug higher,

Spectacular views invade my eyes,

Sickness invades my stomach,

Palms clammy, shivering,

Temperature continues to drop rapidly.

It’s summer in Wales,

In picturesque Ceredigion we sport T-Shirts and Jeans,

Artic clothing more appropriate now.

The children had poured excitedly into the open carriages,

Like sheep we’d followed suit.

‘Best seats behind the engine’ the black-hearted drivers shout,

Your fate is sealed.

Laughing their hot steaming rocks off, as a veil of hail descends upon the train.

We are greeted at the summit by mist and a torrent of icy rain.

Just one hour to see the promised vista,

We follow the steep and slippery paths down to the Devil’s punchbowl.

It is certainly beautiful, made more so by the sun now shyly peeping through.

There is a scramble to return to our awaiting carriage, you do not want to get stranded here.

Seated comfortably, the journey down begins,

Warm rays caressing the protective window panes.

 

Dharma 11

29th August 2013