Christmas Cookies


Christmas Cookies

Italian Lemon Cookies

1cup butter, softened

½ cup sugar

3 eggs separated

2 tsp grated lemon peel

2½ cups of plain flour

coloured sugar [optional golden caster sugar]

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and lemon peel. Gradually beat in the flour. Refrigerate, cov-ered, for 1 hour or until firm enough to shape. Pre-heat oven 180C. Shape [roll] level tablespoons of dough into 6 inch ropes. Shape each rope into as ‘S’, an then coil each end until it touches the centre. [this will make an ‘8’ shape]. Place 2 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets [non stick]. Whisk egg whites, brush over cookies. Sprinkle with the sugar. Bake for 12-14 mins until bottoms are brown. Cool on wire racks. Should make about 36 cookies


Winter Preparation

On a gorgeous day we had a good turn-out to put the Elizabethan Orchard to bed for the winter, weeding the beds, strimming, pruning the fruit trees and digging the hole for the new pond – just under 6 inches to go and we should be able to get it in position. Medlars seem to grow very well in our climate and soil despite originating in Asia Minor and South East Europe and we get consistently good crops from our four trees. A local producer of preserves, Daisy Craze, has used some of our medlars this year to produce Medlar Jelly which you can buy at Griffiths the butcher in Dinas Powys. They are also sold at local food and craft events – for more information, check out the Facebook page – daisygrazecaketoppers

In another link with local enterprise, Barry-based Mark Jones has just published a new book for children, The Adventures of Dixon Vole: Woodland Detective. Mark has included a reference to the Wenvoe Wildlife Group in his Introduction. Copies of the book sell for £8.99 but Mark will deliver to Wenvoe without charge. For more information go to




Ron may no longer be delivering the milk around the area but the company Bright & Early still are. Their aim is to attempt to deliver to all their customers before 7am to make sure everyone has milk in time for breakfast.
If you are a past customer or new to the area and would like fresh bottled milk on your door step contact Bright & Early on 0345 606 3606 or at






The Christmas season is almost upon us and the shops are filling with colourful decorations and enticing gifts, (as well as some rather annoyingly repetitive music!!) As wonderful as this time of year can be, the extra work for family, preparing meals, and present-buying, can all cause extra stress. It is important to take time out for ourselves to unwind. Regular exercise and relaxation practices can really help to ground you, put things in perspective and allow you to further enjoy the festive season. Looking after yourself can help you to look after others.

As the weather cools down, and the days shorten, outdoor exercises are somehow far less appealing. It is tempting to hide ourselves beneath jumpers and jackets and not bother to exercise, but the cold weather is no excuse to stop caring for our bodies.

Cold weather can worsen stiff joints and chronic aches and pains, so having a routine of gentle exercise and stretching can really help. Maintaining an exercise routine can also elevate your mood and so is the perfect antidote to chase away the winter blues that can creep in during the dark and cold winter months.

With over twenty years of teaching experience, Julia Wylie is bringing her own blend of “Stretch and Relax” classes to the Wenvoe Community Centre. Starting December 5th. Come along on Wednesday mornings at 10:00am for just over an hour of gentle stretches and guided relaxation. Designed to leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed, these classes are suitable for all levels including total beginners.

“Stretch and Relax” classes for December will be on December 5th, 12th and 19th. There will be no classes December 26th or January 2nd, and classes will resume in the New Year on January 9th.

There is no need to book; just come along. Bring an exercise mat or yoga mat if you have one, and some water to drink. (I have a few spare mats that I can lend people.)

Wishing you a very happy and stress-free holiday season!







We have had a number of complaints in relation to bogus charity collectors cold calling at resident’s homes in The Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff.

In some cases, fraudsters have used the name, logo and charity registration number of a genuine charity to appeal for donations and keep the profits.

If you are cold called by a charity collector, you have several choices, but always err on the side of caution. A polite ‘no thank you’ should do, or you could choose not to answer the door, or put up a ‘No cold callers’ sign.

If you do speak to a doorstep charity collector, ask to see their official badge and permit – but don’t commit to anything. Once again, check with the official charity itself, either online or over the phone, to see if they are making house calls in your area.

If you are concerned about whether a collection is genuine you can:

  • try to contact the charity to check that the collection is legitimate
  • see if the leaflet only gives mobile numbers or none at all, as this could be a sign that they are not collecting on behalf of a legitimate charity
  • give your donations directly to your local charity shop or any official clothing points
  • get your friends and neighbours involved, and contact your Neighbourhood Watch


If you have any concerns in relation to this, or wish to report a crime or anti-social behaviour contact the Police on 101.






At sea things can go wrong very quickly, as Barry Dock and Penarth lifeboat crews found out on 12th June

Kath Fisher couldn’t sleep. Tossing and turning, she thought: ‘Is this an omen that something’s about to happen?’. At 1.15am her lifeboat pager went off.

Volunteers all around Penarth and Barry Dock shook themselves awake and headed for their lifeboat stations. It was a Mayday call; an emergency at sea where life is at risk – a fishing boat, with two onboard, was taking on water at a notorious local black spot off Lavernock Point.

Penarth crew were first on scene in their fast agile Atlantic 91 Class lifeboat and crew member Matt Church took a salvage pump onto the yacht to try and pump out the water before taking the yacht under tow. They’d be back home in bed in no time.

However luck was not on their side and the flooding quickly overwhelmed the salvage pumps capability and within a minute the yacht had sunk beneath them whilst still under tow, a very dangerous situation for the 2 fishermen, lifeboat crewman Matt and the crew of the towing lifeboat. Kath, aboard the Penarth lifeboat, quickly realised the danger and cut the tow rope enabling the lifeboat to do an immediate U turn to help the 3 people now in the water. It all happened so quickly that the two fishermen hadn’t had time to inflate their lifejackets so Matt, now a casualty himself, struggled to keep himself and the two others afloat. Kath, realising the situation jumped into the sea along with fellow crew member James King to support the casualties.

Within moments support thankfully arrived with the large well-equipped Barry Dock All-Weather Trent Class lifeboat “Inner Wheel II” along with a Coastguard Search & Rescue helicopter. Barry Dock lifeboat Coxswain Martin Bowmer immediately set off a flare illuminating the entire area supported by the massively bright helicopter searchlight. However the situation called on all his skill and experience in charge of the 18 tonne lifeboat as the three casualties had drifted into very rocky, shallow water. With only a metre of water beneath his keel in unpredictable coastline in pitch black seas he carefully used the Trent’s immense engines to keep his lifeboat steady allowing his crew to safely haul colleague Matt and fishermen Jason and Andy aboard. The immediate danger had passed and all 3 were taken into the Trent lifeboat’s wheelhouse to be warmed, reassured and assessed for injuries. Meanwhile Martin then turned the lifeboat around, powered up her twin diesel engines and headed back to Barry Dock to hand over the casualties to waiting Paramedics. By 2.30 am the emergency had passed enabling all the volunteer crew members to return to their stations on Penarth Esplanade and at Barry Dock respectively. After a detailed debriefing and a washing and checking of all boats and equipment both crews ‘Stood Down’ and civilian life returned with crews returning home to their much deserved beds.

Thankfully both fishermen received a clean-bill of

health by A&E staff.

This story is testament to the skill, dedication and training of the RNLI volunteer crews and the wonderful boats and equipment of the RNLI around the entire coastline of the UK and Ireland

Story summarised with kind permission of the RNLI from the ‘Lifeboat’ magazine issue 625, Autumn 2018. Credited to author Miréad Dane



“Social Prescribing”


GPs are going to be encouraged to refer people for activities including dancing, cooking and walking groups. GPs will be able to refer people to these and other, social activities, Theresa May has announced. Instead of prescribing pills and medicine, doctors will be encouraged to use “social prescribing”. In this way, Mrs May believes there will be reduced demand on the NHS and an improvement in people’s quality of life.

The good news is that there is no need to have a prescription from your GP to join the Living with Cancer Strollers. If you would like a sociable short stroll, in lovely surroundings with an amicable group of people then just turn up at the Cosmeston Information Centre on the first Thursday of every month at 10:30am. November’s walk circumnavigated the perimeter of the park and we all appreciated the Autumn leaves which were bathed in sunshine.

December’s walk will have a Christmas theme and Santa hats are an essential item of clothing, alongside the walking boots of course!! I hope you can join us.



Winter Preparations

RHS December tips

1. Check that your winter protection is still securely in place.
2. Make sure your greenhouse heaters are working properly.
3. Insulate outdoor taps and prevent ponds from freezing.
4. Prune open grown apple and pear trees, not those grown against a wall.
5. Still take hardwood cuttings.
6. Keep mice away from stored produce.
7. Reduce watering of house plants.
8. Prune acers birches and vines before Christmas to avoid bleeding at stems.
9. Harvest leeks, parsnips, winter cabbage, sprouts and any remaining root vegetables.
10.Deciduous trees and shrubs can still be planted and transplanted this month.

Grass will continue to grow at temperatures above 5 degrees so if conditions allow, you may need to cut using a higher setting. Sharpen up the edges of lawns and carry out repair work as turves are available most of the year. Keep lawns clear of leaves. All this will help to make life easier next year.
This time of year there will still be quite a bit of work to be done on some trees. Don’t touch ornamental cherries, plums and almonds as these are prone to silver leaf disease if pruned now. Other deciduous trees will be easier to shape now that most of the leaves have fallen. Bay and laurel can be cut back as much as you wish; it will always come back. Small and medium sized conifers need to be tied up during winter months to prevent damage by high winds and snow settling on them, otherwise they lose their shape and branches break.
Christmas trees – the choice of tree seems to increase every year. To prevent needle drop choose any of the newer types but remember to cut a couple of inches off the bottom of the stem so that the tree can take up water. Make sure you keep the tree away from radiators. To be honest my choice would be the Norway spruce; yes, it drops needles which stick in your socks and jam the vacuum up when it’s time to get it out of the house but it smells fantastic.
If you’re lucky enough to have a holly with berries, cover a couple of the branches with netting to use as decorations in the home.
Make sure you write your present list or Father Christmas will bring you socks or things to take up space on a shelf, which won’t be a lot of use in the garden. If you feel the need to tell the main man of your wish list for Christmas, I have been reliably informed that he is at our local garden centre from 25th November. There is no age limit, you just have to believe.
To all the people I’ve met who have shared their love of gardening with me, thank you. Have an enjoyable Christmas and a happy new year.
I would just like to thank the What’s on team for the effort they put in to make this magazine the success it is.

Take care – Happy gardening.



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