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Something about Jackie Morris

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Jackie Morris’ ‘Something about a Bear’: Published by Francis Lincoln in October 2014

Jackie Morris’ ‘Something about a Bear’: Published by Francis Lincoln in October 2014

JACKIE MORRIS is a world-renowned children’s author and artist, who lives just outside of St. David’s. Jackie exhibits her painting nationwide and has worked with authors such as Ted Hughes and Robin Hobb. In October 2014, Jackie had her latest book, ‘Something about a Bear’, published, and she is currently working to a tight deadline on ‘The Wild Swans’. We at The Herald recently spoke with Jackie about living and working as an artist in Pembrokeshire.

Jackie told us that most of her inspiration comes from her walks; living just outside St. David’s, Jackie is always surrounded with picturesque landscapes and scenery. Jackie told us that ‘The Ice Bear’, which was published in July 2014, is set on top of the world. Although the book is heavily concentrated with Inuit culture, Jackie dreamt up the setting for ‘The Ice Bear’ while on top of a cliff in Pembrokeshire, watching the ravens fly around her. God’s house, in one of the books she illustrated for Ted Hughes, is modelled on her neighbour’s house, she said.

Jackie moved to Pembrokeshire twenty-three years ago from Bath, so I asked her if she thought her artistry had changed since moving to our coastal county. She explained that she had definitely seen a change happen. While living in Bath, her paintings were often tall houses and archways modelled on Bath’s architecture. Since living in Pembrokeshire, most of her art is based on a peninsular landscape and a lot of space has crept into her work. Her new house immediately inspired her work in the form of a pair of hobnail boots that the estate agent had told her not to move. There are superstitions that leaving the shoe of a child who has moved away, or even died, in the attic will draw their souls back. ‘There are so many stories tangled in that,’ Jackie said. Inspired by the boots, she wrote a story about a mother who had put the boot of her son, who had gone to war, in the attic. Many had believed the story to be true. The boot is still in the attic, and Jackie will not even take it out of the house to take a picture of it outside.

Jackie takes a lot of inspiration from inside her house, and her attic studio is filled with stuffed animals. ‘It’s actually getting kind of creepy,’ Jackie commented. She fills her workroom with things to inspire her when writing and illustrating her next book. While out shopping a few weeks ago, Jackie noticed a beautiful wedding dress, which she immediately bought for her studio. She is currently taken inspiration from the garment for her next book.

When I asked Jackie if she had a favourite painting or book, she laughed and stated: “I hate them all.” Jackie struggles as nothing ever comes out the way she wants it to. She is completely obsessed with writing and illustrating the book and it takes a lot of time, but she struggles with confidence when she has finished it. She starts with a lot of enthusiasm, but by the end she is worried that the book is not as good as the last. Jackie was often in tears over her work, but she is starting to get over that now. She gained a lot of confidence talking to other artists she admired who also suffered with the same problems. Jackie is very busy churning out book after book and she talked about the fact that she only gets a minute to appreciate the finished piece before moving on to the next. Jackie has a real compulsion to paint, though, and loves becoming immersed in the world of a book, so she is very grateful that she gets to read books, write books and paint for a living. Jackie had always wanted to be an artist since the age of six, but a lot of people said that she could not paint for a career. She is aware that she is very lucky to have proved those comments to be wrong.

Recently, Jackie has found a new passion in stone sculpting. ‘The first cut released a wonderful smell of sulphur’, she commented, talking about how wonderful her experience working with stone was. Used to very twiddly, fine painting, Jackie wanted to find something a little more physical. “My paintings, on paper, will be gone in three or four hundred years,” stated Jackie, “but stone lasts forever.” Jackie loves the stories that rocks tell, their smell, and their beauty. It is also very good for working out frustration, apparently.

Jackie currently has an exhibition on in the Druidstone Hotel, which is mostly artwork from ‘Song of the Golden Hare’, and she also has work in Narberth’s Golden Sheaf and Porthgain’s Shed. She has just had a show in the National Botanical Gardens of Wales and has work in galleries all over the UK.

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Business

Maintenance plant shutdown planned for Dragon LNG

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DRAGON LNG is scheduled to commence a 26-day planned maintenance shutdown at its Waterston
site from Monday May 17

The 24/7 shutdown will enable Dragon to carry out periodic maintenance and inspection, whilst
taking advantage of the opportunity to carry out some small improvement projects in a safe and controlled manner.

In addition to the normal preparations for a shutdown, which started in February 2020, Dragon
have been working extensively with Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, Pembrokeshire County Council TTP team and UK Government, including the Department for Business, Energy
and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to align already in place COVID controls in preparation for our
additional workforce from 15 key vendors to support a successful event.

During the shutdown, there will be over 140 valve overhauls, approx. 960 COVID-19 LFD | PCR
tests carried out by a specialist company and over 200 virtual site safety inductions (enhanced with
COVID site controls).

With the works taking place within the site process area, any impact to our community, including
noise and dust disturbances is not anticipated. Please do note that flaring will be undertaken
during the shutdown.

A Dragon spokesperson told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Whilst this is a major event at Dragon, the 1st shutdown since 2011, our top priority always is the safety of our team and community”.

Dragon continues to update its’ community and stakeholders on the progress of the work.

For any enquiries, please contact karen.wood@dragonlng.com / 01646 691730.

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Community

Encouraging responsible dog ownership so everyone enjoys their day at the beach

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is encouraging and promoting responsible dog ownership to ensure that we can all enjoy the County’s glorious beaches this summer.

With Covid-19 restrictions easing and lots of people expected to head to the coast, respecting one another and the natural environment will be more important than ever.

And, as a dog-friendly County, Pembrokeshire will be welcoming many four-legged friends too.

While visiting and enjoying Pembrokeshire beaches, dog lovers are asked to be mindful of some restrictions regarding their pets.

Between 1st May and 30th September dogs are not permitted on the North Beach in Tenby, or Whitesands Beach near St Davids. However, some other beaches have specific dog-free areas Designated.

Other areas indicate where dogs must be kept on leads.

The byelaws are in place so that everyone, dog owners and non-dog owners alike, can enjoy their time at the seaside.

Updated signage detailing the byelaws will be displayed on all beaches, main beach access and exit points, plus signs and flags being displayed and flown by lifeguards.

This will help pet owners to take their pets to the areas of beach designated for their enjoyment.

The signage used will be part of a wider campaign to encourage responsible behaviour while visiting and enjoying Pembrokeshire.

While engaging with members of the public, explaining the byelaws and encouraging responsible behaviour will always be the preference, there has also been a change to how the restrictions will be monitored.

Enforcement Teams will be working alongside the patrols currently undertaken to address littering and dog fouling in our communities.

Where appropriate, Fixed Penalty Notices of £75 can be issued. This can rise up to £500 if the matter were to be successfully prosecuted in court.

It is hoped that by engaging, advising and promoting the byelaws, supported by new signage, the Council can encourage people to be even more responsible dog owners.

This will result in a fun, positive experience for all beach users this Summer.

Pembrokeshire County Council Leader Cllr David Simpson, said: “Pembrokeshire can’t wait to welcome all those who have been dreaming about a walk on the beach throughout much of the past year.

“We know and understand that dogs are part of the family and taking your pets out to the beach for the day or a simple walk at the seaside is so important.

“We hope that by engaging and explaining we can promote responsible dog ownership this summer to ensure everyone can enjoy their time on our incredible coast.

“Please plan your visits and take the time to have a look at the maps of the dog free areas and other information available and we look forward to welcoming everyone, whether two legs or four, once again.”

For more information, see: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/dog-control

Maps of the dog free areas and further information can be downloaded at: https://www.visitpembrokeshire.com/downloads

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Community

Speedy Sanna’s second shot at Pembrokeshire Coast Path record

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A DETERMINED Pembrokeshire woman will reattempt to set a new record next week by running the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in the fastest time.

Sanna Duthie, 32, from Milford Haven, is aiming to become only the second person to run the whole of the 186-mile Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

Sanna attempted to break the record in August last year, but after clocking off more than 63 miles she had to abandon the record attempt for her own safety, due to the horrendous weather conditions.

She hopes to complete her run in under 64 hours and 32 minutes and is using the opportunity to raise money for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity. Sanna has already smashed her fundraising target of £2,000 by raising an amazing £2,162.

The current record is held by Haverfordwest’s Richard Simpson, who completed the challenge in 2018.

As an ultra-runner, she has previously completed a 100-mile run in under 28 hours, but she is now hoping to exceed that and raise money for a charity close to her heart at the same time.

Reflecting on how she feels about re-attempting the challenge, Sanna, who likes to run ‘silly races’ said: “I am very nervous but feeling determined and strong. I’ve trained over 300 miles a month since March 2020, so I’ve done all the training I can. I would have liked to have gone to the gym, but I’ve done what I can at home. I’ve been out on difference sections of the coast path since restrictions have eased and it’s in good condition.”

Weather permitting Sanna, who is ‘overwhelmed’ with how much money she has raised, will start the challenge at 8am on Friday, 7 May at St Dogmaels and finishing in Amroth on Sunday, 9 May.

In preparation of the challenge Sanna has received a lot of support from her partner, family and friends, she said: “My dad and partner have been amazing. Making sure I’m fed after long runs and just being there. My friends have been amazing and although we haven’t been able to run together just knowing they support me helps. I’m hoping some can join me on the challenge it will be great to catch up. The chatter will be a great distraction.”

Katie Macro, Wales Air Ambulance South West Wales Community Co-ordinator, said: “We’re so grateful to Sanna for taking on this huge challenge once again. Her determination is outstanding, and she has so far raised an amazing amount for our lifesaving charity.

“Despite the horrendous weather during her last attempt she managed to run over 63 miles and only stopped the record attempt when it became unsafe to continue. Her determination is inspiring.

“On its own, it is a significant personal challenge, and we will be supporting her all the way to the finish line – and hopefully to a new record. For Sanna to choose to raise money for our lifesaving service at the same time is incredible. We are so grateful for her support and we’d like to wish her all the best. Thank you to everyone who has supported Sanna and continue to support her with her fundraiser.”

You can show your support to Sanna by donating to her Just Giving page – Sanna’s 186 miles – Pembrokeshire Coastpathhttps://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sanna-duthie2.

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