Gary’s back…without Tina Turner this time!

I’ve known Gary for a few years now.  He has been cutting my hair for years and not only did the Bridal Party hair at my sister’s wedding last year, but also did the same at my wedding nearly ten years ago!

For those of you who read this and don’t know Gary {that’ll be two of you then! ;) }, last year he took part in a welsh programme called ‘Y Plas’, where he was taken back to 1910 and lived like a servant.  I asked him to share a little bit about himself and his experiences following his time on the programme.

Growing up, Gary tells me he was a bit of a rebel child. If he could get out of going to school, he simply wouldn’t go! At that age he didn’t know what he wanted to do.   It was during 6th Form at Ysgol y Berwyn, where he did 3 days in school and 2 days in Coleg Meirionydd, Dolgellau, where he realised where his interests lay. At this college they would have “taster days” on all sorts of different subjects i.e. business, cooking etc. The College wasn’t far from a salon that his sister was doing a course at. She would come home at evenings with all of this kit that Gary thought looked really interesting.  And that’s where it all started. He quickly called the salon and offered to work there 3 days a week for free, just to give him a taster of what the work was like. And that’s what he did for a while until they offered him to work every Saturday.  For the next 2 years, Gary would be found working at this salon.  And since then has gone on to work in salons in Liverpool, Wrexham and Bala. After 15 years he decided to go self employed.

Fast forward 6 years and here we are.

Gary, how did ‘Y Plas’ come about?  

I had been watching Coal House etc. on telly and always wondered what it would be like to do something like that.  Whilst watching telly one night I saw an advert on S4C looking for people to take part and thought it looked very interesting. I filled in an application form and sent it off and didn’t tell anyone, thinking I wouldn’t get chosen anyway. One evening I received a call which turned out to be an interview over the phone. A week later I got invited to go to an open day in Gregynog. It was a full on day of meeting the production crew and others who had been chosen to take part before the final number were selected.  We also had a go at all sorts of other activities, such as making baskets, skinning rabbits, making shelters etc.

Uchafi!  Skinning rabbits!  How did you cope with THAT?!

I decided to just get stuck in and just got on with it!  At the end of that day, I went home thinking I definitely won’t hear anything now. No one still knew that I had applied yet, either. Following this, I received a phone call asking if I would like to take part, obviously I said yes, and I was sworn to secrecy and not allowed to say anything to anyone and was only allowed to tell close family because s4c wanted to announce it all.  And then in September 2013 we started filming and filmed for 3 weeks in total.

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Would you recommend it to anybody reading this in doing something similar?

Definitely yes! It’s a once in a lifetime experience. It’s an experience I can’t explain, really.  And that is what I enjoyed about it the most, the uniqueness of it all.

Did you learn anything from your experience? 

One thing I did learn is that we fill our heads with too much stimulation and online stuff i.e. our iphones, facebook, twitter etc. When I’m home it takes me ages to get to sleep, but during my time at ‘Y Plas’ I slept so much better as I wasn’t ‘online’ or on my ipad etc during the evening. Even though I played the part of a servant, it seemed like a much easier life.

And has this stayed with you?  Do you switch from it all now?

*Laughs*…No! When I got home, the first thing I did was switch the kettle on and I realised just how easy it was to simply heat up some water, whereas there, it took ages to boil some water!

Are you still in touch with those you were there with?

Yes.  As soon as we finished filming we were in touch a lot, but not so much now.  I’m still in touch with them, we just don’t talk as often as we did at first.

Doing ‘Y Plas’ has given you other opportunities as well hasn’t it?

When I arrived home I was like, that’s it!  I did that, back to normal now.  Let’s cut some hair!  I just did it for the experience and to be myself throughout it all.  Then one evening, I got a call from BBC Radio Cymru offering me a slot on the radio where people call in with their hair problems or queries and I would give them advice.  One slot turned into a monthly slot and I did 3 in total. I’m still on the radio too, in a way. Every Thursday morning you can listen to ‘Becca Bingo’, which is a comedy series about ‘Becca’ and her friends and there is a character called ‘Gary Gwallt’ on there, based on myself.

I’ve also been on ‘Prynhawn Da’ where I discussed my experience on ‘Y Plas’.    I also write a column for ‘Y Cyfnod’, which is a new field to me.  I’m enjoying the chance to write about things that interest me and could be of interest to others.

And you’ve just been filming in Cardiff too, haven’t you?  Tell us about that.

I have!  I’ve been working on a programme for Stwnsh called ‘Sbyty Hospital’.  A hilarious programme, it’s not acting as such, just a load of actors having a laugh and putting together a sketch show. It was very surreal meeting all these actors who have been on the telly for ages and I’m there with them working on this show!

And this is all from doing ‘Y Plas’?

Yes! Everything out of this has just snowballed and has been so positive. Sometimes, you’ve just got to say yes to all of these opportunities that come your way. For me, ‘Y Plas’ was a way to get away from it all, the rushing around etc. It sounds really cliché, but I did just want to get away, do something different…and time to just to get to know myself, I suppose. And that may be it now, nothing else might not come my way. But at least I can say I’ve done and had a go at what was offered to me. Life is too short to sit back and think about these opportunities, you’ve just got to grab them and go with the ride…and what a ride it has been!

Plus, if it wasn’t for all of this, I wouldn’t have found myself in Vivienne Westwood’s shop, buying myself a great big belt! Now that was an experience I definitely plan on repeating!

a few things that make me happy

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:: muddy knees

:: dancing

:: proper  homemade chicken gravy

:: hearing a song that you absolutely love and haven’t heard in ages so that when it comes on, you stop EVERYTHING that you are doing

:: homeland…although this makes me slightly confused and I don’t breathe for the whole time that it is on…but i’m happy that it’s back

:: alfie and his love for Friends!  Ross is his favourite!

:: Stevi on xfactor

:: squishy babies

:: …and when Paul is holding one my insides go C R A Z Y.

:: ed sheran’s ‘thinking out loud’ video.

:: robb surviving his first bala fair experience with his friends.  I may have clock watched for the whole time…and that 8 o’clock bus took f o r e v e r to get in to Llan.

:: george ezra’s album.

:: a face mask.

:: this bag!  It’s not only real leather but it looks good, feels good and is just the right size!  I can fit my purse, phone and now my camera in it too…not forgetting 3 different varieties of mascara’s.  I tend to wear it without the detachable strap for work, as it feels that little bit more grown up that way, and then the strap comes in handy at the weekend when I’m out and about with Paul and the bois.  Yes, this bag makes me very happy.

What’s making you happy?

Serious face : I was kindly sent this bag by the lovely people at J D Williams.  All words and thoughts are my own, now including this lovely bag!

Halloween Hair {…or that time I looked like Tina Turner on acid…}

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BOO!

Fancy a fun afternoon?  Get Gary round, put a bit of a spread on and let him do whatever he likes to your hair.  Ooooorr, even better, I’ll do the above and share with you the hilarious results!  And a bit of a how-to.  Because Halloween isn’t just for the kids, bobl bach.  Oh no.

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“Omaigod! Ti’n edrych fel Tina Turner on Acid!” – a highlight of my week, for sure! haa!

I painted my face using white and black eyeliner, red lipstick and blusher.  Easy as.  I did this last year and I think false eyelashes did finish it off better, unfortunately, I haven’t got any on here.

To do my hair, Gary folded strips of hair in aluminium foil, folded them over concertina-style and using flat irons, clamped the foiled sections for around 15 seconds.  He did this until all of my hair was done.   A good blast of hairspray before Gary then backcombed the life out of my hair!  And then some more.  For my fringe, he curled it under very tightly, using the flat irons.  And then finish it off with all the hairspray.  All the hairspray.

The second look was a bit ‘Downton Abbey-style’…well, I took Gary’s word for it as I have never watched the programme!  *insert dirty looks from Cai here*

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We decided to just emphasise the eyes a bit more here…and I obviously need a bit of practice in perfecting the cat eye look…anyway, I was more in love with my hair!  Here, Gary backcombed the front of my hair and pinned it all back.  He finished it off with a strip of talc which you can see in the photo below.

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…as well as the main man himself, Gary Gwallt!

We both agreed that this would look great with one of those big, high neck gowns…anyone know where I can get one?!

A huge thanks to Gary for coming over and helping me out here.  Gary, ti’n bloody star!

{There really was a lot of hairspray used.  At one point Rolly {the dog} had his head sticking out of the cat flap to get some fresh air!}

What do you think?  Would you try any of these looks?  We’d love to know.

…if you’re nice, Gary might come back and give us some ideas for Christmas and New Year parties!..

42 / 52 {When we met Billy Amos}

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Robb & Alfie | You’d both discussed how you were going to just play with Harry when we got to Matty and Katy’s, so that he didn’t feel left out.  Probably because you knew I’d just want to squish Billy.  Good team work there bois, good team work :)

Harry was being the cutest big brother and helping out.  And Billy.  Ooh Billy.  9lbs of cheeks right there, if ever I saw some.

Love you Lowe Boys.

“a portrait of the bois bach, every week, in 2014″

Bois bach, de chi werth y byd  xxx

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“There’s this girl…”

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“What’s happened to your eye, Alf?”

“Oh, I just banged my head against Emily’s head in school, today.”

“Oh.  How did that happen, then?”

“It was an accident.  We just bumped heads, that’s all.”

From another room comes “ooooOOOoooh! Is she your GUUUUURLFRIEND?!!!”

*shrugs his shoulders* “I wouldn’t mind, but she hasn’t mentioned it yet…”

I.  KNOW.

Apologies for any heartache caused to those of you reading this ;)

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{the above photo has nothing to do with this post, other than it was one of the photos I took last night.  If I had taken a photo of Alf as he was saying it, you would have either got Alf butt naked in the bath, me just got out of the bath with no make up on {which is a frightful sight, paul will tell you} or Robb coming in to the bathroom with his tablet, hoping to get on the loo for half an hour.}

41 / 52

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Robb | You went to watch Wales play football this week and came home with this horn.  One guess to how we were woken up the following morning…

This year I have noticed a change in your attitude towards homework, which pleases me no end.  Now if we could only sort out the whole ‘socks-found-in-and-under-your-bed’ saga…

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Alfie | “Mam!  I forgot to put some pants on today!  Wanna see?!”

If there are somebody’s eyes that i lose myself in…it’s yours, Alf.  Always.  A lot of the time, they tell the story all themselves.  I’ve stared at this photo for longer than I wish to admit.

“a portrait of the bois bach, every week, in 2014″

Bois bach, de chi werth y byd  xxx

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