Turning up the volume on action.

A personal highlight this week was speaking at the “Turning Up the Volume On Action” conference for Alzheimer’s Society Cymru at City Hall in Cardiff.

The week started normally over a coffee with Steve in Prestatyn, then my usual Monday lunch in Rhyl with friends who are going through a few things currently.

Finally closing with a Prestatyn in Bloom meeting in the evening.

Then I developed a very sore ankle, and I feared what was to follow. Emotionally this past week has been amazing for lots of reasons.

What a volume of emotions I have been through!

There are many different types of emotions that have an influence on how we live and interact with others. At times, it may seem like we are ruled by these emotions. The choices we make, the actions we take, and the perceptions we have are all influenced by the emotions we are experiencing at any given moment.

Psychologists have also tried to identify the different types of emotions that people experience. A few different theories have emerged to categorize and explain the emotions that people feel.

During the 1970s, psychologist Paul Eckman identified six basic emotions that he suggested were universally experienced in all human cultures.

The emotions he identified were:

  • Happiness,
  • Sadness,
  • Disgust,
  • Fear,
  • Surprise,
  • Anger.

He later expanded his list of basic emotions to include such things as pride, shame, embarrassment, and excitement. I have also had all of them this week.

So what has all of this got to do with turning up the volume ?

Let’s start with happiness. Naturally I was very happy and honoured to be invited by Alzheimers Society. To speak at their conference in Cardiff on the 7th March 2019.

 up volume
The start of the turn the volume up on action presentation.

I am very happy that we can promote the work going on in Prestatyn to such a wide audience.

While happiness is considered one of the basic human emotions. The things we think will create happiness are heavily influenced by culture.

For example, pop culture influences tend to emphasize that attaining certain things such as buying a home or having a high-paying job will result in happiness.

The realities of what actually contributes to happiness are often much more complex and more highly individualized.


A type of emotion often defined as a transient emotional state. Characterized by feelings of disappointment, grief, hopelessness, disinterest, and dampened mood. 

There are a number of reasons to be sad recently. I take strength that currently I can manage that sadness.

The truth is, we all deserve to be happy, no matter how we see ourselves.

“People don’t die from suicide, they die from sadness.”


When someone chooses to end their life, that choice is not what kills them. It’s the sadness that dwells within that has taken control. Depression, for instance, is an illness which takes away the willpower to live.

So when you get ready to judge someone for suicide or attempted suicide, please reconsider your stance on the topic.

I have and am about to undergo training to help understand more!


Fear is the emotional response to an immediate threat. We can also develop a similar reaction to anticipated threats or even our thoughts about potential dangers, and this is what we generally think of as anxiety. Social anxiety, for example, involves an anticipated fear of social situations.

Some people, (could I possibly be one?) on the other hand, actually seek out fear-provoking situations. Extreme sports and other thrills can be fear-inducing, but some people seem to thrive and even enjoy such feelings.

Repeated exposure to a fear object or situation can lead to familiarity and acclimation, which can reduce feelings of fear and anxiety.

This is the idea behind exposure therapy, in which people are gradually exposed to the things that frighten them in a controlled and safe manner. Eventually, feelings of fear begin to decrease.

I was really fearful on Tuesday that I would not be able to attend the conference on Thursday. It was a struggle to get out of bed due to a severe arthritis attack. I was upset to have to miss a social engagement in the evening. Something I had help arrange and was looking forward to.

On Wednesday the pain was still bad but I managed to get medical attention. I had to be up for 4am on Thursday so went to bed at 10pm on Wednesday not knowing what condition I would wake up in on the day of the event.

The fear that I would let somebody down kept me going. It also led to a warm debate between Jayne my wife and myself. More of that later, just consider What distinguishes stubbornness from determination?


This sense of revulsion can originate from a number of things, including an unpleasant taste, sight, or smell. Researchers believe that this emotion evolved as a reaction to foods that might be harmful or fatal. When people smell or taste foods that have gone bad, for example, disgust is a typical reaction.

I felt disgust this week and vented it on social media.

volume disgust

I was not disgusted with the homeless citizens, but disgusted that people are having to live this way for whatever reason.


Now then!

Anger can be a particularly powerful emotion characterized by feelings of hostility, agitation, frustration, and antagonism towards others.

Like fear, anger can play a part in your body’s fight or flight response. When a threat generates feelings of anger, you may be inclined to fend off the danger and protect yourself.

While anger is often thought of as a negative emotion, it can sometimes be a good thing. It can be constructive in helping clarify your needs in a relationship, and it can also motivate you to take action and find solutions to things that are bothering you.

turning up the volume anger.
Presenting at the conference moments after finding out we had just suffered a cyber attack on our online accounts.

I am not scared to admit that I have felt angry a few times this week. For what I guess could be considered major reasons. Thankfully with having lots of really positive things to focus on has helped me through that.


The biggest surprise this week was during our “debrief” in Cardiff was that the establishment were meeting in was once a cinema for porn movies.

You can only imagine the fun and laughter we had after that revelation.

turning up volume in Cardiff

Turn the TV volume up.

On Friday 5th March at 6:30pm on BBC Two. Prestatyn will be featured on the Britain in Bloom series.

The Morfa Gateway project is included please turn up the volume!

Prestatyn High School students being filmed by BBC
Filming with the BBC at The Morfa Gateway Project 2018

Stubbornness or Determination?

So back to the discussion taking place at 5am on Thursday as Jayne was driving me to the station.

“You are are One stubborn person” or words to that effect were said as I promised all would be fine, and I will look after myself.

My reply was “I am not stubborn I am determined”

So then with Four hours to fill on the journey, I run through my presentation timings. Next I look up Stubbornness and Determination.

  • Stubbornness is the unwillingness to change despite having good reason to do so.
  • Determination is the unwavering drive to accomplish something. 

Determination is what everyone who competes on the olympics and most sports have. Most people who get far in their field, have determination. You can’t get anywhere without determination.

Trying something over and over again, expecting different results, that is stubbornness.

The line between the two can be very greyish. It is just that determination is a positive attribute of anyone, stubbornness is not, it is very negative attribute.

Friday night arrives and over a couple of ciders I say to Jayne, “WOW what a week!”

“Oh and by the way I looked up Stubbornness and Determination. Her immediate reply was “I know you were determined to go, but were being stubborn towards me. Negotiation was not an option in your mind, that is being stubborn”

Arh OK, I think after a week of speaking alongside the First Minister, CEO’s, TV presenters, academics and good friends. Time to turn the volume back down.

Your loved ones keep you grounded. Maybe mum taught Jayne far too well.

I like to think mum would be proud of the way we are handling things.

Awareness raising is satisfying to me

Yesterday marked the end of the presentations and awareness events for 2018.

I said this about 6 weeks ago but have since spoken at Betsi Cadwaladr Health BoardDenbighshire County Council and Welsh Government. But all very much worth the effort to raise awareness of our efforts in Prestatyn.

Yesterday 27th November the Big Breakfast event at The Cookhouse, Prestatyn was brilliant.

Today we have a less busy day with the coffee pod bereavement group. So a slight breather.

With only 3 weeks of our volunteering year left at Artisans Collective a Community Hub at the Old Library Prestatyn . We will not be resting for long.  We have a number of exciting new projects to prepare. Also a number of meetings to hold.

Loneliness and Isolation.

I was privileged to speak a Welsh Government consultation event about the efforts of Artisans Collective, Prestatyn yesterday. Connected communities – Tackling loneliness and social isolation

You can find more about the consultation here

I recommend reading the easy read version of the consultation that can be downloaded below.

Raising Awareness in 2019 is already looking very exciting.

Our existing community groups keep on going from strength to strength. During 2019 we aim to continue building upon that. With a number of awareness events with project partners. 

Our first presentation in 2019 will be for our great friends at Kew Gardens – Grow Wild and Eden Communities in Bangor,  January Friday 18th.

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