Samsung Galaxy S2
The phone my daughter says I love more than her...

'Daddy, you love your phone more than you love me.' Mollie, aged six

This is the 350th post on Cwmbran Life and my six year old daughter's tongue in cheek (I hope) comment pretty much sums up the last year. Most of my blog posts are made from my Samsung SII so she is used to it being quickly pulled out for photos, video, audio and writing posts. Running a local blog on your own isn't easy but then again it hasn't meant I stopped being a dad.

It has just meant that my daughter has become used to being taken to unusual places like backstage at the Congress Theatre or not getting embarrassed as I start talking to a stranger on the London Underground. In fact as I'm writing this blog she just grabbed my phone and turned on the voice recorder. I asked her 'what are you doing' and she replied with this abrasive opening question in the style of Jeremy Paxman

'You're a loser…aren't you?'…'…he admitted it that he was a loser.'


I think that shows a healthy interest in news, storytelling and journalism. Click on the Audioboo play button below or click on this link here if you haven't got Flash to hear the full interview…

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Last week Cwmbran Life won the 'Best Community Blog' at the Wales Blog Awards. This was followed by a story in the South Wales Argus and the Western Mail. I showed Mollie the story in the Argus and she read it out. This was our conversation.

'Oooohh cool. Is the person who wrote that famous?'

'Well I don't think so but the journalist writes lots of stories and ones for the front page.'

'She must be famous then.'


South Wales Argus blog story

It made me smile and hopefully means she doesn't think I'm the worst dad in the world for running a blog about our hometown. I like how it took a mention in an actual newspaper that she held up to read out herself to make her think the award for Cwmbran Life was 'cool'. She even folded up the newspaper cutting and took it to school for 'show and tell.'

The awards night was brilliant. Thanks to Warwick Emanuel PR and Media Wales for organising everything and all the sponsors for supporting the event. Adrian Masters was a cracking host.

Judges' comments for Best Community Blog – Cwmbran Life

Cwmbran Life had everything we were looking for in a great community blog – details on upcoming local events, interesting local photographs, features on people from the town who have done interesting or inspirational things, nostalgia posts, charity appeals, links to other local blogs, and news from local sports clubs, schools, and cultural venues. Essentially, it is a fantastic reflection of all that is going on in Cwmbran, a great resource for the people who live there, and Ben’s passion for the town shines through. The judges were also impressed with his use of multimedia to tell community stories in different ways, with Audioboos, videos, and embedded Twitter debates adding an extra dimension to the blog.


Click here to see who picked up the other awards and click here to read the story on Talk About Local, the hyperlocal experts.

Cwmbran community blogger is the best in Wales

Caption-Cwmbran community blogger is the best in Wales

(L-R) ITV's Adrian Masters with winner of 'Best Community Blog' Ben Black from Cwmbran Life, presented by James Lewis of the Centre for Business and Social Action

I'm off now to take my daughter to her martial arts class…will she mind if I try and interview her coach?


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