COFFEE MORNING: Last week I mentioned the coffee morning at the Red Cross building in Trosnant, but the details that I had been given were a little thin on the ground, so I prevailed on Phil Smith, the secretary of the Aneurin Bevan Court Residents' Association, to let me have more details of the event.

It seems that they have now combined with Bedwas Comprehensive School, who are sending two teachers and up to ten pupils who will perform a sketch on Fairtrade before the opening of the coffee morning.

Phil also added that they have invited dignitaries from Melin Homes, who own the Court, and also their local councillors.

The entry charge has been agreed as a nominal amount of 50p, and this will include a cup of tea, Fairtrade, of course, and a biscuit.

STAVE ORGAN CLUB: I received a letter from Nigel Scriven, the vice-chairman of the Stave Organ and Keyboard Club, about a concert to be given at the RAFA Club, in Cwmbran, by DirkJan Ranzijn, on Wednesday, February 27.

Unfortunately, it reached me too late to submit for last week's Grassroots, which was a great pity, as I saw the man they call the Dutch Showman a year or so ago, and his playing was absolutely fabulous.

He is one of the few organists to present a musical show with stage lighting and other effects complementing his music.

The Stave Organ Club was formed over twenty years ago by a number of people with a shared interest in keyboards and the electronic organ.

The club meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month, at the RAFA Club, in Forgehammer, Cwmbran.

They have their own car park and licensed bar, which is open to members and visitors. Some of the evenings are "Club Nights", when members and visitors get together to chat, exchange ideas and music and help one another with musical problems, and have a chance to play for one another.

Players of varying ability are attracted, so you are sure to fit in.

They are very fortunate in that they have their own Technics GA3 at the club.

Members also regularly bring along their own keyboards (and sometimes organs) for others to try out. However, you don't have to be able to play to be a member of the club, and you are not expected to "give us a tune," unless you want to.

They also organise concerts featuring the best of professional musicians for members and visitors to enjoy.

Already booked for this year are: Paul Carman, on Wednesday, April 9; Ian Griffin, on June 11; Chiho Sunamoto, on August 13; Phil Brown, on September 24, and on Wednesday, November 12, they are holding a Charity Concert, given by Nigel Scriven.

The cost of annual membership for 2008 is £20 per person, and £1 is then payable for entry to the Concert Nights. Club nights are free.

Those joining after July 1 need only pay £10. Tickets for concerts are available on the door on each evening at £5 each, while RAFA club members, with their current RAFA membership card, are charged £3 - The first visit to a Club Night is free, thereafter, the charge is £1.50.

If you are interested in organ music, or music of any sort, the Concert Nights would certainly give you great pleasure.

LITTER SHAME: Some years ago I wrote an article for Grassroots about a New Zealand couple called Jonathan and Lee Tanner, who were living in Pontypool at the time.

They were both qualified solicitors, and they had come to Great Britain both for the experience and to further their professional careers.

He was a prop forward, and had played for a team in the London area, and had then came to play for Pontypool. They were well looked after by Terry Simons and his wife, Jane, and were found a flat in Pontnewynydd.

They have now returned to New Zealand, where they have set up their own business.

I remember asking the two Tanners what had been their main impression of the United Kingdom.

They both agreed that they just could not believe the amount of litter that lay around in the streets, not just in Pontypool, but in all the other parts of the country that they had visited.

I have gone on tour with rugby teams to New Zealand on two occasions, and it is rare to see litter or graffiti in the towns there.

There are articles in their newspapers decrying the amount of rubbish that is left around the place, but to me, used to the rubbish that lines our streets, the place looked very tidy.

I am often in the Pontypool town centre during the lunch hour, when there are gangs of boys parading the streets.

They are all eating convenience foods (so much for the emphasis on healthy food consumption to be taught in schools), but it is the way that they dispose of the wrappers or containers that intrigues me.

These are supposedly educated boys, who know all about the difficulties of keeping the planet in order, yet they just drop chip papers and drinks cans on the ground when they have finished with them.

This habit also applies to older people too.

I saw a man who had just bought a packet of cigarettes, and he tore off the wrapping and just dropped it on the floor.

It was only a flimsy piece of transparent paper, and it would not have been much trouble to have put it in his pocket, or into one of the many convenient waste bins that are around the town.

We are fortunate that we have the popular town character Keith and his fellow roadsweepers (although I would think that they would have a grander title nowadays) who wage a constant un-winable war picking up the rubbish people drop in the town centre.

This subject came back to me when I was taking a friend to Newport railway station recently.

Down as far as Burtons' biscuits the sides of the road were no more littered than one expects nowadays, but as soon as we entered the new dual carriageways, the picture changed completely.

On each side of the roads there were piles of paper and large sheets of plastic stuck up on the trees and bushes.

I am not sure whether the roads are in the Torfaen or Newport area, but it is obvious that neither of them take any responsibility for keeping the verges clear of rubbish.

It is rather like a "No Man's Land" between the two, but the effect on people entering Gwent must be horrific.

It is obvious that that amount of litter has not just accumulated in a period of weeks or even months.

It must have been that when the roads were built, there was no question of any authority being made responsible for caring for the grass verges, and the present situation has been allowed to grow.

THE GWANWYN FESTIVAL: In May 2007 the first Gwanwyn Festival of Arts for older people was held, and it was a great success - Over 100 events were held throughout Wales.

These included classical and big band music concerts, writing and poetry events, arts and crafts exhibitions and a variety of events which showed the people of Wales just what artistic and creative older citizens can do . . . and how much fun they have doing it.

West End star, Peter Karrie is launching a new concept in entertainment, called "The Afternoon Show."

Do you want to appear in the Afternoon Show, or would you like to take part in "In The Spotlight"? This is an opportunity for any member of the audience to get up and show what they can do.

Just think, a chance to share a stage with the star of Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables, and be a part of a professional production.

This show is coming to a venue near you, so for more details visit the Afternoon Show website, on or ring Anne Keeling, at 02920 597 954.

WRITING POETRY AND PROSE: For this festival, Age Concern Cymru hopes to encourage older people to write in poetry, prose or other format on the theme of "Looking at Life As We See It."

This part of the Festival intends to focus on older people's views of life in 2008. In particular, it is hoped to involve those with a sedentary or restricted lifestyle (perhaps through disability of other mobility issues), those in a residential or other sheltered setting, or those suffering from social isolation or exclusion.

There are many older people for whom writing in prose, poetry or diary form is a solace and/or pleasure.

Gwanwyn intends to provide an outlet for this writing through publishing these writings in written and audio format through their web site, to be developed in the format of an internet radio programme and by publishing selected items in book or audio CD format.

It will be seen that there is an oral basis to this project and this is intentional.

The organisers hope to encourage participants to write with the intention of their work being read aloud in public, either by themselves or others.

Entries should be in by March 18, no more than 500 words and should be on the subject of "Life As Older People See It In 2008." They can be sent via e-mail to philip.Thomas@ or submit it on double spaced A4 paper to: "Looking over the Hill", c/o Philip Thomas - Age Concern Cymru, Ty John Pathy, 13/14 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff, CF24 5PJ.

EVER WANTED TO MAKE A FILM?: "Striking Attitudes" is a total theatre and dance company, who for the past five years have been working with older dancers, between the ages of 45 and 75.

For this year's Gwanwyn Festival they will be making a short film and documentary celebrating the older dancer - some who have been dancing professionally for many years and others who may never have danced in their lives before.

With outside support, Striking Attitudes is creating the opportunity for film-making novices to learn and join in with the making of this film.

Filming will take place on location in South Wales during the weekends of March 15th and 16th, 29th and 30th and April 5th and 6th.

If you are over 55 years of age, send a short explanation of why you would like to take part (no more than 100 words) to Anne Keeling at anne@annekeeling. or by post to Anne Keeling Striking Attitudes, 17, Rectory Close, Wenvoe, Cardiff, CF56AQ.