Tourist Trap: New York, New York.

Tourist Trap

What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?

Tourist Trap

Photographs all my own unless otherwise stated.

“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” Tom Wolfe

“If London is a watercolor, New York is an oil painting.”  Peter Shaffer

I love New York City, Manhattan the place where dreams are made off. Walk down the gridded streets and avenues and watch the world pass before you. The hustle and bustle, everybody rushing around except the tourists who linger and gaze in wonder at the spectacle before their eyes. The noise, which is on times deafening, the continual sound of car horns and taxi cab madness. The vibe that unique NYC vibe. The culture. The vibrant buzz of a life you have never lived or witnessed before.

New York, what can I say? from the first time I looked out of my Continental Airlines 747 window as we approached Newark Airport I fell in love. It was September on that occasion and a lovely if chilly sunny day. I walked with my eldest daughter into the airport and practically died from excitement when we passed the  ”Welcome to the United States of America” sign.


My first encounter with a living breathing New Yorker was the hot guy called ‘Derek’ who was on passport control at Newark Airport and who flirted delightfully with the two British blondes in front of him. A great welcome indeed.

We travelled by car the first time from New Jersey into Manhattan and the sight as we arrived took my breath away, for there in my eye’s view was the Empire State Building in the distance and I thought I was in heaven, then finally we turned onto 8th Avenue & 34th Street and I remember looking out of the cab window and gazing up at the New Yorker Hotel to the right of us thinking ”Wow! that’s iconic” that moment has always stayed in my mind.

photo my own

Times Square I admit is best avoided after you have done the first visit, it’s a typical tourist trap but actually at night-time its mind blowing..I love to sit alone at the top of the red steps and watch the world go by. It fascinates me. But in the daytime Times Square as I say is best avoided. New Yorker’s do not go there..they just pass through quickly on the commute to work.

My daughter loves Greenwich Village and yes there is something fabulous about it. Even John Lennon wished he had been born there,get me an apartment with a stoop outside so I can pretend to be Carrie Bradshaw! 

I personally adore Little Italy, Heaven on earth for me is fresh Cannoli in Little Italy surrounded by the mafia ‘Tony Soprano’ types…I love that vibe.( but then I was always a bit odd!) 

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If you have not eaten Cannoli you have not lived. Come with me to Ferrara Bakery and Cafe between Mott and Mulberry and join me with a plate of their famous, irresistible to die for Cannoli, filled with ricotta cream and chocolate chip or maybe indulge in Chocolate Dipped Cannoli, (choccy dipped crispy tube , with ricotta cream and chocolate chips) accompanied by one of their flavoured cappuccino of the day or if its past lunchtime  live wildly and try their Italian ‘Black Tie’ which is a double espresso, with black Sambucu and whipped cream.


I often wonder if I am the only woman on the planet to find the New Jersey Transit train exciting? To be thrilled at trundling through Penn Station with the masses and literally finding that amazing? Am I also the only women who loves the New York subway in general? Very probably.

I love Central Park so much I think I should be allowed to pitch a tent permanently there so I can sit and happily live my days in a world of wonder,in fact my tent should be by Alice in Wonderland don’t you think?  But am I Alice or the Mad Hatter is the question? When I die I want a bench in my name, it shall be written in my will.

Walk with me to Magnolia Bakery on 6th Ave  for cupcakes.

Lets go for lunch to The City Bakery on West 18th Street moments from 5th Avenue  ( grilled cheese to die for!)

There is one neighbourhood I have yet to have a good adventure in and that’s Brooklyn…but the day shall dawn..countdown to my next visit!

In New York City nobody knows me or knows my history, my failings, my insecurities,  my over thinking, my extremly sensitive bursts into tears over anything self.  In New York I am one of many, walking through the streets, looking up at the skyscrapers, sitting in Bryant Park or passing by the Met. I am one of  the dreamers gazing into the Windows of Tiffany’s on 5th or hoping Donald Trump will walk out of Trump Towers and see I am the future of his empire!

In New York City I am one of thousands lost in the City of Dreams.

New York I miss you.

Native New Yorkers I adore you and I will return to you soon.

Love from the Welsh Tourist who longs to be a citizen of the greatest city on this planet.

New York New good they named it twice.


Time for a serious little chat

Every 3 minutes somebody is diagnosed with Diabetes

3.8 million people in the UK already have it ( 10% suffer from Type 1)

A staggering 7 million people are at a high risk of developing Type 2.

Diabetes can happen to anyone at anytime without warning and the effects can be devastating.

Today I would like to discuss Diabetes with you and This is a UK based charity which offers support and advice to suffers and their families and equally as importantly they help fund the pioneering research into this growing incurable condition.The charity works alongside healthcare professionals, where together they strive to find a cure, for suffers worldwide. is the largest UK charitable funder of research,

Consider if you will these few things that may open your eyes to diabetes and its many problems. Can you imagine living everyday of your life with the worry of longterm complications, which amongst many other things include:

Complications leading to blindness.

Losing a limb.

Losing two limbs.

Diabetic pregnant women with the worry of possible birth defects in their newborn child.

Suffer a stroke.

10% more likely to have a heart attack than a non diabetic who has already had one attack!

Sugar induced coma.

Low blood sugar induced coma.

Possible early death from any of the above.

Add to that:

The daily jab of injection needles ( from 4 to 6 a day)

Lantus insulin ( bedtime insulin) image my own

Lantus insulin ( bedtime insulin)
image my own

The constant daily finger pricking to test blood sugar levels throughout the day and night, so much so that the skin on the finger tips turn hard like little pads.

Blood glucose glucometer image my own

Blood glucose glucometer
image my own

The threat of dangerously low blood sugars or dangerously high blood sugars. Having to spend your hours playing a juggling act with Insulin and food.

Never leaving the house, not even for a short walk with your dog without carrying supplies, such as glucose drink or sweets, Insulin and glucometer because exercise can drop the blood sugars very quickly and dangerously. A ‘no bag’ situation does not exist for Diabetics, especially Type 1 suffers.

Being too self conscious to wear a swimsuit on the beach or expose your stomach, due to the unsightly large lumps under the skin of your stomach due to the numerous daily Insulin injections, alongside the regular bruises that cause people to stare and cause extreme embarrassment.

Diabetic Insulin bruses Image my own

Diabetic Insulin bruses
Image my own

I was 17 years old when I was diagnosed with Type 1 and now at 50 years old I count my lucky stars to be here and writing this blog as I have seen 2 of my closest Diabetic friends that I grew up and went to clinic in the hospital with die at 32 and 45 years respectively. I have had 2 healthy children and I thank god to be alive with a great NHS support team. We are so lucky as here in Wales all our Insulin and medication is free and that is wonderful as we Diabetics use a lot of medication especially the blood glucose testing strips.

The National Health Service is one of th UK’s national treasures.

prescription image my own

image my own

The old glass syringes and sterilizing needles days are long gone now and they are replaced by a nifty insulin pen, which is small enough to carry in my bag.

Novorapid insulin and glucometer

Novorapid insulin and glucometer

The arrival in the mid 80’s of the blood sugar testing glucometer has made our lives 100% better and safer .

glucometer image my own

image my own

I can now self medicate and the freedom which was not there in the early 1980’s is greatly improved and our lives are much better and a lot of it is all due to the research by the charity 

Insulin Image my own

Image my own

I will round this off by saying to you all, the next time you are asked to support a charity please consider as I am sure if you are not a Diabetic yourself, you definitely know somebody who is. This autoimmune condition is growing at a fast rate and there is as yet no cure and research is needed. I ask not for my older age group but for my children, for your children and all our future grandchildren, so they can live a life free of worry and free of disease. 

Thank you for listening.

Sugar xoxo

Fireside Chat: Elvis Aaron Presley and I

Fireside Chat

What person whom you don’t know very well in real life — it could be a blogger whose writing you enjoy, a friend you just recently made, etc. — would you like to have over for a long chat in which they tell you their life story?

Fireside Chat

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Elvis Aaron Presley and I would sit beside a roaring fire, with a nice cup of tea and he would look at me gently and I would ask him this question:

‘What really happened Elvis? What is the true story of your life?’

And Elvis would describe to me all about the poverty and hardship during his childhood. He would tell me how his meteoric rise to fame was a little too much for a young country boy to comprehend.

Elvis would tell me what spiritual books he read and his thoughts on the esoteric writings and how nowadays nobody would think twice about it or be perplexed by his search for the meaning of his life. He would tell me how it felt to be so misunderstood spiritually.

Elvis would then take me on the journey through the Hollywood years to the Vegas years and he would tell me the truth not the tabloid myths we are all led to believe.

Elvis would express to me his love for his daughter Lisa Marie and explain what really went wrong with his marriage to Priscilla.

Elvis would clear the veils of illusion and shed light upon his illnesses so badly misinformed to the masses by the press and he would look into my eyes with his own beautiful blue orbs and say this to me:

‘Now you have heard my story from my birth in 1935 to 1976, please put another log upon the fire and I will for the first time ever since I joined my heavenly father explain to you what really happened in 1977 and that fateful August 16th day’

And I then by the fireside I will finally know his story.

Just Elvis Aaron Presley and I.


Is this the end of the line?

Mary Pickford writing at a desk ~ I have this image on my desktopImage pinterest

This is a short and sweet post. 

Today I am asking you out there a rhetorical question, there is no need to reply I am just putting this out into the void.

Two days ago I wrote a post here on ‘Sugar’ ( which is a rarity these days) it was heartfelt and very personal and as always seems the way this past six months, this latest blog post despite me having over 350 followers and what ‘used’ to have a good reputation has had only two likes and very little traffic. ( once upon a time my traffic was so busy I could not keep up with the notifications.)

Later that evening I wrote exactly the same post again, I copied and pasted it so it was an exact copy and I published it on my other blog site here on WordPress, which is relatively new and only has 70 followers as it’s still in the baby phase and yet this time the post had loads of traffic and so far eight likes and a few shares.

My question is this:

Why has ‘Sugar’ died in popularity?

I stopped writing as often here because it’s soul-destroying to see your hard work ignored and yet my new established blog with exactly the same post gets more action. In fact anything that I write on the new site gets a lot of traffic.

It’s very confusing as ‘Sugar’ is nearly 3 years old and well established and yet nobody seems to like her anymore.

On that note I send this question as I said into the void and ask the universe this:

‘What has Sugar done that is so wrong?’

Sadly as with the WordPress readers, I doubt even the universe will even notice this post. How sad it is that my alter ego seems to have come to an unloved end.


Great way to create paranoia...Some of you should be flattered. Some of you should be worried.Image Pinterest

Audience of One: Dearest Pats.

Audience of One

Picture the one person in the world you really wish were reading your blog. Write her or him a letter.

Audience of One

Glamorous beauty salon  #1940's #vintagefashion. #fashion #style #vintage #vintageglamour


Dearest Pats,


Its your mobile phone letting you know you have an email.

Your reaching for your phone now, I can sense it and there in your inbox is my latest blog update, you know from the title it’s about you and so you take a breath, I can feel it vibrating though your body. you gently place your new un creased issue of Tatler beside you, take a sip of your white wine and click ‘open’

Hello Pats,

Yes its me and this is a letter to you.

We met on a cloudy afternoon at a damp bus stop outside college in 1980, dressed in our appalling eighties outfits and as different as chalk and cheese, but my rather blunt chalk matched your vibrantly strong and powerful cheese well. We didn’t need a cheese board and we didn’t need crackers, we were simply perfect alone.

We didn’t need anyone else, we only needed each other.

Best friends.

You and I. 

Its now 2015 and our bus stops have become nice cars and our outfits have become a blue Jean world for me and a Louis Vuitton wonder for you, your cheese is now continental and my chalk is now a strong indelible marker pen. 

Four children between us, all girls.  Various husbands and partners,but the cords that bind hold us tight.

You and I.

In 1980 we did not need other friends. 

In 1990. we did not need other friends.

In 2000 we did not need other friends.

For 34 years we needed only acquaintances.

In 2014 your cheese  suddenly became an eclectic cheese board with added chutney and my marker pen was now a pencil-case full of felt pens all of which had dodgy ink and were not very reliable.

Your crackers tended to crumble and make a mess but you didn’t seem to mind but I hated the clutter and hastily swept in with my brush and tried to brush the crumbs under the carpet. But every day the carpet moved slightly and a crumb or two would pop out and set my OCD into overdrive.

You didn’t mind at all, blind to the debris, your eyes only saw a cracker barrel full of crisp tempting tastes. But I hate crackers and I got my maker pen and scribbled right across the cracker barrel label: ” for the rubbish bin’ I wrote .

The bin men failed to collect the rubbish that day.

You were annoyed I had scribbled over your new tin full of crispy morsels and I stood glorifying in my point being made transparent.

Point made.

Winner’s none.

But still we tell each other we love each other. a bond so strong its impossible to break.

The crackers still exist and I am on a diet, you my friend, will nibble cautiously knowing full well that too many crackers will give you indigestion.

We are like an old married couple.

You hate my felt pens and you find my marker pen annoying. 

I am irritated by the crackers but we both know my pencil-case is your home, quietly beside my pencil sharpener.

You’re taking another sip of wine now, thinking : ‘Jesus Ed you’re getting very metaphorical here, get a grip’

I carry on typing hoping you will understand.

Please ignore Richard for a moment and go back to that fateful day in September 1980

image google

image google

Early 1980′s standing at the college bus stop waiting to go home.

Ruth: ‘Alright ? I’m Ruth’

Me: ‘ I’m Ceri’

Ruth: ‘Wanna go for a bag of chips before the bus?’

Me: ‘Yeah ok’

We never parted company again.

About 1 year later..Hair and Beauty college competition

Me:  ‘Where the hell have you been? I have been up all night worried sick about you’

(We start to argue as teenagers do and throw hair curlers and brushes across hotel room at each other screaming and being drama queens and then we calm down)

Ruth: ‘I’m sorry, I fell off a tram pissed and woke up in a strange bath’  Classic!

Years and years later: Hospital Maternity ward and one of my proudest moments.

Ruth: ‘ Will you be my baby’s godmother?’

image my own

image my own

We are known to our family as Pats and Ed, yes just like the Ab Fab girls, we loved that series so much and identified with the characters a bit more than most people. Worrying isn’t it? But Ruth and I are Pats and Ed to each other and we don’t care what people think.

Through childbirth, nervous breakdowns, divorces, marriages ( a few between us) drunken antics, dancing on tables, falling down in the gutter crying with laughter, the many pop concerts, the pop star stalking, the diets, the wine and vodka.

For loving David Essex, Take That and Donny Osmond.

For our movie ‘Beaches’ .

For ‘Bridges of Madison County’ the book.

For the home hair bleach jobs where we sat topless out the garden in the 1980’s in the hot sun to make it ‘cook’ .  

For the ever ready suntan in the day’s when we did not worry about sun beds and skin dangers.

For having the same fellas, yep those affairs were duplicated ( not at the same time I hasten to we both can remember the name of and very fondly, but who was that that one in college ? his name escapes me!. (Oh and the one with the van with the Micky Rourke obsession!)

Our inappropriate behaviour and the many inappropriate men.

So what is all this about my cheese board and pen metaphor?

Pass the bolly Pats

Pass the bolly Pats

I admit I have unexplainable jealousy beyond my control, its unattractive and very immature, but those crackers will never know which chutney goes best with your continental rare cheese and they will never know which wine suits your flavour and will never understand how to keep your cheese from going stale or crumbling at the edges.

Fragments of stale crackers can if over indulged make my cheese taste sour.

Maybe my marker pen belongs in the  bottom drawer now put away and forgotten? but our hearts can not be hidden as easily though can they?

Despite our cheese board and colouring implements issues some things can never and will never change and I think you need to know something.

If I should die tomorrow, please always remember these words to you from me tonight.

image my own

image my own

You sparkle like dazzling diamonds in a clear moonlit sky on a frosty winters night.

You are effervescent like gentle bubbles in a glass of  Cristal champagne.

You are gentle like the pure white snow that falls gently like delicate angels feathers upon the unspoilt mountain top.

You are strong as an eagle flying with carefree abandon across the sapphire blue uncluttered sky.

You are as beautiful as opulent gemstones on a luxurious velvet cushion.

You are as wonderful as a new-born puppy so gentle and venerable and so very trusting in the hands of those who love you.

You are as tempestuous as a gale force wind that blows trees down with unbridled force.

You are as quiet as a newborn lamb in a stable with his mother.

You are as irreplaceable as a limb upon my old and battered body.

You are as vital to my being as my heart that beats in its fleshy home with strong and vibrant beats.

You are as necessary to me as the crimson blood that runs like a silent river through my veins.

You are the sister I never had.

You are my best friend.

Need I say more?


Pats and Ed

Pats and Ed

For the love of Dior and Louis Vuitton handbags ( you gave me my first one) I thank you,

For the hairdo’s in the kitchen, the sailors and leather mini skirts, Madness, The Specials and monkey boots and white tasselled cowboy boots and some very dodgy fashion statements.

For dancing like Adam Ant and your love of Howard of Take That and hatred of Robbie Williams ( you tries to forgive him now years later) your strange effect on Vinnie my Boxer Dog, and your little pug passion called Dexter.

For teaching me how to be glamorous if needed but I have never managed to be as glamorous as you.

For teaching me how to cheat at our joint Manicure Exam and pass with a distinction (shhhh !)

For me getting kicked out of college for being unruly and you staying there and going on to have an amazing career.

For us getting lost in Pontypridd and having a very strange adventure that day.

For being the first one I see when I open my eyes after a breast lump is removed in hospital and me collapsing laughing when though you were very ill as the sight of you walking across the hospital ward in her duck slippers still cracks me up 30 years later.

For being Scary Spice to my Ginger Spice.

For your love of sport and my hatred of anything that involves exercise.  

For your dear dad saying: ”you two wear me out, you two are trouble together”

For all of our partners we have had in life and not one of them trusting the two of us together.

For being a constant source of mother embarrassment  to our daughters and for tweeting constantly, oblivious to what others must think of our strange mad tweets to each other.

For our love of  ”Ab Fab”  and being known as the Ab Fab girls.

For being the keepers of each others deepest darkest secrets to the grave.

For simply being you:  

Kind, faithful,true,honest, loyal for loving me totally and  knowing me better than anyone else ever will.

For kicking me up the ass if needed.

For being my best friend.

For being my soul sister for being there these past few difficult weeks and making me laugh and forget my issues for a while and then both of us becoming emotional wreaks together.

For being Absolutely Fabulous.

I love you.

This post is not for the  its for my best friend Ruth after all without Pats what is Ed? 


2014 in review; The Sugar just flowed.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

How Facinating. I now feel ashamed for neglecting Sugar the past few months. I did smile when I saw my number one commenter :)

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 8,100 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.