1. Taking that “big idea” to the next level

    Mention the word entrepreneur to anyone and they’ll most likely think of millionnaires and members of the BBC Dragon’s Den television programme.

    But how far from the truth could they be. Look up the word in the dictionary (Oxford). Entrepreneur: Person who who organizes a commercial undertaking.

    So no mention of financial means or wealth.

    And that’s just my point. To be an entrepreneur you just have to have the idea for a commercial enterprise or be able to support an existing business that could benefit from your skills, such as mentoring. So you don’t have to have millions in the bank. You just have to have the idea and inspiration to succeed.

    This week the Welsh Government-backed Big Ideas Wales campaign launched the second Big Ideas Wales Challenge. Aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds, the Challenge has already proved itself just eight months into the first Challenge, with 28 young people starting or about to start their own business.

    The second Challenge takes it to another level, offering 50 prized places for young people to be fast-tracked into a bootcamp and offered advice and mentoring from some of Wales’ top entrepreneurs. All they have to have is a business that was formed in 2014 or be about to launch one.

    This is a great opportinity for young people throughout Wales to receive a level of help that many entrepreneurs who have been there and done it could only have wished for in past years.

    I’m pleased to be involved in the Big Ideas Wales campaign, promoting individuals, role models and the Challenge itself. It’s inspirational to see young people geting to grips with their “big ideas.” And I’m sure amny of these will be household names in years to come.

    If you are aged between 16-24 years of age or know somebody that is and has started their own business with growth potential or is about to launch one, visit www.bigideaswales.com for more details. Applications are open and audition will be held in December before a bootcamp for 50 successful young entrepreneurs is held in Wales.

    Caption: Some of the Big Ides Wales young entrepreneurs with James Taylor, Group Chief Executive of SuperStars and Big Ideas Wales Challenge Ambassador. Photo by Roger Donovan, Cardiff.

     
  2. This is Carno Railway Station in Montgomeryshire, Powys. It closed in the 1960s as part of Beeching’s railway cuts and closures.

    But in the 1970s and 80s it became part of a global headquarters centred here in rural Wales. And the company? Laura Ashley.

    Unfortunately, in the 1990s the company decided to relocate its headquarters and design operation from the area where the business was formed in the 1960s by Laura and Bernard Ashley, to Bagleys Lane in London, where it remains today.

    Elements of the Carno site were maintained, with curtains and other garments manufactured here until the early 2000s.

    However, it closed and remains up for sale. The legacy of Laura Ashley has almost vanished completely from this area, other than a distribution centre and wall paper facility (Texplan) in nearby Newtown.

    The site remains empty and decaying, sat alongside the Cambrian Railway Line which still operates between Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth.

     
  3. When it comes to photography I really don’t like taking set up shots. There’s something about a photo taken on the spur of the moment or at a moment in time that captures a unique image.

    Friends often ask me to take a photo. Quite often it’s at a gathering and a groups of family or friends. These are great for posterity, but they just don’t inspire me - no offence everyone.

    I much prefer to stop the car when I see a physical image outside that captures my imagination and the potential for a photo. Much the same when I’m with friends and family. I prefer to take shots that they’re not expecting. These are much more relaxed and interesting.

    This is one taken on the iPhone 5s. A moment in time on the tube. In fact, there had been a fire on the line and we were seeking an alternative way to get the AB Finals at the O2 in Greenwich.

    But from the man sat on the left who was contemplating for a few moments, to the two girls looking at the map and the older gentleman with his bag in the distance. These are all individuals going about their business that intrigue me. Who are they? What are they doing? Where are they going? These are all questions a photograph should ask the viewer.

     
  4. For a number of reasons we escaped the floods and high winds battering the UK at the end of December to embark on a little adventure in Egypt.

    One of the great things about Sharm El Sheik in Egypt is the amazing coastal waters with stunning coral, fishes and natural life.

    It was also a time to escape from 2013 and look forward to what will hopefully be a great 2014.

    Here are just a few photographs from our diving adventures.

     
  5. We’ve experienced some really wild rather over the past week, from heavy rain to high winds; temperatures in the teens to below 5 degrees.

    But one thing the weather makes you realise is just how amazing the place where we live is. Having been born and brought up in Montgomeryshire we are almost naturally immune to the majestic landscape, rolling hills and lush countryside.

    Each day we drive through stunning valleys and down winding roads, but most of the time we completely ignore the view we have because it’s a view we see each and every day.

    It’s only when a visiting friend of holidaymaker tells you what an amazing place you live and how lucky you are that you et your head out of the ground and take a look, realising that they are so right.

    I sit here in my office looking out towards our week every day, just as I am now writing this post. But it’s only occasionally that I actually sit and look and think “this is an amazing view.”

    Two weeks ago I was driving between the neighbouring hamlet and the next town when I looked out from the car across the valley and saw this amazing view. This is just the reason I carry a camera with me whenever – and not just the phone camera.

    The view looks out towards the neighbouring hills across the Severn Valley. It was just as a storm was brewing and whole there was plenty of light, the moody clouds were moving in.

    Photo: ©OwainBetts

     
  6. Could these vines be that dangerous?

     
  7. We’re always told not to play chicken with cars in the street. But what about chess? This shot was taken on the iPhone in Jesus Pobre, a quiet village near Javea and Denia, Spain.

     
  8. This is Montgo looking towards Javea over the period of an hour and a half. Not a perfect video, but an amazing end to the day.

     
     
  9. We headed out to Javea Port yesterday to see what was happening. It’s a short journey from our usual base near Montgo mountain.

    The port area is great for chilling out and people watching along the front and the nearby beach bars provide a great place for a chilled beer while taking in the local atmosphere.

    Another good aspect to the area is the abundance of water sports. This is one of the local windsurfing and kayaking schools.

    Tomorrow we’re heading back to the port for a spot of scuba diving. More to follow.

    The photo is a HDR image taken without a tripod.

     
  10. Apparently time waits for no one. And that’s certainly the case when you’re in a meeting.

    Thankfully we couldn’t over run in this meeting with the time firmly in our faces.

    I’ll have to start carrying around a big clock.