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By Caroline Ryan
January 2006, Butetown
A digital story from Capture Wales

Caroline's Addiction

Caroline was just 16 when she first got addicted on a street corner by the arcade in Penarth in 1989.

"I got addicted on a street corner, by the arcade in Penarth to be honest. I think the year was 1989 or thereabouts, I was only sixteen, yes, sweet sixteen! A phone number and about a couple of weeks later I was hooked!

We travelled together me and my habit, island-hopped: Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, camping on Fuerteventura with Suzy dog. Sunny times, making friends and enjoying the island life. Snorkelling, swimming, surfing and boogie boarding...raving, dancing and staying up all night just to watch the sun rise. Such great times that seem just a lifetime away now.

1996 - a baby boy called Ben and back in Britain, homeless but happy. Got a council place and nappies and bottles takeover but I'm still addicted... now I always will be. Years pass and Ben started full-time school seems like I had to educate myself now too. Seven years later rough times, writing my dissertation and burning the midnight oil for deadlines, my habit helped me through all of this...always there to pick me up.

2004 and another baby boy, this one called Sam, cheeky monkey number two. Its nearly seventeen years since I got addicted...years go by so fast. We're both working now, building careers and our family together, I know that me and my addiction will continue to turn corners and grow old together...I love you Brad, you're the best habit a girl could have and you're something I'll never give up!"

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Do I have to?? I'm a lady! I'm 33 years of age and have two sons. I'm currently in my final year completing an art degree. I work as a Keyskills tutor at Immtech Ltd, where I also facilitate the Digilab for Canllaw. My favourite colour is red and I enjoy socializing! Is that enough?

What's your story about?
My addiction - a genuine love story! Aaaah!

Why did you choose to tell this particular story?
Beacuse I am the most unromantic person and this is my first romantic gesture I have made in years!!!

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
I enoyed the whole workshop very much.

Your comments

"What an inspiration, I myself am in a class in college and as part of my assignment I am to view some of the stories in which are posted on the BBC Wales site, and in doing so you have officially inspired me! At the end of the course we have to produce but just one final project, however, having already chosen my topic for my story, you have furthermore made me want to do one on my addiction as well! This story was very well done. I enjoyed it quite a bit! In particular I liked how you never once mentioned what your addiction was... always leaving the viewer to continue thinking about what your addiction was. Asking themselves questions and keeping the viewer involved. I also liked when you spoke of the "hard time" the music that was played, it did not overpower your story but rather added to the mood, and helped to understand the specific feelings that were engaged with the story. Very well done, and I look forward to creating my own story on my addiction." Chantel, Canada.

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