Heidi Rundle, UK

Hello there! How are you doing? Tell us more about yourself, your hobbies, personal life, interests.

Hello all I’m Heidi Rundle. I’m 23 and I live in Cardiff, a beautiful and magical city in South Wales, I live with my amazing mum and I’m an only child which can be lonely but I value my TLC time with my mum, as for hobbies I have a lot. I love to read romance novels such as Christine Feehan. I love photography, writing, pen palling, poetry, hand making cards and also with the help of my gran we make stationary together. I’m single and have been for a while unfortunately as I have some medical issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromylgia the list goes on but I make the best of my life 🙂 and try to stay positive and smiling. One of my interests is history. I love to learn about different countries and cultures, I also love Australia and am fascinated with uluru otherwise known as Ayres Rock, I’m also doing a photo journal on Cardiff for all my pen pals to see, I also love sending and receiving postcards and swapping and collecting many items, I love Disney such as Tinkerbelle and Hello Kitty am a child at heart my mum says.

If you have to describe yourself in only 5 words what would they be?

If i had to describe myself in 5 words would be: kind, loyal, warmhearted , quiet , shy.

Tell us something about your town, city or country.
Combining history with modernity, Cardiff has become one of the UK’s top tourist destinations, so now is the time to visit and discover the capital of Wales:
— The Romans settled in Cardiff in 55AD and built a military fort on the site of Cardiff Castle
— Cardiff became a city in 1905 and was crowned the capital of Wales in 1955
— Today, Cardiff has a population of 328,000 and attracts more than 12 million visitors a year
— Cardiff is one of the flattest cities in Britain and has more hours of sunlight than Milan
— The £1.8 billion Bay development of Cardiff – Europe’s largest waterfront regeneration project, and the £102m development of the new Wales Millennium Centre, have helped launch Cardiff into the top five most favoured travel and business destinations in the UK.
—Cardiff claimed the Men’s Health magazine award of ‘Best UK city 2004’, with the conclusion that the Welsh capital is a “young, friendly town jam-packed with a cosmopolitan crowd, all of whom have a spring in their step that seems to indicate they’re going somewhere fun.”
— After bidding for the title of European Capital of Culture 2008, Cardiff has been designated as a ‘Centre of Culture’. A status enhanced by the opening of the Wales Millennium Centre and the hosting of events such as the international Artes Mundi Prize at the National Museum Cardiff.
— Cardiff has been transformed into a sporting capital since the completion of the Millennium Stadium, hosting events such as the Six Nations, the FA Cup and the Wales Rally GB. Worldwide attention on Cardiff is set to increase further however, with the development of a £700 million sports village, featuring a snow dome and Olympic size pool, and events such as the Ryder Cup in 2010.
— Cardiff’s status as a top 10 UK retail destination is bolstered by a new £675 million St David’s 2 shopping development in the city centre, which is home to the largest John Lewis Store outside of London as well as dozens of new stores and a Mediterranean style plaza.
— Cardiff has been designated as the world’s first Fair Trade Capital – encouraging ethical trading and fair prices for producers in third world countries.


What are your favorite places to visit in Cardiff?
There are many beautiful places to visit in Cardiff but my three most favorite ones are: St. John’s Church, St. Fagan’s national history museum and the Cardiff castle.

St. John’s Church

St John the Baptist Church is the city parish church in the centre of Cardiff, Wales. It is the oldest church in the city centre. The bell tower has a crown of openwork battlements reminiscent of churches in the West Country of England, and is dated c. 1490, when the similar Jasper Tower of Llandaff Cathedral was also built. The church is next to the city centre’s covered market, and is the oldest remaining medieval building in the city after Cardiff Castle, dating from the 12th century.

churchSt. Fagans national history museum

A walk around Wales – from Celtic times to the present day. St. Fagan’s is one of Europe’s leading open–air museums and Wales’s most popular heritage attraction. Open to the public since 1 November 1948, the museum stands in the grounds of the magnificent St Fagans Castle and gardens, a late 16th-century manor house donated to the people of Wales by the Earl of Plymouth. During the last fifty years over forty original buildings from different historical periods have been re-erected in the 100-acre parkland, among them houses, a farm, a school, a chapel and a splendid Workmen’s Institute.

Traditional crafts and activities bring St Fagans alive, in workshops where craftsmen still demonstrate their traditional skills. Their produce is usually on sale. Read more stories about our collections on our Rhagor website.Native breeds of livestock can be seen in the fields and farmyards, and demonstrations of farming tasks take place daily. Visitors gain an insight into the rich heritage and culture of Wales, and the Welsh language can be heard in daily use amongst craftsmen and interpreters.

There are also galleries with exhibitions of costume, daily life and farming implements. Special exhibitions are also held regularly. The galleries now include the exciting and innovative Oriel 1 space, with changing exhibitions exploring life and identity in today’s Wales. Throughout the year, St Fagans comes to life — literally — as traditional festivals, music and dance events are celebrated.

St Fagans explores all aspects of how people in Wales have lived, worked and spent their leisure time. Like generations of visitors, you will be inspired by its celebration of Welsh traditions and lifestyles. The Museum is one of the UK’s top ten free attractions as voted by users of TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel review site.

Cardiff castle

Cardiff Castle is situated in the heart of Wales’ capital city, occupying a large and historic site which has been enjoyed by visitors for many years. The Castle’s history dates back nearly 2000 years from the arrival of the Romans in the first century AD. They realised the strategic importance of the site and used it as a naval base and trading post. Today, reconstructed Roman walls form the boundary of the Castle structure, although a large section of the original wall is still on display to the public.

After the Romans left in the 4th Century AD, very little is known about the site until the arrival of the Normans in the 11th Century AD. The Roman defences were still in place and theNormans used them as the foundations of their own fortress. About 1090, Robert Fitzhamon built a motte (mound) with a wooden stockade within the site, and during the following century this was replaced by the stone shell Keep visible today.


The 12th Century was one of great activity for the Castle. Robert of Normandy was held captive in the Keep from 1126 to 1134, after his capture by his brother, Henry I. In 1158 a Welsh chieftain, Ifor Bach of Senghenydd, kidnapped Earl William of Gloucester and his family from the Castle at night, lowering them bound and gagged from the windows; they were only released when Ifor’s demands had been met.

Over the centuries, the Castle has been owned by a number of noble families; it passed by marriage from the De Clares to the Despenser family in 1399, and again by marriage to Richard Neville, “The Kingmaker.” After he was killed in 1471, it passed through his daughters, Isabel – who was married to the Duke of Clarence, and Anne – wife of Richard III, to the Crown. By 1550 it was owned by the Herbert family and by 1776, again through marriage, the Castle, and its large estate came into the possession of the Bute family.

During the nineteenth century, the 2nd and 3rd Marquises of Bute developed Cardiff into a major port, exporting vast quantities of coal from their mineral-rich property. It was the enormously rich 3rd Marquess of Bute (1847-1900) who transformed the lodgings, which partly date from the mid 15th century, into the spectacular cluster of towers we see today. The 3rd Marquess employed the eccentric but brilliant architect William Burges (1827-81) to recreate a noble castle of the middle ages, and the resulting architectural and decorative scheme makes Cardiff Castle one of the most important examples of the Gothic Revival.

In 1947, the 5th Marquess of Bute gave the Castle to the City of Cardiff and the local council has managed the site on behalf of the people ever since. From 1949 to 1974, the building was home to the Welsh College of Music and Drama, who later moved to their current home on North Road.

Even when the Castle was a private home, it was occasionally open to the public, but it was not until the 1950s that tourism was actively encouraged.

Today, visitors can wander freely around the Castle grounds, Norman Keep and Roman Wall plus the military museum of the Royal Regiment of Wales, which is also housed on the Castle site. Access to the lodgings is by guided tour, and includes some of Burges’ most imaginative and magnificent interiors. These blend the exotic, the historic and the mystical. The Arab Room and the three fantastic rooms of the Clock Tower celebrate such themes as astrology, astronomy and Greek mythology in a blaze of decorated tiles, gilding, marquetry and painting. The superb Banqueting Hall recreates a uniquely Victorian vision of the medieval and is a popular venue for weddings, dinners and other private functions.

The core part of the Castle’s business today is generated by tourist admissions to the grounds and guided tours, although revenue is also earned from private functions, Welsh banquets in the 15th century vaulted Undercroft and outdoor events held in the grounds.

In 1997, Cardiff Council made a successful application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for further development and conservation of the site. New visitor facilities will be introduced at the Castle and extensive conservation work will be carried out on the fabric of the building which aims to be completed by 2008. This project will secure the future of the Castle throughout the new millennium and help to ensure that the Castle will be available for future generations of both local people and visitors to enjoy.

I love all these places as they are the history of Wales. They are magnificent places that you should visit if you make a trio to Cardiff.

Does Wales have a traditional costume?

Yes we do have a traditional costume which is worn on special occasions hears the history of it. The popular image of Welsh ‘national’ dress, of a woman in a red cloak and tall black hat, is one which largely developed during the nineteenth century. It was part of a conscious revival of Welsh culture during a period when traditional values were under threat. The costume regarded as national dress is based on clothing worn by Welsh countrywomen during the early 19th century, which was a striped flannel petticoat, worn under a flannel open-fronted bedgown, with an apron, shawl and kerchief or cap. Style of bedgown varied, with loose coat-like gowns, gowns with a fitted bodice and long skirts and also the short gown, which was very similar to a riding habit style. The hats generally worn were the same as hats worn by men at the period. The tall ‘chimney’ hat did not appear until the late 1840s and seems to be based on an amalgamation of men’s top hats and a form of high hat worn during the 1790-1820 period in country areas.

Lady Llanover, the wife of an ironmaster in Gwent, was very influential in encouraging the wearing of a ‘national’ dress, both in her own home and at eisteddfodau. She considered it important to encourage the use of the Welsh language and the wearing of an identifiable Welsh costume. She succeeded in her aim mainly because people felt that their national identity was under threat and the wearing of a national costume was one way to promote that identity. A further influence was the work of artists producing prints for the rising tourist trade, which had the effect of popularising the idea of a typical Welsh costume, and later the work of photographers who produced thousands of postcards. This contributed to the stereotyping of one style of costume, as opposed to the various styles which were worn earlier in the century.

Are there any famous people that come from Wales?

Certainly we have lots of famous people from wales such people as actors (Richard Burton (1925–1984), Timothy Dalton (born 1946), Josie D’Arby (born 1973) (also presenter), Gareth David-Lloyd (born 1981), Anthony Hopkins (born 1937), Tom Price (born 1980), Catherine Zeta-Jones (born 1969)), Designers (David Emanuel (born 1952), Timothy Everest (born 1961), Julien Macdonald (born 1971)), musicians (James Dean Bradfield (born 1969), guitarist and lead singer (Manic Street Preachers), Stuart Cable (1970–2010), drummer (formerly with Stereophonics), Roger Glover (born 1945), musician (Deep Purple), Kelly Jones (born 1974), lead singer and guitarist (Stereophonics), Ian Watkins (born 1977), lead singer for Lostprophets, Ian Watkins (born 1976), pop singer from Steps, Terry Williams ( born 1948), drummer with Dire Straits, Nicky Wire (born 1969), lyricist and bassist (Manic Street Preachers)

How did you start penpalling? When was that? And why did you decide to start Penpalling?

I started pen palling when I was a youngster. I meet a lovely girl called Tovah Blumenthal, we wrote for a year or 2 and then suddenly after I moved we lost contact! But I started pen palling again 2 years ago now a friend of mine Carrie knew I was going through a real tough patch in my life and said to me “Heidi you like writing?”, I answered “Yes, I love it.”. “Why don’t you start pen palling?” so from there I did! Carrie was my first pal and I still write to her, the decision to start pen palling was an easy one because of the tough patch I was going through and also am so shy was a great way to make friends for me and its helped me tremendously,

What do you like / dislike about Penpalling/correspondence?

My love for penpalling is that I get to make new friends; learn about them, their lives, family, their children; to bond with them and create a special friendship. I also love it when your pals send you special gifts just because they thought of you. I dislike it when pals drop you for silly reasons or when you find out that they have lied to you about themselves, etc. I don’t like dishonest people.

Do you still stay in touch with your first penpal? Tell us about your first penpal even if you have lost touch with them. We might be able to help you locate him/her.

I don’t write to Tovah anymore. Unfortunatly, we lost contact and all I remember now is she had 2 brothers twins! One was called Max! I still have a letter of hers and a photo in my memories box. Yes I write to my first penpal that I got 2 years ago Carrie – we write monthly to each other! Carrie is an excellent pal full of life and laughter and very caring

How many Penpals do you have? Where are they from?

I have around 40ish pen pals they come from all around the world – New Zealand, Malta, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania, Canada, USA, Scotland, Ireland, England, Italy, Austria and more 🙂

Are you searching for new Penpals? If yes, please give us some contact information that we can publish in the magazine so that people can write to you back.

I’m always looking for more Penpals! You can contact me via facebook!

What are you looking for in a penpal?

Well, we have to click have a spark so to speak! I like friendly kind pals, ones who can relate to you and know what you go through and can be there for you through the good times and the bad.

Where do you find new Penpals from? Do you rely on FBs or Facebook or other websites/blogs.

I find my pen pals through penpals for life! It’s an amazing group run by a very great friend of mine Yanelis, who is helped by Lisa, too! I’ve been honored that a few days ago Yanelis asked me to help with PPFL, I am now the proud page assistant of PPFL.

Tell us a funny/interesting story from your Penpalling experience?

I had one person, who I was going to be pals with, threaten to sell my address on to other people! She did this with a lot of people! Thankfully, I was told before anything happened, so it taught me not to give your address out to just anyone!

How do you keep track of your mail? Share your tip on how to organize ourselves.

I keep track of my mail through a marker system. When they come in, I date the front of the envelope in pink then I put them to the side of my sofa in a box as I can take a few letters out a time which are all in date order as they have come in. When I have finished the pal’s letter, I put a tick on it in green to know it’s been sent and put the original letter in another box. I keep all my pals’ mail they send to me! Silly way but it works for me.

Do you swap things? Do you like sending gifts to friends? If yes, what is the funniest gift you have ever sent/received?
Oh, certainly I swap things and I send gifts! A nice and funny gift that I sent to my pal for Easter was a super cute key ring of a chick which also made sounds when you pressed its tummy!

Have you met a pen pal? If so, let us know how the meeting went.
I’ve never meet a pen pal yet but I am hoping to meet some of my pals from Germany as I’m saving for a passport and I hope to achieve my goal soon!

What do you usually like writing/reading about in the letters?
In my letters, I write about my life what I’ve been up to, my ups and my downs. Also, I write about where I live, if my pal wants more information; my family, too. I just love to read about what my pals have been up to how their families are, if there doing anything interesting or going to events, etc. I’m a happy pal, I just love to hear from you.

When it comes to making cute and personal letters, everyone has his/her own style. Tell us your trick how to make a letter/envelope unique? Do you decorate it? If yes, how? Give us some tips on how to make the letters more interesting.
I love to make my letters personal with pretty paper decorating to my pals likes (Disney, etc). I like to put stickers on my letters make it colorful and generally very pretty so when a pal opens there letter hopefully there will be a smile on their faces. My tips would be if you can make your letter pretty by what your pals like whether it’s Disney or Hello Kitty, you can personalize your letters well or have a theme to each letter.

Where do you buy your stationery supplies from? Do you prefer traditional shops or e-shops? If so, give us some links.
I buy my stationary from various places such as Home Bargains, Clintons, the works , WH Smith’s, past times and the Disney store are all places I love to get stationery from.

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