Dealing in fractions

I often like to do some silly impressions just to pass the time of day, and as a means of expressing my considerable talents. Here is one of me in a ‘Half Cat Half Rabbit’ moment:

Half cat half rabbit

It got me thinking that there is plenty about what I see around Cardiff that falls into various halves and quarters, and here are just a few reflections to share with you. Firstly, I was somewhat dismissive when my personal claw clipper came back from a Council meeting telling me that we live in an area of the city that has a below average crime rate. After all this is the edge of the city centre, in the south of the city that was the old docklands. I remember living in the old docklands in East London, and I wouldn’t say that these areas are noted for domestic open-door policies, if you know what I mean. But I can see how crime rates are so low in Cardiff, largely because the criminals are so obvious to spot… here we see ‘Half Swan Half Burglar’ going about their trade:

Swan burglary

Doing things by halves isn’t necessarily going to get you anywhere, particularly if you are a dumb animal. Why not at least try under the cover of darkness?

Then as I stroll around the neighbourhood I feel sorry for some of the buildings… here is ‘Half Building Half Dream’, as I imagine this shabby excuse for a pile of glass and concrete thinking ‘when I grow up I want to be like that picture’. You didn’t know buildings have feelings?

Buildings dream [1]

Now, the Shard in London, that’s a dream…

The Shard June 2012

Enough of these halves, it turns out that Cardiff is really a city of quarters… from the previous dreaming building I can see there might one day be a Capital Quarter, to go alongside the Brewery Quarter, Castle Quarter and Morgan Quarter:

Buildings dream [3]

Brewery Quarter

Castle QuarterMorgan Quarter

 

 

 

 

Just to mess with your mind a little, I thought I would throw in a fifth quarter… the Blue Sky Quarter (complete with Welsh flags at the entrance) just to stimulate your own thinking, put in any quarter you like (that probably means something different to our American readers):

Blue sky quarter

Anyway, all this strolling around the city and thinking in numbers eventually gets to a cat, so I am off back to my own quarters. See you again soon. Juno

A bowl full of India

Cats and Indian food are probably not a combination that comes to mind that often. Dogs in Indian food has been a frequent joke we like to share at many a feline soiree… but they usually don’t have as much flavour as many of our other animal friends (you humans are so queazy about eating your ‘friends’). Don’t get the idea that I just lick clean those left-over silver trays either… oh no, I have my personal standards and exquisite tastes. Here I am tasting a particular favourite tandoori dish:

Arrival in Cardiff

My personal litter-tray shoveller prefers that I leave the spicier vindaloo dishes alone, and my own sense of sophistication prevails when it comes to the chilli count.

My old stomping ground of East London likes to promote its Indian food credentials, but to the uninitiated you are often eating the just as tasty Bangladeshi cuisine. To my surprise, Cardiff is home to a very adventurous Indian restaurant at Moksh in the heart of the Bay.

Moksh [1]

Some of my less sophisticated alley-cat colleagues do me the favour of checking out the left-overs in the bins out back late at night, and pass on their critical appraisal of many establishments. Though this Moksh joint serves up a lot of what you would normally expect in a British Indian restaurant, Top Cat and mates were highly complementary about the twists and turns in the following selection:

Starters of Prawn Bollywood and a Moksh Delight (Chocolate and Orange Chicken Tikka).

Main of Duck Lemongrass Coriander (tangy sweet and sour curry).

Sides of Avatar Aubergines, Green Tea Rice and a Chilli Chocolate and Honey Naan.

Not quite sure what all of that is going to do to my litter tray, but it sounds fabulous. The place also decorates outside with a range of critical and customer tributes:

Moksh [2]

Moksh [3]

One problem I have found, as I slink around the Bay is that the place is usually closed while all the other usual chain restaurants around it are open! For those of you who want a true Indian culinary adventure, these things are best sampled at night, but you might want to book a table on busy evenings because it does seem very popular. I suggest you get more information from their own website at: http://www.moksh.co.uk/

As to what ‘Moksh’ actually means, I offer you the following from their outside decor:

Moksh [4]

“Release: Liberation: The term is particularly applied to the liberation from the bondage of karma and the wheel of birth and death: Absolute Experience”.

Any the wiser? Nor me… just be a cool cat and go and enjoy the food and leave the philosophical meditations to the academic cats. See you again soon on my stroll around Cardiff. Juno

Summer in the city

Sunshine at 14 2

I love summer. Nothing better than stretching out in front of the french windows… if only the sun would stop moving around to different parts of the flat! It just means I have to take the trouble to move a few feet every couple of hours. If only my personal groomer had listened to me when we were moving from London to Cardiff. I said we should get a flat that revolves with the movement of the sun, so I could identify my prime spot and let the real estate do all the hard work.

Anyway, enough of being right. The good news is that the sun has arrived today, and seems set to stick around for a while. What’s more, it actually shines in Cardiff, not just in London. I wasn’t sure they would have the same sun over here in the west, but I happily accept these bonus features that come with the move. Talking of happiness… my personal groomer seems to have made some contact with someone who knows what she is talking about, through some blog weekend or another back in the old country (London, that is). I liked reading a recent post that linked our feelings of happiness to these periods of sunshine. See the link at http://thehappinessexperiment.co.uk/sun-people-happiness/

The Happiness Experiment is something you all should be getting into; take it from me, this happiness thing works, as long as you have the right staff to deal with all the other stuff. That reminds me, my personal groomer seemed to make contact with a number of good people at The Gentle Author’s masterclass workshop. Thanks to Beata for reminding us all of the true saying “Dogs have owners, cats have staff”!

I digress, but all for your personal education. Back to summer in the city. I see that this Cardiff place looks quite good in the sunshine. Here is it’s Manhattan look:

Manhattan Cardiff view

And then there is the leisurely looking bay area for all of you who like to stroll by the water and get a refreshing drink and bite to eat:

The Bay 2:13

Talking about a bite to eat, I think I had better leave you all now and remind my personal chef to ignore the bag of biscuits and get those swans in the oven. See you again soon, Juno

That nice Mr Mackay

CCFC celebrations

What do I know about football? Well, back in the 1960’s, so I am told, there was a goalkeeper called ‘The Cat’ (Peter Bonetti, for you know-it-alls). Like me, he was known for being graceful, and only exerting himself on the rare occasions when he had to. Also it is back in the early 1960’s, according to my buyer of the food, that the local bunch of so-called football players did any good. So, it seemed like I have arrived in a place of sub-standard football, which is probably why they all seem to go on a bit about that strange egg-shaped ball that they all huddle around.

Not being the cool one to take all the credit, it seems that since my arrival in this pleasant city their football team has been doing rather well. Even jumping around on open top buses without paying any fares. As winners of the Championship it seems to have driven lots of the locals to go around shouting ‘we are Premier League’ as they enter a summer long dream world before reality strikes in mid-August. I think they are playing their first game in the promised land at my old manor… West Ham in the old Borough of Newham. From what I can remember this new lot should beat that old lot, but then… I will listen out for the sounds of mayhem or despair, and hope to still see food in my bowl.

So who do I attribute this new-found air of confidence to? It can’t be the players, as they were struggling most home games since the turn of the year, so I kept hearing. Something must have been going right around the club. It could have been the rich owner guy from Malaysia wearing his shirt inside his high waist-band trousers (bit of a strange look to be inspiring people if you ask me). Then there was this man with a strange way of talking, constantly doing impersonations of people from Glasgow, and waving his arm in a strange fashion. Got many of the fans chanting ‘Doing the Malky’ for some reason or another.

Anyway, I thought he was good as the prison guard in ‘Porridge’, and he seems to know what he is doing along the road at fortress Cardiff City Stadium. All-in-all he seems to be a nice man, that Mr Mackay.

Do I spy lunch?


With all that busy hustle and bustle in Newham, East London, including finding myself out on the street for a few weeks, I can really say I love this new home in Cardiff. I remember the car journey, thinking this is still too close to all this city centre action. What I was hoping for was some lazy tranquility, lying in the sunshine with a view over a gentle stream. Too much to ask of my slave (sorry, human)?

Well just look at this. My first view is of a quiet canal, with not a sound of thundering engines, or that local band the manic street shoppers. A city centre with water and green stuff… am I in Venice or Paris? What is meow in Italian or French? But look, what I never dreamt would be possible, water-bourne lunch… who needs meals-on-wheels when you can have swimming snacks?

 

Swan family 2012 at 14

Now, if only I could find a way out of here, perhaps I could escape the interminable cat biscuit diet! See you again soon. Juno