Culinary adornment

Stay out [4]

So, that’s where the ancestors went wrong… a 25 foot high solid wall clearly wasn’t enough to keep the historic hordes of marauding cats out, particularly at banqueting time. Cardiff discovers that every good castle needs the unfathomable wisdom of an ugly Health & Safety intervention. Just add a 10 foot high steel fence, and you too can commune with your local population, delivering a message that something special is happening here, but you’re not invited!

Stay out [5]

Clearly somebody forgot to tell Batman… a fence and a high visibility cone threat will do nothing to deter a super hero with a skateboard. As for the subtle human addition to the high-vis security… just set your egg-timer to suss out the frequency of patrols by plods-on-wheels cycling the whole perimeter of the prolateriat-diner-exclusion-zone…

Stay out [6]

So, what is all the fuss about, you ask? NATO are holding a summit… somewhere else!!! Yes, the summit is in Newport, about 15 miles away. Maybe, my reader, you have been to Newport, in which case you know it doesn’t need anything added in order to be twinned with cold war Berlin, or the present day West Bank or Gazza Strip! Cardiff largely ignores its scruffier little neighbour, and instead casts its ambitions wider by adapting the model of the Green Line in Nicosia, Cyprus, with a contemporary version of their no-man’s land.

Stay out [3]

It seems that dining out just got very expensive for all the residents of Cardiff, even though they will not be invited to the table themselves. The grandest nosh on the planet takes place in the setting of Cardiff Castle, providing the main distraction for world leaders desperate to get together to say nothing of any significance about a whole load of very significant world issues. As an exclusive meal it takes some beating, with a leeked preview (is that the Welsh version of ‘leaked’?) of the indigenous menu of laver bread starter…

    … cawl main, and Welsh cakes for pudding…

 

20120110-112246.jpg

… all washed down with a pint of Brains finest SA.

4. Brains journey [1]

The unanswered conundrum is why a meal that lasts no more than a few hours requires a month of security measures? Until we speak again send you answers nailed to the forehead of a peaceful protester to a somewhat disillusioned Juno.

funny cats   [Thanks to http://www.sodahead.com as the source of this image, and gypsy-willow.com for the previous food images].

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Chips with that?

What do you get for 50 years of experience? ‘Charged more’ is the quick conclusion that some short-sighted cats might rapidly reply. However, in a world where you generally get what you pay for, good quality will always take some beating. So there I was, drifting off to sleep in the business section of Cardiff Central Library, having failed to find my chosen text… ‘Business strategies for cats wishing to liquidate their servants‘. There could be many reasons for the unintended cat nap, but the rumbling stomach was giving me a clue. Gazing down on the entrance to the Wyndham Arcade I found myself plotting a journey to the centre of breakfast…

Wyndham Arcade Hayes entrance

… and even though the early afternoon alfresco diners were clearly absent I was drawn to a vision of what the arcade had to offer. Memory quickly came to the rescue, because many places claim to be able to make a good breakfast, but when it comes to specialising in the All Day Breakfast even us cool cats take our hats off to 50 years of family run experience and a long list of great reviews, even with veggie all day breakfasts (whatever that is!). Servini’s is the place to be…

Servini's [3]

The options available are all mouth-watering, but this was a cat in search of breakfast at 2.30 in the afternoon! The fresh ingredients are also freshly cooked to order, and presented as a tempting feast…

Servini's [4]

Who needs chips with everything?

Servini's [2]

 

 

Having said that even the chips here look fabulous.

 

Vantage point

 

Now it’s just back to that all-important task of plotting business strategies against my resident ‘entrepreneurial dabbler‘, or just another bout of gazing out of the window with designs on that sea-gull perched over the arcade… I wonder what Servini’s could do with that?

Until we speak again this is a sated Juno wishing you the best of breakfasts, all day.

 

Just add water

Cardiff City 1 Wigan Athletic 0

“IMMINENT BORE DRAW…

Just add water [2]

… FLOURISHES TO LIMP OVER THE LINE.”

Until we speak again this is Pundit Juno bringing you all you need to know about football in less than 10 words.

[Thanks to ‘photographsonthebrain’ site on Tumblr for posting the cat photo].

Re-awakenings

Cardiff City 3 Huddersfield Town 1

Welcome to Cardiff City Stadium

“LOCAL FANS IMPOSSIBLE EXPECTATIONS RESUME RESIDENCE ON CLOUD NINE!”

     Until we speak again this is Pundit Juno bringing you all you need to know about football in less than 10 words.

[With thanks to fineartamerica.com for the cat image].

And the winner is…

My resident ‘architectural critic‘ interrupted my 23-hours-a-day slumbers with some attempt to contribute thoughts on the current debate about London’s Tower’s Policy, and the perceived reduction in design standards in order to rush through more and more development for the ultimate financial benefit of the developers. As a cat originating in London I was left wondering what experience this self-styled Zaha Hadid or Frank Lloyd Wright had to back-up their bold remonstrations on the built environment of one of the world’s mega-cities. “I lived there for nearly 22 years!” was the reply, offered may I add with deep indignation.

Touche, or 15-love to them… but, being a competitive kind of soul I decided to hit back with my usual languid laid back brand of sarcasm. It seems to me like we live in a world filled with competitions, yet you people of such delicate sensibilities need to have your liberal egos stroked, with everyone experiencing being a winner; or else needing to rush off to see your therapist. Or is that just California? So, in the interests of caustic architectural discourse, I decided to introduce Cardiff’s winners of the Juno Awards for Architectural Re-cycling (the Jar’s), as my meanders around the city suggested I might struggle to find any other category of award that could be liberally sprinkled around so many of the modern buildings.

So, getting down to the serious business of presenting the Jar’s… I had hoped to enlist the services of Cat Stephens but the calls to prayer were too many and too frequent; Atomic Kitten were fortunately too heavily regulated for public use; so I was left dragging myself off to the litter tray for an Eartha Kitt (yes, that is cockney rhyming slang). So once again it is left to me to say:

The Curvy but not Groovy Award goes to… 

Curvy not groovy

While the Use of Excess Leather Cladding Award goes to…

Central Library [1]

The Creative Use of an Over-Sized Spiky Hat Award goes to…

Spiky joint

But the judging panel (i.e. me) had a difficulty with the Use of Excess Bland Concrete Award, so in the interests of equality it was shared by several entries from the other side of the tracks…

Other side of the tracks

The Use of Excess Unintelligible Words in Strange Places Award was an easier category to adjudicate…

Millenium Centre 3

Meanwhile, the Getting to the Point (Retail Category) Award goes to…

John Lewis to the point

And this year there was a special category of ‘Life-Ending Achievement‘, sponsored by Lloyds Bank, entitled the Put It All On The Outside Scary Shit You Must Be Kidding If You Think I Am Going To Use That Lift Award, with the outright winner even adding the delicate touch of replacing internal staircases with external ladders…

Pointy Building

That is it from the red carpet for this year (stained in the blood of my resident ‘ex-Town Planner‘). Out of utter disrespect for the zeitgeisty need of people to feel unemotionally attached to millions of others through technology, all the winners will receive 5000 additional ‘faceache friends‘, and the runners-up get 2000 ‘pecks of the birdie thing‘. For everyone who comments on this post, may you be smothered in ‘likes‘ until you burst with the shear joy of connectivity. Until we speak again, I am Triumphant Juno saying the winner is…

OMG!!!

The football season has returned… a whole 10 minutes after the World Cup finished! So my resident ‘confounded optimist‘ is already buying into the pre-season hype of the local team being favourites to win the Championship again, and return to the Premier League (that they flunked so badly last time). The household is already resounding to the soundtrack of cliches and nonsense about the beautiful game returning to fill the void of a whole three weeks of nothing more than post-tournement pre-season tournements specially arranged for the tournement-deprived.

Look, no eyes!If, like me, you are catastrophically underwhelmed by another nine months of over-exagerated hyperbole dressed up as serious punditry delivered by people without a serious thought holding their ears apart, then I have a solution. No, give the Dignitas membership a miss! This season I am allowing the in-house ‘verbosity funnel‘ the chance to list home results, with maybe the occasional stat about the position in the league (for a laugh) and a completely uninteresting photo from the game. As for the endless drivel about the game of two halves… I am taking personal responsibility to provide succinct summaries of each home game in 10 words or less. After all, what more can you say about 22 men kicking balls?

Until we speak again, Pundit Juno is going to be placing every useful pre-season word uttered by ‘them who shalt be ignored‘ end-to-end, just to see if more than two words can actually be strung together! Meeeooow…

Cognitive dissonance

[aka Fucking with your mind!]

Be confused… be very confused! If you were brought up on the myths and legends of a corner of Cardiff known as Tiger Bay, then the latest extension of the 21st century docklands redevelopment will mess with whatever is left of your functioning brain cells. After air-brushing a major part of local history out of the picture for a few decades, the latest in local bureaucratic administrative hype is set to house, employ and entertain you. Put your hands together and welcome the vision that is Porth Teigr!

I live here

Whatever that is… because what is emerging out of the primordial slime of Roath Basin bears no relationship to the proud badge of Tiger Bay; and it isn’t even in the same place as the original! Not that the location of the original has anything of architectural merit to draw the attention of the discerning student of urban mythology… the southernmost boundaries of the original, relatively small Tiger Bay area, is demarcated by some prime examples of skyline blight, which actually looks even more attractive than the low level flats and houses that hold many of the original street names…

Tiger Bay [1]

Porth‘ is Welsh for ‘gate’… so in modern parlance are we supposed to have created a misdemeanour on such a scale that it becomes ‘Tiger Gate‘? Well, if you look at the blandness of the 1960’s architectural replacement for the previous Victorian ‘slums’, perhaps we have. Social engineering had become a slight of hand for so-called urban redevelopment… a destruction of world renowned character makes way for the monumental achievement of bland mediocrity.

Why are we so reluctant to celebrate our gritty historical reality when it doesn’t conform to the textbook presentation of swords and sandals, or castles and stately homes? Here we have the site of the very first multicultural society in the UK, built on the necessity of world trade, and testimony to the power of the melting pot to bring people together in local harmony. Heaven forbid that we might put the cost of demolition and reconstruction into refurbishment of what already exists. Or perhaps the forbears of the Ukip tendency were subtly at work, with a long-sighted determinism to break up any thriving community based largely on immigration. It becomes less easy to blame it on the immigrants if we have the tangible evidence of their hard-working contribution to our financial and cultural wealth.

As a cat who originates from London but was duped into relocating into the old docklands of Cardiff I am intrigued by all this Tiger-stuff, and hope to bring you more of the true history of this historical and cultural landmark. Until we speak again I have been ‘Immigrant Juno’, scrounging off my native ‘repatriated refugee’, and contributing mainly through my litter tray!