And the Oscar goes to…

Cardiff, for the Shape of Water! Starring:

  1. Roath Park Lake

Roath park lake [3]

2. The River Taff

Millenium Stadium 3

3. The Dock Feeder Canals

Roxby by water

4. The Bute East Dock

Bute East Dock [2]

5. Cardiff Bay

Penarth Head

6. The Mud Flats out into the channel…

Flatholme and Steepholme [3]

Until we speak again, if asked, a non-plused Bella would probably say the shape of water is rather ‘fluid’!

Water [2]

 

 

 

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Ton Up

Who said cats can’t write? Welcome to my 101st post in the last 15 months. To celebrate the milestone (or is that millstone?) I have reviewed those moments represented across the first 100 posts. Here are some of my highlights, but who would blame you for summoning up the spectre of Room 101 in which to consign my reminiscences.

Eating al fresco, who doesn’t love it? My favourite meal…

My feast!

Then there are those moments of personal contemplation. But it took a trip to Southend for my favourite philosophical musing (particularly reminding me of the resident numpty)…

Southend [4]

I hear that health & safety has gone completely mad in your human world, but even I was taken aback by the locals need to restrict the age-old childhood rite of passage… tree-climbing:

No tree climbing

The cultural history of Wales has apparently been partly shaped by the fire and brimstone oratory of the Baptist Minister, but my favourite religious moment has to be the shock declaration that even Jesus elaborates on the truth from time to time…

Jesus Loves

But there is no denying that Cardiff has established itself on the world music map, as its many venues play host to top quality talent. My favourite girl band (Pecker and the Birds) played a surprise concert at the little known Bute East Dock venue…

All girl group +1

But while the masses were enjoying themselves at the free concert my favourite burglar was quick to seize on the opportunity to check out any potential opportunities for plunder…

Swan burglary

The penultimate word has to belong to the guy who never stops giving; so tell me Sean, how successful do you think my blog has been so far?

Sean's world

 

Always the harsh critic… in the meantime until we speak again this has been Thespian Juno wishing you many more moments of literary and visual enjoyment.

Existential angst

A strange juxtaposition is occurring down at the water’s edge. Just when the native waterfowl thought it was safe to bask amongst the toxic algae of the once formidable old dock, dual threats emerge to challenge the meaning of their very existence. To be consumed is a given, but by who or what now becomes a battle ground to test out the true meaning of life.

Just when a superior predator of my kind arrives on the scene as the expected feline threat to anything dressed in feathers, I also find myself sharing the bewilderment at the world conquering rise and expanse of Chinese domination.

Ming dynasty building

Is this a Ming Dynasty after-thought we see over-shadowing the once powerful Bute East Dock? A Welsh pagoda style rises out of the depths to house the hot air and wind combination of local government. But the question arises as to whether this source of heat can be converted into another form of culinary energy, somewhat reminiscent of the take-away/restaurant variety proliferating Chinese cuisine the world over?

This has been ‘Culinary Missive’ Juno reflecting a tale of unsatisfied hunger, and until we speak again may all of your ducks be aromatic and crispy!

Cultural lowlights

Looking back on 2013 one of the main events in Cardiff came and went with little or no fanfare in the cultural media. A new outdoor venue opened and closed with the same event…

All girl group +1

 

Some say it was the reformed American rock band from the 1960’s The Byrds, particularly known for their most famous track Tern! Tern! Tern!

         Yet fewer of the locals were attracted by the rumoured reformation of the original Girls Aloud line-up being signed up to officially open the new venue… though it did seem to be good news in Swansea and a crowd excitedly flocked to Cardiff for the event.

Swan armada [2]

 

The missing masses managed to avoid the show’s highlight, as the new girl band attempted to recreate the iconic visuals of the former TLC’s ‘Waterfalls’ track, where the band are seen standing on water…   

and subsequently disappear into it…  

Admittedly, it was a hard act to follow and the Cardiff rendition may have needed more work:

All girl group +1Then they were gone

 

 

 

 

 

It is safe to say that the unexpectedly poor attendance should have been seen, built as it was on no publicity:

Nou Camp 1

But the memory of the iconic Fillmore East venue in New York can continue to rest in peace, as there is no clear or present danger of the Bute Dock East entering the cannon of great music venues any time soon.

   v.   Bute Dock Company sign

 

Until we speak again I have been Juno trying to drop a few ideas to the local authorities about using their vast watery space around the corner from my pad.

 

In a New York Minute

I have never been one for thinking that close proximity to something means I have to do anything about it. Take music, for example… I have my own in-house D.J. to decide what we listen to, and when. The limit of my exertions are simply to just lie there and reflect on wherever the music takes me. Just the other day I did get a little confused, as Eagles seemed to be soaring indoors but outside there was nothing other than a flock of sea-gulls (think about it music lovers). Suddenly a beautiful version of Don Henley’s ‘New York Minute‘ filled the room:

In a New York Minute

Everything can change 

In a New York Minute

Things can get pretty strange

It is usually described as the period of time between a Manhattan traffic light turning green and the driver behind you honking their horn. But it instantly got me thinking about my previous life ‘In a London Minute’, where a similar urgency and madness seems to be born out of people always needing to be somewhere else. For all of you readers afflicted by a similar malady, I say take a minute now and then to just chill-out. You don’t see us cats battling the traffic to get to the gym for yet another yoga class before we need to gargle the falling-down water just to get over the stress of the gym. Whatever you do, don’t try this yoga with cats thing on me, my take on it all is something like this:

More sunshine please

 

Why not take a few hints out of my new life… ‘In a Cardiff Minute’. I might live on the edge of the city centre of a capital city, but I still find it easy to seek out the spaces to be in the moment, without having to do the full Buddhist trip. Come on a journey around my local neighbourhood and see what I mean. No cars allowed down here:

Canal at 14[2]Lily pads [1]As for here, cars are allowed, but this is my kind of rush hour:

Rush hour dream [1]        Rush hour dream [2]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They say that for a brief period back at the start of the last century this local dock was busier than New York… perhaps the Eagles first song was ‘In a Cardiff Minute’! Now it is where I prefer to practice my trick of walking on water:

Bute East Dock [3] However busy your life might seem, just look out for those still spaces and still moments. You can always check out the mindfulness and meditation websites for ways of chilling on the move… or take a look at the ideas that are set out on the happiness experiment blog. I’ve even trained my personal financial consultant in the ways of the cool cat… when you think about your workspace every office needs a bed:

Office [1]

 

I’m feeling so laid back I almost forgot who I was for a minute. Going back to the early theme of these musings, the Eagles… I am Juno, and until I see you again Take it Easy.

Is Bruce an alien?

Some of you will recall that I recently outlined the evidence for Hurricane ‘Diff having caused some extremely strange sights around the city; but I also raised the possibility that it may be due to an alien invasion. I hope you didn’t lose too much sleep over those thoughts, while I was snuggly curled up on my velvet cushion gently twitching as I dreamed of the torment I could inflict on other animals (all in the best possible taste of course, or should the word ‘tasty’ fit in there somewhere?). Well, despite my regal demeanour, I am about to send another shock wave into your lives… there is growing evidence that an alien invasion has occurred in Cardiff; and, what’s more, Bruce Springsteen may in fact be an alien.

Some of you might be old enough to remember ‘Jeff Wayne’s musical version of War of the Worlds‘ (1978), and those of you old enough to be around at the the time of the H.G. Wells original story may have vivid memories of the radio event (1938), but you probably have no idea what you had for lunch a few hours ago. Key to the Martian invasion were the metal outer bodies that the aliens occupied, which came to represent broken shells when our bacterial life killed off the occupants. Forget Horsell Common, the Surrey location of the original invasion… we have one of them rotting away down at the Bute East Dock:

Derelict crane [2]In fact, the inhabitant may still be in the locality, as there have been occasional sightings of

what can only be described as the Bute-ness monster lurking in the depths of the dock close to its original metal shell:

Bute-ness monster

More contemporary evidence has emerged through the landing of the mothership right in the heart of the city centre, and clearly alien life still requires to be near to water, hence the chosen landing site.

Millenium Stadium

Rumours abound that Bruce Springsteen will be lighting it up and making noises out of it on 23rd July 2013 as a means of taking over the thoughts and minds of thousands of local residents, and even some people who will travel far and wide to view the spectacle of the mother-ship rocking to the sounds he makes with the E Street Band. If you stand near the site around 9.30pm on the evening of the 23rd you should get all the evidence you need.

However, if you are still not convinced, further evidence of his alien credentials can be gleaned from listening to some of the things he says, particularly repeating the phrase ‘Born in the USA‘. Have you ever met an American be so vague about their birthplace? Normally you get town, county, state, percentage breakdown of parental heritage, persecutions their grandparents were fleeing from, and the date the first ancestor set foot on Ellis Island. Someone who simply answers ‘Born in the USA’ can only be hiding something, or is other-worldly. He also claims to have a successful album called ‘The River’… well just look where the mothership landed, eh!

He calls himself ‘The Boss’… well I can relate to that, what with all the staff I employ. My personal music selector says that some of his best stuff was done by other people, which just sounds a little alien to me. But I do like ‘Blinded by the Light‘ which was written by Bruce but recorded most successfully by Manfred Mann’s Earthband back in 1976. But for all you fans click here for a review of the Cardiff gig that took place on the 23rd July 2013.

In the meantime, if any of you get the chance to take a tour of the mothership my surrogate sports fan says it is an awesome spectacle, whether occupied by aliens or not at the time you go. Check it out here. I am still being Juno, so see you again soon.