Struggles of the Liberal Elite

First came Brexit then came Trump… the certainties of years of liberal ways of thinking and being were suddenly and unceremoniously being thrown out.

The power of numbers can be an amazing thing… for the minority who blatantly command the proceeds of wealth, to the detriment of the majority who are left to pick up the tab, there will eventually be one outcome…

down-the-panSpare a thought (but little else) for the greedy who now find themselves in times of turmoil and upheaval. A mere flicker of hope from the recesses of a Richmond Park by-election may well ignite flimsy thoughts of a return to the promised land, but a lack of leadership does not bode well.

And so it came to pass, on a cold afternoon in the Cardiff City Stadium. The liberal elite of London-by-Sea (aka Brighton & Hove Albion) high-rolled into town, with thoughts of rising to the number one spot in the Championship table, and a step closer to the promised riches of the Premier League. But this is the home of the Bluebirds, a solemn breed who have all-too-briefly tasted a seat at the top table, and harbour strange thoughts of returning. Strange indeed, as there seems to be a new take on the concept of enlightened leadership…

bartley-2

reading-paper-and-books

 

For the record, the travelling Liberal Elite of Brighton were reduced to 10 men shortly before the conclusion of a 0-0 bore-fest. An afternoon that brought an outcome not too dissimilar to that of recent referendum and election experiences, for those with aspirations that ignore the reality for the majority.

Until we speak again, Broadsheet Bella seems to be looking in vain for a way out of the present darkening days (and Cardiff City FC struggle to find a way out of the grip of the relegation zone).

Architectural cat

Juxtaposition, symmetry, curvilinear, articulation, truncated, composition… what world do architects live in? Come to think of it, pick a profession, any profession, and you will not have to look far before you get bogged down in the jargon of self-importance.

As a cat who observes local architecture with a critical eye, I feel Cardiff has an ability to identify modern architectural styles that cut through the unfathomable nonsense of obscure language. In many cases, the only true nonsense is the architectural style itself… but you make your own judgement on that observation.

Sharp and groovy…

sharp-grrovy-3

Pointy…

john-lewis-to-the-point

Curvy not groovy…

curvy-not-groovy

Wavy…

car-park-2

Spiky…

spiky-joint

Mind-boggling (c/o the BBC)…

bbc-wales-entrance Just plain baffling…

old-and-new

where-is-that-spider

 

 

Until we speak again, Bella reminds us that the devil is in the detail… if you can be bothered looking for it!

Beyond the barrage

Gazing across Cardiff Bay can easily trigger contemplation, even in the least philosophical of cats. Across the water lies the barrage that gives rise to this expanse of life aquatic. Then there is the majestic Penarth headland, inviting mystery as to what lies beyond…

Cardiff Bay view

Barrage [2]

Tantalisingly out of reach are the mythic islands of Flatholm and Steepholm, worthy of exploration if you can still find an intrepid sea dog to convey over the channel. But what is that strange protrusion at the foot of the headland?

Flatholme and Steepholme [3]

One of Penarth’s many attractions dates back to the late Victorian era; an age when the coastline of Britain (back when it was Great!) needed wood and metal embellishments, so that people could experience walking above water. The pier was a ubiquitous adornment to any self-respecting seaside town; a place to take-in the bracing sea air, or indulge in frivolous amusement in pavilions or arcades. Penarth Pier was no exception, including its later art deco addition in 1930…

Penarth_Pier Ben Salter Flickr

[The image above is included with acknowledgement to Ben Salter on Flickr.]

Penarth [1]

Penarth [2]

But, be wary of the history of this structure before you venture forth in anticipation. 1931 (fire), 1947 (collision), and 1966 (collision) were dramatic years in its perilous existence. When you create a long and narrow appendage don’t be surprised if it occasionally suffers  the occasional catastrophe. As with certain volcanoes, looking at those dates, the next one seems long overdue!

Penarth [3]

For readers under the age of 25, the ‘No Fishing’ sign refers to aquatic creatures, not nefarious internet activity! Though judging from the level of occupation below, readers under 25 are far more likely to engage with Penarth Pier on a screen than in reality.

Penarth [4]Reading paper and books

 

 

Until we speak again, I am going to assume a Bella-like state of contemplation, as I reflect on life beyond the barrage.

How buildings are born

Just look around you and ponder… how did all of these buildings come into being? Well, being a thoughtful kind of cat, I’m always prepared to share my insights on any topic that takes my fancy as I stroll around the city of Cardiff. Please feel free to send your questions on a postcard!

In the case of appreciating our built environment, Kate Bush once implied that it all begins with An Architects Dream

Architects dream

Then there is the gestation period; and for this we can thank the Sage of Gateshead for informing our knowledge of how the pupae develop over the months of construction…

Sage [3]

Then we come to the actual birth; and being delicate structures frequently subjected to architectural critique, a forceps delivery is the more usual method…

Capital Quarter new build [1]

Then it’s a matter of all hands to the pump to pull the newborn into position…

Industrial heritage

Very soon the more mature buildings give way to their younger curvier offspring…

Groovy curvy building

Until they are brave and confident enough to stand tall on their own foundations…

Spiky joint

Sunshine [2]

 

 

Until we speak again this Bella will be contemplating why the sun always shines in Cardiff!!??

[Football explained, or not!] Q & R is for…

QUACK REDEMPTION… as the weather favours ducks.

Rain[4]

QUIET RIDICULE… as my ‘intrepid reporter’ QUITS the challenge half way to the match in a RECIDIVIST QUANDARY having failed to attend a match for the second occasion this month. 

Rain[7]

 

QUAGMIRE RENAISSANCE… as the home team overcome conditions to leave the travelling seagulls RELUCTANTLY QUAKING

Seagull & West Looe

ArmadilloUntil we speak again this Bella will remain QUASI RECONCILIATORY towards the in-house RAGAMUFFIN. For the record it was Cardiff City 4 Brighton & Hove Albion 1, with the locals having played 32, won 12, drawn 13, and lost 7, which puts them currently 7th in the league.