Chillout, dude

JunoMore sunshine please always had a pretty chilled out way of approaching every day, particularly when there was sunshine to soak up…

But she sure would have understood the latest instructions to come with your cuppa at Coffee Barker in Cardiff’s Castle Arcade:

Barker wall plaque

Until we speak again do as the good coffee people tell you!

A cool vibe

As the May weather occasionally offers promises of the warmer things to come, but just as easily snatches them away, what is there for a cool cat in Cardiff to do? I ponder what kind of place might best suit my quintessential laid back demeanour… somewhere that exudes the love as much as it nourishes the soul.

Sending the love

It’s a time of the year when the concept of ‘pace’ becomes a thing of the recent past, a means for traversing colder climes, a time for taking stock of one’s surroundings with the speed dial turned down very low. If I was to try capturing the vibe in a word, that word would have to be ‘lounge’… a place where lizards retire from the heat of the day, where ‘smooth’ mingles with ‘smoky’, and laid back assumes a sweet repose just short of the horizontal.

If you can’t find such a place I can strongly recommend creating your own:

Juno Lounge

All that is required is an inviting space…

Juno Lounge [3]

Juno Lounge [7]







A menu to energise tired bones at any time of the day…

Juno Lounge [6]



… to satisfy the pallet of carnivores and vegetarians alike, washed down with a range of the quaffable stuff, such as a tasty Rioja maybe…

Juno Lounge [4]







Then it is a matter of getting the music set just right for the ultimate in a chilled out soundtrack to your newfound life of relaxation; here is a suggested list for getting your vibe into cool mode:

1. Cafe del Mar: Erik Satie Gymnopedie No 1.

2. Clannad & Bono: In a Lifetime.

3. Ennio Morricone: Cinema Paradiso.

4. Eumir Deodato: Also Sprach Zarathustra.

5. Herbie Hancock: St. Louis Blues.

6. Moby: Porcelain.

7. Robbie Robertson: Somewhere down the crazy river.

8. Sachal Studios Orchestra: Take Five.

9. William Orbit: Barbers Adagio for Strings.

10. Zero 7: Look Up.

Then there is always the track to get you up and moving as you integrate back into the still night of Roath… Mas by Kinky.

Until we speak again I am going to continue my general demeanour of Juno the Cardiff Cool Cat.

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.