Turkey, anyone?

Juno was never oneJuno and turkey to miss the lip-smackingly tasty opportunity of turkey…

But even she would have been proud, if initially confused, of what her native London has recently served up under the name of Turkey.

To begin with there was the strangely un-metropolitan surroundings offered up by a gentle stroll along the Regents Canal between Mile End and Angel. Who would think from the following view that you were in the centre of one of the world’s largest and most recognised cities?

Regents canal [1]

But gradual progress was to take us into something more akin to metro-land as we approached the newly gentrified Islington…

Regents canal [2]

Upper Street is widely known as one of London’s premier eatery locations, with much of the world’s cuisines represented along its mile. Yet, as with Broadway in New York, you can be well served by a glance just a few yards off the main drag, as we were to be on this occasion. From Istanbul to Beirut was a call not to be missed… conjuring up all of the culinary allure of a Turkish and Lebanese fusion.

Kilis Kitchen [2]

Kilis Kitchen comes with nothing but the highest of recommendations; small but intimate at the front but with a lighter additional room to the rear.

Kilis Kitchen [3]

But you need time to takeKilis Kitchen [4] in the fabulous menu (and even try the Turkish red wine).

Dolma (stuffed vine leaves) with Sucuk (spicy lamb sausage) made a tasty mix from the starter…

Kilis kitchen [5]


Then comes a shish kebab to make you forget whatever it is that those fast food take-aways churn out. Succulent tender char-grilled lamb skewers proved a truly mouth-watering taste; but I am sure Juno would have turned up her nose at the lightly grilled green chilli pepper, and the tastiest of side salads, let alone the basmati rice (to her it would have been a waste of plate space better devoted to meat and more meat!).

My vegetarian companion was equally complimentary about the char-grilled halloumi starter and pan-fried marinated sardines main course. What’s more, the evidence emerged that Turkish-Lebanese combinations have learned the art of perfect chips!

Juno readyThis meal left both of us feeling like Juno’s more usual post-banquet pose…

But we had to make do with another stroll along the busy boulevard of Upper Street as it teemed with the late evening diners.

Until we speak again, don’t be drawn to the main drag when some of the real jewels are often just left-field.


Somebody has to…

Jesus Loves

My ‘religious correspondent‘ has identified a source of tremendous salvation for all of you out there on the eight-lane black top, the car-dominated cities of the world, the highways and the freeways, the motorways and the turnpikes, in your smog and exhaust fume riddled existence… Jesus Loves You!

If you are reading this while driving along a Los Angeles freeway, the likelihood is that you are infringing rather than breaking any laws… as vehicular movement is likely to be minimal. As you glance at the Hollywood sign on the hill you are probably blissfully unaware of Gabalfa. But, as a cat steeped in observation of my surroundings, I can assure you that Gabalfa is the Cardiff based equivalent of your present dilemma. It is a point on the planet where a four-lane flyover intersects with a moment that bridges across the world as a simple dual carriageway spans East and West (as Eastern Avenue becomes Western Avenue, or vice versa depending on your direction of travel). This could quite easily be the Istanbul of Wales if it wasn’t for the complete lack of any culture, intellectual interest or iconic imagery.

I am particularly taken by the other-wordly claws at the bottom of the picture. Either this is the devil’s representative encroaching on the ‘heavenly love‘ bestowed on a bunch of non-descript residences flanking a few hundred metres of boring blacktop; or could it be that a wizzened old Gabalfarian has been religiously press-ganged into making an appearance to support the generosity of the claim made of the bearded one.

The following images are gratefully downloaded from internet sources to illustrate Glorious Gabalfa, and leave you in no doubt or uncertainty about the task faced by the lordly one in his love-spreading endeavours:

Until we speak again I have been your worshipful Juno, forever baffled by the claims attributed to and by religious faiths.


Just when I was getting ready to step up to the leadership plate one of my dedicated followers says Bosphorus in Turkey, not a boss for us!” Us cats don’t care too much for geography, we just need a little bit of immediate territory to dominate, and then it’s just a matter of employing personal travel advisers and taxi drivers. But ‘turkey’ does get the imagination going, and I am already dreaming of my favourite spot in Cardiff Central Market, ‘J.H. Morgan’s meat extravaganza and vegetarians nightmare’ since way back in Victorian times…

Turkey [1]




… and more importantly what it looks like on a plate at home:

Turkey [2]


How undignified, I am drooling at the thought of these images, when my so called companions are off out of the door muttering something about a Turkish restaurant with views over the bay and a place where east meets west in culture and tastes.

Bosphorus [2]


Looks a bit precarious to me… sitting over water inside or outside sounds more like an ordeal, but my personally appointed aquatic representatives say it enhances the views across the bay and gives it a sense of separateness from some of those run-of-the-mill chain restaurants clustering along the shoreline. The Bosphorus Turkish Restaurant seems to have an interesting menu, so I am slightly perplexed when the starters ordered suggest there has been an invasion of grass munchers:

Bosphorus [4]


What is it with the stuffed vine leaves and salad garnish with pitta bread? Looks well presented… if you like that kind of thing. Enough to drive a water-drinking cat to down that Turkish Efes beer in meat-driven desperation.

Bosphorus [6]

Relief soon arrives with the main course… I must learn to trust my surrogate food-tasters. My kind of culinary variety is meat, garnished with meat, with a side of meat, and maybe an isolated vegetable decorating the table to tantalise the weak and mild. I am more impressed by a vision of mixed shish v lamb cutlets, even if both plates do have to give up space for rice and salad accompaniments.

This was a very relaxing way to spend an hour or so satisfying the need for a mid-afternoon lunch while strolling around Cardiff Bay. It looks like it might also be a place for that evening meal or special occasion, as other reviews seem to largely suggest.

Bosphorus [3]


I’ve been Juno, and Turkey seems good to me either on a plate or as a restaurant. I will speak with you again soon when I have turned that vision of turkey on a plate into my own tasty treat.


Extreme Sailing

What have Muscat (Oman), Singapore (S.E. Asia), Qingdao (China), Istanbul (Turkey), Porto (Portugal), Nice (France), Rio (Brazil) and Cardiff all got in common? No, its nothing to do with eating cats or dogs… they are the eight venues for the World Series of Extreme Sailing. Yes, take that NY Yankees… a real World Series!

Lining up to start


In the interests of self preservation this cool cat considers a few planks of wood topped off with a tablecloth to be extreme enough, but these things are great big catamarans with sails up to sixty feet in height.

Mermaid Quay background


So it’s the August Bank Holiday, and a number of Olympic sailors have descended on Cardiff Bay, the largest bay in Europe, for the sixth leg of the 2013 World Series, with the Land Rover sponsored Team Wales representing the UK in the event. All the action is on the water, and us cats can watch water all day long, but I sure as hell am not getting too close to the stuff… in my world it is for drinking, so I am going to stick to the safety of dry land.



At the final turn


On the subject of ‘extreme’, my surrogate daredevil started talking about their experiences with parachutes, gliders and motorbikes when they were young (a lot younger I must add). “Nothing“, I said, “try doing what I did with mice and other stupid creatures when I was allowed out!” There are all kinds of images of extreme sports around (though nothing involving my ideas about mice), but my favourite just has to be Extreme Ironing… what’s that all about? Didn’t you just know that such an idea had to originate in England!

On the subject of smooth… this fabulous coat of mine takes some looking after, but if my personal groomer was to come anywhere near me with an iron there would be some extreme consequences for their health and well-being. Here is a link to help those of you who don’t understand the joy of ironing, and another link to things you could do with a bicycle other than let a fish ride it (did I tell you about my ideas on things to do with fish…).

Coming to the finish


If only things happened at a more leisurely pace… perhaps I will establish the new sport of extreme sleeping:

Juno 8







In the meantime, to all those of you who believe in your extreme ways, may all of your injuries be minor and your rewards come with the maximum rush. I am still Juno, and I will speak with you again soon, but not until I have had a lie down and a good sleep.