Home made

You looking at me?As I happen to be a cool cat born in Cardiff it was only reasonable that I should educate this wanderer resident who I find occupying my new home. I understand they left this wonderful city for some strange reason, and then returned after many years. Well, I suppose original errors can be overlooked when action is taken to rectify the stupidity! Anyway, I digress, and not for the last time I’m sure… so what should I begin my tenure of Juno’s View with? I am Bella, and as I’m 100% home grown today I’m going to let you in on another home grown gem… come with me on a stroll around the Millennium Centre.

Slinking my way down Lloyd George Avenue towards the Bay I can’t help but stop in my tracks as I take in the visual invitation drawing me towards this shiny shed…

Millenium Centre 2‘In These Stones Horizons Sing’… whatever that is supposed to mean. Personally, I don’t give a bag of mouses’ tails for much of what goes on in the way of performances in this place, except the staging of ‘Cats’ of course. Oh, and possibly ‘The Lion King’, but that sounds a bit scary to me. As a sophisticated cat I understand how some of you humans get caught up in what you like to think of as ‘culture’, but for all of your opera, ballet and classical concerts, I am initially interested in the architectural wonder  of the building itself.

Millenium Centre 3

This is a home grown building, designed by Jonathan Adams a local architect with Percy Thomas Architects, and made of Welsh materials throughout… the metals, slate, wood and glass. The part that first catches the eye is the great metal frontage, a bronze coloured dome clad in steel and treated with copper oxide to cope with the less than wonderful climate of Cardiff Bay (think rain, and add some; not conditions conducive for us self-respecting fur paraders).

Then there is the slate; five separate colours of Welsh slate each from a different Welsh slate quarry…

Millenium Centre 6Another home grown eminence, Ivor Novello, seems impressed as he sits quietly taking in the ambience of the Bay, or is he distractedly looking over his shoulder scanning the area for other Cardiff cool cats?

Just as we can see on the outside so we see the same on the inside, a good use of natural materials in their natural condition. Bands of hardwood give the natural look, with oak, ash, beech, sycamore, alder, birch, chestnut and cherry wood from sustainable Welsh sources…

Inside Millenium Centre [3]

Inside Millenium Centre [4]

 

 

 

 

 

Inside Millenium Centre [1]

 

 

 

Inside Millenium Centre [5]

 

 

 

 

 

Metal dominates the reception area, but steel columns topped with lights also give an impression of tree-like structures within the wide open spaces. Clearly this is a home made statement of architectural intent, even though the site has a history of architectural diplomatic turmoil. A world leading Iranian female architectural cat (Zaha Hadid) was less than pleased to have won the original design competition but fail to get the financial backing to get her ideas built. Apparently she doesn’t want anything to do with Cardiff again… some cats just don’t know how to lose with grace!

Riveting

 

As for my first post, I hope you found it as riveting as the covered entrance to the Millennium Centre. Riveting… get it!

Until we speak again I’m going to continue to be Bella, and you have my permission to continue being whoever you happen to be. Feel free to let me know what is man made in and around your life.

 

The Strengths Revolution

David Ivor Davies (1893 – 1951) is better known as Ivor Novello, and is one of the famous sons of this once world renowned maritime city of Cardiff, as well as giving his name to some prestigious songwriting awards. Now he sits in quiet contemplation as an important figure in Cardiff Bay. Strolling down his way the other day I happened to notice that our Ivor had become very distracted, so being an inquisitive cat I took it upon myself to check out what it was that so commanded his attention.

Ivor distracted

To my delight I could see that it was the advancement of a revolution that had occupied his attention… a ‘Strengths Revolution’. Wales having for so long been home to a notoriously dour race of introspective people, pre-occupied by the rise and fall of their industrial heritage… with canals overgrown, docks lying derelict and empty, coalmines closed and winding gear dismantled, and the steel industry owned by foreign investors with little sentiment for the old Welsh workhorse. All of this to be replaced by the inevitable late 20th century and early 21st century drive for a love of bureaucracy and shallow entertainment, monolithic edifices to shopping and service industries, with depths plumbed through the cult of celebrity.

To the untrained eye, my daily slumbers and preoccupation with whatever I can eat looks like the usual and expected life of a simple cat.Juno eyes Meanwhile, all along I have been projecting positive vibes through a talent for x-ray vision into the ‘resident scribbler‘, with the added threat of a fury right hook if they deviate from the task of focusing on what is good in life. Now the fruits of my vision are beginning to emerge in the wider world, as my home becomes the studio for one of the latest additions to the world of the podcast. As of 22nd April 2014 The Strengths Revolution weekly podcast show arrived on your world dominating iTunes Store. So now you to can become the recipient of my pearls of wisdom cunningly dispensed through the ‘vacant organism‘ that shares my home. All you need to do is click on:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/strengths-revolution-steve/id867043694

Of course, it goes without saying you should then subscribe to this wonderous Ivor Novello distraction, and even leave the occasional review of episodes that blew you away with their subtle wit and wisdom. All of this will be like the NHS, free at the point of need! But, for those of you who like to read

Microphone and canswhat you have been listening to, the book will be out on 12th May (‘Working with Strengths’ published by Pavilion Publishing & Media in Brighton)… but there are no current plans for the film just yet.

Until we speak again I am going to purr into my Blue Yeti microphone and don strange cans for the future benefit of you all.