Requiem for peace

Since being dragged from the maelstrom of London life to the comparatively slower paced Cardiff, by the one who strangely believes themselves to own me, I have come to consider my home as a place of tranquility and peace by the sea. Little did I realise just how much the face of peace was dramatically changing. It seems to me that peace used to be achieved slowly by degrees; but now it is commanded by decrees! Cardiff Bay has played host to a gentle sign of peace since March 2012, when the World Harmony Peace Statue was unveiled, with particular recognition of Cardiff’s role as one of the first multicultural centres in the UK…

World Harmony Peace Statue [1]

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Listening in on the radio to daily news reports suggested to me a world out there, beyond Cardiff, that was altogether less calm… known to many as Newport! Then there has been the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), a symbol of post World War II peace, coming to places near me and radically shifting my picture of what peace looks like as the 21st century progresses (if progress is the right implication!). Who would have thought it… that a bunch of world leaders could come to Newport and Cardiff and create even more wind and hot air than the usual incumbents of Cardiff Bay down at the Senedd (Welsh Government building)?

So, what does peace look like in this contemporary world of ours? For a start, the World Harmony Peace Statue now appears to need protective fences and security personnel of its own…

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And just in case that isn’t enough, the Bay plays host to water-based hardware from around Europe, with the UK warship HMS Duncan and the French warship La Motte-Picquet, among many others, providing the neighbouring Dr Who Experience plenty of reasons to maintain a lower than usual profile…

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Those pesky shoppers in the city centre also seem to need a bit more control exerting over their more exuberant tendencies, completed off with some new high profile ‘retail flow management systems’, and something approaching a personally allocated police officer for every individual shopper…

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Stay out [2]

If you hold any concerns that peace and harmony might just be the type of ethereal concepts that can easily slip from your grasp… no such problem anymore. There is nothing like a few hundred yards of shiny metal for corralling peace and harmony into more easily manageable geography…

Stay out [1]

But even a brave cat like me wasn’t going to point a camera phone in the faces of these guys, brought in specially to smile and chat with the locals as they were going about the usual business of strolling around a city centre [With thanks to BBC News Online and Flickr Images]:

Armed police in CardiffArmed police    Then you can always instil a little peace into the grumbling locals with a colourful display of Red Arrows like hardware. Nothing like a pretty distraction for contemporary camera-phone society, giving the local residents something to bore the world of social media with for an attention span approaching a few seconds, until the next snippet of inane celebrity gossip hits the airwaves [thanks to Mike Griffiths on Twitter for the image]:

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Juno face

 

So, my prospective war-mongerers, until we speak again this is President Juno offering you the international feline salute of peace, and instructing you to be harmonious and peaceful.

Culinary adornment

Stay out [4]

So, that’s where the ancestors went wrong… a 25 foot high solid wall clearly wasn’t enough to keep the historic hordes of marauding cats out, particularly at banqueting time. Cardiff discovers that every good castle needs the unfathomable wisdom of an ugly Health & Safety intervention. Just add a 10 foot high steel fence, and you too can commune with your local population, delivering a message that something special is happening here, but you’re not invited!

Stay out [5]

Clearly somebody forgot to tell Batman… a fence and a high visibility cone threat will do nothing to deter a super hero with a skateboard. As for the subtle human addition to the high-vis security… just set your egg-timer to suss out the frequency of patrols by plods-on-wheels cycling the whole perimeter of the prolateriat-diner-exclusion-zone…

Stay out [6]

So, what is all the fuss about, you ask? NATO are holding a summit… somewhere else!!! Yes, the summit is in Newport, about 15 miles away. Maybe, my reader, you have been to Newport, in which case you know it doesn’t need anything added in order to be twinned with cold war Berlin, or the present day West Bank or Gazza Strip! Cardiff largely ignores its scruffier little neighbour, and instead casts its ambitions wider by adapting the model of the Green Line in Nicosia, Cyprus, with a contemporary version of their no-man’s land.

Stay out [3]

It seems that dining out just got very expensive for all the residents of Cardiff, even though they will not be invited to the table themselves. The grandest nosh on the planet takes place in the setting of Cardiff Castle, providing the main distraction for world leaders desperate to get together to say nothing of any significance about a whole load of very significant world issues. As an exclusive meal it takes some beating, with a leeked preview (is that the Welsh version of ‘leaked’?) of the indigenous menu of laver bread starter…

    … cawl main, and Welsh cakes for pudding…

 

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… all washed down with a pint of Brains finest SA.

4. Brains journey [1]

The unanswered conundrum is why a meal that lasts no more than a few hours requires a month of security measures? Until we speak again send you answers nailed to the forehead of a peaceful protester to a somewhat disillusioned Juno.

funny cats   [Thanks to http://www.sodahead.com as the source of this image, and gypsy-willow.com for the previous food images].