Social Intrusion

“You come any closer with that camera and you will need more than a pair of tweezers to remove it from where I’ll put it! What do you think this is… a fashion shoot?”

“Hey ladies, I’m sure we’re okay with these pillars being 2 metres apart… but watch out for the strange dude with a camera at 4 o’clock!”

“Back off sneaking up on folks like that. By the way… does my bum look too big in this?”

Until we speak again, Juno never did do sneaking up that well…

5 past midnight

It’s Christmas Day in the lower part of St Mary Street in Cardiff. In the land of raucous bars and nightclubs it’s time to get the party started…

Until we speak again, welcome to the celebrations… 2020-style! Have a cool yule!

Nadolig Llawen 2020

It’s three days to Christmas, and all in Cardiff will be frantically hitting the high street in a last minute flurry of over-commercialised action. So, let’s venture forth with great trepidation, and take on the challenge of negotiating a path through the maddening hordes of shoppers. But hang on, what’s happened to The Hayes? Always a place to provide a sight of festive elegance, but now seems a little deserted…

Let’s try the Christmas Market… always a good place for a warming festive scene (when it’s not being dismantled early, that is!!)…

Maybe the pubs and clubs are doing a roaring trade as an alternative to the worries of what to buy… but then, I forgot, they have already been consigned to memories of a cultural history!

Perhaps everyone is gathering in front of the Castle for a special pre-Christmas event? Or, maybe not…

Okay, at least Queen Street as the main shopping thoroughfare can be depended upon for accommodating the masses… Wow, my kind of shopping!!

Until we speak again, it seems I can only wish you a Merry Covid! Perhaps in years to come we will all look back on this experience and say… WTF???

Second bite

Sometimes it takes a second visit in order to truly satisfy those expectations… wherever they may originally have come from. Take I Giardini di Sorrento for example…

Great reviews and a sight of a sumptuous swordfish main dish on the website, and I’m salivating at the prospect of my first visit. However, combine such raised expectations with a visit to a Cardiff based independent family-run Italian restaurant in the company of a fine food critic, who just happened to be returning from Venice 24 hours earlier, and the recipe for success could be quite a challenge!

Fortunately, a light and delicately fried calamari starter primes the taste buds nicely, and those potentially unachievable expectations begin to dissolve into the tender seafood chewiness, spiked with the sharpness of squeezed lemon…

Then comes the tinge of disappointment, as it seems the swordfish has gone awol off the menu tonight, taking a break to allow some poor sea bass to put in a shift! Thoughts turn to a Plan B, and though my choice of salmon pistachio penne was only slightly overly salty, for my guest the risotto principe was quite a few furlongs behind in the race with its Venice counterpart of a few nights earlier.

We leave sated, but with a sense of disappointment; the important lesson being one of tempering expectations before a first visit… just taste the moment. So many awards and great reviews can’t all be misplaced… cue a re-visit, and a chance to soak up the authenticity of a lunchtime capriciossa pizza

It might be Cardiff, but could we really be dining elsewhere?

And even a visit to the restroom involves an additional reminder we could be absorbing Mediterranean vibes…

Until we speak again, there is a question about whether our tastes on the night have anything to do with the overall quality of what is on offer. Should we allow particular expectations to determine our experience in the moment? Well, yes we should… but don’t let that block further adventures into culinary discovery.

Art of the night walker

Going down the docks after dark just doesn’t seem to hold the same threat as it used to!

An autumn blend of colourful speculation, cultural reflection and historic reminiscence can provide a soothing balm for the mental health.

Even some of the more bizarre architectural oddities can assume a new persona… Cardiff Noir anyone!?

Until we speak again, a gentle nighttime stroll may even occasionally illuminate some of life’s mystery’s… like whether pedestrians and cyclists will ever see eye-to-eye.

Strategic advice

Anybody seen anything resembling a strategy floating around? Particularly amidst the clear-as-mud-mess our Tory incompetents revel in serving up on a daily basis?

Our witless Government misinformation trumpets like to spout lies and nonsense to the gullible masses about how they are confidently in control.

But, take a closer look at the detail clouded by the confused messages…

Is that the truth of stark reality we can sense hoving into sight? Surely even those previously blind to the shenanigans of our ‘Liar-in-Chief‘ at Number 10 might benefit from some closer scrutiny of what is before them?!

Until we speak again, my strategic advice is to keep your eye on the prize!

Rude awakening

Leave me alone… I’m trying to make sense of this pandemic thing.

Perhaps gravity will come to my rescue!

Until we speak again, trust me… swanning about is the only way to cope with this restricted way of being!

Watching me… watching you

Just as the coronavirus pandemic lockdown restrictions gradually reduce it’s time to emerge out into a strange new world. You know… the place that has benefitted from the relative absence for months of pesky human creatures.

A place where birdsong has provided the soundtrack to an environment basking in a newfound laidback state of relaxation.

A place where fish have developed the confidence to swim about in clearer waters.

So, taking a gentle stroll along local canal side footpaths can only infuse the mind with a sense of tranquility…

That is, until you turn the next corner? “This is my place now… nobody passes!”

“Hey fellah, you might as well retreat into your buildings, but you can’t hide from me!”

Until we speak again, “I’ve got my eye on you!”

Sod it!

As the coronavirus restrictions begin to lift we are all being confronted with difficult decisions…

Is the time right to get back to work? Are the kids back in school? Can I work from home still? Will the workplace be safe? Do I use public transport? Do I add to climate damaging emissions? Where do I buy lunch these days? Has anybody worked out what the furlough thing is all about? Do today’s job loss announcements include mine? Do I believe anything the lying bastards in Government say?

Sod it…

Until we speak again, there are two types of people in the post restriction world of Cardiff… those dealing with difficult questions, and those who just mess about on boats!