Grayson’s Art Club

A little bit of creative humanity is currently appearing on Channel 4 in recent weeks. The artist Grayson Perry invites members of the public to submit their example of lockdown art on a theme for the week. Selected examples will feature alongside his own artwork in a post-lockdown exhibition.

This week’s theme is ‘the view out of my window’ as it represents lockdown ideas, so here is mine…

The plant, that was there, has clearly died (more a reflection of me than the virus I think). The Coronavirus brick wall dominates the present view. But shoots of green and blue emerge on a distant horizon.

Until we speak again…

Alternative Olympics

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics might well be postponed, but for sports lovers suffering through the corona crisis lockdown there is good news… the Bin Store Roof Games have still managed to take place, and here is a highlight from the blue riband 3 metre sprint competition.

Squirrell [2]

Until we speak again, the competitors are lining up for the 6 metre breast stroke swimming competition…

Ducks at 14 [2]

 

Rush Hour

“I don’t like Mondays”, or so the song said. Well, it looks like the world over, that sentiment is playing out in an all too different way. Rush Hour anywhere is looking a little bit like the one experienced here in the centre of the capital city of Cardiff. Not too many people rushing to the heart of the administrative and leisure centre down at Cardiff Bay

Lloyd George Avenue

Perhaps they are all heading for the offices of the newly established Capital Quarter? Or, maybe not…

Tindall Street

How about one of the seats of learning dotted around the centre of the city? Looks more like extended vacation time…

University of South Wales

Shopping with an event and pre or post restaurant visit anyone? Perhaps not…

Until we speak again, the main message seems to be one of…

Be kind

 

 

Lockdown Blues

The sky is blue, Cardiff Bay is blue… wow, do I love the blues just now! Who needs a garden when you have this on your doorstep?

Bay April 2020 [1]

Until we speak again, check out Samantha Fish (the singer not the contents of my local Bay!) for some great contemporary blues guitar.

Swan Hunter

And there was me thinking that was the name of a famous old shipyard in Wallsend, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. But, here we are in our own private lockdown situations, left to observe the animal kingdom going about their ways with little care for human interference. Who would have known that a worldwide pandemic would have such silver linings?

Swan from 14

Swan hunting [1]

Swan hunting [2]

Until we speak again, I’m sure Juno would have been impressed by the shear ambition, if not by the inherent impracticability!

Social distancing

“You humans do like to convolute your language. How are you getting on with your self-isolating, eh? Some things just come natural to those of us who live uncomplicated lives. If you do manage to perfect your walking-on-water technique, you still need to keep your 2 metres distance, okay!”

Lonely swan Mar 2020

Until we speak again, go away!

The sound of silence

Taking the daily exercise walk in my local area I am pleased to report another busy ‘corona day’ down Cardiff Bay

Bay empty on Monday 23-3-20

Until we speak again, congratulations to the masses heeding the dire warnings, and stay safe, keep well! As for the small minority of mindless morons… did you know you’re cultivating careers as serial killers… stay home!

Flight interrupted

So, you think you’re having problems trying to get flying, with all of this pandemic stuff going on? Stay grounded, they said, in the jargon of psychobabble. Well, you try taking off with this thing strapped to your legs!

Bird Anchored [1]

Until we speak again, stay safe and well. The option of flight is a luxury many can return to at a later date. For some, it’s just what we do!

Christmas in Peckham

How do you avoid the repetition of a traditional Christmas meal? Well, we’ve previously done Cardiff in July, Blackheath in June, central London in January… but here we were, planning on having our annual Christmas meal in December of all places! Trouble is, most restaurants seem to want to ditch what they are known for, and produce their version of what everyone is doing.

I have to admit, on this occasion I was doing the travelling, so it seemed only right to delegate the venue choice to the dude living locally. “Peckham…”, he suggested. Well, the first thing to come to mind was the song lyric “Is there life in Peckham?” Turns out, there really is, and amongst other contenders, it is alive and well at…

Artusi sign

On inspecting the online menu possibilities, it seemed like we were attending the first night of a somewhat far more adventurous Christmas menu than I had seen before. But, despite getting up my resolve to go for it, redemption came in the form of having to book it in advance. We hadn’t, so we were left to their very own tradition of setting out their Italian inspired menu of the day on a blackboard near the restaurant entrance…

Chalkboard menu

A Salt Beef starter arrived with just the right blend of soft melt-in-the-mouth tender brisket and tart pickled cucumber…

Salt Beef starter

The main dish of Rigatoni Sausage Ragu came in the form of small pasta tubes with smaller pieces of sausage in a delicate balance. Why get stuffed, when you can just enjoy a satisfying blend of complementary flavours? Though it is very clear to me that had Juno been present that Sea Bream across the table would not last the time it takes for a blog post snap…

Canelloni Sausage Ragu

Until we speak again, it seems there is life in Peckham, and it comes in a very satisfyingly un-Christmas package. Artusi is for any time, not just for Christmas!

Artusi entrance

No Kurds were harmed

Under the cover of darkness St Mary Street had clearly succumbed to a Turkish incursion…

Outside view at night

Lezzet Turkish Kitchen is an interesting addition to Cardiff’s independent restaurants, for those of us who don’t feel the need to prop up the plethora of eat-by-numbers restaurant chains that litter the high streets of our towns and cities.

Oven

The familiar starter of Stuffed vine leaves came with an interesting mildly spiced twist…

Stuffed Vine Leaves

But it was the Seafood Kebab including swordfish, salmon and king prawns that melted away any possible resistance…

Seafood Kebab

Until we speak again, Turkey rightfully gets universal condemnation for its recent assault on Syria-based Kurdish forces; but the actions of megalomaniac dictators should bear no reflection on the many friendly and gastronomically creative Turkish people. But, in the interests of balance, I should really visit a restaurant offering Kurdish cuisine sometime soon.