Archive for January, 2012

52 weeks, photo #2: early daffodils

early daffs

I was amazed to see these daffodils for sale at Cardiff Central Station on Monday, so bought a bunch and took a photo of them when I got on the bus to Pontcanna. Now the winter frost has returned, will the spring blooms that made an early entrance perish with the cold? I really hope not – daffodils are my favourite flowers!

My second submission to The Guardian’s 52 weeks photography project.

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Fiesta Fun!

Photo by avlxyz

Photo by avlxyz

Tomorrow is my 35th birthday. I’m not angling for birthday wishes, to be honest when people say, “It’s your birthday tomorrow!” it serves more as a sharp reminder rather than to build-up excitement.

I’m celebrating this Saturday in Birmigham with Sas Taylor (whose birthday was a couple of days ago) and Carl, who’s keen to mark our new Cardiff adventure, with ‘A Brummie Fiesta’ (Sas’s idea). Here’s the eventbrite’s blurb:

Last year we celebrated the birthdays with a cheesy grin. This year we’re hoping for more of a DIY Mexican wave, so…

  • If you can rustle up some chilli, make it.
  • If can you do a mean mojito, mix it.
  • If you have a fetching sombrero, wear it.
  • If you have some Mexican music in your collection, bring it.

Hopefully we can mix up a lovely warm, fiesta feeling that will take our minds off this wet, post-holiday winter weather!

Join us at 7.30pm onwards on Saturday 14th January 2012.

Friction Arts have very kindly given us use of The Edge in Digbeth for the evening – see location details.

I’m hoping a few friends can make it! 🙂

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52 weeks, photo #1: busted brollies

Busted Brollies

I’m keen to record what happens whilst I’m settling into Cardiff life so joining in The Guardian’s 52 weeks photography project (‘join our photo project to share your 2012 in pictures’) seemed like the perfect way of doing it. A photo a week seems do-able, more so than a lengthier blog post or photo a day (with 365 Days), with which I could imagine myself lapsing with.

The project features a fair bit of ‘iphoneography’ but my first image was taken with my trusty Canon G12 after I’d tried and failed to capture the image in the failing light with my iphone.

I took the photo last Thursday evening. After having had my brolly blown inside out and getting soaked as a result early that morning, this bin with broken brollies sticking out of it in Bute Park seemed to say it all about the stormy weather.

The weather wasn’t the only unusual thing – being in Bute Park after dark also felt like quite a novelty. Bute Park traditionally closed its gates at dusk, forcing commuters to walk or cycle around rather than through the park after dark. But over October-December Cardiff Council held a three-month pilot where they opened the major routes until 7pm to allow cyclists and walkers to use them for their journeys home from work.

I’m unsure what the results of the pilot were – the routes seem to have been well-used after dark. But the gates have remained open until 7pm after new year, so the pilot seems to have been extended at least. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it becomes a permanent arrangement, as the walk/cycle from Pontcanna to central Cardiff via Bute Park is a particularly pleasant experience.

I’ve not taken my second week’s photo yet, I’m hoping inspiration strikes me soon!

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My new neighbourhood has a new hyperlocal website: Pontcanna Hub

Pontcanna saw the new year in with a new hyperlocal website – was launched on 1st January by the Pontcanna Pine/Dairy Team. As well as ‘an information website for people who like, live, visit & work in Pontcanna’ it also supports the local campaign against the proposed developments of a Sainsbury’s and Tesco supermarket.

Now I’m not anti Tesco or Sainsbury’s per se – I can see that in some places, a local chain supermarket might not be a bad thing. I remember being delighted to hear (unfounded) rumours of a Digbeth Tesco Metro shortly after I moved there in 2007 because the area had so little in the way of local shops and amenities at that time.

But Pontcanna is a very different place to Digbeth – a big part of its identity is its many local independent shops, cafes and bars. Since moving here I’ve found myself doing my food shopping at the local butcher’s, baker’s, greengrocer’s and deli rather than getting the lot under the one roof and I and a lot of other local residents seem to prefer it that way. That and a fair few other reasons (local parking and housing issues) is  why quite a few of us will be heading to St Catherine’s Church Hall on Kings Road this Thursday evening to discuss Sainsbury’s proposal.

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