Thursday, 12 February 2015

The View from Wales

To my mind, sitting in the Mad Bishop at the end of a couple of escalators in a shopping centre in Paddington Station last friday afternoon, the England rugby fans all looked alarmingly like Monty Don, and the Welsh like Dylan Thomas. With a name like Davies, I'm not too fond of stereotyping the Welsh (as in general the English do) but our differences certainly came to mind when we accidentally found ourselves amidst what is euphemistically called 'a carnival atmosphere' in Cardiff city centre a few hours later. They plonked the Millennium stadium right in the middle of it, symbolically I hope, and it was a good idea. The next day even the trebuchet at Cardiff Castle (above) reminded me of the rugby. Any head to head with the English seemed welcome. 
But then, I'd defend Cardiff if I had to, since it is one of the more humane city centres Britain has to offer, mostly for it's network of arcades, as extensive as any I've come across, which, since they are effective and pleasant and well used, have prevented shitty streetscapes and too many dreary malls. There are malls, but you stroll through them without a nervous breakdown, and into the arcades, full of small enterprises selling odd and interesting things; like walking through eBay with character. So with regard to the post below, the utterly vernacular contemporary vulgarization of London, I'm glad somebody at some point managed to plan Cardiff in such a way, and make it a nice place to be.
Then it was away in to the air, to hills! Hills above towns! I'd forgotten how good that felt. And the houses all the same! And workshops with people actually making things, bashing metal. This was an ancient scene for sure.

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