A Weekend in Cardiff

While I love living in Cornwall, it is a long way from anywhere else; family, friends and of course, John Lewis, IKEA,and Hobbs. So it was lovely to get away for a long weekend in Cardiff. I’ve lived in Cardiff off and on for more than 15 years and still think it’s one of the nicest cities around.

Most of the weekend was taken up with family, but I did get to visit one of my favourite places for a vintage rummage.

Jacobs Market is housed in an old brick warehouse which is now surrounded by modern office buildings, a bit of an anachronism in a modern city centre, but delightful in its unexpectedness. http://jacobsmarket.co.uk/

Inside, there are three floors of stalls selling everything from furniture to vintage clothes and domestic kitchenalia.

I love this deco style clock, but wouldn’t it look better outside?

I loved these lights:

Doesn’t this one look beautiful against the dark background?

There was also loads of vintage clothing and accessories. I loved this peach flapper style dress, and the mannequin it’s displayed on.

And of course, there’s the unusual, like this old fruit machine.

Cardiff is well known for its Victorian Arcades, which house lots of individual and unique shops. You could easily spend a day exploring them, but we just popped into the Wyndham Arcade for a quick look.

It has been revamped as part of a city centre renewal project, but still keeps a lot of its original character.

We then went to Penarth, a Victorian seaside town just along the coast for an ice cream by the sea. I lived in Penarth for 15 years and still love its character.

Looking west along the seafront:

About halfway along the sea front is this award winning restaurant. When I lived in Penarth the building housing it was a Victorian Public Toilet! Just a bit of a change of use!

Looking east along the seafront you can see the Victorian pier.

Here’s a closer look at the decorative ironwork streetlamps on the promenade:

We bought icecreams and walked down the pier to enjoy them.

Looking back to the pier entrance.

It was a lovely way to spend a weekend, but as the weather changed to rain on Sunday, we were happy to come home.

The sun has come out!

Yes, in a special, one day only, kind of deal, the sun has come out in Cornwall!

When I moved down to Cornwall I had fond memories of holidays when the sun always shone, the beaches sparkled and the sea was crystal blue. Sadly, the reality has proved to be rather more grey and damp, with more rain and lower temperatures than the national average for the last four summers. I’m left wondering wether this is the effect of global warming, or just my lousy memory.

That said, when the sun does come out down here we know how to make the most of it. And so, with a sunny day promised, we abandoned all our plans and made for St Ives for our final visit before the school summer holidays.

Walking through the back streets on our way to the beach, I was struck by this fantastic floral display. Although the houses don’t have much outside space, I love how much colour they have managed to cram in. The thing that looks like a curling iron at the bottom of the picture is made from granite and I dread to think how much it weighs. While I don’t know what it was originally used for, I would bet that it could anchor a boat in one place!

It was 21 degrees, so I have no idea why the couple in this picture were still in their anoraks!

Looking down the hill towards the harbour.

We walked along the pier to the lighthouse at the end:

St Ives still has a working harbour, although there are many leisure boats and boat trips operating out of the harbour as well.

These were some of the lobster pots drying on the pier wall (in winter we often see huge groups of sparrows inside these pots, but haven’t been able to work out if this is for shelter or food).

While we were on the pier, we noticed a group of people, and a group of seagulls, transfixed by something in the water:

This wily seal was collecting dead fish from the bottom of the harbour where they had been discarded by the fishing boats. He’d then bring them up to the surface to eat them, at which point the seagulls would dive bomb him trying to get their share! Sorry I couldn’t get a better picture but I only had my mobile phone.

The beaches were surprisingly crowded considering that the schools haven’t broken up yet:

Anyone would think it was summer! Sadly, today we’re back to work and back to grey skies and drizzle.