LISTEN! We Are Haunted: a guide to the spirit city

Did you catch us earlier on Radio Cardiff? If not, no matter – you can listen back at your leisure … below!

I realised after listening back I wasn’t very good at saying what the songs were, so in order, they were as follows:

(the last three aren’t available on Spotify – other music streaming services are available – but I’ve linked through to where you can listen to them in full, if you are so inclined)

And are YOU headed to a Halloween party this weekend? The soundtrack will probably suck, so you should also check out Helia’s Halloween playlist. You are WELCOME.

BIG THANKS to the following people for making We Are Haunted possible:

Gareth Jones (aka Fireproof Giant, for composing all the original music and making the freaky sounds)
Jim Cowan
Kylie Ann Smith
Adie Delaney
Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe
Hannah Johnson
Ellie Pilott
Jon Pountney (for this amazing Cardiff Before Cardiff Facebook post where everyone in Cardiff told me about ALL the ghosts they had seen)
Bleddyn Preece
Mark Williams

You ROCK, kids! See you next time…

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Street Food Cardiff – food pop ups every weekend from now to Christmas!

What are you doing this weekend? If you weren’t planning on heading to The Depot on Dumballs Road, then you better change your plans quick smart. The preview event sold out of EVERYTHING and the food was uber tasty. And that’s from the horse’s mouth.

Street Food Cardiff
The Depot, Dumballs Road (10 minutes walk from Cardiff Central Station)
6-11pm every Friday and Saturday from now until the end of December!


This weekend as a Halloween Special, there’s a Day of the Dead Slam:

Hautedogs: Steamed bun, Smoked Trealy farm frank, Avocado & Feta Smash, Pickled Red Onions and Chipotle Mayo.

Chucks: Grass Fed Chuck Steak Beef Patty, Brioche Roll, Chipotle Sauce, Jalapeños, American Cheese

Dirty Bird: Dirty Mexican Sandwich, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Toasted Brioche Roll, Chipotle Sauce and Jalapeños

El Salsa: Trio of slow braised spiced pork tacos, with grilled pineapple & habanero salsa, pico de gallo & chipotle crema. Served with shredded cabbage & lime.

Jols Food co: Braised Beef Cheek, quesadilla with guacamole, braising liquor and manchego.

Brulee Bar: Chocolate Crème Brulee w/ blood orange & tequila jelly, fresh whip & sugared chilli tortilla shards

Dough Boys: Guacamole sauce base, chipotle beef chilli chunks, tortilla crumbs, diced grape tomatoes, fresh cilantro

Meat & Greek: Chicken will be marinated in Mexican spices served with sour cream and jalapeño peppers.

Authentic Japanese Foods: Moon Shaped Mexican Sushi – chilli, thin omlette, seaweed paper & pumpkin & smoked salmon sushi

See you there?

Street Food Cardiff Facebook event

A Night at the Casablanca! 1 November 2014

A couple of weeks back I was told about this AMAZING event that the Wales Millennium Centre are holding – reviving an infamous Cardiff night spot for one night only: bringing back THE CASABLANCA!

For one extraordinary night this November, we’re transforming the Donald Gordon stage into Butetown’s legendary Casablanca Club for a celebration of the rich musical heritage that made it famous around the world.

From its beginnings as Butetown’s Bethel Chapel (where Ivor Novello was baptised) to its final closure and demolition, the Casablanca holds a special place in the hearts of Tiger Bay residents. Spanning 50 years of music, Night at the Casablanca will feature live performances from local artists in one unforgettable evening of soul, gospel, reggae, swing, jazz and everything in between.

Night at the Casablanca is the Centre’s first official 10th Anniversary performance and one that celebrates the cultures, stories and sounds of our neighbourhood.
• Live music from 7pm
• Performance in Donald Gordon Theatre at 8pm
• After show party from 10pm

The Casablanca Club. The club was previously the Bethel Chapel where Ivor Novello was baptised.



A photo of the Casablanca ‘in action’ (by Mike Johnson)



Night at the Casablanca is the Centre’s first official 10th Anniversary performance and one that celebrates the cultures, stories and sounds of our neighbourhood. If you have a memory of the Casablanca, please share it with the team on Facebook orTwitter by using the hashtag #CasaB or by emailing us

Tickets are a steal – just £15 in advance from WMC for …

• Live music from 7pm
• Performance in Donald Gordon Theatre at 8pm
• After show party from 10pm

Price includes entry to party after the show featuring…
• Live band on the Glanfa stage
• DJ room with sound systems
• Free Caribbean Food
• Bar open ’til late
We’ll see you down the front!

Celebrate Halloween for a good cause! The SAFE Foundation’s Halloween Party 2014

The SAFE Foundation is hosting a Halloween Party at The Wharf Pub in Cardiff, CF10 4EU.

The event is being held on Friday 31 October 2014, doors open at 7.30pm. You’d do well to go there and celebrate – after listening to the We Are Cardiff Halloween radio show on Radio Cardiff (98.7FM) from 6-7pm, of course… 

SAFE Foundation Halloween 2014

The SAFE Foundation is a registered charity based in Cardiff, working all over the world to give people access to basic human rights like education and healthcare. The upcoming Halloween party is the next event in SAFE’s busy calendar to raise money for various overseas projects in countries such as Uganda, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

The theme for the party is ‘A Night at the Oscares’, so the dress code is ‘zombified’ movie costumes. The decor will fit the theme, with a special ‘Oscare’ award ceremony for the best dressed.

Here’s what to expect:

  • Fun and lively atmosphere whilst promoting a good cause
  • ‘Unlucky Dip’
  • ‘Oscare’ Award for best dressed
  • Polaroid paparazzi on the blood red carpet
  • Full bar 

Tickets £5/£7 available at

or by contacting

We Are Haunted: a guide to the spirit city

We Are Haunted 2014 radio flyer


Helia’s been out chasing ghosts around Cardiff. Listen in to what she finds …



6 – 7pm

Radio Cardiff, 98.7FM


VIDEO! Adventure playground Cardiff 1972…

Our good friend Jeremy Rees works for VCS (Voluntary Community Service Cardiff), and recently uncovered this splendid short film about an adventure playground in Cardiff in 1972.

Do you recognise any of the kids in the film? Let us know!


This is for the runners…

Yesterday I came across this short film about runners in Victoria Park in London. I’ve got friends who live around the corner, and I’ve run around that park myself – the film is a lovely little foray into the reasons that people run, and the honest answers that spring from people while they’re doing that kind of activity.

What’s this got to do with Cardiff? Not much, admittedly, but it reminded me that we’ve got a rather nice little interview with Lisa (a runner) in our documentary about Cardiff.

Also it’s a good chance to remind any of you folk who’ve been thinking about getting into running to dust off your trainers and get into one of the many Cardiff parks that we’re lucky enough to have here …

Or, if you’re feeling like you want to be sociable with your running, why not try out the Cardiff park run? It’s a free, timed 5K event that’s held every Saturday morning at 9am in Bute Park. It starts alongside Tesco Extra (Western Ave), on the Taff Trail there (if in doubt, look for the hundreds of runners you’ll see when parking up in the car park there!)

(Cardiff park run – photo by Amanda Thompson)

More information about Cardiff park run here: Cardiff park run Facebook group

Now get your running daps on and get out there!



A-Z of Cardiff: K is for the Kaairdiff Accent

Katie Hamer carries writing her A-Z of our fine city – today, she’s looking at the city’s accent! Kaairdiff indeed!

I touched upon the Kaairdiff accent in my article, ‘H is for the Hennessys’. I realised what makes the accent special is its unique way of telling things. As Banarama sang, ‘It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it.‘ This is also true for the city’s distinctive accent.

Thinking along these lines intrigued me. I wondered how I could express the spirit of an accent in an article.

Then I discovered ‘I Loves the ‘Diff’. What this company have done is truly amazing; they’ve captured the city’s way of telling things in an original and quirky way.


I loved their products instantly, and was curious to know how they had come about. I sent an email to them to see if they would provide me with further information. To my great delight, Christian Amodeo, ‘The Chairman of the Bored” responded to the email I sent him, and agreed to answer the rapid-fire questions I put to him. This is what he told me:

Your logo is a play on the classic New York logo. When I first read it, I thought you meant ‘I loves the difference’ LOL! What do you think sets Cardiff apart from other capital cities?
Where d’you want to start? It’s pretty small for a capital city, which makes it unusual and also a fab place to live; it’s the youngest capital in Western Europe – not sure if you can compare a city to a human’s development, but Cardiff’s both growing and growing in confidence, and lots of exciting things are happening here – maybe the ‘Diff awkward teens are behind it and its about to swagger into its roaring 20s? Or maybe that’s just a terrible analogy!
Bakers Row
Bakers Row
So, Cardiff is your home city. What are the places of which you are particularly fond, that are special to you?
I really like the Bakers Row and the street it comes off for some reason, and not just because Metro’s is on it. My parents met in a club in Bakers Row according to legend so maybe that’s why. Roath Park has a place in the heart of many a Cardiffian – it’s the place you’re taken as a kid. So many afternoons spent here with relatives and friends. I remember my Uncle Gino bought some ducklings from Splott market and once they became too much of a handful, we released them on the lake.
When I was even younger, my grandad would take me on regular outings up the Wenallt – so that holds some great memories. Lavernock Point is another lush place – close to the city but away from it. Another place to think, to regain perspective. There are loads of great places. I’m quite fascinated by the way although we share a space, there are so many memories, like ghosts, on every corner of incidents and happenings in people’s lives.
I’m jealous of the way every building offers a different view of Cardiff. Which means we all see it differently. Not that I sneak into people’s homes and offices to look out of their windows – though I like delivering to office blocks in town and the Bay for the views.
Roath Park
Autumn colours in Roath Park
Are these ducks the offspring of Uncle Gino’s ducklings?
Have you ever lived anywhere else? Would you think about living anywhere else? If so, where?

I’ll always live here, if only for tax reasons! I’ve lived in salubrious Swansea (at university), in Italy, and in London. I actually lived in rural Sussex for a tiny bit too, which was great. It’s well posh down that way. I thought I’d wandered into a Sunday evening ITV drama.In London I lived on a boat near the Albert Bridge for a bit, and later [with] my wife in Islington. (I’d been looking for her everywhere.) Being half Italian it was an amazing experience living in Italy – far more gay men than the national stereotype of womanising lotharios would suggest, but it’s like living on a film set the entire time. Even stopping to tie your shoe laces suddenly becomes some grand gesture.

I suppose it helps to live in other places, and certainly to see them, to be able to appreciate where you’re from. It’s one thing to blindly love your hometown, but it’s quite another to see the world and come back and still love it.
What inspired you to set up this business? Did you have a ‘eureka’ moment?
If I did I wasn’t paying attention. I just admired the Glaser-designed NY classic and started playing with a Cardiff version. No one seemed excited by my design until I thought of the ‘s’ after the heart – it went from there. It wasn’t a business – the aim wasn’t to make a million pounds and retire to Flat Holm. No, I just wanted to see someone I didn’t know wearing the t-shirt. Never having designed a t-shirt before, everything that is now a part of what has slowly evolved into a business was brand new to me. It’s been a slow learning curve, and the business came about as a natural result of how things slowly grew. Most of it, like the Taffywood Welshified film and book title range, has been a series of happy accidents with no master plan of any kind.
I pose for a selfie in the ‘Apocalypse Now, In a Minute’ t-shirt
I think my favourite product of yours, is the t-shirt with ‘Apocalypse Now, In a Minute’. It reminds me of someone I worked with, who always said ‘I’ll do it now, in a minute!’ 

I’m glad you like that one. It’s actually one of our most popular Taffywood titles. It’s on mugs and cards too. It felt a bit like Apocalypse Now In A Minute round here during the NATO Summit, didn’t it? Other fab titles from that range include Cwtch Me If You Can, From By ‘Ere To Eternity, When Barry Met Sully, Cwtch-22, The Llandaff Time Forgot, and Llanishen Impossible. There are loads of them.

What’s your favourite product? Have their been any unexpected successes?
Having zero design or retail experience when this started, it’s all been an unexpected and fun adventure. And it’s always hard to predict what will be popular, that’s for sure. I loves everything we do, but I suppose the Cardiff Underground map is my favourite thing. It took quite a while – I even shelved it for six months around the time I got married – and then to think of all the people who’ve since enjoyed it, well, it’s a lovely thing really isn’t, to have people like something you’ve created. I’m very grateful.
What’s next for the ‘Diff’? What new products can I look forward to?
We’re doing a wall calendar for 2015, launching a new logo, doing the popular Cardiff Heart poster in six lush colours at A3 size, we want to do some films, and want to break into the perfume market. Expect only 10 per cent of that to actually happen, mind.

Thank you Christian, for responding so enthusiastically to my questions. I shall definitely be adding your quirky designs to my Christmas present list!

You can contact them here for more information

 Thanks Katie! And we’ll catch you for the next instalment…



What to do in Cardiff this weekend: Cardiff Open Studios, 25/26 October 2014

October officially means Art in Cardiff these days… another instalment in the Cardiff Contemporary story this time, with a weekend of artists opening their studios and welcoming you in. All around the capital! And ALL FREE!

Here’s the blurb from them:

“Cardiff has a vibrant community of artists who choose this city as their creative home. Many of the artists exhibit nationally and internationally, while this weekend is a rare chance to see work in progress, meet artists and discuss ideas in these personal spaces. This map focuses on artist-run and individual spaces for visual and applied artists as part of Cardiff Contemporary. The theme of Cardiff Contemporary 2014 is Reveal/Conceal. This weekend is about revealing places and ideas that are usually concealed. We hope you enjoy the weekend exploring this usually hidden community in the city.

A free yellow map is available to locate the studios, indicate opening times and compliment your journey. There is space to add the names of artists whose work you like, a place to draw should you be inspired and the reverse is a poster for your wall or front window. While it is for the weekend, we hope you keep this map and place on your wall as part of discovering more about the Arts in Cardiff.



Click here to see: Cardiff Open Studios 2014 PDF – you can pick up physical maps from The Stute (next to The Abacus near Cardiff Central) or in Chapter.

My picks:

I haven’t had long to go through the map, but I’ve picked two places that I’ve been wanting to visit for ages….

Warwick Hall Studios Open/Ar agor: 10.00—18.00, Sat/Sadwrn + Sun/Sul
Banastre Avenue, Cardiff CF14 3NR
029 20 625 375
Residents: Matt Cook, Ellie Young, Jason Pinder, Freya Dooley, Christopher Holloway, Jamie Cross, Gabrielle Frazer, Richard James, Hillary Roberts, LightTrap Films, Anna Llewellyn, Alan Symmonds, Godmachine.

Hangover Lounge Open/Ar agor: 12.00—18.00, Sun/Sul
Spit & Sawdust Skate Park, Café & Artspace, Rhymney River Bridge Road, Cardiff CF23 9AF
029 20 494741
Residents: Becca Thomas, Sam Hasler
Studios Spaces Available Winter 2014/15 – call for info


See you in the Hangover Lounge on Sunday, yeah?



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Made in Roath – The Roath Exchange!

On Saturday, as part of Made In Roath, Green City Events and Cynefin Cardiff put their heads together and invited people to drop off their unwanted goods for a giant local swap shop! There were also workshops to screenprint designs on plain t shirts and also sew embellishments on your accessories.

Photographer Stephen Meredith went down to The Gate to capture the carnage on camera.
















Here’s a little bit about Stephen:

My name is Stephen Kai Meredith, and I’m currently studying Photojournalism at the University of South Wales. I moved to Wales a month ago from Nuneaton in the West Midlands and I’m currently living in Caerleon in Newport. I have been mainly interested in shooting bands as I enjoy live events. I am certainly excited to start exploring Cardiff and digging in the wonders its people hold. I’m also looking forwards to building confidence and knowledge in myself from my course here.

Stephen Meredith Website | Twitter @StevePhotoJ_USW

Made In Roath
Green City Events
Cynefin Cardiff


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Made In Roath – Road Block, and a Kurdish protest – photo blog by Peppe Iovino

By photographer Peppe Iovino.

On Saturday 18 October, I went along to the Roath district of Cardiff for the ‘Road Block’ event, a series of arts events that took place through the day from the morning to the late afternoon. Alongside Albany Road and many of the neighbourhood streets there were live stages with local bands and young artists, painting and drawing workshops for families, literary exhibitions and forums in some pubs and schools, open art galleries, photography exhibitions and many other kind of events.

road block event, made in roath festival

road block event, made in roath festival

road block event, made in roath festival

road block event, made in roath festival

road block event, made in roath festival

road block event, made in roath festival

road block event, made in roath festival

road block event, made in roath festival

road block event, made in roath festival

road block event, made in roath festival

For a day the streets became a live museum, for many art tastes. It was a really well done experiment of urban arts, I think, and through art events they made the people feel the soul of the neighbourhood.

‘Road in Block’ was part of a bigger art festival called Made in Roath going on between the 15 to the 22 of October with a series of arts events all made by local artists to highlight Roath’s art scene.

road block event, made in roath festival

road block event, made in roath festival

road block event, made in roath festival

On the way to Roath’s Road Block, I passed a group of Kurdish migrant families who were demonstrating in Queen Street. Their protest was to make the public aware about the terrible situation going on in their country. Children were standing alongside their families in the protest. They were chanting, holding posters saying ‘save Kobane’, ‘save Kurdistan’, and ‘ISIS is making genocide while the world watches’.

Kurdish families demonstrating in queen street seeking help from Uk government to prevent the genocide of their people fighting against ISIS

Speaking with one of the fathers he told me that they are very afraid of a genocide because not so far from Kurdistan (in the Kobane border city) the ISIS terrorist group are are killing hundreds and hundreds of Kurdish people whose only crime is being in the area. “It is nothing to do with religious beliefs,” he told me, “they don’t have any religious purpose, they just want power, they are hungry for power.”

He told me he had spoken to his brother yesterday, who had told him that the situation was very serious there – that hundreds of their people are being killed daily without any humanity or religious purposes; he said that ISIS would stop at nothing and the Kurdish people were not well armed to fight them. He said that the Kurds needed help from Western governments. He said they just felt like cannon fodder with the terrorist group well-armed, making daily massacres while international armies just watch.

Kurdish families demonstrating in queen street seeking help from Uk government to prevent the genocide of their people fighting against ISIS

Kurdish families demonstrating in queen street seeking help from Uk government to prevent the genocide of their people fighting against ISIS

He said that Ankara’s government was making their situation of Kurdish people worse by closing their borders. “We are very afraid of a genocide actually,” he said. “We don’t see any way out that’s better for our people, and if we do not receive help soon from international governments, we need some way to fight ISIS. That’s why we are here – there are many protests like this one in many other UK cities today to spread information about what is happening and ask for the UK government’s help.”

The man said it was not easy to explain to his sons why they were coming out today with pictures of dead bodies for the protest, but he said it was important that everyone needed to know who pays the price in these kinds of wars: on the front lines, it is always someone’s sons.

Kurdish families demonstrating in queen street seeking help from Uk government to prevent the genocide of their people fighting against ISIS

Kurdish families demonstrating in queen street seeking help from Uk government to prevent the genocide of their people fighting against ISIS


About the photographer: Peppe Iovino is a Photojournalism student studying at the University of South Wales, based in Cardiff. He was born in Naples, Italy and is very passionate about the storytelling power of photography. He has lived in many different European cities, but now has come to Cardiff to commit to study in the field he loves. You can find Peppe’s other works on his Twitter @PeppePhotoJ_USW.

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Ode to Ely – Cath


Ode to Ely

Hot summer days over Ely,

Smokin skunk getting touchy, touchy feely,

Cortina on bricks in the garden,

Wiv all my mates and their dogs,

Real ard ones.

Wha appen bruv, I godda rush to probation.

My officer got no fuckin patience,

We’es all ganged up outside,

Wiv our hands down our strides,

Til our names get called

We just fiddle wiv our balls,

They keep us waitin on the street

So we stroke our bits of meat finding comfort short and sweet,

I got aggro phobia see, anxiety and depression

I’m not allowed to work in case I kick the boss’s ed in

So now Ive been to my appointment and said Ive done no wrong,

I godda rush back to Ely to fix the fucking bong

Laters Bruv…safe.



Cath – according to her friend, Lynne Hughes:
“My reclusive mate Cath is a very private person and far too modest to write about herself so (being her opposite!) I’m doing it for her. Cath lives in ‘New Butetown’ as the Old Butetown residents like to call it. New Butetown residents tend to call it Cardiff Bay (or just The Bay) but me and the Post Office still reckon it’s Butetown if you’re on the Police Station side of Clarence Bridge.

“Cath is a lady of paradoxes. Reclusive but an Alabama 3 groupie, private but very much engaged with the world and her family and friends. She has a sense of fairness which would probably make her deeply depressed if she didn’t have such a broad sense of humour (as her little poem demonstrates!).

“As she is my neighbour as well as my friend I get to share public and private moments with her and she’s a great conversationalist. Last weekend I got invited to help demolish a load of leftovers from a little soiree she’d had the night before – yom yom. We managed to discuss racism, sexism, suicide, homicide, psychopathology, gynaecology, oenology and haute cuisine and didn’t fall out once.

“Oh and she’s a really good amateur photographer too, which, allied to a healthy sense of curiosity, produces some amazing photos. Last year she spent a month alone driving around the furthest reaches of Scotland (personally I can’t think of a worse way of spending a holiday) and her digital photo record of the trip is wonderful.

“Cath is a Llantwit girl originally and still has deep roots there but she loves living in Cardiff and being close to good transport links and surrounded by entertainment, culture and events (not to mention fascinating neighbours like me……).

“She also dogsits for friends. The lovely Rita is a Scottish Terrier bitch and a bit like Cath really – reclusive, a bit private and a mind of her own. In fact, Rita is the reason Cath & I met. A few years ago I dogshared a Parson Jack Russell and Cath and I met in Hamadryad Park when walking the dogs. We exchanged admiring comments about the animals (as you do) and discovered we were neighbours. Dogs, like kids, are a great way to meet friends. And the rest is history.

“Cath loves that from Butetown she can walk to City Centre shops and events in one direction and around the Bay in the other direction and she is only 5 minutes walk from Mermaid Quay and Hamadryad Park.

“As Cath is a 9-5 working girl and I’m a retired 9-5 playing girl our encounters tend to be at weekends and Cath does like the occasional early doors drink in Mischief our local CafeBar, long walks around the barrage and a glass or two on Mermaid Quay in the summer. She will also confess to drinking far too much Prosecco with me one afternoon when we went to WMC to catch a poetry gig on the Tesco stage.

“I can’t say much more because she’s going to edit this and she’ll only cross out the most revealing and interesting bits but she’s a great mate and she looked after my cat once when I was away so I daren’t offend her! And she’s dead against any pics of herself so I’ve just put in pics of the animals..

“For a private recluse Cath has a very gregarious and social side, but then she is Welsh and at the moment anyway, she is Cardiff …”



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