Democracy Club’s Election Survival Pack – Cardiff edition!

A couple of months ago I came across a website called the Democracy Club. Here’s what they do:

“Democracy Club is a group of volunteers that aims to increase the quantity, quality and accessibility of information on election candidates, politicians and democratic processes through digital tools, microvolunteering and collaboration with like-minded organisations.”

I signed up. Because seriously, their service is awesome, so you should at the very least go here and subscribe, if not volunteer to help.

Anyway, I just got an email from them which I want to reproduce in full for you below, because it’s SO DAMNED HELPFUL. If you’re still not sure who to vote for, or just want to know more about the candidates in your constituency, there are some great links and resources below.

Also, just out of interest, are any of you actually voting to get a candidate IN to your area, or just voting tactically to keep candidates/parties OUT? I’m doing the latter, and it sucks, because it genuinely feels like my vote doesn’t count for what it should.

For those of you in marginal seats – USE YOUR VOTE!!!

What should I be doing in the run-up to the General Election?

On the 7 May, the people of Britain will be voting to decide who runs the country for the next five years. What should you be doing between now and then? Here’s your election run-up survival pack.

Decide whether you want to vote

You don’t need to decide this right now – it’s good to make an informed decision, so you should probably do the other steps before coming back to this.

Get to know your candidates

When you vote, you’re choosing a Member of Parliament (MP) for your area. So it’s a good idea to find out a bit more about them.

Visit YourNextMP to find out who your candidates are:

  • Visit their Facebook pages, follow them on Twitter, read their LinkedIn profile…
  • Read or request your candidates’ CVs. What’s their background? What qualifies them for the job of MP? If they haven’t sent their CV yet, ask them to!
  • Look at the election leaflets sent in your area
  • Read the election leaflets that come through your door! (And once you’ve read them, upload them to ElectionLeaflets.org so everyone can read what the candidates said)
  • Read what the press are saying about the candidates, thanks to ElectionMentions.com
  • See how your last MP voted at TheyWorkForYou. There’s a good chance they’ll be standing again

Tell your candidates what you want from them

The candidate you select will be representing you – they’ll be making decisions on your behalf. And right now – while they’re trying to win your vote – is the best time to tell them how they can do that.

  • Attend a public debate (or “hustings”) with your local candidates – lots are listed on MeetYourNextMP, but you can find more and add them by googling for “hustings Bristol” (or wherever you live.) This is your chance to meet your candidates and ask them questions about what is important to you.
  • Use YourNextMP to find candidates’ contact details, then email or tweet them and tell them the issues that are important to you.

Figure out where you stand on the issues

There are so many websites to help you do this. There’s a whole list of them here in fact, and there’s even a review of some of the best.

Get the facts

Our friends at FullFact.org are fact checking the whole campaign – make sure you check up on all those numbers that are being thrown around.

Make sure they keep their promises

The whole thing only works if MPs are accountable to you. Candidates make promises on their election leaflets, and most end up in the bin. One thing you can do right now is upload your leaflets to ElectionLeaflets.org, to make sure they’ll be saved and publicly visible.

Help others make an informed choice too

A better informed set of voters is in everyone’s interests. So helping other people make a more informed choice is super valuable. The following websites are all crowdsourced, and you can help any of them by just contributing the information you’ve found out today:

  • MeetYourNextMP – did you find out about a hustings event? Add it!
  • Democracy Club CVs – if a candidate hasn’t uploaded a CV, ask them why not!
  • ElectionLeaflets – upload the leaflets that came through your door (so we can check back and see if they’ve kept their promises)
  • YourNextMP – did you find a twitter account for that candidate? Add it!
  • ElectionMentions.com – find a candidate without any known news articles about them and add one!

AND GO SIGN UP WITH DEMOCRACY CLUB.

That is all.

Peas. And don’t forget to vote!

 

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

Your Cardiff photos on our Instagram: Doug Nichols

In January and February this year, Cardiff resident Doug Nichols has been providing some beautiful photos for our We Are Cardiff Instagram account.

Check out his pictures of Cardiff! Aren’t they lovely?

doug_nicholls_instagram - 01 doug_nicholls_instagram - 02 doug_nicholls_instagram - 03 doug_nicholls_instagram - 04 doug_nicholls_instagram - 05 doug_nicholls_instagram - 06 doug_nicholls_instagram - 07 doug_nicholls_instagram - 08 doug_nicholls_instagram - 09 doug_nicholls_instagram - 10 doug_nicholls_instagram - 11 doug_nicholls_instagram - 12 doug_nicholls_instagram - 13 doug_nicholls_instagram - 14 doug_nicholls_instagram - 15 doug_nicholls_instagram - 16 doug_nicholls_instagram - 17 doug_nicholls_instagram - 18 doug_nicholls_instagram - 19 doug_nicholls_instagram - 20 doug_nicholls_instagram - 21 doug_nicholls_instagram - 22 doug_nicholls_instagram - 23 doug_nicholls_instagram - 24 doug_nicholls_instagram - 25

When he’s not running, Doug Nicholls likes to take travel photos. Unfortunately he doesn’t travel as much as he’d like to. So this month he’s turning his lens on Cardiff, where he lives and works, to capture his perspective of the city for We Are Cardiff.

Check out Doug’s Flickr

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

The Moscow State Circus are in town with Zhelaniy … get 2 for 1 tickets!

From the ‘world’s most famous circus’ (their words, not mine), the Moscow State Circus are coming to CARDIFF between 29 April – 4 May 2015, and bringing their new show ‘Zhelaniy’, which is based on the Russian folklore story of Cvetik-Semicvetik, or “the flower with seven colours” by Benjamin Losin, where each of the flower petals represent a wish.

Are you still following? Good!

 

moscow_state_circus

Wizard Wako and his  sidekick Natalia Mezentceva guide you through this tantalising tale, granting wishes to the beautiful Kushka Veslovskiy (who plays Zhenya). They are surrounded by a multitude of flying, back flipping, juggling, wire walking and roller-skating performers.

This years show features the following:

  • The award winning RUBAN 13 people springboard troupe
  • STYNKA on the horizontal bouncing Russian bar
  • VESLOVSKIY roller-skating revolutions
  • ELIZA KHACHUTRYAN Ballerina on the high wire in the roof of the big top
  • TRIO ATLAS on the floating globes
  • OLGA ROZHKOVSKAYA devastating low wirewalker
  • TATIANA OZHIGANOVA Beautiful daredevil aeriel divas.

Don’t miss this amazing show, created especially for its first ever-European tour, all housed in a state of the art air-conditioned big top.

And ESPECIALLY for you guys – get yourselves two for one tickets! This offer lets you buy two full price adult tickets for the price of one … call the box-office on 0203 3753970 and quote the promotional code JUGGLER. (Offer not valid in conjunction with any other discount or against tickets already purchased).

www.moscowstatecircus.com

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

Can you dig it? Canton community garden opening party!

The bees were partying this morning at the official opening of Canton’s community garden! Canton Grows Wild are a group of residents who are turning various plots around Canton into community gardens, with the permission of the council.

Seed bombs, bee hotels and cake were the order of buzzness (sorry, couldn’t resist)this morning, and the garden is already looking great. If you’d like to get muddy, get yourself down to Lansdowne Road, just near the pub, at 10am every Saturday.

Check out Canton Grows Wild’s Facebook page or Twitter to keep up to date with how the garden grows. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with community environmental activist and all-round local hero Gareth Sims garethcsims@gmail.com.

DSC_0019

DSC_0031

DSC_0010

DSC_0001 DSC_0006
DSC_0012
DSC_0025

Photos by Hana & James

Cardiff – food on a fiver?

Last year, Cardiff food blog The Plate Licked Clean posted about a Cardiff-based foodie mission: to find the city’s best eats for a fiver (or under). I’ve been trying my hardest to match the investigation, meal for meal!

Readers of PLC have nominated a number of cafes and restaurants to investigate as part of this challenge, including…

WiWo (nominated by @tidyfood)
The Parsnipship (@Charlotte_B)
10 Feet Tall (nominated by @ZellCopy)
The North Star (@ZellCopy)
Katiwok (@DMcG_, @soul_of_twit)
Wally’s Kaffeehaus (@cardiffbites)
Celtic Corner (@DuncPowell25)
Falafel Wales (@cardiffbites)

(there are loads more too – see the original post for more details)

So far, there have been a couple of posts covering this quest, including the following (click the images to go through to the posts on Plate Licked Clean) … are you hungry yet??

The New York Deli

Falafel Wales, Cowbridge Road East, Canton

Katiwok, Crwys Road

The Plate Licked Clean are still looking for nominations – check the original post to add your favourite Cardiff eat under a fiver.

Also, for those of you interested in cheap eats, head to the Street Food Circus in May and June this year – it’s Cardiff’s favourite circus themed street food pop-up!

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

Made In Spring, Roath arts festival: 2-3 May, 2015

Made_In_Roath

 

One of the city’s biggest and best art festivals, Made In Roath are BACK in May, with Made In Spring!

Made in Spring will be held from 2nd – 3rd May this year, giving artists, musicians, makers and performers an opportunity to be experimental in response to the season, May Day rituals, and the political annotation of International Workers Day.

Roath residents and visitors to Roath are treated to a Spring inspired street party on a closed section of Plasnewydd Road, featuring free workshops and participatory artist led activities, and all manner of stalls and pop up cafes both related to the Roath area and from further afield. As always, Made in Spring supports local and independent enterprise.

The Red Route will be the second march along the Taff Trail from Redhouse Cymru, Merthyr Tydfil to Plasnewydd Rd in Roath, this will run over two days from 2nd – 3rd May.

For more information about Made in Spring, make sure to keep an eye on the Made In Spring Facebook event.

Know Your Groceries is an open mic radio show that will be broadcasting live from Plasnewydd Rd on 3rd May for Made in Spring, and they are looking for performers to fill in slots!

Whether you are a musician, poet, (short) story teller or just have something to say. Know Your Groceries! Open Mic Radio show. Get in touch or come along and put your name down on the day. Ltd spaces so get in touch to confirm! Email electronic.music.wales@gmail.com or post on the event page: Know Your Groceries live broadcast Facebook page

Enjoy Made In Spring – we can’t wait!

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

 

Street Food Cardiff presents The Street Food Circus! Throughout May and June 2015 – get your eat on!

There is something VERY exciting happening through May and June – Street Food Cardiff are BACK, and bringing you a whole bunch of street food choices with a particularly circus vibe!

Behold – the Street Food Circus!

SFC_streetfoodcircus

So here’s the deal: Throughout May and June, the Street Food Circus will be bringing you the best local food on Fridays and Saturdays, 5pm – 11pm and Sundays, 2pm – 10pm.

And here’s who will be there in May:  HOKKEI / PURPLE POPPADOM – STREET KITCHEN / HANG FIRE SMOKEHOUSE / PEMBROKESHIRE BEACH FOOD / MR CHURROS / CHUCKS MICRO DINER / MEAT AND GREEK / (DFC) DF CHICKEN / SLOW PIG / EL SALSA / DOUGH BOYS / HEMP HUT / MR CROQEWHICH / JOLS FINE FOOD / BURGER & LOBSTER / FFWRNESS / TIPI PIZZA / BIG FISH LITTLE FISH / DUSTY KNUCKLE / LA FFROGA / NELLYS BARN / PATAGONIA STEAK SHACK / LOLAS WINGS / DIXIES VINTAGE ICES… 

Sounds good, yeah? There will be street food trucks, craft ales and beers, cocktail bars, and pizza wars!

If you’re wondering what the whole circus thing is about – check out the big top that’s going up outside the NoFit State Circus HQ on John Street …

streefoodcircus_bigtop

(photo by Chris Price)

The big top will be doing double servings, as NoFit State bring Bianco back to Cardiff in June (we’ll be posting about that soon!), and also as the central focus point of the Street Food Circus!

On weekends throughout May and June, get yourselves down there to enjoy.

Cardiff Street Food: Meet the traders! (Wales Online)

Join their Facebook event to keep up to date: Cardiff Street Food Circus!

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

Register to vote in the general election! Deadline 20 April 2015!

Register to vote

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is 20 April 2015! 5 PM!

There’s a very (very!) easy online service you can use to:

  • register to vote
  • update your name, address or other details on the electoral register

You need to be on the electoral register to vote in elections and referendums.

Registering takes around five minutes. Seriously! It’s that easy!

You’ll need your National Insurance number (if you have one).

DO YOU CARE ABOUT CARDIFF? YOU NEED TO VOTE! START NOW!

doug_nicholls_instagram - 21

Cardiff A–Z: T is for the Taff Trail

Katie Hamer continues her A–Z series of Cardiff with an exploration of the Taff Trail. Here’s what she discovered…

DSCF3408

The Taff Trail forms a  pilgrimage in reverse, starting with Cardiff Bay barrage and winding upwards to its source in the Brecon Beacons. As it does so, the landscape gradually transforms from dockland to city centre to parklands and eventually to the craggy slopes that make up South Wales’ highest peaks.

This guided path which covers 55 miles of urban landscape and countryside has only been made possible by the co-operation of local councils. It’s strange to think a unified path didn’t exist until the Trail launched in 1988.

Well sign-posted, the path is easy to follow although, as I was on foot, I decided not to tackle it all in one go! So I decided to make a relatively short trip, from the Bay to Llandaff.

DSCF3394

I started my journey by locating the Celtic Ring. Shaped like a lucky horse shoe it points upwards into the Roald Dahl Plass and marks the start of the Trail. Commissioned by the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation in 1993 its engravings are a celebration of the industrial history of Cardiff Docks. Hidden within the Ring is what looks like a key which perhaps represents to all visitors their unique freedom to roam the Trail in its entirety.

DSCF3418

DSCF3410

DSCF3417

There are a couple of alternative routes from the Bay leading to the banks of the Taff. By trial and error I discovered my preferred route, which takes you south past the Techniquest building, past the Docklands and into the Cardiff Wetlands for a short while. The Cardiff Wetlands boasts a huge variety of bird life, most of which must have been hiding in shady corners on what proved to be one of the hottest days of the year so far.

DSCF3426

DSCF3420

DSCF3431

As well as being a haven for wildlife, the Wetlands also have a more quirky aspect to them. I discovered this bench/bottle sculpture. This is ‘Ship in a Bottle’ by Melissa Gibbs (2004). It is just one example of how artists have made their statements upon the once industrial landscape of Wales.

DSCF3388

DSCF3387

DSCF3386

DSCF3444

I soon discovered that artists have reclaimed the industrial landscape in other ways, too. Hidden underneath the Grangetown Link is the Hamadryad Park Mural. Commissioned by the Council in 2009 the ‘graffiti’ mural is the result of a collaboration between local artists and schoolchildren. Full of vibrant colour and youthful energy it is also a celebration of Cardiff’s industrial and coastal heritage.

DSCF3379

DSCF3445

DSCF3384

After the Cardiff Wetlands, The Trail winds its way past the Embankment, characterised by row after row of Victorian terraced townhouses and tree-lined avenues. While it is possible to walk/cycle/run along this stretch there is also the Water Bus, which provides an alternative form of transport from City centre to Bay.

DSCF3456

DSCF3455

DSCF3467

Following the Trail, I soon arrived outside the Millennium Stadium. Here, I found an assembly of food-inspired sculptures to feast my eyes upon. Made to represent various seed pods they are the result of a collaboration between residents and local artists as commissioned by the Council in 2006. Discovering them on my Trail was a pleasant surprise. I couldn’t help noticing that on an unseasonably hot day, they lent an almost Mediterranean feel to the City.

DSCF3458

DSCF3459

DSCF3460

DSCF3463

DSCF3465

DSCF3468

From past the Millennium Stadium, you are in the heart of the City centre. From there, you have the choice of a walk through Bute Park, which takes you temporarily away from the banks of the Taff, or you can remain on the official path, which takes you to Sophia Gardens and the cricket grounds.

DSCF3377

DSCF3368

DSCF3372

DSCF3474

DSCF3482

The route through Bute Park is possibly the more scenic of the two with a wealth of flowers in bloom at this time of year. I had to stop and take a photo of the above sculpture, which, as Cardiff runners will know, marks the ‘turnaround’ point of the parkrun route. I also spotted one of the elusive sculptures I’d missed while investigating the sculpture trail for B is for Bute Park last summer!

DSCF3479 DSCF3477 DSCF3476 DSCF3483

DSCF3486

From there, the next landmark is the pedestrian bridge at Blackweir which wobbles underfoot alarmingly over rushing water!

DSCF3490

DSCF3497

I next encountered the A48 underpass and discovered more murals, this time in celebration of the City’s architecture through the ages.

DSCF3505

DSCF3506 DSCF3508 DSCF3509 DSCF3510 DSCF3511 DSCF3512

I reached Llandaff in the early afternoon where I witnessed duck imitating speed boats and the spectre of the Cathedral spires on the landscape. I decided to make this my final destination for now, although I may return…

DSCF3513

DSCF3501

DSCF3515

Happy world circus day – bag a discount for Bianco tickets ONLY on 18 April 2015!

As the Big Top goes up, prices come down: NoFit State celebrates World Circus Day with discounted prices!

To celebrate World Circus Day, NoFit State are offering a special 10 per cent discount on tickets to see their award winning show Bianco, showing  12 – 27 June 2015.

World Circus Day is on Saturday 18 April, and the discount will be available until midnight that day!

This weekend NoFit State will be erecting their famous silver spaceship shaped Big Top outside their HQ on John Street in Cardiff city centre. Over the coming weeks the company will be rehearsing and re-creating their show Bianco under the guidance of acclaimed director Firenza Guidi. The show will open to the public from 12 – 27 June, and is complemented by the Street Food Circus that will be popping up in John Street between May – June. 

Bianco is an immersive promenade circus experience that takes place above, behind and all around a standing audience. With a constantly evolving narrative set to a pounding soundtrack performed by a live band, this is an all consuming theatrical experience that is not to be missed.

NoFit State Circus - Bianco by Seventh Wave

To claim the discount, you must book on 18 April using the code WORLDCIRCUS online at www.nofitstate.org or by calling 0333 222 9000 (local rate). DO IT NOW!

BIANCO FACEBOOK EVENT

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

Dolma-licious! Learn to roll dolma with Lia’s Kitchen, Saturday 18 April 2015

We’ve long been supporters of Lia’s Kitchen here at We Are Cardiff – she champions great food and has fed our hungover heads many times.

And on Saturday 18 April, Lia is running her first workshop! It will cover rolling Dolma, vine leaf rice wraps. The half day workshop between 11am and 2pm includes lunch, drinks and refreshments and your own takeaway dolma. Tasty!

This is Lia. Read the interview we did with her last year: Invite to Lia’s Kitchen

As a special We Are Cardiff treat, we’ve got a discount code for our readers who’d like to attend the dolma workshop! Go through the booking link below and use the code MATESRATES

We hope you enjoy the class! Bring us back a dolma, would you?
liaskitchenworkshop

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newsletter

New venue klaxon: check out Portland House!

Who thinks a Grade II listed Banking Hall down Cardiff docks would make a good venue? I mean, it’s 4000 square feet, featuring a large glass atrium ceiling and ornate marble pillars … but apparently, the place has got amazing acoustics. Meet Portland House!

Don’t take our word for it though … Jack Feeney decided to test the place with a drum kit, synthesizer, and one camera. The following shows the results!

Portland House recently welcomed dub reggae legend, Lee Scratch Perry. Not a bad opening gig, eh?

Lee Scratch Perry - Portland House

Lee Scratch Perry - Portland House

Lee Scratch Perry - Portland House

Lee Scratch Perry - Portland House

Lee Scratch Perry - Portland House

Lee Scratch Perry - Portland House

 

Their next live show is OWEN PALLETT from Arcade Fire (little bit exciting!) on Wednesday 3 June 2015. For tickets and to subscribe for information about their forthcoming shows, visit Portland House: Tickets

***

Sign up for the weekly We Are Cardiff newslette