Tag Archives: literary cardiff

Cardiff Book Festival – We Are Cardiff’s top picks!

Cardiff Book Festival started off as a fairly modest affair last year, but this year it’s bigger, brighter, and even has its own literary-themed disco! We’ve combed through the programme (the best value ticket is a weekend wristband for £30, btw) and found our picks for the weekend. So get your read on, and let’s go …

Cardiff Book Festival: Where the written word comes alive, aloud, and off the page in the Welsh capital!

Friday 22 – Sunday 24 September, The Angel Hotel, Cardiff

OUR PICKS:

Friday 22 September

 

Catherine Mayer – Attack of the 50 Ft. Women: How Gender Equality Can Save The World!

7.15 PM – DRAGON SUITE, THE ANGEL HOTEL

Not a single country anywhere in the world has achieved gender equality. In more than a few countries, progress for women has stalled or is reversing. If gender equality promises benefits not just to women, but to everyone, why aren’t we embracing it? And how can we speed the pace of change? In ‘Attack of the 50 Ft. Women’, journalist and co-founder of The Women’s Equality Party Catherine Mayer tackles those questions and many more, sharing inside views and experiences. In her insightful, revelatory, often hilarious, and hugely inspiring book, Catherine Mayer takes us to a place she calls Equalia. What is it like? Does gender equality make for a society that is more equal in other ways too? Who does the low-paid jobs? How does gender express itself in a place freed from gender programming? What’s the sex like? What’s on the telly? (£7 full price, £5 concessions)

Dylan Jones on David Bowie: A Life in conversation with Mike Williams sponsored by Capital Law

8.30PM – DRAGON SUITE, THE ANGEL HOTEL

Dylan Jones is the award-winning editor of GQ magazine, a position he has held since 1999, winning the British Society of Magazine Editors “Editor of the Year” award a record ten times. A former editor at i-D, The Face, Arena, the Observer and the Sunday Times, he is the author of New York Times best sellers on musical heroes including Jim Morrison and Elvis. His new book David Bowie- A Life is an engrossing, magisterial biography unlike any Bowie story ever written. It’s an epic, unforgettable cocktail-party conversation about a man whose enigmatic shapeshifting and irrepressible creativity produced one of the most sprawling, fascinating lives of our time. Drawn from over 180 interviews with friends, rivals, lovers, and collaborators, some of whom have never before spoken about their relationship with Bowie, this oral history weaves a hypnotic spell as it unfolds the story of a remarkable rise to stardom and an unparalleled artistic path. By turns insightful and deliciously gossipy, David Bowie- A Life is as intimate a portrait as may ever be drawn. It sparks with illuminating, never-before-seen material from Bowie himself, drawn from a series of Jones’s interviews with him across two decades. Dylan will be interviewed by Mike Williams, the editor-in-chief of NME, himself a winner of the British Society of Magazine Editors “Editor of the Year” award during his time at Kruger Magazine, which is where I also cut my journalistic teeth. RIP KRUGER. (£7 full price, £5 concessions)

 

Saturday 23 September

Scientists of Wales/Gwyddonwyr Cymru

1PM – PRINCE OF WALES SUITE, THE ANGEL HOTEL

The University of Wales’ series of books Scientists of Wales/Gwyddonwyr Cymru charts the lives, times and works of Welsh scientists, and of people active in science in Wales. This event will see lively discussion in Welsh and English about Wales’ place on science’s world map, taking in the stories of William Robert Grove, a pioneering researcher who anticipated the general theory of the conservation of energy, and was a pioneer of fuel cell technology and Evan James Williams, whose work included attempting to prove the existence of Hidiki Yukawa’s hypothetical pi mesonparticle, and working on the MDS (magnetic detection of submarines) system to tackle the U-boat menace of World War II. (£5/£3)

 

35 years of Fighting Fantasy with Ian Livingstone

2.30 PM – DRAGON SUITE, THE ANGEL HOTEL

Ian co-founded iconic games company Games Workshop with Steve Jackson in 1975, launching Dungeons & Dragons in Europe. In 1982, he co-authored The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook in the series which has sold almost 20 million copies worldwide. His best-selling titles include City of Thieves, Forest of Doom and Deathtrap Dungeon, and his new book, The Port of Peril, marks the 35th anniversary of Fighting Fantasy. When serving as Executive Chairman at Eidos, he launched global video games blockbusters including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Ian has a passionate belief in the power of play as a contextual hub for learning, and he is a leading advocate for the importance of having Computing on the National Curriculum. His book Hacking the Curriculum is an essential guide for teachers to promote creativity, computational thinking and problem solving in the classroom – meta skills for the digital age. He was awarded a BAFTA Special Award in 2002 and a CBE in 2013. Ian will share a reflection on his career before a Q & A session chaired by BBC Radio 1’s Steffan Powell. (£7/£5)

 

Sanctuary – Refugee writing in Wales

8.15PM – PRINCE OF WALES SUITE, THE ANGEL HOTEL

Eric Ngalle Charles is a poet, dramatist and novelist and a former Cameroon refugee. His first book ‘Asylum’ deals with what it means to be a refugee, caught between two worlds, destitute and unable to move forward with one’s life. He’s joined by others seeking asylum and refuge in Wales whose stories, poetry and essays about their journeys feature the extraordinary histories of the men, women and children who are seeking sanctuary in Wales. (£5/£3)

 

Sunday 24 September

Merthyr: the crucible of modern Wales? Sponsored by Modern Wales, Parthian

1PM – PRINCE OF WALES SUITE, THE ANGEL HOTEL

Dai Smith interrogates Joe England’s claim that Merthyr was the crucible in the development of Wales in the 19th Century and moving on a century asks why Huw Lewis’s moving memoir of growing up in Aberfan in the 1960s and 1970s, The Skylark’s Song, has so much to say about the past as a foreign country. (£5/3)

 

How Bullshit Conquered the World with James Ball

2.30 PM – DRAGON SUITE, THE ANGEL HOTEL

2016 marked the birth of the post-truth era. Sophistry and spin have coloured politics since the dawn of time, but two shock events – the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s elevation to US President – heralded a departure into murkier territory. This is the story of bullshit: what’s being spread, who’s spreading it, why it works – and what we can do to tackle it. This is bigger than fake news and bigger than social media. It’s about the slow rise of a political, media and online infrastructure that has devalued truth. The Pulitzer Prize-winning James Ball should know. He’s worked in political, data and investigative journalism in the US and the UK for BuzzFeed, The Guardian and the Washington Post in a career spanning TV, digital, print and alternative media. (£5/£3)

 

Neil M.C. Sinclair

6.30PM – DRAGON SUITE, THE ANGEL HOTEL

Afro-Celtic author and historian, Neil M.C. Sinclair is a native of Tiger Bay, the oldest multi-ethnic community in Wales. He has written extensively on the history of his unique hometown, a place which is now the subject of the new musical ‘Tiger Bay’, premiering in Cardiff this November. Sinclair’s insider’s view of the area draws on personal memories, family history and a lifetime’s worth of connections within one of Cardiff’s most celebrated communities. Supported by Wales Millennium Centre’s Tiger Bay the Musical, 13th-25th November 2017. (£5/£3)

 

Buy a festival wristband or choose your tickets here: Cardiff Book Festival tickets (on eventbrite)

Cardiff Book Festival website

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Cardiff Book Festival 2016 – our picks, full line up and ticket information

cardiff_book_festivalThe Cardiff Book Festival programme has been announced! A weekend of bookish delights and literary indulgence await, featuring literary heroes like Miranda Sawyer and Deborah Moggach. Whoop!

The festival takes place over the last weekend of October (from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 October) in various venues across Cardiff – more details at the bottom of this post.

Read on for our picks of the weekend and details about tickets!

We Are Cardiff’s festival picks!

Improve your Writing: Poetry, Short Story and Novel Writing workshops

28.10.16 – 9.30am to 12.30pm, Cardiff Central Library, Meeting Room 4

A unique opportunity to write with and learn from some of the most exciting names in Welsh fiction. Let our authors guide you through the finer points of fiction, poetry and short story writing, whether you’re just starting out or have been in the world of words for year. Poetry will be taught by prize-winning Jonathan Edwards, whose work has been widely published in magazines such as Poetry Review. Dan Tyte is an acclaimed novelist and writer- he will guide you through getting your novel into shape. The brilliant, award-winning Rachel Trezise burst onto the literary scene at the age of 22 becoming one of the most original writers of her generation. She’ll teach you the art of the short story. Join us for a one-off event that any aspiring author will not want to miss.

Workshops: Getting Published

28.10.16 – 1pm to 4pm, Cardiff Central Library, Meeting Room 4

Need help navigating the often complex process of publishing your work? The Getting Published masterclass covers everything you need to know to get into print. From exploring self-publishing options, how to find an agent and a publisher, building an author profile and platform, tips on how to get your book to sell and much more. With advice from industry experts including Hazel Cushion, the founder and managing director of Accent Press and Richard Davies, director of Parthian, this masterclass is a one stop shop for all your publishing needs.

Owen Sheers: On Life, In Words

28.10.16, 6pm. Yr Hen Lyfrgell

From Zimbabwe (The Dust Diaries), to the war torn fields of Pink Mist, or the rugby pitch in his non-fiction work, Calon, wherever his writing takes him, Owen Sheers\u2019 heart is still in Wales. His latest novel, I Saw a Man, is a gripping and stylish novel and he’s now renowned as one of the best contemporary writers. Owen’s novels, poetry and screenwriting are known all across the world. Chaired by Felicity Evans.

The Debuts, Laura Powell and Dan Tyte

29.10.16 – 10am–11am Cardiff Central Library, 5th Floor Creative Suite

They say everyone has one good book in them. Few ever get round to writing it, far less getting it published. Telegraph journalist, Laura Powell, traded fact for fiction with her debut novel, The Unforgotten, a thriller featuring forbidden love and a serial killer. Dan Tyte’s debut, Half Plus Seven, sees a jaded PR man in search of some sort of meaning in a book described as “a coming of age novel snorting with energy.

Roald Dahl Tour

29.10.16 – 11am, The City Cross at Cathedral Green, Llandaff

A hunt for what remains of one of the finest writers Wales has produced with author and poet Peter Finch. Dahl was born here in 1916 and left for boarding school when he was 10. In that time he managed to live in three different houses and to move around Cardiff enough for the city to seep into his creative consciousness. We visit his birthplace and take in other places of historical significance. This two-hour walk is aimed at adults but children are welcome.”

Miranda Sawyer – Mid-Life Moments

29.10.16 – 4.30pm, The Angel Hotel

What exactly is a mid-life crisis, and what happens when one arrives? The respected journalist and broadcaster Miranda Sawyer tackles this most challenging of times with humour and candid insight in her book Out of Time. For Sawyer, her mid-life crisis made its presence felt when she was 44. Here she discusses how our tastes and our bodies change as we get older; and the unexpected new pleasures the second half of life can offer.

Elliw Gwawr –  Living the Sweet Life (Welsh language event)

30.10.16 – 11.30am, Yr Hen Lyfrgell

BBC Cymru Wales’ Westminster Correspondent Elliw Gwawr swaps politics for puddings as she discusses her passion for baking. Gwawr has enjoyed cooking since she was a child, and following the success of ‘Paned a Chacen’ the first ever Welsh language baking blog, has gone on to publish two hugely popular books ‘Paned a Chacen’ and ‘Pobi.’ Filled with her favourite recipes for puddings, cakes and biscuits, Gwawr’s books are enough to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Jasmine Donahaye– Memoir and Memory

30.10.16 Yr Hen Lyfrgell

Poet and author Jasmine Donahaye discusses the life-changing events that became her award-winning memoir Losing Israel. In 2007, after a chance conversation with her mother, a kibbutznik, Donahaye stumbled upon the collusion of her family in the displacement of Palestinians in 1948. When she set out to learn the story of what happened, what she discovered challenged everything she thought she knew about the country and her family, and transformed her understanding of the place, and of herself. Winner of the 2016 Wales Book of the Year Creative Non-Fiction Award, Losing Israel is a moving and candid work, which spans travel writing, nature writing and memoir.

Deborah Moggach: The Best Exotic Writer in Wales – stories from the Marigold Hotel

30.10.16, Yr Hen Lyfrgell

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a smash when it hit the silver screen, cementing Deborah Moggach’s place at the top of the writing tree – it was her book, These Foolish Things, that the film was based on. Now living and writing in Wales, she is the author of sixteen other books – including best seller Tulip Fever – and several screenplays, such as the blockbuster Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley. She joins us to read from and discuss her new novel Something to Hide, which she’s adapting for the BBC. Spanning continents, it follows characters as they uncover secrets. “It turns out that no matter where you are in the world, everyone has something to hide.”

Neil Sinclair on Butetown: Tiger Bay Remembered

30.10.16, Yr Hen Lyfrgell

Afro-Celtic author and Cardiff historian Neil M. C. Sinclair is a native of Tiger Bay, the oldest multi-ethnic community in Wales. He has written extensively on the history of his unique hometown, providing an insider’s view of life in old Tiger Bay. Drawing on personal memories, family history and a lifetime’s worth of connections within the community, Sinclair’s humorous and thought-provoking journey through the old streets of Tiger Bay and Cardiff Docks in their heyday delves into the real heart of one of Cardiff’s most celebrated communities.”

 

Cardiff Book Festival: full programme

Friday

28.10,16 – 8am – Business breakfast debate- business leaders discuss what 2016 was like and what’s ahead in 2017.

28.10.16 – 9.30am to 12.30pm – Improve your Writing: Poetry, Short Story and Novel Writing workshops

28.10.16 – 1pm to 4pm – Workshops: Getting Published

28.10.16 – 10am Oodles of Doodles with Huw Aaron

28.10.16 – 6pm – Owen Sheers

28.10.16 – 7.30pm – After Euro 2016

Saturday

29.10.16 – 10am – The Debuts

29.10.16 – 11am – Roald Dahl Tour

29.10.16 – 11.15am – Caryl Lewis and Catrin Beard WELSH LANGUAGE EVENT

29.10.16 – 12.30 – Rachel Trezise and Thomas Morris

29.10.16 – 13.30 – Roald Dahl Tour

29.10.16 – 1.45pm –  Ifor ap Glyn and Clare Potter WELSH LANGUAGE EVENT

29.10.16 – 2pm – Patrick McGuinness and Holly Muller

29.10.16 – 3.15pm – Iolo Williams

29.10.16 – 4.30pm – Miranda Sawyer

29.10.16 -7pm – Martin Williams

29.10.16 – 8.30pm – Sophie Hannah

29.10.16 – late – Swn Festival at CBF

Sunday

30.10.16 – 10am – Poetry – Belonging: A Sense of Place. The immigration Handbook (Caroline Smith) and Jonathan Edwards.

30.10.16 – 11.00 – Elliw Gwawr –  Living the Sweet Life WELSH LANGUAGE

30.10.16 – noon – Jasmine Donahaye– Memoir and Memory

30.10.16 – 2pm – Deborah Moggach – stories from the Marigold Hotel

30.10.16 – 3.15pm – Cynan Jones and Tom Bullough

30.10.16 – 4.30pm – Neil Sinclair on Butetown

30.10.16 – 6pm – Debate – Feminism in 2016 with Felicity Evans

 

More information:

Cardiff Book Festival
Fri 28 Oct – Sun 30 Oct 2016, various venues across Cardiff

Cardiff Book Festival website

Cardiff Book Festival tickets

Cardiff Book Festival Twitter

 

Old Books - photo by Walt Jabsco

Old Books – photo by Walt Jabsco on Flickr

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Cardiff for literature lovers and budding bards

Hear ye, hear ye! Poet Patrick Widdess has put together a guide to Cardiff’s ever-growing underground for authors, poets, and lovers of the written word. Read on for the low-down on Cardiff’s best open-mic and other events! 

We Are Cardiff present its first book, Porter pub thursday 5 november 2015, an evening through readings, live music and the most creative mind within the Welsh capital through an art joruney into the heart of creative cardiff.

Lovers of literature and budding bards have plenty of chances to indulge their passion for poetry and prose in Cardiff. The city has an ever-growing programme of events where you can hear a variety of poets and spoken word artists. Some attract established writers from Cardiff and further afield. Most feature open mic spots for writers and performers of all styles and levels of experience to share their work. There is something on almost every night of the week and these events are always worth checking out:

RARA (Rhyme and Real Ale)

Second Monday of the month
Mackintosh Sports Club, Keppoch Street, Roath

This friendly event welcomes poets of all levels to share their work or just listen. As organiser Will Ford says: “People should come to RARA  because beginners are given the same warm welcome as experienced readers and everybody gets the same five minute slot length. It is free and it is a fun, eclectic night where every reader gets to be as silly or as serious as their own writing demands!”

Will also runs spoken word events at various times and places under the name Megaverse (www.facebook.com/Megaverse-1157959360887023).

JUKE

Monthly (Check Facebook page for dates)
Four Bars at Dempseys
15 Castle Street, CF10 1BS
7 – 11pm

JUKE has only been going a short time but this open mic night has already established a solid reputation. Organiser Renn Hubbuck-Melly says: “JUKE is a night for writers of all different styles and forms which focuses specifically on performance and encourages people to explore and experiment with new ways of presenting words. There are feature acts who are seasoned performers and themed nights which ask people to write on a specific theme, the latest one being Myths and Fairytales. It is a very friendly, welcoming environment that can help inspire writers to think further than the page. It’s also entertaining and enjoyable for those who just want to come and watch.”
 
 

Rubberneck

Fourth Sunday of the month
See Facebook page for venue
6:30pm
A new night in one of Cardiff’s newest creative spaces. Stephanie Finegan and Natasha Borton invite lovers of words, music and coffee to enjoy a night “with the vibe of the Beat Generation and the power of spoken word, rhythm and music mixing in the air with daiquiris and Cappuccinos.”
 
 

First Thursday of the month at Chapter

Market Road, CF5 1QE
7:30pm

No excuses for forgetting when this event is! First Thursday features established writers and open mic slots. It is hosted by Amy Wack, Poetry Editor at Seren press and sponsored by Seren, Mulfran Press and Literature Wales. Such backing guarantees a high-calibre night of literary talent. There is a £2.50 entry fee refunded against the cost of books.

First Thursday Facebook group

Cardiff visiting writers series

Six times a year (always on a Monday) 
Four Bars at Dempseys
15 Castle Street, CF10 1BS
 
Cardiff University’s department of English, Communications and Philosophy organises this series which offers a great opportunity for their students and members of the public to hear published authors, and share their own work on the open mic in a relaxed setting. Past authors at the event have included Tessa Hadley and Rachel Trezise. There is often a Q&A session with the visiting author.
 
Patrick Widdess is a poet based in Newport. He is a familiar face on the Cardiff spoken word scene and his work has appeared in publications including Agenda, Cake, The Interpreter’s House, The Guardian, Waitrose Weekend and others. He hosts poetry blog and podcast Headstand and has recently published the book ‘Poetry Non-stop: Unlock your poetic muse and write a poem a day for 30 days’ available on Amazon. Support your local talent and buy a copy now!
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By the way … if you’re a lover of literature, did we mention that the We Are Cardiff Press debut book, The 42b, is out now?

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“An Ely Tale” – Mab

mab-jones-web

I am from Ely. A lot of people don’t believe me when I tell them this. They listen to my polite, merely Diff-tinged accent, and think – she can’t be an Elyite! Elyopian? No way! They think I am telling fibs. I would like to drag them by their slender wrists to the house I grew up in, a tiny dwelling the size of a tooth. It’s not a fairy tale, I’d like to say; this is the garden in which my father used to shoot cats; this is the kitchen with women instead of appliances…

I didn’t like Ely. Some people seem to have a Grand Avenue of a time but, as fairy tales go, I found it a bit Grimm. I escaped into books at an early age, then I escaped to private school – Howell’s, in Llandaff. I had an assisted place. Getting on the crowded bus in my Harry Potter-esque uniform, with its crest-chested blazer, pinstripe blouse, and straw boater in summer, attracted some attention. But I was glad to get away. As soon as I was over the bridge, I began feeling better. When I think back, now, I realise it isn’t Ely I dislike – it’s poverty. Ely is a large council estate, and the stain-glass windows and red-carpeted entrance of Howell’s School were a luxurious balm to the cracked glass and bare stairs of Home.

Ely had such a powerfully negative effect on me that, by extension, I also disliked Cardiff. Caroline Street, with its porn shops, chippies, and army surplus stores seemed to summarise life as far as I could see it. Sex, food, and death; the gutters full of misery and fag ends. My mother came from a long line of housewives, a slave to her husband, her ovaries, and the kitchen sink. She got pregnant with me when she was 17, and that was considered a late start. I wanted more, but Cardiff didn’t seem to have the thing I was looking for.

I was the first in my family not to have a kid in her teens, and the first to finish school. I even went so far as to do an MA. However, I was also very overweight, and very withdrawn. For a period of about 8 years, I hardly spoke, a condition that was only later diagnosed as Selective Mutism. Then, aged 23, I escaped to Japan… The rich pink cherry blossoms and deep red maple leaves were an even greater balm than the décor of high school. I lived in an artist house next to a mountain, and began speaking again. But by the end of three years, I felt like returning…

I went to London, with the intention of moving there, but came back to Wales after one day. Cardiff was as grey and dull as I remembered – but things were beginning to change. I remember the Arms Park being taken down, and I didn’t feel sorry. I took pictures of the Millennium Stadium being built up, and I was glad. This new building was bigger and brighter – it had ambition. I saw the Bay transform itself from grey sludge into sparkly shops, eateries, boat tours, and buildings. To me, it felt like the dingy city of my childhood was suddenly sparking into colour; as if the dowdy, drab-haired housewife was finally putting on her glad-rags, painting her nails, getting a perm… Monotomy and monogamy were set aside, as Cardiff became – well, a bit of a tart.

Cardiff began selling herself. The stadium drew in the visitors, more than ever before; the Bay was a draw, St David’s 2 was built… The people of the city have cashed in, with Cardifferent T-shirts, I Loves the Diff badges, those fab place name cards that were launched just the other day. I bloody love it. There’s more going on here, it seems: less of the boring Male Voice Choir stuff; more of the South Wales Gay Male Choir stuff. There’s spoken word, comedy, and burlesque. Cardiff Identity Festival. Cardiff Design Festival. The Cardiff Story. Cardiff has become the Diff – that long, moany ‘keaar’ sound dropped. Good riddance, say I.

The only problem with the flirty bird the city has become is the possibility of over-sell. Prostitution, instead of promotion. Casinos, strip bars, Hooters. Sometimes I worry the city is going to turn into a massive Caroline Street…

Not that much of this has spread into Ely. It’s still as poor as it ever was. My sister lives on Snowden Road, where the Ely Riots took place. The price of bread is what caused it. Now there is a Greggs. My nephews tuck into ring doughnuts as they walk home from school, mattresses springing from front gardens. The brightest thing in the grey suburb is, as it ever was, the orange bus – bendy instead of double decker, but still there, to take you – fortunately in my case, unfortunately for others – away.

Mab Jones is an award-winning comic and performance poet. She often uses the Diff dialect in her work, and is member of B.A.D. (British Accent & Dialect) Poets, who translate famous poems into their native tongue. She performs all over the UK, and has two anthologies forthcoming with Parthian Books. Please check out her website for details: http://www.mabjones.com/

Mab was photographed in Splott by Adam Chard

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“Splott Road” – Darren Floyd

darren_floyd_web

Splott Road

It’s bad at night.

It gets quiet like.

You know, there’s – like- nothing happening. A few cars going by, but there’s not even anyone hanging round the Spar or the Christian Centre that used to be a Bingo Hall like. So you know it’s like boring you know. When I say it’s quiet, there is a noise – it’s like a fridge being on, there’s a… thing you know…a…what do you call it … a buzz. It’s never completely quiet like, but it’s dull, really dull. I don’t know why I’m telling you this or anything you can’t even bastard hear me can you? You can’t even bastard hear me.

I knows why I’m saying it really, it’s something to do isn’t it? Something to kill the seconds and hours and days and weeks. Though I don’t know just where any of it’s gone, do you? I mean, there’s like some clear stuff, like light and day and stuff- I’m not retarded – and like summer and winter. But like, do you know what month it is? It could be July or it could be September who knows? I don’t. I don’t think you do. Is it important? I don’t suppose it is, but – like – nothing’s important anymore, is it like?

It’d like to know what month it is, cause like if it is September that would mean that my birthday would be coming up, but I suppose it would be bad to know that wouldn’t it? Would be a killer to know that you should be going on the lash, but that all you can do is to is to stand in the doorway of a rubbish church, that smells of piss and has broken windows, no one comes here, ever. Terrible.

I knows you talks, cause I can see your lips move, do you thinks you can hear me? Do you pretend? I don’t bastard knows, who knows?

Do you remember that time we tried to make up our own talks like? Remember? It was soon after, you know, when … just after … we gave up … just … gave up. Didn’t seem much point did it? I mean if we had managed to sort something out, it would have been shit wouldn’t it? I remember you when you were alive and you weren’t exactly Peter bastard Kay then were you? Dull to be honest. The only thing I can ever remember you getting excited about were the cheap breakfasts they do in McDonalds on a Friday morning. So it would have been dull like – boring – like everything else.

There is something I’d like to know from you mind. I’d like to know if you can see them. Can you see the others? I can see two of them, dressed like something from the TV, or from a game you know, old stuff. One of them is dressed like out of the Hitler war, I can see him clearly, but he doesn’t do much anymore, and there’s another one, I can just about see him. He’s down by the Co-op on Splott road and I don’t know what he’s dressed like, but he’s always jumping up and down and doing stuff, gets on my tits a bit if I’m honest, but what else is there?

I lied. There is something else I’d like to know.

Do you think that any of the living can see you? I’ve seen you make a start, like you’ve sat on a spike or something. I think … I think someone saw me once. There was this jacked up Subaru coming round the corner like what we did. They got the speed wrong and skidded, and I saw this kid in the passenger seat, and I saw that he was shitting himself like. I knows that. I was shitting myself when we went in for the skid. Then I saw this look on his face, a shock and it jolted me, like the time I touched that dodgy plug like.

He saw me.

I swear on my mother’s life, he saw me. It was like just a second, it was there, and gone. The driver was sharper than ours and got control and shot on down the road, I saw him laughing, but honestly the kid in the passenger seat saw me.

I don’t know why, but I was thinking about that for ages like. Sometimes it made me feel good, it was the first time I can remember anyone seeing me, it was like – I don’t know – like there had been something to me other than this, what’s now. It was over so quickly but I haven’t stopped thinking about it, and how long ago was that?

There’s other times when I think about it and it makes me feel bad, terrible like worse than most of the time, you know what I mean?

Look at the flowers. Look at them, there’s nothing there anymore, even the dead bits have blown away, I don’t remember when. All that’s left is the elastic band, and that’ll be gone soon. I don’t know why but that…that scares me, no, you know, freaks me out. I remember when the elastic band…when it was new and red, now look at it, grey and just hanging on, like my Nan.

I looks over at there at them lot going into the Christian Centre that used to be a Bingo Hall like and I look at the piss heads going in and out of the Old Illtydian R.F.C Social Club and coming out for a fag and I can’t make up my mind which building is a bigger waste of time. I mean what’s the point like? You know? What’s the point? You can’t even bastard hear me. Look at you now, look at you, flapping your lips, and that’s not even the worse of it. I’ve seen you looking out like one of those Zombies like out of a game or something, doing nothing for ages with your mouth open and just looking like, then it’s like you wake up or something. The bad thing is that I knows that I does it too. Sometimes I’ll be looking out and the next thing I knows it’s like night or something and I don’t knows what happened. That should be good like, you knows, time going like that. It should be good. It should be good. Still it’s better than thinking about – you know – how this like, all happened, how we got here. You knows, I don’t want to think about it, but I can’t helps it. One minute I was in the car, and then … and then … I was watching, it was like something out of a game, no one told me why or like how, that made me mad at the start it’s like really unfair, you knows? I mean why? Why you knows? I want to know when will it end?

Darren Floyd is a writer/artist who lives and works in Cardiff. His novel “Match Day” was published recently, and is available from Spillers and online here. He will be doing a reading in the Wellfield Bookshop tomorrow (Saturday the 16th of October) at 12 noon as part of the Made in Roath festival. Some of his paintings and random mutterings can be seen here. He currently lives in Splott.

Darren was photographed on Splott Road by Adam Chard

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