Cardiff – food on a fiver?

We Are Cardiff

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…

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Rush Home Ruffian

They had first met on a bucket-sweating morning in 1956 when an uprising – like the hidden sugar cane fields and what had happened to Cuthbert and Clarissa at the caves at Black Point – was the talk of every pre-lunch gathering, every standpipe, but not the rum shacks. The rum shacks had their own codes, their own language. Buy Miss Charles a petit-quart of strong rum (no brand no label, no vision later) and she would tell all. The sun ever rose over Mount Soufriere, slipped away again a lifetime later over Mesopotamia (Mespo) round Crick Corner, and faded to black as the bats baited the fireflies and the sand-flies bit burnished flesh.

After fixing breakfast of fried spam and softbakes, scrambled eggs and onions on the blackened gas stove, she made eight cups of tea with evaporated milk and four sugars each. Pastor Evans had brought up the water from the rusting pipe at Herbert Bend at four-thirty that morning. She had heard him leave, but not noted his return. He had left again at six. She took out her appointment letter again from its buff envelope and read it through, memorising the journey she had practised the day before. Her stepmother, Maudie, was still asleep. She didn’t say goodbye.

Agatha Evans walked June, Nancy, Carlisle, Bernard, Josie, Isaac, and Ishmael the three miles past four rum shops, two churches, and her father’s tailors shop to the St Cuthbert’s Catholic school. Instead of turning into the staff room, Agatha Evans walked on a further mile, skirting the Fyffe’s banana plantation and the Tate & Lyle sugar cane fields towards Kingstown. Crossing Saint David Parish into Charlotte Parish, she plucked a ripe mango and two plum roses from overhanging trees. The skins were soft, the fruit sweet, she bent over as she ate and the juice dripped in front of her. Agatha crossed Main Street, looking to her left and right, she tripped but did not fall in front of St Vincent and the Grenadines Nursing Employment Agency, nestled between the Anglican and Catholic Cathedrals in Kingstown and had wondered if that was precise spot where the body and blood of Jesus transformed. Agatha clasped the brass handle with its burnt toffee patina, but as quickly stepped back and walked across Main Street, standing in front of ‘Big Lloyd’s Butcher,’ the carcasses still had their heads on. Her father had slaughtered a goat four days earlier; Agatha had cooked curry goat and rice, which they would eat again that night. She had boiled some mauby and ginger beer and dried some sorrel and she would fry some plantain and green banana.

Agatha checked her reflection, checked the appointment letter, pursed her lips, and crossed back over Main Street, this time heading straight into the stuffy, sweaty, light reception room, gazing directly into her future.

Agatha took the only free seat in the waiting room, cross-legged she waited to be called.

“Good morning,” said a girl about her age sitting cross-legged to left to her wearing a light cotton shift dress, sandals, and wide-brimmed straw hat.

“Good morning, I am Agatha, Agatha Evans.”

“Nice to meet you, I’m Roslyn Jones. Didn’t I see you at the Anglican Young People’s Association picnic in Dubois last week?” She said.

“Yes, I was there. My brother was sick so I had to go early so missed the Boilene stew and the cricket match,” Agatha said. She looked at the desk with the brass nameplate in front of it and wondered what Gillian Gayle (Matron); State Registered Nurse would be like.

Agatha looked in her bag for kerchief as Gillian Gayle called out, ‘Roslyn Jones. Roslyn Jones.’ Roslyn smiled at Agatha, took a last look in her compact, snapped it shut in her handbag, and walked to the desk.

Agatha read her letter, took out her book of Psalms, with its inscription marking her confirmation, and thought about England. She thought about her father and her stepmother, and her sisters and brothers and the short walk to the reception desk. And the longer journey she was about to take.

“Agatha Evans. Agatha Evans.” A voice in front of her echoed behind her as Roslyn walked past her smiling, she winked at her.”

“I’ll wait for you outside,” Roslyn said grasping the door knob.

Agatha took out her completed application form and medical questionnaire for the Joyce Green School of Nursing. Nurse Gayle smiled and stroked her arm.

“Please have a seat. Please do not be nervous. I am Sister Gayle and I am going to go through your application form and tell you what will happen, next. I am so pleased that you are thinking of nursing in the United Kingdom.”

“Thank you,” Agatha said, looking at the upside-down watch pinned to Sister Gayle’s chest.

“Do you have your references?”

Agatha passed over the typewritten letter from the Head Teacher of St. Cuthbert’s and the sloping, handwritten script of her Parish Priest.

“I see that you are a Primary School teacher,” said Sister Gayle. “That’s good. You are used to taking care of people.”

“It is what the good Lord put me here to do,” said Agatha.

“Have you got brothers and sisters?” Sister Gayle asked.

“Seven,” said Agatha.

“Won’t they miss you? Won’t your mother miss you?”

“My mother passed when I was fourteen.”

Sister Gayle stroked her arm. “We must move on,” she said.

Agatha would have to have blood tests, a chest X-Ray, ECG, a full medical examination, and to get a passport.

Sister Gayle flicked through a tooled, leather-bound diary. “I will book the appointments. Come back and see me next Thursday morning at 10.30 and we will complete everything.”

L’etranger – or thoughts on the Black Eyed Dog

I haven’t posted for a while – the black eyed dog has been barking at my door, but today it has quietened down. Telling it to do one, doesn’t always work, but somtimes a treat lobbed in its general direction allows the muses to come back into my life and the words to flow. “Here it comes and then it goes…and it hits me takes me home and I don’t know where I am going – let it flow.”

Words beget songs in my mind as songs beget words, and this post and the one to follow it combines both. I am endlessly enthused by music and literature, especially those with the transformative potential of abstraction. This piece is the opening of a short story…a letter to an unnamed person, that speaks of a soul struggling to adjust…to adjust to life and living, to a world without words to express emotions, and the need to break free from the constraints of insular society…to create a bonfire of the inanities.


Saturday December 26th


Notes taken by PC Rhiannon Rees 25/12/07. Found by Gina Davies 26/12/07

Home of Sion Rhodri Davies (45), Myfanwy Gwenllian Jones (49), Seren Cerys Sioned Jones-Davies (6), and Rhys Royston Bleddyn Jones-Davies (5).

Only body of IC3 male present. Cards in wallet identify body as Sion Rhodri Davies

No-one else in the house

No sign of forced entry

Bags packed in hallway

No external marking to the body, no outward signs of trauma

Celtic band tattoo, upper left arm, Polynesian tattoo upper right arm

There isn’t anything else important. Ambulance called.

Letter found at 345 Portland Road, Canton by PC Rhiannon Rees 25/12/07

Why didn’t you come and see me, yesterday? Was it the misunderstanding? You know I love our time together you randomly quoting Rochester between Velvet Underground songs and me skinning up how can you know so much, but so little about me, or about anything? You said you would and you didn’t and I needed you and you weren’t and now, I’m not. This is my vitriol. Ignore it all, it doesn’t mean anything anyway. The only way to fight the pain is to inflict more pain on me on me deflect it from you get in the way because I am already in the way. Now is the time to let it be to leave it all drop and move swiftly on. If I punch myself in the head maybe I‘ll start thinking in straighter lines and start being me again rather than this pale imitation (that’s a joke – you like jokes). It is embarrassing – I am an embarrassment you know me as well as me, so I have to just let me be. Here and now has become is there and then a gossamer spider web and I am trapped; I try tried to wriggle free but I only geot tangled further. The problem with learning the lessons of my past is not that I haven’t learned them well – I’ve studied hard and these grades prove my mediocrity – I’ve learned the lines too well that I have forgotten how to act. Repeating someone else’s script, stripping words of nuance, subtlety and meaning…I stand before you going through familiar emotions and moving no-one least of all me. I can’t change me. They can all see it now I need to write the next play myself, shape line, character, and space. I need to make this my own – shadows are good for hiding in, but suffocating to live in now how comfortable is this pre-fabricated pied-a-terre. It is time to resurrect a familiar favourite, but there is no light, not even a spot. I can’t stand another second in my company! Time to say goodbye and move on like a roadrunner…roadrunner once…roadrunner twice. It isn’t anything for you to worry about is it? Is it? I need to feel happy in my skin, but you can’t, not yours and never mine. You did it, but you didn’t need to, one day you’ll see I’ve sent you a letter I got eighteen years ago.


Freedom is just another word for when you have no-one left to hurt…but my soul isn’t on fire – you know where that comes from, you played it to me and I listened and said nothing as you closed your eyes and cried inside and outside and then left before I could say anything; it is burning, twisting, self-aggrandising, selfish, and soulless me. I thought that I could find the answer within and without, but all that I found was a hollow vacuum where my heart once was. There is nothing left. There is truly no-one left to hurt there is no more damage to do apart from to me. Where do I go from here…ever onwards, ever forward, further and deeper into the heart of darkness. There is nowhere left to run, every time I turn I am just facing in the same fucking direction facing the same thing, confronting yesterday today. If you can’t trust your mind, your feelings, and your instincts, what is left? Nothing. The end, only the end; nothing and everything. I feel everything, every knife cut plunging deeper and further until it disappears inside me and then it is done, but it starts again, I turn around again, but I still cannot see. The fog just thickens and obscures, consumes and constricts until I have to rely on all the other senses. They are supposed to compensate, right? Well come on then, just fucking do it, just fucking bring it. JUST FUCKING BRING IT.

One love forever, Cariad mawr Sioni x

Writing About Mental Health

Durre Shahwar

Warning: contains an extensive use of the pronoun ‘I’.

My dissertation is about mental health. And from the start, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. My plot is based on a character whose instability doesn’t come about from a specific incident or an event such as death, trauma, loss, but a hinted series of minor troubles in her life, her background and childhood. This sounds like a non-fail summary until you actually get down to writing about it, and realise that a specific event such as death or loss is easier for plot and resolution than well, no event. But I am adamant to do it. I feel that half the stigma about mental health comes from the fact that it is more understandable in cases where there is a specific event. And by writing about a healthy, young, female who slowly begins to have anxiety attacks, agoraphobia, hears voices with no…

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