Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cardiff Bay

I've finally got round to blogging again. That's not quite true. I've finally found something that has inspired me to blog. there are a number of topics/issues I would like to blog about, but none have quite formed yet, so I'll leave them to rattle around longer.

Anyway, last week I was lucky enough to be in Cardiff. I had been planning The Residential, a very exciting Wales Methodist Youth Weekend (more info here), and had a few hours to spare after the meeting, so I headed down to Cardiff Bay. Now I love the Bay, for a number of reasons. It's beautiful, it has such a mix of interested things, and maybe most importantly, it is where I first got to know a certain person. If you are a Doctor Who or Torchwood fan, you would recognise any of the buildings. So as I was wandering around, I started taking some photos, for no real reason, but now they are forming a blog. (Sorry for the poor quality, they were taking on my iPod.)

So, to get from Central Cardiff down to the Bay, you walk along David Lloyd George Road, through Butetown, which is... not the most attractive of places. But after about 3/4 of a mile you are suddenly looking out over Cardiff Bay. 

I love the mix of architecture, the old red brick of the Corn Exchange, and just to the right the modern glass, wood and stone of the Senedd (the seat of the Welsh Government).

One of the first things I saw (which I don't think I've seen before, though I had heard of it) is this amazing memorial wall.

But there is something a little different about this. It is for Ianto Jones. For those of you who don't watch Torchwood, Ianto was a fictional character who gave his life saving the world's children from aliens. That's right, a TV character who's death was portrayed in an episode shown in July 2009 still has a memorial almost three years later. And the Management of Mermaid Quay (the Retail Centre in the Bay) continue to maintain it. This really touched me, that was started as a spontaneous memorial to a loved TV character has now become part of the area.

'Ianto Jones 1983-2009 Torchwood 3. Gave his life in defense of the Children of this planet. The Management of Mermaid Quay salutes you.'

I walked around the Bay a bit until I got to The Lightship.

This is an 60 year old lightship (obviously) that was bought by a Christian group, restored and now serves as a Beacon of Christian witness, as a Coffee Shop and Chaplaincy. I've loved the Lightship since I was a little boy, when I remember climbing up the tower with my dad, while my mum stayed with my sister (who was scared of heights). I popped in to avoid a particularly heavy shower, treated myself to a cake and enjoyed the gentle rocking the wind caused.

 I then headed back round to the Corn Exchange  and popped into the Millennium Centre. It brought back memories of the Methodist Youth Conference I helped plan in 2007, where we had our Sunday Worship in the Millennium Centre, and how that was the beginning of my journey into the wonderful (and sometimes weird) world of Connexional Methodism, which has shaped the past few years of my life.

And with that, I went back into Cardiff to catch the train. And as I walked into the station I saw one of those random little events that makes me love the human race. 

I saw a man, walk past holding a giant cuddly dinosaur by the neck. Not something you see every day.