Cardiff by moonlight

Cardiff by moonlight (1 of 1)

Moonlight bathed the trail. Dripping through the canopy, skipping across the water. A breathless, cloudless, glorious October evening. I rode from Llandaff North to Cardiff Bay in a little over 20 minutes.  Barely a traffic light, rarely a hold up. At Llandaff fields the odd runner emerged from the shadows, the soft padding of feet accompanied by tinny rhythmic beat – the discourse of digital music. At Sofia Gardens, silvery luminescence played across empty seats at the Swalec stadium. At Cowbridge road, the masts of the millennium stadium linked the sky with a still river Taff. Grangetown brought a mix of thoughts and questions. Half of my family hail from here. What would my grandfather make of it all? the cycle path on the Taff, the waterbus stop, luxury flats where grimy warehouses once stood. The coup de grace –  Tiger Bay devoid of laden ships freshly returning from exotic ports.   He was a lifelong merchant seaman with a 1000 stories etched into the leathery crags of his face. I’ve only met him through pictures, anecdotes and ancient logbooks. But I think I know the answer.

Monday evening was as perfect an autumnal night as you could hope for, a bike the purest way to embrace it. Spin quietly. Spin often.  Unwind.

Top image: Taff embankment near Cardiff. The original image taken on a Canon S95 can be seen here.

With thanks to all who maintain the Taff Trail.

 

4 replies »

  1. Very poetic. Reminds me of what’s on the metal slab in Mermaid Quay that no one stops to read:

    Cargoes
    by John Masefield

    Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
    Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
    With a cargo of ivory,
    And apes and peacocks,
    Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

    Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
    Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
    With a cargo of diamonds,
    Emeralds, amythysts,
    Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

    Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
    Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
    With a cargo of Tyne coal,
    Road-rails, pig-lead,
    Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

  2. Nobody including me! I hadn’t noticed that slab and will make a point of searching it out. That’s a brilliant piece of prose and thanks for taking the time to post it.

    My Grandfather worked primarily on the banana boats and was part of the Merchant Navy during WWII. There’s a fantastic shot of him standing on a beach near San Francisco in the late 1920s, which I’ll have to dig out before it gets lost in the mists of time. It’s a shame I didn’t get the chance to experience those anecdotes first hand.

    And as for the Taff Trail…….it was hard to believe that I was riding through the Welsh capital last night – glorious (though the destination was quite prosaic – IKEA by folder!).

    • The poem ties in with the different sculptures around the tops of the buildings in the area. A fun activity for kids is printing off the poem and getting them to spot all the items.

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