23/01/2021: Roath Park

At long last, a Saturday with good weather, no distressing car incidents and – most importantly – no more excuses.

I couldn’t decide whether to head to Roath Park or Cardiff Bay – I’m roughly in the middle here – but I really wanted to check out the newly-painted freshly spick-and-span Captain Scott Memorial at the bottom of the lake.

Lining up a few different podcasts (one of my many reasonably recent obsessions – I even listen to podcasts about podcasts for god’s sake) for the journey, I set off. I had to go through Bute Park first, which was super busy – seems everybody else had the same idea as me today. It was quieter through Cathays, while Roath Park itself wasn’t too bad.

The light was perfect and the lighthouse didn’t disappoint – it gleamed in the mid-afternoon sun. It’s recently been repainted thanks to a generous local resident as a tribute to his mother and his wife, who both died in 2019. A job well done because it looks positively resplendent – especially on a day like today.

As I wandered around, a random memory appeared in my brain of rushing up to Roath Park the day that I got my first “serious” camera. Actually, it was “only” a bridge camera, but to me it was truly beyond excitement.

I remember heading out “early”. I was a student, and it was a Saturday, so it was probably about 10am. My housemate wasn’t up and I recall her being shocked when I came back that I’d already been out for the day. I was so thrilled to have this fantastic new toy that I could explore with. I probably took hundreds of photos that day.

Up until that point I’d been using a variety of compact cameras, but this was another level. You could take control of settings (not that I did an awful lot to be honest) and it made me feel more like the real photographer I one day hoped I might be. It would only take another year after that for me to trade up to a DSLR, something I did because I was hoping to get a job working on a photography website (which I did). I’m not sure the person that went rushing up to the park with that bridge camera that day would have believed that all these years later I now get paid to go out and play with cameras!

Anyway, that was 12.5 years ago and I’ve just looked at the photos … well, they’re not the best I ever took – by a long stretch – but the fact that the morning sticks in my memory so vividly after all this time makes them pretty special.

In those days I lived a lot closer to the park so it was less of a trek. I think this is probably first I’ve walked to Roath Park in at least a decade – thanks lockdown rules. I came back via a different route and the light had completely vanished for another day.

Funny how the years just disappear, isn’t it?

Distance – 7.57miles
Time – 3:32

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