@JadeTambini shares insights from her week!
It was 6pm Sunday before last. I was eating cake (made by the amazing Zucchero Patisserie, running around after my nieces and drinking champagne at my mother-in-law’s big Italian 70th birthday celebrations.
I fatefully happened to check my emails (this never happens on Sunday) to find an email with the ‘keys to Cardiff’.
Overwhelming panic set in.
I’d forgotten! Or at least, I had put it in my diary for the following week. As someone who can be a bit of a nightmare for planning finding out I’d missed the chance to plan my Cardiff week was an off the scale brain frazzle.
I work in marketing so my whole world is planned, themed, structured and if I lose that, I fail. But what was so refreshing about my ‘Cardiff is Yours’ week was that by not having a plan, not thinking it through, not having a theme or direction, I was left with the thing I only truly really authentically have anyway.
You lucky things!
So, here are the 5 things I learnt from not having a plan, living with no boundaries and holding the keys to Cardiff for a week!
- Be yourself, everyone else is taken!
One of my favourite quotes in the world. But it’s so much easier said than done! I found myself scrolling through the historic twitter feed of the Cardiff Is Yours account to construct how to be and what to say. But after a couple of tweets I got into the swing of it.
Every now and then during the week I’d think ‘eek, don’t press tweet, what will people think of me?!’ but I made a commitment to myself to do it anyway!
Quotes have always given me comfort and have somehow made sense of the world to me for forever. You might remember my little tweet about trees. Random, but so lush. This was one of those examples!
- Feel the fear and do it anyway
As I walked through the doors of Café Atma to try out Urban Meditation for the first time I felt timid, self-conscious but at the same time intrigued and excited.
What’s interesting is that because it’s sometimes scary to try new things, we tend to put them off. I’d been meaning to try out different meditation classes for about two years and somehow managing the ‘Cardiff Is Yours’ account pushed me to go for it!
The experience turned out to be gorgeous. The group session started with a soothing but invigorating ten minute meditation session with singing, drums and other instruments. Megan, who is only 21 but super wise and lovely then ran a 30 minute discussion around the topic of ‘duality’. What I took from the session was that we should treat both happiness and despair in the same way – temporary!
We got spoilt at the end of the session too with delicious vegan curries, cake and chatting!
- Use it as an opportunity to make new friends
My absolute favourite experience of the week was hanging out with a fellow Yolk Recruitment pal, Laura, who is an accountant by profession but also a crazily talented body painter! We decided to paint Cardiff on, well, me, launching the #FaceofCardiff project which loads of you got involved in, giving us ideas and suggestions – thanks! It tooks us one large pizza, three music playlists and four hours of me ‘sitting still’ and Laura doing her magic! Hope you love the results!
Check out the time lapse video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhAaZpHmgOM
- Eat alone once a week
During the week I ate at a tonne of great places including my very favourite Italian restaurant, Café Citta on Church Street where I tried their butternut squash and ricotta cannelloni from the specials board.
Later in the week the fabulous Elf chef at Milk & Sugar on Windsor Place made maple syrup French toast with bacon for me and some of the crew at Yolk and I really loved eating a lovely ‘locally sourced’ lunch at The Plan in Morgan Arcade (I really recommend their banana and ice-cream pancakes!).
On all of these occasions I ate socially with others as I often do but my favourite food related experience of the week was brekkie for one at Servini’s café. I hopped off the train from Barry at 8.03am just it got light and headed over to Wyndham Arcade. I had a mini English breakfast and a latte and sat in the quiet with nowhere to be, no one to talk to and it was really nice. Starting the morning that little bit earlier with a fuller breakfast and some me time meant I had a great day and felt really happy and chilled!
I decided there and then to eat out alone at least once a week going forward!
- Live every week like its being broadcasted!
My usual weeks generally consist of Yoga and I loved sharing my experience at Yoga Fever’s hot yoga studio on Broadway. It such a cool place if you fancy trying out yoga – check out my best move! My teacher Mark always goes at the right pace for all abilities and if you’re new and unsure he will always suggest alternative postures if you hit a bit of a wall!
I also go to Warrior Yoga at Cardiff Marine Village on Penarth Road, this is such a gorgeous meditative session with low lights, music that feels like it’s from a faraway land and incense. Alan is a funky and dynamic teacher and if you want to tackle your body fitness, mental wellbeing and generally feel like a rejuvenated warrior in your own life, you should try his Thursday class!
What I learnt from the week was that while my life is pretty action filled and fun anyway there is so much in this amazing city for us to explore, try and enjoy. I went out of my way to be interesting and cultural in a bid to entertain and excite fellow Cardiffians and in the process I feel more and more in love with our fabulous city.
I’ll finish with my very favourite thing about Cardiff.
My absolute legend of a husband, Paul. I first laid eyes on him at Conti’s on Mill Lane eight years ago and was smitten right from that very second. Before meeting him, Cardiff was just the big city miles and miles away from my little hometown, Porthcawl. I want to thank him for the best, worst and everything in between moments we’ve shared running around this beautiful city!
Thank you Cardiff Is Yours, one of the best experiences of my life!
Want to have the keys for a week? Head here.