Belle Vue Park Superdragons

Last week I suddenly realised I only had a couple of weeks to find the rest of the Superdragons in situ.  They are all being brought together for a final viewing about the middle of this month, but it’s not the same as seeing them out and about.  So over the last couple of days I’ve been photographing some of those I hadn’t seen before.  And a few which have been relocated in more secure positions to prevent them being vandalised again.

Yesterday I went to Belle Vue Park.  We used to live in the road running up the side of this park so I know it well – it is a lovely Victorian park on the side of a hill. 

This dragon is called Amser and it is next to the cafe.  The artist is Marianne Thomas.

superdragon Amser in Belle Vue Park 

There is a little mini dragon painted by Clytha School inside the cafe too:

Clytha School's mini dragon

This one is Highly Flammable – Stick is the artist who painted it.

Highly Flammable superdragon by Stick

The last one in Belle Vue Park (apart from Goldie Looking Dragon who was relocated to the cafe from Ridgeway) is Cenhinen Bedr by Danielle Mayer.  It is the Gorsedd, the stone circle constructed by the Victorians when they landscaped the park.

Cenhinen Bedr superdragon

Here he is in his setting.  You can see the lovely trees in the park.

superdragon in Belle Vue Park

Newport Superdragons

This year, the Ryder Cup is happening in Newport, the city in Wales where I live.

On the announcement of its coming, Newport Council desperately tried to improve the image of the city, and planned ambitious shopping centres and other developments to entice visitors into the town and away from the more appealing neighbouring cities of Bristol and Cardiff.  Residents suffered the upheaval of roadworks and building sites for months, nay, years; and just as it looked its ugliest, along came the recession and the mall developers went bust.

To brighten up the place, over the last few months lots of decorations, flags and other colourful stuff has been appearing.  As well as this, lots of little Superdragons, painted by local artists and schoolchildren, are forming a trail around the town.  They are only here till 9 October and there are about 100 of them so I’ve decided to try and photograph them all over the next few months and post photos of them here.  Quite a lot are in the town centre so they will be easy to reach but several are on the outskirts too.

steel wave carousel superdragon

This one is called the Steel Wave Carousel (because it has a design of the red steel wave sculpture by the riverside) and is by Danielle Mayer.  It is standing outside the Civic Centre, just down the road from my house.

newport's steel wave

This is the wave – it was built to celebrate the steel industry which dominated Newport earlier this century.

scrum the superdragon, newport

This one is Scrum the Superdragon painted by Tim Harries.  It is in the main shopping street.

Wood superdragon

And this is the Wood Dragon, by Chris Wood. It is in the entrance to the library and museum.

According to the local council website, after the 10 week superdragons trail, many of the SuperDragons will be auctioned on October 27, with proceeds going to charities Tenovus, the chosen charity of Newport’s Mayor Cllr Bill Langsford and the Born Free Foundation. There’s a website about them and also a Facebook page where you can keep track of which have been, sadly, vandalised and removed temporarily for intensive care…

I like the new occupants of the city, even if they are only going to be around for a few months; they are a talking point and whenever I see them, there seem to be groups of people chatting about them, examining them and taking photos.   And the projects are encouraging local artists, local businesses.  Maybe that is the way forward for Newport; to build up local individual shops rather than trying desperately to attract big chain stores that you can see all over the country.  I for one would welcome that.

Reading glasses

Until I was about 43, I didn’t need glasses at all – I know, I was jolly lucky.  But over the last few years I have been squinting more and more at small print, holding it up to the light or increasing the font on the computer. Over the last few weeks I have finally capitulated and wear my reading glasses all the time.  I went through a phase of putting them down anywhere, spending hours looking for them, sitting on them (I haven’t actually trodden on them yet but came pretty close a few times!). 

So… I decided that I really needed to buy one of those old lady gizmos which attach to your glasses and hang around your neck. I bought one which was pretty utilitarian and…. boring, really.  I remembered that I had loads of unworn necklaces and chains languishing unused in a drawer.  Eventually I found the right phrase to  Google – glasses chain findings – and a few minutes on Ebay sent a set of 10 winging its way to my door for the immense sum of £2.


Hey presto!  Just the thing!  (sorry about the gawky grin – or should that be owlish? – I took the photo myself) with the camera sort of held out in front of me…

Autumnal Kitchen

Aggh, how have I not posted for so long?  Half term, that’s what!

DH recently painted the kitchen.  I decided on the colour for the walls and woodwork – he liked yellow; I wasn’t sure, but we needed something warm and light because it is north facing and rather damp.  So I took my inspiration from an autumn leaf on the cherry tree and this is the result:


I love the way the yellow shines through the hall…  It’s lighter than this in reality.


I gave the Victorian floor tiles a treat and polished them!  And promptly went down with a nasty bug… note to self… cut down on polishing floor tiles….

victorian terracotta floor tiles