Category Archives: Personal

The Bubble Cafe

And now for something completely different.

I have lived in Cardiff for 5 years now, and this little shop around the corner from me has seen about 9 different estate agents over that time, they were either never open and/or disappeared after 6 months.

I usually refrain from writing about places close to home but I just have to mention the quaint little café that has replaced those “doomed from the start” estate agents. Finally the shop has a real purpose. The Bubble Cafe. In my opinion this little shop really needed to have something better on offer than a closed estate agents, and a café is just perfect.

The shop only has a small space to offer but these new guys have managed to squeeze in a variety of comfy chairs and sofas to relax in without actually feeling like you’re a sardine, which is always a good thing if you ask me. The atmosphere is a relaxed affair mixed with delicious decor of browns and reds which just add to the comfy cosy nature they were going for. Aside from all the good points my only issue is the music, we all know I hate pop trash and the radio so I tried to tune it out. As the majority of people like this pop shite I am sure the music is more than adequate for the customer base. Some nice easy listening music would be my preference, but we can’t all get what we want. Maybe some Cat Stevens would do the trick.

I have been a couple of times now, the first was just to grab a takeaway coffee which was damn tasty and hit the spot. While waiting for my coffee I tasted a free sample of the home made triple chocolate brownie. You know I bought one after that. tasty does not do it justice, the gooey chocolatey goodness will have you coming back for more all the time. The free samples seem to be on offer every day too so I have to force myself not to grab anymore or I could devour them all and end up fatter than i already am.

So today I decided to come round and actually have a sit down cup of tea and grab a BLT to go with it, as well as to write up the first draft of this post. Service was friendly and speedy, the sandwich was delicious and filled the gaping hole in my belly.

The staff all came across as friendly and eager to help you out, add this to the relaxed atmosphere and you really do have a coffee shop that reaches you on a personal level, and provides you with a better service than any of the big named coffee shops that are sprawled through Cardiff.

I highly recommend this place, even if you are just grabbing a takeout coffee. The prices will leave you with plenty of change in your pocket and a nice warm BLT (among a wide range of offerings) filled belly. Go there, drink, eat and say hi to the staff.

Check out the website and see what’s on offer for your munchable delights and thirst quenching drinks.

The Bubble Cafe

84 Monthermer Road, Roath, Cardiff, CF24 4QY

The Bubble Cafe - Front of House
The Bubble Cafe

Where is the Wisdom in these teeth?

Im sat in the waiting room of the emergency dental hospital and have been for the last hour. I took my ticket ‘green 7′ and begin to wait.

Life begins to stir behind reception as an unhelpful, snappy troll like figure starts barking her orders to prove she is the lord over the reception desk domain. Ok, so some of the muppets who have turned up late demanding to be seen without a green ticket are asking for trouble, and the troll freely and happily dispenses with ways in which they can fornicate off. They do deserve it.

As I type, one of the muppets who thinks she’s above the rest tries for another shot at demanding to be seen in a vain attempt to catch the troll off guard. The troll looks like she had her weetabix this morning and immediately cuts her down where she stands. This women should be in politics.

So I’m approaching 90 mins now and the troll is happy with her coffee and 5.95 an hour. A few have tried to slip in under the net but the troll’s just too damn quick for them.

The health service is a joke in this country. I’m about to get tarred with a brush for not having my own dentist, but like an average of 4m people I cannot get into an NHS practice and cannot afford a private one. The last filling cost me 40 quid on the NHS, private treatment would cost at least double that. I pay my stamp and tax and then have to pay for a supposedly free health service.

Anyway, I’m rambling. I’m going to be seen soon, but don’t get excited just yet, they only want my name and to ask me the obligatory ‘do you have a dentist’ question. Can you imagine if I owned a gun? Calamity would ensue, peace would rain down from the heavens. I’m bored now, more later

So… 2 hours go by, and I am holding up pretty well considering the pain I am in and the dull drudgery that surrounds me. The only magazines I can find and oversized dental mags, or bloody “womens own”. Games on my mobile can only sustain for so long.

At last I get to go see a pre-dental dentist. She sits me in the chair, asks me 40 or 50 questions about my health and my familys health. Then after about 15 minutes in the chair, she finally asks me to open wide so she can have a look. I have no idea what this achieved, as she ummed and arrrred then handed me a form. Said form was for an X-Ray and had to be dropped off in the little X-Ray tray on another desk, 50 yards down another corridor. God damn it.

45 minutes more and I am in for the X-Ray. It’s over quick enough, the dood taking the X-Ray manages to hurt my tooth quite nicely, I refrained from stabbing him with my phone.

With the X-Ray done I am sent back to the waiting room. So far we have clocked up 4 hours waiting and messing around. I know what’s going to happen, they know it too, but the formalities have to be followed.

Not long this time, about 30 minutes give or take a lifetime and I am in to have the X-Ray assessed. “we are going to have to take the 2 out I’m afraid” she coos at me, trying to curry my favour, make me feel all relaxed and special. Tart. Surprise surprise, my response was thus “I could have told you that 4 hours ago” She smiled a faint disgusted smile and sent me back to the waiting room while a real dentist becomes available to do the dirty work. I would pity her if I did not admire her lack of care. A real unfeeling bitch, I like it.

Another hour later and we are rocking, I have been called and told to follow, to which I dutifully do as I am told. I follow the girl through the corridors, the screams get louder so I know I am headed in the right direction. Round the last corner and straight into another bloody waiting room. I am told to sit down and that the wait could be some time as they are busy. Damn

The pain killers I took this morning are starting to wear off by this point. So I am getting agitated and restless and my thoughts digress into how to solve the NHS problems we have. I almost had the solution too when I get called in to see the dentist. The guy takes a look at my X-Rays and then asks me which teeth are being pulled. Sigh.

First things first, lets get my mouth numb. He manages to hurt the hell out of me, missing my gum twice and stabbing me in the bad tooth, then the inside of my cheek becomes the needles playground. It’s all fun and games today.

While we wait for the novacaine to take effect he tells me he is from overseas and that when he came here he could not get a job as a dentist. So while he waited for a position on the bottom rung of the ladder he delivered pizzas and Chinese meals all over the area. I regret to inform my readers that at this point I wanted to a) punch him, b) run, and c) place an order for food.

Onto the extraction… Needless to say, the novacaine failed to work, my protestations of “give me 2 needles full please” seem to go unheard. He gripped my tooth and my gum with those wonderful pliers they use and yanked. .OH. .MY. .GOOD. GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The pain was unbearable, and I have to admit that I went white as a sheet and that was what stopped him. But alas, he was kidding, gripped the tooth again and yanked it out. I nearly launched him off the floor when his hands were out of my mouth. The thought of any puckered cavity and the dental drill did flash through my mind, but I admit I was in no fit state to be torturing anyone today.

So I am out of the door, minus 2 teeth, 6 hours and a wad of gauze in one hand and a clenched fist for the other. Now I have to look forward to the bleeding and the wearing off of the novacaine. Awesome. :(

After my sebatical, I return…

Okay, so it has been a considerable amount of time since I posted last. Things have been somewhat strained over the last few months.

Needless to say I will not bore you with the details of my home life but you can all rest assured that I am back. I am now settled in Cardiff City with a nice new job.

Work is good, home life is good. I finally found some peace and quiet, even in a student area.

I am almost unpacked (even though it has been 3 weeks now) and I am finally starting to find my way around. I have been working during the day and most evenings as well. So now I am ready to start posting to this blog type thing again.

Expect some changes around here, I have learnt some new design tricks and tips, and have written a new menu script for the blog that will actually tell you what section you are in by highlighting it. A new design has obviously been written. (I do them often I hear you cry) but a blog is basically a showcase of work so it has to be done.

I will finally be adding the gallery soon so I can showcase my work in my portfolio and of course I have written a few new scripts in the interim time I spent at my mums (chilling if anyone asks) and will make them available for download soon enough.

I have started to learn TCP/IP Networking and Infrastructure, so there will be some stuff on that soon too.

I expect the new theme and scripts to go live over the next two weeks once I am satisfied with the look of it. I am almost there. But not quite.

This week I have been mostly…..

Over the last few weeks I have been setting up my home server again. First I had to find a computer capable of doing the job, which I managed to acquire from a friend of mine.

The computer I got hold of was an ex-office computer. Its a Dell desktop PC which came with 128mb ram (shocked I know) 2mb graphics card and 20gig hard drive and I think a 500mhz processor, but I could be wrong, and havn’t bothered checking. Good thing though, it’s all black.

So, what to use, windows XP which for all its crapness, the server stuff although bloated is simple to set up and run. COnsidering the files are all .exe I could have had it up and running in no time.

I wanted to use Linux, but what flavour? There are many Linux distros out there that are specifically designed for setting up a server, but i’m not that skilled with linux and besides, I wanted something that looked good aswell as did its job.

I settled for Ubunut in the end. The install was simple, took around 20 minutes for everything I needed, and that includes the format time. Once I was in, all I had to do was download Xampp for Linux and follow the instructions.

This was the most simple server I have set up. Be warned, Xampp is not really intended for use as a public server, I simply use it for local development of PHP and webdesigns.

Having said that, I highly recommend you trying it if you want to learn PHP but cannot afford a webhost to use it on.

Setting up the FTP server was the hardest task. By default Ubunut puts the htdocs folder under the root users account. The root users acocunt is also disabled by default on Ubuntu to prevent you from breaking your system. This lead to me being unable to delete or add files to the server via FTP. In the end, I got fed up of trying and shared the directory using Samba with rights for my main user account to add/edit and delete files. It’s now much quicker and easier to use.

I will try and sort the FTP in future and put some info up about it aswell as setting up the server and installing all you need.

For now, i’m content to have a simple webserver to test with, and a media server to stream my movies and music around my home.