Tag Archives: local

On the Cardiff Pound

It’s just over a week since the #ShopCardiff campaign ended, and I think everyone involved was extremely chuffed at how the idea caught the attention of retailers and – more importantly – local shoppers. In the end, the campaign, conceived by Arlein Media, the folk behind TweetCardiff, reached over 500,000 twitter accounts, was featured on BBC Radio Wales, ITV Wales, and covered in the local press, not to mention inspiring several posts on people’s experiences of shopping independently for a whole week, including these:




I was pretty taken aback by the enthusiasm for the #ShopCardiff challenge – and it has given me the push I need to do something which has been on my ‘one day’ list for a while – and that is to at least start the process of developing a local currency. There are a few local currencies in existence – the first and probably best known is the Totnes Pound, but there’s also the Brixton Pound, the Lewes Pound, the Stroud Pound and, most recently and just across the bridge, the Bristol Pound. I have been following the Bristol Pound for a while, and kept on thinking that I wished someone would do a similar thing here in Cardiff. Well, I’ve decided to stop wishing, and to get on with it!

I’ve chatted to a few people about this already, and there seems to be a real interest in taking it forward. Right now, the plan of action is to research what works well elsewhere, and put together a group of people who could potentially form a steering group. I’m also putting together a little surveymonkey, that I’ll be posting and pleading with you to fill in, probably in a couple of days…

In the meantime, I would be really grateful for any help people could throw my way. If anyone has direct experience of a local currency, I’d love to hear about it – the negatives as well as the positives. If you, or someone you know, would like to be involved, please give me a shout on email or @michelledavis – and if you don’t have time to be involved, but would support the idea of a local currency, please drop me a line too!

Thank you – looking forward to the day when we have our very own Cardiff Pound!

On ParcPlay

Yay for Sunshine! So we packed a picnic and off to ParcPlay we went, along with a friend and her kids, who are the same age as my eldest two. The kids were mega excited as ParcPlay is one of their favourite places – they were up, dressed, and ready without so much as a grumble, which is always refreshing (and would be even more refreshing on school mornings, no?)

I’m not sure if we’re just extra lucky in Cardiff, but I’ve never come across a place like ParcPlay anywhere else. It looks unpromising from the outside, sitting on the riverbank behind the station and in amongst warehouses, garages and storage centres. But once you’re through the wooden gates, it’s a different story entirely – wooden climbing frames, slides, a zip wire, a table tennis area, a BIG sandplay area with a pirate ship and even a fenced off quarter for under 5s to go if they get a bit overwhelmed by the big stuff. Half of the area is covered, though not enclosed, so you can tick off the ‘fresh air’ bit even if it’s raining. Here’s a few pics taken from ParcPlay’s Facebook page:

ParcPlay, Cardiff

ParcPlay Cardiff


ParcPlay CardiffParcPlay Cardiff


Because it can be a bit chilly for us poor adults, there are fab ‘cabins’ with heaters in – but which you can see out of to keep an eye on the little darlings. There are also deckchairs – and there are some good sunspots on a summers day, if you are there early enough! For the other 355 days of the year there are also blankets for your knees, and rugs on the benches, which were being well used today! A couple more photos from Facebook here:

ParcPlay Cardiff

ParcPlay Cardiff

One of the best things about ParcPlay is that picnics are welcome, even encouraged – and even if it’s brass monkeys cold, picnicking is a feasible option because of the heated cabins. And another BIG plus – they do proper, decent, coffee. Not with bells and whistles – no mochafrappasemichinos here – but good, strong, and with half price refills. There are also a range of other drinks and snacks on offer for if you don’t want to bring your own – all reasonably priced. Admittedly there’s not a massive variety but equally, there’s a not massive kitchen taking up space that could be used for playing – seems a sensible trade off to me.

ParcPlay CardiffParcPlay Cardiff

We spent about 4 hours at Parcplay today – the bigger kids would probably have stayed a bit longer but the 3 yo was getting a bit past it – not surprising since apart from 20 mins hoovering up the picnic, he was on the run the whole time. Apart from a minor incident on the slide (for which an icepack immediately appeared – thank you!) it was a great day – not least because my friend and I actually managed to have a decent catch up while the kids were playing (we’ve both been in The Tunnel for far too long, so it was well overdue!) All in all, a lovely way to spend one of our last holiday days before school starts again 🙂

Entry prices:

Free for adults, £1.75 under 2 (or free with older sibling), £3.75 ages 2 and 3, £5 ages 4-12

ParcPlay is now open every day through till November -there’s more info on parties, group bookings, events etc on www.parcplay.com

Mums do travel


On #shopcardiff


So here’s the challenge, Cardiff – for one week only, try and shop only in local, independent businesses. You might be surprised at what you find – and at what you save!

Up for it?

  • Find out about the best Cardiff businesses at independentstreet
  • Get involved – tweet your experiences using #ShopCardiff
  • Get a bargain – check out #shopcardiff deals from indie retailers
  • Share the love – via Facebook, Twitter, your blog


ps – for inspiration, check out the story of the Pugh family, who are 20 weeks into a challenge to go a year without a supermarket!