Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Market

The Cardiff Riverside Farmers' Sunday Market just across the Taff from the Millennium Stadium is quite a modest sized affair, but because of the quality of the food bought and sold there, it has attracted recognition from the BCC Radio 4 Food Programme. We've been shoppping there for several years now, as the veggies are organic, also fresher, cheaper and not stifled by plastic wrappings. You can buy fresh fish and meat, and a range of cheeses, goat, sheep, cow, of superior quality, mostly made in Carmarthenshire or Cardiganshire. My favourite treat is wild boar sausages. Clare goes there regularly after the Sung Eucharist, and if I'm not busy, I'll go over and join her for a stroll and a chat. There are usually people we know there - many of Clare's associates from the Cardiff Steiner School Initiative shop there, and Ian, who works with me in city centre mission is a trustee of the Market. If the weather is fine, a few picnic tables appear and refreshments are served outdoors.

Wales' First Minister Rhodri Morgan has been a keen supporter of the market, and a regular shopper since its early days. He was there this morning, sitting quietly and relaxing with a drink - no security guards, no spin doctors, just Rhodri on his own, at ease, normal, accessible, the way we like it to be. We just don't do things Westminster style in Cardiff. It would be certain to result in a total loss of credibility.

Passers by, including me, stopped to chat with him briefly and wish him well. He's had a tough time this past two months, getting a viable coalition together to run the WAG (Welsh Assembly Government) following a rather precariously balanced election outcome. On top of this, his final success was overshadowed by a serious angina attack that landed him in hospital for angioplasty surgery.

I asked him how he was feeling. "Ten years younger" he said, acknowledging that his medical crisis was timely, and could easily have been fatal. I wished him well with his coalition venture. Far from being concerned about having a leader with a health vulnerabily, it's a relief to have someone in charge who is now aware that he's not omnipotent, either personally or politically. It should lead to healthier decisions in the long run.

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