I’m sitting here in the garden of England typing this, whilst listening to BBC Radio Wales. I will always consider Cardiff ‘home’. When I’m at ‘home’ in Nashville I often listen to Radio Wales or another station, Asian Star, a station from Hounslow.
When I was ‘creating’ Jackson Woods, listening to Radio Wales helped tremendously. I was also armed with a Cardiff street atlas but found I didn’t really need it. I guess when you spend so much time, in this case eighteen years, in a city, you do get to know it a bit!
Cardiff has changed though. I mentioned the docks the other day but also the town centre of course. I remember one beautiful summer day having to go to turn the alarm off that had gone off at the record shop I was working at whilst at school. It was very early, about 6:30 a.m., but very bright, the sun was up and shining. Driving through Queen Street, which at that time you could still drive through, was one of the strangest experiences. Usually extremely busy, there was no-one, no one at all on the street but it seemed like it was three o’clock in the afternoon because of the sunlight and warmth.
When I got to the shop a policeman was waiting there for me and he told me he loved that particular shift. Cardiff was like a ghost town at that time of the day.
Out of town of course it hasn’t changed that much. Roath Lake features heavily in Jackson’s stories. I used to walk past that lake every day to school, and back again. I love this particular photograph of the lake.
I think it’s from Lake Road East looking across. As a driver who hadn’t passed their test, I nearly ended up in the lake early one morning, at this point – I think this is where Lakeside Drive meets Lake Road East. Luckily my friend Paul acted quickly and pulled on the handbrake.
In the first Jackson story, Dead at Night, a body is found late at night by a man out jogging with his dog. The body is found in the stream in the Wild Gardens. It turns out to be the husband of an old girlfriend of Jackson’s, who lives on Lake Road West. The murder is being investigated by the leading police detective at the South Wales Police, who also happens to be Jackson’s oldest friend.
Given the weather this is a lovely and very apt picture of the wild gardens.
I’ve been back to the house I grew up in as a young kid, the street has changed as you would expect. So many memories in that house.
Miranda Lambert is currently the hottest female singer in Nashville and country music. Her husband is Blake Skelton, who is also very successful – if you ‘tweet’ you must follow Blake – his tweets are hilarious, often alcohol induced I think!
Here’s my reason for mentioning Miranda, who is a pure, down to earth country girl, true to her roots. This is a link to a truly outstanding song, The House that Built Me.
If you enjoy it check this out, it’s Tom Douglas, one of the song’s writers, performing it at Key West, telling the story how it got recorded, very interesting insight into how Nashville works, or doesn’t?
one has to ask, why wasn’t it a hit with him singing? Because he’s not blonde and female?
Not taking anything away from Miranda but who knows why, that’s the million dollar question I guess. I once worked with a female singer who had a great voice, but not the ‘looks’; I know it shouldn’t matter but to labels, it does but hopefully it’s changing, for the better.
To close, here’s a beautiful song from the new Paul McCartney album, out this week, ideal for next Tuesday. My Valentine features Eric Clapton on guitar. Enjoy x