Merthyr Road: The Point

Posted by Stuart Herbert on August 10th, 2010 in Cardiff, Leisure, Modern, Photos, Shoot.

The Point

The Point was, for several years, a very popular live music venue at the southern end of Butetown in Cardiff. A converted church in Mount Stuart Square, the external structure still contains many of its original features dating back to 1900. Today, it stands empty, its future use to be decided.

I only went to one gig there myself, to see americana band Iron and Wine. The volume of the music inside was tremendous; impossible to say anything to anyone, and I found it very difficult indeed to enjoy the music as it was turning to mush at that level to my ears. I can’t say I’m surprised that it closed at least in part because of noise complaints, but I am sorry that it did so. There seems to be so few live music venues in Cardiff any more for budding musicians to learn the trade. No wonder the X-Factor auditions are so popular each year 🙁

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

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Hamon Line Up Close

Download the full-size picture to use as your desktop wallpaper.

My desktop wallpaper today is a second shot from this week’s theme … a Japanese katana.

In this closer shot, you can see the martensite crystals that form the hamon line, which in Japanese are known as nioi. You can also see the distinctive turnback on this particular blade, where the hamon line turns back on itself for a short distance, just before the blade meets the guard (tsuba in Japanese). I’m told that sword appraisal books don’t mention turnback features like this one, so it may be aesthetically interesting but not considered notable.

You can also see the wear and tear on the blade from hundreds of years of cleaning, especially some of the larger scratches. This blade is believed to date from the Koto period, which ended in 1596 (although putting a date on it is a gross over-simplification, as with all things to do with the appreciation of the katana). It must be properly oiled after every use to keep the iron sealed against contaminants that would cause it to rust.

Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

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