Cardiff over coffee - I loves the 'Diff

I loves the 'Diff

CPS Homes sat down with creator of local cult brand I Loves The 'Diff to find out what Cardiff means to him.

IS THERE ANYWHERE IN CARDIFF YOU FEEL ESPECIALLY 'AT HOME'?

I suppose I'm more at home on the east side of the city; although a couple of years of I Loves The 'Diff deliveries has improved my Cardiff geography. Living in your hometown means there are memories attached to lots of places; where you have your first kiss; or on Queen Street where friends and I ended up rolling on the ground with Ieuan Evans in a mock ruck!

WHERE ARE YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL PLACES?

Roath Park Lake is high up on the list. Our cabriolet stadium on match day - nowhere like it. I was taken to the Arms Park as a kid by my dad, so it’s a cherished tradition with a lot of great memories. In fact, you can’t beat Cardiff generally on international day, can you? For getting away from the bustle, the ridgeway path overlooking the city offers amazing views, and a bit further over the Wenallt was a place my Grandad took me a lot as a kid so I'm very fond of that.

I love the independent shops and eateries around Cardiff that offer a unique taste of the city. Some shops make you happy to be in them because they’re real rather than a kitsch contrivance. The cobblers behind Meek’s, off Albany Road, was great because it felt like it was from another time. Sadly it’s been torn down now. I was hoping to salvage the sign from the skip but alas someone else beat me to it. I’m rather partial to vintage finds, or “junk” as my family calls them.  I like the idea that mass-produced items attain character and uniqueness through age and wear and tear.

WHAT WAS THE TRIGGER FOR I LOVES THE ‘DIFF?

You make it sound like a nuclear threat. I guess it has kind of got a bit out of control, but there’s no danger to the public, I can assure you. There was no trigger - it just kind of evolved naturally from a doodle on a beer mat. It’s just a fun logo and an expression of genuine love for Cardiff. Perhaps the trigger was returning to Cardiff after having lived away. I loved being back here. It has allowed me to meet so many interesting people from all sorts of backgrounds, and every week we get emails from people excited by what we do. It makes life more fun.

THE CARDIFF BUS SONG HAS HAD MORE THAN 100,000 YOUTUBE VIEWS. DID YOU THINK IT WOULD BE SO POPULAR?

Of course not! I’d have been happy with 600. Although, as soon as we made up the “Maindy, Tremorfa, Pontcanna, Adamsdown” line in place of “Maybe tomorrow I’ll wanna settle down,” I thought it would catch people’s imagination. It’s nice to do fun things and for people to respond so positively to them. It’s fun releasing things like that or the Cardiff Underground map and getting cool feedback.

HOW DID THE TAFFYWOOD TITLES COME ABOUT?

Creating “Welshified” film titles was something my brother and I started thinking up one night after a few too many beers, a few years ago. A Tom Cruise lookalike inspired it originally. “He’s here filming Risca Business,” one of us said. That was the start. In the months and years that followed, a few of us came up with loads of other ones, like Dial ‘M’ For Merthyr, The Llandaff Time Forgot, Some Like It Splott, until I set up taffywood.com and people we didn’t know started contributing. It can become quite addictive. Later I came up with the cards and mugs, which have proven quite popular.

TELL US SOMETHING FEW PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU

Dallas’ Sue Ellen saved my Stetson hat from almost certain doom.

TELL US A CARDIFF SECRET

Jimi Hendrix woke up dazed and confused on a Roath Park Lake islet the morning after one of his Cardiff gigs, having gone on a legendary bender in town. Not sure who told me this now but I really want it to be true. Shhh....

I loves the 'Diff in Moscow!CHRISTIAN’S ‘DIFF HIGHLIGHTS

Places to eat...

Thé Pot on Crwys Road, Cathays - 029 2025 1246

Bankok Cafe in Canton - 029 2034 0455

Garlands in Duke Street Arcade, City Centre - 029 2066 6914

Fresh in The Royal Arcade - the best panini and baguettes in Wales! Check their specials

Places to shop...

The Pumping Station, Penarth Rd 029 2022 1085

And our I Loves The ‘Diff stockists of course!

 

Our thanks to Christian. You can find more details on I Loves The ‘Diff and their products at ilovesthediff.com We especially love the ‘Cwtch Me If You Can’ mug.

20 March 2013

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