Cats in search of fish

Trinidad cat and Welsh cat converge on unfamiliar Italian terrain, and with noses pointed skywards there was nothing better to do than search out the local catch. But why make this a challenge, when the best starting point is milk-based beverages of choice? The guide tells us that Antico Caffe Spinnato is one of the better pavement-side cafes for the best in cappuccino’s or a caffe ginseng… accompanied by a 7-layered chocolate in-house design, and a wild strawberry tart.

Antico Caffe Spinnato [1]Antico Caffe Spinnato [2]

Suitably refreshed, it was time to go in search of the elusive scaly edibles. This place is known for its local fishing fleet and characterful street markets, but where is a street market when you need one? Down back streets and through piazza’s we  meander…

Albergheria streetPiazza Bologni [2]

 

 

 

 

Perhaps these guy’s might provide a clue as to the whereabouts of the local fish, after all they seemed as uninterested in strenuous activity as any self-respecting cat…

Piazza Belini [1]As we turn one corner after another the clues are hard to find, but as for Garibaldi (Teatro Politeama, that is)… that’s got to be taking the biscuit!

Teatro Politeama Garibaldi

So, we might need to resort to a hope and a prayer at this stage. Never fear, if it’s a prayer you’re after this place is over-run with prayer shops of all shapes, sizes and states of decor…

Cattedrale di Palermo [exterior 1]

 

Cattedrale di Palermo [interior 3]

 

 

 

 

 

From cathedral-sized praying venues to piazza-edged confessional sheds, or the simple street vending of pious niceties, this place has you covered…

Chiesa di San Giovanni Degli Eremiti [church]

Chiesa Del Gesu [church dome]

 

Church interior on Via Maqueda

 

As we were seemingly running out of the right kind of prayers a sight of a couple of locals emerges, as if to give us a message… ‘keep going’, was the clear  instruction, but where to?

 

 

Piazza San Domenico Via Argenteria (Keep Going)

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how cool a cat you are, you just need a matter of the luck to fall your way; and so it was to be, as two cats retreat to the accommodation of choice…

Quattro Canti [1]

Centrale Palace HotelThe statues of the Quattro Canti were smiling down on us as they shaped up to herd tired cats in the direction of fish-focused culinary delicacies. The Centrale Palace Hotel might not have projected the most promising of entrances, but the invitation to a top floor roof garden restaurant was always a throw of the dice worth taking. A mouth-watering starter of melon and locally-sourced ham or the prawn salad was eagerly supplemented by a Sicilian red wine of clear nomenclature ~ the Etna Rosso:

Hotel starters

Then, the journey was complete, as the elusive catch gets caught! A swordfish and capers affair, delicately dressed with cranberries and aubergine, or a finely prepared sea bream were laid out for our magnificent consumption.

Fish main in hotel

Successfully replete, what do you do after such a feast? Well there is always the home of the operatic and balletic cats… the Teatro Massimo provided the venue for the final scenes of the Godfather trilogy:

Teatro Massimo by night [1]

As Juno would say, until we speak again ‘that’s Palermo for you’! Grazie, arrivederci.

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Blues brothers

Cardiff City (the Bluebirds) 2 Birmingham City (the Blues) 0

We are Cardiff City “SOARING BLUEBIRDS RARE HOME WIN… AGAINST A DUMPSTER ELEVEN!”

Until we speak again it is important toChillout cat remember that Bill Shankly once claimed football was more important than matters of life and death, but Juno’s view on football hyperbole was to respect it primarily for its sedative qualities… what can’t be said about football under 10 words wasn’t worth listening to!!!

A dim view

What was all the fuss about? Here we are, having waited nearly 16 years since the last some such event, and Cardiff wakes bathed in clear blue sky sunshine. It is the perfect conditions for the much vaunted eclipse… and with many parts of the country blanketed in clouds the centre stage is set for the capital of Wales to stage the spectacular!

Eclipse

It is 9.45am, and I guess it was supposed to be a time of bright sunshine. Just as the light begins to fade, the drums start to roll, and then… it begins to brighten up again!

So, as my old friend Juno would have said: “Until we speak again, don’t blink!”

Popping the cherries

Cardiff City 1 AFC Bournemouth 1

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Sky view

“SEASIDER’S SHOOTING STARS STUMBLE IN SEARCH FOR SKY’S SINECURE.”

Until we speak again it is important toChillout cat remember that Bill Shankly once claimed football was more important than matters of life and death, but Juno’s view on football hyperbole was to respect it primarily for its sedative qualities… what can’t be said about football under 10 words wasn’t worth listening to!!!

[With thanks to twitter.com and http://www.afcb.co.uk for badge images to illustrate this post].

The hard yards

There seems to be no hiding placeYoda eyes down [1] in international rugby, but Juno was clear that the strange rituals of putting heads between a team-mates thighs in order to push a group of guys a mere foot or two backwards was something definitely worth switching off to. As for the idea of kicking the ball 50 yards into the sky and 10 yards forward, just so you can run full speed into an opponent always seemed to her to be a strange premise for a sport. But, whatever the quirks, Wales v Ireland is going to be a game of intrigue and celtic passions. A true sporting battle is on, with high stakes… for Ireland a victory means the chance of a Grand Slam is still on. Victory for Wales leaves them still with a slim chance of winning the Championship. And all of this happening at the beginning of a World Cup year!

So where will the battle be fought? In the first instance, Ireland have an unassailable advantage:

Brains-BlackRugby ball

 

 

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The young pretender from the Cardiff brewery presents well, but what is going to compete with one of the world’s most renowned liquid refreshments? Step outside of South Wales and who has even heard of Brains Black?

Then there is the matter of the scrums, and the arena of myth and legend suggests that the Irish might again be too strong:

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So when it comes to the real hard yards, where the big guns aim to charge through the defensive lines of the opposition, both sides are well equipped with their examples of the hard stuff, but arguably Welsh anthracite reality may triumph in this phase of the game over Irish mythology:

Coal [1]ii-kissing-the-blarney-stone

 

 

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‘Emblematic’ is an often overused phrase in so many walks of life, and none more than sport. So, in such an emblematic game, where emblematic heroes will have emblematic moments, with the potential to provide us all with a truly emblematic result of emblematic proportions… it is important that we look at the emblems each country are able to call on in order to underscore their emblematic expectations.. It seems obvious to me that in a game of rock, paper, scissors the leek will most likely crush the four-leaf clover:

l_dfour-leaf-clover

 

 

 

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So, my intrigued reader, you are left no clearer about how this match is going to play itself out. With an array of plants and vegetables, rocks and stones, and liquid dark stuff to line the sensibilities before, during and after the event… fill the arena, bring on the gladiators, take possession of cultural and religious metaphors of your own choice. Then, at the final whistle just add a joyous and decorous home support…

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This has been Juno’s View of rugby, but until we speak again to find out what she thought of the current Cricket World Cup you will need to go somewhere lower on the excitement scale than baking cupcakes or creative crochet patterns.

[With thanks to http://www.2beerguild.co.uk, http://www.interest.com, http://www.sassycats.com, http://www.irishindeed.com, http://www.data-wales.co.uk, http://www.themissfitchronicles.com and http://www.universityobserver.ie for posting the images used to illustrate this post].

Cats love coffee

Preening the whiskers and slinkingArrival in Cardiff around the city centre it became very clear to Juno that the great new industry of the 21st century has become drinking coffee. Whilst slurping it from a bowl would more likely have been her choice (and no, for the RSPCA affiliates out there I didn’t feed my cat on coffee!), it would appear that people are becoming more sophisticated and even somewhat nostalgic about how and where they take in their beans. A quick slurp of the hot and wet stuff is so 20th century Britain!

Connoisseurs of the art now have several locations around the city of Cardiff, with Brains Brewery even being the owners of a favourite independent chain of Coffee#1. Then, as you turn into the Castle Arcade you are rewarded not just with a light, airy and fascinating space, but also a great example of the new world of consuming coffee… welcome to Coffee Barker.

Castle Arcade 2

 

Castle Arcade 5

 

 

 

 

Coffee Barker [2]

 

 

 

Step back into a world of dimmed lighting, leather chairs and sofas of all shapes and sizes, and celebration of stripped back brickwork and wood. Chaotic displays of bric-a-brac only add to the ambience… unless you happen to be a stickler for the post-modern clear lines and surfaces favoured by the multinational chains, who largely want you to know you are in their place (anywhere in the world), not somewhere distinctly individual!

Coffee Barker [5]

 

Barker interior

 

 

 

 

 

This is a place for cool cats (Note: other cats are also welcome!) to hang out, chat, check out their digital world, or even do some old fashioned pastimes like reading physical copies of print!

Coffee Barker [1]

But, Juno would always have been more intrigued by the goods on offer, and she would have been interested in the early bird offers (for more than one reason)… get there before midday to sample one of the best doorstep bacon sandwiches of any vegetarians nightmare:

Barker bacon

The cappuccino is also made to be savoured in a state of relaxation. So, until we speak again Juno would always wish that your coffee beans are brewed with an artisan’s love.

 

Two tribes…

Cardiff City 1 Charlton Athletic 2

City v Charlton [2]“ENGAGING THE BATTLE FOR THE DIZZY HEIGHTS OF MEDIOCRITY.”

fotosearch.com

Until we speak again it is important toChillout cat remember that Bill Shankly once claimed football was more important than matters of life and death, but Juno’s view on football hyperbole was to respect it primarily for its sedative qualities… what can’t be said about football under 10 words wasn’t worth listening to!!!

[With special thanks to fotosearch.com for posting the original ‘mediocrity’ image used to illustrate this post.]