[Football explained, or not!] I is for…

WASN’T THERE… as in what half the population call illness, and the other gender call man flu. It’s blowing a gale with horizontal rain and you’ve been under the duvet for most of the last 24 hours; so the big question, among considerations of Paris bombings and Syrian aerial bombardment, or how to manage a European refugee crisis, is do I go to the match or not?

yes-238381_1280

Having made an executive decision of major proportions, the sub-duvet bunker provides the perfect location for radio airwave surveillance. It takes a little over the allotted 90 minutes to realise ‘I’ also stands for INSULT to INJURY… as in what is added to the aforementioned illness as my team manage to blow a 2-0 lead by conceding an own goal in time added on. Just as the glorious summit was in sight the mist descended! The duvet decision is vindicated.

Searching for clarity

But in a creative (aka delirious) moment I ponder how ‘I’ could possibly stand for DON’T BELIEVE IT, in the event that the Cupertino, California fruit-influenced image makers seize on the so-called ‘beautiful game’. Imagine… iScore on the iPitch during the iMatch. I’m out of here! If you’re looking for real branding look no further than ICONIC Cardiff

Cardiff branding [2]ArmadilloUntil we speak again I will continue to be Bella… and for the record it was Cardiff City 2 Burnley 2, with the locals having played 18, won 6, drawn 8, and lost 4, which puts them currently 10th in the league.

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Unforeseen dangers

Contemplating from my chairI knew they shouldn’t have shown The Towering Inferno at Splott Cinema recently!

 

Though it didn’t look the most inviting of places in recent years…

Splott cinema

After the secret showing some even had the temerity to suggest there was little difference!

Splott Cinema after fire

Until we speak again I’m going to be a cautious Bella about what I watch in the cinema!

Five cats in a bath

In the windowThere seems to be a strongly held belief that cats and liquids don’t go so well together. As I contemplated the wide world beyond my window a story came to mind that might just debunk such a myth. This is a tale of a rag-tag assortment of five Welsh and English cats who went on a trip to Bath. Clearly such an event would be infused with architectural and cultural highlights, as Bath is after all a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But, there was an ulterior motive driving this particular excursion, which may become more clear as the journey unfolds.

Who could possibly fail to be bowled over by the stunningly protected architectural heritage of the uniformly maintained Bath stone exteriors, including the eponymous Roman Baths. Palladian architecture purposefully integrated into urban spaces that create a unique historical urban aesthetic…

Bath [7]

Bath [1]Bath [2]

 

 

 

 

However, enough of the architectural appreciation; this was a day for testing whether cats and liquids mix! Cue the first experimental site aka The Old Green Tree:

The Old Green Tree [1]The OLd Green Tree [2]

 

 

 

 

 

With Welsh cats taking up the Pitchfork challenge, and English cats taking up the cider challenge, the first test was passed without incident.

For many people arriving in Bath for the first or subsequent times, a great draw is the 1499 Bath Abbey, built on the site of an 8th century church…

 

Bath [5]Bath [4]

 

 

 

 

 

But, enough of the quasi-religious observation, what these cats were more intent on, was finding further evidence that liquids provide no fear to those who are determined. At 1482 the oldest building in Bath seemed to have been occupied by a Sally Lunn in 1680, but these cats had no time for stories of buns in the oven…

Bath [3]  They had other challenges ringing in their ears, as the toll of The Bell would provide the next stopping off point in this epic trek…

 

The Bell [2]

Not to tax the sloshing of the brain cells too much, Welsh cats had a simple choice partly indicated by the name of the hostelry… a pint of Bellringer would provide the next source of water-based challenges. Meanwhile, our intrepid English cats were determined that apple was to be the continued source of experimentation. Be very clear, this is no Cupertino California fruit-influenced technological exploration; we are talking good old fashioned West Country apples.

The bell [1]

Every herd needs a leader, or so they say. In this case it was Fat-Freddies Cat who chose to avail the herd of an extensive range of Bath-based water-inspired experience. Never knowingly a cat to be seen in a circus, but when the occasion demands the cat responds, and the ring-master was suddenly to be seen striding to the centre of a… circus!

Circus [1]Royal Crescent [1]When in Bath time needs to be devoted to the source of great Georgian attraction. Who would be a resident in the constant gaze of cats from all four corners of the planet? Though on close examination it would seem many residents are absent owners.

Royal Crescent [2]However, enough of the neo-classical appreciation society; these cats had business at hand, and the next challenge as darkness draws in, was to find a guiding light…

The Star InnBest not waste a Star when it offers illumination on the challenge at hand. No shortage of Bellringer in this hostelry, but yours truly veered off in the direction of Buttcombe Bitter; perhaps mistakenly side-tracked by a name reminiscent of the pastime so much enjoyed by cats dedicated to cleaning the nether regions! As for our English cats, well, they were determinedly committed to inspection of the apple.

The attraction of cats to water was further inspired by a minor detour to a viewing platform above the Avon weir…

The Weir at night… a sight that suddenly inspired a thought-bubble for Gogledd Cat understandably struck by the Magic of Bath!

Magic of Bath

But enough of the mythical and mystical distractions, this ‘not so famous’ five had some staggering on to do, as the water-based consumption combined with the challenging terrain were beginning to take their toll. The Raven [1]Enough of the standing, where are the seats, demanded an English cat’s representative? If a cat was seen to be flagging, be sure Bath had ways of swooping down on you… cue the next port of call, The Raven would surely keep our intrepid warrior cats lively and awake. Plenty of golden and also darker coloured waters to sample here, and the Exmoor Gold was a tasty addition to the accumulating reservoir.

At night [1]Abbey at night [1]As the water-borne experiment kept flowing on, could we be sure our aquatic interlopers even noticed the passage of time? Religious illumination abounds in Bath when the natural light of day fades away. But this was no time for kittens, as the weight of aqualine intake rises so it’s time for lions… cue the arrival at the final lotion provider of the day, Coeur de Lion:

Coeur de Lion [1]No shortage of Bellringer in this city, but the quantity is beginning to tell, and our intrepids need to find a way to shore before they run the risk of drowning. In this place of religious artefact and instruction there was surely one final message to be heeded. It seems that previous aquatically challenged cats found a strange way to exit the scene… when the head begins to feel fuzzy perhaps the only way is up!

Abbey at night [2] Until we speak again I’m going to be Bella, a student more of cultural and architectural interests, and temporarily less of aquatic culture. The verdict from a trip to Bath is that cats and water-based refreshment are a fabulous mix… try it some time.

Chasing the bacon

Call this food!A cat can only take so much of these rocks; sold to me as food by the one who doesn’t ever eat them! I decided what I needed was a really good pig, but enough of the ‘pretend owner’ of this place… it’s time I went on a Welsh safari. I hear Carmarthen is a good place for livestock, so let’s go check out what it has to offer for the discerning cat.

Carmarthen [1]After a tortuous rail journey made interesting only by sea and estuarine views after Swansea, arrival in Carmarthen station leaves little to suggest I’m on track for anything exciting. Better follow the locals I guess, as they seem to all be heading for this strangely bridge shaped footpath to who knows where.

First sight suggests the locals have built fortifications many years ago to keep the outsider pig chasers at bay. Though I’d have to say they got a little architecturally conflicted between ideas of battlements and bureaucracy; with former looking slightly less imposing than the paper-chasers fortress…

Carmarthen [3]Still no sign of the elusive porkers, but perhaps this old guy has realised an elevated position gives you a vantage point to spot the critters, or maybe it’s a defence against a local custom stolen and adapted from the Pamplona… ‘the running of the pigs‘ through the streets of Carmarthen!

Carmarthen [4]Too much searching takes its toll, so this looks like as good a place as any for resting up before the next exertions. But hold on a minute, is the name trying to tell me something?

Boars Head [1]Perhaps a settling of the thirst will help the concentration on the task at hand. Let’s check out the local brew from down the road close to Llanelli, what’s it called again? Oh yes, its  Felinfoel with the standout pint of Double Dragon… scary stuff, eh?

Boars Head [5]

Time to survey the menu to see if that pesky pig has happened by this old place; or is it just the ancient site or resting place for the head of the king boar?

Boars Head[7]

Funny isn’t it, us cats can exert so much energy in the hunt for something. Then when you sit down and relax it just falls into your lap! The exalted pig arrived in the juiciest of forms, complete with the trimmings of its natural habit… the majestic fry-up!

Boars Head [8]

Carmarthen [2]

 

Now that I’ve plundered Carmarthen of its best hog it’s time to make a discreet getaway. So, where did I leave that super-charged chariot of mine? Oh no, not the dreaded local conveyance! Since when did the coracle represent the height of decadent movement? Until we speak again I’m going to be perambulating Bella, but then I guess I need to exercise away the additional pig I’m carrying.

[Football explained, or not!] H is for…

HESITANT… as memories of the fallen dead from previous wars mingle with memories of what Cardiff City actually scoring a goal is like. With a run of four goalless matches the home hackles have been handicapped by happenstance.

City v Reading [1]

But H is also for HANDSOME… as the home team’s centre forward hangs hypnotically in the air to head heavenly into the current roll of honour…

City v Reading [2]

Everyone knows that H can be for HYSTERIA… as the hoi polloi pay homage to haughty hombres in their own hedonistic hallucinatory ways, clearly haemorrhaging any sense of harmonic hegemony…

Fireworks on dark skyBut finally H was to be for HYPERBOLE… as any potential hollow hostility gives way to a herculean heist of the headlines as homies haggle over the hierarchy as they hypothesise over hammy heroics…

City v Reading [5]Sofa perch

 

 

As for my heinous heretic of hogwash at home, I’m hoping for hassle-free honesty rather than harassed haranguing from the haggard haemorrhoid! Until we speak again I will continue to be Bella… and for the record it was Cardiff City 0 Reading 0, with the locals having played 16, won 6, drawn 7, and lost 3, which puts them currently 7th in the league.

Lost keys!

It’s another Friday in the city, so it’s time for us cats to get ready for a good night out…

Hair by Cats

The thing is, for all of your focus on the ‘being out thing‘, you also need to be in a fit enough state to get back to the ‘being in thing‘. This is why keys are such an important part of your life; or else you have some tricky navigating to do…

Forgot that key [2]But it seems that on this occasion some cool cat was just trying out a prank… “wouldn’t it be good if I put my name on the side of my building so I know where to come home to after a good night out!”

Forgot that key [1]

Contemplating from my chairThis has been a cautionary tale, a kind of Government information briefing on why you can always get legless, just don’t get keyless! But it also put me in a contemplative frame of mind… ‘where am I going to put my keys when I eventually escape from my in-house key hider?

Until we speak again this Bella plans to ignore the anatomical suggestions in response to that question.