Food history

Call this food!So, what are my credentials for talking to you about the history of food? After all, as a true cat I appoint others to do the hard graft for me!

Blue Anchor [9]



The President of my predecessor’s (Juno) fan club was recently celebrating a birthday, the number of which sounds to me like like something out of history. It’s one of those numbers where you people can easily tend to get lost; who knows where she is going here? Are the loos down there? Or is this a subterranean dining experience going on?

Blue Anchor [1]I digress, the thing here is about how history and food came together… at least in my mind anyway. This train of thought came together when my ‘appointed food taster’ said they were off to a Blue Anchor, or somewhere nautical that is actually miles from the sea (strange ideas happen when it comes to naming pubs, inns, restaurants).

Blue Anchor [2]




But this one is old, very old, 1380 old! And it seems from reading a brief history about the place like it has always been an inn, always into the beer and food groove. So I guess they must have learned to do some things right by now. It’s a cold and bleak winter’s day, so you need something to take the chill away, and this place certainly oozes that cozy old inn vibe…

Blue Anchor [3]

Blue Anchor [4]

Apparently the Blue Anchor is well known amongst the beer aficionados for its small but well-kept range of the amber and pale nectar. And I’m told the lotion more than adequately complemented the nosh. As for the eating, where do you start? Ham Hock sounded like some ancient vittles, but I’m informed it was a thick and tasty starter, though who knows what the green stuff was up to hiding under the

Blue Anchor [5]

This being a Sunday, my instructions were to go for the traditional roasts, and my compliant diners duly obliged…

Blue Anchor [6]

Whilst these Yorkshire puddings take up space the beef (and those going for lamb) reported a very tasty meal. The real test is the vegetables, and they came through as lightly cooked and crunchy… “just right” I said. So my local fans have found another place well worth re-visiting; and being around since 1380 this place isn’t going away anytime soon. The place is East Aberthaw in the Vale of Glamorgan, and until we speak again I’m Bella, and my advice is ignore history, go now!

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



NARCOLEPSY… as the dull surroundings before the match remind the ‘resident stato’ of the snoozefest that this corresponding fixture produced last season.



City v Rotherham [1]




But football is a fickle mistress, and N is quickly identified as being for NURTURING of renewed expectations, as the home team take an early lead in the game…

City v Rotherham [3]

City v Rotherham [4]








But either side of half-time it is the away team that gratefully take the opportunities to score, and enjoy the unintentional hospitality of the welcome. N is suddenly for NEUROSES and the home fans reach for the NEUROLEPTICS to calm jittery nerves, as the roller-coaster of NARCISSISM takes its toll. Not surprisingly the stadium staff do not show a screenshot of the 1-2 score!

Untitled But here’s the thing, you never can tell what football will produce. N is clearly for NOURISHING as the home team fashion the equaliser…City v Rotherham [6]

City v Rotherham [7]







But there was still time for N to become NONSENSE in the eyes of home fans as NAPALM appears to descend on them, and a NARRATIVE of NEGLIGENCE is showered on the referee for sending off a City full-back through NEFARIOUS decision-making (or words to that effect!).

Thinking cat

Until we speak again this Bella will largely be ignoring the resident nouveau nihilist. For the record it was Cardiff City 2 Rotherham United 2, with the locals having played 28, won 10, drawn 11, and lost 7, which puts them currently 9th in the league.

January sales

There I was ambling along City Road in Cardiff the other day, when it suddenly seems to me that you can buy just about anything in the January sales these days. But just don’t expect all of the items to look so pleased about being for sale!

City Road bird mural

What's that?


Until we speak again this Bella is going to have a keen eye on such sales. Anyone know of a good talon removing service, and an extra large feeding bowl before I buy?

The problem with dragons

My native Wales is known for its dragon associations; you’ve just got to look at the national flag for a clue…

Welsh-Flag1But beware, if you park in their favourite place you could be in trouble…

City Road dragon [2]X-ray eyes


Until we speak again I’m still going to be Bella, but it’s time to develop my anti-dragon strategy.

Chilling with the yocals

As the festive season draws to a close this cat reflects back on a pre-christmas trip to the depths of rural Devon. My ‘in-house DJ‘ likes to taunt me occasionally by playing Animals by Muse on the music system; a band that hails from Teignmouth on the fabulous Devon coast. So when a work trip to Bishopsteignton (just outside of Teignmouth) emerged it was time to see where all of the inspiration comes from. The Cockhaven Manor Hotel was initially an un-presupposing venue nestling into this quiet rural hamlet up on a hill overlooking the Teign valley…

Cockhaven Manor [1]

Cockhaven Manor [2]

Cockhaven Manor [3]But early appearances can deceive, as the interior of this 16th century inn provides an uplifting welcome after the trials of a lengthy train journey on a cramped train.

Cockhaven Manor [4]






The unseasonal lack of December cold was further repelled by the roaring coal fire! More for the needs of aged locals than for intrepid touring cats…

Cockhaven Manor [7]

All that was needed was some hearty old local vittles, and the Cockhaven Manor certainly excelled. With some local ales on offer the enticement of a Spanish Rioja proved too strong. It might be good weather for ducks across much of the UK in recent months, but on a relaxing evening it proved to be good duck for cats!

Cockhaven Manor [8]

And if that wasn’t enough, a peaceful night’s sleep was delightfully topped off with a made-to-order breakfast that set the day up…

Cockhaven Manor [9]

Chilling in the sun

As for work, I’m going to leave that to others after my brief foray into the tasty south Devon countryside.

Until we speak again this Bella gives a paws up to the Cockhaven Manor.

The band members of Muse might well have migrated here from other parts of the UK, as kids, but I recommend a visit to the locality to see the source of inspiration for yourself!

[Acknowledgements to Muse for their You Tube video linked in this post].

Degrees of difficulty

Seems that the good burghers of Grangetown in Cardiff don’t hold out the warmest of welcomes for posh people!

Grange [2]

But revenge looks sweet, as the owners are no doubt members of the landed gentry; and my guess is they decided if we are not getting in then nobody is getting in!

Grange [3]

Call this food!


Until we speak again this Bella hopes that all of your preferred lotion is accessible!

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

MEDIOCRITY… which judging from the recent experiences of the local team takes a lot of careful teamwork and planning. Here is where meteoric is more mythological, and the meticulous mimics malady.

City v Blackburn [1]

As normal service resumes for the whole of the first half we are reminded that M is for the MANGLE of MISERY… exemplified by the miscreant misdemeanours of maladroit malingerers; you don’t need to bring your own gloom, it comes provided in the ticket price!

City v Blackburn [2]

But M can briefly be for MELLIFLUOUS…  as a rare flowing movement gives the home team players and supporters respite and cause for celebration, as the microscopic minutiae metamorphose into an unexpected mirage.

City v Blackburn [3]

And finally, M is for MENDACIOUS MISCELLANY…  as a justly deserved but narrow home win tempts the fans to continue returning to the maelstrom of malarkey that manages to mirror the developing masquerade.

What's that?



Until we speak again this Bella will largely be ignoring the resident mentor of melancholia. For the record it was Cardiff City 1 Blackburn Rovers 0, with the locals having played 25, won 9, drawn 10, and lost 6, which puts them currently 9th in the league.