Don’t mess with Valleys Girls!

So, there I was, a bedraggled and tired travelling cat arriving home from a fabulous trip to the USA. When all of a sudden I am metaphorically arrested by a sight that would send so many Americans into rapturous delight…

Police woman with gun

Why, in American culture there are those who believe in the right that this is what every city street should look like. As for me, in my addled brain, all I could muster as a fleeting thought was an old mantra for self-respecting city cats, Don’t mess with Valleys Girls!”

So, what was going on here? I like the implied message, but couldn’t see how it was meant to be a homecoming for me…

Welcome banner

However, the image did bring to mind the old saying: “lift up any pony tail, and what you’ll find beneath is a horses ass!”, Best be careful who you aim that description at; after all, “Don’t mess with Valleys Girls!”

In the meantime, it seems like all roads home are blocked off…

Tyndall Street

Lloyd George Avenue

Could it be preparations for the stilettoed hordes descending on the city for a long weekend of perma-tanned indiscretion? If so, then the advancing mob above are surely unwittingly walking into a psychodrama beyond their wildest imaginations. After all, “Don’t mess with Valleys Girls!”

It seems that the ‘lionesses of liquor’ have already set up a roll-call of their preferred end of night play-things, with the castle walls providing a historic backdrop for contemporary fantasies. If you don’t want to end up strung up on the battlements, “Don’t mess with Valleys Girls!”

Castle

As it turns out, there was a simple explanation for all this metropolitan malarkey… it was the small matter of the biggest sporting event on the planet this year happening just around the corner from home. As much as I have fantasised about Cardiff City FC going to the Champions League Final, it could be a long wait; so the Champions League Final had come to Cardiff City! For the victors, the spoils, and the opportunity to kiss ‘old big ears’ (affectionate name for the trophy, not one of the belles of bedlam).

Modric jubilant

Until we speak again, all I can advise Luca Modric in the image above, is kiss the metal by all means fella, but “Don’t mess with Valleys Girls!”

What the NHS doesn’t need!

Created out of a post-war political furore, with the locally revered Aneurin Bevan winning the battle against political and medical foe; the National Health Service has become the cherished possession of the nation. Well, most of the nation anyway. It’s free at the point of need for everyone for a reason… we all experience health and the possibilities of ill-health, and this remains something that we believe shouldn’t be determined by wealth. Well, at least most of us do.

The NHS is an institution…

royal-infirmary

… but that doesn’t mean we look on it as some antiquated entity. It is staffed by many (not all) experienced, passionately committed and skilled individuals. What we need to do is listen to them and support them to develop best practice.

What we don’t need is meddling politicians creating incomprehensible NHS structures and systems, requiring faceless bureaucrats to create incomprehensible and time-consuming administrative procedures. Why, just the other day, I noticed that this so-called ‘blue sky thinking’ comes with an exclamation mark…

infirmary-gates

And talking of institutions, until we speak again Juno always kept a close eye on one when she saw one!

juno-10

What could possibly happen?

So 2016 has gone, and you are no doubt left wondering what on earth happened there? It was a year when some of the great seats of power were reduced to simply spinning the wheel…

city-hall-and-big-wheel

Across the world the light touch paper was ignited, as populist decisions set off fireworks under the seats of the so-called western democracies…

fireworks-2fireworks-3

And, with all of the celebrity departures leaving so many sobbing into their record and film collections, there was always the great reassurance that shopping never dies…

royal-arcademorgan-arcade

So, what will 2017 bring? Who knows, just try asking Bella and see what reaction you get… ready-to-eatUntil we speak again, Cardiff sends you the very best of wishes in whatever happens across the next 12 months!

Feline felicitations

Juno and Bella were always partial to an event where tasty morsels would appear in abundance. So I’m sure they would be more than happy for those of you who are cat lovers to use the season of joy and giving as a time for sharing some of the plump bird with furry friends (even a dog or two if you have to!).

As a mark of the occasion, Cardiff presents its decorative side with a message of good will to all who stumble across this site. It seems we are home to some lost and confused reindeer…

castle

We even have some alien visitors who are more than likely lost in their search for intelligent life (particularly in the city centre during party season)…

duke-street

If you’re looking for a wooden shed as a gift to the man in your life, we have a surplus of the things left on the doorstep of the old library…

old-library

And if it’s rain you’re looking for, we are the UK capital of the wet stuff…

st-mary-street

Until we speak again, Juno and Bella will forever do their impression of an old Smith & Jones sketch (older UK readers may get that reference)…

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Architectural cat

Juxtaposition, symmetry, curvilinear, articulation, truncated, composition… what world do architects live in? Come to think of it, pick a profession, any profession, and you will not have to look far before you get bogged down in the jargon of self-importance.

As a cat who observes local architecture with a critical eye, I feel Cardiff has an ability to identify modern architectural styles that cut through the unfathomable nonsense of obscure language. In many cases, the only true nonsense is the architectural style itself… but you make your own judgement on that observation.

Sharp and groovy…

sharp-grrovy-3

Pointy…

john-lewis-to-the-point

Curvy not groovy…

curvy-not-groovy

Wavy…

car-park-2

Spiky…

spiky-joint

Mind-boggling (c/o the BBC)…

bbc-wales-entrance Just plain baffling…

old-and-new

where-is-that-spider

 

 

Until we speak again, Bella reminds us that the devil is in the detail… if you can be bothered looking for it!

Gothic cats

It was late one night… ‘after pub closing’ late at night; which might just help to explain the odd personal reflections on the stagger home! There looming like a gothic image, in the light of the full moon, was St Johns Church in the centre of Cardiff.

night-2

This place has some history when it comes to looming over weary travellers, whether on their way to the pub or on their way home…

old-cardiff-pic-2

It stands majestic, flanked by foliage with a brilliant crown piercing an inky black sky. A bit like me when the beer has given way to Jameson’s, which in turn gives way to instability of gait, and flight of thought…

night-6

x-ray-eyes

 

 

Talking of inky black and piercing… Until we speak again, I remember that Juno had her way of seeing right through my alcohol driven ramblings!

Tales of the river bank

ducks-at-14-1Some of us are nature loving cats who need to live in a rural setting to feel alive; and some of us are urban cats, but who like to see a little bit of the natural world within our city centres. Juno and Bella were glad I was an aficionado of the latter camp. They would not be short of triggers for the imagination, particularly for dreaming of exotic meals.

Who said this year of Olympic dreams was already over? The Quack Olympics are thriving down at Atlantic Wharf, as the contestants line up on the edge of the water ready for the 10 yard free-style race. For Juno and Bella it is an opportunity for dreaming of being aquatic cats, reclining on their backs just beneath the water, mouths wide open (I know it doesn’t make any sense, who said this blog was about reality?), waiting for tasty morsels to just drop in…

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But, sometimes the opportunity might just be a little too big to manage!

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Cautious cats know, that sometimes there is the danger of the hunter becoming the hunted!

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ready-to-eat

 

Until we speak again, Bella might well look ready for dinner, but the local wildlife can rest assured she will only be getting the veterinary formulated science plan (aka ‘rocks’).