Flu from Cardiff

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Until we speak again… urrgggh!!!

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Illuminating

It’s the time of the year when light triumphs over heat. Well, in the northern hemisphere at least. So, happy new year to my loyal reader, as Cardiff City Hall puts on a magical display to greet in who knows what as a new calendar begins…

For those of a more spiritual disposition, we present something resembling a burning bush…

Meanwhile, for the agnostics, and those who dragged themselves out of the local pubs to briefly illuminate routine drunken philosophising with a display of colour…

Until we speak again, Juno and Bella would undoubtedly have slept through the whole affair, unhindered by the drunken revelry occurring elsewhere; and silently wished you all a 2018 of sorts!

Felicitations from Jose

What better way to celebrate the arrival of Christmas… the Jools Holland Rhythm & Blues Orchestra tour rolls into Cardiff Motorpoint Arena with special guests Ruby Turner providing soulful power

Jools Holland and Ruby Turner

And Jose Feliciano lighting everyone’s nostalgic fire

Jools Holland and Jose Feliciano

I’m not sure if Jose’s lifelong affliction inspired Jools Holland, Jose Feliciano and Louise Marshall to perform ‘Lets Find Each Other Tonight‘.

Two skydivers in freefall

And what is a Jools Holland Orchestra event without Gilson Lavis providing an amazing drum solo.

Until we speak again, Juno and Bella provide the ghosts of Christmas Past, with greetings from a festive Cardiff

And finally,  Jose Feliciano and Jools Holland Orchestra provide their official version of Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas).

 

 

Hangin’ in the Treme…

Hangin’ in the Treme

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…Watchin’ people sashay
Past my steps
By my porch
In front of my door…

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Church bells are ringin’
Choirs are singing
While the preachers groan
And the sisters moan
In a blessed tone

 

Down in the treme
Is me and my baby
We’re all going crazy
While jamming and having fun

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Trumpet bells ringing
Bass drum is swinging
As the trombone groans
And the big horn moans
And there’s a saxophone

Festival Stage

Treme is a colourful location for the masterpiece post-Katrina drama series, as well as being a place of historic cultural significance…

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It was thanks to a tip off from the vunderbar Sue at the Vacherie Bar on Toulouse Street that resulted in me heading on down for an experience of stunning food and cool jazz in the heat of the afternoon…

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Until we speak again, keep jamming and having fun!

Full acknowledgements go to John Boutte for the lyrics of the Treme theme tune.

Messing about in boats

News reports of Bank Holiday traffic chaos are simply music to my ears. No, I really don’t care. There are too many cars clogging up and polluting our planet, with most car drivers firmly of the belief that they own the road and have exclusive rights to travel and park wherever they want whenever they want. Audacity reigns as a response to the merest slight against their pre-eminence.

Combust all thee engines; and may your occupants become gasket-challenged! I personally have my own advantage in this scramble for serene holiday bliss. A whole 15 minutes of walking brings me to a place of tranquility…

2017 [2]

As the Cardiff leg of the International Extreme Sailing Championship takes place right on my doorstep on the August Bank Holiday…

2017 [1]

2017 [3]

So, for those of you recovering from the experience of boiling over with the raging curses of the tarmac, here is a peaceful few minutes to contemplate the rush of the breeze, the chop of the water, and an elegance of movement…

Until we speak again, chill out people!

Who needs Glastonbury?

If it’s July then it must be time for Cardiff Bay to host the International Food Festival. That’s the one where cuisine from all over… well Cardiff, masquerades as being representative of the four corners of the globe (who said the world is round?). And, while I am asking the fundamental questions of life, why go continental when you can have Welsh crepes?

Food Festival 2017 crowd [2]

But then again, it’s all about folks coming together and having fun, not serious authenticity…

Food Feestival 2017 crowd [1]

The music line up is to be marvelled at… here you will find a whole lot of musical concoctions you’ve never heard of… and quite probably will never hear of again!

Food Festival 2017 music

And, though Martin Scorsese is known for his music documentary films, such as ‘The Last Waltz’ (The Band) and ‘Shine a Light’ (The Rolling Stones)… move over man, it’s time for some revolutionary music filming techniques. Check out 40 seconds of ‘Bae Caerdydd‘… a sideways glance at a fusion of African, Irish and Caribbean flavours!

But it’s really all about the food. And, until we speak again, this cat is going to be immersed in a black pudding scotch egg (courtesy of the Handmade Scotch Egg Company) with cheese to blow your socks off (courtesy of Blacks Cheeses). What’s not to love about cheese with combinations like Irish Whiskey & Stem Ginger, or Caramelised Onion & Rioja, or Jalepeno & Lime, finishing off with some Sticky Toffee cheese?

Blacks Cheeses

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!”