Who needs William anyway?

When you can have Bill’s!

Outside [2]

So, what to do when you find your ship has run aground down the Bay?

Ship on roof

When you wish to play the welcoming host with a promise of a trusted restaurant, only to find your number one choice (Bayside Brasserie) has closed down and deserted you? And just when you’re on a mission to satisfy that late Sunday afternoon hunger? Bill’s comes to the rescue.

For starters we both settled on the Crispy Calamari with Red Chilli and Lime Aioli. What is it with this fashion for serving food straight from the cooking utensils? Saving on the washing up, maybe. But hang on, it could just be that my delightful company has seen the red chilli’s lurking with intent, and is grabbing her bag to make a quick getaway…

As for the main event, my thoughtful companion surveyed the menu for interesting tastes, opting for a healthy sounding Warm Chicken, Avocado and Parmesan Salad. As for me, well another cow just had to lose some weight in the Sirloin region, and a side of foliage will surely temper the overall threat of arterial assault…

Until we speak again, if your looking for posh and formal this is not the place. But for serviceable food in a relaxed setting it fits the Bill (yes, I hear the groans at that one). And the staff will simply be queuing up to serve you… possibly!

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Perverse principles

With the advent of a Premier League season involving the locals just a matter of weeks away, I was struck by the all-important question…

What do you stand for?

Just what is my local city all about? What do we have to offer to the visiting hordes of demented football fans over the next 9 months? Everyone should be aware of the excellent shopping and nightlife, but what about sampling some unique street food?

Street Food seagull

Then there is our stylish way of preserving historic buildings…

Preservation What's left of the docks?

Our principled way of looking after endanger species doesn’t present any conflict with the pursuit of commerce…

Bear shop [2]

This is a place where you can get sea-sick just by standing still and looking at some of the buildings…

Car park [2]

But, we are proud of the fact that our great historical heritage stands tall (well, tall-ish) in the face of the advance of bland modernity…

Insurance [4]

Until we speak again, don’t let the dark gloomy clouds of potential defeat obscure the important decisions…

Bay & City Centre post

A perfect start to Sunday

Juno has recently and tragically passed away, but she will shortly be commencing a whole new series of thoughts expressed from a new viewing point… the great cat’s place in the sky. In the meantime, on the eve of another Sunday, she offers a reblog from 2013 of her thoughts on something good to do when you have that special relaxation time…

JUNO's VIEW

If I am honest my real perfect start to a Sunday is an impression of an armadillo, curled up and ignoring the world… but I guess

Armadillo posewe all need to find some reasons to get up, even on a Sunday. The day my resident housekeeper decided we were moving out of London back to Cardiff I did have some fears and trepidations… particularly about Sunday mornings. After all, this Wales joint is known for its fire and brimstone parable-ranting preachers, scaring the hell out of the morning-after-the-Saturday-night-hangover-crowd. Back in simpler times Sunday morning always seemed to be the perfect antidote to having a good time!

Well, it seems like my tea-drinking homie, who says coffee at home just isn’t right, has discovered the place to be for the best in coffee. It was Iris Murdoch who once said “Coffee, unless it is very good and made by somebody else, is…

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Juno (2002-2015) R.I.P.

Juno face

It is with the deepest of sadness that I have to report the sudden and unexpected passing away of a most fabulously gentle and warm cat, Juno. She started the new year in its earliest hours with her usual lap-loving cuddly nature, but at 12 years of age seems far too young to suddenly succumb to a catastrophic stroke some 8 hours later. As difficult as the decision was, it was very obvious her quality of life had become completely compromised, and so with the aid of a very compassionate vet, and a close friend, she was helped to slip away with grace and dignity at 12.44pm on 1st January 2015.

Juno began her life as an indoor cat in Newham in the east-end of London, before joining me and Su in Charlton/Blackheath in south-east London via the streets and the Celia Hammond cat rescue centre in October 2009.

Juno 10

In April 2012 she moved with me from London to Cardiff to a flat that was instantly hers…

Plotting an escape

She adopted a regal air about the place from the outset…

Is this my best side?

Occasionally tried to hide before the annual vet trip, though those whiskers gave away the hiding place!…

Try hiding

She had an intensity about her mission of keeping me in check…

You talking to me?

Loved to keep abreast of the news…

Newspaper

But now, for a small cat, she leaves a massive hole in what has been her home for nearly 3 years. She became the inspiration for my new adventure into the world of blogging in June 2013… when ‘Juno’s View’ was born out of a creative way of looking at my home city. She referred to me in derogatory ways in so many of the posts, but never by name… and for those readers who don’t know me, I will keep it that way.

She has left me with so many memories and inspirational thoughts, so as a memorial to such a fabulous companion I do intend for ‘Juno’s View’ to continue as a blog. For a short period of time I will not be publishing new posts, but I may re-blog some of my favourites from the 122 prior to this one. I only ask that current followers remain patient with me on that one, and any new followers stumbling on this site I hope the previous 122 will offer you some smiles and insights before new content appears.

She always signed off with an ‘Until we speak again…’, but on this somber occasion her final signing off is something so appropriate to her nature… she sends you the love!

Sending the love

 

The sheep-shaggers derby

“This is it, this is the big one” my resident sporting masochist kept repeating in the build up to the weekend. I stifle a yawn and feign interest, as this is the person who fills my bowl and knows not to disturb my finely calibrated sleeping routines. To me the idea of mutual arse-sniffing is a distinctly dog-thing, not to be engaged in by 30 self-respecting grown men, under the subtle cover of playing something called Rugby Union. But, on this occasion it seems we are talking the world’s number one all-conquering New Zealand All-Blacks coming to town. I gaze into a mirror and try to remind the unobservant one that the all blacks are always in town… me!

In a failed attempt to avoid all forms of stereo-type I imagine the trophy for this occasion… a startled Welsh ewe being mounted by a triumphalist kiwi. While my in-house hopeless romantic is dreaming of another planet somewhere in a parallel universe, where a Welsh 15 are putting the all-blacks to the sword. However, it is an occasion to behold, as it is not often that a consistently world-beating team swagger into town. As I stroll about the town centre, a mere three hours before kick-off, it is obvious that the forthcoming encounter requires serious preparation, as kiwi’s gather in familiar territory even when on the opposite side of the world.

Kiwi's

Not to be out-done in their own back-yard, the locals of Wales put on a display of national pride… otherwise known as the Max Boyces’ version of a boy-band called Boycezone!

Max Boyces

Everywhere you walk is accompanied by the deafening silence of plastic glasses, as the overlords of health and safety ensure everyone has fun… but with a strange after-taste in the mouth.

‘What about the match?’ You ask. ‘Who needs a match when you have an excuse to drink yourself stupid all day?’ I wonder. For the record, local expectations were high, and it all begins with the usual New Zealand tradition of the Haka

New Zealand captain Tana Umaga (2eR), su

haka_585_486970a

The match quickly develops throughout the first half into the unusual rugby combination of a low scoring ‘cracker’, before the home team twice take the lead in the second half, to set up the unlikely prospect of a ‘haha-wacker’!

But we are talking the world’s number one team here; and for all of the expectations as Wales lead with little more than 13 minutes left on the clock, inevitability strikes… with three tries and no further points conceded the scoreline takes on a familiar, but for this match rather unrepresentative, look:

Wales flags

 

Wales 16 New Zealand 34

NZ Flags

 

 

 

 

 

 

My resident optimist searches for a ray of hope in the repeated gloom, and offers a thought that maybe revenge will be sweet in the World Cup in 11 months time. Until we speak again I have been a bewildered Juno, and feel any such optimistic thoughts belong locked away in the bubble from whence they came. Don’t suffer too much disturbed sleep dreaming of the vision of that Welsh ewe!

[With thanks to BBC News Online for images of the Haka].

Time was

Cardiff City 0 Middlesborough 1

City v Middlesborough “BRIDGE TO TRANSPORTER, BEAM US DOWN A TEAM… QUICKLY!”

Transporter Bridge Middlesbrough England - great-britain Photo

Until we speak again this is Pundit Juno bringing you all you need to know about football in less than 10 words.

[With thanks for individual images of Middlesborough Transporter Bridge posted on google].