Olympic Mission Impossible

For Juno and Bella this would certainly have represented dreams of ‘fast food’; much too fast for either cat, who took a simple view of olympic feats… usually taking the form of lengthy snoozes on a sun-soaked window cill. But, for other members of the animal kingdom, the olympics are drawing close, so practice is essential.

[Note to UK readers… a particular Mission Impossible soundtrack ad may help you to seriously appreciate the following event… though hopefully not the urine of the gnat product!].

Right, on your marks, get set…

Squirrell [1]

Go…

Squirrell [2]

C’mon Usain Bolt, keep up!

Squirrell [3]

Hey, where is my medal?

Squirrell [4]

WHO ARE YOU LOOKING AT?

Squirrell [5]

Seagull on binstore

I knew there was a reason why I run so fast…

 

 

Until we speak again, keep practicing!

 

The Good Burghers of Cardiff

Here I am just getting ready for the most important function of my waking hours… it’s time to eat!

Ready to eat

But then comes the big decision… what to eat today? If you’re in the centre of Cardiff and facing a similar dilemma, no worries, as I occasionally send my ‘Culinary Novice’ out to collect some useful intel. Though when I suggested they get out there quick, to find me good cuisine, I wasn’t indicating they come back with information on fast food!

Grazing Shed [1]

Having already established themselves in a quieter corner of the city centre, it seems that  of The Grazing Shed’s brand of Super Tidy Burgers are doing well enough to take up an additional position in the busy south end of St Mary’s Street. But did the good Burghers of Cardiff realise that they were giving permission for a ‘shed recycling business’ when they agreed to the advancement of high quality burgers in their midst?

Grazing Shed [7]

I’m reliably told (if reliable is something I can apply to my ‘in-house infarct’) that this place is all about locally sourced, i.e. Welsh, products and produce. I’ve always been the type of cat who likes my cow to be within visiting distance, and preferably with an individual name!

Grazing Shed [6]Water [1]

“But let’s see the produce!” you impatient burger jockeys are saying. My ‘resident imbiber’ decided that a can of beer was the first priority; but then how can a self-respecting water slurper like myself impose any discipline on the easily tempted, particularly when they are out of my sight?

The Waen Brewery have cleverly tempted my resident ‘willpower deficit’ with an advertising slogan of ‘Hellish Good Beer’!

Grazing Shed [3]

 

Once the initial thirst is quenched it’s time to see what Ermentrude and Daisy have to offer for satisfying both taste and hunger. My ‘culinary chancer’ goes for a Spicy Uncle Pedro, and I demand a quick pictorial explanation to assuage my worst fears of what might have been going on out the back of the dining area! Meanwhile ‘gastronome junior’ apparently went for a more conservative bite of chicken in a bun.

Grazing Shed [4]

The reviews are both very complimentary of burgers and the associated accoutrement. Meanwhile the good Burghers of Cardiff can satisfy themselves that they are contributing to demand for the paper and the food basket industries, wherever they happen to be dominating the Welsh economy.

Until we speak again this Bella hopes that all of your burgers are chain-free!

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

SISYPHEAN… as the locals adopt a STOIC attitude to their team’s SOMNAMBULANT SHIFTING between 7th and 10th positions in the league, but never quite SURGING into the all-important Top SIX.

With all one's strength

SERENDIPITOUS… as fans SALIVATE over the SHOCK of back-to-back SEISMIC home wins.

City v Preston [1]

 

City v Preston [2]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCINTILLA… as SUBTLETY SUCCUMBS to SPECULATION (yet again!) of what might be over the remaining 12 games.

yes-238381_1280

For me, the SEQUESTERED SHIBBOLETH only SERVES  to SATIRISE SOUPCON of SOPHISTRY! 

Contemplating from my chairUntil we speak again this Bella will largely SASHAY in SUBLIME SERENITY as I offer you nothing less than SANCTIMONIOUS SALUTATIONS. For the record it was Cardiff City 2 Preston North End 1, with the locals having played 34, won 13, drawn 13, and lost 8, which puts them currently 7th in the league (temporarily at least).

Durham Cathedral

I must say I have never been a cat of any particular religious persuasion, but I do find the buildings fascinating. So, in the interests of architectural splendour and site-specific grandiosity, I sent my ‘frustrated architect’ on a trek to record a day in the life of Durham Cathedral, a World Heritage site along with its neighbouring castle. This is true history, with the current cathedral dating back to 1093, and widely regarded as one of the finest of all examples of Norman architecture. The ‘mercenary missionary’ was on some other work-related junket anyway, and happily informed me there was more than enough external magnificence without incurring the wrath of any gods by sullying the inside.

The view from Prebends Bridge early in the morning provides an outline of a building that dominates the city skyline as the light of the day blinks into action…

[1]

The bridge itself affords an insight into how historic this renowned city is. The current stone arched incumbent dates back to 1778, replacing the previous structure dating back to 1574 but destroyed in a flood in 1771. This is one of three stone bridges across the River Wear in the centre of Durham, located on the bend in the river that circles the cathedral and castle…

Prebend Bridge [1]

Prebend Bridge [2]

Meanwhile cats like to meander, and this riverside offers tranquil opportunities to stroll with views up at the majesty of the building…

[5]

[4]

“It’s only in the detail that you will find the devil”, if it’s okay for me to be evoking Beelzebub in a missive regarding a house of religious practice. As afternoon beckons a walk in the woods below the cathedral offers views of the architectural detail…

[6]

[9]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[7]

[8]

But, as night descends the cathedral takes on a completely different form of illumination, with views from the city centre and the railway station respectively…

[11]

[10]

Crossed legsGod knows when my ‘eye on the world’ gets time to do the work that the trip was supposed to be about. Looking at all of this walking about has taken its toll, so until we speak again this Bella is taking a well earned rest!

Men in Skirts

It’s Six Nations Rugby Internationals time again, and unlike my predecessor, the English Juno, I have no confusion over my loyalties…

Rugby cat

It’s Wales v Scotland for another of those atmospheric weekends in Cardiff

Wales v Scotland [1]

But it is a strange old game with some very odd sights to behold, none less than the quintessential Scottish characteristic of Men in Skirts!

Men in skirts

Local accommodations and hostelries can’t help themselves in an effort to engage with the event:

Hotel entranceRugby pub

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile people congregate at the stadium waiting for the arrival of the gladiators to the arena…

Stadium

And never has the back end of a bus been so celebrated…

Back end of team busMeanwhile it is the action on the pitch that counts most, and at the end of another hard fought game a brave Scotland succumb to the passion of the Welsh with a final score of…

Final score

Some of the national flowers show their excitement at the result…

Winning daffodils

And it is the home colours that flutter over St Mary’s Street in the heart of Cardiff…

Wales v Scotland [2] Until we speak again may all of your balls be egg-shaped!

[Football explained, or not!] O & P is for…

ONTOLOGICAL OBJECTIVISM… otherwise known as OVERWHELMED by a need to stay dry. OPPUGN the passion if you will, but OODLES of the wet stuff from PREDICTED PERSISTENT PRECIPITATION turns out to be a recipe for OBFUSCATION. News of a PITCH inspection PRODUCES PALPITATIONS, after all, who PAYS to see PLAYERS PADDLING?

City v Blackburn [2]

Water [1]Us cats are nothing but PERSPICACIOUS in our OUTLOOK on all things to do with water. The PORTENTOUS PREDICTIONS of my OPAQUE PRAGMATIST are for the game to be POSTPONED.

But, it’s no OVATIONS for my resident OBDURATE PAGAN, as the rain-soaked game goes ahead with at least one PUTATIVE PHENOMENON missing.

Until we speak again this Bella will remain OMNIPRESENT. For the record it was Cardiff City 0 MK Dons 0, with the locals having played 30, won 11, drawn 12, and lost 7, which puts them currently 9th in the league.

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…

Bored

 

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.