A fishy tale

Now, us cats are widely known for our gastronomic approach to the fish… after all, why waste time observing the aesthetic when you can tuck in to some damn good nosh? But my laser focus on the subject was temporarily interupted when the resident wobbly one recently staggered back from the ale house of choice mumbling something about rings, trappist monks and fountain-dwelling fish. For a moment it just sounded like the usual garbled nonsense that emerges from one who spends an hour or two longer than is wise in dens of intoxication.

A word of warning… this tale starts withOrval [3] a somewhat obscure reference to rats, a most unpleasant subject to interrupt the joys of your festive celebrations! And as for the idea of ‘Premium’ black rat, I can only hope that that is overdone in cajun spices.

Anyway, back to the original inspiration for this tale… it appears many years ago that Countess Matilde of Tuscany accidentally lost her wedding ring in a fountain somewhere in Belgium. Though I am rather suspicious already… what was a recently widowed countess hoping to find in Belgium, and was the loss of the ring accident or providence? I leave you to speculate on questions of such magnitude.

Orval [2] For those of you into religion, and other sources of miracles, it seems that while Matilde was praying (for what you may continue your own bizarre speculations), a trout appeared from out of said fountain, with her ring in its mouth. Being an avid studier of the fish I can only suggest that rings play havoc with their digestion. However, like all grateful souls, it appears that Matilde decided there and then to build a monastery on the site; and probably in consultation with her google maps app realised she was in a place from henceforth to be known as Orval.

My resident ‘imbiber general’ informs me that this was the least interesting part of the whole story. It seems that the trappist cistercian monks who took up residence in the new gaff had loads of time on their hands after daily prayers were completed. So, like all men who easily succumb to boredom as a tactic for avoiding the usual domestic chores they took to developing a hobby, most notably home brewing. From that day onwards they have been spreading joy to the world through something that Fat-Freddies-Cat describes as ‘liquidised hops’. Meanwhile my resident knobhead tries to convince me that it tastes better out of the designed for purpose glass… well at least it looks good; so I leave you with a festive image:

Orval [1]

Enjoy your lotion of choice, Arrival in Cardiffbut in the meantime I shall return to my pursuit of what fish were really designed for. Until we speak again I shall mainly be snoozing Juno.

EU integration at work

     V.      

Who says that England and Wales don’t work well within a European Union structure? Clearly a Cardiff-based eleven would like to do a UKIP, and put a sharp spike into the idea of European unity in today’s match. However, Arsenal’s current place atop the Premier League suggests that a pan-European blend is managing to disturb the notorious hush of the Emirates Library in north London.

A definite Franco-German axis dominates the Arsenal landscape at present, with a more than adequate support from English, Welsh, Spanish, Polish, Belgian and Czech Republic counter-parts. However, as with most European institutions, the Arsenal style can tend towards the over-elaborate with an emphasis on style over substance. The onlookers are often left with a feeling that the never-ending ‘process’ fails to deliver any tangible ‘products’ to their liking.

Many of their opponents experience that UKIP-like feeling, that any encounter with a European Union structure only leaves you mesmerised by the maze of hoops and rings spun around you. This understandably gives rise to an increasing urge to kick something… Arsene’s Arse providing the most obvious target (if you can penetrate the quilted wall of its defence):

    

The big questions for today are: what will happen when the English of Wales outnumber the English of England; and the greater number of Welsh players could be on the English side? Who will need to become most demonised by UKIP when they open up their cheque books to Rumanians and Bulgarians during the January transfer window? How many smiles will Arsene Wenger crack open during this match (all betting agency sources and Ray Winstone are available naaarrw).

  

A 3.00pm kick-off on a Saturday afternoon is a bit disorienting for supporters who have had more Sunday kick-offs so far this season. But the home fans are not left waiting for too long before their historic appreciation of former player Aaron Ramsey is put to the test. He scores to put Arsenal 1-0 in the lead, and there is a rare moment in the football kingdom where a scoring opponent is applauded by the home fans. Are you smiling Mr Wenger? Perhaps this is what joy looks like:

 

Cardiff somehow hang on to a 1-0 deficit through to half-time, but more due to the visitors playing slightly below their own standards. The second half approaches with the home team needing some inspiration from somewhere.

City v Arsenal

A more evenly contested half ensues, but the clinical efficiency of the league leaders produces a further two goals for a fair winner but maybe a slightly flattering result. Purple Dragonbirds are out-gunned by Arsenal 0-3. European unity prevails and there is time for one particular face to crack open a smile:

      I have been Juno, and with a busy weekend I will give you my views on a Wales v Australia rugby match next time we meet.