Mile End Road

For me, this is a 1980’s stroll down reminiscence lane. For you, this is a tale of two sides of the road.

Go south and you are in a twilight zone of mid and high rise blocks liberally interspersed with unsavoury looking fast food joints. A place where obesity and Brexit may hook up for a sleazy night out!

This is where the old saying bears some truth… “What the Luftwaffe started the town planners finished!”

However, cross the road to the north side and you can stroll the Georgian terraces that surround Tredegar Square, a short distance from Victoria Park… undoubtedly a place where the metropolitan liberal elite hang out. So, if you find yourself in Mile End with a spare 24 hours on your hands, don’t be afraid, just find north on your compass.

Start with a fueling stop at The Greedy Cow, where a Kangaroo Burger hops off the menu to assault your gastronomic whims.

Yes, you heard right first time, it is pinned down for a reason…

Then you simply meander through the conservation area to find a range of traditional watering holes to quench that marsupial thirst. The Lord Tredegar is a great old Victorian boozer serving up a fine pint of Hophead pale ale…

Then there is the Morgan Arms, requiring a careful navigation to avoid the resident Greene King family! A one time great traditional brewery that has joined many others in spoiling the name of good beer with its capitalist quest to take over the world of ‘falling down lotion’…

And if the dawn of a new day still finds you in fighting fettle why not avoid the traditional Youngs beers and opt for a Proper Job IPA in The Coborn? Just don’t let on to a certain regular reader that it comes from Cornwall…oops!

Need something less alcoholic? Who needs those coffee chains when you can pop in to an authentic independent Italian coffee house?

Until we speak again, this has been a nostalgic gastronomic trip down memory lane. As for the present day… if you are looking to get Brexit done, it has all gone south.

Return to 2020 Vision

[Acknowledgements to the Bute East Dock for providing the full cast for the following drama].

Events across 2016 to 2019 , on both sides of the Atlantic, have arguably led to what can only politely be referred to as a foggy funk of an experience…

2020 foggy Bute East Dock

So, as a fully paid up member of the ‘UK Metropolitan Liberal Elite‘, I have to concede that the ‘Majority 38% Will of the People Brigade‘ have triumphed in the prolonged political battle of barefaced lies versus ineffectual bullshit.

I have never been one to believe in the power of new year resolutions, but as we all embark on the Brexiters’ journey to the most bountiful and wondrous promised land of 19th Century independent beneficence, I have a wish… and that is that the 38% now completely own their self-proclaimed victory. Once the hard right prospectus that has been bought into begins to deliver on its empty promises let’s hear no excuses, or deflection of blame onto those who still don’t buy the catalogue of deceptions, or onto the EU, or onto immigrants, or onto anyone else but their own deluded selves.

Talking of deluded selves; a glance across the pond to the incoherent rumblings of Dumbfuckistan prompt another wish… that the Twitter-fuelled comedic interlude of the last few years be terminated in November, and some semblance of sanity be reclaimed from the ‘orange peril’ that has swamped the free-thinking world.

Until we speak again, reality is likely to dictate otherwise, but we can only dream of a return to 2020 vision…

Long Dock

A Celebration (?) of Lies

Bend over BritainTrump is coming! Apparently the whole Brexit thing will be done and dusted in a month and a half, and then the UK ‘Liar-in-Chief’ can kow-tow to the global ‘Liar-in-Chief’, and we can look forward to importing more of a US-style healthcare approach…

US healthcare horror story

Let’s be very clear, the UK population was presented with a rock-and-a-hard-place set of options on the ballot paper. The Labour prospectus of monopoly money wish lists, presented by a barely credible and insular cabal of reactionaries, pretty much got what it deserved. Then the promised re-emergence of a Liberal Democrat force stumbled at the first fence.

So, let’s brace for a return to the 1980’s… not that of the previous failed Michael Foot Labour project; more one of Thatcher-world, where caring is a quaint concept buried deep in romantic literature, but not to see the light of day.

Until we speak again, if this Brexit thing is so good, then surely it is time for the ‘enlightened’ Welsh nation to reject half measures… why not go for the full monty and follow Scotland and a united Ireland into the greatness of independence. Why cede sovereignty to an uncaring Tory Westminster?

Welsh-Flag1

 

Cake & Eat It Day

At last, we have a specific attribution for the day after Halloween, other than ‘thank god that doesn’t come around again for another year!‘ Today may also just as easily be known as ‘Rather Die in a Ditch Day‘, as proclaimed amongst the mountain of porky’s prodigously served up by the rather porcine UK ‘Liar in Chief‘ (aka Trump Minor).

Until we speak again, I’m sure the tousled tosser will be banging on about getting cake both had and eaten. But don’t choke on the sweet stuff, and, by the way, does anyone know where said ditch is located? The ‘will of the people‘ are in need of a shrine to commemorate their glorious victory over those who no longer count (as democracy is now an event not a process).Difficult choicesPerhaps it can be named ‘Gullible Hollow‘. Thus serving a dual purpose of attracting the many stalwart pilgrims who bought into the lies ‘in the complete knowledge that they were doing so‘; as well as offering a suitable reflection of the depth of substance their great cheerleader exudes in the form of froth and bluster.

The best kind of Phoenix

How do you describe the feeling on seeing one of your favourite restaurants has been closed? No, I’m not talking of the demise of a Gregg’s or a Wetherspoons; that would be a celebration! It was summer of 2018 and the Bayside Brasserie was making way for a new Everyman Cinema in Cardiff Bay.

Now, I am a very frequent user of ‘the pictures’ (as one of my reader’s will no doubt confirm by messaging shortly), so something different from the usual over representation of the run-of-the-mill multiplexes is more than welcome. But why take away my favourite eatery down the bay?

Fast forward to the summer of 2019, and my faith in a higher influence is happily restored…

Yes, it’s back… and every bit as good. With a balmy summer evening permitting use of an outside table, the view across the glass of a Patagonian Malbec set up the appetite…

Starters of Chilli and Lime Squid and a most mouth-watering Belly Pork helped to settle any anxieties that a re-opening 50 yards away from the original would be a let-down.

Then came the true memory-refresher… I can definitely confirm the Bayside Brasserie still serves up one of Cardiff’s finest Filet Steaks

Until we speak again, let this be a lesson that nightmares can occasionally turn into dreams… now whatever has become of our political leadership, and not just the class of clowns presently screwing up the UK?

The Science of Brexit

Wanted: a space big enough to accommodate the volume of egregious lies and deceit continually perpetrated by the Farage, Johnson, Fox, Grayling, et al guano generating machine.

With additional accommodation for the persistent volume of fudge spewing forth from Corbyn World, alongside the incessant malfunctioning of a poorly programmed Maybot.

At last, a useful purpose can be found for the location in a recent underwhelming Box Brownie holiday snap taken by a bored adventurer on Black Hole Tours…

Black Hole

Until we speak again, the next great scientific challenge must surely be the discovery of the Trump brain cell.

Culinary Brexit, anyone?

Okay, so it’s time for us self-respecting Brits to take back control of our cuisine. Who would really vote for mandatory imposed quantities of Brussel Sprouts anyway? As for Frankfurters and Sauerkraut flooding our customs union…well!

Whatever happened to the sublimely sweet Marie Rose Prawn Cocktail of 1970’s Britain? Would you seriously prefer French Asperges (Steamed Asparagus with a soft Poached Egg and Hollandaise Sauce)? Well, judging by the following example, that would be a definite ‘yes’…

Asperges starter

So, for the sake of dear old Blighty, let’s just say that was a one-off fluke occurrence.

Who is going to deny themselves the sovereignty of choosing Boiled Beef and Carrots, with a side of tripe? Would you seriously prefer to keep open our borders, so that we may be subject to the invasion of Entrecôte (9oz rib-eye steak) with a side of French Beans and Coated Almond Flakes? Well, perhaps the answer to that one is a resounding ‘yes’ again…

Entrecote rib-eye

There is one consolation to this culinary xenophobia… we do know how to make the best chips! Pomme Frites can happily be repatriated back to their place of origin, once and for all.

In the continuing negotiations, stand firm and say ‘no’ to all of this fanciful European cuisine. We are on the threshold of making a whole new nosh exchange with the world… open up your collective oesophagi to Chicken Kiev… to Chicken Korma… and even to Monkey Brains

On the other hand… seriously people! What do you think you have voted for? I, for one, can definitely recommend an indefinite extension of a customs union with Pierre Le Bistrot in Cardiff’s Brewery Quarter… and, if I’m not mistaken, the following picture suggests by way of Spice Quarter that we might just already have access to worldwide cuisine.

Outside [2]

Until we speak again, why exactly do we need Brexit? [Answers on a postcard… address withheld!]

Brexit made simple

First there was a hard Brexit

Seagull on binstore

But where exactly has that one gone?

Cat at start

Then there was a soft Brexit

Squirrell [3]

Which is proving to be just as elusive…

cat at corner

So, just when everything appears to be going arse over tit…

Swans face down

… look for Juno or Bella when you need an answer?

Looking to Juno

Plotting an escape

Until we speak again, Juno reckons it will  be a hard fought draw, going to penalties… which the Germans always win!

Cats swallowing wasps

We seem to be living in the age of outrage. But do we really need a new universal amendment to assert our right to be offended? The slightest hint of challenge or disagreement leaves too many people looking like they have swallowed a wasp. Take the so-called leader of the Western World… yes… please… go ahead and take him! He seems to have elevated wasp swallowing into a nocturnal pastime, with a blue-tinged cat snack as his vehicle of choice…

Donald Trump

Then, a little closer to home, when we are in desperate need for a credible opposition in Britain, what do we get? What do you think about Brexit Jeremy? What do you think about the future of the economy Jeremy? Who are the voters you actually need to get you  within a Gnat’s testicle of being able to do something Jeremy? It seems that wasp swallowing is a universal affliction of our so-called leaders…

corbyn

Talking of leadership and the intrusion of hymenoptera (well, weren’t we?). Just the other day, down at the home of football, the Cardiff City Stadium, manager Neil Warnock is reported to have had cause at half-time to employ his own particular brand of wasp swallowing

Neil Warnock

Many a player has had cause to experience the half-time verbal tongue lashing from Sheffield’s finest. On this occasion, the swallowing of wasps was employed as a means of devouring bees… the bees of Brentford FC, that is. For the record, at half time it was Cardiff City 0 Brentford 1; and at full time the score is Cardiff City 2 Brentford 1. Bees well and truly devoured!

As for Juno and Bella, one good thing about being indoor cats was the lesser chance of being tempted to supplement the meagre rations by chasing wasps, as you never know what the impact of success might be…

 

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[With acknowledgements to YouTube, BBC and the Independent for original images].

The will of the people

We live in such divisive and divided political times that abiding by ‘the will of the people‘ is a constant mantra delivered by the fearful so-called winners. The Brexiteer 52% (approximately 37% of adult UK voters) will have no truck with any attempt to debate the way forward. Any expression of a desire to debate issues is instantly drowned out by this vaguest of phrases. When challenged as to what the Brexit plan could be about, headless chickens may well provide a clearer answer…

Difficult choices

In Scotland, the 45% who want independence from the UK have the dominant voice in most political discourse. Or is that the 62% who want to stay in Europe (against ‘the will of the people‘)?

Looking for clarity from across the western democratic world? Why not check out the US, where the person who accrued less of the total number of votes wins all! A clear mandate to show the middle finger to the rest of the world beyond US borders, aka the will of the people.

Challenge any of these populist movements to give us a clue as to where we are actually going, and they have only a Plan A all the way to the sunny uplands of making us (or is that US) great again (as mandated by the will of the people)…

Concept: Successful business trend. Happy talented businesswoman

Talking of La La Land… the will of the football tribe is never ambiguous. Ask any one of the 100% of Cardiff City FC fans, and there is only a completely singular ‘will of the people‘… we are the greatest team in football the world has ever seen! Fortunately, on this occasion we ran into an Ipswich Town team largely resembling the Tractor Boys image externally imposed on ‘the will of their people‘; so that at least today the ignominious chant of the home fans could pass any scrutiny.

20170318_165053

Until we speak again, I would strongly recommend the will of cats, as demonstrated by Juno. they are much better at herding than being herded, whatever the statistics try to say!

You talking to me?