Second bite

Sometimes it takes a second visit in order to truly satisfy those expectations… wherever they may originally have come from. Take I Giardini di Sorrento for example…

Great reviews and a sight of a sumptuous swordfish main dish on the website, and I’m salivating at the prospect of my first visit. However, combine such raised expectations with a visit to a Cardiff based independent family-run Italian restaurant in the company of a fine food critic, who just happened to be returning from Venice 24 hours earlier, and the recipe for success could be quite a challenge!

Fortunately, a light and delicately fried calamari starter primes the taste buds nicely, and those potentially unachievable expectations begin to dissolve into the tender seafood chewiness, spiked with the sharpness of squeezed lemon…

Then comes the tinge of disappointment, as it seems the swordfish has gone awol off the menu tonight, taking a break to allow some poor sea bass to put in a shift! Thoughts turn to a Plan B, and though my choice of salmon pistachio penne was only slightly overly salty, for my guest the risotto principe was quite a few furlongs behind in the race with its Venice counterpart of a few nights earlier.

We leave sated, but with a sense of disappointment; the important lesson being one of tempering expectations before a first visit… just taste the moment. So many awards and great reviews can’t all be misplaced… cue a re-visit, and a chance to soak up the authenticity of a lunchtime capriciossa pizza

It might be Cardiff, but could we really be dining elsewhere?

And even a visit to the restroom involves an additional reminder we could be absorbing Mediterranean vibes…

Until we speak again, there is a question about whether our tastes on the night have anything to do with the overall quality of what is on offer. Should we allow particular expectations to determine our experience in the moment? Well, yes we should… but don’t let that block further adventures into culinary discovery.

Art of the night walker

Going down the docks after dark just doesn’t seem to hold the same threat as it used to!

An autumn blend of colourful speculation, cultural reflection and historic reminiscence can provide a soothing balm for the mental health.

Even some of the more bizarre architectural oddities can assume a new persona… Cardiff Noir anyone!?

Until we speak again, a gentle nighttime stroll may even occasionally illuminate some of life’s mystery’s… like whether pedestrians and cyclists will ever see eye-to-eye.

Strategic advice

Anybody seen anything resembling a strategy floating around? Particularly amidst the clear-as-mud-mess our Tory incompetents revel in serving up on a daily basis?

Our witless Government misinformation trumpets like to spout lies and nonsense to the gullible masses about how they are confidently in control.

But, take a closer look at the detail clouded by the confused messages…

Is that the truth of stark reality we can sense hoving into sight? Surely even those previously blind to the shenanigans of our ‘Liar-in-Chief‘ at Number 10 might benefit from some closer scrutiny of what is before them?!

Until we speak again, my strategic advice is to keep your eye on the prize!

Rude awakening

Leave me alone… I’m trying to make sense of this pandemic thing.

Perhaps gravity will come to my rescue!

Until we speak again, trust me… swanning about is the only way to cope with this restricted way of being!

Watching me… watching you

Just as the coronavirus pandemic lockdown restrictions gradually reduce it’s time to emerge out into a strange new world. You know… the place that has benefitted from the relative absence for months of pesky human creatures.

A place where birdsong has provided the soundtrack to an environment basking in a newfound laidback state of relaxation.

A place where fish have developed the confidence to swim about in clearer waters.

So, taking a gentle stroll along local canal side footpaths can only infuse the mind with a sense of tranquility…

That is, until you turn the next corner? “This is my place now… nobody passes!”

“Hey fellah, you might as well retreat into your buildings, but you can’t hide from me!”

Until we speak again, “I’ve got my eye on you!”

Sod it!

As the coronavirus restrictions begin to lift we are all being confronted with difficult decisions…

Is the time right to get back to work? Are the kids back in school? Can I work from home still? Will the workplace be safe? Do I use public transport? Do I add to climate damaging emissions? Where do I buy lunch these days? Has anybody worked out what the furlough thing is all about? Do today’s job loss announcements include mine? Do I believe anything the lying bastards in Government say?

Sod it…

Until we speak again, there are two types of people in the post restriction world of Cardiff… those dealing with difficult questions, and those who just mess about on boats!

Toys for boys

For those of you in lockdown missing such delights as the ‘hooking a duck’ stall at your funfair of choice, Cardiff has ‘The Swan Catcher’ as a toys for boys bigger version on offer…

Until we speak again, don’t forget to throw it back in when caught, as QEII wouldn’t be happy… it would be like putting a corgi into a hot dog!!

Grayson’s Art Club

A little bit of creative humanity is currently appearing on Channel 4 in recent weeks. The artist Grayson Perry invites members of the public to submit their example of lockdown art on a theme for the week. Selected examples will feature alongside his own artwork in a post-lockdown exhibition.

This week’s theme is ‘the view out of my window’ as it represents lockdown ideas, so here is mine…

The plant, that was there, has clearly died (more a reflection of me than the virus I think). The Coronavirus brick wall dominates the present view. But shoots of green and blue emerge on a distant horizon.

Until we speak again…

2020 vision ~ Part 2

Perhaps we already have the word of the year… how many times have you heard Unprecedented being used? At least 2020 in the last couple of months and counting.

Anyway, this was a year barely a couple of months old when we realised Vladimir Lenin  had a vision of things to come when he stated: “There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen.”

Then there was our less than visionary Government’s initial response here in the UK, sod testing let’s just sit back and go for herd immunity; well, Ian Cowie offered some insightful advice: “If you follow the herd you could end up in the abattoir!”

As for what has become a standard mindset for some people, in relation to ‘unprecedented’ times, Erma Bombeck reminds us: “Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”

With the consequence of  lockdown inevitably meaning the economy charges headlong into recession, employment prospects look grim for many; but don’t worry too much for the future prospects of the divorce lawyers, as Ogden Nash reminds us that: “Marriage is the alliance of two people, one who never remembers birthdays and the other who never forgets them.”

When it comes to a final reckoning, and the Government have to answer for the decisions made (or not made), they have already been carefully creating their deflector shields… we were always guided by the science we were perfectly clear, and it is up to the public to use their common sense… you can guarantee that inside the Johnsonian universe it will be everyone else’s fault, never his. Well, just remember the wise words of JM Barry: “When you mix politics and science, you get politics!” 

Risk Uncertainty

Until we speak again, there are lies, damn lies and statistics… you just have to look at this Government’s record on coronavirus testing to see that one in play!