Tragic at the magic

Cardiff City 1 Reading 2

Dropped pins are likely to be heard in the Canton Stand

Canton Stand conundrum: can a dropped pin be heard if no one is there?

 

 

The magic of the cup has eluded many of the home fans

The magic of the cup has eluded many of the home fans

 

 

 

 

 

 

“WE’LL ALWAYS BE BLUE…CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.”

Until we speak again it is important to rememberChillout cat that Bill Shankly once claimed football was more important than matters of life and death, but Juno’s view on football hyperbole was to respect it primarily for its sedative qualities… what can’t be said about football under 10 words wasn’t worth listening to!!!

Magic of the Cup?

Spare a thought for a long suffering cat… no, not illness per se, more a situation where you are surrounded by football. BBC, BT Sport, BBC Radio 5 Live, Talk Sport Radio, the anticipation of what might be, the depressing outcome of what has been, and the endless nonsense talked by the mass of so-called pundits/experts… with otherwise sensible people being partially defined by the teams they become unfortunately harnessed to from a young age. Cardiff City FC are a prime example of such an affliction!

Juno stoically experienced the lot with an unwavering regal demeanour; but for any cool cat there is a limit. Chillout catJuno was never a cat for imposing strict prohibitions on nonsense, but her actions helped to set a trend… I was under no illusions regarding waffle time, and clearly had to say what needed to be said about the subject quickly and succinctly. It didn’t take her long for Juno to adopt her favourite football pose, and so ‘Football in under 10 words‘ surreptitiously came to be.

The advent of any new year in the UK always heralds an under-stated expectation across England and Wales that the third round of the FA Cup is the serious start of the road to Wembley (a poor substitute for the Millennium Stadium). So once again Cardiff City FC enter the competition on their rightful road to cup glory. Here is a retrospective look at the first steps along that road, before today’s eagerly awaited 4th Round stepping stone to glory. The only problem seems to be a failure of message in the city that surely accommodates the home of footballing excellence…

Cardiff City 3 Colchester United 1

The magic of the cup?

“SECOND GOAL ALMOST WAKES UP HANDFUL OF HOME SUPPORT!”

Until we speak again it is important to remember that Bill Shankly once claimed football was more important than matters of life and death, but Juno’s view on football hyperbole was to respect it primarily for its sedative qualities.

In the moment

Juno may be gone but one of the great things about blogging is that an ex-cool cat still has the opportunity to share cool cat stuff with those that consume such things. She was a cat that always had her eyes on the unexpected…

You looking at me?

… so I know she would have appreciated the opportunity to spike the moment for a former politician and ‘Friend of Freedom’, John Batchelor, as he stands commemorated in The Hayes, Cardiff: “LOOKS LIKE SNOW AGAIN.” 

Is it snowing?

As Juno always used to sign off… ‘Until we speak again I…’ will be relying on my in-house numpty to keep the eyes and ears open on proceedings in Cardiff (and occasionally elsewhere); and in the meantime may all of your snow be as thick as my nom de plume!

Off yer trolley

Just as another year draws to a closePlaying dead I was meandering along the canal side near home, pondering the shear magnitude of life, as many cats do. When I was suddenly accosted by a metaphor, illuminating my very thoughts at that moment… that art truly can imitate life.

Off your trolley [2]

 

I’ve lost count of the number of times I have heard about a shopping trolley being spotted in places where shopping trolleys shouldn’t ought to be. Having said that my favourite was the apocryphal tale of the trolley found half way up the Sydney Harbour Bridge just at the time when the Bridge Walk was opened in 1998 (attributed to a student prank of alarming audacity before the walk was officially opened). Yes, my intrepid litter tray cleaner was one of the first few hundred to make the official climb (though apparently sans shopping trolley), and was dubiously supplied with the aforementioned tale.

So, my particular insight for you to take into the unknown of 2015 is that shopping trolleys have a habit of installing themselves into many places, and now thanks to the arbiters of taste in Cardiff you can add municipal art installations to the list…

Off your trolley [1]

Until we speak again I aim to be Moderation Juno trying not to get off my trolley.

The Andrex effect

Cardiff City 2 Watford 4

Untitled

 

 

 

“STRONG ON PAPER, MOSTLY ASSOCIATED WITH CRAP IN PRACTICE!”

City v Watford

Until we speak again I have been Pundit Juno bringing you everything you need to know about football in less than 10 words.

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.

Be my guest

Talking of arse-end surveillance, as I was just recently… I have just found a new way of consuming news:

Newspaper

Anyway, I digress… a particular problem when, like me, you have a passion for writing loads of stuff and your concentration tends to wander. So, the opportunity has arisen for me to take a break, step back, and take pleasure in welcoming another cool cat from Cardiff to share an experience with you. My good friend Fat-Freddies-Cat accompanied me on a trip to Newport in a much earlier post on this site, but also happens to wander into many a pub in many a town for the odd beer or two. In fact, he continues to produce a photographic series ‘Time for a pint’ which now has over a million views on Flickr. Why not check it out by clicking the following link:

a pint in the minerva, plymouth

As a taster, so to speak, Fat-Freddies-Cat has a tail (or is that tale?) to tell about one such adventure in the local area. This is a brief story about a visit to Kitty Flynn’s in Cardiff, and a personal reflection on the changing fortunes of the SA drinker over the years…

kitty flynns <!-- Missing Medium URL -->

“There’s gonna be trouble in here later” said the lady determined to shake my hand.

It’s a quiet Monday night, hardly looks like there is trouble brewing. My first visit here this century. This used to be The Cambrian, on the corner of Cardiff’s most notorious street, wall to wall with the brewery that owns it. Hookers and hustlers used to fill the room, Brains SA was known as ‘skull attack’ and a thick fog of cigarette smoke hung about waist height. Today, The Cambrian is Kitty Flynn’s – an Irish bar, the smoke has now moved outside, the brewery has moved to what was then the wrong side of the tracks. Caroline Street is now mere ‘chip shop alley’ – people even live there. Brains SA has not attacked any skulls in many a long year.

I didn’t stay for the trouble, it only occurring to me after I had left, that I was wearing an orange t-shirt which was probably not a good idea in an Irish pub.

 

Until we speak again I aim to continue being Juno, 4. Brains journey [1]but with a degree of caution about the colours I wear in distinct hostelries about town. The search for the long-lost SA tradition will continue (though it can look and taste pretty good at times); and I do believe that Fat-Freddie-Cat is consuming what remains of the pint next to it! Cheers.

Arse-end surveillance

I know… I said in my introduction to this blog that I wouldn’t lick my bits while addressing you all, but eventually every cat has to do what a cat has to do!

Lick your own

Feel free to lick your own by the way, it can be a great source of inspiration… why, just the other day, while I was abluting I couldn’t help but reflect on the limitations of modern day architecture. “What on earth are you on about?” you ask. Well, it suddenly came to me that all the inspirational creative design goes into the front end of buildings, and the arse-end rarely presents the most attractive of views. A bit like me really!

You talking to me?The Blade My A

So I thought I would put my hypothesis to the test to see what we can learn from the local area in Cardiff. Talk about ‘learning’… where better to check out this observation than the neighbouring University of South Wales? From a distance it looks like a jumble of boxes have just fallen out of an overflowing cupboard…

USW front [2]

Yet get up close and personal and it looks like someone put some creative thinking into producing a striking visual facade, rather than the more usual blandly boring box-like structures…

USW front [3]

Gently strolling towards the side of the building and you see the dramatic change in design principles, as we view the areas less well observed by the masses of the architecturally unconcerned…

USW front [1]

USW side view

>>>>

Then, the coup de grace of my thesis, as we all recline in our pedestrian supremacy… and those pesky car drivers get their just desserts. The arse-end of the building offers nothing much of any visual delight. A car park is usually home to those who are more consumed in their own self-importance, and expressers of righteous indignation if they can’t travel their door-to-door journeys uninterrupted in their personal motorised cages. So why should they be regaled with visionary architecture?

USW rear [2]

Until we speak again feel free to undertake your own arse-end surveillance, in whatever guise sparks your creative juices. I will continue to be Inspired Juno on my meanderings around my local city.

P is for…

Cardiff City 0 Rotherham United 0

The match highlight!

The match highlight!

“PASSIONATE PAYING PUNTERS PREVIEW PLAYERS PERFUNCTORY PISSTAKING PERFORMANCE… PROBABLY.”

bored-cats

Until we speak again I have been Pundit Juno bringing you everything you need to know about football in under 10 words.

[With special thanks to photo bucket.com, socialphy.com, pollyannaofkaren.blogspot.com and jacktherat.wordpress.com for posting the images borrowed here to illustrate the collective feelings experienced at the Cardiff City Stadium today].

A dead pubs crawl

The recent fact that around 20,000 pubs have been closed down in the UK during the last couple of decades hardly caused me a ruffle of the whiskers. After all, us cool cats are much more sophisticated in our tastes… I am more concerned with preserving my premium wine stocks.

Wine stocks

As far as I am concerned pubs are uncouth places where dogs are more likely to be found. However, my ‘resident old git’ seems somewhat more perplexed than I about this dilapidated state of affairs in the ‘world the beer guide forgot‘. It being the beginning of the season to be jolly, I thought I would send the thirsty one on a tour of modern day temperance; and there is no shortage of places in Cardiff you can no longer get a drink!

Whoever said that the pubs of today are being taken over by food has certainly been to The Neville recently. Unfortunately, it seems that this former favourite of fans of the local team has gone the whole hog, its become a local supermarket… so the only grog available here will be the discounted stuff better drunk out of a brown paper bag!

The Neville [2]

An even worse fate for The Splotlands, as the chances of even getting in the inn are now completely blocked. I hope the last customer at last orders managed to get out in time!

The Splotlands

Black Friday and even Cyber Monday have now past us by, but anyone still in search of a bargain need look no further than downtown Butetown. The White Hart either finished off on a sale of its remaining stocks, or more likely has now become the subject of a sale.

The White HartBut not all pubs are allowed to finally give up the ghost and die; take an amble along Constellation Street and you come across a fine residence that probably shouldn’t be… all hail local activism down at The Tredegar as people exert squatters rights as a means of keeping a grand old landmark in occupation other than by rats and mice.

The Tredegar, Tin Street

Talking of rats and mice… just look what happens to a prestigious city centre site when you neglect history. The York Hotel might well have long since given up its final incarnation as an Indian restaurant, but it still serves as a grim reminder of former halcyon days.

York Hotel

My in-house beer monkey returned stoically sober after this particular pub crawl. Until we speak again I hope your pre-christmas crawling is to your satisfaction. Meanwhile I shall continue my duties as Wine Merchant Juno.

[With special thanks to my original guide and mentor into the world of blogging The Gentle Author for the original idea of the ‘Dead Pubs Crawl’].