A christmas message for QE2

Dear smile-free zone, the President and Vice-President of my fan club were delighted with your card on the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary, but I am reliably informed by my resident ‘Welsh Republican‘ that the photograph looks a bit formal and poker-faced. So, I thought I would cheer you up a bit on this festive occasion with a couple of pictures of my compatriots… some might tolerate this nonsense but your ‘local detractor‘ tried to get me into one of these poses and can now be contacted at the local hospital in the vicious lacerations department for their efforts.

Talking of ill-fitting circumstances, I was wondering how the Greeko-Germanic axis was functioning in your marriage these days? I get the distinct impression from various news sources that this type of relationship usually takes the form of German supremacy with a sprinkling of unorthodox Greek political incorrectness… does this sound familiar? Not difficult to see who wears the headscarf of power in central London, and who risks a beheading if he steps out of line:

 v 

Your ancestry seem to have cornered the xmas market; in fact German christmas markets are the rage everywhere, even here in Cardiff:

Xmas [3]

As for the perplexing question of what you buy the monarch who has everything for christmas, it seems that the good people of Cardiff have wrapped a castle (as if you didn’t have enough already!):

Xmas [4]

Royal arcade xmas [2]

They have a Royal Arcade in these parts and seem to have found a setting to use up a number of spare light bulbs…

But, also in honour of your historically dis-functional family there is an icy scene to greet you on the Hayes:

Hayes xmas [3]

 

 

 

All-in-all it seems like christmas in Cardiff this year is struggling to find any wise men (particularly at the local football club, with the exception of the local messiah Malky Mackay), but there is no shortage of stars to guide late night revellers down ‘inebriation walk’:

Xmas [5]

 

And in keeping with the Dr Who 50th year celebrations there even seem to be a few ethereal stars floating around the city centre in search of a TV christmas special to participate in:

XMAS [1]

 

I have been Juno, and before we speak again I wish you seasonal greetings; but I intend being busy at 3.00pm on christmas day away from any TV, so send your reply in the form of a New Year honour for me to graciously decline.

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.