The business of closure

Unsuspecting city liberals seeking rural adventure… beware. Upstate New York may look quaint, but they promise no fireworks, which is why the Pawling Fire Department is located in an empty field…

There may be something sinister lurking on mainstreet, as the tumbleweed has been hidden away with the welcome mat…

If you are here on business, think again buddy…

What they have aplenty are invites to long walks off short piers!

And if you do attempt to prolong your stay beyond a respectable Republican minute, the facilities are designed to weigh heavily on your New York minute state of mind…

If you are in need of any guidance as to where to go, it can be quite simple…

Fortunately for me, I brought my New Orleans badge with me!

But there is always an NRA message somewhere close by, to hurry along your exit. They certainly display their priority when it comes to spending the entertainment dollar!

Until we speak again, scratch the surface with care, and you may just find a dreamlike welcoming experience…

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Cultural defiance

In an America so captivated by the deal-driven marketing dream; of hyper-efficient profit-making; Dan Baum reminds us that New Orleans is ‘a citysized act of civil disobedience‘. 

Ain’t nothing tidy about New Orleans. A big brass band can suddenly strike up a ear-splitting tune from any available public bench, any time of day or night…

Here is a place that speaks to the truth; they may not haunt you in a ghostly sense, but, financially, well that could be another matter…

You can do your laundry in a former recording studio that was graced by some of the musical greats… where else will your shorts and panties be indelibly linked with Ray Charles, Little Richard or Fats Domino?

And the nailing down of the corporate lid will be stubbornly resisted with the darkest of humour…

Where the hustle and bustle of busy 21st century complexity receives short shrift…

In a world renowned act of rebellion this is where the simple act of eating out requires that you learn something akin to a culinary foreign language…

But it is also where the built environment can speak to you in understated emotional tones that eminate a great warmth of welcome…

Where human and avian worlds meet in an elegant balance…

Where glass ceilings have no place…

So, until we speak again, come to New Awlings, and…

Searching for credible alternatives

With local elections just around the corner, credible alternatives to a noxious Tory controlled government are becoming difficult to find. The Labour Party are about as credible as an alternative design to those urine-stained lifts in so many tower blocks…

Students lift?

As for Plaid Cymru... they might well see themselves as a smooth alternative to the Scotch whisky market, but offer little credibility in the independence stakes when compared to the rampant Scottish Nationalist Party

Welsh Whisky

And the Liberal Democrats, well they are still trying to work out how they got decimated in the last General Election…

Difficult choices

The UKIP fraternity are coming to terms with weekly losses of so-called prominent representatives, as well the machinations of their new leader…

Bartley

Which leaves the earnestness of the Green Party, committed as they are to limiting the number of wheels polluting the environment, they never quite seem to get their full message properly coordinated…

Bikes on pitch

Meanwhile, down at the Cardiff City Stadium a credible alternative has emerged from the team that in October 2016 was languishing at the bottom of the Championship table. Cue the time for totally unreasonable expectations for next season…

City 1 Forest 0

Until we speak again, Bella offers no particular enlightenment regarding credible alternatives from the broadsheets. With expected turnouts to be nearer 20% in many places, it seems that most people probably don’t give a urine-stained lift for any alternative…

Reading paper and books

God Bless America

It seems like the soothing sounds of philarmonia have seen better days in Cardiff. More recently home to tumbleweed rather than orchestral delights. Once known as Morella’s Palace of Varieties, seating up to 1100 people in a grand old Victorian music hall style, with three sided balconies, the grand old dame has experienced a long and undignified fall.

philarmonic-2

philarmonic-1

While the centre of Cardiff has much to be admired, the neglect of several old gems leaves discerning cats with a sense of an unattended litter tray! So, it is with mixed blessings that we might be heard quietly muttering “God Bless America”.

 

The tantalising question is “whether any commercial use that saves an old building is worth having?” Coyote Ugly arrives in this historic area of St Mary Street, at once restoring an old frontage to a modicum of former glory…

philarmonic-3

What Texas has brought to a former Victorian auditorium on the inside is anyone’s guess. Well, you don’t expect me to have used the place do you? Can bawdy Victoriana be replicated by tits in hats (that refers as much to the men, for any feminist critic)?

wine-stocksUntil we speak again, follow Juno’s lead and be a little more discerning regarding your tipple.

Olympic Mission Impossible

For Juno and Bella this would certainly have represented dreams of ‘fast food’; much too fast for either cat, who took a simple view of olympic feats… usually taking the form of lengthy snoozes on a sun-soaked window cill. But, for other members of the animal kingdom, the olympics are drawing close, so practice is essential.

[Note to UK readers… a particular Mission Impossible soundtrack ad may help you to seriously appreciate the following event… though hopefully not the urine of the gnat product!].

Right, on your marks, get set…

Squirrell [1]

Go…

Squirrell [2]

C’mon Usain Bolt, keep up!

Squirrell [3]

Hey, where is my medal?

Squirrell [4]

WHO ARE YOU LOOKING AT?

Squirrell [5]

Seagull on binstore

I knew there was a reason why I run so fast…

 

 

Until we speak again, keep practicing!

 

[Football explained, or not!] Z is for…

ZANY…

Watching Cardiff City FC over the last 9 months is nicely summed up in the following quote: “Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller-skates; you’re guaranteed movement, you just don’t know if it is going to be forwards, backwards or sideways.” [H. Jackson Brown Jr.].

Untitled

But Z is also for ZEITGEIST… and the spirit of the local fans and the team has been repeatedly summed up in a phrase that means little to anyone else not in the know…

Do the Ayatollah [2]

As another season comes to a close it becomes abundantly clear that Z is for ZILCH… on too many recent occasions team members have embodied an oft used cliche as a season draws to a close… their ZONKED demeanour suggests they are already on the beach.

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So, finally Z is for ZUGZWANG… i.e. nothing of any advantage emerges from the last few displays, as the team occupy firstly the uncoverted 7th position, the highest of the meaningless places; but then contrive to slip even further with a final draw in a game they shouldn’t be drawing.

25006877_ml

For the record the final score was Cardiff City 1 Birmingham City 1, with the home team finishing the season in 8th position with 17 wins, 17 draws, and 12 defeats. Until the next season of hope and despair (with Juno and Bella’s successor taking on the role of managing me), why not spend the summer sharpening your ZZ TOP impersonations, listen to your ZOMBIES back catalogue, or simply catch up on some relaxing ZZZ’s.

Rugby: The Man’s Game

Juno and Bella were never aficionados of the Welsh national obsession for Rugby Union. But they both proclaimed to be partial to a bit of rabbit. So Judgement Day 30-4-2016 in the home of Welsh Rugby may just have caused them more than a hint of confusion. Whilst Wales is obsessed with a man’s game, a little bit of the English male obsession for dressing up as women may be creeping in to the local rugby psyche!

What is this woman trying to take a nibble of?

Bunny [1]

On the other hand (forgiving the pun)…

Bunny [2]

Until we speak again, feel free to rethink your views about the finer details of the national sport!