The Strolling Bones

So, the Rolling Stones are strutting their septuagenarian bones into town. Was that Mick Jagger who was recently seen standing outside a building originally constructed way back in his youth?

Rolling Stones logo [2]

It may be a stadium-sized rock event, but for the music-loving masses I guess that still means only the few are going to get any satisfaction. However, I doubt the band are in any danger of being mobbed these days. At their age, if they were, it would just as likely become the ‘Pick the Bones off the Carcass Tour’

For those of us less interested in attending such events these days, there is still a price to be paid. As the old saying goes, you can’t always get what you want, and I’m not sure that it’s only rock and roll when most things turn to plastic…

Rolling Stones logo [1]

…most disconcertingly the very glasses used for celebrating the avoidance of taking out a mortgage in order to buy a ticket for the gig! For one night only (a Friday night at that!), they will be replaced by the dreaded plastic cups, designed to put all self-respecting imbibing afficianados off their leisure pursuit of choice.

As for this curmudgeon, I saw the Rolling Stones live in Leeds Roundhay Park back in 1982, and I doubt the song list has changed much since. So, it will be a quiet night in serenading the wine cellar…

Wine stocks

Until we speak again, as the shepherd said to the dog: “Let’s get the flock out of here!”

Circling in numbers

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Judgement Day 30-4-2016

Once a year the national stadium plays host to all four of the Welsh regional rugby teams for a showcase two matches staged as Judgement Day. The season is drawing to a close and a suitable occasion arises for West v East as the Cardiff Blues take on the Ospreys of Swansea, and the Newport Gwent Dragons take on the might of the Scarlets of Llanelli.

A Grand Stage:

The Millennium Stadium (or Principality Stadium for those who like to wear their marketing endorsements on their sleeves) offers one of the world’s great stages for the event…

Inside Millenium Stadium [1]

Inside of Millenium Stadium [2]

Inside Millenium Stadium [3]

A Fiery Welcome erupts as the teams take to the field:

Blues v Ospreys fireworks

Dragons v Scarlets [1]

Fortunately for the infrequent spectator, two open and expansive games are played, with a majority of the national Welsh squad players on show across the four teams, ensuring entertaining high scoring matches:

Blues v Ospreys

But, not for the first time, judgement declares West as victors over the cousins in the East, as the final scores are Cardiff Blues 27 Ospreys 40, and Newport Gwent Dragons 20 Scarlets 34. 68,282 fans enjoy a feast of high quality rugby:

Blues 27 Ospreys 41

Dragons 20 Scarlets 34

For Juno and Bella this is a game they identified more as men behaving like packs of dogs, with just too much of the arse-sniffing going on (that’s a joke about rugby scrums for those not so familiar with the intricacies of the game). Until we speak again may all of your scrums be tight!

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!

 

Leek & Onion Soup

It’s a cold February day and my ‘in-house Oliver Twist’ is asking about ideas for feeding the masses. It being a big match event in the locality, I have no hesitation in coming up with my very own recipe. First, we need a pan big enough for all those insisting on “feed me ’til I want no more” (that’s an ‘in’ rugby comment). This will do…

Principality Stadium

Throw in generous portions of the main ingredients…

Ingredients

Add some heat to the cauldron…

Fire [1]

Fire [2]

Simmer for a few minutes…

Simmering

Sprinkle in a dash of yellow stuff…

Boil [1]

Add some crusty bread…

Bread [1]Bread [2]

 

 

 

 

 

Home appetites are guaranteed to be satisfied, as the final result clearly indicates a sumptuous outcome…

 

Final score

Rugby cat

 

Until we speak again I tempt your taste buds with my next menu, coming to an event near here: ‘Pizza for Proles’.

Men in Skirts

It’s Six Nations Rugby Internationals time again, and unlike my predecessor, the English Juno, I have no confusion over my loyalties…

Rugby cat

It’s Wales v Scotland for another of those atmospheric weekends in Cardiff

Wales v Scotland [1]

But it is a strange old game with some very odd sights to behold, none less than the quintessential Scottish characteristic of Men in Skirts!

Men in skirts

Local accommodations and hostelries can’t help themselves in an effort to engage with the event:

Hotel entranceRugby pub

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile people congregate at the stadium waiting for the arrival of the gladiators to the arena…

Stadium

And never has the back end of a bus been so celebrated…

Back end of team busMeanwhile it is the action on the pitch that counts most, and at the end of another hard fought game a brave Scotland succumb to the passion of the Welsh with a final score of…

Final score

Some of the national flowers show their excitement at the result…

Winning daffodils

And it is the home colours that flutter over St Mary’s Street in the heart of Cardiff…

Wales v Scotland [2] Until we speak again may all of your balls be egg-shaped!

Balls of bewilderment

Relaxed rugbyI’ve been hearing a lot about some Rugby World Cup just starting, and it seems to be invading my home city in very strange ways. It seems to me to be a weird game in more ways than one. Firstly there is that ball, it rolls where it wants to… hang on here, I’m the one in charge, I decide what goes where in this place.

I saw some of a match on the ‘couch potato’s’ TV last night, and from what I could see it was just a bunch of men jumping and diving all over the place, and throwing each other on the floor in a frenetic way. So I’ve decided to adopt a more relaxed approach to the game.

Meanwhile, after an early morning’s flick and a snooze I thought I would check out what is going on around Cardiff city centre on this first of eight Millennium Stadium match days. The in-house ‘domestic grump’ keeps going on about plastic glasses, whatever that’s supposed to mean. Apparently, this so-called gentleman’s game watched by supporters who mingle and banter in friendly style still invoke city centre pubs to adopt plastic glasses for beer all day on match days.

Anyway, the quality of the beer wasn’t uppermost in my mind as I strolled around town.

Try Inn [3]

Sanity was of greater imperative as I turned into Duke Street… it seems even the iconic Cardiff Castle is not immune to World Cup fever…

Castle rugby ball [1]

As the world arrives on the shores of the United Kingdom for these matches over the next 6 weeks I anticipated strange things would be happening involving balls, but a sight on Queen Street even had me somewhat dumbfounded…

People,balancing act

Until we speak again I am going to be bewildered Bella, but may all of your balls be baffle free.

The hard yards

There seems to be no hiding placeYoda eyes down [1] in international rugby, but Juno was clear that the strange rituals of putting heads between a team-mates thighs in order to push a group of guys a mere foot or two backwards was something definitely worth switching off to. As for the idea of kicking the ball 50 yards into the sky and 10 yards forward, just so you can run full speed into an opponent always seemed to her to be a strange premise for a sport. But, whatever the quirks, Wales v Ireland is going to be a game of intrigue and celtic passions. A true sporting battle is on, with high stakes… for Ireland a victory means the chance of a Grand Slam is still on. Victory for Wales leaves them still with a slim chance of winning the Championship. And all of this happening at the beginning of a World Cup year!

So where will the battle be fought? In the first instance, Ireland have an unassailable advantage:

Brains-BlackRugby ball

 

 

V.

 

The young pretender from the Cardiff brewery presents well, but what is going to compete with one of the world’s most renowned liquid refreshments? Step outside of South Wales and who has even heard of Brains Black?

Then there is the matter of the scrums, and the arena of myth and legend suggests that the Irish might again be too strong:

521deee337ca784c14752e9d20f65b62

leps

 

 

V.

 

 

 

 

So when it comes to the real hard yards, where the big guns aim to charge through the defensive lines of the opposition, both sides are well equipped with their examples of the hard stuff, but arguably Welsh anthracite reality may triumph in this phase of the game over Irish mythology:

Coal [1]ii-kissing-the-blarney-stone

 

 

V.

 

 

 

 

 

‘Emblematic’ is an often overused phrase in so many walks of life, and none more than sport. So, in such an emblematic game, where emblematic heroes will have emblematic moments, with the potential to provide us all with a truly emblematic result of emblematic proportions… it is important that we look at the emblems each country are able to call on in order to underscore their emblematic expectations.. It seems obvious to me that in a game of rock, paper, scissors the leek will most likely crush the four-leaf clover:

l_dfour-leaf-clover

 

 

 

V.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, my intrigued reader, you are left no clearer about how this match is going to play itself out. With an array of plants and vegetables, rocks and stones, and liquid dark stuff to line the sensibilities before, during and after the event… fill the arena, bring on the gladiators, take possession of cultural and religious metaphors of your own choice. Then, at the final whistle just add a joyous and decorous home support…

IMAG1561

IMAG1562

This has been Juno’s View of rugby, but until we speak again to find out what she thought of the current Cricket World Cup you will need to go somewhere lower on the excitement scale than baking cupcakes or creative crochet patterns.

[With thanks to http://www.2beerguild.co.uk, http://www.interest.com, http://www.sassycats.com, http://www.irishindeed.com, http://www.data-wales.co.uk, http://www.themissfitchronicles.com and http://www.universityobserver.ie for posting the images used to illustrate this post].