Don’t mess with Valleys Girls!

So, there I was, a bedraggled and tired travelling cat arriving home from a fabulous trip to the USA. When all of a sudden I am metaphorically arrested by a sight that would send so many Americans into rapturous delight…

Police woman with gun

Why, in American culture there are those who believe in the right that this is what every city street should look like. As for me, in my addled brain, all I could muster as a fleeting thought was an old mantra for self-respecting city cats, Don’t mess with Valleys Girls!”

So, what was going on here? I like the implied message, but couldn’t see how it was meant to be a homecoming for me…

Welcome banner

However, the image did bring to mind the old saying: “lift up any pony tail, and what you’ll find beneath is a horses ass!”, Best be careful who you aim that description at; after all, “Don’t mess with Valleys Girls!”

In the meantime, it seems like all roads home are blocked off…

Tyndall Street

Lloyd George Avenue

Could it be preparations for the stilettoed hordes descending on the city for a long weekend of perma-tanned indiscretion? If so, then the advancing mob above are surely unwittingly walking into a psychodrama beyond their wildest imaginations. After all, “Don’t mess with Valleys Girls!”

It seems that the ‘lionesses of liquor’ have already set up a roll-call of their preferred end of night play-things, with the castle walls providing a historic backdrop for contemporary fantasies. If you don’t want to end up strung up on the battlements, “Don’t mess with Valleys Girls!”

Castle

As it turns out, there was a simple explanation for all this metropolitan malarkey… it was the small matter of the biggest sporting event on the planet this year happening just around the corner from home. As much as I have fantasised about Cardiff City FC going to the Champions League Final, it could be a long wait; so the Champions League Final had come to Cardiff City! For the victors, the spoils, and the opportunity to kiss ‘old big ears’ (affectionate name for the trophy, not one of the belles of bedlam).

Modric jubilant

Until we speak again, all I can advise Luca Modric in the image above, is kiss the metal by all means fella, but “Don’t mess with Valleys Girls!”

Mugwump logic

I thought a mugwump was somebody independent of politics, or if you look at US literature it’s a Native American reference to a leader. So, thanks to the peroxide poser in the Foreign Office, the fashion for political soundbites leaves us with more heat than light.

White cat blue eyes

Careful who you’re calling a peroxide poser! I’ve got your bluebirds in my sight.

The current reference is prefaced with ‘mutton-headed’ and directed at the so-called leadership of the Labour Party. And, on the back of such confidence, the leader of the expected all-conquering English Tories heads into the Labour heartlands of Wales, gunning to take a Tory victory for the first time in 100 years or more. Political skies are looking grey wherever Labour supporters look…

Gloomy skies

But, surely the king mugwump isn’t going to lose one of his few remaining heartlands? This is Wales we are talking about. They don’t play Men of Harlech before each home match at the Cardiff City Stadium for nothing… with it’s line of ‘Welshmen never yield’ there is a strong message to any English insurgents.

Which brings me to the last home match of the season, as the marauding Geordies of Newcastle bring the largest away contingent… Magpies nesting at the home of the Bluebirds! Talking of peroxide posers… Newcastle United playing in anything other than their famous black and white stripes is unbelievable; but surely any mugwumps in blue are ready to repel the English confidence…

City v Newcastle

They might have already been promoted to the Premier League, but a Newcastle contingent in a mood to party were hardly going to obey the script of defiance writ large in the Welsh heartlands, were they? Well if you’re Jeremy Corbyn, or any of the faceless Labour wonders in Cardiff Bay, don’t look at the final score [Cardiff City 0 Newcastle United 2].

Until we speak again, if this match was prescient, then Juno exemplifies what the Welsh Labour stronghold has to offer in the coming General Election.

Playing dead

Leadership cats

It’s been a week where cats in leadership roles have again stirred very different emotions, and focused attention on the meaning of ‘doing a number 2’!

Litter trays at the ready… as Donald Trump talked in the USA of planning for a second term, though his penchant for Twitter should excite many cats to assume a pose ready to pounce. Then our very own Jeremy Corbyn in the UK showed us what walking away from leadership looks like when he denied any responsibility for a catastrophic outcome in one, and a lacklustre outcome in a second political by-election.

pexels-photo

So, not for the first time, I find myself reflecting that when the despondency of current politics deals you a couple of blows, there is always the surreal nature of football to provide that pick-me-up. No, not the double-quick time of Claudio Ranieri’s despicable departure at Leicester City. I’m talking our very own leader, the mighty Neil Warnock talking about his intentions for a second season at the Cardiff City Stadium.

The white-shirted interloper cats from London, in the form of Fulham FC, arrived with claws poised ready to deal with any bluebirds in their line of sight.

animal-sitting-animals-inside

But, with the home team led at the front with two goals from our striker, Kenneth Zohore, an entertaining and uplifting match ended Desmond (Tutu)

2-2

Until we speak again, I fondly remember Juno and Bella as two cats that exhibited particularly feline leadership traits of sleeping, eating and often looking at me with a general air of disdain.

Deception of numbers

The Momentum of the Corbynistas defies belief. You just can’t beat an activist when it comes to the world of delusion. Let’s take it as a given that within the Labour tribe there is nothing even slightly resembling a credible alternative narrative at this point in time.

The issue is the numbers game… the same activists point to their numbers as the movement that will sweep their ideology into government in just over 3 years time; that they are somehow representative of a potential majority of the electorate. Any challenge that their membership represents anything less than the bright light advancing from a horizon to illuminate our dark lives will be met with instant derision.

you-and-the-horizon

Talking of the delusion of numbers… there is nothing like a modern day struggling Championship football club for slavishly trying to attract the paying advertisers with promises of attendances that simply defy belief. Why, just this weekend the claim is that 14,754 people attended a match where the number of goals actually threatened to outnumber the spectators. Count the thousands for yourself…

city-v-barnsley-1city-v-barnsley-2

For the record the final score on this week before Christmas was Cardiff City 3 Barnsley 4.

Until we speak again, Juno always knew it would be slightly quicker to count the number of people at the local match than it would be to count the number of leaves outside her window. On occasions her world view could be marginally more exciting, and certainly more interesting than listening to a politically driven ideological diatribe based in the fantasies of a deluded minority.

plotting-an-escape

Overcoming life’s inequalities

Have you heard the one about David and Goliath? If you haven’t, just ask Zac Goldsmith. Anyone remember Zac? He’s the rich boy, former Tory politician who came up against the son of a Muslim bus driver, or so we were constantly told.

Well, so-called smart guy Zac didn’t exactly display many smarts in his campaign to become Mayor of London; deciding to follow some ill-conceived advice about pitching a mendacious focus on racism that completely back-fired. Mr Khan played the clever game, and is now the much liked Mayor of London. Go for it, Sadiq!

Well, dear silver spooned Mr G. then decides to play the ‘resignation on principle’ card. Playing to the favours of his super-rich constituents in a very leafy part of south-west London in order to be returned to parliament as an independent (aka a Tory in an ill-fitting disguise) . On this occasion the Tory wealth machine complacently came up against a Lib-Dem (who are they again?) woman, Sarah Olney (about as high profile as her political party these days). Sarah and the L-D’s play a canny game, and guess what? Yes, she is returned as the surprise new MP for Richmond Park.

half-cat-half-doorJuno wasn’t exactly backward in coming forward with the canny game. Here she plays the half-cat-half-door routine to lull unsuspecting goliath’s into her trap…

So, what has this got to do with anything, you ask? Well, just last night we had the appetising spectacle of a bluebird coming up against a wolf.

No contest, you shout! Well, just ask Zac Goldsmith about no contests. Certainly before the game started there was a moment (see the two opposing players nearest the camera) where the essentially dog routine of sniffing arses looked about to break out in a public place…

city-v-wolves-1

city-v-wolves-2Two minutes into the match, and a thunderous strike from the wolf leaves the bluebird reeling… the obvious outcome of such inequality is only a matter of time. But, canny games are afoot, as the home team contrive to imitate a bunch of turkeys in search of a christmas oven. When David Coleman described football as a game of two halves, he was clearly clairvoyant with a futuristic view of this match. Two second half strikes from the Bluebirds and they put the canny in the can.

Until we speak again, for the record the final score on the hazy scoreboard represents Cardiff City (Bluebirds) 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves) 1.

Struggles of the Liberal Elite

First came Brexit then came Trump… the certainties of years of liberal ways of thinking and being were suddenly and unceremoniously being thrown out.

The power of numbers can be an amazing thing… for the minority who blatantly command the proceeds of wealth, to the detriment of the majority who are left to pick up the tab, there will eventually be one outcome…

down-the-panSpare a thought (but little else) for the greedy who now find themselves in times of turmoil and upheaval. A mere flicker of hope from the recesses of a Richmond Park by-election may well ignite flimsy thoughts of a return to the promised land, but a lack of leadership does not bode well.

And so it came to pass, on a cold afternoon in the Cardiff City Stadium. The liberal elite of London-by-Sea (aka Brighton & Hove Albion) high-rolled into town, with thoughts of rising to the number one spot in the Championship table, and a step closer to the promised riches of the Premier League. But this is the home of the Bluebirds, a solemn breed who have all-too-briefly tasted a seat at the top table, and harbour strange thoughts of returning. Strange indeed, as there seems to be a new take on the concept of enlightened leadership…

bartley-2

reading-paper-and-books

 

For the record, the travelling Liberal Elite of Brighton were reduced to 10 men shortly before the conclusion of a 0-0 bore-fest. An afternoon that brought an outcome not too dissimilar to that of recent referendum and election experiences, for those with aspirations that ignore the reality for the majority.

Until we speak again, Broadsheet Bella seems to be looking in vain for a way out of the present darkening days (and Cardiff City FC struggle to find a way out of the grip of the relegation zone).

The politics of slaughter

A clear summer’s evening in Cardiff earlier this year provided the backdrop to centenary commemorations of the start of the Battle of the Somme

the-field-5

So, it was fitting that another field, that of the Cardiff City Stadium, fell silent for a minute in memory of the ending of the colossal loss of life…

remembrance

Thus began another epitome of futile gestures! As generals stand on the sidelines, barking orders for younger men to throw themselves forward in attack. All who bore witness had nothing less in mind than slaughter of the opposition.

With all guns blazing, there was little to separate the two sides as the time arrived for the site of battle to fall silent…

city-v-huddersfield

 

As the respective generals present their politician-styled banalities dressed up as post-match punditry, the locals claim the bragging rights from a Cardiff City 3 Huddersfield Town 2 victory.

reading-the-paper-2

 

Until we speak again, it might be useful to take a leaf out of Bella’s studied approach to political reportage.