Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Time Flies

Ok, this is silly. Its still July, and there was a leaflet in yesterday’s shopping from Tesco headed up “Back to School”. The kids don’t have a chance to get a break nowadays.

Even worse, the welsh cake stall in Pontypridd market was spotted selling mince pies last week, a full 5 months early.

What’s next? Cadbury’s Crème Eggs in the summer? Oh yes, we’ve already got them.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Glamorgan lose at Ebbw Vale

In the end the weather and Glamorgan’s dismal form put me off going to the game. For the first time in 30+ years, Glamorgan played at Ebbw Vale and I wasn’t there to see it. And a good job too.

The start was delayed, and when it did get underway the game was reduced from 40 overs to 21 overs. And Middlesex duly saw off another poor challenge from Glamorgan, winning by 89 runs. The scorecard tells the tale of another dismal showing.

The 4-day game at Abergavenny was abandoned without a ball being bowled, the first time in history that Glamorgan have lost an entire home game to the weather.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Shed Notes

Sorry to be a bit late on this. A couple of weeks ago was Shed Week, as dreamt up, managed and promoted by Uncle Wilco, he of Readers Sheds. Shed Week incorporated Shed of the Year (pictured), and was featured, amongst other places, in the Daily Mail and on Radio 2.

Make sure that you check out Wilco's website and get your shed posted. You could be on your way to winning Shed of the Year 2008.

Here’s a typical wossname from Uncle Wilco:

Welcome to the new but old shed HQ of readersheds.co.uk. I hope to run the shed empire from this humble green shed. Well here's the checklist:

  • It's Green - check
  • It' got a bit of damp - check
  • It's got electricity - check
  • Comfy chair - check
  • Signed photo of the Beeny - check
  • Potterings - check
  • Plenty of spiders - check
  • Empty vino bottle - check
  • Start of the shed empire - priceless

Ebbw Vale Notes

The £300 million redevelopment of the old steelworks site has finally been approved. Planning permission has been given for more than 700 homes, shops, a hospital, learning campus, theatre, leisure centre, school and train station to be built on the site over the next ten years.

Here are a couple of reports, from the South Wales Andrex and the Beeb (of course the BBC probably made this story up).

What’s in a Name?

Of course, recent events have led Cath and me to start musing about possible names for the baby when it arrives. I’m not going to give anything away (we’ve still not a very long short-list), but overhearing a few parents has helped to rule out a couple of names.

First, at the hospital when cath had her first scan there was Wolfie (short for Wolfgang? Or are his parents fans of Citizen Smith?) The yesterday, there was a right-on mum on the train with her daughter Liberty. Er…

Travel Notes

I was going to write a piece complaining about it taking an hour in rush hour traffic the other Friday to get from Cardiff to Newport on the M4.

But that pales into insignificance when compared to some horror stories about travels last Friday. A couple of colleagues took 18 hours to travel back to south Wales from London. They were travelling by train, and then transferred to bus, car and I think kayak. Then another friend took 48 hours to get from Plymouth back to Cardiff.

Makes me long for the Tresaith traffic jam of a few weeks ago. That was a herd of cows blocking the lane as they returned from being milked.

Squirrel Notes

Thus far very little damage but a great deal of eating by the squirrels on our bird table. Worryingly, if the squirrels are raiding the bird table in July, it looks like its going to be a long Veale vs squirrel winter.

In their defence though, the bird table is the only thing in Britain above sea level nowadays.

Mouse Notes

The wildlife seems to have taken a liking to Merthyr Road. The latest sighting is of a field mouse in the kitchen. They’ve been resident in our shed for months now, but one of them has been brave enough to eat the food out of Marvin’s bowl.

The pest control guy from RCT was duly called and there’s been no sign since.

Cricket Notes

OK. Almost four months into the cricket season, and I still haven’t seen or played in a single match. My decision not to invest in a Glamorgan season ticket appears to be a good one, as they managed only one home 20/20 game during the monsoon season. I’ll hopefully get to see them in Ebbw Vale this Sunday when they play a 40-over game against Middlesex (weather permitting). They’re also in Abergavenny from tomorrow for a 4-day game against Leicestershire.

As for the Haddocks, they’ve had hundreds of games washed out and have managed just four games. We currently sit in mid-table mediocrity.

Rugby Notes

The weather makes the mind turn to the forthcoming Ebbw Vale rugby season. It kicks off with a few friendlies (including a home one vs Plymouth Albion) before the league starts with the home opener vs Swansea on 1 September. The full fixture list is on the Ebbw Vale RFC website.

Friday, July 13, 2007

New 7 Wonders

A revised version of the Seven Wonders of the World was published last weekend. I’m always sceptical of any lists compiled from votes, text messages, etc, but it’s pretty hard to argue with the final list.

The new Seven Wonders are deemed to be:

· The Great Wall of China
· Petra, Jordan
· The Colosseum, Italy
· The Taj Mahal, India
· Chichén Itzá, Mexico
· Machu Picchu, Peru
· Christ the Redeemer statue, Brazil

The Pyramids of Giza, as the only remaining of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, was made an honorary new Seven Wonder.

I thought I was well-travelled, but the Colosseum and the Pyramids are the only places on this list that I have visited. I clearly need a few more holidays.

It’s raining golf balls

I though it odd that a golf ball turned up in our back garden, and now I know why.

As this report in last week’s Pontypridd Observer attests, our house has been in the firing line from a bunch of ejits who have taken to wacking golf balls from the Common high up above our road down onto the unsuspecting people, cars and houses down below.

Thankfully “nine thugs” have been arrested after a couple of local vigilantes caught the group in the act one night. Hopefully they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I guess that means a £20 fine and an admonishment of “don’t do it again”.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Restaurant Notes

Cath and I went to the Caesars Arms in Creigiau with Lorna and Uncle Wilco on Tuesday night. It’s always slightly strange to have to queue to pick your meat/fish, but on the other hand you can see the quality of what you’re going to get.

Good food and a very lively atmosphere for a Tuesday evening. Not cheap, but good.

Things you wish you could say at work…

  1. I can see your point, but I still think you’re full of it.
  2. I see you’ve set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
  3. I’ll try being nicer if you try being smarter.
  4. It sounds like English, but I can’t understand a word you’re saying.
  5. I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid.
  6. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
  7. I have plenty of talent and vision. I just don’t give a damn.
  8. Thank you, we are all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.
  9. The fact that no one understands you doesn’t mean you are an artist.
  10. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.
  11. It’s a thankless job but I’ve got a lot of Karma to burn off.
  12. Do I look like a people person?
  13. This isn’t an office. It’s hell with fluorescent lighting.
  14. I started out with nothing and still have most of it left.
  15. Sarcasm is just one of the services we offer.
  16. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
  17. I’m trying to imagine you with personality.
  18. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
  19. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
  20. How do I set a laser printer to stun?

Global drying?

Cath and I (and baby to be) spent last weekend down at our caravan at Gwalia Falls in Tresaith. And, shock horror, we had a rain-free day on Saturday. Admittedly, heavy showers were scattered through Sunday, but given the recent weather, I’ll take 1½ dry days out of 2. Global warming must be cooling off (except in Hull-under-Humber of course).

That was probably due to the collective efforts at Live Earth, the televised concert held at Wem-ber-ley Stadium on Saturday. Didn’t see all of it thankfully, but these are my thoughts on what I did see:

Genesis needn’t have bothered reforming. Uninterested-looking, the only issue of note was cuddly Phil Collins saying “f**k” on BBC1 on Saturday afternoon. Of course, he is part of Ray’s “axis of evil” – Collins, Hucknell and Williams.

Simon le Bon asked the audience “hands up all those who didn’t come here by private plane?” and then raised his own hand. What a hypocritical ass. What about the hundreds of other private flights you've done this year, eejit?

Madonna’s eco-dirge was truly appalling.

Terrance Stamp’s ordered the stadium to turn the lights out. Well, as many as health and safety would allow. A wonderful piece of tokenism.

The Foo Fighters were by a country mile the best turn of the afternoon. Dave Grohl looked like he actually cared, as opposed to the majority of others who seemed to be going through the motions.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Boy, girl or accountant?

There’s news from the Janes-Veale household. We’re expecting. Well, actually Cath is expecting and I was just briefly involved in the process.

The baby is due in late January, hopefully clashing with a Wales game rather than an Ebbw one.

Here’s the first scan. There’s a baby in there somewhere.