Monday, June 29, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
A man with a budget did sigh,
I do not know how we’ll get by.
We need to make cuts,
No ifs and no buts,
What I need is a sign from on high!
Not bad for 10 minutes work, I reckon.
A chaotic presentation completely from the heart; I got the feeling that he could have talked all day about his life. And I would have happily listened.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I don’t know what this means for ESPN America, ESPN-lite for the UK and part of the Setanta package. It could be that ESPN will make the channel stand alone (as it did previously when it was NASN) or it could spell the end for widespread US sports coverage on British TV.
The course runs all week, and is residential, which means student accomodation. Yikes. I think ‘spartan’ would be a charitable description. The weather is as wonderful as this pic shows, and coffee breaks in a sunny courtyard feel very continental.
But no, its not a holiday, its 9 – 6 each day of intensive learning – lectures, workshops and group work designed to take the learning and translate it ways which it can be used to improve performance and make improvements back at my place of income generation. If you want to join in, you can watch the main lectures on the PSMW website.
PS – I’m updating the blog in the University’s computer lab whilst avoiding the organised karaoke in the Students Union bar. My team did come second in the quiz last night though.
The Sunday Times has another wonderful example of how the message can be distorted and the reader can assume the worst when redaction occurs; this from My Fair Lady ...
"I could have XXXXXXXed all night
I could have XXXXXXXed all night!
And still have begged for more.
I could have spread my XXXXXX
And done a thousand things I’ve never done before.”
And so now the management has to pick the team for Saturday’s 2nd Test. Tempted though they may be to hold faith with most of last Saturday’s team, the fact that the subs made such a good impression can’t be ignored and a few of them are going to get starts this time around.
My team: Byrne (if he’s fit, if not Kearney), Shane Williams, O’Driscoll, Roberts, Bowe, Jones, Phillips, Jenkins, Matthew Rees, Adam Jones, Adam Wyn Jones, Paul O’Connell (capt.), Croft, Heaslip, Wallace.
And I predict a Lions win.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Saturday we all went to Duffryn Gardens. Again. They do a mean ‘kid’s lunch’ which is pizza and spaghetti, strawberry milk and a banana or apple. And I hoover (or is it dyson) it all up.
I then got to ride my trike around the gardens. Well, actually I get pushed, but its still great fun. Mam and Dad sat under a big tree and I kicked my Mr Men ball around.
On Sunday we had a picnic at Chepstow Castle. We met up with Mam and Dad’s friends Pete & Sibylle and their little boy Sebastian. (Actually, he’s 8 and looked enormous to me.) I snoozed in the shade with Mam and Dad played rugby with Seb.
Monday I went in the paddling pool at Ponty Park with Nanna and Gramps.
Phew, in between that lot, I’ve hardly got time to keep up my part time job of reorganising all of Mam and Dad’s books and CDs.
Sri Lanka look unstoppable, with Dilshan (pictured) in brilliant form. It should be a South Africa v Sri Lanka final, but Gul’s bowling and Gayle’s batting mean that an upset could happen.
My picks? Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with Sri Lanka to win it all in Sumday's final.
Here’s a link to the BBC website with the official news. I had Wallace for his physical presence ahead of Martyn Williams and Monye was the prime choice to partner Bowe even before a strong showing against the Southern Kings on Tuesday.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Lee Byrne, Tommy Bowe, Brian O’Driscoll, Jamie Roberts, Ugo Moyne, Stephen Jones, Mike Phillips; Gethin Jenkins, Lee Mears, Phil Vickery, Alun Wyn Jones, Paul O’Connell (capt.), Tom Croft, Jamie Heaslip, David Wallace
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
But the biggest shock was Australia being knocked out. Played two, lost two. Still, they’ll have more time to prepare for the forthcoming Ashes series.
So now the top two from each group will advance to the semi-finals. None of the points from the first round of games carry forward to this stage – which means that England’s defeat doesn’t impact here at all. Someone’s got to come up with rules for these types of events which aren’t as contrived as this!
Group E: India, England, West Indies, South Africa
Group F: Pakistan, Ireland, Sri Lanka, New Zealand
My 50p bet would be on India and South Africa, New Zealand and Sri Lanka advancing.
My confidence on my feet grows and grows. In fact, I’m pretty fearless, and walk endlessly. My new favourite thing to do is push a baby pushchair or a shopping trolley around the house. I’ve got my first doll, but rather than dolls I like my Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy, and of course Bedtime Bear.
Mam and Dad are very pleased that my walking everywhere is wearing me out. That means that I sleep really well at night, and sometimes even have to be roused to get ready for crèche.
Last weekend was Nanna and Gramps’ 40th wedding anniversary, so we all went to stay with them in Swansea for the weekend. I went to Toys R Us, had lunch at the Swansea Waterfront Museum and then went for a walk along the front. I’ve done so much travelling that I think that the travel cot has been worn out. Gramps fixed it though, so that the cot won’t collapse in the middle of the night.
I stayed on with Mam at Nanna and Gramps when Dad went home Sunday night. I didn’t see him for two whole days. I think that I was too busy to miss him too much. He said that he missed me though.
Some changes at Little Inspirations. A couple of new kids have arrived at crèche, so I have had to show them the ropes. I’m one of the older ones in the Under-2s group, what with being 17 months now. Some new staff have started too, and Bethan and I are giving them the runaround – I suspect they may not come back for a second week!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The certainties: Lee Byrne at fullback, Brian O’Driscoll and Jamie Roberts at centre, Lee Mears (pictured scrong against the Sharks) at hooker. Er, and that’s it.
Probables: Tommy Bowe at wing, Stephen Jones and Mike Phillips as half backs, Gethin Jenkins and Euan Murray at prop, Paul O’Connell at 5, Jamie Heaslip at 8 and Tom Croft at blindside flanker.
Remaining battles: little Shane Williams/ Fitzgerald/ Monye, Hines/ AW Jones/ O’Callaghan, Williams/ Wallace.
But what do I know? And of course McGeechan's decision is the only one that matters.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Athletes are even posting tweets at half time of games. The same banalities that you get in post-match interviews. Sometimes the reporter’s filter helps protect us from some of the guff that celebs and sportsmen comes out with. Twitwits is a good term.
My solution has been to set up an automatic feed so that my blog posts go on Twitter and to Facebook too. That saves me having to go there and post just to prove that I’m still alive.
Sports Illustrated’s Norman Chad, sportswriter and self-proclaimed Couch Slouch, imagined how previous generations would have used Twitter…
Michelangelo: “Sistene chapel ceiling larger than it looks; back is killing me.
Christopher Columbus: “No sign of land yet.”
Robert Peary: “Man, its cold up here.”
This photo is of the Garden Festival that was held in Ebbw Vale in 1992. I had a season ticket for the festival and spent many an afternoon there, usually in the rain.
The Ebbw Vale Garden Festival was one, and the last, of just five such events:
Ebbw Vale (1992)
The concept for the festivals was to reclaim large areas of urban derelict land. The sites have all now been used for other things, just as it was planned. But as Blaenau Gwent MP Dai Davies says on the Garden Festival website, it’s a shame that more of the festival hasn’t been kept.
Many of the photos on the website feature Gryff, the festival’s mascot. I recall an Ebbw Vale rugby game when Gryff went onto the pitch to promote the festival. A ‘wag’ on the terrace shouted: “Ref, now there’s two clowns on the pitch!”
There are more Garden Festival pictures and history on this unofficial website.
Monday, June 08, 2009
The secretary says: "I'm sorry, Sir, we can't accept you here but there's a multi-racial club 10 minutes down the road."
He replies: "But I'm Usain Bolt!"
"Ok. Five minutes down the road".
Nowadays the train journey is tortuous. Busy. Noisy. Overcrowded. Slow. Expensive. Impossible to get any work done.
Network rail boast that punctuality has improved. No doubt it has, but that is because the scheduled journey times have got longer and longer. Its now over 2 hours from Cardiff to London Paddington. I’m sure that it used to be 20 minutes or so quicker than that in the not too distant past.
We shouldn’t complain about the rain. After all we did have a couple of weeks of pretty much non-stop wall-to-wall sunshine. It’s simply that the drainage doesn’t have the capacity to cope with the water in the valleys. The rain pours down the mountainside and ends up at the bottom of the valley – where the houses are.
The picture is Treforest, less than half a mile from home. It poured with rain on Saturday, but the lessons learned seem to be non-existent. There was exactly the same pattern of floods back in November. Cilfynydd and the A470 south of Abercynon. Rhydfelin. Treforest near Glyntaff cemetery. The railway bridge near the University of Glamorgan.
When I start looking at images like this one, I miss Alan Trow’s ‘Alien Worlds’ class at the University of Glamorgan, and roving the mountainside above Treforest armed with a telescope.
The Conservatives topped the voting in Wales. Who would have thunk it?
UKIP get as many seats as Labour. Who would have thunk it?
The Beeb has the full results here. Our MEPs are now Jill Evans (Palid Cymru), Derek Vaughan (Labour), Kay Swinburne (Conservative) and John Bufton (UKIP).
Frankly there are people out there with far more time and better writing and photography skills than I (such as this) that I realise I won’t win. But it’s an honour to be nominated…
Oh, and I get use the Blog Awards logo.
Monday, June 01, 2009
On Friday night nanna looked after me while mam and dad had a night out in Cardiff. My walking now means that by bedtime I’m completely knackered and so I’ve been sleeping better than ever over the past few weeks. Mam tells me that she gives me a ‘dream feed’ before she goes to bed, but I’m usually blissfully unaware.
Saturday was a whirlwind as I went to Hoffi Coffi for breakfast then dad and I went to Tescos for the weekly shop. By lunchtime we were off to the Green Park festival in Cross Keys, where I waved to everyone and toddled off on my own to explore. I usually keep looking around to check where mam and dad are though.
Went to Dyffryn Gardens on Sunday (pictured). It’s such a pretty place for a day out that mam and dad joined as members a few months ago. It’s just a few miles from Culverhouse Cross, and once you get past the throngs going to M&S and B&Q you enter a different, more tranquil world.
I had pizza in the coffee shop and scoffed most of it. I enjoy feeding myself now, but my messy hands mean that by the end of the meal I’ve managed to get food all over my face. I played on the big lawn in the afternoon, and then snoozed all the way home.
Another fun-packed weekend.
The weather was fabulous and Ava was happy to wander around and play with all the toys at the recycle stall. We sat under a tree to have lunch and then browsed the stalls and demonstrations; I really wanted to do my Ray Mears impression by making fire with the bushcraft demonstration team.
The centrepiece of the day was the Welsh worm-charming championships, which is reported in the South Wales Argus.
The production was put on by the students of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, part of the University of Glamorgan group. And whilst I can’t claim to understand much more than half of what was going on, it was a very impressive show. A minimalist and brooding set design and the sharp political plottings made the play seem current, quite an achievement since it was written in 1614.
A top evening out. I shall keep an eye out for further RWCMD productions. A nice way to mix entertainment with my UoG commitments.
It’s pathetic. He’s seemingly in such a hurry to get to his place of income generation that before the train gets anywhere near the station he’s up and standing at the door. And then there’s the queue to the ticket barriers. He’s content to barge his way through the others who are content to wait their turn. Ever heard of “excuse me”? er, no.
More evidence that the world is going to Hell in a handcart. With pushy-guy leading the charge.