I enjoyed the last of the summer last weekend at Duffryn Gardens with my friends Abigail and Bethan. They don’t go to the same school as me, so it was nice to catch up and reminisce about old times.
The first school trip of the year is looming as we’re off to Castell Coch this week. It’s a fairy castle and we’re going to explore the castle, listen to fairy stories and practice sword-fighting. I’m looking forward to the sword-fighting most of all.
Mum’s friend Lou has been visiting this weekend, and her girls Eggbert and Tess-egg have been really nice to me. Tess played with all my toys and showed me how to get cakes from the kitchen when Mum and Dad aren’t looking.
After a slow start, Ebbw Vale’s dominance up front paid dividends and by the end it was a rout over Tredegar. 59-17 was the final score, and that came after a 0-10 start.
Two yellow cards in quick succession (and frankly the ref bottled another within a minute of the first card being handed out) turned the game, and your correspondent’s worries disappeared at it rained tries (seven of them in the second half).
Scorers: Tries for Nicky Coughlin, Tom McPherson (2), Tom Daly (2), Tom Ashmead (2), Calum Brennan and a penalty try. Conversions for Dan Haymond (4), Dorian Jones (2) and Charlie Simpson (2).
Tough to argue with the choice of flanker Ronnie Kynes as MotM, but McPherson but must have run him close.
Next Saturday it’s a rather tougher encounter when Ebbw travel to another Gwent neighbour, Newbridge.
I think that, rugby-wise, it was a perfect day yesterday. A day when Wales and Ebbw win and England lose doesn’t roll around very often, so it was one to savour.
I think that Wales proved their potential for running rugby and England proved their ability to be clueless when it matters.
I think that Mike Phillips’ try was one Gareth Edwards would have been proud of. Good way to make up for being thrown out of McDonalds.
I think that France were typically French, and who knows which French team shows up next Saturday – the one that lost to Tonga or the one that blew England away.
I think that Australia are impossible to rule out. They beat South Africa without having any ball. The big question is whether New Zealand will allow them any more ball than South Africa did.
I think that I hate the throat-slash haka that New Zealand use when they are bored with their “traditional” one.
A lot of the press carried the fact that the Scarlets played their 5,000th game last month. Now, that’s impressive going for a regional team that was formed in 2002 to represent the region of West and North Wales.
There’s a team called Llanelli which existed back in the past and post 2002 has plied its trade in the Premiership. On the other hand, the Scarlets is a region which has Llanelli, Llandovery and Carmarthen Quins, amongst others as their feeder sides. The fact that this PR guff from the Scarlets hasn’t been challenged in the media just shows how much of a sham the “regional” set-up in Wales really is, and does a disservice to their “feeder” club.
It's guff like this that stops me having any interest in "regional" rugby.
Website of the Week
Anyway, he is collecting signatures for a petition to make financial education a compulsory part of the school curriculum. The petition says:
“It's a national disgrace that in the 20 years since introducing student loans, we’ve educated our youth into debt when they go to university, but never about debt. We're a financially illiterate nation, with millions caught by mis-selling, over-borrowing and being ripped off. Is it any surprise we’ve just had a debt imbued financial crisis. This must change. Companies spend billions on marketing and teaching their staff to sell – it's time we got buyers' training. The most cost effective way to start is to ensure every child in the country gets a basic understanding of personal finance & consumer rights before leaving school. This isn’t a large resource requirement. Some schools already do it, but the majority don’t and that needs to end. Unless it's compulsory, head teachers can’t prioritise for it. 97% of people support this, yet no one will take up the baton. We have one of the world’s most complex consumer economies; it's time our children were taught how to thrive and survive in it.”
I’ve always been amazed that there is no domestic finances on any school curriculum, yet it’s probably one of the best things anyone can be taught. If you want to sign the petition you can do so here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/8903
My local (it’s almost at the bottom of the garden) is The Bunch of Grapes. It is holding a bottled beer festival on 14-16 October. 70 plus beers are listed on their website including a few American beers I have sampled when over the pond. I will try hard to find time to visit.
Thanks as always to Uncle Wilco for the heads-up.