Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

2 01 2011

It’s the last day of 2010 and the papers are full of New Year Honours. I search high and low but to no avail. I can’t find my name anywhere. I thought I might have rated a mention for services to education but hey, there’s always next year – ask Brucie!

Actually I find the whole honours thing tedious in the extreme and think it is becoming increasingly farcical.

Thankfully we have been spared the sight of the next X Factor series being played out in front of Sir Simon, despite an intense media lobby.

And I can’t for the life of me see what the justification is for knighting a man responsible for selling off Cadbury, one of the few remaining Great British institutions, to that Krafty American outfit. I’m sure the nation’s chocoholics will be with me on this one.

As for bestowing the top honour on the chairman of BA, who has been conspicuously unsuccessful in resolving an ongoing industrial dispute with the airline’s cabin crew, I’m sure those unlucky enough to have their holiday flights grounded will be thrilled for him.

One of the few saving graces was the old Diva herself, Annie Lennox, picking up an OBE, not for her musicality which remains awesome, but for her Aids charity work in Africa.      

Despite her most recent offering, Christmas Cornucopia – an album of carols, Annie can do no wrong in my eyes!

She summed it all up nicely: “As somewhat of a renegade, it either means I’ve done something thing terribly right – or they’ve done something terribly wrong……..I’m getting my fake leopard pillbox hat dusted and ready.”

Cardiff is as good a place as any to celebrate the passing from one year to next, particularly as it is the official terrestrial residence of the Time Lord himself.

Sadly there was no sign of the Tardis, and then success. With the midnight hour fast approaching I glanced upwards to the heavens and saw a flashing light passing overhead. I’m convinced it was the Doctor, but then again we were right beneath the flight path to Cardiff airport!   

In recent times we have celebrated New Year with friends who relocated from the Shire to Devon a few years ago. This was our second year at the Mercure Hotel and Chris (who has it happens was born in Cardiff) and I checked in early to our 12th floor room which had great views over the city towards the bay and the Millennium Centre.    

Cardiff Blues were taking on the Ospreys at the Cardiff City Stadium (which turned out to be a thrilling local derby finishing 27-25) and that would have been a pleasant way to spend the afternoon but without a ticket, due to an acute lack of forward planning, I joined the pack and scrummaged in the Winter Sales instead.

I was  engaging in a spot of self-congratulatory contemplation, for restricting my spending to a copy of Stephen Fry’s autobiographical, Moab is my Washpot, reduced to £3.00, (I know Gem, I should really have read it before now) when I spied a pair of Caterpillar boots that took my fancy.   

It goes without saying, of course, that these were not in the Schuh sale. As I guiltily keyed in my pin number I was consoled by the thought that I was doing my bit to kick starting the economic recovery.  

Later as I lingered at the end of Queen Street, gazing fondly upon the founding father of the NHS and the Welfare State, Aneuran Bevin (1897-1960), and surrounded by a throng of perma-tanned extras from Gavin and Stacey, including more than a few Nessa lookalikes, I wondered what Nye would have made of the health of his nation.

I stand corrected, if the stats prove otherwise, but Cardiff must be a championship contender in the choking smokers leagues – any one for complementary New Year nicotine patches?   

The early part of the evening was spent exchanging twelve months of news with our friends while wining and dining at the quirkily named Dizzy Llama, on Churchill St. The food was great, extremely good value, and I would highly recommend it if you are ever down by there!

With 2011 fast approaching we joined crowds of ageing Children of the Revolution to rock in 2011 with winners of BBC1’s ‘Battle of the Fantasy Bands,’ TRextasy.      

All of Mark Bolan’s glam rock ‘70’s hits were banged out; we rode a white swan, got it on and jitterbug boogied until it was time to ‘tak a cup o’ kindness yet for auld lang syne!’      

So with ‘another year over and a new one just begun’, Blwyddyn Newydd Dda from Cardiff!





2 responses

3 01 2011
Another Phil

Good to see you in philasophical mode mixing past with present but with an eye to the future. Look forward to touching base with you through your blogging and perhaps a rendezvous for a pint and some footy….another year, another beer

All the best for 2011 to the Aldridges

4 01 2011

Hi Phil
It’s really good to hear from you. It would be good to catch up over a beer.
A year since retirement began and I really don’t miss it at all!
It’s been great being able to sit up into the early hours and get up at the crack to watch the Ashes without having to worry about going to work!

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