Cardiff’s Pandora

The following is a few small anecdotes and observations I wrote for the section of the trainee paper I write for that we refer to as the Diary. Its my paltry stab at Private Eye reporting. Peter Cook, eat your heart out.

It can be a frustrating thing to live with a guy who’s a little work-shy. We’ve all been there – got in late after a long day only to find the sink piled high with dirty dishes, your last cookie freshly eaten, and the bathroom covered in razor trimmings.
It’s always difficult to know how  to approach it. There’s either the softly, softly approach, where you occasionally drop in a veiled comment about the rotting chicken carcass on the kitchen side a week after it was cooked, or there’s the note-leaving approach: “I’ve decided to call our resident mouse Ringo. We’re now knee deep in beer bottles and half-eaten kebabs. Do you think you could maybe…”
Alternatively, there’s the “get really angry and tell them they’re a lazy good for nothing and you can no longer stand to live in a house pigs would turn there noses up at” approach. It can be the most effective way forward.
However, if you possess a temper, proceed with caution. Just ask Andrew Cohen,43, of New Road, Porthcawl.  He got two-and-a-half years for stabbing his lazy flatmate in the arm with a kitchen knife after a conversation about housework.  In mitigation, his lawyer said: “Andrew Cohen was simply trying to carry out the wishes of his landlord.”  At least he drove the point home.

If a fellow politician decides to start throwing the phrase “ethnic cleansing” around when discussing the closure of a school, there are generally two ways to react. If the politician is a member of the opposition, you laugh heartily and set about sharpening the knives. If they are a member of your own party, then logic would be to lock the office door, climb under the desk and stay there for a good few days.
Unless, of course, your name is Rhodri Morgan, who yesterday publicly defended one of his constituency workers, Labour councillor Ramesh Patel, whose comments were recently described by Plaid Cymru leader Neil McEvoy as: “Absolutely disgusting and totally unacceptable. To compare an issue like ethnic cleansing to the education of speakers of the Welsh language is ridiculous. It is only right that Rhodri Morgan takes strong action against him.”
It’s brave and commendable to stick up for a mate like that, Rhodri. Unfortunately, this is politics, and the opposition parties are gearing up for a field day. It’s easy to climb in the ring. We wait to see how you ride the punches.

If you haven’t heard, England are visiting the Millennium Stadium this weekend. There will be blood, sweat and tears, and then the match will start. When the final whistle blows at around 7pm on Saturday, the face of English arrogance could be well and truly rubbed in Cardiff mud.
Or, the English will reassert themselves. Feeling like the underdog doesn’t sit well with them. They’ll keep it tight, kick the goals and then strut back to Twickenham. Their message will be clear: “Sorry lads, but it was a flash in the pan. Normal practice has resumed.”
Warren Gatland may be a Kiwi, but he understands how much this will mean to the people of Wales. He’s taking it seriously. His players are being put through their paces, drills and circuits and double press-ups all round. Everyone’s mind will be firmly focused on the job at hand.
At a press conference yesterday, Gatland was asked if he was worried about unwanted distractions undermining his squad’s preparations in the lead up to the match. He responded: “Well, you should come along to training later and you’ll see that…” His sentence trailed off as he noticed a trainee journalist across the room. “Christ, she’s got a nice arse.” Rome wasn’t built in a day I suppose.

Cardiff-born John Humphrys, the renowned journalist and presenter of the Today programme, has been earning a bit of extra pocket money by dusting off his tux and presenting the Card Awards.
For those not in the know, the Card Awards is an annual event celebrating the manifest achievements of the Credit Card Industry. They must’ve forgotten to check the news recently, because the credit card industry hasn’t exactly been lavished with praise over the last year or so.
Surely as the supplier of truth and insight, Mr Humphrys could have filled them in on the recession and all that. Maybe he was just lacking in credit.

Craig Bellamy has today received public backing from his current manager Mark Hughes after a drunken Welsh supporter questioned his commitment to the cause after the  friendly in Portugal on Wednesday. It begs the question, where would Craig Bellamy be without Mark Hughes?
As well as nursing him through an often rocky international career, Hughes has signed Bellamy twice at two separate clubs. He took him from Newcastle after Bellamy called his manager Graeme Souness a liar, threatened to fake an injury and sent abusive text messages to Alan Shearer. Bellamy played his best football under Hughes at Blackburn, and then left to try his hand at Liverpool.
That lasted for a season before he was sold to West Ham, ostensibly because he couldn’t cut it at the highest level, but also because he decided to assault a fellow player with a golf club the night before the most important game of the season.
When he realised Hughes was willing to sign him again, Bellamy refused to train until West Ham sanctioned a transfer.
Hughes said: “No-one can question Craig’s commitment to Wales and his country and his team.”
On the strength of Bellamy’s nomadic club career and his special ability to throw his toys out of the pram, you can see why the question was asked. He is lucky to be able to count on Hughes.

Tom Jones showed off a new hairstyle on BBC breakfast this morning. His hair and goatee were snowy white, providing a slightly more senior look. Oh no, sorry, the word “senior” has been blacklisted by the Ageing Services in California in its media guide on ageing.
Tom Jones showed off his latest hairdo this morning that gave him a slightly more elderly sheen. Ah, sorry, “elderly” has been blacklisted too.
Tom Jones showed off a fresh new look this morning, of the “older citizen” variety. Only heaven can help us now.


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