THE cops are keeping a close eye on the inmates of Wales on Sunday these days. On Friday two of our number were being pursued by the Boys in Blue for their nefarious out-of-work activities. First, the Voice of God got a call from Plod - accused of speeding away in his far-too-big BMW without paying for his petrol.
It's fair to say the Voice was a bit taken aback by it all and vowed to return to the scene of the crime to sort it out. Fortunately he was able to find the receipt and only then did he realise he had been charged for a whole host of confectionary he had purchased - but not the petrol for which he was being pursued. It was all put down as a misunderstanding and the Voice sheepishly brushed aside the moths escaping from his wallet to hand over the relevant dinero.
Then it came to light that we had another crook in our midst. The Wonderful Withers answered the phone to be greeted by "ello, ello, ello, you've been a naughty boy my san". Apparently he was accused on disturbing the neighbours with one of his over-loud, over-long parties at home. Well, that would be if he had any parties - or any mates to invite.
Truth of the matter he was over 150 miles away, at home in Crewe, while his landlord Dirty Tim invited the cream of the Welsh glitterati around to make sweet music in the back garden. Apparently said party went on from mid evening until 4pm the following afternoon - no wonder the neighbours weren't best pleased.
The police obviously discovered Withers' name on the electoral roll and decided it was time he had his collar felt. Withers banged up in jail among rapists, sodomists and other ne'er-do-wells? Doesn't bare thinking about, really.
This weekend the Wonderful One and the Fabulous BB are both celebrating their birthdays. On Friday, we took the chance to have an early celebration and were soon in full swing. With Cardiff inundated by New Zealand and French rugby fans here for there World Cup quarter final (sadly, Wales didn't get this far) it made for a good backdrop for a knees-up. And where better to go than the City Arms, where my own personal resident DJ Jase was on hand to provide us with the music.
Once again I felt it was only right that I request the loathsome ELO song Mr Blue Sky - mainly because when Withers is jigging around to it like a demented hobgoblin he actually looks cheery for about the only time of the year. After that I needed an antidote, though, and it came in the form of the Stones' Midnight Rambler and London Calling by the Clash. The only way to truly get into the swing of things was to wrap my tie tightly around my head and scare the living daylights out of those sober French and Kiwi visitors... Mr Le Debusier looked pretty stunned as well, so it happens.
On Saturday, with the hangover now fully kicking in, at least it was an interesting day. Transferring back to the Sports Desk to fill in for the holidaying Smashy, I had the pleasure of watching "Welshman" Brammy muttering words of hatred at the TV as smug Jim Rosenthal waxed lyrical about England's win over Australia.
But even that shock result was nothing compared to the sensational French victory over the All Blacks, or All Greys as they were on this occasion. There were plenty of Kiwi tears washing down St Mary's Street by 10.30pm, I can tell you.
To celebrate this splendid triumph I might as well pass on the French Cassoulet recipe that I rustled up this week. I had to make a few changes, though, on the basis that I didn't have all the necessary ingredients. Here is what I used...
Four Toulouse sausages
Three slices of smoked middle bacon, roughly chopped
1/2 pound minced beef
A tin of butter beans and a tin of black eyed beans (these can be substituted by any bean really, and the recipe recommends Haricot beans)
One carrot peeled and chopped into large chunks
One sliced carrot
One piece of celery, chopped in two
Half an onion
salt and pepper
two cloves chopped garlic
breadcrumbs to cover
Heat oven at gas mark 4
Rinse beans and put into a saucepan
Add roughly chopped Carrot, celery, onion, salt and pepper
Cover the beans and veggies with water, then bring to the boil
Keep water level topped up and simmer for about 10-15 minutes
Put olive oil in frying pan and heat, then add the garlic
brown the minced beef, then add the sausages and the bacon
When they are browning, too, add the carrot and mix all together
Drain the juice from the beans into a measuring jug then add to the meats and keep on medium heat for 10 minutes.
Remove veggies from beans then put a layer of beans on the bottom of a casserole dish
Put the meats on top then add another layer of beans on top, with any excess juice
Finally top with breadcrumbs and put into the oven for 45 minutes
Stir around occasionally.
Serve with mash and some roasted squash