MEANWHILE, back at chez Rippers, it was a pretty quiet weekend relaxing with Wren. We made a quick tour of the Roath farmers market where we managed to stock up on all those vital ingredients, like tea cakes and cheesy scones. Then we wandered into town to buy a few bits and pieces before settling down in the Tut to watch the England v Ireland rugby international and sup a few cheeky pints.
After that we spent the evening at home watching Gone, Baby Gone, the Ben Affleck-directed film which had received some good reviews. And very good it was, too.
On Sunday morning, having completely missed pancake day, I decided to rustle up a few for Wren, served with lemon and sugar. For myself, I saved the batter for later to make some nice savoury pancakes with a bolognese mixture I concocted.
During the afternoon I watched possibly the most boring afternoon's sport I can ever remember. The Carling Cup final between Manchester United and Spurs was a real yawn, won by United on penalties after 120 minutes of numbing footie. Turning over, there was no reprieve. Having scored 600 in their first innings of the Barbados Test, England sat back in the field and watched Ramnaresh Sarwan score 291 in a total of, wait for it, 749.
With the Munich boys back, I toddled off for a quick drink with the Wonderful Withers, or should we now call him Monkfish (I'm not convinced), in O'Neills on Tuesday and Wednesday. It has to be said that on Wednesday the Prince of Darkness was pushing the pace, declaring "I've got a bit of a buzz on" as, like a boomerang, he kept bouncing back to the bar more and more frequently.
Not being able to keep up (my liver was actually crying at one stage, I am convinced) I finally deserted my lager and wobbled off to get a taxi, managing in true Rippers style to leave everything I owned in the pub.
When I got back into the flat it hit me: My phone wasn't in any of my pockets. Aaargh! Don't you just hate that... all your contact numbers gone in a flash, no chance to tell Wren what has happened. I was about to stomp around the flat, rush out, book a taxi into town, reclaim the missing phone (and my lost tobacco) and then return home at the extravagant cost of about £12 when there was a knock at the door. Standing there was the taxi driver with my beloved mobile.
I couldn't stop thanking him... he must have thought I was a complete knob as I thrust one pound coin after another into his hand, saying "there you are mate, thanks, you deserve it". How did mobile phones become so important?
Years ago, at a Test match, I remember uproar when one person in the crowd started using his mobile phone. "Mate, if you don't stop talking now I will do something about it," said one of the disgruntled fans at Trent Bridge.
The bloke in question just ignored him and continued to conduct a mobile business conversation over the phone.
Suddenly, his inquisitor leaned over, snatched the phone off him and threw it from the top deck of the stand onto the pitch.
The phone owner was not best pleased and soon the man responsible was taken from the stand by police. As he walked out he was greeted by cries of "dring, dring", "dring, dring". And one wag looked in the direction of where the phone had been thrown, noticing the great fast bowler Courtney Walsh fielding on the boundary.
Mimicking the famous BT advert of the day, he shouted: "Hey Courtney, it's for you... hoo!"