ELVIS is alive and well - and living in Fishponds.
I know this because Mrs R and I bumped into him at a karoake night in one of our locals the other day.
He may have looked a bit wrinkly around the edges, and had put on a few pounds, but I imagine he looked exactly like you would expect him to in one of those computer generated images predicting his appearance after all this time.
And, boy, could he sing. I would go as far as to suggest he might have done it for a living at some stage - though he said his only real live action was at a couple of village fetes and fundraising nights. Hmm, fundraising in Vegas for the Mafia, I reckon.
Having a change from the Masons, this pub was the Old Taverne just up Blackberry Hill. As well as Elvis, I got talking to a lady in the smoking area (or back garden as we connoisseurs refer to it) who happened to be the mother of the new landlord. Her name was Valerie and she came from a couple of streets down from me in Frampton Cotterell originally. Robell Avenue off School Road.
She told us how her son had taken down a run down, shut boozer and given the place a refurb. It certainly seemed to be doing a good job if the Karaoke night was anything to go by. There was a good mixture of locals and students and pretty soon the lager was flowing (or Thatcher's Gold cider in Mrs R's case). At one stage a rather worse-for-wear student called Ben, if my hazy memory serves me right, tried to get Mrs R and I on stage. But after he forgot our names for about the fifth time - let alone what we had agreed to sing - we gave up and sneaked out.
I'VE always had a problem with ironing at the best of times, but having moved in with Mrs R my anxiety has reached a whole new level.
It seemed a bit churlish of me just to pick out my few shirts and a pair of trousers, give them a quick run over, then leave the rest of an overflowing basket to my other half, so last week I attempted to earn quick brownie points by rushing through some of the wife's garments, too.
Did I say rush? BIIIG mistake.
Now, I can't be a 100 per cent on this, but it does seem that fashion designers put together women's clothes like some kind of intricate jigsaw. Holding up one particular skirt my first thought was "how exactly do you get this on", let alone iron it. Not that I was considering turning into a cross-dresser, you understand, it just seemed there were so many parts to it that the only comparison I could think of was buying a pair of trousers with six legs, two of them sealed up, and one sleeve. Every way you twisted it there didn't seem to be a sensible, right way to iron it. So what seemed like a pretty swift task turned into a rather long and frustrating experience.
Of course, there is the material too, all chic and sheer and not to be left for too long under a scolding hot piece of metal. After that there are the pleats to deal with, the fluffy, flossy sleeves and all manner of other imponderables.
And, of course, women have to iron EVERYTHING. T-shirts, the quilt cover, the handkerchiefs, the curtains, facecloths - even the underwear.
Still, I did my best, and you can't say fairer than that.
Last Sunday I joined Paps, the Wonderful One and Danny Boy (the poipes, the poipes) for a farewell to Cardiff drink - well, that was our excuse though I was only moving out of Scooby's flat. And an enjoyable afternoon was had by all watching England humiliated again at one day cricket in the Tut, then moving on to a rather bizarrely named student haunt called Koko Gorrillas where we had a mini pool tournament which landed me a small fortune - if four quid can be called a small fortune.
Then we finished the night - or I did personally - with a visit to the Pen and Wig before toddling off home for a final night's stay in my sparsely furnished flat.
As for the title of this missive, well I haven't cooked for a while since trying to get the new house up and running, so it's been a diet of takeaways and it is starting to show. My grandson the Vin Man certainly noticed it this week. Prodding me in the belly he exclaimed: "You're fat!"
I couldn't argue.