I spent a very pleasant day in Cardiff, reviving the boozeday Tuesday tradition with the Wonderful Withers of WoS.
Poor old Mrs R has not been very well lately, unable to sleep and having two weeks off work because of exhaustion. So, as you would expect, I stayed around to comfort and look after her. Or, more to the point, I jumped in my car Ramsey, hurtled over the bridge, and went on the razz with the wonderful one.
This is our first anniversary week and I can't believe that this has come about so quickly. It only seemed right that I should celebrate the build up with the wonderful one, my best man, while my car was being given a good overhaul by mechanic Charlie.
Having dropped off Ramsey, I wandered into town and then went around to drop my stuff off at Withers' new gaffe. Interesting. It is a flat on the Taff Embankment in a less than salubrious part of Grangetown in Cardiff. Although the flat is very amenable the wonderful one is a bit worried about the people with whom he co-habits.
On the bottom floor there are four able-bodied lads, all aged around the early 20s, who seem to spend all their time sitting on the green opposite, chilling out in deck chairs and juggling with empty vodka bottles. bizarre.
Withers is convinced they are part of the witness protection scheme, but I'm not so sure. They all have rather posh motors, but seem to do nothing in the way of work to justify them. Make your own mind up.
Still, as long as the Wonderful One is happy with his lot.
From his flat we walked down to Cardiff Bay where an hour outside in the sun at the Ely Jenkins pub resulted in a big red blotch forming on the Wonderful One's shaved pate. As good as any holiday, he assured me, as we then moved around to the Terra Nova to have lunch.
Lunch? That was a laugh. It almost finished up as a late night supper.
The girl at the bar reminded me of a Monty Python character manning the infamous cheese shop. "No haven't got any of that", "No, that's off", "Oh yeah we have got that ... oh sorry, the cat has just eaten it".
Eventually, having settled for cheese burgers they finally arrived and very tasty they were, too. But by then the sun had gone in and I was losing the will to live.
At that moment Shutts turned up and perhaps the increasing shadows were down to the fact he loomed over us, insisted he was looking forward to a few cheeky ones, then knocked back a diet coke before dropping us off in town.
It was off then to the new old O'Neills where I have to say the standard of barmaid has slipped somewhat. One of them managed to fill a glass full of foam before assuring me: "It will settle". No chance.
I insisted on a refill and finally the Wonderful One got his deserved pint.
We were then joined by the Fugitive and after a couple of beers we moved around the corner to look for Las Iguanas. Apparently, it no longer exists.
The boozer standing in its place was ok, and we had a pint before moving inside where a very pleasant girl waited our table.
A little while later I heard her telling the barman about how her brother worked as a reporter on the Sun in the United States.
There followed a string of invective by him about tabloid journos which forced me to intervene very sharply, telling him he didn't have a clue what he was talking about. I fell just short of saying "Do you know who I am?" Still, he looked pretty chastised and I got a blue bottle key ring in the process.
One of my colleague, Mr Jolly, rents out houses and has a similar problem to mine. He is experiencing visits from grey, hairy rodents with long tails.
His immediate boss, chief sub Jonesy, isn't too happy, though. Apparently Jolly named his first rat Jonesy.
Jolly's latest rat, who has sadly departed this mortal coil, also has a newsworthy name.
We have a Celtic-supporting, Glasgow-based scribe called Bob in the office, and Jolly decided his second rodent should take his name.
Today we hear that both Jonesy and Bob got caught in traps and died a painful death.