Realising the remit in my blog intro/description, here's some stuff in general:
5-a-side - we've had a lot of trouble of late; regulars have been dropping out, numbers dwindled...it took an impassioned plea to get everything back on track and all seems to be well again. I'm hoping we're good for another block booking as we've been playing for about 8yrs in different guises.
Rugby - RWC 2015 looms large. Wales are in the same group as England, Australia and Fiji, a stinking arrangement caused by the WRU's greed in insisting on the annual 4th and unsanctioned Autumn International game allied to some poor results, albeit against top teams, in the period prior to the RWC 2015 draw, despite a 4th place world cup finish and 2012 championship win if i remember correctly (lots of commas there - not too many I hope). Anyway, the first warm up game at home versus Ireland went badly for the pack, but we had a developmental team out against them (they did too but were far more canny in the pack selection). We play them again next weekend in Dublin and this time we need to look tidy with a decent team expected to be running out.
Beer - to be fair, as a near 2-month vegan, real ale is off-limits to a degree. I need to check which i can drink as they are often made with finings made from fish. Other drink like wine (sparkling or otherwise) is often clarified with animal products. It's a steep learning curve but scotch is a-ok!
Cooking - I'm loving this vegan lark. Been making ratatouille, falafel, Thai broths, aubergine curries, mexican jazz, all sorts. I miss cheese though. And proper gravy 😐.
Minis - i have been somewhat active of late in the trade business. By which I mean i have traded x3 pieces. But i also got a freebie from a comrade in the north of Wales. In total, for the loss of x1 chaos warrior, x1 Marauder greatsword type fellow and an orc with a spear and a goblin skin hat, I have received the classic Space Wolf captain with the wolf helmet, a skeleton champion with 2 swords and a spike helmet, an Yyrkoon model (Eternal Champion), as well as that freebie I just mentioned: Moonglum, another Eternal Champion piece. I'm one piece up! Can't fault it. Still looking for Elric, Dorian, Erekose and some other bits, as well as moon face Tzeentch feller and Nurgle fly head dude. Feel free to contact me for trade 👍.
Religion/atheism - weirdly, a Polish couple and their kid knocked the door earlier asking if there were any other Polish families locally. They were JW's looking to spread the insidious word. It struck me that the kid had no chance of a normal life and would no doubt have to carry the mental baggage of his parents' belief system all his days, whether happily within the narrow confines of that organisation or else perhaps awkwardly if he is ever able to break out from the belief system his parents have forced upon him. Other than the fact the doorstep evangelisers thought us unworthy of the good news they had for their Polish compatriots, that got me a bit riled this morning. Religion is a choice, so don't force it on your kids. I can only hope the poor feller has a chance to break away later in life, but judging by the rallies we have in Cardiff every year, it's unlikely: there are teenagers and young adults by the thousands lapping this stuff up. As a willing victim of Christianity in my young adult life (I successfully pulled away when I employed logic and free thought, but it was one hell of a wrench - more of that another time) I know the pitfalls and the difficulty of stepping away from a very loving, caring group. It's not easy, and that's an understatement. Good luck to them all.
Piffle - see above.