Sunday, November 05, 2006
Hard Men from Criccieth to Canberra - Take two
Just competed in the village quiz, the mental stress of which has driven all anger from my soul. So I've decided to rewrite my yesterday's 'post' which was composed with intent to wound. And anyway, Labour Assembly candidate, Alun Davies is not such a bad fellow really.
Friday night, I ventured into the heart of Plaid territory, the Marine at Criccieth where I met the hard men of the local county branch of the Farmers Union of Wales. They don't take prisoners in the FUW. They fight to win. Even the gimlett-eyed proposer of the vote of thanks said that since I couldn't promise to increase the level of Tir Mynnydd payments, the Environment, Planning and Countryside Committee, which I chair might as well be blown up. To make matters worse, I reckon he was reading from notes he'd written before the meeting. Alun was my fellow-panellist. I will say no more than that I took quiet exception to his constant references to someone called Lady Porter who is currently holed up in Israel. 'Guilt by association' was the aim. I must stop because anger is returning!! At least he turned up - which is more than can be said for Plaid or the Lib Dems.
Saturday, I was guest of the Beeb in their hospitality box at the Millenium Stadium. Great game. Hook was as good as we hoped when called on. Henson proved me wrong. I really thought Evans, the Scarlets centre should have played in the centre with Shanklin. Moment of the match for me was the defensive scrum on our own line five minutes from time. Like most I was left gasping at the end - with mixed feelings. The Aussies should have been out of sight after 20 minutes - but at the death I felt cheated because the whistle went with the next play a line-out 6 inches from the Aussies line. We would have won with Mark Jones in the team.
The Austalian Management team had taken the next box to us. They were all huge handsome crocodile hunters with broken noses. They were every bit as fearsome as the Criccieth FUW and I asked very politely before taking the photo at half time. No-one smiled for the camara. They wanted to win. John Connelly sat motionless with his eyes fixed on the game and smiled less than Graham Henry would have done. Scott Johnstone never stood still for a second. He is still much loved in Wales but I can't help suspect he had a role in the The Ruddockgate Affair.
And watched the England game on TV today. I am trying desperately not to feel such a passionate and irrational desire to see England fail - against anyone!. The utterly bizarre decision not to award Noon's first try helped by makink me feel sorry for them. I think my wife now loves Dan Carter more than Pat Cash. Some people are just too good to be true - and Carter is one. Moment of the match for me was Graham Henry's smile when interviewed. He is supposed to have relations in Wales and my guess is they come from Criccieth farming stock.