Late doing this today, but probably did better than usual. Thanks to Jay for a lovely puzzle and the 2Kiwis for hints, particularly jellyfish and the cricket related clues. Having totally renovated our house ourselves in our mid sixties, and having moved this year, and in our seventies, we find a gallon can of paint seems much heavier now! Thank goodness we don’t have any tiling or flooring to tackle this time.
The game opened up and seemingly the first decision to go our way was a penalty which Chris Wood duly converted. Hernandez sealed the win with a goal that was eventually nominated as a candidate for fans’ goal of the season (beaten by Doukara’s Yeboah-esque volley against Forest). There was a buoyant atmosphere in the away end, and while the home fans did pipe up a few times in the first half, I heard little from them in the second half. I had a pie but there was no more plastic cutlery to eat it with. With one bite, the pastry crumbled, so I had to pick out what was left of the pastry and suck the filling out of the pie case.
Managed to complete without resorting to Big Dave for the second day running. 18a made me go football/rugby blind until I discovered that it wasn’t much to do with it. I loved it – every week I try to think of something more interesting to say about Jay’s crosswords . I too had 28a beginning with a, but finally the penny dropped. Curiously, absolutely no one in my extended family ever liked these things, despite the odd compulsion to provide them one day a year. Having worked for some time in the USA, I spell 10a with a U and an E.
The away end was on one corner of the bowl which encompassed the whole stadium. One of the side stands had a small upper tier which was the grounds only redeeming feature. Behind the stands there were high plastic sheets and what seemed like a lot of space between that and the outer part of the stadium – this looked odd and further enhanced the soulless feel. We left during injury time and walked back to the car and a Cardiff fan chatted to me about our prospects as he overheard me reporting how dire we were to my Dad on the phone.
If you want food or drink it’s worth walking to right hand kiosk as the queue is significantly smaller. The gents toilets are ok, my missus reported the ladies were very nice. The ground looks good but nothing of note as a lot of new stadiums look very similar, although I can see the similarities with the Madejski it seemed a bit more open and didn’t create a particularly intimidating atmosphere. It is strange that with Cardiff’s new Malaysian owners that everything is decked out in blue but they play in red. The away end was simple to get to if you remember to look for HSS Hire.
Pictures of it look very unappealing but this was the first season they had lifted the bubble restrictions so we were always going to sell our allocation and take the right sort of passionate supporter. We sold out our allocation two weeks before and with it costing just over a tenner for a return to Cardiff from Bristol via train meant that most took this option so if nothing else it was going to be a good day out. It was great – a tour around the Millennium Stadium and another one of ‘the 92’ ticked off my list, I went home a very happy boy. Cardiff’s new home is surely a more relaxed day out than the daunting Ninian Park, but I would exercise caution when going to support your side just in case you are rumbled by some of the ‘undesirable minority’. Cardiff is a great city, with fantastic nightlife and some amazing architecture, so if I go again I think I will make sure I make a weekend of it. I arrived back at the station after going via an off licence to grab a couple of cans in hand to numb the pain of a long journey home back to Lincoln.
From the outside, it looks quite imposing in a modern sort of way. Approaching along Sloper Road from Grangetown station you come immediately to the away fans entrance. We walked a little way around the ground, but you can’t completely circumnavigate it, plus with a strong cold wind whistling around the corner, it seemed sensible to go inside. The away fans are located in the south-east curved corner of the ground – the concourse underneath was spacious with access to two bars and a betting outlet. There are TV screens dotted around and very good toilets! Inside, the stadium looks quite big and doesn’t have the uniform appearance of many of these modern ‘flat-pack’ style grounds.
Approximately 400 meters down Sloper road as you pass the bus depot on your right on your left you will see “HSS Plant Hire”. Thanks to Malcolm a Cardiff Cabbie for these directions. To avoid driving through the centre of Cardiff, leave the M4 at junction 33 and take the A4232 towards Cardiff/Barry.