Wednesday, February 16, 2011

snookus loopius nuttius sumus

Never let it be said that I don't know how to show a lady a good time. Since the lovely Hazel is currently on a diet, and therefore the usual Valentine's Day activities involving a bathtub full of champagne and half a pound of finest Belgian chocolates were out of the question, we had to come up with some alternative ideas. Number two on pretty much anyone's list of romantic activities after the Bolly and Bournville combo would be Roman archaeology and top-class live tournament snooker, so that's what we opted for.

Luckily there just happen to be some high-quality Roman remains a couple of miles up the road: so close in fact that you can walk there from the house. So we re-traced the route of my snowy walk of a couple of months ago and ended up in Caerleon. We had intended to return to the Red Lion for lunch, but it was shut, so we ended up in the Hanbury Arms, which I can report has very good Brains SA and pretty decent haddock and chips. We then moved on to the historical stuff, which is basically in four bits, the museum (which you should probably do first) and the Roman Baths in separate buildings a few yards apart, and the amphitheatre and military barracks which are in a couple of adjoining fields half a mile or so away. And it's all free, which is nice. Anyway, here's a few photos.

Later in the day we went down to the Newport Centre to watch the evening session at the Welsh Open snooker - there's no advance guarantee of who you're going to get to see, but as luck would have it we got seats for Ryan Day against Jimmy White. Sadly the Whirlwind's travelling army of thick-necked shouty cockney geezers went home disappointed as Day thrashed him 4-0 in less than an hour, including breaks of 125 and 102. Impressive stuff. Once that was over everyone moved across the arena to watch the other match, Rory McLeod against Jamie Cope. This one was a little more, shall we say....tactical? attritional? dull? so we left once Cope had ground his way into a 3-2 lead (he eventually won 4-3). I can also confirm that that little red earpiece thingy that you see people wearing during the televised coverage is actually called a SoundDec FM Scan-Tune Radio, and you'll have to shell out six quid if you want one.

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