Saralee's London bound coach was due to leave at eleven this morning. We learned from her ticket email notification that the Sophia Gardens coach station was closed and that coaches would start their journey out in nearby Cathedral Road, although the email map was imprecise about the actual location of the temporary coach stop. We took her in the car down to the side street by the Church in Wales Representative Body buildings, and walked her and her case the last 250m to where a line of departing coaches were parked, accompanied by a host of National Express uniformed staff, helping travellers to find their coaches..
This was well organised and worked well, although no signage was visible for people to identify from a distances that they were in the right place. Walking back to the car, after saying our farewells, I noticed a road sweeping vehicle patrolling the street, which was notably clear of cars in the vicinity of the coach stops. There wasn't much for it to sweep up. On the other hand, litter was abundant on the pavements occupied by pedestrians getting on to buses, therefore a zone which the vehicle could not enter to perform its designated function. If only someone in Cardiff Council has the imagination to employ a few people to walk around as litter pickers, on a busy day like this. What must visitors think of our dirty city?
After lunch we went over to Bristol to see Amanda, and for once the travel weather was bright and clear. We were delighted to find that James was also there, on his weekend visit home to Mum. It was good to catch up with the two of them, and find them both in good spirits. Our return journey was surprising. Traffic on the M4 throughout the journey was lighter than at any time I've travelled on it during the daytime lately. With the UEFA Cup match being sold out in advance, and with the added security precautions surrounding Cardiff city centre, I suspect many casual weekend visitors may have been deterred from making the trip. The shopping centre was very quiet yesterday when I visited. The weekend may be good for hotels and pubs, but I doubt whether retailers will have much to rejoice over due to this world sporting event in the city.
In the BBC Four prime time crime drama slot this evening, the start of a Canadian series entitled 'Cardinal', named after its leading detective. It makes a change to have a New World series that's in English which isn't American English, and doesn't need subtitles. I find the similarities with Euro-crime film noir interesting to observe, for example, the sound track music, and the use of winter landscape and townscape shots as mis-en-scene. For once, however the environment portrayed looks different from that of Europe, and that's somewhat refreshing. The double episodes are half an hour shorter than usual, and from my viewpoint that's no bad thing, as it means I get to bed earlier. Will I be able to watch on line next week when I'm in Malaga, I wonder?