Yorkshire pudding, early summers, and Giggs

BY Jamie Trecker • May 25, 2011

Gary Neville's testimonial, the Chelsea flower show and a glorious sunny day in London: all in this second postcard from the Big Smoke.

Volcanic scandal; volvanic ash.

The fallout from Iceland and Giggs continued Tuesday. We've got continuing coverage on the Giggs drama right here.

That latest spellcheck-defeating volcano, Grimsvotn, has travelers across Europe in a panic, with about 1,500 flights being put off yesterday and predictable calls of doom echoing from some of the more sensational tabloids.

The Daily Express helpfully predicted a good two weeks of death and destruction. More sober outlets admit it's a toss-up. Barcelona took no chances, choosing to travel on Tuesday evening rather than repeat their epic land journey of last season, which was widely blamed for their loss to Inter Milan (well, by the Spanish press, anyway).

The Catalans will train at Arsenal's facility the next two days and must hope the Gunners' disastrous season doesn't rub off. Speaking of Arsenal, we're at Emirates today, so look for some photos soon on our Twitter feed @foxsoccer.

In slightly less volcanic news ...

Several reporters tried to get a rise out of Giggs' teammates yesterday, leading to a bunch of interviews being quickly cut short. But Giggs did play in the Gary Neville testimonial last night, lining up alongside Nicky Butt, David Beckham and Wayne Rooney for half an hour, and setting up the go-ahead goal. Juventus would win out 2-1 on the evening.

Early summer

Men were glimpsed riding bicycles throughout Regent's Park yesterday without their shirts on. This meant, of course, that I was freezing.

The British do love their sun, and given that it is remarkably infrequent, you can see why. As a kid I recall our local newspaper trumpeting a plus-75º stretch in June as a "heat wave," and cheekily referring to our patch on the North Sea as "Costa Fife."

That said it was a lovely day around the capital for what is the city's biggest current fixation: the Chelsea Flower Show. This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, and while the tabs and serious press treat this with a reverence that borders on self-parody, there is something rather funny about the sight of very well-heeled celebs cooing over dianthus and hazy fennel.

Better yet was the small clutch of protestors outside: They were vigorously opposed to the Chelsea Show's ban on garden gnomes. "Snobbish," they said. I agree completely.

Stock London experience

Last night I managed to combine two clichés in one when I had a "classic" English meal of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding in the company of a cigar-chomping cabby. It was a lovely night out, and you can no longer smoke indoors in the UK, so he held forth on the dismal state of horse racing while I ate supper and had a bitter. In his words, his picks at the track were so bad they'd left him horizontal.

Jamie Trecker is a senior writer for FoxSoccer.com covering the UEFA Champions League and the Barclay's Premier League.


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