For Christina

One of the leading lights of this Extinction Rebellion carry-on is a woman who teaches Indonesian gamelan music in prisons.  I just wondered whether you might care to switch from Bessarabian clog dancing to this, Christina, as an alternative example of useless qualifications (unless of course you’re actually living in Indonesia).

We need to find someone else to blame

It’s Burns’ Night tonight and I should be thinking of his address “To a Haggis”. Instead the lines of his poetry that came to my mind this morning are from “Tam O’Shanter”. They are a description of an angry wife and I wondered if they match Moira Salmond at the moment.

“… our sulky sullen dame                                                                                                     Gathering her brows like gathering storm,                                                                           Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.”

Or perhaps she’s just quoting Captain Mainwaring – “stupid boy!”

Small earthquake in Chile – no Charioteers hurt

We were just about to sit down to lunch last Wednesday when the cutlery started jumping round the table. I stared at it while wondering whether to crawl under the table and then it suddenly went quiet. We asked the waiter whether that had been a “sismo” and he smiled cheerfully and said “Si”. We weren’t sure whether he had been having us on, but a report on the TV news that evening confirmed it. Then we found this article.

We had left Santiago about midday and had just arrived at our hotel in the Cajon de Maipo in the Andes where the earthquake had not been felt as much as in the capital.

Unfortunately my earlier earth-shaking encounter had not ended so well. Just a few days before I was attacked from behind by a scumbag who grabbed my necklaces and pulled, throttling me in the process and tearing my top. I started screaming like a demented banshee and managed to grab the pocket of his jacket. He raced off, pursued by an angry Scot, still screeching like something out of Tam O’Shanter. The jacket pocket was not equal to the strain of a thief trying to escape and a well-nourished victim trying to stop him. It tore and he got away. I was left surrounded by Chilean ladies murmuring “Pobrecita” and “Tranquilo”, learning the Spanish for necklace (la colleta if you want to know). And where were the carabineros?  Husband thought that any copper within a two mile radius should have been alerted by the volume of my screams. Now I just have the scar on my neck, not really an adequate replacement for a necklace.

A wonderful future for Juncker

For those Charioteers (if any) who have been worrying about Cognac-for-breakfast Juncker’s employment prospects when he leaves the EU Commission, I may have found a solution.

Just when I thought that Germany was coming to its senses and trying to get rid of Angela Merkel, I came across this article. Of course it’s possible Angela may also be applying for the post.

It appears that two concerned citizens have come up with a solution to the number of accidents on the A2 motorway, which they are convinced are caused by trolls and elves disturbed by traffic noise. They accompanied a highways authority official on a routine perimeter fence inspection in the course of which they noted “very sad energies” emanating from certain stretches of the motorway. One of the ladies – yes, they were both female – asked the elves to look kindly on travellers while the other apologised to the local boars. This “energetic sealing” of the psychic wounds accomplished, the “elf lady” called on the government to appoint an official “elf commissioner”, whose job will be to be “away with the fairies” in an official capacity. It is unfortunate that shortly after this sealing two lorries were involved in a serious collision.

A new scapegoat

This may interest mainly Christopher and John Mackie, who tend to blame Alex Salmond for everything, and rightly so in many instances.  But now that Wee Eck is no longer an MP, can I suggest replacing him with Mrs Merkel’s blue-eyed boy, Emmanuel.

According to a recent French poll Emmanuel Macron has sunk even lower in the popularity ratings than last moth.

You don’t need to read French to understand the figures. Macron has the lowest rating of the last four presidents at the same stage in their presidencies, that is after the honeymoon period when the gloss has well and truly worn off.  He has even surpassed – or should that be underpassed – the lamentable François Hollande.

Ideas required

Having seen this headline, I started frothing at the mouth.

What I would like from fellow Charioteers are suggestions for adjectives to describe this bunch of scumbags – you know the ones I mean. Adjectives such as medieval are an insult to the Middle Ages, dinosaur-like, neanderthal and such are also insulting to the original objects described. “muslim” of course sums it all up, but we need some more.


It now appears that the story of a 23 year old Australian muslim who alleged that she had been chased off a Riviera beach at Villeneuve-Loubet for wearing a burkini was a set-up. This report in Nice Matin has the story as seen by locals who were actually on the beach at the time.

The camera was apparently set up before the woman arrived and plonked herself down. She and her companion were originally asked to move since they were sitting in the space reserved for jet-skis.  Then one of the locals asked the camera man to stop filming since he was taking photos of local children, which the parents objected to. This was why the father wanted to call the police – to stop the filming of his children. So far, so totally nothing to do with burkinis. How very disappointing for this Aussie who had flown all that distance to “show her support for local muslim women”. Still, never let facts get in the way of the untruth you want to spread. Has Channel 7 been conned?

I haven’t seen any burkinis in the past week we’ve been in Antibes, just along the coast from Villeneuve-Loubet, but every day I’ve seen jeeps full of paratroopers patrolling the old town and tourist areas. I find them very reassuring. I like that sort of show of support.

Fish Dependence Day

Purely by chance I found an article on a French news site – next to one on the rising level of the Seine, but I think that’s just coincidence – on Fish Dependence Day. I had never heard of this before. According to the WWF France has already consumed its year’s quota of fish in less than six months. France consumes 35kg of fish per person per year which is one and a half times the European average and makes France the fifth largest consumer.

Some countries such as Denmark, Finland, Ireland and Estonia produce as much or more fish than they consume.  But those countries which consume more than they produce have to import from other countries and in many instances the people of these other countries have more need of the fish than European consumers, and I don’t suppose they see much financial benefit from the sale of these fish either.

Apparently 48% of North Atlantic fish stocks are overexploited and this figure rises to a horrific 93% in the Mediterranean.

One thing that struck me was that there was no mention of the UK. I have seen the French and Spanish refrigerated lorries queuing up on the quayside of Scottish ports like Ullapool ready to load the catches of crabs and langoustines as soon as the fishing boats dock.  Mr Cameron has forgotten to warn us that on 24th June this year there will be nary a foreign HGV in sight and the Scottish fishermen will be offering their catch to passers-by. In your dreams, Cameron!

What I want is for 24th June 2016 to be British fish independence day when we can reclaim our fishing grounds and catch our own fish with no Brussels-imposed limits, no throwing surplus fish back into the sea and with fishery protection vessels chasing the foreign trawlers away.


O wad some power the giftie gi’e us …

Anything to convince himself that he’s still important.  I hope you enjoy this, Christopher.

Next thing we know Salmond will  employ someone to throw a rotten haggis at him.  I suppose he expected everyone to know who he is and bow down accordingly. Now Alex, repeat after me “Sic transit gloria mundi” and then go and find someone to explain it to you.

Soor plums for Nicola

I don’t know whether Scotland’s First Minister is proposing to visit the Davis Cup match in Glasgow this weekend. If she does she may be horrified to see the large number of spectators wearing “Back the Brits”  Tshirts as well as all the Union flags, the Union face masks and red, white and blue pompoms. There are a few Scottish flags, but the support is overwhelmingly British. These are presumably some of the people who voted the ‘wrong way’ in the referendum. There are even two guys in hideous Union Jack suits.

(Bearsy and Boadicea, I did feel sorry for little Kokkinakis. At the end of the second set I felt somone ought to have taken the poor wee soul away and given him a ‘jeely piece’ or other treat. He did recover a bit in the third set, but I’m not convinced he’s capable of what his loud-mouthed friend suggested.)