As every British cricket lover will confirm, watching the match is indeed a serious business, calling for a suitably sourced blazer and tie, a faded panama hat and preferably a proper deck-chair close to the action. Certain compromises are acceptable – but only if the match happens to attract thousands of fellow devotees – and there must be limits.
Now, however, in some corner of a foreign outfield, an upstart authority has sanctioned mixed bathing just a few feet from long-on! I mean, a gentleman’s sauna at Headingley for April fixtures would be bad enough, but really! Blowers would have found le mot juste, I’m sure.
If you can bear to learn more, the shocked meeja can help.
As we all know, the Danes are the happiest people on the planet. They have hygge and Carlsberg, probably, and Crown Princess Mary neè Donaldson, mate.
And as further evidence of such contentment, it turns out they’re almost the world’s happiest with their jobs. But (shock horror!) the Mexicans are even happier and the Indians are not far behind. The Brits, of course trail the field at no. 22, keeping sad company with Sweden and Chile.
I’m afraid it’s all about being polite to researchers – but I may be wrong.
I’m tickled by the Sun’s exposè of M Drunker’s rallying call yesterday, particularly his ideas on tax and Shengen – two real beauties! Continue reading “EU life in the Sun”
The ever-vigilant meeja continue to report that the EUroprats are sneering at the efforts of the UK team to negotiate BREXIT, led by JC Juncker himself. But if it’s obvious to me it must also have struck others that the EU members have a lot to lose from driving the UK into a corner. Why? Because whether the EU’s feelings are hurt or not, the UK will remain an important trading partner. And trade goes both ways.
The Chambers of Commerce of Britain and Germany seem to have reached a similar conclusion, pointing out to the EU that businesses will suffer if more positive moves are not made – and soon.
Let’s hope that as their suntans fade the EU’s supercilious expressions will also give way to serious attempts at agreement. Otherwise, who wins?
The Women’s 50 km Walk around iconic London landmarks. Two Chinese athletes vie together for medals. Their names? Yin and Yang. Big Smiley Thingy.
Prince Philip’s dignified withdrawal from public life last week is not mirrored by his counterpart in Denmark, for whom the rôle of second fiddle has long been a bone of contention with his Queen, Margrethe.
Prince Henrik (whose name was modified from the French, Henri) performed his duties as consort for several decades until 15 years ago when his son, Crown Prince Frederik, became first reserve whenever the Queen was unable to turn up. Henri saw it as a slight. More recently he made it known, rather forlornly, that he should be promoted to King; and only last week he announced his burial place would not be alongside his Queen in Roskilde, the traditional resting place of Danish monarchs. He no longer participates in royal events at all. (The above meeting was in March this year.)
Perhaps, if pressed, he would point out that his predicament could never happen to a female consort – witness his son’s Tasmanian spouse: eventually to be Queen Mary (not Maria!) when Frederik accedes. All I can say is, life ain’t easy, Henri.
Like Sheona, I need help with vocabulary.
Tennis fans yesterday witnessed our hybrid Brit hero(ine), Johanna Konta, beaten comprehensively by the elegant Murican Venus Williams. I wanted to say she gave Jo a ‘master-class’, but our other hero, Andy, would have disapproved on feminist grounds. So what is the right word?
One’s children cannot all have the Big Job. Since the cradle the Heir’s siblings have known they would be onlookers in history – although George VI had to step in from the bleachers when his brother succumbed to his flaws. And George was not a classic example of the more extravert, younger upstart – yet another of Fate’s ironies. Perhaps that epithet fits Margaret and Andrew better. And Harry, who clearly wishes to kick over the traces and feels frustrated by his obligations.
To misquote the NT: the royal family is in the world but not of it. But since WWII they have gradually accepted and even sought a more public rõle, to try to keep in step with other changes: the weakening class divisions, global travel, television, the internet, social media……and the cult of celebrity, with their total exposure and lack of privacy. And the Spares have naturally claimed more freedom to roam, attracted more media attention for their trouble and agonised over the ambiguity of it all.
No novelist could have invented Harry’s story. He ticks every psychological and social box and will probably continue to keep us enthralled. It’s what spares do.
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