I came across a Grauniad leader this morning – and had to read it twice. Is this about Denmark, with the happiest people in the world?
I suppose the biggest difference a non-Dane notices over there is that most of the folk in the shopping centres (except perhaps in the few cities) are discernibly descended from Scandinavian stock. Compare that to most British towns. But there is another major difference. Since WWII we have grown used to seeing and living cheek-by-jowl with incomers of all races and persuasions; they are part of our landscape. I hate the word ‘integration’ but I would say they play a part in our society which most of us recognise and no longer resist, as we did at first. But the Danes are still where we stood after WWII! Hence the existence across that small country of 56 ‘ghettoes’, as described in the article, linked below.
After my second reading, I have had visions of PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen playing our favourite Viking, King Canute (never mind the spelling), as portrayed in fake news as a megalomaniac resisting the waves. I hope I’m wrong.
Your mates, the House of Windsor, have shown the world that the game is up. The centuries of polite condescension practised at arm’s length from popular culture came to an abrupt end amid uncomfortable glances and nervous grimaces. The gates were flung wide. No Trojan horse was required. Come on in, no contest. Canterbury had no reply to Chicago. Gospel trumped the choir boys. Oscars outnumbered Garters. Not an MP or General or billionaire in sight. Just our daily tweeters: George, Idris, David and Victoria. If Diana was the people’s princess, Harry is the champion of the chavs. Bring on the clowns? They are already here.
Ratha Yatra, Brisbane style
When I saw the headline in the local paper, I thought we must have done something rather well if we’d achieved such an exalted status. But no, nothing to do with us. Just an annual event that’s been running for about 5,000 years or so. And even for the past 5 years in Brissie, I find.
It’s a celebration within Hinduism which has caught on in many cities around the world, possibly because of the Beatles’ early fascination with Krishna, and a jolly good thing it has, in my ‘umble opinion. You can look it up in Wiki, or on this local site.
Unlike many other religions, which are so often associated the screaming of dire imprecations and much frothing at the mouth, Hinduism likes to look on the sunny side of the street, so notice that everyone is smiling broadly, and entering into the spirit of the thing. Which seems magically to make pulling a four-ton chariot a pleasant task. Good on ’em! Here’s the article in the Brisbane Times which caught my eye.
Boadicea is in Japan for a while, but she’ll be back soon. I hope.
I’ve mentioned before that the Danes are a precocious bunch, especially at this time of the year. Celebrations start on 23rd – known as ‘little Xmas Eve’ -and continue until after the noisy New Year bashes. Hence my bah-humbug picture.
But hey! (happy seasonal retort) Backside and I wish all you intrepid Charioteers the holidays you wish for – for yourselves and your families. Ding dong as merrily as you like, deck your halls and save a glass for poor old Santa!
And a Good Brexit in 2018!
I think it would be fair to say that Britain has not always dealt with Ireland fairly or squarely. Think famine and the Troubles. But I have always wondered why the Protestant Sect in the north has been allowed to create endless mayhem when it has been obvious that the best solution would have been a united, independent Ireland. There are enough precedents around the world that would support the idea.
Of course it won’t happen but I’ve had anough of the tail wagging the dog over there. And now the Republic wants to impede progress with Brexit. Typical.
Our thoroughly modern royal house seems to be keeping up with the latest trends (may one say, at last?). Their Spare Scion, only likely to succeed if four others fail, has introduced novelties of Churchillian proportions by proposing marriage to a Yank and that’s not all. Dare one say a colourful choice?
But more significantly, the worldly-wise Windsors are alleged to be avoiding the Trump factor altogether by simply not inviting him to the nuptials. I mean, who would, under any circumstances? That’s what I call Realpolitik. He of course will claim to have better things to do, whenever it is. But won’t he be a tad hurt with such a stellar rejection? One hopes so. (That ‘One’ may or may not refer to Harry’s Grandmama.)
Even more important – what will the bride wear? Will the groom’s best mate be revealed well in advance so that dirt he can be royally dished, character-wise, in good time? These and so many other vital issues to consider and so little time. So good wishes from me.
And that’s only the boys, if Archbishop Welby has his Christmas wish. (Sorry to mention the C word in mid-November, but M & S started it.)
Continue reading “Frocks”
It must be the proliferation of wannabe journalists that’s responsible for the ridiculous attention given to the American festival of Halloween – in shops and in the meeja. Because if nobody wrote about such rubbish, nobody else would find it interesting to participate in such childish games.
Continue reading “Don’t be silly”
It can be dangerous to seize the moral or social high-ground. But it’s what institutions and their representatives do for a living.
Take the venerable Church of England. It gets its ecclesiastical underwear in a tangle every time a social norm is challenged, trying valiantly to remain relevant. Divorce, same-sex partnerships, gender-switching – and now women’s rights. Guess what! Equal pay is a distant dream for female staff at Head Office! Come on, Justin.
And on the day when British society’s top dog conducts his final public duty, the top people’s handbook flies in the face of decency and established principle. How? By declaring that the cognoscenti now accept the long-outlawed retort, ‘Pardon?’ when one mishears or seeks clarification. The Murican interrogative alternative, ‘Excuse me?’ has never gained acceptance in the face of the patrician, ‘What?’ and is now firmly removed from the contest by the plebeian and not-a-little-Gallic, ‘Pardon?’.
Both of these faux pas will acquire legs, I fear. Two referenda will be needed to help us decide what to do.