Just some images from our cat family. We have plenty more. Our family abounds with cats, dogs, koi carp, cavia guinea pigs, birds and some things as yet named.
Our cat Mandarijn thought the table between our chairs was a cracking idea. Mandarijn lives with us in a village called Deepcar, 7 miles north of the city of Sheffield in the county of Yorkshire, England.
Anna is the cat, the scaredy cat, on the stairs ready to fly back into the house at the drop of a hat. Anna lives in Deventer in the Salland area of the Overijssel province in the Netherlands.
The fluffy object is Luna. She belongs to Ursula and Jeroen. Ursula is a niece of Astrid’s and lives in Almelo in the Twente area of Overijssel.
Yesterday I went to a colleague’s wedding to his beautiful Romanian bride Loredana. Seven of her family flew over, her mother had never been outside Romania before! James is the editor of our small local newspaper. Between us, with us both having “foreign” partners, we kind of endure the unintentional “us and them” attitudes of our colleagues. They read some crap in a newspaper, half believe it then talk in a derogatory way about everything from the EU, Islam, French, boat people, the Greeks, Americans, Germans, Irish, Scots to gypsies and local councillors. It’s an English thing. A lot of the “they come over here” bullshit goes straight over Astrid’s head, she’s Dutch but Indonesian by birth and although her command of the English language is very good a lot of dialect passes her by. This is a good thing. When she asks what they were talking about, I tell her the truth, “they are talking bollocks about things they don’t know anything about”.
I don’t think English people even know they are saying things that make themselves look shallow and ignorant. I don’t think they even think! I suppose at times I have been as inadvertently guilty as anyone talking about foreigners in the negative, although since my teens I have been republican and anti establishment and I’ve never held up the union flag or the St George cross to emphasise the perceived superiority of England over the rest of the world. I hate flag waving. I hate national anthems. The British one is bloody awful. It’s dreary and archaic. It’s miserable. Dire. And it’s full of superiority rhetoric that has absolutely no place in 2015 at all.
The East German one was funny but had a musical political message. The first verse is all sweetness and nice, flowers, butterflies, children and colour, then BOOM, an aggressive boom boom of military might and power which after a blast of patriotic propaganda blends effortlessly into another lightweight milk and honey lullaby of 4 lines which is then rudely interrupted by another blast of nationalistic pomp and power. Imagine, verse one is young kids dressed in curtain patterned short trousers and dresses, verse two is a soldier in uniform with a gun, then back to the kids in floral patterns only to be threatened by soldiers and guns again.
I don’t drink much these days but last night we caught the tram link from our village to the tram terminal, then caught the tram to a stop nearby the venue. So I had a few drinks. I don’t get the chance to make a fool of myself very often these days, so when I get the opportunity I grab it with both hands. I danced to The Who. Albeit with my hands in my pockets. And I think I also kinda jigged to Supertramp. With my hands in my pockets.
I don’t do dancing. I do drinking and hanging out with fellow non dancers.