Friday, June 04, 2010

Plus ca Change


I apologise for being away for so long, but I have had a great many problems to contend with - not least having to change my email which rendered this account inoperative for some time.
Romania finished off well apart from the weather that was poor for the time of year.
The wedding went well and instead of the bride being ransomed it ended up as the bridegroom ( Nicou) who was more than bemused with the whole thing. I managed to get candle wax and honey all down my jacket, so it is presently residing in the specialist cleaners.
In the meantime, I see we now have a coalition government. It remains to be seen whether it will be strong enough to force the banks to stop lending to it, and start lending to the poor benighted punters. I had a discussion with the regional director of RBS today, whose brief is:
1) Do not lend money on property
2) Where you have lent money in the past, claw it back
3) If you can't get it back, up the charges, margin and fees.
4) Er, that's it.
In effect, whereas bankers used to get bonusses for lending money,they are now getting bonuses for getting it back in. It will all end in tears, as all things with the banks do in time.
I am gearing up for Gurkha Highlander 2010, which is actually named "The Seven Sisters", the idea being to do 7 Munroes in 7 days. Fortunately, I am only driving again.
In the meantime, I was on the Somme again for a boy's outing, which was great fun, even if a bit chilly. It culminated in an excellent lunch on Sunday in Arras at a restaurant that had just opened two days earlier. The food was excellent as was the ambience - but we were somewhat surprised to discover that the Chef was from Swindon.
I sort of think the level of his food was a bit beyond the good people of Swindon...
As an aside, the spell check suggests " Swindlers" for Swindon...
The most extraordinary thing about the battlefields is that when the war ended there where literally thousands of square miles with nothing in them - just mud, holes,metal and bodies. These bodies keep appearing - we saw several new graves in some of the cemeteries with addenda in the registers. The thought at the time was that no one would ever live in the area again, but good land ( especially owned by a Frenchman) is precious, and the villages all grew up again quite quickly.
One of the more interesting things to do is visit a German Cemetery. There are very few as most bodies were taken back to Germany, but there are a few here and there.
Complete with Jewish headstones.
The thing is, the non-Jewish corpses have a simple black metal cross with the name, rank and job of the interee.
The Jewish ones were removed during WW2 and melted down to make bullets - so at least the Jews could be useful. The bodies were removed from their Aryan colleagues.
Now, the headstones have replaced the gaps and the bodies have been returned.
In Schlaflige Ruhe

3 comments:

In Actual Fact said...

"Schlaflige"?

Is that Chinese Judeo-German?

Winchester whisperer said...

Ah the Somme!

kinglear said...

Mr. Fact, it was supposed to be the german for sleep peacefully - but Judeo-german is so much more interesting....
And ah, WW, I have such happy memories of our time there. I must let you win at liar's dice sometime...