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(I know, I know, but it's the way we diarylanders have done it for generations.)

2010-06-21 12:24


1. The speed at which they grow up is not inconsiderable

Little Boris van 't Blad is now 2 and a half, which means he will turn three(3) in the next school year, which means that the government wishes us to think about the schools he is entitled to attend from the age of four(4) and required to attend from the age of five(5).

As luck would have it there's a school just up the road that fulfills all our requirements: it is just up the road; it is one of the best in the city, according to official statistics; it is Jesusy enough to inoculate against religion; and it is, after al, just up the road.

But still: the way that they grow up is not a way characterised by its slowness.

2. The weddning

We missed Daniel's exceptionally moving speech. We missed a lot of stuff: we were feeding baby Egberdina during the vows and trying to persuade her to sleep afterwards. But we were pleased to note that Zweden requires its marrying couples to do the full repeat-after-me routine: the Netherlands and Danmark stick with the Cherman-style say-yes-and-otherwise-shut-it service, which slightly spoiled for us the weddning of kronprinsess Mary of Danmark.

And the afterparty wasn't on TV here, so we went back to contemplating the foopball.

Bonus points to the Zwedish bloke quoted in yesterday's krant as saying "Of course I'm a republican really, but that doesn't mean I want a republic." Which is not only our own view, but apparently the de facto standard in egalitarian Zweden, which is part of why we still love it so.

3. Foopball

The assorted teams of Espain, Italy, Eng-ger-lnd and France seem to be enacting a ritual humiliation of supporters' nationalistic frenzy.

We, for one, assume that the financial elites have put them (at their own expense) up to it, so as to refocus public loathing on another group of absurdly over-paid incompetents, and it seems to be working pretty well so far.

4. A sense of unadventure

Tomorrow we go on holidag to a campsite near Enschede where our children's grandparents have a season place. It isn't the global foopball financial crisis that's to blame, though, more the number of small children we travel with and a strong preference that adults should outnumber them when required.


2010-06-14 20:03

Public Service Reminder, foopball special

Foopball is mostly pretty boring, even if you like that sort of thing. So what we do is put the radio on: the commentary from far-away Zuid Africa is a good ten(10) second ahead of the TV picture.

So when the radio chaps go beserk, you have plenty of time to look up and watch even the build up to why.

For half-watching even less important games (while rocking a tired but grumpy baby, for example), we favour the Belgian broadcasts (Flemish edition). Belgium are in the World Cup finals so there's a lot less partisan drivel spouted, and that counts for a lot.

2010-06-14 19:49

Belgium, man! Belgium!

Our Varied Reader surely knows that voting in Belgium is compulsory. What we hadn't previously appreciated is that it is carried out on Zundags and that (at polling stations equipped with pencils rather than computers, which is most of them) it closes at 13.00, Belgian time.

In our youth we seldom got out of bed before then, and we can't help finding it harsh.

Meanwhile, the low countries (ours included) are well into the period of Real Politics, where coalitions are formed and coalition-accords are thrashed out, and this occurs of course behind closed doors. We'll spare you our take on the kremlinology; do try to be grateful.

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