Friday, 13 November 2015

Belgium Toosoo

Yesterday in Dutch class we all had to sing our national anthems. Not in Dutch, maybe the teacher was just sick of the sound of us massacring her language. My ranking:

1. Somalia "Soomaaliyeey Toosoo" (Somalia Wake Up) - super catchy. Apparently it's not the national anthem any more, which is a big mistake.
2. Venezeula "Gloria Al Bravo Pueblo" - pretty good, would be excellent for marching.
3. UK - at least easy to sing and succinct if frankly dull.
4. Belgium "La Brabançonne"- even the PM can't remember it, it's hardly a reference, also easily confused with Here Comes the Chief, I mean Hail to the Chief or whatever it's called. This version sounds like it comes from a Christmas album by some second rate tenors.
- Morocco (refused to sing)
- Rwanda (didn't know, hummed the Star Spangled Banner instead)

We were studying things that you can (kunnen) do (eg. sing your national anthem), things that you are allowed to do (mogen, we couldn't think of many of these in Belgium though I think we came up with "in the police station you may consult a lawyer") and things that you must (moeten) or must not (niet mogen) do (eg. "in the town hall you must not ask questions during the lunch break", well obviously).

On my radar:

La Force des Choses
I am reading the third volume of Simone de Beauvoir's autobiography. The first two volumes are among my very favourite non-fic books ever - the second especially, which covers the war, is gripping - but I am finding this arid. There is a lot of JPS falling out with various Communist groupuscules and everyone keeps launching competing "revues". I did enjoy a brief cameo by the crustaceans who chased JPS through volume two after a mescal experiment misfire, and am hoping they will return.

New Lives in the Wild UK - Channel 5 
I have been looking forward to this glimpse into my future - crazed Britons living off grid in cobbled together shacks antagonising their neighbours and speaking mainly to goats - and it did not disappoint, although the crazies were not that crazy in this episode. I say that, but the four of them were living in a converted horse box and they had some of the worst hair in Britain. Next week's episode is definitely Future Me - wild haired (ok, not this), toothless Oxford graduate crone lives in mud hut in Wales.

Those pork buns Nigella made on telly last week
They looked so easy! I love pork buns! Did not involve many weird ingredients! Likelihood of this going horribly wrong: approx 98%. I am so happy N is back on the television, I could watch her endlessly, even though her hand gestures are weirdly over-emphatic.

Trish Deseine on The Food Programme
So enjoyed listening to this.

Our Mutual Friend
I am listening to this as I trudge the grey streets with the ouipette, using my under-used Audible subscription (any tips?) and very enjoyable it is too. Silas Wegg has just gone to see Mr Venus, Preserver of Animals and Birds, Articulator of Human Bones, to find out whether his amputated leg has been sold (it hasn't, though it might turn out valuable as a Monstrosity).

Jesus, they are everywhere at the moment, there are hundreds in the park. I'm not complaining, I love crows and will happily submit to our crow overlords.

Scented Origami horses
I did a small job relating to these recently (€62 for 4) and now I am fascinated by the idea. How long, realistically, does a paper horse hold scent? Wouldn't it be like one of those little paper tester thingies, ie. barely a week in your pocket? Still, compared to the "scented pebble" (€200 for a single pebble), I suppose they are a steal.

Lunch is on my radar. Time to hack my way through some more of the chard forest, chiz.



Alan said...

Would it be too much to hope that the scented horses actually smell of horse?

Adrian Liston said...

"In Our Time" did a nice podcast on Simone de Beauvoir a few weeks ago:

Waffle said...

I listened! It was good.

They aren't horse flavoured, but one of them is called "In the saddle", so close.

anapestic said...

Our Mutual Friend is my favorite Dickens novel and in my top two overall. I must find a recording of it: I imagine it would be good for many miles.

CJ said...

I misguidedly bought a scented candle that has for weeks and weeks filled the corner of the room with what purports to be lemon and lavender. It does not show any sign of diminishing. I daren't light it, especially given that I live in a house of boys who have an absolute horror of anything scented or feminine. I fear one day they will just lock me out of the house and have done with it. Good to hear there are more Lives in the Wild to be exclaimed over. I vividly remember one poor woman who'd been living in the middle of absolutely nowhere with her husband and children, and who was so defensive about it. Her husband was an overgrown twelve-year old having the time of his life. She kept saying, "Bad things could happen even if we lived in a normal civilised place" and looking quietly desperate. Made for riveting tv. CJ xx

Jane Murray Bird said...

Crows! My people! That's cousin Merf there, in flight. I am obsessed with New Lives in the Wild, obsessed.

ellen kirkendall said...

Your crows actually look quite nice. Our neighborhood flock is rather small but vocal. They announce my dog every time she comes out, even though a west highland white terrier is not much of a threat.

I hope events in Paris are not affecting you too much. The sorrow is unavoidable, even here.

Fat Controller said...

JPS? Didn't that used to be a brand of cigarette and, via sponsorship, a racing team? Or was there really a Formula One outfit called Jean Paul Sartre Lotus? Pipped to the 1976 world championship by Team Mercedes Martin Heidegger and the plucky Brits of Maclaren/Bertrand Russell?

frau antje said...

You mentioned Simone de Beauvoir months ago, and it inspired me to read the lives and loves of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre (because I thought it would read itself, it did). Then I couldn't give up Simone de Beauvoir, so I read the 'forgotten gem' America Day by Day. Then I couldn't give up California, and am stuck in that rut, which is fine. Did read The Second Sex in a cabin on the Aegean while in college. A steward kept coming below deck to see if I wanted company (no). But when it comes to things an author won't tell you themselves, qualms are not something I possess.

ali_jane said...

Last Thursday went to French film festival with earnest friend. She was otherwise seeing films about struggling adulthoods of former child soldiers and NGO heads deceiving African countries about putting children into an orphanage (and actually charging high fees to adoptive parents), but I managed to get a Belgian movie about aging punk rockers suddenly losing their front man just as they're about to do their first North American tour -- and also winding up in Northern Quebec (my current province). Didn't get off entirely without unpleasant emotion as I stupidly invited along my boyfriend, who'd spread his father's ashes the weekend before -- which didn't go entirely as planned -- and there was a lot of ash related humour. Still easier to bear than struggling former child soldiers, so thank you Belgium. said...

I have heard earlier about Wild UK but I have never watched them before. Now I'm looking for some episodes to watch cause I'm quite interested.

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