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 The Elephant in the Room.

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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 11 Sep 2017, 14:46

I remember a slogan in the 1980s proclaiming that Newcastle-under-Lyme was a nuclear free zone - as if it would have made any difference to an enemy though one would always hope it didn't come to that. The news does indeed make depressing viewing at present with events in North Korea, dreadful flooding in various parts of the world and the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.

Vizzer makes a valid point about popular culture becoming increasingly influenced by large corporations. My understanding is that (I came relatively late to having internet connection in my home though I did use internet cafes before) YouTube used to be a platform for people to share information by means of videos and I have benefited from some of their "how to" videos but it seems to have become increasingly money driven. Also some years ago I signed up to a group giving information about sewing (not that I'm a prolific sewer but occasionally I have a bash not that I'm any expert) - I just wanted something I could dip into for ideas but now I get emails about online classes and how to "grow" my sewing blog - when I don't HAVE a sewing blog and have no intention of starting a sewing blog!!!)
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 14 Sep 2017, 04:57

@Temperance wrote:
There was an article in The Observer on Sunday recalling the Cold War and how Public Information films and posters gave sensible instructions and many top tips on what to do in the event of a nuclear strike.

The Government issued (was it around 1982?) guidance of a similar kind in a booklet called Protect and Survive. This, according to The Observer, is now completely out-of-date and is being revised. The updated version will give sensible advice on, among other things, showering, bathing and haircare, should one wake up one morning and notice that, inexplicably, there has been a thermonuclear explosion near one's house.

It is essential to take frequent showers, apparently, to wash away radioactive particles from the skin. It is also good to shampoo one's hair, but it is very unwise to use hair conditioner, because such stuff simply binds the deadly particles to the hair shaft. Not good.

I don't know what I'm going to do when the bomb drops: without conditioner I can't get a comb through my hair. I shall look a complete mess. I do hope the boffins at L'Oréal come up with a solution to this pretty damn quick.

I read that article in the Observer, but a lot of it didn't make much sense. How does anyone wash away radioactive particles using water that will also contain radioactive particles? Because the water will be contaminated like everything else, won't it? It can't not be.

All in all about as useless as the former advice that was put out when I was at school in the 60s, like hiding under the desk in case of nuclear strike. Both then and now it seems more about drumming up fear in the general public, rather than the assurance that they pretend.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 14 Sep 2017, 09:35

ID wrote:
 I read that article in the Observer, but a lot of it didn't make much sense.



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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 14 Sep 2017, 18:34

I'm battling with a blocked drain right now, I do hope that no-one lobs anything nasty at Coulport until it's cleared. On the other hand, a wee dose of polonium might be just the the thing to eat through the accumulated gunge.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 30 Sep 2017, 14:45

@nordmann wrote:
I think the elephant's just done one massive dump

The elephant is currently in Barcelona and looks like it's about to have another motion. Whether its bowels produce just a lot of hot air or an historic great plop, it seems that this 880th anniversary year of the betrothal of the infant Petronella and the abdication of her father will certainly not go unmarked.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 30 Sep 2017, 15:04

Unfortunately for the Catalans, whatever the size of the plop it will be an illegal one so has no viable standing. It is undoubted that that idiot Rajoy has handled the whole thing like an elephant in a china shop, and probably turning more into supporting independence that otherwise would have, but whatever the result the ref will still remain illegal and rather pointless because of it.

Catalonia (along with the Basque region) has more representation in parliament, get more perks and are richer than most other Spanish states yet still they continually whinge and whine. Then claim they can join the EU after independence, I'm not sure what planet they are living on but I think it must be the same one that Brexiters are living on.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 23 Oct 2017, 13:00

Something I came across at the weekend.

Pulgasari, the story behind the making of this film is like a plot from an Ian Fleming novel:

Abduction by Shin Sang ok & Choi Eun-hee



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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 27 Oct 2017, 15:46

Catalonia is going for it;

Catalonia declares independence
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 27 Oct 2017, 16:49

Or rather Puigdemont is going for it. The last Catalan parliamentary elections gave the independence parties 47% of the seats, and for years opinion polls have shown a fairly consistent 50:50 split. IMO it's just like brexit, 'the mob' has been whipped up by self-seeking politicians and other vested interests with no regard for the colossal damage it's going to inflict on ordinary people. And even if the illegal, interrupted, and deeply flawed referendum on 1st October showed a majority in favour of independence, the whole process, and the subsequent actions by the Catalan parliament, don't seem to have been very democratic to me.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 27 Oct 2017, 20:48

@Meles meles wrote:
Or rather Puigdemont is going for it. The last Catalan parliamentary elections gave the independence parties 47% of the seats, and for years opinion polls have shown a fairly consistent 50:50 split. IMO it's just like brexit, 'the mob' has been whipped up by self-seeking politicians and other vested interests with no regard for the colossal damage it's going to inflict on ordinary people. And even if the illegal, interrupted, and deeply flawed referendum on 1st October showed a majority in favour of independence, the whole process, and the subsequent actions by the Catalan parliament, don't seem to have been very democratic to me.
Meles meles,

I hope it will be a lesson for our Flemish independentists overhere, the ones from the 19thy century narration of Flemish nation building. And a lesson for the voters of the Flemish regional parliament, who have it all in hand...

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 28 Oct 2017, 04:32

It is looking like there will be elections on Dec 21st so it will be interesting to see what the Catalans give themselves for Xmas. Hopefully the issue will be sorted once and for all, but I doubt it as opinion is far too split.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 28 Oct 2017, 08:51

@Islanddawn wrote:
It is looking like there will be elections on Dec 21st so it will be interesting to see what the Catalans give themselves for Xmas. Hopefully the issue will be sorted once and for all, but I doubt it as opinion is far too split.

As has been mentioned above, the number of the electorate which actually vote on that date is also relevant when comparing to the rather low, imho, turnout figures at the independence referendum.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 31 Oct 2017, 15:16

Puigdemont is currently in Belgium, though he says he is NOT seeking asylum.

Can we expect something similar to 1576 ????

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 31 Oct 2017, 21:39

@Triceratops wrote:
Puigdemont is currently in Belgium, though he says he is NOT seeking asylum.

Can we expect something similar to 1576 ????



We have already had trouble in the Belgian government, while someone of the national government of Flemish Nationalist tenor has made some comments on asylum in relation to the Catalonian event...of course as member of the government he can't express political statements without previous consent of the government and especially the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has now forbidden that any member of that party and at the same time in the government may have contact with Pudgimon. Yes overhere we have also some parties, who think to live in the 19th century instead of the 21th one, the same as those nationalist Catalonians...

Kind regards, Paul.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 01 Nov 2017, 13:16

I go to a French conversation class once weekly - we bring in articles we have downloaded from the internet to share and discuss. One person brought in an article about "flamants" and for a moment I misread it as "flamands" but in actual fact it was a feature about the number of flamingos somewhere in France (a bit like Ospreys in Scotland I suppose).

Going back over 40 years a French lady who I now haven't seen for decades - and wouldn't know where to look her up - who was from Picardy (who had married an Englishman) said there is or at least used to be some Flemish speakers in Picardy. I don't know if that is still a thing; it could be like the Celtic languages in the UK, there are a few pockets of genuine speakers of Celtic language (my mother grew up speaking Welsh as well as English) but a lot of people have become interested in their "roots" and study Welsh, Cornish (or is it Cornwelsh though I think that language has died out) and Scots Gaelic and perhaps Channel Island French either from books, or CDs or maybe online - or possibly even attend classes with a real life teacher.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 01 Nov 2017, 20:59

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
I go to a French conversation class once weekly - we bring in articles we have downloaded from the internet to share and discuss.  One person brought in an article about "flamants" and for a moment I misread it as "flamands" but in actual fact it was a feature about the number of flamingos somewhere in France (a bit like Ospreys in Scotland I suppose).

Going back over 40 years a French lady who I now haven't seen for decades - and wouldn't know where to look her up - who was from Picardy (who had married an Englishman) said there is or at least used to be some Flemish speakers in Picardy.  I don't know if that is still a thing; it could be like the Celtic languages in the UK, there are a few pockets of genuine speakers of Celtic language (my mother grew up speaking Welsh as well as English) but a lot of people have become interested in their "roots" and study Welsh, Cornish (or is it Cornwelsh though I think that language has died out) and Scots Gaelic and perhaps Channel Island French either from books, or CDs or maybe online - or possibly even attend classes with a real life teacher.


Lady,

"at least used to be some Flemish speakers in Picardy"
PS and I had also once that impression when reading for the first time "flamants" in French.
Older people still speak Flemish in French-Flanders and even the younger ones, as the dialect on the two sides of the border don't differ that much. But sometimes they have French words in it, as we in our West-Flemish (from the former County of Flanders as they) have too. For instance they have for the border: "de schreve" (in Dutch: de schreef) ( the line, the streak) and "de frontiere" (in French :la frontière...While we say "de grens"  (the boundary).
I spoke with someone from French Flanders in Spain and my West-Flemish was nearly the same as his dialect.
I saw two performances of a French Flemish Theater here near Bruges and it was all easely understandable for us.
http://www.kfv-fransvlaanderen.org/nl/nieuws182-vlaams-toneel-in-frans-vlaanderentheatre-flamand-en-flandre-francaise?p=0
And it is in Dutch and French...perhaps with your bit of French...
The same at the Dutch border in the North, in Zeeland, they speak a dialect nearly to us, but during the 400 years of The Netherlands through the education they have an "Hollandish" accent and many Dutch words not used in Southern Dutch, which has the same 400 years of separation.
I have to say that I am interested in that language border and its history, together with two others that I met on Historum and Passion-Histoire...Isleifson (from the Lorraine tudesque"and Carolus from the German side. We the three from the "borderland", the former Lotharingen from the time of the separation of Verdun 843. I suppose it a common thread for people of the borderland to known at least three languages: the local one and these from the neighbours, in our case French and German. And then a fourth is easy: English is French and German Wink ...
And that other borderland between Picardie/Flemish coast and England:the Channel.
Coincidentaly I did yesterday again! some research for Historum and a contributor on Passion Histoire: Almayrac about that coast, which had in the time Anglo-Saxons at both sides of the Channel.
http://historum.com/european-history/71943-early-middle-ages-nord-pas-de-calais-flemish-coast.html
http://historum.com/european-history/130129-holy-roman-empire-thread-5.html
http://historum.com/european-history/130430-county-boulogne-12th-century.html


And the earlier French ones:
http://passion-histoire.net/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=8619&hilit=litus+saxonicum
http://passion-histoire.net/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=11694&hilit=litus+saxonicum


But to return to French Flanders: I am interested in the languageborder from Boulogne to the former Yugoslavia, but researching for that you encounter all kind of stuff as people seeking for a "Greater Flandres" incorporating "French Flanders"...they really still live in the 19th century...it is as Catalunia ask a piece of France (there in MM's neck of the woods)...And we have it still had in the 20th century with Gross Deutschland, and recently with the Greater Albania and the Greater Serbia, even the Croatians wanted to take a part of Bosnia...all dangerous stuff in my opinion...as the Flemish Nationalists...and in reaction a growing counterpart of Walloon or Francophone nationalism...I said it already on several boards: nationalism, language and religion are a dangerous mixture...at least they can't discuss the religion overhere as they have a common religious past Wink ...
In a discussion on Historum about the Belgian King's question of Leopold III I met a contributor (always a friend of me (I guess Belgian too), who defended exactly the thesis of a Walloon, who I encountered on French fora. In fact he used history in my opinioon to defend an independent Wallonia and during my research, because it was in English, I read about Leopold III from a Flemish author too and by further research I found out that he used history to defend an independent Flanders (the nowadays Flanders, not the one from history: the County of Flanders). And yes many have done it before: distorted history for their own nationalistic ideas.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 03 Nov 2017, 13:45

Thank you for the links, Paul.  I will have to look at the linked articles more attentively when I have a few minutes.  I'm glad I wasn't the only person to make the mistake about "flamants".  Although I have Irish and Welsh in my ancestry I have never learned to speak either Welsh or Irish Gaelic.  There might be a few resources online; I'm not sure.  Well I know the odd phrase of Welsh but I couldn't hold a conversation in that language.

I had some friends who are now either deceased or I have lost touch with them who used to study Esperanto.  I always turned away from Esperanto because I thought we had so many languages in the world already why invent another one.  But maybe the people who originated that language had a point in that they were trying to encourage internationalism.  Don't get me wrong I will still back the UK and England (I'll even cheer the English football team on even though I hate football).  A lady I knew when I was younger (and with whom I still exchange Christmas cards - sometimes e-cards these days) was born in the UK to Polish parents and married a man born in the Alsace to Polish parents.  He is a French citizen (as are their four sons) but with living so close to the German border the boys (now men with their own children) grew up speaking French, English, Polish, German and the local Alsatian dialect (a sort of German but influenced by French).

In the UK there was a time 20-30 years ago when complaints were made in some of the coastal villages in Wales and Cornwall that wealthy English people were buying up a lot of cottages for holiday homes and pricing the available housing out of the range of local people which caused a certain amount of resentment.  I remember going on holiday with my parents and younger brother to Cornwall when I was about 14.  I was expecting it to be like a landscape in a Daphne du Maurier novel (well some of the more remote parts probably still are) but I was terribly disappointed to see how many chalets were built close to the beaches and of course there were loads of caravan parks.  Still, I expect the money spent by the temporary visitors who occupied the caravans and chalets was useful to the local economy.  I don't know if taking over of local housing by people from afar happens in places in continental Europe also in favoured holiday places.

I was actually inaccurate when I said on another thread not too long ago that I hadn't been to France since 1999.  Actually, a firm I worked for (in London) took the staff (well those that wanted to come - okay we had to make a contribution to the expenditure) to Calais for the Christmas meal (of course it was in the run-up to Christmas not actually on Christmas Day).  This would be in 2007.  I didn't really get a chance to explore Calais because most of the folks wanted to go to the local hypermarket and I went with the flow (though I can go to a hypermarket/supermarket in the UK if I want).  I don't know if the place where Queen Philippa intervened with Edward III on behalf of the burghers of Calais still exists (someboy will probably tell me that the story is an urban myth and shatter my illusions now) but I didn't get a chance to find out.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 04 Nov 2017, 22:29

Lady in retirement,

thank you very much for all your stories I was glad to read them. In fact it is a "relief" to read you.

Kind regards from an appreciating Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 05 Nov 2017, 10:27

@PaulRyckier wrote:

.... but researching for that you encounter all kind of stuff as people seeking for a "Greater Flandres" incorporating "French Flanders"...they really still live in the 19th century...it is as Catalunia ask a piece of France (there in MM's neck of the woods)...

I don't think the current autonomous region of Spanish Catalunya presently has any serious territorial designs on the bit in France, and neither is there much appetite here to become united with them. French Catalonia essentially comprises the ancient 'county' of Roussillon. Roussillon has long (for nigh on 1000 years) been disputed between the neighbouring counties of Toulouse, Montpellier and Barcelona, while of course it has always been physically separated from the south by the Pyrenees mountain chain. Roussillon, together with a small part of the ancient Comarc of Cerdanya, plus a few other neighbouring bits, ... nowadays comprises the administrative Departement des Pyrénées Orientales. By land area this is only about the size of Kent or Suffolk, or about a third of the size of Yorkshire, ... so its quite a small territory really (at least for France where for example Brittany, Normandy, Burgundy or Provence are all very, very much larger than little Roussillon). Many people here do identify culturally as Catalan but according to the last census only about a third can actually speak the language. There are also quite a lot of 'foreigners', like myself ... in particular there are very many Pieds-Noirs from North Africa, and they are often more French than the French themselves!

The frontier between Catalunya and Roussillon was established by the Treaty of the Pyrénées on 7th November 1659 ... (ooo, an imminent opportunity for a dish-of-the-day methinks) ... and this border has proved to be one of the most resillient in Europe: despite numerous wars, revolutions, treaties and dynastic changes, it has not shifted an inch ... or un pouce, una polgada, una polzada ... in the 350 years since it was agreed.

There is also a degree of irony in the whole Catalan independence movement with its continual harking back to the region's heyday in the middle ages. In the 13th century the Principality of Catalunya was indeed a wealthy independent state ... except that even then it was actually part of a union of states. Having broken free of Frankish/French influence (always rather tenuous down south in the Languedoc) Catalunya became absorbed into the Kingdom of Majorca (newly retaken from the Moors) and then through dynastic marriage rather than conquest, it became joined with the Kingdom of Aragon. Catalunya at its medieval nadir was therefore part of a commonwealth that included Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Aragon, Valencia, Urgell, Cerdanya, Roussillon, Algheria in northern Sardinia, and then in the 14th century also Naples, Sicily and the rest of Sardinia. All these states/counties/regions, while being under the rule of the King of Aragon, remained largely autonomous but happily operated together for their mutual benefit ... so very much like Catalunya's current position within modern Spain (and of course Spain, as an independent political entity, itself only arose from the peaceful dynastic union of the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile, with the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella in 1469).

There is of course already one fully independent Catalan state: Andorra. But an economic model based on being a tax-free region on the continental mainland, but outside of the EU and so exempt from banking regulation, copyright laws and product standards, is probably not the preferred aim for modern Cataluya. People around here tend to rather look down on Andorrans with all their bling and flash cars, all paid for through tax-avoidance and money laundering ... at least that's the popular view ... but it is certainly true that I've never yet seen anything as humble as a Twingo or Clio bearing Andorran licence plates.


Last edited by Meles meles on Tue 07 Nov 2017, 16:36; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : muddled some Aragonese territories, counties and comarcs)
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 05 Nov 2017, 21:49

Thank you very much Meles meles about the enlightenment concerning the region in your neck of the woods. I learned a lot of it and you explained it that well.

Kind regards from your friend Paul.
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