What a great end to an awful week. I mean the efforts of 11 footballers representing Wales to come from behind against a team from Belgium commonly considered to be the better team. I have long adopted Wales as my ‘home’ nation, it has no logic but so what! In the 1990s Palace had a centre half called Eric Young, nicknamed Eric the Ninja on account of his wearing a headband.
‘You’ll never beat the Ninja’ we used to chant, and together with Andy Thorn they formed a formidable defensive partnership. As a British citizen who was born abroad, Fifa eligibility rules at the time of Young’s first international selection entitled him to represent any of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom at international level. He opted for Wales, despite having no family connection to that country. I twisted that logic and considered that being the son of two Turkish Cypriot’s I too could choose which home nation to support. But why not England? After all I was born in London. I’m sorry but I just can’t, I don’t wish them ill and I would be happy for the English to have a successful team to support but everytime I hear Mark Lawrenson, Andy Townsend or another football commentator patronise the opposition it gets my goat. Against Iceland I had to listen to the son of God, or Glenn Hoddle as he’s otherwise known, make comparisons between Iceland and the Wimbledon team of the 1980-90s. Excuse me, didn’t Wimbledon win the FA Cup in that period? It’s just the arrogance of some English towards foreign teams that pisses me off so much I can’t bear to support them. Look at Wales, they know they’re not favourites to win games, they’re just happy to be there and they just want to do their best, all 11 of them, every time they play.
I haven’t said anything about the bomb at Istanbul before now because I’ve been numb. I don’t know what more to say. I was there last year and that always makes your reaction to tragic events such as occurred this week stronger. Once again the government started by saying it might have been the Kurds or the Islamic State. After a day or two they said it was the Islamic State. Very rarely to the PKK use the tactic of suicide bombers but hey! Why not jump at the opportunity to denigrate one fifth of Turkey’s population and make them feel uncomfortable in their own country? I have suspected that as the Islamic State loses ground, as it has done in Iraq, Syria and Libya that they would target the rest of us in the West. This is going to be a long battle I’m afraid. On a more positive note there is a slow improvement in Turkey’s relations with Russia and Israel. Erdogan is too stubborn to concede mistakes, but he’s certainly made them in his relationships with Turkey’s neighbours. If he concentrated on making peace with one fifth of his own population instead of trying to support the overthrow of a neighbours government we might be in a better situation than we are.
Just some more thoughts on the Brexit vote. Not everyone who voted to leave was racist (probably only a small fraction were). But I suspect every racist voted to leave. And the problem is that they now think half the country agrees with them. Incidents of racial attacks have increased in the past week, this is not a coincidence but the result of idiots feeling more confident to display their lack of intelligence.
We are not having Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. I get a certain satisfaction from seeing him stabbed in the back by Michael Gove. And no I still don’t give a damn who leads the Tories, they are still going to support the interests of big business and attack the most vulnerable in our society.
Jeremy Corbyn has had a tough week and I am sorry and concerned about what he’s had to endure. I say that as a supporter. He is not perfect and I think he has made some decisions which a politician who was more interested in currying favour with Murdoch and the BBC would not make. He feels the responsibility of representing the people who supported him in the election last year. I hope he doesn’t let us down. But if he resigns I will understand and not judge. He deserved better from his colleagues than he got. But evidently 67% of Labour voters voting to remain in EU was not enough and he is to blame for result. So, rather than accept they failed to convince enough of their own supporters to back remaining in the EU they think the leader is to blame.
This week we have the first of our language students staying with us through the summer. We have four girls aged 16-17 from Italy, Spain, Finland and Russia. They are all lovely. We have had students for some 14 or so years now. We once had two Austrian boys who got lost on their first day and instead of finding the school they found the Crazy Golf course, where they were found by a search party. They were seriously bollocked by their mothers that evening. They then stunk out their room when they brought a dead crab in off the beach and put in the chest of a drawers. They went crazy with the air freshener. Worst of all they had the cheek to cheer wildly when Germany beat Turkey in the last minute of the Euro’s in the semi final.
Our first student was Victoria, a teacher from Hungary. We took her to Rye where we came across a stag party dressed in drag. ‘In England men like to dress up in women’s clothes from time to time’ I said. In a serious voice she said ‘In Hungary we don’t have this problem’.
We enjoy having these visitors and some of them we stay in touch with on Facebook, there is Rocco from Italy and Francois from Ivory Coast. One we don’t keep in touch with is Alexander from Russia. For three weeks he stayed in his room except for mealtimes, only going out for his lessons and to do some shopping and not interested in any of the excursions the school organised. I had to instruct him to take a shower every 4-5 days when the odour got too strong. Another Russian boy that had a better time with us was a slightly rounded boy who loved his food, he said to us about baked beans ‘I’ve never had these before, but I like very much’. I hope he returned to Russia with greater appreciation of British culture than just baked beans.
I also took a French boy to the pub who was very pro Sarkozy and at the end of the evening drunk enough to stand up and sing the French national anthem to the rest of the pub. I say boy, he might have been 17 or 18.
They are not always lovely and the 3 Chinese girls who were with us last year were possibly the worst although two Italian girls we had ran them close. We are very tolerant easy going people in our house but lying to us about being out with your teachers when you come back at midnight or taking showers for over an hour was stretching my patience.
Anyway I would like to strongly recommend you cheer yourselves up by watching this youtube clip Jafer sent me this morning, despite the awful events of this week laughter is a necessity for good mental health.
Reasons to love and be Welsh; Tom Jones, Cerys Matthews, The Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, Gorkys Zygotic Mynci (Psychotic Monkey), Gareth Bale, Ryan Giggs, and the three Palace players in the Welsh squad (Joe Ledley,Wayne Hennesey and Johnny Williams). Nye Bevan, who fought the doctors to create the National Health Service. Greedy buggers preferred getting rich off the sick. Here;’s a picture.
And here’s some of his words;
‘No attempt at ethical or social seduction can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin’.
‘The purpose of getting power is to be able to give it away’.
‘Reactionary: a man walking backwards with his face to the future’.
‘The Tories, every election, must have a bogey man. If you haven’t got a programme, a bogey man will do’.
‘We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down’.
‘I read the newspapers avidly. It is my one form of continuous fiction’.
‘It is not possible to create peace in the Middle East by jeopardizing the peace of the world’.