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12/06/04 After showing Gael the new forest we had a few pints at…

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12/06/04

After showing Gael the new forest we had a few pints at a pub in Southampton and one of our infamous dinners with Philip and Jackie, where much good wine was had. Jackie cooked her delectable crab tart with cayenne, which we all agreed was her best yet. At one point Philip took me aside and showed me a bottle of 1999 Barolo they had been saving for my birthday. He asked me if I wanted to open it that night or wait until my birthday, I opted to open it that night so we could share it with Gael. It was a beautiful bottle of vino.



`I have to drink this much in 1.5 seconds?'










Frenchie says: `Wine is good!'

Frenchie says: `No wine for you!'



Macsen's grandfather fought in WWII and for the first time we were shown the Nazi u-boat flag and naval officer's dirk he brought back with him. He was once in a room full of ceremonial standards, but he didn't take one. They're worth thousands of pounds now.

It was unsettling to be in the same room with the Nazi flag -- it still has such a powerful presence.



The next day we drove back to London and gave Gael her first taste of real fish and chips. We took them home and watched the England vs. France game.






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On July 13th, 2004 09:42 pm (UTC), gael replied:
I was! I had such a great time. :)

I took a microcassette recorder with me, and 99% of the recording is me and Naomi giggling.
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On July 14th, 2004 12:48 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
I forgot to ask you if you documented any good accents? :)
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On July 14th, 2004 12:45 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
They weren't the best fish n' chips in the neighborhood, but the pickings were slim on a Sunday with a big football game on. ;) Still tasty, though, and sufficiently greasy.

She says she enjoyed herself and I have photographic proof! The trip certainly went by fast (you wouldn't know it as it's taking me over a month to post all of the photos).
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On July 13th, 2004 07:54 am (UTC), dichroicynosure commented:
I <3 Leffe beer! De-lish!
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On July 13th, 2004 09:42 pm (UTC), gael replied:
Yes, yes! The bruin one is my fave.
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On July 14th, 2004 12:55 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Have you polished off all of your beers yet? I still need to try that Becasse framboise.
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On July 14th, 2004 12:50 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
Leffe is one of my favorite Belgian beers. More and more pubs in England are selling it now which makes me very happy indeed.
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On July 13th, 2004 10:01 am (UTC), gulch commented:
Mmm crab tart, mmm fish & chips, mmm barolo, mmm Leffe (just been polishing off some Westmalle myself, brought back from my recent Belgian adventure).

That Nazi stuff is damn spooky. I acted in a musical once, The Grand Tour, set in WWII. I played various bit parts, including the odd Nazi soldier. The director had borrowed a couple of original uniforms, and warned us that they were worth horrendous amounts. I'd have felt a lot more comfortable playing in a fake costume, I know what I'm like with clothes of any kind, I can barely keep food & drink off them for five minutes. Somehow though, this one survived. Picture of a not-exactly-Aryan-looking 17-year-old Dan as a German soldier here: http://www.sumption.org/lifeless/images/GrandTour.jpg
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On July 14th, 2004 01:38 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
I luv Westmalle, but that's not much of a surprise I'm sure. I just bought some at Borough market last weekend; when Gael was here she bought some at Sainsbury's! Seems Belgian beer is becoming more popular here.

You make quite the dapper Nazi! I never imagined I'd say that to someone. I would have felt more comfortable wearing a fake costume just because of the history behind the uniform.
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On July 13th, 2004 10:21 am (UTC), juliabee commented:
Just seeing that flag in photos is unsettling. Whoah.
Makes me wonder who may have looked at that particular flag, despised it-- and didn't die of natural causes.

Something about Gael's face just makes you want to smile. :0)
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On July 13th, 2004 09:44 pm (UTC), gael replied:
Well, thank you! Reading that made *me* smile. :)
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On July 14th, 2004 02:47 pm (UTC), nomi replied:
I actually felt sick to my stomach being so close to it. I didn't think it would effect me so strongly.

Something about Gael's face just makes you want to smile. :0)

I agree. :)
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On July 13th, 2004 02:16 pm (UTC), asphalteden commented:
Gosh, I love Leffe, and haven't had it in a while.

The Nazi flags are certainly mesmerizing, and one tends to feel guilty because of it. They chose the Swastika on purpose, for its spiritual significance, so perhaps it's that ancient power one feels, though, unfortunately it now has a negative pall that will likely (hopefully) never fade.

As a young teen, I had a Hindu friend named Dipayan whose father had pictures of his grandfather all around their house. The grandfather was a brahmin, and was often pictured on a dais decorated with different Swastikas. At the time, it was rather disconcerting, since my only exposure to the symbol had, of course, been during history lessons and war films.

Can you imagine if the Nazis had used the Christian cross with the longer vertical line?
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On July 16th, 2004 11:14 am (UTC), nomi replied:
Me, too! I never get hangovers with Leffe (well, excruciatingly painful ones, anyway. ;)

Didn't the Nazi's reverse the Swastika for the flag? It is a shame that the original symbol has been tainted forever.

True, I also wonder what it would be like now if they had used the Christian cross. I'm not religious, but I wonder how those who are would have felt if their cross had become such a negative symbol (more than it already is, for some).
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On July 13th, 2004 03:37 pm (UTC), somabrak commented:
Somewhat off topic, but ...
...when Chris and I were in Seattle, he kept meaning to take pictures of all of the wonderful meals we had, ala Nomi-style. :) I continually drool over your food photographs and always show them to him. Yum!
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On July 16th, 2004 11:16 am (UTC), nomi replied:
Re: Somewhat off topic, but ...
Aw, that's a nice compliment. :) Shame you hadn't taken photos of your meals, although they might have made me even more envious of your Seattle trip- I am soooo homesick!

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