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.
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).
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
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.
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?
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).