Last train to the Kingdom

1 2015-07-10 11.35.55-A

The battle of Trafalgar marked the beginning of the end of Napoleon’s ambitions. Tomorrow, Brits will flip a coin. All polls hover at 50/50 REMAIN or leave. This post may be the last with the Kingdom inside the EU. Maybe the last post for the United Kingdom. The Scots have already announced they would secede in case of Brexit. So let’s take a stroll in what still is a European Britain, before the coin falls.

2 2015-07-07 18.30.53

Domine nos dirige. Scrapping the dust in my Latin drawer: God directs us (?)

3 2015-07-07 17.49.25

HMS Belfast on the Thames. London bridge in the background.

4 2015-07-09 16.42.53

“A passage to India.” The elephant looks a bit under the weather.

5 2015-07-08 17.56.33

Will the price of beer go up? 😦

6 2015-07-09 11.50.23

To REMAIN or to leave, that is the question…

7 2015-07-09 15.35.33

Do Remain

Oh fair maiden.

I know, it is a poor rhyme. But this entire affair has no rhyme nor reason…

8 2015-07-11 11.54.22-A

An allegory of the EU and the rubbish it brings to the Fair Kingdom? (Tongue in cheek)

9 2015-07-08 18.14.53

Trafalgar Square. Britain preparing to swim away with its faithful dolphins under the appalled gaze of Β Admiral Nelson.

11 2015-07-07 14.34.22

‘The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.
(Coleridge, The rhyme of the ancient mariner)
12 2015-07-11 11.58.24
A cross-section of politicians. Camden town.
13 2015-07-08 17.06.47
Honor Deo. God’s Honour. Near Belgravia.
14 2015-07-11 11.57.20
“Here be monsters.” Blank spot on the Continent’s map.
16 2015-07-10 16.24.47
At Greenwich. The centre of Universal time. Shot at 12.00 GMT. (In case the coin falls on “leave”, I move that GMT be switched to PMT. (Paris Mean Time) πŸ˜‰
17 2015-07-11 18.00.08
The pirate Queen alights on the Brighton shore. Shore. Does not qualify as beach.
The locomotive engineer and crew wish to thank you for taking the last train to the Kingdom.
Please REMAIN until the train has come to a full stop.

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87 thoughts on “Last train to the Kingdom

  1. You know what Mark Twain said about voting. I say Britan is already out – people just haven’t been told about it yet. As a new (cold?) war is being prepared they will join their mighty Western child. EU is a joke anyway.

    • If voting made a difference they wouldn’t let us do it? πŸ™‚ About the joke, yes and no. Maybe it has turned into one. Maybe it did spare us from war for half a century. I still believe Europeans have so much in common, that it would be a shame to lose that. πŸ™‚

      • That’s the quote alright.

        People may or may not have common interests and whatnot, but the EU “rulers” definitely have one big thing in common: money. Unfortunately that works only for them, not for the people. And it may not work for them either anymore. When rats are leaving the ship…

      • Absolutely. Every time I go back to France and talk to the people, I can feel the growing distance between people’s everyday life and concerns and the Politicians’ discourse… Now on a positive note: crisis helps in the long run. Allows for re-orienting things. Hopefully. Be good Dragos.

      • Some things need to stay put, pillars to hold onto when storm comes. if everything changes people will be disoriented, chaos will ensue. Don’t change for the sake of changing! But also don’t hold onto chimaeras as if they were principles.

        Heck, life is too complicated for politicians to grasp the concept – they’d better hand it back to us, simple people that know how to live it without all that artificial fuss.

        Take care, Brieuc, especially while in Paris! πŸ˜‰

      • Agreed on all counts. I have been wondering lately about necessary changes to the political system… haha! One of them is to get rid of at least half the politicians and maybe establish a citizen service. Every year, a random number of people are drafted for a year. To serve as “council people” and take local decisions. πŸ™‚

      • Does the surgeon remove only half the cancer cells?

        I’d take The Elders’ Council anytime over the ever-perpetuating corrupted bunch. But that will never happen again in this civilisation cycle; we’ll have to wait for the next one, in a few dozen/hundred thousand years (maybe).

      • Dreams are a must. Aborigines believe the world is actually a dream. Well, a bit more complicated. There’s a whole thing they call the Dreamtime. Look it up. And keep dreaming my friend.

      • I found the Wikipedia reference, thank you. πŸ™‚

        From my side of the world this dream looks more like a nightmare so maybe it’s time for us to wake up, switch dreams before it’s too late. πŸ˜‰

        And I’m not even sure being allowed to dream within a dream is a good thing, because we’re just fooling ourselves, lying to ourselves that everything will be fine, things will get back to normal – some are working hard to redefine what ‘normal’ is – and in the end we realize it is all dust in the wind.

      • There was a time when I tried to learn Japanese but then lost my motivation and therefore the interest. It is quite a complicated language (nevermind the writing) and a very different culture. Interesting though. πŸ™‚

      • It is quite different from what the western world is used to. You may not have that much trouble with it though, considering your background. πŸ™‚

      • Never “tried” it. I’ve had may Asian friends, Korea, Thailand, Hong-Kong, Vietnam, etc. no Japanese. I think, maybe, I relate well to those cultures. After all if you learn the basic: Please, thank you, etc… you’re “in busuness”. πŸ˜‰

      • Yes, I believe the countries/cultures enumerated above are somehow more accessible to a western individual than Japan. The writing is a bitch though in all of them and personally I’m having a handicap in trying to learn and assimilate that kind of writing. I’ve struggled with Hiragana for a while, it seemed easier (although it’s deemed ladies’ writing in their culture) but it all went away when I lost interest and stopped practicing reading/typing it.

        Years ago I had a pilipina virtual friend and discovered a small part of a very nice culture with warm people. Although we grew apart since, I’m still fond of the Phillipines, I like the language (although I didn’t get to learn much of it either) and from time to time I watch again a few movies with Bea Alonzo & John Lloyd Cruz, Sarah Geronimo, Anne Curtis. And if you thought italians speak fast… πŸ˜€

      • You do have a wide range of movie/telenovela interests including Colombia. I do have a few Philipino E-friends. They seem very nice. I haven’t heard spoeken Tagalog yet, but I will listen closely when I have the chance.

      • I got sick’n tired of the same Hollywood BS so I opened a door to alternative cinematography. Although some movies may seem cheesy, I like them precisely for that and for the sensation that they come directly from real life.

        One of the tagalog movies I like most is “All about love” (2006), despite the ugly review it got on IMDb. Anne Curtis is lovely as Badz/Badong. πŸ™‚ Next comes “A very special love” (2008) with a lovable Sarah Geronimo that sings the theme song too. πŸ˜‰ Didn’t get to see the sequel “You changed my life” (2009); maybe I will, someday.

        I’m sure estelea here, for one, could recommend a few tagalog movies if you want to get close to the pilipino cinema. πŸ˜‰

      • Haha! I will ask her. You have a point: foreign movies to me are like a window into other cultures. have you seen the lunchbox? (I will bear your comment in mind)

      • No, I haven’t seen it but I’ve seen it mentioned around here and – who knows – maybe someday I’ll get that chance. πŸ™‚

      • No idea, personally I can’t afford either of them and I don’t even think they’re available in our area. Many, many things are not available in our third (or fourth?) world and what is available is of lame quality. And then they call us pirates and thieves…

      • Ha! And that is another issue. Living in Mexico, I cannot download (legally) a lot of movies or series, because the country is classified as “pirate.” πŸ˜‰

      • I know, read that in one of your comments to someone else.

        I’ve seen commercial DVDs on our market that had such a poor quality as if they had been (badly) recoded from a pirate avi back to vob (DVD format). Honestly, a pirated movie would have had a much higher quality. Pay for junk?! What are we, stupid?!
        And then again we rarely to never see either major titles or alternative cinema titles in our stores – it’s only obscure titles that nobody would buy.
        Online services are virtually nonexistant so people who could afford it wouldn’t get the chance to legally buy (or rent) anything. But many (most?) of us couldn’t afford movies/series because we must survive first and that’s not an easy thing to do out here.

        And there would be much more to say but we’ve already slipped off topic.

      • Agreed on many points Dragos. As another example, I counted the movies available at theatres here in Mexico. 12 movies. For a city of 20 million! Ridiculous. Be good my friend. (Flying to Paris tomorrow) πŸ˜‰

      • Well, there’s always an explanation and this one is quite intricated and based on assumptions from both sides: citizens and authorities. But I’m not gonna elaborate on this now.

        Have a safe flight and enjoy your stay! πŸ™‚

  2. I had not heard Scotland would secede if Britain exits…uh wow. I hard an interesting thing on public radio about the perspective of folks in Gibraltar. They are against naturally because of their small location and population and reliance on trade. Very interesting times indeed. Timely post.

  3. It’s likely that quite literally, the worlds holds its collective breath on this one. I, for one, would not like to see the UK in isolationist mode, nor the US for that matter. We’re all, in a collective sense, in this mess together.

  4. Lovely photos. Good ol’ London Town.

    I have lived in SA for 30 yrs and aside from the soccer, I feel somewhat disconnected these days.
    I saw something on FB where the line went on about what’s all the fuss about immigrants?(paraphrasing): ”My neighbours are English, the shop owners are English and all the kids at my son’s school are English. I love it here in Spain so what’s the problem?”

    Ted Heath will be turning in his grave I suspect.
    πŸ™‚

    • I think Ted heath has risen from his grave according to the latest BBC reports. Love the joke. Whereabouts do you live in SA. I have cousins there. “Bon week-end” despite everything.

      • Google mapped it. As luck has it, my cousin Robert may be a neighbour. Didn’t realize Joburg was so close to Pretoria. Spent most my childhood in Africa, west and east, but never went to SA. Take care, Brian.

      • Pretoria is around 50km north.

        Did you see the actual Observatory on Google, in Observatory?
        It is right across the valley form where we live.

        Regards.
        Douglas

      • Hi Douglas.
        I took a “Google walk” on Regent street. πŸ™‚ Enough to see you have jacarandas as we had in Kenya and (still) have in Mexico. Looks like a lovely place.
        Cheers
        Brian

      • Agree on all counts. Our parents and grandparents have been in the last two wars. We are the only ones who barely “remember”. In ten years humanity will likely be at each other’s throats again. Very worrying indeed.

      • I came from behind the Iron Curtain πŸ™‚ My daughter speaks four languages, and my American son in law speaks four languages – I only speak three, but understand a few more. Runs in the family.

      • Latvia? Fascinating. It’s what we call “Lettonie” in French? That explains Russian. A bit forced down your throats then, wasn’t it? And your name. Inese did not sound very gaelic to me. πŸ™‚ Three or four languages is a must nowadays. And I follow you with the few more. πŸ™‚ Yes, coming form across the curtain gives another perspectives, which west european fools have forgotten. People don’t know what it is to live in fear. (I have somewhat) Well, let us hope they don’t have to learn soon. Enjoy your week-end Inese. Yours truly, Brian.

      • I imagine you speak not less than ten languages. I am learning Italian, but it doesn’t go well. I haven’t reached the threshold yet when quantity transforms into quality πŸ™‚

      • Ten? Haha! I wish. I am trilingual french, english, spanish. Speak portuguese and italian reasonably well. Understand a bit of german and dutch. And some remains of swahili form my Kenya days. An Israeli friend of my parents spoke 12. (OMG) and she said that the first 5 or 6 are the difficult ones. Then most languages look alike… If you have done Latin that helps. For Italian, try to look for the “root” or “radical”: theatre, teatro. Sometimes the meanings have evolved: Giorno is close to the french jour, or journΓ©e, which evolved into english journey with a different meaning. Have a nice week, Inese.

      • It is interesting that you mentioned the word journΓ©e because it plays a great part in my Saturday’s blog πŸ™‚

        Someone said that another language is another life. I think it is very true. Have a nice week you too!

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