28th February 2016

Merkel and the battle of EuroCo.......
Ironic really. Mama Merkel, in her moment of subliminal zeitgeist, opened all the floodgates to let in impoverished refugees. Only to find that thousand upon thousand arrived, perishing and struggling to find the European land of milk and honey. And then what happened? EU countries started closing the 'biblical' Schengen gates, thereby wrecking the very utopian ideals that the EU was founded on.
And then came Celtic Britain with its ancient head in the sand, reliving old, colonial glories. Why should we listen to 27 'insignificant' others?  Didn't we fight Hitler to maintain our glorious past?  Didn't we fight to help Warsaw, Brussels and Paris from the jackboot of Berlin? So, says Britain, it's time we left. We're all right Jack.  Never mind that we've been free from war in Europe for over 70 years.  And France?  A certain Mme Le Pen is rubbing her hands in glee. If Britain votes out, that'll leave her free to campaign for exactly the same situation for la gloire de la France, and for herself of course.
.......and the walls came tumblin' down.

21 February 2016

So, it's confirmed. The referendum for a potential Brexit is 23rd June. No worries there then! As Cameron was ducking and diving around today's Germany, my new blockbuster Lamplight reminds us of another C, Churchill, defending the realm against the same country some 70 years ago!  What's history all about if we don't learn from the calamities of the past - so they never happen again? In Lamplight and its successor Vichyssoise, I've attempted to show all the stupidities of the lead-up to WW2, both in Britain, Germany and the horrors of Vichy France.  Do come to my online Facebook Launch Party this Thursday. It's free entertainment all day, including historic pictures of old Birmingham, film clips and wonderful music of the era - from ragtime to swing to jazz. Quizzes and prizes too.  Simply click on the Lamplight picture on the right on Thursday and it'll take you to the event page. Enjoy it all on the day and type Hi to let me know you're there.  See you Thursday! a bientot.

14th February 2016

Valentines' Day. Noticed that David Cameron didn't come back from Hamburg yesterday with red roses from Angela Merkel; rather, waving a piece of paper Chamberlain-style. What do Ladbrokes say re Brexit? The odds of Britain voting to stay in the EU have fallen from 4/7 to 1/3, while the chance of Brexit has risen to 9/4, from an all-time low of 5/4. So, I asked my local bookmaker, i.e. Him indoors, what all this meant since as a boy he used to scrawl the odds on a blackboard in his uncle's betting shop. He says it means the chances of the UK staying in the EU are now 71%. Will this change once the politicians get their campaign in full swing, as with the Scottish referendum? And, what do Ladbrokes say about the likely referendum date?  June 23rd this year. Are bookmakers ever wrong?  What do other British expats say? Some demand answers now on matters which will have a direct impact on our lives, whilst others insist no-one can negotiate anything until an Out vote is actually confirmed. And me on this Valentines' Day? The only thing my heart's all aflutter about is this stupid vote and why Cameron ever agreed to such a dangerous thing for the UK in the first place.

7th February 2016

Yesterday we had lunch at the lovely home of two French friends.We meet at each other homes every few months to enjoy a meal but, above all, to discuss just about everything that's happening in the world. Although my French is sketchy at times, and their English is the same, we learn about things from an alternative perspective.  History books paint a very different picture when viewed from another country. People fight each other because of their differences, e.g. Syria, Africa and Asia.  Our host told us a story where two groups of similar people were given hats to wear, half had black, the others yellow, and lived together in an enclosed place for a length of time. What happened? You've guessed it. After a while the black hats were fighting the yellow!  By fighting those who seem different, a group feel more of a 'family' and so more secure. Go to any local football match and see.  So what's the answer? Wait until threatening aliens arrive so that all on Earth join as one 'family' fighting the invaders? No. Have stimulating discussions now with those who are 'different', meet for lunch, learn their language and above all learn to respect others. Bon appetit et bon conversation