Monday, June 06, 2016

The Day of the Swedish Flag

The sixth of June is Swedish National Day, or the’ Day of the Swedish Flag’.  The nation- wide  celebrations have just been shown on  TV with coverage of traditional military bands and an appearance of the Swedish Royal Family who were travelling  in a horse drawn carriage through   Stockholm where the sunny streets were  lined with  flag-waving monarchists.  A large proportion of Swedish homes  have flagpoles in the garden and  innumerable yellow and blue flags were fluttering against a cloud less sky today.   It would be inconceivable to have a “Day of the Union Jack” in the UK. Flag waving and unrepentant nationalism has a bad reputation in Britain.
The Swedes are clearly aware of this danger too: therefore the event has been high jacked  into an opportunity to promote, in their somewhat self- righteous way,   the values of democracy, freedom, cultural diversity etc. through numerous interviews with  immigrants who have recently received Swedish citizenship. This is all well and good but my main concern was the appalling quality of the musical performances that accompanied this  display of  Swedish largesse.  The poor king and his family had to sit through some excruciatingly bad rap, bad rock and even badly performed  Swedish summer hymns.

I am in Sweden. I am also in a terrible mood which may account for my critical attitude.
I  left London yesterday where the estate agent who has been in charge of the letting of my flat has managed to xxxx everything up royally. The flat had been let to an Italian documentary film maker who was supposed to move in last Friday. The contracts had been signed and I had moved out last Thursday. The flat has therefore not been shown to anyone else for two weeks because the deal was supposed to be clinched. The film maker had had to fight over it with another prospective tenant and won it through offering a higher rent. Last Friday – the day he was supposed to move in!-we ran into problems  because the estate agents were annoying him with unreasonable demands on his credit ratings- he offered to show his Italian VAT returns but the agents did not accept this as proof of income- meanwhile I was never informed about anything or given any chance to give my opinion on the problem at hand!  The result was that  finally the film maker pulled out of the deal and I am now left stranded without a tenant and have lost  a large amount of  both time and money!

And the other  thing which has made me very sad again is the parcel I brought back from Mali for  Pelle my cousin and his wife Nanni: it was a present arranged by Keita and it was the very  last decision he ever carried out.  He ordered  them embroidered boubous to thank them for their kindness and their sponsorship for the Djenné cataract operations and also for helping with his expensive drugs.  The boubous were ordered and made in Segou, but when they arrived to Bamako Keita was already unconscious at  Point G Hospital- he never saw the boubous and neither did I  until the parcel was opened yesterday by Pelle.

But finally, on  a lighter note:  The hotel staff have started their holidays in  Djenné but Baba keeps an eye on the hotel and my land so he noticed that Petit Bandit was not eating at all and looking sick: he called the vet who treated him with some medication and now he is OK again according to Baba- now this does brighten my spirits a little: it is good to know that Baba is so observant and that he does care...


Blogger David said...

Very fine boubous - that, at least, must feel bitter-sweet. But the flat situation is appalling, I'm sorry about that. Let me know if we can do anything this end.

The music our own Queen sits through hasn't been much better recently - the only consolation is that she probably couldn't care less. Katherine Jenkins may be a singer fit for the Queen but she doesn't cut the mustard compared to any number of brilliant singers coming straight out of the colleges. And as for those old has-been rock bands...

8:54 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

Indeed a bitter sweet moment David... and there is already some movement on the flat front and I have had an offer. But it is a young boy of 17b doing his A levels... his rich uncle or dad is renting it for him. I only know one thing. I would not like to let my flat to anyone remotely resembling myself as a seventeen year old... I would have turned the place into a night club probably. So I have said yes but stipulated that I want the agency to undertake frequent checks on the state of the place.

2:40 PM  
Blogger jm.herraiz said...

God bless Baba...

6:58 AM  

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