The sixth of June is Swedish
National Day, or the’ Day of the Swedish Flag’.
The nation- wide
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
innumerable yellow and blue
flags were fluttering against a cloud less sky today.
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...