11 April, 2008


Back from SMW's mountain fastness which was absolutely stunning. Peter Jackson was obviously only doing his little bit for his native land's tourism industry, because he didn't need to go all the way to NZ to film Lord of the Rings, he could just have gone to the Slovenian Alps. They have the most beautiful little river with a white limestone bottom and water so clear that you can see the huge trout flickering about in it. Lots of walking and I was tricked into climbing halfway up their mountain to see some WW1 fortifications. The trek was virtually vertical and the only thing that kept me going was the thought that Curly had done the same walk the day before. Although, as Larry kindly pointed out, it was not as tiring for her because she did not expend all her energy in complaining all the way up the mountain and all the way back down again. But you've got to complain. Where is the fun without the complaining? Had plentiful hearty mountain fare, of the sauerkraut soup, potatoes and cheese (which consists of halved potatoes in their skins, hunched around a scoop of cream cheese on a lettuce leaf) and black pudding sausage variety, all for about half of what you would pay in London. Even the airport is adorable, so quiet and green and surrounded by hills.

On the other hand, as I was thinking on the way back from Stansted last night, at least when I look over the land at the twinkling lights of the distant towns I can have some inkling of what the people in the houses are thinking or talking about or eating or watching on telly or doing, instead of their being engaged in the unutterably strange and alien occupations of the mystifying Slovenians with their vowel deprived spit-in-your-eye language. It's always nice to come home after a holiday.

We went to Slovenia with no Slovenian at all. I now know how to say beer, thank you, and you're welcome.

I was all stressed out coming through immigration because I'd forgotten to bring my old passport with me which has my UK visa in it, but as luck would have it, we had a Slovenian choir on our plane on the way to an eistedfodd in Wales who burst into a chorus of Queen's Fat-Bottomed Girls while waiting in the immigration queue. The immigration officer and I communed, linked by our decent horror of folk who make an exhibition of themselves in public places, and he let me through without a waver.

Must remember to make note here of the beautiful girl LSS and I saw on the tube the other day. She looked like a sort of angelic infant class teacher, with blonde shoulder length hair and sort of golden skin with a little rosy flush beneath it, and with the sweetest features imaginable. She was sitting with two pie-faced lunkheads who spent the whole journey talking to each other about their morning routines ("well, I get up at seven and then I take the tube at eight and I get to the office at nine") while she sat beside them smiling seraphically, before standing up looking very neat and straight-backed, bestowing a kiss on each of their undeserving visages and getting off at Clapham Common (hopefully to go and find someone more deserving of her).

Reading Democracy in America.


Blogger SMW said...

You make it sounds as if there's nothing to eat but hearty soups and sausages. Thanks to you we now have the largest supply of Marmite east of Essex.

11:52 am  
Blogger FBT said...

Surely you can always get it from the largest natural occuring source of Marmite in Europe, the famous Marmite mines of Predel?

We went to Daquise (the Polish restaurant in S Kensington) for lunch today with Covert Operative No. 3 and Rambo the Architect, in honour of hearty Eastern European fare. Prices were the same in pounds as they are in euros in Bovec. Sob.

9:26 pm  
Blogger SMW said...

Even with current exchange rates, that doesn't sound bad - for London prices.

7:01 am  
Blogger ulaca said...

Await your comments on de Tocqueville with interest.

7:06 am  
Blogger SMW said...

"Plus ca change, plus c'est le meme chose" was the comment we got here.

1:09 pm  
Blogger dgny said...

Is it Pivo and Deek-way (or deek-way-em)? They sound like Czech, no? I don't know you're welcome, no one ever thanked me.

Sounds like a lovely trip, now I want to be in Europe even more. Thanks for that.

5:21 am  
Blogger ulaca said...

The Slovenian Male Voice Choir are on the bill with us Hoing Kong "Welshmen" at the Albert Hall on 18 Oct. Date for your diary, Toast.

5:05 pm  
Blogger FBT said...

I think I've already had an impromptu blast of the Slovenian Male Voice Choir at Stansted, thanks. Although the prospect of HK Welshmen is alluring.

9:42 pm  

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