Lecture Tomorrow (?!)

September 27, 2012

Speak of the devil! Remember that I spoke of a man named Pieter Verhaeren? Today a flyer was delivered to the Widdecombe announcing that – by chance – the very same man is going to speak publically at King’s College London tomorrow! He is a Flemish Nationalist and a traitor who advocates the division of my country Belgium. And as if that wasn’t enough, he is going to speak at the college in advocacy of Scottish independence and even some sort of pan-celtic nation, whatever that is?! It seems he is not content to meddle in the business of Dutch speakers, he wishes to divide any and all peoples against each other!

I tell you I am going to attend his talk tomorrow and give that man – as you say – “a piece of my mind!”

Reynald

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A Private Detective Now!

September 26, 2012

Despite my resistance, Madame Claire Widdecombe has insisted and, as you say, ‘gone over my head’. She was rather impressed with my skills ‘solving’ her case, and she now fancies me a private inspector. And before I had the chance to stop her she touted me to her friends. Perhaps it was the insistence of my benefactor Claire Widdecombe; perhaps the incessant inquiries of her bridge partners (Dieu me sauve des Anglais), or perhaps it was the request of Monsieur Adell and others with cases. But I have relented; I am now offering my services as a private detective!

And it would be poor manners of me not to extend my services to all who inquire, so consider this my first advertisement of the Jerome-Antoine Detective service (I name it for the Saint Antoine – you would say “Anthony” – for he is the saint of lost things 🙂 ). I would post a phone contact, but I do not have cellular phone and I would not be so ungentlemanly as to post the phone number of the Widdecombe residence, so if you would, simply comment with any particular inquiries you may find! I will review them and see what I can do.

Reynald

A Most Despicable Man Pieter Verhaeren!

September 25, 2012

I feel I must respond to a most insulting opinion piece written by a Pieter Verhaeren. From what I read of him he is a Flemish man, and a radical Dutch nationalist who has written inflammatorily in favor of the secession of Flanders from Belgium and furthermore its integration into the greater Netherlands! Despicable! He is already very controversial, and the article I read about him was very unflattering anyway (it was especially critical of his once longheld sympathies for Afrikaans nationalism and the South African government policies of Apartheid; I must admit I am ignorant of its history but I assume it is bad). But to think that he is telling people to forget their nationality after years of history marked with bloodshed for something as superficial as a common language makes me furious! And he does so on the basis of a most absurd argument; that the Dutch language somehow binds the common culture of the Flemish and Dutch: “The historical bonds of Catholicism are dying in Belgium, and Flanders is moving farther away from the Walloon region and ultimately toward the Netherlands, a country with the only feature of unity that does not decay with history: the Dutch language.”

It is people like this who are stalling the common goal of peace and prosperity and would kill my country!

Reynald

Case Solved! Lionel’s Death Not in Vain!

September 25, 2012

I am pleased to announce to you all the poor Lionel’s death was not in vain! I have discovered that the cause of Lionel’s death was surprisingly simple: it was a gas leak by the location in the living room that caused the cat to accidentally suffocate on carbon monoxide. I found the cause of death out with the discovery of a mousehole, in which was contained a mouse that suffered the same fate and the pipings of an old gas stove (the 1930’s I luckily was able to recognize) that was the culprit. Simple enough, non? And worth the investigation all the same.

Ah, but there is more intrigue to the story. For the break in the gas pipe routed through the living room was connected to a stove in the old fashioned servant’s quarter of the house that in theory hadn’t been used in years because servants no longer live in the house and all cooking was to take place upstairs in the modern renovated kitchen. Moreover the break in the piping was small enough that in order for the monoxide leak to do its damage to the cat it would need to have been running hours on end at night, otherwise the gas would have dissipated. So who was running the stove at night in a portion of the house which was unconventional and almost certainly deliberate? What was this person hiding?

And then upon further investigation it was revealed that the valet Arthur Lincoln of the staff was not who he appeared to be; for in the bottom basement of the house he was using the old-fashioned downstairs stove to develop an illegal drug substance called crack cocaine in industrial qualities where he would never be suspected – for no one would naturally fathom that the Madame Widdecombe was harboring a drug peddler! Indeed he created his name as an alias; his real name is Jack Mason, and he is a known criminal with a record. Upon this revelation he fled; but the police were appropriately contacted and the man was shortly arrested!

I haven’t had this much of a rush of intrigue in a long time! C’est magnifique!

Reynald

A Death in the Widdecombe Household

September 23, 2012

Sad news today for the Madame Claire Widdecombe whose tabby cat Lionel was this morning found dead.

She wanted to move forward with a burial but I advised her against it; the cat was quite energetic and… I believe the word is ‘feisty’ when he was alive (Lionel and I did not exactly get along) and his sudden death was strangely sudden. I am as you say, ‘looking in’ to the matter further…

I hope to come up with a satisfying solution in the next couple days but I might not; so please excuse me if I am slow on replying to your inquiries.

Reynald

News from Belgium (C’est mauvais!)

September 22, 2012

In all my time getting used to the business of London, I long neglected to read of news from my home Belgium, and – Mon Dieu! – I am livid to hear what has happened to my beloved homeland! Belgians dividing amongst themselves, fighting against each other, threatening secession… it makes a man moan!

What matter is that some of us speak French and others Dutch? I speak English as well – are we to say I am English? No, that is not how it works!

Have you become so used to peace and prosperity that you have forgotten the struggle you endured? Have you not forgotten how patriots died fighting, the men who endured against the French, and then the Germans, all with no recompense but to die as Belgians? Was it so long ago? Or perhaps after centuries of having a cause to fight for you are restless and you are willing to pit Flemish and Walloon against each other to satisfy your boredom?

No, I have no sympathy for any effort by this advocacy of Flanders secession! Belgians of today have lost what kept you strong! You have lost your national identity, you have lost your historical Catholic faith, and instead of choosing to face your economic and social problems you choose instead to shove them into this arbitrary regionalism and squabble over scraps! I tell you, if Flanders does secede, then there will be nothing left of Belgium but scraps to squabble over! Do not murder the country I love and devoted so many of my precious years to!

Reynald

Of the English

September 20, 2012

I realize in this time I provided very little in my description of the English.

There’s always a particular attitude of the English that’s very hard to explain. They can be polite without being respectful, they can be critical without being argumentative, and they can be brilliant without being smart. Their particular attitude of the world is vastly different from the rest of the continent, and allows for an incredibly proclivity and range in sense of humor.

I contrast them with the French, their old rivals on the continent and an equally strange race. The French like to pride themselves on being intellectual, but the English would rather pride themselves on being witty. And the French who may have just as strong a resentment of authority will let those noblemen know with merely a snarl upfront and minutes of complaining away. The English, on the other hand, are nearly as keen to criticize before your face as they are to their friends, and their complaints can last for hours. To them, criticism is as much about the tact as the content. Their treatment, for example, of complaining about weather transcends the distribution of facts; it is an activity of patriotism that they pursue devoutly, almost worshipfully.

They also have much less sense in the sacred. Whereas the French must be committed to some notion of the pure and holy – be it in religion or in politics – the English are much keener to keep an arm’s length in their loyalty. They will make jokes of priests, politicians and monarchs alike. Finally, they are very individualistic; contentment is a vice, not a virtue; and, though they are not quite Americans, they believe in their ability to increase their standing in the world.

There is extremely little to say of their cooking however; as far as I am concerned only one tolerable creation of the English cuisine, and that is the HP Brown Sauce – and surely it would be that their best creation is able to douse their food and distract you from the appalling overcooked meats and bland fried dishes!

Reynald

What is this Euro?

September 19, 2012

I am very interested, confused, exhausted, by all the recent news about this European Union. It is bizarre and confusing spectacle, yet it feels to have happened before!

I assure you – I consider myself to be a very cosmopolitan man, and in many ways I sympathize with the goal of the European Union or ‘Euro’ to bring nations together and foster peace and prosperity. Yet I feel threatened by the manner in which it does; we seem to be coming together and unifying under a giant European ‘superstate’ and that threatens our individual national identities. We Belgians fought so hard to keep our independence from the political machinations of Germany and France and Holland, because we believed that our identity as Belgians transcended the politics of pragmatism. Many good Belgian patriots died in the trenches so that their country had sovereignty against the power of the German Empire – and yet in uniting under this European state I fear we risk giving our nation over to the political control of the Germans all the same!

And all countries are all obliged to treat their membership in the European Union with a sense of international responsibility they clearly do not have. And the trouble of a few countries has brought the entire continent is on the edge. This Union has revealed its underpinnings to be terribly fragile.

I will say though, it could be much worse; as international ‘Unions’ go, this one is relatively tame against the threat posed once by the vile godless Soviets, who used oppression to get their way across. Ultimately no one will listen to the word of an old-fashioned Belgian patriot in deciding the future of the Euro. We will have to wait and see what comes of it.

Reynald

La Moustache

September 18, 2012

Mon Dieu, in my hurry I almost forgot to mention in my last post. I was being dishonest when I said I had only one gift. I have another which I am thoroughly proud of: my moustache. A precious creature – especially because people of these times have mostly chosen to neglect the fashion, and the art of the upper lip has been completely forgotten. I have heard one or two snide remarks about it, but I don it with a sense of pride. Men of the times have no idea what they are missing – after all it is the one thing that the madams cannot grow!

But tell me what you think: do you like a moustache, or do I flatter it too much?

Reynald

Bonjour!

September 16, 2012

Bonjour, Mesdames et Messieurs, Bienvenue! Ladies and gentlemen, hello and welcome to the ‘blog’ of myself, Monsieur Reynald Saint-Jerome, a Belgian (oui, a Belgian, mind you) here in the city of London. And as a Belgian I thought it an interesting proposition to write a blog about the English because you seem blissfully ignorant about the eccentricity of your ways. Moreover as a foreigner and a man of very keen observation, if I may boast, I find myself qualified to write of your strangeness from the outside.

I must say I was intrigued by the idea; the Madame Claire Widdecombe who has so graciously offered me with a roof over my head and food on the table in exchange for my services gardening for her suggested that I record my frequent observations to her in a blog. I wouldn’t have considered the idea myself (I didn’t even know until recently what a blog was!) but by her insistence I agreed it would be a good hobby to pass the time. Of myself, I say little; I am hardly interesting. I am just a short little man with too much time on his hands, trying to make himself useful with the only gift I possess: my inspection.

I do not have much time for another post; otherwise I will be late for mass. So that is all for now. Until next time!

Reynald