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Thursday, 10 June 2010
Bongo Bongoland


I spotted this South African fan parking her car in Oxted today. I generally don’t like this type of jingoism, but I notice that it is unusual to see a car with a flag that isn’t that of the patron saint of Palestine, George.

Today we saw a different kind of patriotism evoked, by the Daily Mail who approvingly headed a letter from one of their correspondents with Now here’s an idea ...:

Wouldn’t it be great if TV coverage of the World Cup was limited to England’s games, those of hosts South Africa and of the tournaments ‘big guns’.

Then we would be spared the ordeal of having to sit through a match between Bongo Bongoland and the Former Soviet Republic of Bulimia and other meaningless events.

Mike Phelps
Yeovil, Somerset

This is an insidious nasty nationalism that runs counter to everything that the World Cup stands for. Like the FA Cup, some of the most dramatic and interesting matches are played by the minnows, or when the minnows come up against a “more important” team.  In particular I remember how


Cameroon, captained by a 42 year old Roger Milla, captured my imagination during the 1990 World Cup.

Some people have been pointing out on Twitter that Bongo Bongoland actually exists, as represented in this 1980s Splitting Image map, entitled Tory Atlas of the World:


As someone who tends to support the team that is the “underdog” I generally end up supporting a team (or five) from that part of the world during the World Cup.  This year, I will be supporting Bongo Bongoland during the World Cup.

Posted by bigblue on 10/06/2010 at 05:06 PM
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Make love not shopping!


I missed an announcement of the overall theme of the Zinneke parade in 2010, but there was no mistaking the message of this troupe of participants.


“Bio is biotiful” (“bio” is the French word for “organic”).


“God save the Green”. The first photograph above shows a placard with the words “Dünyayı Seviyorum”. A bit of websearching revealed to me that the slogan might meanI like the world” or “The world is amazing” (in Turkish).

Posted by bigblue on 10/06/2010 at 08:45 AM
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Wednesday, 09 June 2010


The costumes are apparently all made by hand, but one assumes that some minor exceptions are made for health and safety reasons.

Posted by bigblue on 09/06/2010 at 08:32 AM
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Tuesday, 08 June 2010
The drummers


Here’s another simple and yet effective home-made musical instrument from the Zenneke parade in Brussels. Ladles make good drumsticks!


Posted by bigblue on 08/06/2010 at 08:18 AM
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Monday, 07 June 2010
Musical instrument


A feature of the Zinneke parade are the home made instruments and costumes. As the official website states:

Over a two-year period, Zinneke builds intense collaborations between residents, organisations, collectives, schools and artists from different neighbourhoods of Brussels and beyond. It’s a social and artistic project where people develop their creativity and explore imagination with others.

Zinneke is a participatory creation, an open space for everyone to experiment with cooperative living in the 21st century city, a city inhabited by Zinnekes proud of their mixed roots. Above all, it’s a fantastic celebration in the city, unique and 100% human - without amplification or motors.

Would it be nit-picking to point out that the tin at the end of the stick is amplifying the sound of the string?

Posted by bigblue on 07/06/2010 at 08:01 AM
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Sunday, 06 June 2010
Explosives, Broken Glass, Rain?


This pole is from the Zinneke parade and was carried around by persons who appeared to be marshals.  The official website informs us that:

Zinneke is the name Brussels people give to the small Senne/Zenne river that circles Brussels, protecting it against flooding. Zinneke is also used to refer to a stray dog or mutt… some of which end up in the river. And so we get Zinneke: meaning one of multiple origin and symbol of the cosmopolitan and multicultural nature of Brussels.

Posted by bigblue on 06/06/2010 at 08:43 AM
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Saturday, 05 June 2010
Brussels spires


The “spire” in the foreground is from the recent Zinneke parade (held two weeks ago yesterday and) which I will post some photographs of in the coming days. I took the photograph in Place Sainte Catherine.

Posted by bigblue on 05/06/2010 at 08:33 AM
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Friday, 04 June 2010
Favourite haunt


I have written before about the haunted spot at Slines Oak Road, Warlingham but this is one of my favourite haunted sites of Surrey, so I went back recently to take an appropriate photograph.  I wrote previously that

according to the book Haunted Inns of Surrey, by Roger Lang, the Slines Oak Pond in Warlingham (on the B269) is haunted by a ghostly carriage. Travellers late at night are said to have seen the carriage rise up from the pond, all lit up and with passengers screaming at the windows. And it is believed that a report must exist somewhere of a ghastly accident at this spot years ago.

The pond is actually at the intersection of the B269 and Slines Oak Road, so my theory is that a carriage was travelling South-West along the B269 late one dark and stormy night. The driver was supposed to turn right into Slines Oak Road (a steep descent) but turned too soon and the carriage entered the pond. There were no known survivors, although some of the passengers’ bodies were never recovered. This is just a hypothesis based on all available “facts”, and I use the term “facts” in its loosest sense.

Posted by bigblue on 04/06/2010 at 04:05 PM
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