C’s visit, Dialogue in the Dark, Flamingos in a private garden, Danes, from camels to Britney Spears, handsome new boyfriend (I already have mine) and a couple of rants and clowney.

I wouldn’t call this post ‘news’, since that implies something amazing.  A round-up of events is probably a better description.  And it’s long because it includes a rant, so, sorry about that in advance.

Some of these bits of info are from ‘posts’ that never got finished so it’s a bit of a jumble, really.

C, A and A’s friend, T, stayed with us for a few days.  It was nice to see them and, this time, they seemed to have a good time, senza the boyfriend from last time.  This time they did things – shopping, walking around and, on the Tuesday, after I had hyped it up a bit, I took some time off work and took them to Dialogo nel Buio.

C really didn’t fancy going in once we got to the bit where it was completely black, but, with gentle persuasion (me standing behind her and not letting her go back and Sylvia, our guide, offering to hold her hand) she made it and loved the whole experience, as did the girls.

On the way there, as it’s very close, I was able to show them the private gardens with the flamingos strutting around inside.  They loved it.  And the day was hot so we had a really lovely time.  We also stopped in a café for a drink.  A wanted orange juice.  Not really thinking, I asked for a ‘spumante’ instead of ‘spremuta’ – but I was embarrassed enough that we ended up with both!

H is back with boyfriend, arriving yesterday.  I only glimpsed him for a few moments, but looks nice and handsome.  Good for her.  We aim to be spending some time with them tomorrow, which will be very pleasant, I think, particularly if the weather remains so good.

Had meeting with the Danes on Friday which I thought was going to be a bit of a bloodbath as they have had some problems with the products.  However, I was as good as always and I was on the same wavelength as the Director who had come as well, so it all worked out OK in the end with me giving them a reasonable plan for sorting out the problems.  Now, all we have to do is sort it out as per the plan – and that might prove more difficult.

Last night a group of us from work went out from work to eat in a restaurant in Rho, near Milan.  I wouldn’t recommend the restaurant, although it was cheap, but the evening was good.  At one stage we had a rather strange linked conversation that went from camels through hump-backs through Britney Spears.  Very weird.

I see that our (or is it your) beloved leader is leaving at the end of June.  Maybe your new leader, Gordie, will stop wasting money (your money) on ID cards and put it somewhere useful, though I’m not hopeful.  You’d think that they would have thoroughly checked it out with other EU members before embarking on it in the first place.

Or, perhaps they did?  After all, here, you can do very little without ID – but it doesn’t actually stop the illegal immigrants nor any terrorist activity (although there isn’t any at the moment).  It does, however, allow you to have complete control over the law-abiding citizens so, if you needed to use the new Olympic Stadium to round up those you don’t like, then that’s easy.  Stopping something like July 7th or similar would be no different than it was.

I can’t begin to understand religion.  What purpose does it serve?  What real benefit does it give to people, other than (false) hope?  It seems that many people who ‘believe’ are from the poorer, less educated sectors of society (not all, obviously, before you jump down my throat).  In every aspect of life, there are rules and regulations.  Some of these are breakable with little consequence and others are much stricter.  Murder, for instance, carries many heavy penalties, as it should.

In the case of religion, religion and secular law meet on certain things such as murder but there are many instances where religion and secular law are at odds.  And, sometimes, only certain religions have a ‘rule’ whereas others don’t.

In particular, the Catholic religion is one that I have a problem with.  The Rottweiler, as he is affectionately nicknamed, is ‘known to be gay’ according to friends here, in Italy.  Whether he is or not is, frankly, of no interest to me, other than, one would hope that, if he were, he would have a little more compassion for those who ‘fail’ to meet the standards of their religion.  But, oh no!

Recently, Davide (I think that was his name) wanted to die.  There was a big furore here about the rights of the patient (he was severely ill) compared to the strict church edicts.  He died, eventually, of natural causes but then, the local priest, a man clearly without any human compassion at all, refused to give him a full church burial and it had to be held in the town square.  The reason – ‘he had wanted to die’ so that was the same as actually committing suicide!

And now, with the mad dog trekking off to Brazil, I picked up on a story on the BBC where:

Talking to journalists on the plane, Pope Benedict appeared to back Mexico City Church officials who said that politicians who supported the law and medical workers who performed abortions would be excommunicated.

As far as I understood, no church, even the Catholic one, was safe from the general drift away by its ‘flock’.  OK, so excommunicate the politicians if you want, they have a real choice, but the nurses and doctors?  Are they completely crazy?  Perhaps the nurses and doctors are rich enough in Mexico to leave their jobs rather than perform the tasks?  And, once again, it is a load of men making a decision that should, rightly, only be taken by women.  I’m sorry, but I think that organized religion must be the most wicked, evil thing that ‘man’ has ever produced.  The more zealous it is the more evil it becomes.

Whilst on the subject of religion, I see that the ‘pro-family’ lobby are to organize demonstrations against a new bill allowing gays the right to enjoy some benefits of living together that, until now, existed only for those who were officially married.

Now, my regular readers will know that I’m not an ‘activist’ when it comes to gay rights.  And I’ve never mentioned the whole ‘gay marriage’ thing that’s been happening in other parts of the EU.  But please tell me, why is allowing two people to benefit from pensions, housing, inheritance, etc, so anti-family?

I mean, all gay people had a mother and a father and, in many cases, brothers and sisters.  They have been part of families.  If they choose to live together as a couple, how is that actually breaking up families or being against families.  If you are part of a family, why should the actions of others have any effect on your family?

Only one reason that I can see.  Fear.  But fear of what?  Maybe the ‘family’ institution is not so strong but why will giving a small section of the community a few rights jeopardise the family?  If the ‘family’ institution is not so strong, one would think that the thing to do is try to make it stronger, not attack things that, really, will have no effect on it.  Do they really think that, if they win, I will immediately go out and find a woman to marry?  Do they think that it will change my lifestyle in the slightest way?

On the other hand, if the law gets passed, it would mean that, for instance, in the event of my death, V wouldn’t get kicked out of our house, that he can enjoy the benefits of my pension, for which I have worked just as hard as anyone else, my whole life.  And who is backing this demonstration?  Of course, it is the Catholic church.  Hurrah for them!

I was talking to a guy in the office just yesterday, who is getting married next Saturday.  If he had the choice, he would by-pass the church for the wedding as the priest has been giving him (them) so much hassle.  So, when he has kids, will he be encouraging them to follow the faith – I don’t think so.  And the effect on the church is that, slowly, bit by bit, they are losing the younger generation.

End of rant and end of post.

p.s. ‘clowney’ is a perfectly good word

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