Paedophilia and the Catholic Church

If you consider (seriously) the Church’s claim to represent God on Earth and then the trust and respect that it expects from the faithful, the institutions response to the current crisis is interesting.

Having papal spokesman hinting at an ‘anti-Catholic’ plot and complaining that the church is being unfairly treated because paedophilia is common, forces a re-think about wether or not their franchise has expired.

It might also be valuable for them to recall earlier abuses of clerical power that greatly angered an itinerant preacher in Palestine some 2000 years ago.


Joining the Thai Royal Family would not be boring

Read an interesting article about the current troubles in Thailand and the role of the royal family.  In most modern monarchy’s I would think that one of your biggest challenges could be boredom. Not so in the Thai Royal family.

Some of the current unrest is apparently linked to the heir in waiting – Prince Vajiralongkorn who is waiting to take over from his ageing father King Bhumibol.  It has been said of Prince Vj, that he is “unpredictable to the point of eccentricity: lavishing attention on his pet poodle Fu Fu, who has a military rank and, on occasion, sits among guests at gala dinners”. In the 1980’s his rumoured ties to the criminal underworld, inspired the gangster nickname of “Sia O”.

Because of his unpredictability there is concern if he is the right heir to the throne.  Apparently exile in Europe is an option however, “there are other, bloodier, predictions of how he might be removed from succession, which is why soldiers of his personal guard are not allowed to wear guns in his presence”.  This is not something he takes lightly as Rama VIII died in 1946 “after a mysterious shot to the head” – LOL

The danger of bad translation

Stopped for lunch in a cafe in Montmarte on Saturday.  Looked at the menu in French posted outside and thought it had good options for Zoe.  Asked for an English menu so Zoe could read and make a choice.

To my pure delight (and hers) the translation for the Salade de Chèvre Chaud was, get this – ‘Salade Goat Dung’

I would love to know how many orders they have received for this dish from English Tourists and that no one has ever pointed it out to them.  I told the waiter, who looked a bit confused until I explained that they were offering a Salad of Goat Shit.  He burst out laughing and took off with the menu.

My weekend in Paris

Just back from my weekend with Zoe in Paris.  A really great experience.  Walked and walked and walked covering a lot of territory.  For the first time in my life I went thru the 3.5 hour experience of queuing to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but the joy that it bought to Zoe overcame the frustration of the experience.  I did learn one thing that I thought was pretty cool.  The engineered design of the tower means that the actual overall weight of the tower has a lesser weight than the equivalent volume of air.  If you could take a cylinder with the dimensions of 88 mts diameter and 324 mtrs high, the air inside would weigh 10,265 tonnes versus 10,100 tonnes of the Eiffel Tower.

So over the weekend we covered Eiffel Tower, Place Concorde, Champs Elysee, Montmarte, Sacre Coeur, Salvador Dali Musuem, Musee Orsay, Jardin des Tuileries, Trocadero, St Michel and L’église de la Madeleine.  This also included Sunday brunch with my (almost) life long friends John & Annie with their grand daughter.  Some ground was covered!

The main thing was that Zoe and I had a ball.  Took photos, explored clothing shops (Zoe) as well a fantastic chocolate shops and cheese shops.

I did feel sorry for her though.  On Friday night she ended up sleeping in the bath with the door closed because my snoring was driving her insane 🙂   Solved the problem for Saturday by buying her ear plugs.

This weekend in Paris

Tomorrow I catch the high speed train from Amsterdam to Paris with my eldest daughter.  She has never been there before and is super excited.  Karine and I bought her a nice SLR camera for her birthday as she has started a photography course.  So the object is to walk around as much of Paris as we can, photographing the obvious like the Eiffel Tour, but also architecture, street life, art and design.  The weather forecast is not encouraging but at least it will be warm.