Africa, America, Europe, Ireland

Elections – a general view around the world

Ireland has a proud record as a democracy, one of the oldest in Europe with its first elected MP, Constance Markiewicz.

Your choice

And this weekend Ireland goes to the polls although whichever parties form the next government they will have to do it without me.

Contender: He’s had three parties already

Because I’ll be back in Scotland… anything happen in the 13 years since I’ve been gone?

I always vote.

Man down

Not just because it’s hard to keep me quiet but because of the struggles my forebears and others have endured for this privilege.

Gone, but not forgotten: Saddam in Jordan in the Middle East

I heard first hand from the black South Africans in the Eastern Cape how they queued overnight in the Voting Line in 1995.

Any visit to South Africa will bring you nose up to the glass of Apartheid history. www.southafrica.net

Port Elizabeth’s Voting Line

And where better to start than in Nelson Mandela’s home province of the Eastern Cape… What’s new pussycat?

Where you can learn the unique Xhosa clicking language… https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KZlp-croVYw.

With Freedom Fighter Amos

Of course democracy is a fragile way of life.

And it is eerie to think that you can see Saddam Hussain propaganda in peaceful Jordan… The water of life, Petra, and the sands of time.

On a G Adventures trip www.gadventures.com to Jordan www.visitjordan.com.

Well, he is half-Scottish

I had also been around four years previously with la famille.

For a New York Halloween www.nycvb.com where they were carving Obama’s face into pumpkins.

They prefer ski jumping here

And visited the Austrian Tirol on the day of their election. And Gamisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria where Hitler held the 1936 Winter Olympics.

With Topflightforschools… www.topflightforschools.

But this on German National Day where it was as quiet as a monastery.

MEET YOU IN THE BOOTH

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Forget the Fairytale… my Christmas song

Now this qualifies as treason here in Ireland, and it’s probably because I’m a contrarian but…

The Fairytale of New York is not the best Christmas song of all time.

In fact it doesn’t represent New York City https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/21/old-new-york-hamilton/ and http://www.nycvb.com.

There is no NYPD choir, for example.

And the ‘Irish’ pipe band didn’t know Galway Bay (obviously) so did the ‘Mickey Mouse Club March’ instead.

Now I love Da Mouse and Da Minnie Why I love The Donald and Stair Wars. And http://www.visitorlando.com and http://www.disneyland.disney.go.com and http://www.disneyworld.disney.go.com .

Enough Fairytale already… here’s what I call a Christmas song.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gjYWYJudTPE

Yes, Johnny Mathis’s When A Child Is Born.

Talk the talk

Too scmaltzy for you, the lyics, particularly Johnny’s spoken lyics?

But I love it and I love a talky interjection.

So hit it

And all this happens because the world is waiting,

Waiting for one child

Black, white, yellow, no one knows,

But a child that will grow up and turn tears to laughter,

Hate to love, war to peace and everyone to everyone’s neighbour

And misery and suffering will be words to be forgotten for ever

The Christmas Office Party Bore

Now you’ve probably met the office bore at your Christmas party who gives out about Jesus being wrongly portrayed as white.

When he was born in the Middle East.

And how the whole Christmas story is wrong.

But what really matters is not what Jesus was: white, black, yellow, red, but that he WAS.

Bah, humbug, white liberal intellectuals should just see how the Christmas story is celebrated in the Caribbean….

The ‘other’ Jesus

I should cocoa – Christmas in Tobago and www.visittobago.gov.tt.

And in Mississippi… http://www.visitmississippi.org and The Promised LandThe story of the Blues and http://the king of kings

Though I’d be flabbergasted to think Jesus was an earlier incarnation of Phil Collins.

The West Indians have their own slant on the Christmas songs and put a calypso or Soca rhythm to it.

Put the two together with just the right amount of sauce and you get parang, an example of which is….

Scrunter’s ‘Want ah piece ah pork’ https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FLpEvkj9jTc.

Now Christmas can be a challenging time for many.

And although it was never written as a Christmas song, it has entered the pantheon for its lines:

Wish I was at home for Christmas

No more war

Jona Lewie’s anthem was, of course, an anti-war song. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2HkJHApgKqw

And as we move further away from the centennial of the end of the First World War In Flanders fields and http://www.visitflanders.com

Lest we forget amid the commercial gluttony of a 2019 Christmas those for whom an extra mince pie and some grog.

A peaceful Christmas

And some respite from being bombed and shot at.

And the chance to have a kick-about with the opposition on a muddy battlefield was Christmas gift enough.

Let me know what your favourite Christmas song is… mmmm mmmm mmmm!

A CHILD IS BORN… MERRY CHRISTMAS

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Grazie to Aer Lingus – New Italy + more USA

I felt a heel when I had to let colleagues know that I was sending someone else to sunny shores.

Sometimes it might even have been me.

But my pal Mary Conroy always delivered.

And I always enjoyed presenting her stories and pictures and I’m sure you enjoyed them too.

Now Mary’s travels sprang to mind today when I heard of Aer Lingus’s latest plans.

With two new routes in Italy and increased flights to their North American destinations.

Pretty Puglia

I remember that Mary’s trip to the heel of Italy, Puglia, was ‘Trulli Magical’.

And that Seattle was ‘Nirvana’… an out’ new headline always kept me happy.

So, back to our busy national airline carrier http://www.aerlingus.ie

They are opening up Brindisi, Puglia and Alghero, Sardinia from next summer.

La bella vita: Sardinia

The Dublin-Brindisi service will run twice a week kicks off on May 23 with one-way fares from €79,99.

And here’s what you need to know about Puglia https://www.viaggiareinpuglia.it/spostarsiinpuglia.do?r002=spostarsiInPugliaMezziPubblici&r019=en

While the Dublin-Alghero service begins on May 24 (also twice a week) at €79.99 one-way. And this is Sardinia… https://www.sardegnaturismo.it/en

You know already how much I love Italy, Il Bel Paese, but here’s a reminder…

My Roman holidays https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/04/see-rome-on-e50/, https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/small-roads-lead-to-rome/

And the frescoes up north… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/15/padova-city-of-frescoes/

Orlando, here we come

Orlando Minnie-break

They’re also all over Orlando, my American playground. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/aaawlando-orlando-the-rollercoaster-capital/

The Floridian fantasyland https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/disney-why-i-love-the-donald/ will now get two extra flights per week bringing it up to six flights per week.

We all think we know Orlando but there’s much more to find out… http://www.visitorlando.com.

Ole… in Miami

Miami http://www.miamiandbeaches.com I’m yet to get around properly.

After having had only six hours proper time in.

And going around in a circle, missing Little Havana altogether (yes it’s possible).

The route to Miami will grow from two to three flights per week.

Coming back to that mini-Miami stay I did meet a little Havanan and their restaurant in Biscayne and here’s the evidence in the picture above.

And then there’s Seattle http://www.visitseattle.org which is very much on my to-do list.

Aer Lingus is making it even easier too, with daily service in the summer.

I’m listening

Increasing from five flights per week to a daily service.

Now we’ll likely be seeing a lot more of Seattle next year too.

With Kelsey Grammer hinting that the greatest television programme ever made, Frasier, will be making a comeback.

See you in Cafe Nervosa, Frase.