Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ox and cart in Paraguay

Ox and cart in Paraguay, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Good for Paraguay, first time into the quarter finals. I missed the match and just saw three mionutes of the penalty shoot-out, seems like the best three minutes of the match. I hope they put up a good display against Spain at the weekend!

I was visiting Formosa with my friends above, during my four week trip to Argentina six years ago. Formosa is on the River Paraguay, just opposite Alberdi on the Paraguayan side, so we went to visit Paraguay for the day.

Formosa itself is quite remore within Argentina, but Alberdi is even more remote in what is a remote country, all sirts of contraband for sale in the shops, not to mention the fact that all the leather belts for sale had holding places for bullets...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Orange win AGAIN!

Orange win AGAIN!, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

It was 2-1 to Holland against Slovakia this afternoon, Holland doing what they have done every match, not impressing but winning reasonably comfortably. The Dutch fans may prefer to see more beautiful football and have more excitement, but they have won all their matches so far and are one of the favourites to win, their next big obstacle being Brazil who stuffed Chile 3-0.

England lose 4-1, oh well...

England lose 4-1, oh well..., originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

t WAS exciting, even though England played so badly. So glad it ended up 4-1, instead of 2-1, after the goal FIFA stole from England.

CharlesFred says:
England are out, unsurprisingly enough.

At least there are some other teams left to support like these:

1 Holland, cos I live here and they are going to win
2 Argentina, cos I love the country and it is time to forgive Maradona
3 Ghana, cos they are African, like me!
4 Spain, cos they are good and they have never won before
5 Paraguay, cos it is a crazy mixed-up country - read (and download this book - it is great! en.book2down.com/At-the-Tomb-of-the-Inflatabl e-Pig-Travel...

Can't be having any of the others

(late correction: it would be nice for Japan to do well, to take the hopes of another continent with them)

Ahmed AB says:
No Brazil on your list Charles?

CharlesFred says:
NO, Ahmed, they have won the World Cup more than enough times, don't play like Brazil any more and most of them are ugly. Plus I am wanting Holland to beat them on Friday.

What would your top 5 be now that England are out?

garethbee says:
Ghana to win - well it is a long shot but it would be so cool. With you on the Brat-zil thing!

Ahmed AB says:
But Brazil play very well and keep us entertained, my top five would be:

1- Argentina, cause I love Messi, Melito, and Higuain!
2- Brazil.
3- Spain.
4- Holland
5- Ghana.

I could have support Germany as well if they were not going to play against Argentina :-)

CharlesFred says:
Thanks, Gareth, that would really be so great, probably isn't going to happen but is a dream for a whole continent.

We are almost the same, Ahmed. Messi is great, isn't he?

Afrazov says:
I see no Germany on the list :D

CharlesFred says:
Sorry, Afraz, no. Apart from all the damage they have inflicted on England and Holland the last few decades, they kicked out Turkey in the last minute in the semi-final of the last European Championships and before that they kicked out Argentina in the quarter-final of the World Cup and in both cases had me losing my bets (Turkey at 70-1)... so, no, no Germany.

Afrazov says:
Well am I allowed to support them for the rest of the tournament? :D

CharlesFred says:
You can indeed, and you can support Steffi Graf at Wimbledon, if you like as well.

Afrazov says:
ha h ahahaha ha haha well C I won't tell you who I am supporting this year but just want you to know that I ain't supporting the sistas :D

seannyK says:
Oh poo, my director will be disappointed, he's been wearing the England jersey all week this week.

Elián says:
I support this photograph. My only problem is in what order I put Charles and Fred.

gary8345 says:
It was very disappointing today. Don't think England deserved to win, but upset my favourite, Super Franky Lampard didn't get his goal. I'd like a Holland vs Spain final if possible please.

hedgiecc says:
Sad England's out, but they never looked like winners anyway. As to who to support now, anybody but Germany will suit me fine! Have you seen their psychic octopus?

My special hopes are for Japan, Ghana, and Holland! :-)

troutwerks says:
Rah, rah!! Good list and great reasons.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

No penalty shoot-out, please

No penalty shoot-out, please, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

It had to happen - England v Germany in the World Cup. As long as we don't lose on penalties, as long as we do not lose to a silly goalkeeper's mistake, as long as we do not lose to another hand of God... Just if we do lose, I hope it is an honest loss, of course, hoping for a win!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Somaliland's 50th anniversary today!

26th June 1960 was the day on which Somaliland came into existence and was recognised by 34 different countries. The country had been a British Protectorate since the end of the 19th century but achieved indepndence in 1960.

Its first Prime Minister, depicted here, was Mohammed Ibrahim Egal, was leader of the Somali National League which had won the legislative elections earlier in 1960.

What better way to celebrate your 50th birthday by having free and fair elections? Good luck Somaliland, keep striving for that international recognition you deserve!

Somaliland Presidential elections - front page news in NRC

The NRC chose to put the story of the peaceful and democratic and free Presidential elections in Somaliland on its front page, with an article further in the middle of the paper. Agian it made the usual point that Somaliland is a free, peaceful and democratic country with a moderate form of Islam, but lacks recognition as an independent country. Many European countries would like to reciognise Somaliland';s independence but they feel that it is first up to the African states, through the African Union to do this - and these African states show no willingness to do so, fearing a domino effect, maybe affecting their countries (never mind the historical argument that Somaliland WAS an independent country before it rashly joined a union with its neighbour in the south.

In the meantime, the BBC found the most ridiculous angle on which to report this momentous event (the BBC's correspondent having a major antipathy towards Somaliland) by finding some idiot from the radical al-Shabab movement in Somalia to say that democratic elections were the work of the devil, were un-Islamic and should be boycot by the people of Somaliland. What a load of nonsense.

On the other hand, this is a gerat article (a bit shallow) but beautifully illustrated - from the New York Times - www.nytimes.com/2010/06/26/world/africa/26somaliland.html

There is a pretty good TV article by al-Jazeera on the elections here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l4Y-oggBnc - makes me want to go back!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ciao e arrivederci Italia

Ciao e arrivederci Italia, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

English guy in an Italian strip, Italian guy with England T shirt - on the streets of Rome on the day Italy won the World Cup in 2010. A pity it is not to be the same this time around. Shameful to see Lippi the trainer leave the stadium without shaking hands with the Slovakian trainer, as bad as his French counterpart a copuple of days earlier.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Cross of St George

The Cross of St George, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

A proud lad showing off his St George, looking for England to do their best this evening, setting up a possible confrontation with Germany at the weekend!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bafana Bafana!

Bafana Bafana!, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Well done to South Africa for winning a mtach and, especially, for beating France, which should never have gone to South Africa anyway.

Looking for wins for Argentina and South Korea this evening.

Which we got, although South Korea only drew, which was enough to get them into the next round.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Brazil are playing so it is Salsa time

Having a Salsa lesson from Jennifer, dancing here with Saskia from Bussum. Saskia, it was a pleasure!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Will it be an orange day?

Will it be an orange day?, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Ahmed AB says:

Although Japan is not an easy target, I guess Netherlands will win, cause they both played a friendly match about nine months ago, with the dutch wining 3-0, So, I hope they can make it today!

This is a lovely shot dear Charles, Love the colours and the dark background!

CharlesFred Pro User says:

Thanks, Afraz, Rahul and Ahmed. IIt seems that the western European teams arte going through a difficult patch. Holland were not too convoncimng against Denmark and I am sure Japan could cause them a few problems, but somehow the Dutch always seem to pull through - until it comes to penalty shoot-out time....

Sure enough, Holland did win 1-0, always looking comfortable but never really impressive, but it only takes one good move and a bit of luck to make the difference. Holland are keen not to look too good right from the off as they have had so much experience of attracting attention to themselves early on in major tournaments, to suddenly freeze once they get into the knockout stages. Let's hope there is a more gradual build up this year which takes them to the Final!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Charles at 49

Charles at 49, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Seven times seven!

Yes, another year gone by and it is jumper weather here in Amsterdam, so fortunate that Fred gave me this lovely lambswool jumper as my birthday present, along with some nice adidas trainers (black chile 62's).

Having a few friends around this evening for 'een hapje en een drankje', will probably be keeping an eye on the England vs Algeria match, hoping that England do better then their European neighbours France and Spain this evening!

Having a birthday in mid-June always used to mean exams, now it means football, at least once every even year. Back in 1996 at Euro 96, I fondly remember England beating Holland 4-1 on my birthday! He he!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

World Cup ban in Somalia - again

Some more silly nonsense from the so-called Islamists in Somalia - where they are trying to stop people from watching and enjoying the World Cup - as per this article from the BBC: here

I think we have had this before, probably four years ago. There is nothing in any reasonable interpretations of the Quran which says that people should not enjoy themselves in this way.

In this respect, it is such a pity that there is no higher authority within Islam, like the Great Sultan, who could tell these idiots that they are ridiculing their religion.

As you can see from this photo, Somali people can have as much fun as anyone and why should anyone be denied this?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More from The Downs

More from The Downs, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

I am sneezing again today, the northerly wind keps blowing. Turns out it was the coldest May in 20 years, which is not surprising. I don't think June is going the same way, but that northerly wind keeps coming back.

Anyway, time to go back top the hottest day of the summer so far - Derby Day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rock n Roll couple

Rock n Roll couple, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Cycling around Amsterdam Noord on Staurday to gte some photos of the orange streets, I came across a Rock and Roll Festival just underneath the Schellingwoude Bridge. This is one of the advantages of living in a lively city, that there are so often events being held. I thought the women looked great with their red lipstick and polka dots. The music was OK too!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Het is (weer) tijd voor Oranje

Holland go into battle against Denmark to start off their World Cup campaign. Thye have the footbaling skills to go all the way but do they have the mentality? The trainer is a quiet man, Bert van Marwijk and he has a calm confidence which we hope he has managed to instil into his players. After so many years of promise and disappointment, could this finally be the time for Orange?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A taste of summer

A taste of summer, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Wild cornflowers, as seen on a cycle ride on Saturday. Just about my favourite shade of blue.

No place for anti-Islamic party in a Dutch government

F*ck Racism, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

The election took place on Wednesday and the Queen appointed someone to investigate the possibilities of putting together a coalition. On advice from most of the parties, it seems that he will start looking at the possibility of trying to form a coalition between the biggest party (VVD - right wing liberals) and PVV (anti-Islamic populist party), the PVV having been the big winner going up from 9 to 24 seats. Between them, they have 55 seats, so a good 20 away from the 76 needed for a majority. So, even if they can agree amongst themselves, to form a government, they will have to find another party or two to join them.

The other bigger party to the right of centre is the CDA, Christian Democrat party, which lost 20 seats to go from 41 to 21. So, before one starts having an opinion about whether a party losing out so much should become part of the next government, and whether it would even be good for the party to be in government, rather than wait in the sidelines/opposition while they re-form, they need to think whether they could ever work with such a party as PVV. A party which is anti-democratic (it has no members) and a party which reduces every argument to one of anti-Islam and anti-immigration.

In Belgium, where they had a similar phenomon with Vlaams Blok, the other parties put a cordon sanitaire around the party and refused to work with it. This was sen to be counter-productive in the end, so I think the Dutchj want to avoid this. Better to look for a way to work together and then point out afterwards why they cannot - i.e. such a party is based on creating fear and hatred towards another part of society and is a party without anything helpful to add to the political debate and development of the country.

So, when we read that the VVD and CDA are looking perhaps to work with P{VV, we have to think about how much they are just going through the motion, to give the impression of working together, and how much they really do think they can work together. I am hoping it is the former.

Despite all the noise created by the PVV and the media which goes along with it all, only 16% of the voters voted for PVV, and these seem to be mainly disaffected voters in the mainly Catholic south of the country. If you link up two other parties, which have similar-ish sort of views, such as SP and Groen Links you already ahve 25 seats, which is more than the 24 of the PVV. Put together PvdA and Groen Links and D66 and you have 51 seats, more than twice as much as PVV and enough to form an (albeit difficult) coalition with VVD, which would be known as Paars Plus = Purple Plus. I think that this is where we will end up and I hope than by the time we get there, we will have fully exposed the PVV for what it really is

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Bulldog, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

England start off today on their World Cup campaign, most probably heading for a second round shoot out, although a quarter final would be nice, for a change.

Here is an English bulldog, complete with boxing glovres, charming isn't it?

Friday, June 11, 2010

World Cup 2010 or 2014?

World Cup 2010 or 2014?, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

I can't believe that this was four-and-a-half years ago and here we are at the start of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa!

This is from my birthplace in Hargeisa, Somaliland.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Workforce, The 2010 Derby winner, with his jockey Ryan Moore

A beautiful horse in the relative calm before the big race. He will have been driven to teh course, sent to the stables, walked around the pre-parade ring, then the paddock, then the parade before the stands, then the canmter and walk around the one-and-a-half miles to the start where he is now. In two minutes and forty seconds, he will write himself into the history books by winning The Derby.

And here we are a few days later, under a thick grey cloud, spluttering out rain while Holland has to look to the future with a new Parliamant and a new Prime Minister (finally!). How will they put a coalition together. This is going to take a few weeks, I shouldn't wonder.

I can't see the CDA coming back into the government as a third party, after losing almost half of their seats and recording their worst ever result, thanks mainly to the terrible leadership of JP Bak-ellende.

I would very much hope that there wouyld be no place in any Dutch government for the right wing and anti-Mulsim PVV. They have already thrown in one of the main policies for which they were voted - keeping the retirement age to 65, in an effort to suck up to the VVD - but they have too many weird and crazy ideas and policies and I would hope that no other party would want to pick up on them.

This leaves the lavour Party, Green Left and Democrats as possible partners for a Purple Plus government, taking us back to the good old days of the 1990's.

One good thing about what has happened is that bully boy Bak-ellende has paid for his bad attitude towards Wouter Bos and the labour Party with his job, his reputation and half of his party's seats, while the Labour Party has come out quite well, losing the election by just one seat!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Election Day - again!

Election Day - again!, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Another general Election in this banana republic. I am not allowed to vote, being a Brit of Somali origin but I am still interested in politics, having lived here for 22 years and expecting to continue to live here.

I did the Stemwijzer/Vote Chooser, which asks 30 questions and comapres your own ideas against those of the parties.

My top parties were:

1 Green Left
2 Democrats 66
3 Labour Party
4 Animals Party
5 Christian Union
6 Socialist Party

The other were much lower - right wing nonsense.

First exit polls coming in.

Left wing Labour Party and Right wing Freedom Party are noth at 31 seats, the largest gets the foirst chance to choose a coalition, so hoping that the Labour Party get ahead by the end of the night.

Good thing that the Christian Party of the former PM, Balkenende, look like they will get their worst result ever. A proper reward for the last few years of mismanagement.

The racist and anti-Islamic Party which is funded by extremist Jewish groups in America look like they will do very well but hopefully they will not get into any Government. They are a disgarce ot the good name of Holland. They make me SICK.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The front of our house

The front of our house, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

It was nice to come home to this, after a week away, just the weather could have been a little bit better, but it is good for the plants!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Harry jumping - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Harry jumping, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Starting off with something different!

Not everything was as classy as Workforce at The Derby yesterday...

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Workforce, The 2010 Derby winner

This was a pic just by the start and this chappie did anything BUT win by a neck. He won by seven lengths, just like the mighty Troy in the 200th Derby in 1979.

He also broke the 230 year old plus track record by a whole second.

Workforce, by King's Best

owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah

trained by Sir Michale Stoute

ridden by Ryan Moore

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The flickr four

The flickr four, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

It was great to see Stuart and Lee, of Stuart-Lee fame and Gareth of garethbee fame, again yesterday evening. Time to catch up on gossip, our photographic adventures and life in general over a few beers. Thanks lads, I really enjoyed the evening, good of you to come out.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The other side of the Gaza blockade

Robert Fisk has been a notable contributor to The Independent for a number of years, giving an eye-wintness account of events in the Middle East, uncoloured by propoganda.

A selection of Robert Fisk's articles for The Independent can be found here: www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fi sk/
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