Angostura on the Rocks

Today the West Indies crushed England in the 1st Test.

I haven't followed cricket much since the days of Sir Garfield who started his test career against England in my birth year of 1954. It wasn't until 1955 that he played in a test match at Trinidad's Queen's Park Oval ground which was just a mile from where I was born in Port of Spain.

Watching the England captain on TV stuttering over the "loss", it struck me that he didn't once say, the other side played a great game and were the better side on the day(s). For heaven's sake, what is so bad about losing a game?

The nationalistic attitude of the Brits (and probably others) towards sport, in general, has become very noticeable to me. The German TV commentators seem to relish far more the performance of sports men and women regardless of their nationality. Just this weekend when Germany was hoping to once again become Handball World Champions at the tournament being held in Germany and Denmark, they lost in the semi-final to a great (bärenstark = bear strong) Norwegian side and the game declared a "Feast of Handball". Much the same happened when Germany also lost to reigning WC France in the Bronze playoffs and finally when Denmark won, everyone was thrilled. The same thing was seen time & time again this weekend at all the various winter sports in Europe.

Of course, the Germans cheer like mad for their team. I am not into Handball although I suspect it is actually very exciting stuff, I did watch the start of one of the games - the national anthem bit. When the German hymn started, you couldn't see a German flag anywhere, but all the 20,000 odd spectators singing.

Questions are already circulating as to how the English Premier League will fare if there is a Hard Brexit. Presumably, all the Rest EU trainers and players will need to apply for work permits. Another story.

Here the warmer weather is causing the snow to melt but very slowly and only during the day. It is, however, being topped up by a few centimetres of fresh snow most mornings.

I have now taken to cool my drinks in the snow or better ice blocks. Found a bottle of Pimms Winter which Mr&MrsB had given us a year or two back. Had no idea what to mix it with but read that clear apple juice was recommended. We haven't got any clear juice but 200 litres of our own cloudy natural apple juice pressed in the autumn. So filled a bottle and added it to the Pimms, Gin and Tonic bottles

The huge pile (over 1 metre) in front of the windows is a block of ice. I had to dig holes with a stick to get the bottles in it. With a bit of time and a spade, could make an excellent Ice Bar. I suspect it will be about until April.

The only thing missing to celebrate the West Indies victory was a dash of Angostura bitters made in Trinidad. Just a week or two ago, I was researching as to how to get the stuff in Germany. Sadly Angostura has given the rights to a German company who solely supply bars rather than try to sell it in supermarkets. I suspect 99.9% of Germans don't have a clue about Angostura although it was invented by the German surgeon Johann Siegert in 1824. In my youth, sometime in the 1960s, I did a tour of the Angostura factory.

Oh and by the way - if you have grown out of WWII German jokes, you can have a good laugh by asking most Germans to pronounce "Schweppes" - those who haven't been ridiculed in an English run bar in Majorca, that is. It actually starts with Germans insisting the drink is "Gintonic" (one word). The first time I was confronted with German Schweppes, I must have asked three times what they meant.

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