Ode to Joy

One of the most amazing things for me in the last week was the dust cloud which enveloped Sydney.  I have family living there and, through the wonders of Facebook, they posted pictures of the impact in their neighbourhood.  It is one of the thing s that I welcome about technological developments like Facebook is that I am able to keep in touch with family I am interested in and care about, but previously would not have known about in the same way because the number of members of the family you keep in touch with by phone is so small.  It has already led to me finding out more about the lives and personalities of wider members of my family and has lead to members of the family at a distance to each other to be in communication in ways they hadn’t before.  When we meet up it will mean we are less strangers to each other, people are brought closer to each other.  Anyway for those who missed it, here is a photo gallery of the dust storm and here is a thorough report with some more amazing pictures from a British paper.

In less than an hour I will be off to join colleagues from the Strasbourg Strollers, the city’s premier cricket team, for the last match of the season against Freiburg Nomads Cricket team, apart from Strasbourg Combined, probably our closest neighbours and therefore something of a derby match.  We had not played each other for a couple of years because their team used to be ultra-competitive whereas we play to enjoy ourselves.  The weather has been a wonderful end to the Summer all week and it looks like being perfect weather for playing cricket.  Add in the fact that Freiburg, is one of my favourite cities and somewhere I would like to live at some point whilst here and it makes a day I have been looking forward to, as well as the fact that over the Summer I got my Strasbourg Strollers shirt and cap, I make no apologies for being excited about this afternoon’s game.  Here I am in February 2008, a day far to sunny and warm for February, people say the place has its own micro-climate:

DSCF4107The coming week is also a busy one with le Racing at home on Monday night.  They’ve made an awful start to the season.  They sacked the manager who had them relegated to Ligue 2 and then didn’t get them promoted back last season and his replacement lasted only a couple of games before he was sacked and they are now bottom of the table propping up the league.  Then on Tuesday it the English Speaking Community-Alsace Music Quiz at the Dubliners.  As reigning champions it is important that we fight to keep our crown.  Then on Wednesday and Thursday it is celebrations for the 60th Anniversary of the Council of Europe which on the second night includes a visit from one of the great men, and a hero of mine, of the last century, Mihajil Gorbachov.  So, it will be welcome relief to get to the end of the week and stay in.  Here is the anthem of the Council of Europe and now seen as the one for Europe too:

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