Wednesday, December 30, 2009

End of Year Résumé

So, we reach the end of another year, and what a year it’s been. Over here, one of the most significant features of 2009 has been the pleasure derived from blogging, and as we at Gadjo Dilo care about our readers we want to ensure that you are also deriving similar enjoyment. We would therefore appreciate it if you could fill out the questionnaire below, it'll only take you about half an hour and will help us to provide the Gadjo Dilo service you need:

#1: How Would You Rate Your Overall Level of Gadjo Dilo Satisfaction?
A: Excellent. I'm entirely satisfied and would now never dream of availing myself of any other form of entertainment.
B: Superb. I cannot wait to start my computer in the mornings and read what Gadjo has to say.
C: Wonderful. The only criticism I have is that Gadjo Dilo is simply too good, making all other experiences seem dull and mundane by comparison.
D: Rubbish. I'm a git with the cultural sophistication of a warthog and I'm happy to stay that way.

#2: Which of the Recurring Themes in Gadjo Dilo do you Enjoy the Most?
A: The epic tales of how he coped with his stammer have inspired me more than I can say.
B: His taste in music is a constant sourse of enlightenment and I've searched everywhere to get copies of the records played on Gadjo Dilo.
C: Gadjo's appreciation of women shows him to be a true gentlemen, which is very refreshing in this day and age.
D: It's all shite. Except the one about constipation. That wasn't shite. Ha ha!

#3: Do You Appreciate the Links that Gadjo Dilo Provides to Other Blogs?
A: I do, and I have also now linked to them.
B: Oh yes, I'm now best friends with all of them!!
C: Indeed. It's a very well selected group, providing a balance of blogs both educational and entertaining.
D: They're just another bunch of losers. Except maybe the Welsh bloke, who at least appreciates the value of swearing.

#4: What Do You Think of Gadjo's Garden?
A: The Garden of Eden, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Sissinghurst on a balmy June afternoon....
B: Mmm, makes me want to curl up in the sunshine on a chaise longue with Gadjo and a nice long pina colada!
C: I've been senior plantsman at The Royal Horticultural Society Gardens at Wisley for 30 years and I can honestly say that I've never seen anything to match it.
D: Is that a garden?? I've seen better weeds in Steptoe's backyard.

#5: Do You Like the Kittens?
A: I love the kittens, especially Elvis, ahhh he's so cute!!!
B: When I think that Gadjo rescued these poor starving cats, and gave them a home and food to eat, it makes me almost tearful to think that there is still such goodness in the world.
C: Every blog of note should feature kittens and it's a mark of Gadjo's perspicacity that he recognises this.
D: Stuff the kittens. Literally. The fat one especially would make an excellent tea cosy.

#6: How Do You Feel About the Level of Smut and Innuendo on Gadjo Dilo?
A: For me it's pitched just right: I don't want it "in my face' but, heck, I'm no prude and it's only natural after all.
B: It's done really quite beautifully at times; if only my husband could use language like this it might put a bit of pizzazz back into our marriage.
C: Before reading Gadjo Dilo I knew almost nothing about sex and had never, you know, "done it", but now I feel I could write a whole series of tastefully erotic novellas.
D: I can never have enough smut and innuendo and everything else on Gadjo Dilo is frankly a waste of my time. More pictures of Kylie Minogue.

I look forward to hearing your opinions, which I'm sure will help us fine-tune the already excellent service we provide. Unless you answered all Ds, in which case two large men called Vlad will shortly be calling at your house, though when I think about it you'd probably get on with them like a house on fire. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Merry Christmas

Mrs Dilo and I fly to England in a few hours time and, assuming the place hasn't become entirely snow-bound by the time we're due to land, will be having a well-earned rest with family and friends until 27th December. I'm not sure how much blogging I will be getting up to during this period. I wish you all a merry Christmas/Hannakah/Winter Solstice/etc. Carol singing is a big part of Crimbo here in Romania; here's the popular side of this tradition, first the soppy faced Fuego, then Mahala Raï Banda with their (I suspect) more pragmatically minded anthem about the business of carol singing. Have a good one!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Accentuate the Positive

I've decided that there's been a bit too much smut and degeneration on this blog of late and I feel it's time to emphasise the positive, to post something nice... and so here's my seasonal 7 without sin:

#7 Buffalo Milk: A diminuative Hungarian lady brings many litres of this, plus buffalo sour cream, in from her village once a week and sells it (illegally, now we're in the EU) in my wife's hospital. Not only do I admire her enterprize, her strength and her refusal to wear anything but her traditional costume at all times, but it is also the creamiest you will ever taste - no going back to gold-top after that.

#6 Hat Wearing: Country folk in Romania have the most wonderful array of whacky hats (a whole blog post in itself), each region having it's own style; elderly townsmen favour a small trilby, beret or flat cap - my father-in-law has all three. I bought a beautiful charcoal grey, fur-felt, Sinatra tile for my wedding and wear it whenever it looks like rain; it makes me look either a dandy or a member of a religious cult - and as we Dilos are Primitive Methodists many may agree with that evaluation - but slightly less so than I would do in Blighty.

#5 Kittens: I promise this will be the last post that mentions our kittens... for a while. By the way, they got called Elvis (not sure which one of you won the naming competition) and Mitzi (yep, one of them was a girl). Here they are with our new friend Karen "The Kitten Whisperer", from New Zealand, who's been delighting us not only with her vowels but also her kitten psychology which has got 'em purring with a passion.

#4 My Garden: If you think the kittens have become boring, be warned that I've barely started going on about my garden :-) From the wasteland it was when we got this place it's now got natural stone paving, raised beds, exotic flowers, outlandish vegetables, and a rockery in the shape the Matterhorn (due to be extended into the whole Alpine range in the spring).

#3 British Comedy: I pine for this, and it makes me proud to be British, but these days BBC Entertainment (née Prime) mainly serves up a diet of The Weakest Link, EastEnders and other such slack-jawed tosh. But there are still flickers of comedy greatness, and best of all is when The Missus gets it too. She's a huge fan of Del Boy (who speaks directly to all Eastern Europeans regardless of their nationality), and adores Richard Ayoade in The IT Crowd. Excellent. Now I have a new hero, Omid Djalili, and am trying to convince her that this slobberingly elegant bastard Iranian love-child of Andre Agassi and Alexei Sayle is the new comic Messiah.

#2 Poetry: I'm a total ponce when it comes to poetry, but it serves me well. In my job I rarely have breaks and when I do I usually waste them trying to drag a conversation out of one of my colleagues. But, I keep a small collection of John Donne's love poems in my pocket at all times (I've also got Keats) and when I'm desparate I sit in the nearby graveyard and whip it out:

Oh doe not die, for I shall hate
All women so when you are gone,
That thee I shall not celebrate,
When I remember, thou wast one.

#1 You! Yes, dear reader. I seek not world-wide fame; a small, regular readership is ample satisfaction for me. You cannot image - though actually, when I think about it, you probably can - how much joy I get from people's comments, and from the fact that (I dare to think) I could now probably post a picture of a dog turd and still get them in double figures, so thank you, thank you for your kindnesses, thank you for bearing with me, and thank you most of all for being you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lookalikes #3

Traian Băsescu*: windbag, slaphead, but still (arguably) marginally better than the alternative.

Neil Kinnock: errrr, right :-)

* Re-elected president of Romania this Sunday just passed, by the narrowest of margins, and amid (the usual) allegations of vote rigging, which (in this instance) might be significant enough to invalidate his election, were it not for the fact that the other side were up to exactly the same tricks though perhaps not quite as successfully. More info as always on Andy's blog.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Great Music for a White Wedding

I’ve been to a lot of weddings this year – four, in fact – and while I could suggest many ways in which I believe they could have been done better, I’m not going to: they were the marriages of friends, and a wedding is after all the happiest day of somebody’s life. The music has got to be changed though. If the couple were too scared to employ a taraf or too determinedly “sophisticated” to hire a DJ, then it’s standard non-threatening fare piped over the restaurant’s sound system:

#1 Eine Klein Nachte Wotsit.

#2 Handel’s Water Music (or is it Vivaldi’s Spring??)

#3 Something by Enya. A classic line from the classic (in my opinion) film School of Rock goes something like: “I’m taking them to a classical concert: you know, Beethoven, Mozart, Enya....”.

#4 The Radedski March: For when the many-tiered cake is wheeled in with it’s fireworks, looking like a confectioner’s mock-up of Flash Gordon’s spaceship.

#5 Something else by J. Strauss, e.g. the famous bit from the Blue Danube - honestly, anybody would think that Romanians wanted the Austro-Hungarian Empire back again....

Enough already. What they should play - but what’s happened to me, why have I become so cynical these days?? - is:

#1 The Beatles’ Your Mother Should Know.... how difficult you’re gonna to be to be married to.

#2 How You Gonna Keep Them Down on the Farm.... after they’ve seen Cluj. There’s no way that the country cousins after having eaten the Vol-au-vents and the bits of cheese wrapped around bits of ham are going share the trough with the pig again.

#3 Sonny and Cher’s (and with apologies to Gyppo in advance, here) Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.... is what your new in-laws are but we didn’t have the heart to tell you.

#4 In case there’s a bit of awkwardness on the wedding night they’re going to need a sense of humour (though hopefully not quite this much), Frankie Howerd’s version of Je T’Aime.

#5 About two thirds the way through, and a warning to the groom mainly, the Dead Kennedys’ (ahem, and I really must apologise for the indelicacy here, though I am in fact entirely responsible for it) Too Drunk to F**k: your beautiful bride has been refusing you until this night of nights, but the ţuică's really started to flow now and your new brothers-in-law want you in the hora and, well.... it’s your decision :-)

To end, the band they were too scared to book, Taraf de Haïdouks: