Winkel Werker (vin-kel ver-ker) – Noun
Shop Worker (shop wur-ker): A person who works at a sales counter or service desk in a shop.
Not to be mistranslated as:
Winkle Worker (win-kle wur-ker): Possibly someone in Amsterdam’s red light district who ‘works’ a part of the male anatomy.
In my second list of cultural exchange suggestions I would like to detail possible ways in which Briton could assist Holland. We’ve already provided them with loud drunk English lads stumbling through the red light district on stag nights and hippies that have not been able to find their way out of the local coffee shop since the 60’s. Both of these might have helped fund the countries tourist industry but there are other forms of aid we can provide.
1) Britain has an over abundance of hills and mountains which could be used to transform the flat and hill-less terrain of Holland. A percentage of Britain’s undulating terrain will be shipped in boxes to Holland and re-constructed in key locations where they will provide the most use to walkers, skate borders and motorists trying to jump start their cars.
British people that are accustom with hill climbing will be on hand at each location to help Dutch people acclimatize to the unfamiliar thinner atmosphere and out of breath feeling that comes with climbing something higher then a speed bump.
This export of terrain will also require that Briton’s Peak District is re-named to The Flat District.
2) Emergency supplies of salt and vinegar will be collected by charity workers from fish and chip shops around Britain. They will then be flown to Holland where they will be dropped via parachutes near snack shops around the country in the hope that they will realize they do not need to put mayonnaise on everything.
3) Jamie Oliver will be sent to Holland to demonstrate that it is in fact alright to cook Herring.
4) The NS (Dutch railway) and British Rail could run a ‘who has made the biggest blunder’ competition.
5) The surplus of English reserve and restraint is so excessive that it can be bottled and shipped to Holland where it will be used to suppress the Dutch comfortableness with public nudity. This one is simply for me so I don’t have to stare at the floor or ceiling when ever I am trying to navigate past the naked people between me and my locker in the gym changing room. Avoiding obstacles is not easy when you are trying your best not to look at them.
When I first moved to Holland I quickly realized there were a few things that were done differently from my homeland. These were things I had to get used to. Such as; Dutch coffee shops are not the best place to buy coffee unless you want to order a Triple Latte Cannabis Espresso.
During the years I have lived in the country I’ve been witness to Dutch innovations and ideas that might benefit Briton. It is for this reason that I would like to propose the following list of ideas to the British Government. However, I will not be suggesting Starbucks starts selling Cannabis (no matter how much it might increase their profits).
1) Britain could increase its landmass by utilizing the Dutch technique for reclaiming land from the sea. This would make it possible to expand outwards through the surrounding waters and solve the over population problem. As a test The Isle of White (to the South) could be connected with the rest of Briton first. However, if this is successful a great deal of care will have to be taken when re-naming the newly combined island. Simply putting the two names together (Isle of White + Briton) could lead to a very bad misunderstanding.
In the second phase of expansion Ireland could be connected. Then in the third phase Britain could physically become a part of Europe, connecting along the edges of The Netherlands and Belgium (but probably avoiding France). Even after this it is most likely that the British public would still refuse to give up the British pound in favorer of the Euro.
2) Britain could also follow Holland’s example and try exporting cheese and tulips instead of the casual violence and binge drinking it currently exports to holiday destinations and football matches around the world. An extra benefit from this would be that the British government would no longer need to apologize for the actions its tourists.
3) Soho and the Red Light District could set up a work exchange program to learn from each other and combine their knowledge.
4) Education could be improved by following Holland’s example in a way that would also bring our two countries closer together. A lot of Dutch children learned to speak English by watching re-runs of the A-Team. British children could expand their language skills and cultural understanding in a similar way by watching repeats of Flodder.
5) The traffic problems in major British cities could improve with the addition of canal networks. Public transport barges would reduce the over crowding on The London Underground particularly. This would also require that the famous catchphrase, “Mind the gap,” is replaced with, “Mind the murky water and what ever you do, for the love of god, don’t drink it.”
Hopefully Tony Blair will take these ideas into consideration.
How many bloggers does it take to change a light bulb? One but if you get another ninety-nine they can create a book for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day with some of the funniest stories from around the blogosphere.
However, one-hundred and one would probably be better so there is still someone to change the light bulb, otherwise the work would have to be done in the dark.
Bloggers publish book for Comic Relief.
100 bloggers have published a book to raise funds of the BBC’s Comic Relief appeal on Friday 16th March.
‘Shaggy Blog Stories’ features hilarious contributions from Richard Herring of ‘Fist of Fun’ fame, BBC 6 Music presenter Andrew Collins, comedian Emma Kennedy, and James Henry, scriptwriter from Channel Four’s ‘The Green Wing’.
Authors Abby Lee, David Belbin, Catherine Sanderson and The Guardian’s Anna Pickard have also contributed pieces to the book.
The vast majority of contributions, however, are the work of many of the lesser known and unfamiliar heroes of British blogging; going under pen names such as Diamond Geezer, Scaryduck, Pandemian and Unreliable Witness.
Also contributing to ‘Shaggy Blog Stories’, and hoping to raise funds for the Comic Relief Appeal is local expat writer and cartoonist Invader Stu from Invading Holland.
The book is the idea of blogger Mike Atkinson who writes the ‘Troubled Diva’ weblog. ‘Shaggy Blog Stories’ features comic writing from not only the cream of British blogging, but also the best up-and-coming and undiscovered writers publishing their work on their own websites.
Giving himself a “ridiculously short” seven days from idea to finished product, Atkinson admitted that he was overwhelmed with the response, which gleaned over 300 submissions for publication.
With a pool of talented writers, and the latest publishing-on-demand technology, Shaggy Blog Stories bypasses the usual snail-paced publishing industry, and offers a mail order service to customers who will receive their finished copy within days of placing their order, and only a couple of weeks after the original idea.
“Blogging creates complex, worldwide networks of friendship and contacts on the internet”, says journalist Alistair Coleman, one of Shaggy Blog Stories’ contributors. “By creating a buzz about this book, we can reach out to hundreds, thousands of readers who’d be willing to part with a few quid for this very good cause.
Mike’s got some excellent writers on board here whose work deserves a wider audience. Everybody wins.”
For details of how to order the book, visit www.shaggyblogstories.co.uk.
For the background story on the creation of Shaggy Blog Stories, take a look at www.troubled-diva.com.
So flex that mouse clicking finger and order a copy of the book. Not only will you be getting a really funny read but you will also be helping raise money for charity. Kudos to Mike for the great idea and getting it all put togeather.
It’s time to get out the party hats, bake a cake and hire a clown. One year ago on the 14th of March I first put fingers to keyboard and created this blog. When I started there were no cartoons and I had no idea what direction I was going to take it in. It has been a lot of fun developing a style over the last 12 months and it is very rewarding to know I have made a few people laugh along the way. Thank you everyone who has followed my mad ramblings and given their support. Welcome to any new readers as well.
Here are a few highlights from the blogs first year:
An Unexpected Beginning
The first ever post and the story of how I accidentally ended up living in The Netherlands.
The first ever post with a cartoon and some details about the stranger side of Amsterdam.
Holland Reality Show
The truth about Holland’s biggest secret.
Don’t Fear the Mime
There are many strange sites to see when walking around Amsterdam and you don’t have to have visited a coffee shop first.
The Lift of Terror
The story of my evening trapped in a lift in an empty office.
The Long Way Home
Proof of how accident prone I can be; eight hours walking around lost with a broken ankle.
The language barrier might only be small but it does not make it any easier to hide your identity as an expat.