That elusive 27th anniversary present

Okay, so there is no particular anniversary associated with 27 years of marriage…
Not to worry, I can recall that day very well; if I were to exchange a gift with my partner it would be made of shell – since the meal after the ceremony took place in a restaurant called L’Escargot.
I see Iggy Pop is playing at Finsbury Park festival this summer. That might be a pretty appropriate commemoration place-wise – except my missus don’t like him overmuch…
Or how about a trip to Russia – where we first met…on a language course..?
To be honest, I cannot believe the crap that is coming out about that country all over again. Blimey! We spent the sixties and seventies believing ordinary Russians were ten-feet tall and had two heads. Brezhnev and his Politburo cronies were about the only Russians shown on our TVs, as they watched from their Kremlin balcony at the marching soldiers and military hardware being paraded before their very deadpan eyes. We were all expecting a nuclear war to begin at any time…or, at the very least, some kind of invasion – maybe like the Nazi blitzkrieg of the 1940s…
Actually, we knew nothing about Russia or the Russian people, except they were OUR enemy.
That was why I had to visit the country as soon as the possibility arose; what I found was a generous, welcoming people as non-plussed concerning UK politics as ourselves. In fact, they were so welcoming that we returned – as a married couple – the following year to help set up an English language school, the first of its kind in the USSR, apparently; and we were present during the collapse of that Union…but that’s another story…
Since then, I have returned on several occasions – the last time on behalf of a language centre operating in Siberia and, always, have received the self-same warmth and kindnesses of the original occasion.
Our UK government is pulling the wool over our eyes when they tell us the Russians are a threat to our way of life – they were telling us exactly the same story all those decades ago, and they were wrong then as they are wrong now. For Brezhnev read Putin. They only WANT the UK population to believe that Russia is an imminent threat in order to divert our attention away from the very real lack of good governance that they are providing; and of course they want to invoke patriotism – or jingoism – as a means of getting people to pull together behind them, regardless of the lies they tell. (Who on earth came up with the idea of having Jerusalem as the 2018 athletics anthem – with all its messianic connotations?)
So, that elusive 27th wedding anniversary present…
I know!
We’re going to travel around the other 27 EU countries in our van before Brexit occurs and visas will be required by UK citizens to get around…
Happy Anniversary, Darling!

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