The Dutch are said to be very Calvinistic. At least, I guess, the Protestant Dutch are. One sign of their Calvinistic nature is the fact that, allegedly, the Dutch don’t have curtains. Yes, they even indulge in, cough cough, hum, hum, with the curtains open. Personally, notwithstanding my Protestant faith in this 750th year of the Reformation, I prefer curtains.
Let me take you back to 1979. Margaret Thatcher had been Prime Minister for a few months. In those days TV often finished most evenings at just before midnight. Saturday late evening TV consisted of:
- Match of the Day (for the football)
- Parkinson chat show
- The Rockford Files (with Jim Garner)
- Finally: the national anthem and a long “booooooooooooooooooooooooop”
Saturday evening, approximately 23:20 BST. Victor and his two sons, aged 9 and 10, had hitch-hiked all the way from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, all up the motorway, courtesy of several truck drivers, needing to rant to somebody about their divorces, the price of petrol, etc, etc, and a football sales rep. The final stretch from Leeming Bar Motel on the A1, to the Yorkshire hamlet of Burrill, was, however, done by taxi.
Father and sons arrived in the hamlet. A short O-group (Army-speak for planning meeting). Time for Army
black warped sense of humour to show its face. From the OP (observation post), near the hamlet church, Sergeant Victor (veteran of Northern Ireland) and sons notice that the living room curtains are open. Grandma and aunt are watching The Rockford Files.
Three males tiptoe forward, using Victor’s military skills, to see without being seen, to hear without being heard.
Three males crouch down below the window sill.
On three… one… two… three!
Three heads slowly rise above the window sill.
Two backsides leap out of their armchairs.
Three males roar with laughter.
Two female relatives feel their heart rates jumping.
Seconds later, three male relatives enter via the front door, ready for a nice pot of tea, pork pie each, sliced in two, with a dollop of Branston chutney on a small plate.
Have a Calvinistic day, won’t you!