Tomorrow anyone with even the vaguest of Irish sympathies will be looking for a place to enjoy a pint of the black stuff and some cracking Craic. I know what you're thinking 'St Patrick's day was on Tuesday!' - indeed it was, but if you're a true Irishman you would have been saving your best for this Saturday's six nation's showdown with Wales. After all, if Ireland win it will be the first time they have brought home the 'Grand Chelem' in sixty years, and even if they lose (by less than 13 points) it will be the first time they've won the tournament in thirty years ... and who, except perhaps the odd Welshman, would begrudge them that? So where better to sit yourself than in front of giant TV in one of Strasbourg's many, MANY, 'Irish' pubs? Molly Malones? The Irish Times? The Dubliners? Murphy's House? O'Brady's? the list goes on ... alas. Personally I take a schizophrenic view of the 'Irish Pub' phenomenon: On the one hand, it's nice to know that no matter where you [...]
The world's war-mongers are coming to town in a few weeks time to have a bit of a knees-up, and (on the 3rd and 4th of April) as the worlds most armed nations come together to celebrate their sixtieth anniversary, the people of Strasbourg are to be treated to 'restrained' circulation, limited parking spaces, closed shops, schools and leisure facilities as well as restricted access to medical care. I've heard that local residents will be barred from their own homes (within an unspecified security 'zone') unless they register with the police for an official pass, and the entire UNESCO central isle will be a no-go area. Security services are preparing to deal with the wave of demonstrations by canvas-shoed hippies, rioting lefty students and running street battles with pacifist-anarchists. Anyone daring to look suspicious AND Arabic will be strip-searched at gunpoint and treated to high-pressure hosing, rubber bullets and tear gas for good measure. It's marvellous to be part of the free world isn't it?