Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Another Sentimental Bloke

As well as the famous Sentimental Bloke, creation of CJ Dennis, (also author of the wonderful Book for Kids), there are many other, less celebrated, but equally sentimental, blokes scattered across our nation.

In our household, we have one whose sentimentality applies particularly to the Austro-Hungarian empire during the half century leading up to the First World War. In that period, he believes, the Austro-Hungarian empire was, despite its faults, a remarkably successful multi-national state - and also very successful in spreading civilisation, (opera houses, theatres, cafes, fine municipal buildings), to all the exotic corners of its territories.

This, I imagine is why, when it was his turn to set up our two cribs this Christmas, (which, as I mentioned the year before last come respectively from Austria:
and from Hungary):

he decided not to separate them, but to put them all together in a reenactment of the Austro-Hungarian empire's glory days:
Perhaps he was thinking of Otto von Hapsburg and his reply, when asked whether he'd watched the Austria-Hungary football match (and, on that note, thank you Australian Broadcasting Corporation for forgetting in your round-up of deaths in 2011 not just Hapsburg but, even more shockingly, Vaclav Havel - unlike Amy Winehouse, who did get a mention, they weren't what you regard as celebrities, I suppose).


  1. It was very good of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to spread civilization to the Trentino, Venice, etc. (Well, OK, the fifty-year cutoff excludes most of Italy.)

  2. Good to see you starting the year on a combative note, George.

  3. Oh Barbara, I'm feeling hungry, I wish I could have a gemischte salate and a schnitzel, followed by Eszterhazy cake, and all washed down with a viertel of Gruner Veltliner.

  4. Z: Of course the Dual Monarchy was in many ways preferable to the immediate successor states and infinitely so to a couple of the subsequent regimes. Still, I suspect some of the far-flung corners considered themselves to have had civilization before the empire got there.

    BB: Yes, Italy's part in the breakup of the empire was unseemly.

  5. They may have done, but then many of my fellow citizens believe Canberra has civilisation, George