Good luck Holland!

Good luck to Holland,   you have reached the final!  Good luck to the low, flat country of windmills, tulips, blue and white china, clogs, good Dutch cheese and Dutch butter.  Dutch cuisine is rather fattening.  The Dutch love their butter so much they spread it on cake, and they cover their chips with a healthy dollop of mayonnaise.  Don’t forget the wonderful Dutch chocolate.  Eating raw herring with onion doesn’t cancel out the calories from all that dairy produce, but it is awfully tasty.  There is also all that beautiful Dutch art, including Rembrandt and Van Gogh.

The Dutch now love the English, although they have fought us in the past.    At Waterloo in 1815, they fought at the side of the Duke of Wellington, led by the Prince of Orange, and one of my Dutch ancestors was there.  At the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the Netherlands declared its neutrality. However, on 10 May 1940, Nazi Germany launched an attack on the Netherlands and Belgium and quickly overran most of the country.  My mother’s family joined the Dutch resistance.  They were so hungry, they sometimes ate tulip bulbs, and pictures of the time show my mother with a massive bow in her hair,  a huge smile and an absolutely skeletal figure.

 On 17 September a daring operation, Operation Market Garden, was executed with the goal of capturing bridges across three major rivers in the southern Netherlands. Despite desperate fighting by American, British and Polish forces, the bridge at Arnhem, across the Neder Rijn, could not be captured. However, areas south of the Neder Rijn were liberated in the period September–November 1944, including the province of Zeeland, which was liberated in the Battle of the Scheldt.  The rest of the country, along with a major part of the population, remained occupied until the spring of 1945. The winter 1944–1945 was very harsh, and many Dutch starved, giving the winter the name Hongerwinter (Hunger winter). On 5 May 1945, a beaten Nazi Germany finally capitulated, and surrendered to the Allied forces.   After the war, Artur Seyss-Inquart, the Nazi Commissioner of the Netherlands, was tried at Nuremberg.  Operation Market Garden has been immortalised in the film “A Bridge Too Far.”

Since Holland is surrounded on all sides, the Dutch have frequently been occupied and know how to survive and endure.  They are open, friendly people, extremely polite and liberal, streetwise, with a strong streak of stubborness and determination.  These characteristics are apparent when they play football.  Van Bommell was in the thick of the action, winding up the opposition when Holland played Brazil, but when confronted, he handled the aggression calmly, and his only reaction was a bland smile.  Typical Dutch tactics under attack.  They know how to wait patiently for their moment, even if it takes years.

Good luck Holland!  Your patience and persistance in the tournament has put other flashier nations to shame, including the English.  As ever, and for always, I am rooting for you.

15 responses to “Good luck Holland!

  1. Pingback: GOOD LUCK HOLLAND! « CYBERBORISjohnson | Today Headlines

  2. Huge support for Holland now. Everyone wants a Spain/Holland final.

  3. I would like Holland to win as well. Holland is fun for a holiday, there is lots to do and see, food great, canals, bikes, tulip bulbs….

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  6. … there’s some interesting countryside & culture plus stunning hand-built Spyker Cars whose motto is “For the tenacious, no road is impassable” (“Nulla tenaci invia est via”) – doubtless compiled after an afternoon in an aromatic cafe!

  7. Pollee really! I didn’t know that! I love the canals, the markets with cheese, beautiful blue and white china and Dutch schnapps. Dutch people are very friendly and always speak perfect English. Everyone from Holland enjoys a good meal…..

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  9. I most go to Holland soon for a long weekend.

  10. Unlike the team, the quality of the gags is improving.

    After a thorough investigation into the England dressing room intruder, Sepp Blatter of Fifa has released a statement saying; “the fan didn’t break into the dressing room after all. Pavlos Joseph was let in by Rob Green but we don’t have the technology to prove it.”

    The FA have launched an urgent inquiry to find out how events evolved around the England dressing room – particularly, how Aaron Lennon was found to be there.

    Whats the difference between Cinderella and the England football team? .. Cinderella wanted to get to the ball.

    Robert Green: The only man to leave South Africa without catching, ANYTHING!

    What’s the difference between Rob Green’s spill and BP’s spill? … Robert Green has got a cap for his.

    Fabio Capello was wheeling his shopping trolley across the supermarket car park when he noticed an elderly lady lifting heavy bags of shopping into her car. He stopped and said “Hello there my dear, can you manage?” The lady replied; “No sodding way Capello. You got yourself and the team into this mess. Don’t ask me to sort it out!”

  11. Come on Holland! The Dutch are already partying like it is 1999, if you win, the whole country will go crazy!

    Holland have already done phenomenally well to get to the final.

  12. Your post has made me feel proud and convinced enough to support Holland tomorrow! The majority of sane Saffers will be backing team Oranje too! I detest the Spanish for many obvious reasons! Hup Holland Hup!

  13. Hi michie, It is good to have a team to feel proud of! Our England team have humiliated the nation, in the word of our leader (Boris) “What was that? It was diabolical!”

    I believe the whole team should be fired, and replaced with players who have some team spirit, some guts and some moral fibre.

    Our rugby team may not win a lot recently, but we win sometimes. We did beat Australia and the squad never stop trying. Our cricket team are great, Strauss is a terrific captain, in spite of his fame, KP never stops practicing and supporting the team, Collingwood would die for the team, Broad is dead keen, etc. etc.

    It is our footballers that are rotten to the core, they need to go and we should build again from scratch.

  14. I hear that Eng are doing very well in the cricket and showing a big improvement in the rugby. I’m happy to hear that; actually so sick and tired of the Aussie/Kiwi dominance! As far as the football is concerned, Eng potentially has a bright ahead-simply a pool of diverse and youthful talent to exploit! Oh, and did I forget to mention you have the great Boris Johnson who watches everything around him like a beady hawk? I’m not too perplexed about Eng football-it’s future abounds, and both highly respected and admired in Africa.

  15. The World Cup has been a huge success for South Africa. There was none of the predicted violence, on the contrary, this was one of the most peaceful, sportingly played contests ever.

    It would have been so great if Ghana could have gone further, but the energy and spirited play of African sides bodes so well for the future.

    I love it that Boris and David Cameron both play sport and we have that ping pong Olympiad to look forward to, when Boris plays Seb Coe, I bet that is funny! Boris is really good though.

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