Saturday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

It’s the weekend—Saturday, June 24, 2017, and it promises to be a lovely day in Chicago: sunny with a high of only 23º C (74º F). I’m happy to report, being an Honorary Kiwi and all, that (via Heather Hastie) the All Blacks decisively won their first rugby test match against the British and Irish Lions yesterday—30-15. It’s also National Praline Day, celebrating a southern U.S. confection culturally appropriated from the French. When properly made, with lots of pecans, it’s a delicacy not to be sniffed at:

It’s also Saint John’s Day, with “midsummer” celebrations occurring widely.

On June 24, 1374, there was a huge outbreak of “Dancing Mania” (also called “St. John’s Dance”) in Aachen, Germany, a phenomenon that recurred throughout the Middle Ages. It’s not clear whether it was due to social pressure or a real disease; explanations of the latter usually include ergot poisoning. Wikipedia describes it:

[Dancing mania] involved groups of people dancing erratically, sometimes thousands at a time. The mania affected men, women, and children who danced until they collapsed from exhaustion. One of the first major outbreaks was in Aachen, in the Holy Roman Empire, in 1374, and it quickly spread throughout Europe; one particularly notable outbreak occurred in Strasbourg in 1518, also in the Holy Roman Empire.

Now wouldn’t that have been something to see? On this day in 1509, Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon were crowned King and Queen of England. In 1880, this day saw the very first performance of “O Canada,” the Canadian National Anthem, at the Congrès national des Canadiens-Français. Here is a good version performed by Sarah MacLachlan before a hockey game:

On this day in 1939, Siam was renamed Thailand by prime minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram, and in 1948 the yearlong Berlin Blockade by the Soviets began, circumvented by Allied airlifts. On this day in 1982, the British Airways Flight 9 incident occurred, in which all four engines of a Boeing 747 stopped, clogged by ash from an erupting volcano. After gliding a long time, the engines eventually restarted and the pilots, under dire conditions of visibility, landed the plane safely. It was a sad day in 1995 for us Kiwis, as South Africa defeated our land in the Rugby World Cup final, with Nelson Mandela presenting his white countryman Francois Pienaar with the trophy. This was the game that inspired the movie “Invictus.”  Here is the end of the game and the trophy presentation (1:51):

Notables born on this day include Ambrose Bierce (1842), Jack Dempsey (1895), Anita Desai (1937), Mick Fleetwood (1947) and Minka Kelly (1980). Those who died on this day include Grover Cleveland (1908), Jackie Gleason (1987) and Eli Wallach (2014). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is again being a Philosopher Cat:

Hili: We shouldn’t waste time.
A: Has something happened?
Hili: No, this is a general principle.
 In Polish:
​Hili: Nie powinniśmy marnować czasu.
Ja: Czy coś się stało?
Hili: Nie, to jest generalna zasada.
And in the forest near Wloclawek, Leon’s monologue requires an explanation, which Malgorzata provided:
This is the first day of school summer holidays and you remember that both Leon’s humans are teachers, so this is the first day of their holiday as well. Leon regards himself as a teacher as well, and he thinks that on the first day of HIS holiday he doesn’t have to go for long walks where his humans want to go. I don’t know whether he means that they should carry him or return home.

The monologue:

Leon: I’m not going any further. After all, I have summer holidays!

Finally, once again Grania found us a tweet, this time from Larry the Cat, who, as Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, is the highest-ranking cat in Britain:


  1. BJ
    Posted June 24, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Every time Sarah McLachlan sings, pictures of sad puppies and kittens swirl around her head. This is a fact. It is known

    (Does anyone else need to immediately change the channel every time those commercials appear? I can’t deal with them. They bring tears to my eyes *immediately*. And they’re usually smack in the middle of a commercial break during a comedy show)

  2. Posted June 24, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Very nice! Lots of fun stuff. Invictus is an excellent movie.

  3. Heather Hastie
    Posted June 24, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Cool find on the Tweet Front, Grania! 😀

  4. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 24, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    There is some hope with the god part of O Canada. My friend’s 6 year old daughter learned “o keep our land” instead. Hurray for the further generations! I still like The Maple Leaf Forever Save that offensive to Quebec part. It is only recently Canada picked O Canada as the official anthem even though it was treated as such all these years.

  5. nicky
    Posted June 24, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    That win for South Africa (‘die Bokke’) was, of course a happy day for South Africa. Madiba used it to bring some communities closer to each other in SA. I think it should be considered a happy day for all, from that point of view.
    At any rate, the ‘All Blacks’ are very dominant, really a class apart, in world Rugby over the last few years.
    Only in the inexplicably less popular Sevens Rugby the ‘Bokke’ reign supreme.

  6. Vaal
    Posted June 24, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I’ve tried pralines here and there and always thought “meh, what’s the big deal? Just tastes like nuts coated in sugar.”

    I was recently in Pralines central – New Orleans – and tried several there. Even had a cooking class showing us how to make them and had them fresh. Again…meh. Just tastes like a really crude confection to me.

  7. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted June 24, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    You missed out a very important person born on this day (well, I think I’m very important 🙂 ).

  8. nicky
    Posted June 24, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    French pralines are made with almonds, the ‘pecan pralines’ apparently originate in New Orleans (so there probably is a ‘French Connection’) :).
    In Belgium ‘pralines’ refer to chocolates with a soft filling. Considered by many to be the top of the ‘Belgian Chocolate’ range. Brands such as Leonidas, Neuhaus and Wittamer are considered among the best, but very pricey.

%d bloggers like this: