Sunday, 20 January 2008


Tirelessly surfing the internet, the ever-vigilant Ben Trovato has unearthed the following gem, sent by His Majesty's Ambassador in Moscow to a colleague at the Foreign Office during WW2:

6th April 1943
Lord Pembroke
The Foreign Office

My Dear Reggie,

In these dark days man tends to look for little shafts of light that spill from Heaven. My days are probably darker than yours, and I need, my God I do, all the light I can get. But I am a decent fellow, and I do not want to be mean and selfish about what little brightness is shed upon me from time to time. So I propose to share with you a tiny flash that has illuminated my sombre life and tell you that God has given me a new Turkish colleague whose card tells me that he is called Mustapha Kunt.

We all feel like that, Reggie, now and then, especially when Spring is upon us, but few of us would care to put it on our cards. It takes a Turk to do that.

[sgd] Archie
Sir Archibald Clerk Kerr,
H.M. Ambassador.


Emmett said...

IN Southern Minnesota, which was an area of German immigrant-settlement, we had loads Kuntz(es
), Harry ones too! My English father marvelled at the recklessness with which these gentry sent esp their daughters into the sewer & hot-bed of the grabby & grubby, dirty, early-
1960s co-educational 'junior' high-schools

Yankee Doodle said...


pela68 said...


Remindes me of a veterinarian in My hometown that had the name "Bruno Balla". Hes parents were from some German speaking country. The poor man had to change his number quite a few times (his private telephone number that is) because "Balla" is a slangword for men's genitals in Swedish! But besides from that- who in their right mind would name their son "Bruno" when the surname is "Balla". It must have been a terrible painful birth or something...

pela68 said...

Oh- I just remembered. In Swedish the word bröst means both chest and breasts. I once met a pair of sisters who's name were Inga (meaning "no") and Lena (meaning smoothe)with the surname Bröst- what were their parents thinking?. I know it's childish, but I could not stop snigger.

zola a social thing said...

You should all visit Pajala.
If you need to ask where Pajala is then yopu really do not want to know.

Swedenbreeding said...

Pajala loves sexism because it pays.
Pajala is a half-way Swedish place.
As for Turks --- as the Merk.

Jose said...

Ben Trovato is valueless. That short letter should have a frame and be hanging on any of the Foreign Office walls.

Diplomats also have their foibles. LOL

pela68 said...

Drove through Pajala last summer. Last stop for supplies before going north on road 99 (the one that's not 100%). The remaining trip up to Saivomuotka was the only stint that my son actually sleeped. Why he could do this is a mystery to me as we were mostly flying over the tarmac than actually driving on it. Good thing we were driving a SAAB! (As they are a areoplane manufacturer- aswell as a car manufacturer for those who does not know it).

zola a social thing said...

Anticant : You really should not "share with" us " a tiny flash".
If you are going to flash us let us see a whopper!!!