Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Not quite identical

Quick quiz for you - what do Chicago, Frankfurt Am Main, Johannesburg, Leipzig, Lyon, Milan and Nanjing have in common?

a) They are all names of 1970's soft-rock groups.
b) They were all originally considered as alternative first names for the character of Indiana Jones.
c) They're all twinned with my hometown.

While the thought of the seminal No Sleep to Jiangsu Province album is a tempting one, the right answer is c.

I've never really completely understood this town-twinning malarkey, but until recently I accepted it potentially had some merit. After all, it's better for the worthies from each town to be visiting each other's civic centres and having cups of tea instead of bombing the living bejeebus out of each other.

Hmmm. Maybe that's why we have two German ones in the list. I see now.

I don't have a massive problem with the whole twin towns concept. But the news of Swindon's latest twinning exercise has thrown me somewhat. (Note for Americans: for Swindon, think Fresno). Anyway, Swindon has become twinned with the Disney Corporation.

I spent a week in Swindon once. The town itself was OK, but I did not at any time feel it was necessary to burst into a rendition of 'It's a Small World'. I didn't see any six-feet mice, even though I was staying in a rather grim Hotel Ibis which was staffed exclusively by Albanians with personal space issues.

In short, it was not a Magical Kingdom. Although I did get some very nice trousers from the Great Western Outlet Centre, if that helps.

Strictly speaking, Swindon is now twinned with an entity that is not really a town. But if we're allowing 'things-that-are-not-towns' in on the whole twinning thing, that opens up a whole world of opportunities. And so, dear reader, I am allowing progressive-thinking civic leaders across the globe the chance to be the first town to be twinned with a blog. Yes, your town could be an official twin of Make Lard History.

Think of the possibilities! There's the cultural exchange, for starters. I can come to your town to further cement our twinning relationship in a meaningful way, while your mayor could come here, sit on my sofa and watch me typing into a laptop. If they could put the kettle on while they were here, that would be peachy.

So then. It's up to you. Have you got any sway in your local authority? Can you suggest a municipality that wants a new twin? Suggestions in the comments, please. It could be the start of something beautiful.

After all, I need the Airmiles.

3 comments:

City Girl said...

I'm already on it.

That is, assuming you have no problem twinning with a small, rural town in Alabama. I promise they don't lynch people here...anymore.

emma said...

Ah I'm reckoning there are some peeps in Leipzig who are really peeved right now (comparing them with Frankfurt :-0) and as for that Milanese (Jo-berg!), miffed! I have had the same bewilderment driving around tiny towns in rural portugal... which surely could only be twinned with back of beyond bulgaria, tasmania, mars on a sunny day...

Le laquet said...

Hang on a minute, Swindon is twinned with Disney.
Really?

Wait are you in some strange time black hole where's it really April 1st?

Let's be honest your only real choice is Solva - will I ring the mayor?

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