The Maldives are off the coast of Sri Lanka. where better than its sun-kissed beaches to go to renew your wedding vows? One Swiss couple did exactly that. The above clip shows them looking suitably respectful and reflective, palms upraised and heads bowed as if in prayer at various points. The officiant type person addresses them in a chant like voice, no doubt bestowing on their happy union blessings and the like.
Except he isn't. He is saying very rude things indeed. And of course because neither of them speak the local dialect, they haven't a clue what is going on. The officiant begins chanting in the Dhivehi language that 'under penal code clause seven, forbidden fornication is now legal'. Not sure I quite get his drift but 'swine' (addressed to the couple) seems clear enough albeit that 'most of the children you get will have spots on their skin. Because of these spots your children will be considered illegitimate children' seems more than passing odd. The clip above has running translation. Feel free to join in the ceremony.
Of course the Maldives government is having a fit, seeing the bad publicity damaging the tourist trade. On one level, there is a kind of conceit in buying in to something that is wholly unknown to both partners but assumed to be exotic in a good way. On the other the couple have acted in good faith and invested time, money and no doubt emotion in the occasion.
For some reason the words of Oscar Wilde on the death of little Nell came to mind. 'One would have to have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without dissolving into tears...of laughter'.
The British, it emerges, are the fourth most overweight people in the world. A quarter of us are obese, with a body mass index of 30 or more, while four in ten of us are merely overweight, it emerges. Top fatties are Australians (71.1 per cent obese or overweight), Americans (69.9 per cent) and, a little oddly, the United Arab Emirates (68.4) coming in at third. The plucky Brits are just short of 67% obese or overweight. Our closest European rival is Germany at 62 per cent but in France the figure is 42.3 per cent. The rabbit is feeling smug on this topic, having lost 10lbs in the last few weeks. In the meantime, the England team sets out today for the greatest sporting event on earth in the rabbit's opinion - the Ashes. Here is a grainy old clip of Harold Larwood showing how it's done from the 1932/33 bodyline tour. Note the run up and action - erm - and result. Firm but fair. (Aussies were slimmer then)