My maternal grandmother was a fearsome woman. My paternal grandmother was less fearsome but had a friend who was fearsome for her. We’ll stick to the maternal one.
She had eternally blue hair under a hairnet that seemed to be part of her head and she never left the house without a headscarf. Her husband, my grandfather, served in the first world war and survived the second while spending his working life in the coal mines. He was scared of her. Yeah. That fearsome.
I don’t think she ever hit us as kids. She didn’t need to. She just needed to look as though she might and we shut up.
But she was a great grandmother. She could tell us off all she wanted but woe betide anyone else who tried. She’d have defended me and my brother against Satan himself. She probably would have won.
The point is the headscarf. It was a permanent fixture outside the house. She wasn’t Muslim, I doubt she’d heard of Islam at all and wouldn’t have cared about it anyway. She was protestant and talked about catholics as ‘chapel people’ as though they were a different species with tails and stripes. Really though, she didn’t much care about God or religion. It was just a fun thing to play with and a good way to have a chat on a Sunday.
France put a ban on Islamic women’s dress. Which is a bit silly for a country that prides itself on its dress designers. Why not design a better one? A few sequins, a bit of glitz, shine that thing up a bit and it’ll be on the catwalk covering a flesh skeleton in no time.
Now, I can understand the ban on the veil. A few wanted Islamic terrorists have got out of countries dressed as veiled women and used passports that have a photo with a veil too. That’s not on.
But come on, armed police telling a woman to take her headscarf off? Her face wasn’t covered. It’s not like she was hiding from anyone. And why are there armed police at the beach? That doesn’t make me feel comfortable if I’m barely dressed facing someone in armour with a gun.
How does a woman in a headscarf cause offence? In Wales in the 60s and 70s, those people would have been offended at every old lady they saw and not one of them was a Muslim. They had blue hair long before Punk Rock too. Oh they were ahead of their time.
I mean really. Okay, it’s Cannes and they have the film festival but surely that means they must be used to people dressing up weird. Some woman wanting to be covered up on the beach isn’t a big thing. She didn’t cover her face, she wasn’t some hairy suicide bomber waiting for the surfer score that gets him his 72 virgins. Just a woman in a headscarf.
My mother has pictures of my grandad on the beach. He went so far as to take off his shoes and socks and roll his sleeves halfway up. The flat cap was never negotiable. If he was alive and in Cannes now, would he be facing pepper spray?
By the way, Islamic madmen, you know why the 72 are still virgins when they get to Heaven? It’s because they are all fat trolls from Norwich who live in their mum’s basements and spent their entire lives playing Call of Duty while growing into land jellyfish. Oh and they are all male. You’re blowing yourself up to spend eternity up a pale fat guy’s arse. They didn’t tell you?
France, grow the hell up. Hiding faces is one thing but covering hair while leaving the face uncovered is no big deal. Are you going to ban hats and umbrellas next?
It’s really getting to the silly stage now.
But then, we got there a few years back…