Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Life carries on

We  have now a new Prime Minister and a Labour Party likely to splinter. At least the Conservatives sorted their leadership quickly (they are a vicious lot!) and we have a team (again pretty vicious and where is Mr Gove....ha!)And that nice Mr Osborne is young enough to bounce back again.on holiday.

All is not lost after BREXIT I suppose

I shall continue to go to Germany for holidays  and the French will keep on making Camembert.

I still believe one of the greatest inventions of mankind was the creation of Camembert cheese!

Image result for camembert

Tuesday, 12 July 2016


Who would be a political commentator? The speed of change is really incredible this last week. We have seen the exit of Nigel Farage, then the  Conservative leadership contest cut back to two women and the Labour leadership under siege! Now yesterday Angela Leadsome withdrew and by default we  will have a new Prime Minister, Theresa May, this Wednesday! And Angela Eagle is going to challenge Jeremy Corbyn's leadership! Wow what a week.

At least it must help cure the uncertainty that would have plagued us til Septembet waiting for the Conservative membership. Davis Cameron looked drawn and sad I thought. As for the Labour party we await more antics later this week.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Referendum day in Luneburg

I have been thinking for a while of creating a new blog where I could have the occasional rant and even amuse you. Well this is too good a chance to miss.

We were in Germany during that catastrophic week of the BREXIT vote and I want to share that experience!

It was quite exciting getting a postal vote for the first time. I was disappointed that they wouldn't give 200 votes that I wanted, but made do with the one :  firmly dispatched into the post well before departure.
Altstadt Gästehaus Drewes Wale
The fateful day of voting began for us in a restored 15th century  inn in the Alt Stadt part of Luneburg.It was our piece of luxury after a 340 mile drive from the Netherlands and it was so tempting to add another night so I could watch the votes coming in via the special CNN programme fronted no doubt by the ever hyperactive Richard Quest. I did enjoy his shredding of the two former crumbly old Tory Chancellors Lords Lawson and  Lamont the night before though.

So it was back to the tent in the delightful Rota Schleuse campsite two miles south of the city. I should have known the portents were not good as during that Thursday night the rain came down, accompanied by the low rumble of brrrrrrrrrEXIT     as the lightning flashed.. BrrrrrrrrrrrrEXIT.

Next morning I hastened to the car radio before 6.00, but it was all so German and so quick.Then I thought I heard "Triumph fur Nigel Farage". I kept trying to find an English voice but no good. At last I found a North German radio newscaster who was clear and non frenetic. It was clear  BREXIT had won.

I was devastated.I have been a European since my school days arguing with my old school friend about the then Common Market.

Campsite Rote Schleuse


How could they have done it? Those people that I know...how could they have done it? I think most people expected the vote the other way round with a small majority to remain.

I found it hard to face local people. We had seen no other British cars in either the Netherlands or north Germany. What would they think of us? I was now  embarrassed as well as gutted.

We were in Worpswede a few days later and the great statue by Bernhard Hoetger summed up my reaction at last. it is called Wut  (RAGE)!

When we did speak to Germans there was sympathy and great interest. One guy said it was the best thing : get rid of UK and Denmark out of the EU (implying we were trouble) and as for those Greeks........ I could see where he was coming from. The German papers were full of it. Headline news and pages of it. "Schwarzer Tag fur Europa" it said (blacker day for Europe). Perhaps some Germans were thinking like one  I had met in St Albans doing my Abbey guiding : he had said "at least you have a vote. We have no say, and he had no time for Angela Merkel. Clearly our decision mattered a great deal to them too. Plenty of pictures of ex-Burger Meister BREXIT-Mann Boris in the papers too.Here is what Germans said on Deutsche Welle

Our Prime Minister even seemed to crop up on a menu in Zwolle (Netherlands) : it was offering "Cameron Freit" (a new type of fry up? I didn't try it).

And there was more!

As the week after went on it became clear that the country seemed to have gone mad! At last I got sight of British papers to try to catch up. I was able to watch the English speaking Russia TV series later last week .Here is an example

The farcical plot around Jeremy Corbin and shadow ministers going down like ninepins ; Cameron announcing he was going, after being stabbed by Gove and then to cap it all : Gove is standing for leader but Boris is out of it. Why? Things were really bad. Lord Heseltine puts the knife in too.

When we got home Sunday 3rd July I was reading papers and watching the lead players twitching on the TV screen most of the day!

BREXIT is to blame

I gather that people are beginning to blame BREXIT for everything! Has our pitiful display of football against Iceland in the European Cup been part of this?

I have been more amused by how useful a word BREXIT can be.

When did you last BREXIT? After breakfast this morning.

It makes a good swear word too when filling in online accounts which keep bouncing back. BREXIT!

More seriously I used to blame David Cameron for all this referendum nonsense. He  called the referendum in the first place. Partly because of the fear of UKIP : always unnecessary in my view because of our voting system. And because he had promised the country a chance to vote. (Come on he could have reneged on that one easily enough). Then he did try very hard shuffling round Europe to get us a deal, and the leaders round Europe  must have been sick of all that. What a colossal waste of time when there were more important things like Syria and the refugee crisis to address. He did get some concessions but they didn't impress the public.But the big mistake was that it was too big  a gamble with the referendum date  far too far ahead to ensure any result for which he might eventually campaign.

So here we are! I love the cartoon I found in BILD-Deutschland 25 June 2016.