surprising myself- the morning after

I went to bed about 2.30am, with no hope that Remain would win. I greeted Spurs Fan some hours later with “How bad?”.

I’ve discovered the truth of the phrase “I just can’t even…” as my brain couldn’t begin to compose sentences or half thoughts without simply running out of steam. My language has been colourful.

As I’ve read the tales of those who voted Leave as a protest, never thinking it would happen, or those who didn’t believe their vote would count anyway, or those who didn’t realise that ‘the economy’ affects them, or those who believed the lies (Farage was backtracking before 8am), or those who (a favourite from a friend’s work) wanted the old lightbulbs back, a rather odd thought occurred. Those Leave voters have a big shock ahead- they believed they were doing a good thing, and I felt sorry for them. Many will be horrified as today, tomorrow and the next few years progress, and the realities bite. They don’t see it coming. They are unprepared.


Social media is ‘blaming’ the over 50s, the Labour party, racists, and people who didn’t bother to vote. But blame doesn’t help.

It seems that many people don’t recognise how they fit into politics. It’s an abstract that they have no impact on, or responsibility for- a disempowered population, now reeling. Politicians haven’t served them well, or had their interests at heart. There was no positive Remain campaign about the value of problem solving together, or collaboration or peace building. There was no discussion of the value of European support for infrastructure, communities, or social support. Or of the gap created by austerity measure so often being filled (if at all) by European money- but that would have meant acknowledging that austerity measures were causing problems.

And somehow, the “don’t listen to experts” trope was effective. Why listen to people who’ve worked in the area for years, or researched options? Why employ a plumber when the decent (white, middle aged, English) person next door watched a TV programme once about taps?

The Leave campaign played on anxieties and disconnection, made wild conjectures and told lies.

Dave has resigned, and his successor will be more right wing, more jingoistic, even more concerned with the interests of his (almost definitely a man, one of the white, middle aged, rich English ones) own wealthy clique.

I have no idea where we go from here. I’m angry and anxious, but I’m doing sentences now, so that may be progress.

We need to look after each other. We need to rediscover the kind. Blame won’t work. Balm might.


#3 what’s it all about?

Bottom line, chaps.

Family, & friends who are family. We are lucky in life if we have those. We are doubly lucky if we have homes and an income of sorts.

Then what?

wild and precious life

this way but once

no ordinary people

Go, bloggy buddies, do your thing.

day 3 of Helen’s 3 day 3 quotes challenge

hide and seek

I was found earlier, as I hid under the quilt. I wasn’t hiding from a girl in particular, but from the world in general. A world that requires me to engage. To pay bills and write notes to school, to transport dancers and consider meals. Imagine how I’d be if I had to consider a job as well. Some days getting out of bed is an achievement: pity any company that relied on me.

Some days hiding from the world, avoiding interaction, is the only way to go. I don’t understand other people. Half the time I don’t understand myself.

The general election returned a Conservative majority. Many, many people voted in hope for a better life under a Conservative government. I hope they’re right.

I hope the poor, vulnerable and disabled  receive the support they need, and social security to be able to have safe, warm homes with adequate food and clothing.

I hope all people have opportunities to learn, flourish and contribute to wider society.

I hope the National Health Service is valued, and kept in public hands, for all of us, if and when we need it, regardless of our ability to pay.

I hope the UK remains part of the European Union.

I hope that education and educators are supported and respected.

I hope that there is a strong voluntary sector to target services for those in most need.

I hope that the issues arising for all of us out of climate change are addressed seriously.

I hope that agreed international standards of Human Rights remain enshrined in law, and are supported by all government activities.

I hope that the politics of fear and ‘othering’ is replaced by collective vision and partnership.

I hope that consideration of social justice and equality underpins the government world view.


I may be living in a fantasy world, under my quilt, but what’s wrong with that? There’s money to make it happen, but instead there’ll be another £12 Billion cuts to social security, hitting the most vulnerable, and favourable tax arrangements for the very wealthy. Dave and his mates will still make money out of companies he sells national resources to. Those on benefits, non nationals, the EU, and asylum seekers will still get the blame for whatever is ‘wrong’.

Maybe the Conservative voters are right to seek solace with the familiar. A shiny future awaits, despite all the evidence? I hope so.

I’d really love to be wrong.

In the meantime, I feel like this guy.




in which Grandma doesn’t get a kitten

The referendum on Scottish independence is over: 45% Yes, 55% No. Great Britain will continue to exist. The level of public engagement has been remarkable and the desire for change clear, so what happens next?

My niece, Little Miss Awfully Grown Up, was clear about why a Yes vote would be a good idea, “because then Grandma will get a kitten.” I don’t know if Grandma was aware of this deal. Perhaps it was negotiated with the leaders of the Yes campaign in a last minute ‘tell the people what they want to hear’ moment. You know those moments. If you’re a parent, you really know those moments- a child is playing up, displaying personality and a desire to be in control of things, and you, the grown up, make a random suggestion to shut them up. You haven’t thought it out well, you’ve just tried out various combinations of words to see if they will ease the chaos. Sometimes they cheer up immensely, behave the way you want, and then you’re stuck. What did you say? Is that possible? Does Grandma even like cats?

not actual Grandma
not actual Grandma

Early this morning, as the No dominance was clear, I saw a telling exchange on television. Yes campaigner Hardeep Singh Kohli asked No campaigner  Man in Grey Suit (it was early, I can’t remember his name) what, exactly, the promised DevoMax was going to look like. The man demurred, it was early days yet, they still had a lot of work to do. The comedian nearly exploded, “You’ve had years to prepare, how can it be early days?” But we all knew how. The ‘vow‘ was a last minute, cobbled together, ‘shut them up’ statement, and now they’re going to have to step up and deliver. Against the wishes of many in parliament, without any actual plans, and under pressure from the whole of Scotland. Closely watched by all in the UK who wonder about the constitutional situation.

The referendum is over, but the conversation isn’t. Scotland continues to lead the way.

Updates on the kitten situation as I get them.