POST BREXIT BLUES

The Farmer’s Market:

I’ve been going to the same farmer’s market every Sunday for the last three or four years. As I stand deciding which stall to go to first, I hear The Egg Man  say something to a customer that relates to experts. Now, it could be he’s saying that stating that, ‘We’ve all had enough of experts,’ which is what Michael Gove said during the referendum campaign, is the stupidest thing he’s ever heard in his life but I don’t think that is what he is saying. I’m fond of The Egg Man, which may be because he looks like Father Christmas but has the teeth or lack of teeth you might associate with a jump jockey. He and I eye each other cautiously over the top of his eggs; he is perhaps assessing whether having a conversation about the referendum with me is a good idea. I have decided that under no circumstances must I talk to him about the referendum or I may start smashing eggs on the ground and stamping on them like a toddler. I stand there for a moment deciding which eggs to buy and then say, ‘Isn’t it amazing how well the English Rugby side have been doing in Australia.’ A look of relief passes over his face and off we go: Eddie Jones, the Under 21s, Owen Farrell, Mario Itoje, the Grand Slam, and then on to What’s The Matter with English Football and Aren’t the Welsh Doing Well. Phew! I buy my eggs and thank him.

At the bread stall a woman in front of me is wailing and gnashing her teeth. She is going on and on. The Bread Man is covered in tattoos, so while she goes on and on I gaze at them coiling and twisting around his arms in beautiful patterns. Eventually my patience snaps. Oh shut up and buy your bloody bread, I think, but then I realise that all the things she’s saying to The Bread Man are exactly the same things I have been saying to my partner for the last three days. Oh, I think, that’s why my partner told me to “FOR GOD’S SAKE STOP”. Do not talk about the referendum I say to myself. Then I overhear The Bread Man say he’s Scottish and I hear the following words come out of my mouth, ‘I’ve got a lot of sympathy with Scotland.’ And off he goes and off I go. He was not for separation but now he is. ‘Before I felt sad at the idea of Scotland leaving the Union,’ I say,  ‘but now I feel entirely sympathetic and want to move to Edinburgh.’ On and on we go until I turn and see a man with an expression on his face that could perhaps best be interpreted as, ‘Will this bloody woman shut up and buy her bloody bread.’ So I do – spelt loaf if you’re asking.

The Rocket/Lettuce Man is French and gets to the point with enviable directness. ‘Are you all idiots?’ he asks and I burst out laughing.

Finally, I buy strawberries and raspberries from an elegant zen-like Polish man with very blue eyes.  I feel a craven need to apologise for the result but I don’t. Instead I say, ‘Your strawberries are delicious, really delicious,’ in a manner that Uriah Heap might approve of and he smiles slightly.

The Bookshop:

Later in the week I’m off to the bookshop I work in. It is near the Polish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith which was vandalised with graffiti.  When I walked down here a week ago lots of people were handing out stickers for the remain campaign. In fact I’ve still got one stuck to the inside of my bag. The people I work with are affected in different ways. A is Polish and has lived in the area for a very long time and is horrified and upset by the graffiti. B is Greek and her husband’s job in this country is partly funded by the EEC. While I am weeding the Nature section, C tells me that he is looking into Irish citizenship for his children. It turns out his father came over from Ireland when he was 14 to work on building sites in Liverpool and so both C and his children can apply. ‘That’s useful,’ I say. Then a customer turns round and says, ‘I come from Yugoslavia. I know what happens when things break apart.’

Papers:

At a certain point I get an unnatural (for me) craving to buy right-wing newspapers. It’s because I’m curious to know what they are saying about everything, especially the melt down in the Conservative party, so I buy  The Daily Telegraph. My God this newspaper is huge! I’d forgotten how big it is. I wrestle away with it, flapping and struggling. You need the wing-span of a golden eagle to hold it open. ‘I wonder how The Daily Mail is going to deal with the Johnson/Gove fall out,’ I say. My partner’s eyes have narrowed to slits. ‘If you’re thinking of bringing The Daily Mail in here . . .’ The sentence is left menacingly open-ended.

If you have any post brexit blues or celebrations or domestic tensions to share please be my guest. I’m getting over it slowly and will be thoroughly open minded in my responses.

If you need a good laugh take a look at the link below: Britain’s Completely Batshit Week since Brexit, Explained for Americans

https://www.buzzfeed.com/lukebailey/the-crisis-explained-maybe?utm_term=.tyz8YxYoo#.wnmbNDNzz

 

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10 thoughts on “POST BREXIT BLUES

  1. Haha! It’s good we’re getting to the point we can laugh about it… a bit! Being Scottish, i have mixed feelings about this whole Scottish independence thing – not at all sure why we’d rather be totally dominated by Germany than England. But one musn’t say anything like that since apparently it’s now treasonable to think sticking with the UK might be worth considering… I’d love to know who the million Scots who voted Leave are… I haven’t met a single person who admits to it. 😉

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  2. Hilarious and so true. I can easily picture the wreckage of eggshells and squashed tomatoes that might have been left as you were led away sobbing by the police. An omelette protest, I suppose it would’ve been. A regular Guardian reader, I too felt I must sneak a look at the Torygraph, etc but found I was stirred into a state of gnashing which might have damaged my teeth. Still partial to fits of spleen but I suppose that’ll pass. Don’t know if it helps, but Britain has always been slightly unhinged.

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    • Omelette protest – excellent! If you were a political journalist it would be like being a fireman looking at 20 different fires and thinking which one do I got to … oh God, oh God. The weather here has been pretty apocalyptic as well. In years to come you bet novelists will be writing scenes on the morning that the results were announced and Cameron resigned. I can’t remember a time quite like this actually. It’s really, really weird!

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  3. I know it’s off topic, but I love the idea of you ‘weeding the Nature section’!
    Having been shocked and broken-hearted and ashamed of our country, I am now finding the political fallout rather exciting and full of possibility.
    I never read newspapers. I consider them bad for your health.
    What a lovely farmer’s market you have!

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    • Good! We weed out books that have been there too long and replace them with others. I’m not quite sure I’ve reached the ‘full of possibility’ point but I live in hope that I’ll get there! Mainly I keep thinking what on earth would my father have made of it all! He’d certainly have been writing a few articles abut it that’s for sure. The farmer’s market is a blessing because it’s just across the road from us – very handy.

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  4. It’s felt as though we’re in complete chaos since the result and I think it’s obvious the Brexiteers didn’t think they’d win either, since most of them seemed to hand over all responsibility once the result was in! On the plus side we could say it’s engaged more people with politics than for a long time – even if that’s been on the basis of misinformation and in some cases prejudice. I hope we can salvage something, but it all seems very sad and I do worry about what the future holds.

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    • Thanks Andrea, it’s been a really weird kind of melt down. I don’t remember anything quite like it in my life time. Not with all the parties being in a state of crisis at the same time. Maybe something exciting will emerge ‘on the other side’ but at the moment it’s difficult to imagine what that might be.

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