SUNDAY 3rd June ~ Melancholy

It has been a gentle day. In the morning Elja and I took Maitrisimha and Annetta to the station to catch their train north. We stayed in town long enough to have a coffee at a cafre. We had taken Tara, as we are trying to get her used to car travel. She came to the cafe in her basket. Actually she found the cafe experience more stressful than the car journey so we did not stay long.

Annette came to visit and joined in the Sunday service. Nice to see her again - three days in a row!

I had various small practical jobs. Jnanamati was busy in the kitchen and then grass cutting. Elja did some gardening.

I have realised that the Brexit vote has plunged me into a grief reaction. I am going through the stages. First shock, then anger and dismay, now a more general melancholy. I seem to have lost my home. I am not French, but I hardly seem to be English any more either, feeling so out of kilter with what that country has decided. I cannot align myself with that kind of xenophobia, nor with the kind of jingoism that seems to drive people like Andrea Leadsom. It feels a bit as though UK had pulled up the anchor and sailed off into the North Atlantic leaving people like me behind.

Here is a picture of Tara at the cafe...

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  • In the past few weeks, since 23rd June to be precise, I have also felt a sense of being alien in my own country which i have never felt before. I even thought about moving to Scotland, Sujatin, but this is not a good reason to move.  Many family members and friends have felt much the same and some friends from other parts of Europe are fearful despite public attempts to reassure them about their safety in the UK. I am saddened to think that those who voted to leave the EU may have felt as I do now for sometime and that right or wrong that has led them to identify the EU as the culprit.    It is very concerning that there are many reports of people who now regret their vote to leave, saying they didn't realise the potential effects of Brexit and were just making a pretest. The polarising of views seems greater now than at any time in my living memory which is fairly long. It has uncovered  painful and dangerous divisions in UK society which I think we have been working hard to conceal for a long time fuelled by political attempts to make us believe we are `all in it together` while the haves and have nots and the racial tensions fuelled by fears about immigration have been causing sections of society to drift so far apart they can no longer see each other at all. It has made the words civil war come to mind and I have heard others us the term recently too. This in not to be sensational or incite such a thing at all it is merely a recognition that as others have said the idea that there are shared values can no longer be assumed and that people feel very strongly in a way that will bring out an unheard of  72% vote and is unlikely to go away anytime soon. The last time I felt so shaky about what was going on in the world was the Bay of Pigs. We are still here but unrecognisable. Trying to see my environmental work as a constant that must be addressed whatever else happens.

  • At the moment it is starting to look as if Andra Leadsom may win the Conservative leadership contest. We shall know more later today when they have their first ballot. If Teresa May cannot win at the first hurdle then AL will look quite likely. She is certainly vibrant and enthusiastically Brexit. She is right that if you are going to do it then it is best to have somebody who is enthusiastic about it (whatever the 'it' is - in this case Brexit) at the helm. I can appreciate that for some people Brexit is an exciting adventure, even though I myself am/was against it.

    However, she will be the least experienced prime minister for over a hundred years. You'ld have to go back to Pitt the younger. He was rather successful in his way  leading the country in its defeat of Napoleon and it led to a quarter of a century of Tory government. Maybe AL sees herself as fighting Napoleon again. I'm sure she will live up to her name and 'lead some', if not all. The first reckoning will come at the next general election.

  • We still have to see who the helms(wo)man is going to be :-). Of course, the last time we had a Peasants Revolt it ended rather badly. Three years later there were mass recriminations and executions and soon afterwards a repressive regime came to power that put England back a century or more culturally and eventually ended in the Wars of the Roses. Let's hope history does not repeat itself.

  • One of the deepest divisions in Britain, especially England and most of Wales, is the class division that came into being with the Norman conquest. In a sense, Brexit is an attempt to reverse 1066.

  • I too have felt a grief reaction. I still can't come to terms with the decision. I want to deny it. It can't be. There must be another vote etc. It's like a bereavement. And some people I know are happy with this decision and so I'm questioning my friendships if our values are so different.

    Normal has gone. I am awaiting a new normal.

    Tara helps me smile
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