Mid-year Madness

Last three days of school – announced at ear-splitting decibels – this morning. Seriously. This term has D…R…A…G…G…E…D on. Like molasses going uphill on a cold day. I am so ready for summer. DD is so ready for summer. Her teacher is so ready for summer (he told me so yesterday!). There’s been a bit of mean-girling this term, and I think all of us are at our wits’ end. One long-time friend told DD last week, “Let’s be friends at our new school till we make new friends, and then we can stop being friends.” DD told her they could get a jump on that plan and ease up on the friendship now. Didn’t mean she didn’t come home and cry a bit. Seriously, puberty starts a whole lot earlier these days. I remember scenarios like these, but I was in my teens.

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Surely we can survive on cake?

In other first world problems, my supermarket sent me a text to say my food order will not be delivered as planned at 6pm today due to operational issues. Now bearing in mind I did my food-shopping past 8pm drinking a glass of wine, do you actually think I remember what I ordered, and therefore need to replace? Are you kidding me? The best part of the weekly foodshop is the constant surprise – “I ordered that? Who in this house eats red pesto?”

Speaking of foreign goods which might not be available in the UK minus tariffs after March 2019, we’re still in no-mans-land on the Brexit issue. Everything seem to be hitting a wall – the wall of governmental incompetence. There are no clear plans, no clear talking points, no guarantees for Europeans, and the rhetoric just seems to be ramping up. The UK chief negotiator spent a grand total of a few hours in Brussels the other day – given that this is his ONLY job, I expected him to show a little more dedication. Silly me! So my new strategy is to avoid engaging the loonies on social media, and every time I really get mad, I memorise some French grammar.

I took 60 hours of intensive French (equivalent to A levels/AP French) over the last 6 weeks and let me tell ya, I’m in love. I’ve always adored French but never studied it officially. Learning it properly has just opened up my eyes. I can now read more, and speak and write, too. The South West of France won’t know what hit it next month. DD is learning with me. She will continue with Spanish in middle school, and add French in September, so she figured she’d get a jump-start on things. France has always been top on the list of places we could move, should we have to – we’re just being sensible, really. Husband is feeling horribly left out – he only speaks English and Scottish.

Soooooo, that’s where I’ve been and that’s where I’m going. Oh yeah, we also had the Canadian Crew visit after 7 years and the girls got on like a house on fire. There were many tears and strops every time they had to part. Hey, maybe I should start looking at Canada! They speak French and have socialised healthcare, right?

What are you up to? Read any good books lately? What should I load on my Kindle?

A kingdom asunder

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I took this photo from a taxi window, speeding home one day last week. There’s St. Paul’s, and Tower 42, and the Cheese Grater, and the Walkie Talkie, and just out of frame is the Shard. I will never get over the fact that I live in London. Every day, I wake up feeling lucky. Blessed. This city has been good to me and my family.

But after the #Brexit vote last week, what’s abundantly evident is that London, my city, my home, might exist in a bubble. That we in London are unaware of how the rest of England feels, or what privations it suffers.

This country which has been my home, which welcomed me, sheltered me, brought me my husband, raised my child, this amazing kingdom, is torn in two, rent asunder, friend against friend, family against family, with no clear solution in sight.

My position as an EEA national in the UK is up in the air – will I be allowed to stay? will I have to jump through any number of hoops? should I register as a Qualified Person? So many questions, very few answers. To say I’m emotional about this would be an understatement. I’m sad and I’ve cried more times than I’d like to admit.

So today, knowing my penchant for planning, and my need for strategy A, B, C, D and E, Husband and I sat down over breakfast and quietly talked through our options. If we have to leave, we want to do it on our terms. First world problems, right? We now have a rough idea what our fallback plans are, and I am relatively at peace with these (after a few more tears).

I’m still sad for the people of the kingdom who are in limbo, with no idea what’s coming next, and no idea what their long and short-term future looks like. The politicians in this nation owe their people some solid answers and some solid action and SOON.