Having secured my postal vote, on Thursday morning at the crack of dawn I shall be leaving on a jet plane to Florence for a short trip to Tuscany. On Monday evening I fly back.
To what may be a very different UK.
Maybe the last time I walk through ‘arrived from the EU gate’ & from showing my passport with other EU member countrymen as I depart or enter a member EU country. Next time it may be the ‘green nothing to declare channel’ and queueing with the other non EU nationals. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe not next time. But maybe.
Whatever the outcome there will be change. Recriminations. Accusations. Unpleasantness. U turns. Negotiations. Will it be for the better. Time will only tell. Whatever way it goes. In. Or out.
As I reflect on what this means to me I am worried. Worried for what the result will be. And that’s worried for either decision. Worried for what the campaign has done. Divisive. Bitter campaigns pitting at times irrelevant things against Irrelevant issues. Scaremongering. None of it nice. None of it pleasant.
There have been more u turns than a sat nav.’ Please do a u turn where possible’ is the mantra of some. Personal political agendas. The fight to be leaders at whatever cost. Faults on all sides. The ins and the outs.
What is had and has the ability to do is shake it all about. What we may be doing for some time is the hokey kokey. Is that what it’s all about?
I sat with friends on Sunday where the conversation became heated between 3 generations of one family. The grandfather an un changeable out. At any cost. Grandmother an in. The daughter and son in law an in. Interestingly the 12 year old grandson – our future – having debated it at school – was an in. Having previously been an out. In. Out.
I am fortunate. I own my own home. I have a mortgage. I have a pension. For now anyway- but severely depleted after years of my contributing to it. I am not looking at nostalgia through rose tinted glasses to the good old days. But through reality. I have battled through negative equity. Been around for the 3 day week and the power cuts. Been hard pushed to pay my mortgage when interest rates doubled to 15%.
My younger staff used to look at me in disbelief as I told them. Never they said. Interest rates could never have doubled. Yes. They can. And they did . What we have now is a mere fraction of the interest rates of the 1980s and early 90s. What’s negative equity? Don’t get me started on negative equity I said.
I have watched family, Friends , colleagues Be cared for in hospitals. In nursing homes. Losing out to Cancer. To leukaemia. To AIDS. To dementia and Alzheimer’s. Places staffed by wonderful people who may or may not have been born in the UK. But whose compassion and skills, irrespective of where they came from , who they slept with or their religion, were perfect for those being cared for. Bottom wiping transcends all of these things.
I have seen progress in equal rights. Womems rights. LGBT rights . I am now allowed to call my partner of 25 years my husband. And it’s progress.some people disagree. They don’t like it. I don’t like marmite or tinned spaghetti or hunting and I don’t approve of people who wear socks with sandals but I won’t discriminate against you if you do.
Tolerance. Understanding that we are all different. Different nationalities. Race. Gender. Sexuality. Likes. Dislikes. But deep down we are all one thing. People. With feelings and passions.
20 years ago an old boss of mine asked his elderly mother what was different now. As in Different to when she was younger. Her comment has stuck with me. The expectation she said. People expect more. When I was a young girl getting married. We didn’t expect to have all of the material things people ‘expect’ today. Not Straight away. We waited for the washing machine. The dishwasher. My dishwasher was my husband. ( her not me) The big tv. In every room. I think that rings true still. We want it all. And we want it now. And when we have it we throw it away and get new- When we could have and should have maybe just repaired what we have. Not discarding it and starting afresh. Re inventing the wheel. Not learning any lessons from the past.
So I go away with a heavy heart. ( but I will enjoy the wine. The food. The sun) Worried at what the result will be. Worried about how we and the rest of world deal with the result. Whatever that result will be. And how we must continue to have patience. Tolerance. Understanding. But most of all respect. Respect for other people’s opinions.
Respect for each other.