While I Was Away

Hello. I’m still here. Its been a long slow climb but I’m making progress I can see. Hopefully that continues indefinitely. But a few things happened in the world while I was away. Just a few.

We got a new American president. Whew! And just in time, it seems. The country has been coming apart at the seams since before 2016. I’m not naive that the nightmare is truly over. Not when you have 72mm people who still think living under a constant daily barrage of vile spewings is the best path forward to lead a nation. But its a start.

So many people thought I was over reacting by deleting my social media after the shenanigans of the election in 2016. But with the orange one banned from social media now its amazing how the tenor has changed and the temperature of political discourse has dropped. Maybe it was social media that brought us to the precipice all along while they wormed their messages into our feeds as we watched our friends vacation videos or their dogs do silly tricks. Just a thought. Luckily, every four years in America we get a do-over. And this one was a big do-over.

Sadly, back in 2016 the UK suffered the same fate with the weaponization of social media. But unlike the US, they didn’t get a do-over, and now that Brexit is done and dusted its just their new reality. And what a reality. ‘Total sovereignty’. We used to call that isolationism. The ‘oven-ready trade deal’. The one that would be ‘the easiest in history’ according to Boris Johnson, is a total debacle.

Frankly, it hardly matters to us in the EU. I read in a UK paper that Brexit was the best thing for the EU. And I quite agree. Its tightened the relationship between the counties of the bloc. The EU population saw the disaster of Brexit – no Erasmus, no free movement of people or goods, no reciprocal healthcare, – and they tightened their ranks. During this pandemic the EU passed an unheard of 7 year budget, and agreed on a pandemic relief package to spend their way out of the crisis, instead of austerity like after 2008. Will there be belt tightening? Of course, but they’ve learned a lot of lessons and Brexit was a great teacher.

As to how Brexit has impacted us – we buy nothing shipping from the UK any longer. The prices have gone up exponentially. And they can’t give you a delivery date except defaulting to the max of 6-8 weeks. All the things Jeff used to buy regularly used to ship from the UK, apparently. We never knew it when it was still in the EU. So he’s switched it all over and now we buy from either Germany or Denmark and get it like we always did. In 2-3 days. I’m sure we are not alone. The UK economy is reeling from the pandemic. But the post-Brexit reality is coming fast on its heels. The power of the world’s largest economic bloc with 450mm people can withstand the departure of a junior ex-partner, with just a small hiccup over its morning cafe au lait. Britain will not fair so well. I read a great opinion piece that said Brits will now have to look upon strawberries in the winter (grown in Southern Europe) as a thing of the past. Sadly, totally self inflicted. It didn’t have to be.

These days its great waking up in the mornings and not being bombarded by doomsday political headlines, on top of the pandemic that is beating us all up right now. Reading more feel-good stories of hope. Focusing on the future. Jeff has been a busy man while I’ve been laid up. We will have news shortly on our next adventure. Hopefully, this week. Good things are on the way.

4 thoughts on “While I Was Away

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