This has been a big week – a really big week. But before I say anything at all about what happened on Thursday, let me tell you about some important events in our household.
Firstly, and most notable, is that Baby Alex (as her sisters sometimes call her – she’s 23) has reached the end of her university career. Her first foray into higher education in 2011 was thoroughly miserable. It’s a testament to her character that, having stuck at it for six months, she had the immense courage to acknowledge that things were not going to work out. She made a choice – she chose to say ‘this is wrong, it’s not for me and it’s time to leave’.
Understandably she was reluctant to try again; once bitten, twice shy. But rather than sit around doing nothing she enrolled with the Open University, studying with them for a year. During the course of that year she realized that she already met the entrance requirements for several courses at our home university. To cut a long story short, she applied and got a place to study Ancient History at Cardiff. And now, three years later, she’s about to graduate.
So congratulations Baby Alex! We’re all very proud of you x
Alex on holiday in Austria
But that’s enough of Alex hogging the limelight. It’s time for some earth-shattering news and so I hope that you’re all sitting down with a strong cappuccino (as long as you’re reading this in the morning, otherwise get yourselves a mug of tea). It is time to report that I have finally learned how to block and how to execute a standing half-double!
Stay calm, I beg you. I realize that this announcement will cause great excitement and not a small amount of envy. All I can say is that it’s been a long time coming, but thanks to several excellent websites and goodness knows how many laborious hours trawling through Youtube, I have at last achieved competence.
For those of you who are unsure what I’m referring to, brace yourselves. People avoid it, even muttering its name as though it’s a deadly disease or a dirty secret. But I’m here to tell you all that there is no shame in admitting it: I’m talking about crochet.
I can sense the whispering, the nervous shifting of previously comfortable backsides on sagging sofas – even the chills running down some spines. After all, many of us have a collective memory of horrors like this:
I never wore one of these, honestly. And I swear to you I will never wear one of these either:
Though I could make you one if you wanted me to…
I could also make you these, but I have no idea why any right-minded person would want them:
Instead I’ll direct my abilities towards more tasteful items. I’ll stay away from tea-cosies, doilies and toilet-roll covers. I shall restrict myself to cushion-covers, throws and the odd baby-blanket.
Of course there’s always work done behind the scenes and I would like to say how appreciative I am of my husband, who constructed this wonderful thing:In case you’re curious, this is a blocking station – only to be used when the lights are on
But enough of these homely pursuits. It’s impossible to ignore the fact that a few days ago the Great British Public went to the polls to tell the UK government that they wanted to leave the European Union. That particular day the weather over London was atrocious – a fine illustration of pathetic fallacy if ever there was one. I voted to Remain, as did my husband, three daughters and most of my friends. We lost and that’s not easy to come to terms with. Not just because we’re on the losing side but because we all have very real fears about what will happen now. The girls, in particular, are concerned about their futures. It’s completely understandable – after all they’ve never known a different system. It reminds me of the time that the Berlin Wall came down. All around the world there were celebrations at the collapse of a restrictive regime, whilst the people who lived in East Berlin felt lost and uncertain of their place in a strange new political reality.
But what’s done is done – in the words of Bob Dylan:
The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
I bear no animosity towards anyone who voted Leave – I bear plenty towards those in the minority, on both sides, who have exploited the genuine concerns of many and the distressing xenophobia or revolting racism of a few. I’m also pretty dumbfounded by anybody who didn’t vote or -almost as bad – the people who voted Leave as a protest and now regret it.
You don’t use your precious vote as a protest or as a tactic, you dullards! You vote according to your convictions!
I hate talking politics and so I’ll stop now, and just concede that we have to move on. Make the best of it etc, etc. My hope is that the many decent, intelligent, creative, brilliant, wonderful people in this country can get together and forge something positive.
In the meantime I’m off to make some bread.
On our walk to the polling station last week