Bitch on the Blog

June 24, 2016


You have to hand it to Britain: DIVIDED they stand.

This is personal, I make little claim on rhyme, reason or rationale. For that I am too upset. A snapshot in my time.

Having stocked up on an hour’s sleep before British voting closing at ten o’clock BST I turned on the TV (BBC1) at five minutes to ten.  Big Ben makes me quite emotional at the best of times. So when it chimed as voting booths closed I welled up a bit. Now? Now, my tears are rolling. Involuntarily. They just keep coming. They say there are five stages to grieving. Denial (in this case) was relatively short. Shock features majestically. Acceptance (the last stage)? I guess that will be a long time waiting.

After the future father of son proposed to me 26 March 1982 in Paris, I arrived in England 4 April 1982 for good. I have always been a foreigner – albeit a “well integrated” one. FOS saw to that. I couldn’t so much as open my mouth before he corrected any mistake my early shaky English made. And that includes apostrophes. Might sound harsh to some of you. It wasn’t. I am hugely grateful to him for his relentless pursuit of perfecting my English. Don’t laugh, and as an aside, it’s probably why I miss him most when – to this day – I have a question on where to insert a comma or what the plural of bonus is.

Where was I? Yes, a foreigner. Now? Now I am a true foreigner. An alien. For those of you musically inclined listen to Sting’s “An Englishman in New York”. A legal alien. The melody alone conveys all there is to know. And before any of you point this out to me: Yes, I am perfectly aware that here, in this post and in my heart, there is a soupcon of self pity. Not least because someone recommended to me (in a national newspaper), and as I don’t hold a British passport, to return to “whence you come from”. Sweet. Thirty four yours on.

Never mind. I will regain composure.

The result of this vote has opened a massive a can of worms too cramped to not spill. Whilst – to some extent – I do feel sorry for Cameron having to resign in such an undignified way, what he needs to ask himself why the hell he did authorize this referendum. So terribly terribly shortsighted.

Yes, I promised you a snapshot. And that why I’ll stop now. Otherwise this post will become an oversized oil painting. No, make that a bewildered Jackson Pollock. Not that I deaden any pain with whiskey.




  1. Indeed, why on earth did David Cameron agree to the referendum in the first place? He must have realised the disastrous consequences of a possible Leave vote. Interesting that he wants to do nothing until a new Tory leader is chosen in three months’ time. Is that a sneaky way of trying to block the whole departure process until the government has found some way of ignoring the referendum result altogether?

    Your English is so good I wouldn’t have known you were German if you hadn’t revealed it.

    Comment by nick — June 25, 2016 @ 17:04 | Reply

    • Thank you, Nick. For reasons I will go into detail another time I have tried to NOT reveal my origin for as long as I could. By way of “preview”: Prejudice, preconception. Trust me and Basil Fawlty. “The war” will be mentioned. Oh, yes, Nick, the guilt of our forebears.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — June 27, 2016 @ 10:41 | Reply

  2. my mother is a catastrophiser of the very highest order and every election time she imagines that we will immediately become a dictatorship/ fascist/ communist disaster zone. I always tell her she is exaggerating but Brexit has proven that the electorate is, indeed, too stupid for it’s own good. I must apologise to her

    Comment by kylie — June 27, 2016 @ 11:29 | Reply

    • Give my best to your mother. Being alert to changes in atmosphere is not “catastrophising”.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — June 28, 2016 @ 05:12 | Reply

  3. A dear friend from uni has been living in the UK for over 20 yrs sans passport. I wonder if she’s feeling the ‘pack up and move home’ hatred that some are already facing. She’s fairly well integrated to the point of not being immediately sniffed out as ‘other’. Still, I wonder how it’s going for her.

    Comment by L Beatrice Batz — June 27, 2016 @ 19:10 | Reply

    • Beatrice, hi.

      Your friend will be fine. The “likes of us” usually are. Like me (and many British people) she is most likely to feel vaguely unsettled. A bit like when you sit in your nest, tending to your eggs not yet hatched, everything humming along nicely and suddenly thunder and lightning strikes. Which is, usually, just noise, albeit unnerving. However, and forgive me for speaking figuratively, when there is a storm raging you can’t but help wondering how many roof tiles will be dislodged and potentially falling onto your head next time you set foot out of the house.

      Don’t say I can’t be convoluted.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — June 28, 2016 @ 05:10 | Reply

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