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.