With thanks and apologies to Long-Suffering-Reader-Of-The-Blog-Paul.
Long-suffering readers of the blog will know I’m a huge fan of nineties British indie music. So, I was thrilled when a hot, skinny boy who looks good in an Adidas tracksuit came onto the stage this week.
I mean, I was there. Not James Murphy. Though he probably was, too. I saw Pavement touring their first album, the epochal Slanted and Enchanted, at Edinburgh’s late and legendary venue, The, er, Venue.
I haven’t written much on the blog recently that’s directly about Brexit. Partly, the reason is that I’m continually hearing news stories and vox pops and politicians and business leaders on the radio banging on about it and I’m thinking –
Why do I keep hearing about this? What has this got to do with me? Why does this affect anyone I know?
Time is social. Harvests. Day and night. Diurnal clocks. Biorhythms and cycles. All that mushy wetware bio stuff I never learned but is real.
Long-suffering reader of the blog paul
The winter solstice was on Friday, and now we’re beginning the long dig out towards the long evenings of summer. So, as is traditional, let’s sit down in front of a big gold piano and reflect on the year.
As the annus horribilis that was 2018 dragged to an end, it seemed that 2019 could only be better. The Queen’s appeal that we put divisions behind us and simply make the best of what we had seemed like it was going to usher in an annus mirabilis as the newly refitted HMS Britannia prepared to begin its buccaneering voyage across an expectant world.
At home, Theresa May announced that she would be combining her passions of hiking and hating immigrants Doing Her Duty to the country by meeting the Hard-Working People of Our Precious Union™️ at the top of the highest peaks in each of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
After the unexpected cancellation of the Mays’ trip to Snowdonia in Wales, they set off for Ben Nevis in Scotland in traditional wear for the English visitor on a day trip to the Scottish mountains – Theresa in leopard-print kitten heel hiking boots, and Dishy Philip in his preferred Savile Row suit and hipster glasses. As May Maynia gripped the country, enthusiastic Scots began their trek up the mountain…
After the disappearance of the Mays in Glen Nevis, another popular favourite had to take to the House of Commons to announce the delay of the Meaningful Vote on the outcome of the UK’s Brexit negotiations with the European Union.
Then, just as it seemed that the fabric of British society would rupture notwithstanding the desires of the Queen, the people were united by the empathy engendered by the release of the paperback of an astonishing new memoir on 22nd January…
As the search for the Mays continued, questions began to be asked about the costs that were being incurred. Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell indicated that he would resign if the costs of the rescue operation exceeded £30,000.
When it was pointed out that Mundell had previously backtracked on promises to resign relating to Brexit outcomes for the Common Fisheries Policy and differentiation for Northern Ireland, he upped the ante considerably.
As Brexit-related turmoil continued, Gatwick Airport entered its fourth month of flight cancellation. After police had announced in December that the drone that had caused 140,000 passengers to be stranded at the airport simultaneously:
had been discovered; and
had never existed
it emerged that Gatwick itself had never existed. The so-called airport was merely a hoax conjured by mentalist and illusionist Derren Brown. Each of the 140,000 stranded “passengers” was in fact a paid actor. Brown himself had travelled in time to turn-of-the-century Ohio to deliver the plans for powered flight to the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur.
Meanwhile, popular favourite David Lidington returned to the House of Commons to update the country on the status of Brexit.
We’re at the fag-end of August, almost six years after the moment that set off the series of events that would change Mrs Stroke Bloke’s and my life forever. But no doubt we’ll get to that in due course.
For now, the Edinburgh Festival has just finished and the smell of sulphur from the massive closing fireworks display that rattled our windows last night is fading.
On the bus into Edinburgh’s New Town yesterday, I was reflecting on a short story I’ve been working on, a historical fiction about the Ross-shire Sheep Riots (also known as the – ten-day long – Year Of The Sheep). As the name suggests, it’s set in Scotland. My work tends to be set most often there, or in NYC, or in some imagined hybrid of the two.