Life after Brexit!!

Been feeling a bit devastated recently. First of all by the referendum result, then England's football team exiting UEFA Euro 2016 in the sad way they did. Get used to it, people say, and in truth I suppose we all have to, but while football is merely a game, membership of the EU isn't and I feel many people must be wishing they'd voted otherwise by now, after realising that they've been sold a pack of lies, which seems to me to be good grounds for a rethink.

Already there are hate crimes and racist murmurings against ethnic minorities and I can only assume that the vile perpetrators feel that their views have now been validated by the referendum.

In my opinion the future is much less bright out of the Union. Culturally and economically we have become instantly poorer and security-wise as an island sovereign state we have become much more vulnerable to home grown terrorism. The stability of our country is threatened. With Cameron deserting the ship, Boris Johnson having been stabbed in the back by side-kick Michael Gove (et tu Brute!), leaving Theresa May, who seems level-headed enough, but I fear is a thinly disguised right-wing wolf in sheep's clothing, as the most likely candidate for the Conservative leadership. Jeremy Corbyn is rightly standing his ground and refusing to submit to the Blairite bullies (if he did then we'd be left with no credible socialist party), and then, Nigel Farage standing down as leader of UKIP - has it only just dawned on him that there is no forward plan for Brexit? So... he chooses to bow out disgracefully, leaving others to sort out the stinking mess he and his cohorts have created. What a shambles!!! 

England's untimely exit from the European Championships is undoubtedly a further depressing thing, but less than it could have been had they played attractive football, scored a few more goals and deserved to win. As it was, it was hard to see the England team winning anything. At best you could hope they might scrape through each match, but truthfully our frightened pussycats never lived up to the roaring lions that were rather misguidedly depicted on their shirts. 

This put me in a bit of a quandary, but not for long. The Welsh team have been great value for money - they show fantastic spirit and ball skills and thoroughly deserve everything that comes their way. But...and it's a big but... Wales overall did vote to leave the EU. They played their part in creating this massive hole that we now find ourselves in, despite having had EU money flung at them in bucket-loads (more on what the EU has done for Wales here). I do know that the valleys need regenerating in more ways than new theatres and swimming pools ie public services need to be improved, affordable social housing built, and more jobs need to be created, but I don't see how all this can be laid on the doorstep of the EU. People were tricked into believing that immigrants were responsible, with the result that many people were voting on a single issue. 
Anyone for a cuppa? Found some light relief in the garden at Harlow Carr
with this composting teapot and plant pot teacup 
Think we could do with a little help from the fairy folk
to sort things out for us :)
So at first I felt angry with Wales for apparently biting the hand that has helped feed it, but I must say that my anger was quickly replaced by admiration for the Welsh team's brilliant attitude and skills. I hope they go all the way and win - mainly for Wales, but also for the UK - we certainly need something to cheer us up and lift the despondency and depression many of us are left with now.
From left, Merry. me, Gail, Eileen & Annie
On a happier note we had a delightful visit last week from four knitting friends from across the pond - Eileen and Gail from Canada, and Merry and Annie from the US. They'd been on a knitting tour of Scotland and the Shetland Islands, so P and I were looking forward to catching up with their adventures. We had a good chinwag in the garden over coffee, reminisced about past knit tours and caught up with news of other knitters we knew in common. It was so good to see them again and lovely that they took time out of their holiday to come and visit us. 
Joan enjoying a gorgeous stand of foxgloves
Harlow Carr was looking more like an essay on the
shady garden, rather than on midsummer blooms
Earlier in the week we had another friend stay for a couple of days and we all went off to RHS Harlow Carr. It was yet another of those grey drizzly days, with the rain pouring down when we arrived so we immediately dived into Betty's to wait for it to stop. 
The rhodos had lost many petals in the rain,
but I love to see them on the ground too
Definitely weather for ducks!
Thankfully after a couple of cups of coffee it eventually did and we went off on a damp tramp around the wet woods and flower beds, culminating in a delicious picnic of bread, cheese and chutney in one of the gorgeous green oak pergolas. More photos from our walk:
Candelabra primulas - one of my favourites
Love this summer colour combo of orange, deep burgundy, magenta and blue
It's funny at this time of year the borders are usually
 chocka with flowers but the rain has left a forest of green

All this wet weather provided an excuse to get wood in for the winter and cook some warming food. There's nothing like a wall full of logs to warm the cockles of your heart and you can always count on curry to raise the temperature by a few degrees. As I put the oil and spices in the pan, I couldn't help but notice their fabulous hot colours, in fact they'd make a wonderful colour way for a sweater or throw don't you think? 
Oil and spices in the curry pan
It always makes me feel cosy and automatically warm
when we've had a delivery of logs

Enjoy this post-Brexit summer, wherever you are. Until next time  x


  1. Good evening from New York to you, Jean.
    Your post really connected with me in many ways. I think that each of our country's are facing some challenges that most of the population just don't quite get. Understand. Or wish to take time to understand.
    Perhaps this is the way that history of human beings is written? That seems a bit pessimistic, but might have a touch of reality.

    Seeing your post with all its visual beauty has encouraged me to take some more photos and not be a lazybones, and post something this week.

    My most recent post honored Bill Cunningham, and I think you might have know him, or of him?

    It's a relief to enjoy summer garden gifts (as they have been giving for centuries) while having increasing skepticism about what we humans "contribute" to the mix.

    I returned to my wonderful library today, The Running Hare, and will try to hold on to the joy I found in John Lewis-Stempel's writing.

    Best wishes to you, dear Jean. I continue to be a bit amazed, and quite thankful that I am able to trade comments with you. (Lots of knitting hereabouts during June...I am glad that my fingers still seem to hear the call of k1, p1, and so forth. xo

    1. Hello Frances,
      Great to read your interesting comments. I hadn't heard of Bill Cunningham, but I read your blog and he seemed like a lovely man - one of many characters who make NY such a fabulous place. Interestingly for me, Cunningham was also my mother's maiden name. I

      John Lewis-Stempel is another name that's new to me - I Googled him and learnt that he lives in Herefordshire on his family's farm, a beautiful part of the country. I'll look out for his books now.

      My knitting is taking a back seat this summer, I'm spending more time playing guitar and tweeking the garden, but I'm sure I'll feel inspired again come the autumn.

      Lots of love to you,


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