Friday, June 24, 2016

Here Comes the Weekend -- What Are You Up To?

I cannot lie: the devastating results of yesterday's referendum in the UK have me feeling too low for writing. Too low for doing much, quite honestly. At such times, I'm glad to have a small repertoire of dependable activities that are productive, satisfying in their mechanical natures. Some of these have helped get me through the most trying days of this Big Transition called Moving Off the Island. I'm going to say more about this personal list of resources next week.
This was the scene last time we babysat. . . 



Also coming up soon, another post in the continuing series from our Croatian correspondent, Dottoressa, who will be telling us more about the culinary traditions of her country. . .

I'm grateful to my friend Sue/Une Femme for mentioning me in a great article she posted today on defining one's personal style. As always, she's thoughtful, kind, wise, stylish and ever so articulate -- and honestly, I'm not just saying that because she says nice things about me.

No time to feel downcast about socio-political cataclysm on the world stage this weekend. We're doing an overnight baby-sitting gig for one daughter's anniversary celebration tonight, and we've got another granddaughter sleeping over tomorrow night while her parents gallivant. On Sunday, if all goes as planned, I'm joining a friend for an Urban Sketchers' outing, and by Sunday evening, I suspect there's going to be some serious couch time with my favourite Netflix boyfriend. . .

What about you? Any exciting plans for the weekend? Or any quiet, comforting activities on the agenda? Bubble-blowing, anyone?


77 comments:

  1. Well, I am bereft. Absolutely bereft. And to cap it all, I got some bad news today about a dear, dear friend in Germany who is in the hospital. So I'll be spending the weekend wallowing - I may need chocolate.

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    1. Patricia, I'm so sorry. Was this one of the women we spoke of last week?

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    2. Hi Mater, this is my landlady, Inge. I've known her since 1980, she's now 87. I'm staying in touch with her family there, hoping for a good outcome - she was operated on recently and is in a medically-induced coma. We are so hoping to see her again next year.

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  2. Shocked, saddened, frustrated ....
    Thanks for sharing these pictures of your adorable grandchildren, Frances. Have a lovely weekend with them
    Rosie

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    1. Thanks, Rosie. We had a fun sleepover. Time to find joy in the simple everyday pleasures. Take care.

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  3. So sad for Brits and Europeans alike.
    Who can stay down when sweet grandchildren chase bubbles? I hope the weekend goes well.
    I'll be finishing report cards, hopefully gardening a little, and beginning to pack for Europe!

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    1. Good luck with those report cards, and I hope you get into your garden. Exciting to have the Euro-travel countdown being.

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  4. Bubble-blowing was one of my favourite activities :-)
    Your grandchildren are so adorable and the photos are so vivid!
    I am sad,very sad,(you could find great analysis on UK Blog Blogger Blogest ), especially for the dear people I know,who all voted IN and have to live with the decision of the other half
    We have a long weekend here,starting with Anti Fascism Resistance Day and today is Croatian Natonal Day (or Statehood Day)
    25 years before today I was in maternity ward (my son's birthday was yesterday),listening to distant shooting from starting the war in Slovenia and to celebration of Independence of Croatia (and than there was war here,for a couple of years)
    Zagreb is quite empty (except for tourists),it is very hot . My son was here for a week,he flew to London two days ago-so I didn't make any plans. A couple of hours in orchard,coffee with friends,theatre tomorrow (a play )...
    Have a nice time babysitting-best medicine for sadness!
    Dottoressa

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    1. Another blogger/friend, Annie Green at NoHatNoGloves has a 25-year-old son, also living in London right now, with a birthday within a day or two of yours.
      Your experience with war is too close for me, protected as I have been from it so far in my life. I remember the jubilation when the Wall came down -- how distant that confident hope seems now.
      Bravo to you all with your Anti Fascism Resistance Day! and I expect there will be some fireworks for your Statehood Day!

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    2. Yes,thanks!
      As it was yesterday and yet,a lot of things forgotten!
      I've read Annie's post, it is funny,isn't it?
      D.

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  5. It was devastating. Everything I was brought up to believe in swept aside in one move. The rise of the far right. Unbelievable bigotry and ignorance displayed, fear of strangers, and inflamed by liars. The beginning of the fracturing of Britain - this is something quite extraordinary - brought about by bleaters who wanted their country back. Back from where? A dream of a mythical past, presumably. All the post-war advances: education, feminism, socialised medicine, freedom to travel and work, are actually sneered at now. It is so very sad. But the sun is shining. On we go.

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    1. Ah, there you are, just talking about the coincidence of you and Dottoressa both having given birth a few days apart to 25-year-old sons now living in London.
      Yes, this nostalgia for a past that never was is so frustrating. And there's no sunshine here today. But there are grandkids. And sunshine in tomorrow's forecast. (and I've just read a hilarious column about conspiracy theory, MI5, and the #useapen hashtag, so, yay, laughter!)

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    2. Nice to be a blogger/friend! Am cheering myself by watching Glastonbury on TV. The next generation seem upbeat, resilient and capable. Which is good.

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  6. Day 2 and I still feel desperately sad and at the same time angry, at the stupidity of half of the voters. I echo what all the other commenters said on your blog and most of the others that I follow. I am sad for my grandchildren (who are the same age as your 2 lovelies). My son and his family are on holiday in Italy (they voted by proxy) and my son has been ill whilst there so he has had medical treatment, including seeing a consultant. I hope the reciprocal medical agreement will not be affected by our exit.

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    1. To be fair, I think fear must have played a part, and tough economic times, and a hope of exercising some kind of agency. I'm tempted to include stupidity as a cause, but I know that can't possibly cover that large a swathe of the population. There's something about the system as it is, though, the mechanisms of democracy, of leadership, of politics as it's played, and particularly of changing platforms and models of journalism that's increasingly allowing demagogues to sway the populace in frightening ways. This fall may see the worst possible result of these conditions. . .
      Glad your son was able to get the treatment he needed. I do wonder whether/how that reciprocity will exist in the future.

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  7. I voted out. Over half the UK voted out, only London, Scotland and Northern Ireland voted in. We can't all be racists, little englanders can we? Time for people to understand the real reasons. We want to be able to choose the people who will govern us, spend our money as we see fit, make the lives better for everyone not just the privileged few

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    1. Not sure that exiting EU will do that. You can't spend money you don't have. I am clearly in the other camp and I do worry about the level of ignorance and misinformation that was apparent during the campaign. What does puzzle me is Mater's reaction. "Devastating" left "too low for anything" A little overly dramatic n'est pas? Eleanor

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    2. Well, I'm a degree further removed than Frances, in the US, and I found the news I woke up to yesterday devastating and horrifying. Thank you for the photos, Frances. Your grandchildren are so adorable, and I love it that Paterson blows bubbles for them.

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    3. ^^ I meant Pater. Autocorrect.

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    4. Not sure why you're speaking of me in the 3rd-person here, Eleanor, nor can I be sure of your point. It sounds as if you're questioning either my veracity or the legitimacy of my feelings. Seems uncalled for, really. . .

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    5. And "Anonymous" -- I'm sorry you're feeling defensive about being considered racist, but reread what little I said about the vote.

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    6. My comment was addressed to 'anonymous' whose remarks I believe reflect the lack of understanding and logic which fuelled the yes vote. I was not addressing you in the third person. I believe it is a sad day for Britain and that the negative implications of Brexit will be felt for a long time. I have no wish to take from your lovely photos and plans for the weekend, however I did find the wording of your response surprising. This was not a criticism, I understood that you welcomed comments.Eleanor

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    7. Eleanor, I do welcome comments, and I think most readers will agree that I try my best to reply to them fairly and positively. But I will admit that yours stung, perhaps because I AM feeling so low about the referendum, because I made the effort to write a post anyway. Your comment, although you may not realise it, has the effect of speaking to someone else about me and calling my honest response "overly dramatic." I did find that critical, yes; it's hard to read "overly dramatic" otherwise.
      Still, I hope you won't be put off by my hurt feelings from posting again in future. I've always been happy to hear from you here.

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    8. and Maria, while it's entirely possible I'm being sensitive over this, I must say that I found your comment comforting. Misery loves company? ;-) And I wondered at "Paterson" but realised quickly that Auto-Correct was on the rampage again. . .

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    9. With reference to Anon's comment sbove, I have to correct her/him. All 4 constituencies in here in Bristol voted in, as did most of those east of us as far as London (120 miles worth), three areas in South Wales and a large section of west Wales. In short, the economically deprived, post industrial areas, shored up by EU funding, went one way to leave and the rest of us went the other to remain. This is not to be pedantic but to point out how mis readings of facts quickly become sweeping statements to be trumpeted with confidence. I voted Remain. I cannot claim to have made an in depth study of the pros and cons and so I claim no moral high ground over the Leave voters who are being widely denigrated in the press.

      The poll did not go the way I wanted it to, but that is democracy. The majority has spoken. What has shocked me is how this result has revealed the extent of disenchantment with the status quo, and with our elected leaders and with the process of democratic government themselves. The result speaks of a divided country in which one side has very little understanding of the other. And that worries me.

      And what worries me more is that most of us are influenced by what we read in the press. The xenophobic media has won the day. And that is frightening.

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    10. Here, Ceri in B, you touch on many of the elements that I found "devastating" even as I chose in my post not to go into particulars. There's something deeply, systemically wrong with how democracy is working, with who feels invested in it and how and why, and there's especially something really concerning in our collective ability to filter information -- some terrifying deficits in an age where that information inundates. Hence the phrase I've seen lately that resonates troublingly: "a post-factual universe."

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    11. Yes, post factual it is and, although I have zero insight into US politics, I fear for a similar result in the presidential elections this autumn, to which Duchesse alludes.

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  8. I am trying to understand the bigger picture, as the power and reach of various nations shift, as migration patterns, economic forces and worldviews most if us have not encountered in our time reappear or realign. And I think we have another serious issue pretty close to our own border, ma.

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    1. Yes, K. The bigger picture is the concern here. I agree with the analysis that suggests we're in a "post-factual universe." I spent many years trying to teach careful, self-reflexive reading across the spectrum of positions, trying to model and to encourage intellectual generosity, trying to alert students to the power and the dangers of rhetoric. . . Democracy is being touted, post-referendum, as something we need to honour, but without willingness to research with integrity, I'm not today inclined to feel sanguine about voters' ability to make viable choices. And yes, heavily influenced in my feelings by what's happen very close to home. Plus very saddened to see that youth in UK must feel that democracy is a tosser!

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    2. ma, among voters, the 18-24 year olds were the highest "Remain" group. See this chart: https://twitter.com/the_dbh/status/746233402290954240/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

      though the turnout was low, only 36& in that age group voted. Source:
      https://twitter.com/SkyData/status/746700869656256512

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    3. only a third of the young 'bothered' to vote.
      That is interesting.
      Since they whine at the old, for turning out.

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    4. I've seen those stats, Duchesse (see below in convo with Jean). Diana, I'm not sure it's fair to criticize a 36% turnout in such a young age group, considering -- I'd say they're doing well to get started, and I hope they're not discouraged by the apparent lack of effect of their exercising the franchise. Mine don't whine at the old, although I'm not saying none do. I just think we want to be very careful about generalising about groups, and I'm especially not keen on making young voters feel defensive.

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  9. Lovely photos. Yes we are indeed in troubled times. Mary

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  10. Thank you Mater for understanding our plight. We in Scotland, where not one single area voted to leave,are numb with shock. Our poor young people. It was mainly the older generations who voted to leave. We had a more reasoned campaign in Scotland, with fewer lies and ambitious men serving there own interests. Heaven help us now. Jean.

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    1. I'm so sorry. It's really too bad that the young people will have to live with the effects of this referendum.

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    2. I've read some of the analysis about the youth vote -- such a blow to this latest generation of voters' experience in democracy. Overall, as an outsider, I should be careful what I say, but the referendum seemed so ill-conceived, particularly in giving power to such a scant majority -- i.e. leaving the potential for 49% of the population to be unhappy.

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Barbara, I'll leave your comment up for the next little while, just so I won't be accused of censorship, but it's coming down before long. Why? Again, I urge you to reread my post. I said I'm feeling very sad about the referendum. It seems beyond mean for you to then go on and on about why you're pleased with it. Perhaps, like Anonymous above, you're feeling defensive about your vote.
      I have no interest whatsoever in trying to sway you with facts or logic. My sadness has much to do with the apparent lack of effect of these throughout the campaign. As I say, I'll leave this up for now, but I don't spend time and energy to have my blog hijacked for your political purposes.

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  12. Bubbles are a favourite with our grand children too!
    Will be interesting to see what happens on the international stage now that Britain has pulled out of the EU...I suspect it will have far reaching effects...we will all be affected.
    My weekend is crazy busy...next week we have family coming to stay as there was a death in the family, a funeral to attend and there is a birthday celebration that we are hosting to plan...taking a wee break to read blogs and catch up.
    Sue is a real gem in the blogosphere...and I thoroughly enjoyed your OOTD post

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    1. There's no doubt at all about the far-reaching effects, I'm afraid, L.
      So sorry about the bereavement in the family -- and a birthday celebration on its heels? Life does like to mix it up, doesn't it?!
      Yes, all hail Sue! She truly is a gem -- sets such a high tone, imho.

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  13. You are poking a wasps nest Mater . Sadness in our house too & we shouldn't be included in Anons! sweeping statement either - the cities around us voted to remain . I cannot understand why the leavers feel that Boris, Nigel etc will care for the less advantaged ? They have already renaged on their promise to give the EU cash to our beloved NHS . My mum said never argue over politics or religion , people have their beliefs & you are wasting your breath .
    Wendy in York

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    1. Your mum's a wise woman, Wendy. Husband and I have just been talking about this regarding a completely different issue here at home (a panel he's chairing regarding management of an environmental resource). Only meant to say why I was feeling low, truly -- I almost never discuss politics here, as you know, although I suspect my own come through indirectly, cumulatively. I suppose we can all only do our best, one step at a time, but I can't help but think of the Walter Benjamin quotation I've had since this blog's start, in the column on the right: "Events are not changeable at their climax, not through virtue and resolve, but only in their strictly ordinary, habitual course through reason and practice."
      Walter Benjamin, "The Author as Producer," Address delivered at the Institute for the Study of Fascism, Paris, on 27 April 1934

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    2. Your post prompts me to say that I am old enough to remember that one of the motivations for forming the EU was to minimize the risk of a WW3. And to say that I am doubly low because I watched a magnificent but massively depressing documentary last night, Chasing Ice, on Netflix.

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    3. Thanks for the recommendation, Marie, although I may save this for when my spirit feels more resilient.

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  14. I am saddened by the language used in many nations including Britain and the United States. Whether we like it or not all nations are interrelated today and there are certainly tough issues to consider. It seems to me that this is not the time to withdraw, but instead to try to strengthen ties and understanding. As Lisa mentioned, we all think we are good guys and, at least to me, this calls for reflection before action and certainly before demonizing people who are different from ourselves. I am just horrified by what passes for political discourse these days.

    Now I just need to find a little one to blow bubbles with!

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    1. A thoughtful response, Lynn. But as much as I might acknowledge the relativist position that we all think we're good guys, I have to draw a very firm line of intolerance for racism and xenophobia (although I do fear that we may well be wired for the latter). I share your horror and hope you found some bubble-blowing wee ones to dispel it! ;-)

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  15. I too felt saddened ,born in UK ,left in 1967.We return often and our son lives in London.He and his friends are all devastated,i think the vote has done a real disservice to our youth.Walls and drawbridges have no place in our modern world .The very thought of Boris and Trump as leaders is scary.I am going to eat ice cream.

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    1. Ice cream, chocolate, bubbles, little ones. . . we do have an arsenal of antidotes. . . ;-)

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  16. I too felt saddened ,born in UK ,left in 1967.We return often and our son lives in London.He and his friends are all devastated,i think the vote has done a real disservice to our youth.Walls and drawbridges have no place in our modern world .The very thought of Boris and Trump as leaders is scary.I am going to eat ice cream.

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  17. Three days on and I still can't sleep. My evening meal yesterday was beer and crisps, until husband cooked me an omelet and insisted I ate it. Please delete my comment if you think I'm being too political and hijacking your post, but I beg to differ with Anonymous. The out vote was by a tiny fraction, which should have been far too small to trigger such a cataclysmic rupture. We do choose who governs us - we elect to a UK parliament (and a Scottish parliament here), and to the EU parliament. God help us with the world view of those who have led the leave campaign. As for spending our money - we will have less money to spend as we see fit. The net costs of EU membership touted by the leave campaign as absolutes were false information. We will surely have less - we have been downgraded in our credit rating, companies will pull out, taxes will rise. We will have no EU money funding new projects - a new whisky distillery near here has pointed to the £650,000 it received from the European development fund to help it get started. Good luck to those who wanted jobs for British people - there will be plenty of jobs wiping geriatric bottoms in the NHS and picking vegetables in the winter cold in the Fens - all the jobs that immigrants do that the Brits turn up their noses at. The privileged few will always be fine no matter what. It is the 'everyone' who will suffer from this. I fear now for the environment, for the British countryside. We should be closer to our neighbours, not putting up barriers. I am ashamed at our reaction to migrants from outwith the EU, thinking of the contrast with Britain's welcome to Jews threatened by the rise of the right wing before WW2. And those current migrants - who can blame the French for handing the migrant camps in Calais over to us on British soil now? Worst of all, we in Scotland face the disaster of a second Scottish independence referendum. I voted No with all my intellect and heart in the first independence referendum, but now I discover that I feel more European than British given what Britain seems to stand for now, and I am sure that the break up of the UK is now very close. We seems to have different values in Scotland and I'm proud of that.
    As an honorary European Frances, you have every right to feel devastated. You obviously see the bigger picture of what this vote will mean, and your reaction is real.
    But oh what a comfort to have your grandchildren!

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    1. I can only try to imagine how you feel, Linda, with two divisive referendums so close together, another one seeming destined to follow. I can't understand how the narrow majority could have been allowed to achieve this. We've been through sovereignty referendums here in Canada with Quebec nationalists wanting to break away, and the razor-thin results of the victory of those who didn't want to separate still makes me queasy. Democracy is not all it's cracked up to be, even less so in an age when voters are not all motivated to research issues carefully but are too easily swayed by rhetoric.
      Thank you so much for calling me an honorary European -- I love that!

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  18. Thank you for sharing those wonderful moments with the precious ones!
    The comments show how we are all going to be in some unchartered waters.
    One thing I was surprised at was there did not seem to be any parameters defined before the vote:
    e.g. minimum 75% voter turnout with a minimum 55% (or xxx) required for the winning side. It is a really big decision to move on with such a small mandate.
    BTW, it is Greek day (street festival) over in Kits today. Broadway is closed from MacDonald to Blenheim. Judging from the weather, it will be probably be quite busy, so if you want to avoid a crowd, forget this idea!
    Suz

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    1. Suz, this is exactly what I thought as well, re the requirement for turnout and majority required for a convincing mandate, something like the Electoral Reform Referendum we had here in BC which required 60% Yes to change.

      Didn't make it to Greek Day, but that would have been huge fun. A friend and I went to an Urban Sketchers' Day at the Trans Am Totem instead.

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  19. Wherever I've lived , I've hung on to my British passport firmly , simply because I'm British . I just am British , or I was .
    Now I'm a European wih family and friends scattered round Europe and wondering what's just happened ... and why .
    I just find it all so sad .

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    1. I'm so sorry, SAndS. I suspect it will take some time to sort out whether/how much this will affect citizens' senses of identity, where loyalties lie, etc. Take care.

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  20. I love your post and your bubbles. The bubbles particularly make me smile. The comments seem interesting, and speak to my continued concern of living in a maelstrom (in the country to the south) and of people making impassioned assumptions and judgements rather than reasoned and thoughtfully caring judgements. Not you of course, and I have long loved that Walter Benjamin quote.

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    1. That Benjamin quote is one that leaped out at me from all the reading I did during the years of my doctorate. Knowing the times it came out of, and knowing his end, makes it both more poignant and more demanding to me, and it seems particularly relevant in these times. I am very worried about what democracy has wrought in the past and what it might again. And I'm not at all convinced that that technologies by which it operates right now are adequate to the task. Thoroughly neglected seems to be an emphasis on careful, well-informed discernment, and surely that is necessary when our systems are so intertwined, so massive, so delicate, really. . . .And yes, you're right in the maelstrom, and we here stare it in the face. We're all holding our breath for this fall's choices.

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  21. Whoa, Frances, as we say down south, you really "stirred up a hornet's nest" (what, you say that up north too?!). BTW, John and I were in Quebec City in December where a shop owner asked us about The Donald and suggested that Canada might face mass immigration from the US if he won. Sounded like a good plan to us. We have our bags on standby, do you have extra space in your city condo?

    Looks like you had a grand time with the grands! The bubbles photos made me smile, such lovely moments of joy and anticipation in the faces of the young ones. Life is good, even in the challenging times.

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    1. Yes, you're right, Smithposts, and I suppose I was naive to think I could express my sadness here without inviting controversy.
      It could get crowded in our small space, but Donald refugees might get priority ;-) Let's hope it doesn't come to that!
      Yes to your last paragraph. We do our best to work toward good governance in the ways available to us, but we also have to know when simply to find the goodness -- and bubbles and little kids are a good place to start.

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  22. The consequences of the referendum may be less dramatic than they appear at first sight. Britain hs not left the EU yet, has not even opened the process. The negotiations may take months, if not years. If this leads to reforms or even a redefinition of the EU, it may not even be a bad thing.
    On the other hand I think our neighbours will have to face some very heated debates. The referendum has shown the rifts that run through British society and I do not believe that those who wanted to stay in will give up so soon.
    As for my weekend: first days of my holidays, had some friends over for coffee. The idea was to sit in the garden by the lake and enjoy the sunshine. Instead: worst day of the month - thunderstorms, heavy rain and hail. But bad weather can't stop you from enjoying good company, so we had a tremendous afternoon.

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    1. I hope you're right, Eleonore. I've read quite a bit about the various possibilities for consequences to unfold -- and of course, you're speaking of specific political consequences, both for the UK itself, and for the EU. (there are other broader social consequences that we may not understand for even longer, I believe, having to do with how politicians conduct themselves, with tolerance for hateful speech, with confidence building among the far right parties of Europe and beyond).
      So it's very good that we have holidays and friends and coffee -- even if we can't always have sunshine in the garden ;-) Thanks so much for your comment. Enjoy these well-deserved holidays!

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    2. I agree with you. Apart from the political and economic outcome there is a message contained in this vote. It is not new, we have been hearing it for years in Hungary, the Netherlands, Italy, France, recently in Poland and in my own country,too. The other day a German journalist said he was tired of all those politicians who talk of "worried citizens" (meaning racists and xenophobes) whose "concerns" had to be "taken seriously". He pointed out that, after all, those who are willing to help, to share, to respect others, are still the majority in this country, and what about our worries? He is probably right - there should be much more pressure on politicians to draw a line where Human Rights are concerned. Maybe it is time to step out of our gardens and into the street...

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  23. I was preparing for my stepmother's birthday party, so did not look into the comments here. Wow. Hence, no politics on my blog. I can't bear the rancor. I hope you've recovered - I know when threads get hostile on my blog I feel badly for a while. xoxox.

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    1. I didn't particularly think I was talking politics, simply noting my response to something in the news. . . Like you, I feel badly for a while, but so much goodness here I'm bouncing back xo

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  24. I am coming back here from today's post to comment. I'm so sorry--and astonished--that your low mood and those those lovely bubbles-across-the-generations images were buried under what?--not an argument, not a discussion. What do we call these exchanges we have, and see, and hear that result in no mutual understanding or clarity? I love "post-factual" as a descriptor. I am a part of several regular gatherings--dinner party, book club, potluck group--as well as a community garden, non-profit fundraising, mentoring, local activism--but nowhere do I find--nor have I created--a place for radically opposing political views to respectfully understand and influence each other. My fantasy is a monthly conversation over a meal where a handful of people with utterly different views genuinely listen to one another. In the meantime, we take pleasure--and solace--where we can, bubbles being a strong contender. And hope that we are not following in Nero's footsteps.

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    1. Thank you so much, Elle, for your kindness. I think that's what hurt, honestly, that I was expressing sadness and instead of commiseration I got arguments. That's not really a fair assessment on my part, as there were many readers who shared similar feelings or who at least patted me sympathetically (and metaphorically/virtually) on my arm. . . And the ones who did otherwise were, I know, hurting in their own way. . . I love your fantasy -- I think we all need more spaces where we can be listened to and where we must, in turn, listen. I valued most of all in my years teaching university literature classes that I was able, sometimes, to create such spaces.
      Hmmm, let's not call it a fantasy. Perhaps a vision. . . As I settle into my new urban life, I'm going to be working towards a social life such as yours, and perhaps trying to imagine ways that could accommodate your monthly conversations. Maybe we'd even blow bubbles after dessert ;-) (No fiddle-playing though, nor fires. . . )

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  25. I love Britian. It is so close to my heart. I have been following the campaign and was shocked by the result of the referendum. I cannot believe some of the language and attitudes shining through during this campaign. The nationalism and anger towards immigrants is frightening. I hope to God this will not be as bad for my beloved United Kingdom as some says. I hope it is some kind of wake-up Call for them that can help them work through the internal problems that has given so many people in Britain no hope. But, I fear not. It is so sad for that beautiful country. (Just needed to get that of my chest. Hope you don't mind more politics)
    Beautiful photos. Made me want to blow bubbles.

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    1. I hope, as well, that perhaps this will be a wake-up call, but I'm fearful and sad as well. You must feel particularly upset given that you work with immigrant children and know their vulnerabilities and their hopes -- as well as how much they can contribute.

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  26. Oh, I had a difficult time sleeping Friday into Saturday...fitful, wakeful, with Brexit and the Donald on my mind when I went to bed. Or.. maybe it was just the California heat and our fires..not sure. However, in the end my weekend was both productive and relaxing...the best kind.

    P.S. I indeed enjoy your blog...Thank You!!

    Renee in Northern California

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    1. Between the Donald and the fires and the heat in your state, I'm surprised you could sleep at all, even without Brexit. But I'm glad your weekend turned out well after all, and I'm so pleased to hear that you enjoy the blog -- you're very welcome!

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  27. Dearest Mater - I'm not at all surprised that you felt the way that you did about this wretched referendum. The ramifications extend well beyond our shores and beyond Europe. But, lacking a plan, the protagonists apparently never considered that. Thank goodness, therefore, for the comfort of small people - and for friends around the world.

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    1. Yes, I love having friends around the world, and this is a good reminder of why blogging is well worth the effort. We must keep looking for hope and comfort, and trying to widen our circles rather than draw them smaller.

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  28. It took courage to speak honestly to an issue that might not be supported by all your readers. Democracies need that courage, particularly now, when the level of discourse between opposing sides can be frightening.

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    1. I wish we might all feel safe enough for small courages, at least. . . I suspect that if we aired our little fears and sadnesses more regularly and with more trust that they might be addressed, there's a chance they wouldn't have to build to defensive pugilism and posturing. At least, that's my hope...

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  29. I am coming very late to this post and there has been a lot of heat generated in your comments here Frances. My immediate response to your post was gratitude; thank you, for being interested, for caring enough about a country far away from where you live to care, and to realise the enormity of the result of the referendum. I am devestated by the result. Like Linda, above, I dread another Independence Referendum, though I don't think Nicola Sturgeon's european tour has been taken very seriously so far. Aside from that potential future horror I am deeply distressed by the result. Britain has been changed for ever by the result, and I think a referendum with such far reaching consequences should have had to garner a greater differential than 4 %. I believe there was an assumption that 'Remain' would win through, even by those voting to leave. I think many people used their vote to register discontent with the EU, more as a protest vote, thinking that 'Remain' would still win. I also think that the 'Leavers' are living in a fantasy land where rosy cheeked youths pick apples and cheerful cockneys sweep the streets. The fact is that our service industries in the UK rely heavily (very heavily) on foreign labour, I am thinking particularly of Poles, whose work ethic is outstanding. I realise that not all 'leave' voters are racist, of course people have a variety of reasons, but the horrific fact remains that many of the 'leave' voters are racist, or had/have a racist element in their desire to leave, thinking that it will somehow enable us to duck out of accepting immigrants. It is the small mindedness, the pettiness, the inwardness of the 'leave' result that really distresses me. All these days later I am still in shock. X

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    1. I'm so sorry, Penny. I know how hard I am finding it, to integrate this new material reality into my understanding of the world (because I believe the referendum is about so much more than a British vote). I can only imagine how tough it must be right in the midst. What you say about racism resonates: I'm sure many Leave voters are not racist, perhaps even claim to abhor racism, but I think we all need to pay attention: Do not get into bed with the wrong people. . . Just. Don't.
      I've gone back and read your lovely comments on earlier posts, but may not manage to get back to respond to each one. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave them.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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