Strictly Come Dancing is one of my favourite TV programmes…guaranteed to make me feel good. Love seeing people blossom and move towards being their best each week. Ooo…and Darling Buds of May of course. We get the box set out and watch a young Catherine Zeta Jones and David Jason (in an idyllic perpetual summer some time after WWII) for instant feel good.
But I’m sad. So sad we are leaving the E.U. Not even the joy of the Strictly final is really doing it for me. The decorations have gone up and I foraged enough foliage to make a Christmas wreath….trying to crank up some festive spirit. There will be a lot to do before we finally fully depart…but the people have shouted their final answer. If only the politicians had offered them an acceptable form of Proportional Representation (PR) well before the 2016 referendum – given them a voice before they felt obliged to get angry and wreck the place. It feels like the break-up of the UK is on the horizon – Northern Ireland will probably have to go because of the EU border problem (and possible re-kindling of IRA terrorism – EU legislation underpins the peace settlement), and Scotland may go because they overwhelmingly want to stay in Europe. I really will have to draw on my resilience reserves and talk to Him upstairs…He has a way of revealing the good things lurking under the seemingly bad. It’s all there in the Jesus story…hang a guy on a cross and watch him suffer and die painfully and slowly…..but because of that, we’re still hearing his teachings 2000 years later and slowly realising the higher magic that means there is no death and nothing to fear. Over to you God.
On Thursday morning, I met 78 year old Jennifer on the streets of Islington, quietly shouting for help as 2 wheels fell off her shopping trolley. Jennifer looks closer to 90 and wears a tatty coat with holes in it and lives in a very cold, dirty council flat on her own. She can’t actually walk very far without the support of the trolley…but it’s not meant for this purpose and so the wheels break. I stop the car, do a U-turn and after realising the trolley is not repairable, stuff the broken trolley and Jennifer in the car (with difficulty as she can barely move) and drive her 600 yards round the corner to her flat. I pop back to her flat that evening having bought her a new trolley, as she quite clearly has little cash and cannot move without the trolley. But feisty Jennifer has beaten me to it. She invites me in to a grubby kitchen for a cup of coffee and explains that after I’d dropped her home, she was in a tizz…but she phoned a friend and remembered where she bought the old shopping trolley. She raided her savings, ordered a cab and managed to purchase a new one. I’m very, very impressed. I’m impressed at her independence and spirit. She’s very happy that I’m impressed. We talk for a while and she tells me about her love of the Harry Potter books and then relates a very good story she has made up about Hagrid. I tell her she must write her stories down, but she is waiting for a cataract operation – until then she cannot see to write. I would like to think our new government will not neglect the Jennifers…but I fear rampant deregulation (favouring his business chums) and a dire trade deal with Mr. Trump may be Boris’s priority. I’m hopeful that Boris will prove me wrong, as the landslide victory is humbling and might persuade him not to trample over the trust placed in him by people who have never previously put their cross against the name of a Tory candidate.
Phew. Roll on 2020 (vision). May I suggest, dear reader, that you turn off the news and enjoy your Christmas!