What a momentous week for all Brits but especially those of us who have chosen to live in another European country. Two days after the momentous decision the UK has taken to leave the EU we are still trying to understand what impact it is likely to have on us.
I have always avoided making political comments in my blog which, as a graduate of politics (and someone with strong opinions) hasn’t always been easy but if you’ll allow, I would like a few words here but I will keep them measured.
I mentioned in a previous blog that we had participated in a discussion with other ex-pats for a French newspaper on or views of the Brexit referendum. I don’t know if the article was ever published, certainly we were never told it had been or sent a link to the paper, but in that discussion I played Devil’s advocate and voiced the advantages of a Brexit, principally because everyone else participating was Remain.
While it wasn’t difficult to come up with any number of reasons why leaving the EU could be a positive move to make, and many more than the narrow and dubious views which were constantly highlighted by the official leave group which evidently weren’t effectively countered by the equally poor arguments of the Remain side, we remain shocked, if not surprised, that ultimately Leave was the decision taken – albeit by a relatively small majority.
As everyone, we wait with interest to see the fallout from the result for the existence of the UK as a single country, for its politics and leadership and the frightening / amusing (although I suspect unlikely) prospect of a Johnson led government opposed by an equally shambolic opposition led by who knows after the developments of today.
Of course, from a purely selfish perspective, we have some concern about the impact on our lives here in France and what changes when. We are less concerned that it will mean the business may struggle to be a success as we are sure that British people will still want to come to France and Brittany (or at least the 16 million who voted remain!) and we hope to attract a greater percentage of other European nationalities as guests. We are more concerned about how it will impact our access to the French healthcare, pension and social security systems.
We know that it is extremely unlikely that things will change making it so onerous for people to travel here, and we have met a sufficient number of Australians, Americans and other nationalities completely outside the EU who currently live and work in Europe to know that it will remain possible for Brits to do so when everything is resolved but, what that will entail, how much more bureaucratic, and expensive, that may be remains to be seen.
I do have other, stronger, views on this – and the personalities involved – but I don’t think this is the place to air them but I’d be happy to share …
To Kergudon and activities here. It has been another weather affected week, generally damp and almost autumnal, which has limited some of our projects as most of them are either outside or need me to leave things outside while I work inside – as we convert our outbuildings into more practical uses we have run out of dumping space.
However, again I have completed one of the major tasks on our ‘to-do’ list and rebuilt the rear fence between our house and Priory. The previous fence had been erected a number of years ago and of the 3 posts set into the ground, 2 had either snapped or rotted off. I took the opportunity to replace the third as well as, although a lot of effort had been taken to concrete it securely into the ground less time had been spent making it upright before concreting!
I have built the new fence in such a way that we hope it will be more able to stand up to high winds that we (occasionally) get in the winter months and, with the new champignon flower bed, it certainly completes Priory’s garden space for now (we have plans for a pergola in the near future when we have completed the (many) higher priority tasks!) It will look even better when it is stained a single colour – any suggestions? Let us know what you think – we are thinking black but brown and green again are options send us your thoughts.
The damp weather eased off sufficiently last night for the village’s annual Feu de Saint Jean and Tantad which was good fun and we caught up with a number of our neighbours in the village having missed the last couple of village events.
Not being outside much in the last week has meant that we have been able to spend lots of time with Brandon and Garratt who are now very definitely good friends and it is amazing how quickly Brandon changes and grows – we’ll need a new puppy soon!
If completing one major task a week is the normal next week will definitely be the boot room which I should be able to complete with a few days more work.
Let’s hope it will be a less significant week although there is much to be resolved …