What on earth will we talk about after Brexit?

Brexit. Will it ever happen?

Imagine! You’ve just got up on the morning of 30 March 2019, come down to breakfast thinking it’s just another day and then, suddenly you’ll remember – it’s not.

Yesterday was the day we left the European Union. As you sit down with your friends/family, through the haze of the inevitable hangover (you couldn’t let such a momentous day pass without marking it with a few drinks) it will dawn on you that you have nothing to say. Just as the conversational run up to Christmas each year is brought to a shuddering halt by the abruptness of the Strictly Come Dancing finals, you will realise that you no longer have any topic of conversation to fall upon to fill those awkward moments. What will you say to the barber whilst getting a haircut? Or your fellow passengers on the train/bus as you go to work? Or even your work colleagues – although in that case you can probably revert to the standard moaning about the bosses – which, lets face it, is always a dependable standby.

So what on earth are we going to talk about after Brexit?

There are other highlights that pop up which are always reliable talking points. Take the US elections at the end of 2016. They are nothing to do with us in the UK, but we still managed to have a good moan, no matter which side we ‘supported’. Then the result came out and Trump was President. What a result that was! It might not have been a good day for democracy or the free world BUT IT GAVE US SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT because some people thought it was a good day for democracy and the free world. So plenty of room for debate there.

Since then, it’s just got better because at 6am every weekday I wake to our alarm clock radio tuned to Radio 4 and the Today programme and am really struck by the fact that Donald Trump gets pole position each morning due to some amazing fact, comment, tweet, action or threat that he is responsible for. I wake with a lighthearted lift to my soul as I wonder fondly “What has The Donald done today?” And he hasn’t let us down at the time of writing. He’s a publicist’s nightmare because he doesn’t need a publicist. And if there wasn’t Twitter he’d have had to invent it. (Thinking about it, he probably claims he did invent it.)

But even The Donald loses his lustre after a while because we begin to expect the unbelievable, so are not easy to surprise any more – with the result that the subject becomes passé.

That won’t happen with Brexit because we know that the confusion will carry on at least until the 29 March 2019, when we are supposed to be leaving, and I bet that doesn’t go entirely according to plan either. It’s one of those dates that is a bit like your projected retirement date. The closer you get to it the further they move it away, so you become like Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster pursuing, not some beautiful maiden but your retirement, never quite capturing her but getting tantalisingly close. I suspect that no matter how fast we pursue it, Brexit will remain just out of reach.

So maybe there’s no need to worry. Brexit will NEVER happen. After March next year it will be pushed back a bit and will remain just a couple of months away – forever.

The View From My Window – Gannets

Gannets in Torbay!

After a rough night thanks to Storm Eleanor, it’s a choppy day out at sea with at least eight cargo vessels sheltering in Torbay. But I have been prompted to write, not by the ships but by the Gannets.

The storm has apparently coaxed large shoals of fish into the bay, and as always, they bring Gannets. Of all the seabirds around, these put on the most exciting show, with their long, slender, black-tipped wings of around two metres span, their brilliant white bodies and their delicately coloured yellow heads. With a greater wing span than the more pedestrian Herring Gulls which are our more familiar resident, their delicacy and grace coupled with a demonstration of their fishing skills never fails to make me gasp.

They cruise the skies at about 100 feet, looking down whilst scanning for fish (goodness knows how in these choppy waters) before suddenly flipping over like a dive bomber, pulling their long wings parallel to their body to create a “W” shape and then – whoosh – hit the water at speeds of up to 60mph (100kph). Once below the waves, they then pursue their target, being as agile in the water as the skies, before bobbing triumphantly to the surface complete with fish in their bills.

You can’t help but be impressed. It’s not an everyday sight so close inland, as they are normally fishers of more open waters, but when you see them – wow!