Saturday, 21 January 2017

The weekend

Three cheers! It’s the weekend. Oh the joy of getting up & having my breakfast mug of tea without having to put the lights on first.

Weekends are a real celebration for us at the moment. No trip down the motorway to Preston hospital for two whole days. This time it’s even more special. Monday will be the last trip, hopefully for a long time. Even the prospect of going down the motorway to meet up with family or to go to the airport to get to foreign places has little allure when it means going south down the M6 past Preston.

It seems in another couple of months I will be seeing the doctor responsible for my radiography treatment again. I suspect I will be seeing the surgeon at the Breast Clinic before long to be told whether I need any further treatment. I know I will continue to have the bisphosphonates once every six months for the next 3 years to ensure my bones remain strong. The next visit for that is due in May. There will also be regular mammograms to make sure there’s no sign of any further tumour starting to appear.  All this will be at Lancaster once more. At least life should be able to go back to more normal routines. We’re longing to creep back into our comfy rut & just relax a bit.

To celebrate I’ve made a Chicken & Vegetable Pie for dinner tonight. That’s always a treat we look forward to.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Identity crisis

I’m currently reading “The Wild Girl” by Kate Forsyth. Dortchen Wild, the central character of the book, was the neighbour & friend of the Grimm family & told them many of the stories that form the basis of their collection of fairy tales such as Hansel & Gretel or Snow White.

What really is striking me is the need to make such a collection of traditional stories. The Grimm brothers lived in Germany in the early 19th century, at the time Napoleon was rampaging through Europe, including the states that were to become Germany. In a world taken over by France, where French was becoming the obligatory language, certainly for any legal or business dealings, where French laws & a French king was being imposed, they feared the loss of German identity, and with identity, culture.

I find myself wondering if the whole Brexit business isn’t part of the same feeling. Britain has been invaded, not by an invading military army, but by mass migration. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased we have given a home to so many refugees. Indeed I think we should take in more. Many people come from Europe, Australia, USA, because of jobs & their expertise is welcome. The NHS & care services wouldn’t survive without the number of migrants & their expertise.

However, I am aware that it has left many native Brits questioning what it means to be British. In the past migrants have done their best to fit in with the British way of life. So many migrants today seem reluctant to do so & want to celebrate their own culture. I cannot entirely blame them. They are rightly proud of their culture.

Where I live we are not so aware of this invasion of migrants. Admittedly one side of us lives a Chinese woman & on the other a Ukrainian. But that is it for the street. Rarely do you see a black person. Going into Lancaster you see more Arabic Muslims but it still remains a predominantly white British area. But talking to people from other areas on holidays, some people are finding whole areas of Britain it is difficult to find another native Brit nearby.

About 10 years ago this area did get inundated with Poles. Polish shops opened with signs in Polish. Polish seemed to be spoken all around. Even Morrisons, our local supermarket, started to stock Polish specialities. Indeed our dentist is a Pole. I did begin to feel a stranger in my own country when I ventured through that part of Morecambe. Many have now returned to Poland as Britain is no longer so economically attractive. I suspect people living in areas where mass migration is more evident must feel this sense of being pushed to one side all the time.

I suspect, too, this is the reason for the increasing rise of nationalism & anti-foreigner feeling throughout Europe. So many people of very different culture & beliefs have invaded Europe. It may not have been a military invasion, but it is as effective in overwhelming the local culture & traditions, especially when the people who have come seem so reluctant to respect the laws, religion, traditions, beliefs, culture of the countries they have come to.

I suppose I have to admit that if I ever moved to live in another country, I would probably hanker for European clothing, remain Christian, continue to cook shepherd’s pies etc., however, I would try to keep such activities within the confine of my own home. I would try to learn the local language & food, abide the local laws, dress appropriately to fit in with the local culture. I do that much even when we go on holiday abroad.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Early morning start

We’re just back from our trip to Preston, stopping on the way back at the dentist to sort out my filling.The appointment was for 8.45am. Very early! Too early!

It seems strange to feel the rest of the day stretches out unfilled – a rare event indeed.

I’m not even feeling as tired as I have done sometimes. I suspect that won’t last long as the week of trips goes on.

We’re half hoping to get to the library – the Fox is nearing the end of his book & I’m low on jigsaws. We may even manage to see friends we’ve not seen yet this year. It’s a case of making the most of any time when we’re not feeling too tired to get these other things done.