29 Mar 2017

Article 48... Article 49... Article 49 and a half...



As a directionally challenged person who has never been to London alone before, I felt unable to join the 100, 000 strong Unite for Europe march last Saturday in case I never made it home again. I've therefore emailed Donald Tusk instead and asked him to disregard Theresa May's letter triggering Article 50 until we sort ourselves out and decide what we want. What we really, really want.

This is the most recent small gesture in a series of small gestures which have included voting Remain on June 23rd, writing to my MP, signing a few petitions, leaving some comments on a group Facebook page (which I quickly unfollowed as both sides stopped listening and threw insults back and forth instead), joining the Liberal Democrats 4 months ago and offering to stand as local councillor in in a nearby ward at the next local election on the understanding I have no hope of winning it. (This apparently is a commonly used tactic by all parties to gauge support in the area, create a firewall from the opposition and divert swing voters from going with somebody else).

I honestly don't know what else to do. Life is busy enough already, you know?

Human beings have lived in times of social and political upheaval before, but social media has made it waay too easy to YELL ABUSE at strangers who happen to disagree with your point of view (regardless of how informed or ill informed that may be). The strength of feeling and rate of escalation in conversations is hugely disturbing, yet a conversation earlier tonight with Spawn X freaked me out even more. It went thusly:

Me: So Theresa May's letter should get there tomorrow and Article 50 will be triggered.
Him: Yeah, I know.
Me: I'm emailing the President of the European Council and telling him I don't agree with her.
Him: That will never work.
Me: Yeah, I know. But I want him to know anyway.
Him: Why? What does it matter? Brexit will happen anyway.
Me: What does it matter? Don't you realise nothing would EVER change if everyone believed nothing ever would?
Him: But we have a democracy- people voted to leave.
Me: People got the vote because other people fought for it - people who lived and died before we got here.
Him: And the people voted and have spoken.
Me: If you're white, male and straight you have nothing left to fight for. Are you too privileged to care about what happens?
Him: No - I just don't think it's worth fighting anything you have no hope of ever winning.
Me: But can't you see that every massive change in society was at one point unwinnable? Don't they teach you about Martin Luther King in school? Ghandi?? Why the conformity?
Him: It's not about conformity - I think that people voted and they should face the consequences of their decision - even if it was a stupid decision.
Me: But... but... You're the one who's going to have to live with it - for longer than me. And your kids. And your grandkids.
Him: That's what democracy means, mum.
Me: Yeah - and it also means that we can protest about it. This isn't North Korea. You disagree with them there and you get carted off and loose your thumbs. Or one day your parent or your kid just disappears on their way home and you never find out what happened to them.
Him: Aaaargh.... You're wasting your time. And you're winding me up.
Me: So you think we should just do NOTHING?
Him (Pulling his hood up over his head and wrapping the cord around his neck in slow motion): I'm. Just. Saying. I. Think. You're. Wrong.
Me (Reality check): Oh my gosh... I'm being like Grandma with anything involving alcohol. Aren't I?
Him (Nodding): Twenty minutes of my life. For ONE joke about cider...
Me: I'm sorry.
(We hug and he goes to bed)

Ah well. Zig-a-zig-ah. Happy Article 50 Day, UK.

12 Jan 2017

System overload


Adulting is exhausting me today. Too many emotions for one tiny shaven head. Ok - we have:

Irritation that the work day has been spent doing lots of things with very little to show for it
Anxiety that the to do list for tomorrow is even longer now 
Relief that the end of financal year almost up 
Happiness with brand new filing system (2 empty folders with pre-labelled dividers)
Disbelief that child X has stumbled upon in-app purchases and spent £450 in last 2 days
Gratitude towards bank who realised there was unusual activity before we did and blocked our card
Anger that X bought pixels without authorisation
Irritated that in-app purchase function wasn't disabled as I had believed it to be
Disappointment that X would even try to buy pixels when you can play the game and get everything in it for free if you waste enough hours of your life playing it
Fascination with gaming currency (gems) vs 'real' money (pounds sterling in this case) and how inter-changeable they both are when there's only ONE swipe between them
Realisation that if I'm struggling with the above, how much more abstract a concept is this to a small/medium sized person who does not yet have a bank card
Annoyed with X for not making the distinction anyway and clicking 'Confirm purchase'
• On 20 separate occasions
Compassion at the level of shame and remorse he is currently demonstrating (he has been crying hot, silent tears and snot into my left thigh for the past hour and shows no signs of stopping)
Anger with the nature of the world and the fact we even need money in the first place
• (This is not new- See here. And here)
Anger at the Clash Royale people for making it so easy to spend large amounts of real money in a short period of time
Admiration of the business model that makes large amounts of real money in a short period of time
• Shame that as an adult, I did not identify the in-app loophole and close it myself
Annoyance at Apple who have taken all our money
• Slight stirrings of Hope that they might not keep it
Growing excitement during online conversation with Apple support who want to investigate and see what they can do
Immense relief at their decision to refund 80% of the bill
Happy dance around living room
Anticipation in telling X the good news
Impatience that X has showered, gone to bed and cried himself to sleep so I can't tell him yet
Overwhelming Love as I watch him sleep 
Gratitude that we get to have him in our lives - despite the complications this can involve
Empathy with the impulsive addicts who get sucked into shallow rewards and loose their homes, marriages or sanity because of lack of control. (Usually because of something far heftier than Clash Royale pixels, but the underlying principle is surely the same)
Gratitude for the people in my life that have shown me grace when I needed it
Delight that we have wine in the cupboard