So, what’s it like to live in London while the political, economic and cultural system implodes around you, I hear you ask? It is utterly draining and sad, is what it is. All the big stuff with Westminster and sick-looking Boris and weepy-eyed Samantha Cameron, all the horrified posts and the rabble of the media conversation, to the littler things like the Spanish mother at our kid’s school, turning up post-Brexit-day, hugging the tiny French TA, crying together, the Polish caretaker looking on, shocked and worried, the powerlessness that so many Londoners feel as all of the worst warnings from smart people are proved true, while the leaders all freak out and drop out – argh, it is really awful and sad and horrible. The same Spanish mother told me yesterday that she was hassled by someone in a restaurant yesterday, who told her that her time was running out – that she has two years left to live here and then she had better go back to where she came from…so ugly.
I’m obviously an immigrant here, though a privileged one as part of the Commonwealth, so I am currently safe – from what, I don’t really know – probably safe to stay here, and safe from awful ‘we don’t want your type here’ racism, because I am white, from New Zealand (‘just like England in the 1950s’ so the black cabbies like to tell you) and therefore from recognisable UK mongrel stock so I don’t seem to threaten anyone or their jobs. I don’t know what it would feel like to be born here, like my Polish/Sri Lankan friend, and have a half-Polish daughter, and suddenly feel aware, like never before, that she and her kid aren’t really welcome here like they thought they were before last Thursday – before half of the country voted to end of the right for people like her to be here. And what a poorer, sadder, insular, backward place we would be if we cut off European supply. The people and the accents and the food and the culture and the way that people who are not like you, being among you, turns you into a smarter, more tolerant, educated, better person. What a stupid ugly backward step to have taken.
It is hard to feel untouched by this, so I have to post some photos to think about something else.
Here is Ned and then Ned and Casper doing some stuff with sticks in a medieval hunting forest:
And, you know, convening some sort of den-related forest meeting:
Mid-term break day at the zoo. Noah has just discovered there is butter on the ham roll. He is TOTES not having any of it:
Two of the boys getting a Kray twins haircut from the proper Cypriot barber and his son:
Chocolate and churros after from the Spanish cafe:
My hair triumph – Ms Neradah taught me the ways of the Alpine plait:
Marylebone Summer Fair – a journey of food and balloons and real estate-branded goody bags, both free and really not-free (£60 later):
The youngest in tiny terry towelling running shorts with a rainbow elasticated waist band and spiderman JANDALS:
These Frame jeans, one half of the Selfridges sale haul – the other, a Stella McCartney tight denim jumpsuit with flares and a zip to the crotch – a saving of £800 and absolutely clothes to wear *everyday*, I thank you:
Same 70s jogging outfit, really great breakfast at the Riding House Cafe. Otis only ate about three mouthfuls of those pancakes and sugary clotted cream – so I helped him. Total blood sugar level chaos, but very, very good:
This Sunday, a walk through the park with the dog and six kids to see the new Serpentine Pavillion:
There is much to love about living here, and I am thankful every day for those things. I really hope we can get back from this tattered, wounded, angry place we woke up to on Friday, but I can’t see how.