What can one say about 2016? It’s a year that we would do better to rewind, or erase completely, than review. A dark hole, has 2016 been. Brexit – six months old today – remains a nonsense, and it’s beginning to bite financially. The electorate didn’t really know what the EU is and the Brexit government have not a clue how to Brexit.

Still, it could be worse. We didn’t elect a Trump. That takes a very special brand of star spangled stupid. Seriously, what were you Yanks thinking? Did you not ever actually listen to the guy speak? One can only assume selective hearing was at play.

But we end the year with Britons finally and directly confronting the real causes behind their problems.  Down tools, comrades. Strike! Trains, planes and post offices. Tis not yet the Winter of Discontent. But it’s more than Brexit Blues. At the moment it is simply the December of Doom and Gloom. I suspect things will escalate. There’s no talk of a strike at my train company though. Not yet. And probably not likely for the foreseeable. My union just agreed a reasonable pay increase, fractionally above inflation.

But otherwise, life is good. Mrs P and I will remember 2016 as the year we became home owners. We dined at Raymond Blanc’s Oxfordshire restaurant. We marvelled at the beauty of the Scottish Highlands. We satisfied our yearning to see Mexico once again. We celebrated the Queen’s 90th with her at Windsor. We have enough. No one I know died. And providing we make it a few more days, we’ll see in 2017 to see what happens next.

Yet I still feel I should do more to support my comrades in arms. So I shall strike. I will down my virtual pen. There’ll be no more Mexile this year. Service may resume next year. Probably. I’ve lost my blogging mojo. Truth be told, I lost my blogging mojo when I left Mexico. I will continue in some form, of course. It’s become a habit that’s hard to break. But perhaps as a more photograph-centric endeavor. I should keep posts down to 140 characters. Spit them out at three in the morning. Pack them with vitriol, casual racism and fictional claims. I’ve heard that’s popular these days.




    • It’s a tough call. In its favour is the fact that the US can reverse this act of democratic malfeasance in four years time. In Brexit’s favour? Well, there are some pros to Brexit as well as the cons…

  • You covered a lot of ground in the above essay.

    As a liberal thinking person, I want to believe that the foot dragging by your politicians in regards to going your own way in Europe is a symptom of regret. It is not over until it’s over. Trump, I wish him well and four years of life more as Mr. Pence is a real bastard. A jackpot we Yanks are in these days.

    The good thing about being a homeowner is that you have an excuse to buy tools, more toys are never a bad thing. My father in law told me once that owning a house is a race to keep it from falling down around your ears. He had a crew in yesterday putting down new floor covering in his kitchen. It never ends.

    As a man who has been on strike too many times, they are never worth the loss. They are economic war, they poison the well, they empty your pocket, they wound the golden goose to the point where it can be fatal. Sit and talk, sulk, but wait them out inside the gate, barring a lockout never be the one who starts a strike.

    My best regards to you and P in this holiday season. We will look back on these times in twenty years as the good old days. The crazy will make more sense and the gold will shine in our recall. Merry Christmas.

    • I could have covered still more ground. It’s been that sort of year. I didn’t even get to mention David Bowie. I particularly liked the meme declaring, “I’m not saying that Bowie was single handedly holding together the fabric of the universe, but …

      I don’t think there’s any foot dragging by the government per se. Whitehall is split on the issue. The Tories have been a two party party for decades. Remainers and Hard Brexiteers. A soft Brexit satisfies no one, but is the most sensible and most likely outcome, in my opinion.

      Trump is nuts in a way that could be diagnosed by a mental health care professional. The course of treatment probably wouldn’t include, ‘Run for president’. Pence is nuts in that nasty, right wing evangelical way.

      Funny you should mention tools. I had a post planned on the very subject, which will probably never see the light of day. As a tenant I had a small box which contained one item only. If I couldn’t fix it with a hammer, then it couldn’t be fixed. And would definitely need to be replaced. Over the last six months I have accumulated a growing collection of screwdrivers, spanners, wrenches, screws and whatnots. I’ve borrowed a drill which I used to fit some wooden blinds and will be using to self install an alarm system in the New Year. I’m also going to be fitting some window restrictors. We want the ability to ventilate the place, but we don’t want a repeat of the incident that caused Mrs P’s visa to go walkies before our Mexico trip.

      I’ve never been on strike. My union is reasonably passive anyway. It should be a tool of last resort. Sadly, compromise and common sense is usually not at play on either side of the argument. Southern Railway is a different example. The guards are convinced that their employer is trying to remove their jobs completely. If they are right, then they haven’t got much to lose.

      History has a funny way of recording things. Some narratives may well note that 2016 was the year the US legalised marijuana, everyone got stoned and then they elected some crazy man called Trump. All points are true, I guess…

      But anyway Norm, the very best wishes to you and yours over Christmas and the New Year from myself and Mrs P!

  • Congrats on becoming a homeowner!! I’m also seriously reconsidering blogging. Not because I’ve lost my mojo but because I need to concentrate on other things this year. I’m thinking photography / Instagram / G+ is the answer for me in the next 12 months. Maybe.

    Happy Christmas to you both!

    • Blogging has become such a habit. Nearly 14 years strong. It almost feels like a pet. One that really needs to be put out of its misery, but I can’t bring myself to do it. So I just keep it going.

      And it is a nice enough platform for photography. Instagram and Facebook both rather ruin the image quality. Google+ is even more of a wasteland than my blog!

      Merry Xmas to you and family too!

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