No, I am not fleeing the country in fear of surprise election results, or how said results may provide food for thought for others in our own upcoming election. The PIE family is heading off on summer vacation. Yeah!! Nothing very fancy or exotic – a couple of weeks split between our home in the mountains and Acadia National Park. More to come on that exciting subject later.
Allow me to take you on a tangent – before we came to these great shores and took up US residency, citizenship and all that goes with laying down foundations for our family, Mr. and Mrs. PIE spent most of their lives in the small island that is the United Kingdom. That was where we were born, raised, educated and generally shaped as individuals.
The education process in the UK taught us a thing or two about good decision making, something that nearly 52% of the natives of our former home country made an absolute hash of last Thursday. And so let me spend some time at least ranting about the f***ed up fiasco that played out in the UK last week. This won’t be very long as I am not sure my brain has got to grips with it all just yet.
Winston Churchill once said “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” Never a truer statement could be made about the events that unfolded late last week, culminating in a result that was announced in the early hours of Friday morning that the United Kingdom would leave the European Union. You give people complete power to make their own bed. Then you had better accept the consequences of lying in it.
Back to decision making and a few questions:
- Did the UK populus know exactly what they were voting on? Not a bloody chance.
- Why was such a critical decision for the United Kingdom, its people and the global economy allowed to take effect with only a simple majority? With only 70% (or thereabouts) turnout, that means 36% of eligible voters backed it. Holy crap, my head is hurting. Please pass me the Advil and a cold press.
- Why was there such an endless amount of absolute tosh (allow me to throw in a few British-isms now and then) in circulation leading up to the vote? For instance, the numpty politician Boris Johnson (he was once Mayor of London) and his “party bus” (think Gronk, without the fun and laughter) that toured the UK. John Oliver put together a brilliant montage of his take on the Brexit vote and made reference to Boris, the Vote-Leave leader – and now heir presumptive and potentially next leader of the United Kingdom. Boris Johnson – potentially the next leader of the UK? My, oh my! Boris fooled an awful lot of people by making bold claims on amounts of money the UK was required to shovel over to Brussels on a weekly basis. Like some of the great recent ‘fact’ loving politicians in our own country, Boris was only off in his math by about 50%. Holy s**t, my head is really going to explode. Please pass me the morphine and a bottle of your best single malt whisky.
[Urban Dictionary: Tosh – a derisory term used in the same way as crap or bollocks]
[Urban Dictionary: Numpty – (Scottish usage): Someone who by speech or action demonstrates a lack of knowledge or misconception of a particular subject or situation to the amusement of others]
- What purpose was ever going to be served by Mister Trump with his visit to Scotland (opening a golf course – really!?) just prior to the vote and remaining in the UK through the vote itself? Scotland voted by a huge majority to remain in the EU and made it brutally clear, in their unique style, how they felt about Mr. Trump. Check out this link and also this one to the Scots and a few choice words they shared with Mr. Trump on Twitter. There are a few swear words sprinkled in so perhaps NSFW. I may be biased, being Scottish, but I think you will love some of this banter and wisdom – just hilarious.
- Did anyone truly consider what the implications of leaving the EU would be? Back to question #2, why play with such fire knowing that a razor-thin majority might set the wheels in motion? Trouble lies ahead for sure in the uncoupling from the EU. Not only for the people of the UK, but this will have profound implications for the new EU, the global economy and investors. It won’t be a few months to find the answers. Years of uncertainty lie ahead. I have no idea what it will look like yet we have a bazillion experts telling us what to do. Ignore them. Buckle in for a rough ride because no one (politicians, financial institutions, economic gurus) in the UK, or anywhere else for that matter, has a clue about what to do next.
- What, if anything, was a major driver behind the leave vote? Let’s cut straight to the chase about a big factor that drove many decisions last week. The topic is Immigration. Heard of that one? You are aware of this subject in the context of discussions surrounding our own upcoming election in the US and the notion that a wall built at the Mexican border and supposedly to be paid for by the Mexican government will cure many of the the ills that America faces. A bit like putting up a big-assed mosquito net around the whole city of Rio and asking the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to foot the bill and protect the Olympian competitors and spectators from the Zika virus. Absolute genius, eh!
There is a terrific article in the NY Times on Sunday, June 26 that is fair, balanced and hits all the important points on the “immigration factor” as it relates to Brexit. With such an emotive subject, it is perhaps not surprising that feelings trumped facts on this one. Go read it, it says it all.
You may be wondering if I have finished. You may be saying in true British style “Stop ranting you daft plum!”
OK, I am done. Suffice to say, we are going to need a bigger kettle in the PIE household to make the large mugs of tea and discuss the sorry state of the nation that is the UK.
The take by Mr. PIE on the Brexit vote? You have probably guessed it. Not my cup of tea. Now let’s go talk about the weather.
Where was I? Oh, the weather. It’s summer. Here are our summer vacation plans and the end of Mr. PIE ranting.
Our two weeks in the mountains is our time to truly vacation at our vacation home, and boy, are we ready for it! It’s delicious to think of getting away from the daily commuting grind, and the laptops that sneak home due to nagging deadlines. The small PIEs currently are attending a fabulous day camp run by the YMCA, but even now they are still part of the busy and rushed drop-off-pick-up routine. We are much in need of some unscheduled time to chill out. This type of vacation always gives us a taste for how life could be post-FIRE. Of course, then much of our need for ‘getting away’ and ‘chilling out’ will be gone, as the demands of work also will be.
We’re looking forward to many hikes (the small PIEs are determined to hike longer and higher each time – ouch!), water balloon fights in the yard, river kayaking trips and hanging out at the local pond. We get to pretend to be tourists too, while we spend a day at our usual ski resort on zip lines, mountain coasters and water slides. And not forgetting our scientific analysis of the local ice cream joints which requires us to collect many, many data points! We have other goals in mind too, which range from as many meals outdoors on the deck as possible, and sending the small PIEs out for a night to camp in the back yard. We’ll see how that one goes……
This will be our second trip to Acadia. Our last trip was two years ago when the small PIEs were even smaller. This time they have their sights set on – you’ve got it – longer and higher hikes. We are stunned by the rugged beauty of the area that manages to remind us somewhat of the coastline of Western Scotland. Here we make an effort to avoid the most populous and tourist ridden areas, while making sure to collect data points on mountains, lobster rolls and more ice cream.
There you have it. Everything from Brexit to Zika to Scottish vocabulary to lobster rolls and ice cream. Hopefully you found something here to brighten up your Monday. We’ll try to get a blog post out while on vacation if we can be awakened from our lobster roll / ice cream slumber.
How many cups of tea (or whisky) have you sipped while talking about Brexit? Is the decision for the UK to leave the EU your cup of tea? What are your plans for summer to get away from this utter madness?