I woke up yesterday morning, happy and relaxed, in a little cabin on the outskirts of Pisa. I popped on some coffee and headed out to the deck to scroll through the news and out what my fellow Britons had voted the day before in the EU Referendum before I made my way to the airport to fly back and face the music.
Needless to say, I was very surprised to learn that the UK had, on the whole, voted to leave the EU. Scotland overwhelmingly voted to stay, as did Northern Ireland, London (and my little corner of Gwynedd in North Wales), but we are, as always, outnumbered by English voters and, in this case, also the majority of Welsh voters.
The result and the ensuing panic in the markets and unknown future for the UK got me thinking about consequences for...well, everything really.
|What a view...|
I love being European, as well as Scottish and British and I'm refusing to give that up. I don't need to be in the EU to be part of the continent of Europe, do I? Switzerland still manages, right?
I have noticed that the Italian press have been covering the vote very carefully in recent days and, it would appear, they're a *touch* upset.
As I stood in the queue at passport control (with the shiny, beautiful EU booklet I own), I was immediately alarmed by the Italian man standing behind who was making it abundantly clear, in his loud, angry voice, just what he thought of the UK's decision.
It was like he'd been abandoned by his long term British girlfriend, even thought he knew the breakup was always a possibility. Clearly, he didn't actually believe she would leave him until he heard the words: 'It's not me, it's you...'.
His reaction was one of anger and bitter disappointment, so he made sure he let anyone with a British passport know about it by gesticulating wildly and chattering in his fabulously Italian version of English. Also: he made his points in his native tongue, so there was a lot of 'Es finito! Es finito!' in his bilingual rant.
Incidentally, he was on my flight back to Liverpool, so I hope he calms down before he lands as I think the the North of England was staunchly in the Leave camp. He might want to keep his voice down later, lest he bump into someone who voted Leave because of all these bloody foreigners, coming here, spending their money, contributing to our society...
Once I'd recovered from the angry outburst, I boarded the flight and the Pilot gave his usual update about weather and velocity and stuff. He also let the 200+ people on board know that we were no longer part of Europe and that it was a very sad day indeed for us. Nothing is more panic inducing knowing you're in a plane full of British people at the complete mercy of an angry Italian man.
We tried desperately to placate him and soften the blow. OK, Italy; we're sorry, but it appears it just wasn't working out after all. We seem to have drifted apart somewhat and I just don't know how we can rekindle the flame. We will always think of you fondly, though. Even if we delete all our old photos of you from our Instagram and Facebook accounts now.
I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting this when I woke up this morning, but I'm fairly certain this wasn't it.
|The fall out might be even worse than more expensive wine. Heaven forbid.|
I had no idea that Italians (both of them) were quite so fond of us Brits. They genuinely look like we've totally hurt their feelings. Sorry, guys. Please don't take it so personally, we just ditched everyone else, too.
If the price of Italian wine goes through the roof now, I won't even be able to drown my sorrows and drunk dial you after a few glasses to tell you how much I miss you...
Te amo, Italia.