Breakfast Brexit

Made in Ireland, eaten in England.

The butter dish caused me to consider Brexit over my ‘full English’ in Blackpool. Given Lakeland Dairies location in Cavan, it almost definitely contains milk from both sides of the border, so this butter probably travelled more than I did to get to this table. All made easier by the EU. What’s going to happen next? Nobody knows, but it doesn’t look good to me:

The state can no longer undertake the radical planning and intervention that might make Brexit work. That would require not only an expert state, but one closely aligned with business. The preparations would by now be very visible at both technical and political levels. But we have none of that. Instead we have the suggestion that nothing much will happen on no deal, that mini-deals will appear. The real hope of the Brexiters is surely that the EU will cave and carry on trading with the UK as if nothing had changed. Brexit is a promise without a plan. But in the real world Brexit does mean Brexit, and no deal means no deal.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/09/brexit-crisis-global-capitalism-britain-place-world

How will that butter get to that table in the future of Brexited Britain? Maybe it’ll just take longer, and cost more. Maybe it won’t appear at all, instead travelling to French tables, or German. Worse could happen, the dairy could go out of business. Farmers could lose livelihoods, nobody really knows yet.

Anyway, that’s the future. At the moment, there’s still butter for breakfast.

Dalmatia’s fjaka state of mind

What a beautiful description of a state of being, languishing in the Mediterranean sun:

The Croatian poet Jakša Fiamengo said that fjaka is a specific state of mind and body. “It is like a faint unconsciousness,” he wrote, “a state beyond the self or – if you will – deeply inside the self, a special kind of general immobility, drowsiness and numbness, a weariness and indifference towards all important and ancillary needs, a lethargic stupor and general passivity on the journey to overall nothingness. The sense of time becomes lost, and its very inertness and languor give the impression of a lightweight instant. More precisely: it’s half somewhere and half nowhere, always somehow in between.”

Oh, I wish we were there : http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20180118-dalmatias-fjaka-state-of-mind

4th of July, 2010

Five years ago I was over in Harrisburg, PA on an extended business trip. The best part was that I got the chance to spend 4th July there, in the company of two friends from work. One of them lived there and her family were over from Ireland, so she gathered us together with her family & friends for a celebration. Contrary to our wishes, we’d been called into the office that weekend, so by Sunday evening we were fairly in the mood to a party. Two of us were staying at a hotel on 2nd St, so we patronized a local cab for the mile-and-a-half trip to our friends place. Walkable in Dublin, but not in a cracking-the-pavement 40C.

We alternated between the kitchen and garden, trying to decide which was cooler, but as the night descended, so did the temperatures, much to our relief. Most usefully, our friend had recently upgraded to that most American of inventions – a fridge that produces ice cubes on demand. A most welcome gimmick that night!

Later on, we all headed down to the riverside to watch the official fireworks, and got a really great view. It was a beautiful evening, hot but not stifling, clear skies and a gentle breeze waving in off the Susquehanna river. The riverbank is nicely maintained and was gently crowded with local ‘burgers for the show.

It was a good display, booming and flashing out over the river. After it came to a close, we wandered back to the house, were, as you do when Irish abroad, we upheld our national alcohol consumption statistics. All in order to properly celebrate the 4th, of course. Good times with good people.

Happy 4th July!