Like they do on the discovery channel

THE WRITER’S LIFE

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<Image source: Hermetichealth.me>

I love discovery and exploration; I enjoy learning about new things and forming opinions. I’ve decided to stay away from the whole referendum debate online, as it’s simply too toxic. Although I like a debate and maintain an open mind, the Leave side – for the most part – are just too blinkered and I don’t want to get into an unresolvable conflict. I was right when I predicted that the whole thing would get even more divisive after the vote.

I didn’t agree with the result because I thought it was wrong. I voted to remain in Europe for many reasons but the whole referendum should never have happened. But it did, so we all have to accept that. I’m more for unity than divisiveness, so I’m not letting the result be my enemy. As with so many things, I’ll find positives. I hope the country as a whole can re-unite under whatever new circumstances we find ourselves in.

It’s becoming clear that the Leave campaign was full of lies; Leave voters are having regrets and many have said that it was a protest vote and they weren’t expecting to win. Neither were Johnson and Gove by the looks of it. When leavers find there’s no money and none of the promised exodus, that it was all lies, where does their wrath turn next? Already there is unrest and people feel unwelcome in this country. Whatever happens, we have permanently damaged our image as a nation. It was supposed to be a dialogue about free trade. Instead it became a national feud over immigration. Corrosive campaigning has exposed a fractured society a world away from the inclusive nation we thought we were.

As a fiction writer, I’m having fun looking at all of the possible scenarios which could emerge from this mess. Some are apocalyptic, while others are more hopeful. I hope there’s milage in the “Cameron Theory” posited at the weekend; The referendum could legally be declared void; Scotland could veto Brexit: There are many scenarios, including one where both sides jointly agree that it was a mistake and where Leave admit that they misled their voters. Then perhaps we can begin the more constructive dialogue and learn some lessons.

I’ll be watching England’s game against Iceland in Euro 2016 tonight and hoping that our fans aren’t an embarrassment. I’ll wonder at all of the nations represented in the tournament and how relative freedom of movement around the continent facilitated them being there. I’ll be looking at the players on both teams and marvelling at the diversity. I’ll be proud of England and how the national team – of different colours and creeds – work as a single unit. A part of me will be cheering on Iceland because some English do like an underdog and I’ve been reading a lot about the recent evolution of football over there. I’d imagine about 93% of the rest of the world will be supporting Iceland too.

And from Iceland to Tesco: I’ve always referred to them as a necessary evil but they’ve become a friend now. A week in and I have no regrets about giving up meat. I doubted I would, based on my reasoning, that the animals I’d been eating were autonomous, self-determining beings. They have a conscience, just like me. I didn’t see how I could have the right to consume another being. Neither do I think I have a right to rear other beings for my own consumption. So vegetarian is now a permanent fixture on my list of -isms and I am well catered for at Tesco, with the variety of vegetarian food which they stock. Yes, I know it could be better: There could be a permanent farmers’ market in the village instead of once a month but it wouldn’t be existentially sustainable. So I accept compromise and find the positives. I had a nice conversation with the Sunday girl yesterday too.

At the moment I’m still in discovery of the vegetarian world, its many flavours and how to combine them. It’s a fun learning curve and there’s some very tasty food coming out of the vegetarian kitchen at Le Studio Chez Moi. Although I shan’t preach in the real world, my new-found appreciation of nonhuman animals, their rights and my morals, have given me some interesting things to explore in fiction. At the moment, besides the books, I’m writing a long short story (about 6000 words) with a working title of The Intergalactic Typewriter: It’s a fairly light hearted contemporary sci-fi, probably destined for a ‘zine market because it’s just a fun story which I’m enjoying writing. And I like to spread some joy.

Let’s do it, whatever it is.

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