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It's Not Magic, It's Work!

28 Jun 2016

Brexit Mess

There are three ways out of the self-imposed Brexit mess than the UK can take...

We can go cap in hand to the EU and say it was all a silly wheeze we played and we want to stay. Not likely if one of the Brexit loonies becomes our next PM, but still possible. We can expect the EU to ask us to surrender some of our special deals that no one else has though. It would be a political climb down on an epic proportion, but the referendum has no legal standing and technically parliament can ignore or it as is, or call a general election and say that trumps it and it's up to the next parliament to decide.

Option two is a bit of slight of hand. We leave the EU officially, so the Brexit loonies can claim something but we actually go straight back in all but name as Norway does in the EEA. On the practical level nothing much would actually change but we would lose all our say in how things get done, would still be subject to most EU rules and probably have to sign up to more rules than we do already. Personally I'd be happy with that, but long term is a stupid position to be in, and we'd be worse off in every way that Brexit camp claimed we'd be better off - which is ironic...

The final option is that we really come out of the EU and the EEA. In that case we can expect to see a weaker pound, slower growth, poor exports and a generally basket case economy for decades to come, Not a nice prospect for anyone...

Of the three, staying in the best option, it maximises our benefit and democratic power and while we will have to pay some kind of penalty for the chaos we've caused it would be the better long term option. The Norway option is tolerable, would minimise the damage of leaving the EU, but reduces our influence and democratic power, and we would have to pay a heavy price for it, even being forced to join Schengen - which I'd like but a lot of Brexiters would have fits over... The final solution is obviously absurd and is the path to economic ruin and I assume most of the Brexiters that can think are trying to avoid this, without having to admit that they were wrong.

What will happen? Who knows, but it isn't going to be nice and I'm not looking forward to the next few years....

24 Jun 2016

Thank you Mr Cameron

Mr Cameron is an idiot. He probably only offered a referendum to placate the swivel-eye-loons on the right of his party because he was a weak leader and he doubted he would win the general election. Once he won the general election he then had to deliver on a referendum he was almost certain to lose.

While the Brexit camp stuck to jingoism, bigotry, xenophobia, nostalgia and every old lie in the fascist handbook, the official Remain campaign didn't cover itself in glory either. The result was sadly a forgone conclusion, a lot of badly educated and poorly paid people, lied to for decades swallowed the even bigger lie and gave Cameron a bloody nose.

I can't say that I am surprised with the result, nor can I say that I am surprised with the result of the result. The UK will now go into recession, how deep and how long is anyone guess - but lots of jobs will be lost as the economy is hardly that strong to start with. The pound will settle to a new low level, and everything we buy being imported will be more expensive. A bunch of privileged Etonians will choose a new PM - so much for democracy, and the NHS will be privatised on the alter of neoconservatism.

Things will get a lot worse before they get better, and if Europe gives us a hard time, and the United Kingdom breaks up, then I won't be surprised either.

05 Jun 2016

Spring Holiday 2016 - Return

This morning we rose late and had a leisurely breakfast in our little B&B. Some nice home made jams - they have often been on this trip and bread. I got my tea but no milk today - it's not common in France and they just don't know how to serve it...

We took our bikes in the garage, I loaded them up while my better half bought some bread. As we had plenty of time to kill before the ferry left and leaving the B&B so we cycled up the coast a bit and found a flea market to wander around to occupy ourselves for a while, then cycled back into town to the ferry port.

As on the way out, Brittany Ferries, were very efficient and we were about the third couple on board, so we got the best seats for the return trip. The sea was like a mirror all the way home, so we had a very easy and quick crossing, but there was a lot of mist and we got to hear the fog horn quite a bit!

We were early for the train in Portsmouth so were able to sit outside in the sun for half an hour watching the world go by. As with our way out, some idiot put a non-bike thing in the bike storage. There isn't a lot of cycle capacity on the local trains - even when they aren't busy, but it doesn't help with people abandon prams or luggage in the cycle racks!

  • Total distance today: 24.6 km
  • Total cumulative distance: 469.58 km
  • Pictures of the day: Spinnaker Tower

04 Jun 2016

Spring Holiday 2016 (Days 05/06)

Our initial plan for today was to take the ferry to Jersey and bike round, so our Little Tour of the Channel would be more or less complete. However we discovered that it was going to be very expensive to do, so instead we just cycled up to coast to Carteret, and went for a walk around the headland.

The town is one the first in France to have a railway line from Paris to bring tourists in. Now it's rather sad and run down, though it's still a nice view.

We may not have cycled on Jersey yet, but we were able to see the island through the mist/haze/pollution and we did cycle on some more sections of this year's Tour de France.

I tried a few pictures using the stitch help feature, which can then be stitched back together using Hugin.

  • Total distance today: 28.82 km
  • Total cumulative distance: 382.31 km
  • Pictures of the day: Not Jersey

Today we left our little B&B for our final day of cycling, from Portbail to Cherbourg. We went past a pretty impressive châteaux on the way. It was pretty dull, cold and cloudy most of the day, but by the time we arrived at our final B&B it has cleared up and was warm and sunny if you were out of the wind.

We put our bikes in the garage, changed and then went for a walk round town. The city was pretty much levelled during the war and the post-war rebuild hasn't been very pretty. We were pretty underwhelmed by the shopping options, but we did find some very nice tinned fish to bring home. Dinner wasn't too bad but not the best I've ever had in France either.

  • Total distance today: 62.67 km
  • Total cumulative distance: 444.98 km
  • Pictures of the day: Dry dock

02 Jun 2016

Spring Holiday 2016 (Days 03/04)

Today we left our very nice B&B under a cloud - a dirty big rain cloud. Breakfast was fantastic, with loads of lovely Normandy rice pudding called Teurgoule. Though the weather threatened all day it didn't actually rain on our cycle ride to Saint-Lô.

Today's cycle ride was very much a mixture, with some more Voie Vert, some regular road and some river path way. The road section was good for a change but it was very up and down, so there was plenty of climbing and decent today!

At Tessy-sur-Vire we stopped to get dinner. Like every where else there is a certain Tour de France fever! We eventually made it to our B&B and though a bit spartan it was clean and functional so everything was okay. There was th first CRT TV I've seen in quite a while, but it worked okay, which is what matters!

  • Total distance today: 92.49 km
  • Total cumulative distance: 265.80 km
  • Pictures of the day: Wrong turn?

Breakfast was a bit more spartan like the B&B, but the jam was still good and there were plenty of carbs to go round in the bread.

After yesterday's rather long and in some places hilly stage today was a fraction shorter and was just undulating rather than hilly. We arrived at our B&B in Portbail, after a mostly cool and windy day but thankfully no rain. Now that we are on the coast and close to Jersey we can get British TV on the TV in the B&B!

  • Total distance today: 87.67 km
  • Total cumulative distance: 353.48 km
  • Pictures of the day: Unlucky for some?