SOMMES NOUS FOUTUS?
Dee Chadwick
13 Dec 2020
I thought that I would make use of this French saying rather than the English version. I could have gone on to include other languages in order to show that I feel this is a question to be asked beyond the shores of the United Kingdom and other English speaking nations. All part of a world-encompassing question, the proverbial bigger picture.

QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS –

First of all – the English version of the question posed in the title – it’s simply - Are we screwed? OK, I  could have used more colourful language, but I will stick with being screwed or not.

This is a question that could easily be posed as we in the UK await the results of the long-drawn out Brexit agreement. Something that has popped its head back up into the public vision as the deadline is just around the corner. Then we will have the proposed mayhem of imports, exports, business, travel, food price hikes, borders, fishing rights..... Throw into that melting pot the status of current hubs – be they financial, industrial, agricultural and any possible changes that may befall these post-Brexit and there may be those who feel that oui, nous sommes foutus.

Then again, the optimists will see it as a challenge for this little island nation of ours to rise above and thrive. Such problems as those of movement of people and goods, resources (including food products and medicines such as the vaccine just put into use against COVID), economies of scale come immediately to mind. I guess there are a lot of us who are currently either fence sitting or burying our head in the sand in the hope that things will be sorted, solved by those who to many seem to have been doing a good job of making a dog’s dinner of things. Then again, it is easy for me to berate politicians - and I know I am very good at this – whilst I really don’t envy them their jobs.

Then throw the afore mentioned COVID into the mix. On the one hand, the hope that the vaccine that has just come on line, along with others in the pipeline, will step in to prevent us being screwed by that unseen virus. Or, and here, I adopt a totally personalised and unscientific image of said virus, I have visions that it may actually, instead of being cowed by those who have had the jabs, become somewhat pissed off by this. It may well then take to heart our attempts to cut it off in its prime and make sweeping personality changes, by way of mutating, to outstrip our attempts to take control. Again, my position is on the fence with my head simultaneously buried in the sand. A not very comfortable mode of being! Having said that, I do continue to keep outings to a mask covered, socially separated, hand washed, sanitised way of being, thereby feeling that at least I am doing my bit to prevent giving COVID a helping hand along its way. For the same reason, I have decided that it will be wiser to spend a solo Christmas rather a long anticipated one with my family.

UNITED WE STAND ....

... divided we fall. I feel that this applies not only to a successful movement towards being a stand-alone nation rather than a part of the European Union, but also to our ability to overcome COVID and to get on with living a life free of masks etc. I feel for friends, readers over in America at present and their need to become a united nation. I have, for a long time kept abreast of the daily happenings across the pond, reading and listening to both sides of the argument, though I have found this a difficult task. I find it hard for the leader of a democracy to be dismissing his political opposition whilst praising leaders of other than democracies.  For example, a recent quote read - “One thing I have learnt, President Xi of China is 100 per cent, Putin of Russia, 100 per cent... Kim Jong-un of North Korea, 100 per cent,“ Mr Trump said. “These people are sharp and they are smart.” Yet he struggles to listen to and take advice from American scientists who I am sure are smart. I can only begin to wonder about the divisions set up instead of America truly being United States.

A good thing toremember, in order to not be screwed, is that it is important to choose our role models with great care.

SO – I ASK AGAIN - SOMMES NOUS FOUTUS?

In reply, all I can say is that with my hand on my heart, I sincerely hope that with common sense, decency, a shared caring for our homelands and our home planet that we can come to reply with a resounding ‘NON!’ That we stand up to the bullies – be they human or viral ones as we come towards the end of an exhausting year. However, I do feel that there are a good many pages to be turned before we reach that ‘NON’ point. Pages which are actually from the same sheet would be a good start - rather than those from diametrically opposed rants and missives.

May common sense prevail and the path we take be one that we walk along with others. Yes, there will be differences, but differences that are accepted as a part of the melting pot of which ever country we belong to. Not differences used to divide one from another.

I cannot leave out climate change - As far as this is concerned, I feel that the pendulum could be felt to be swinging towards the Oui – nous sommes foutus. However, I sincerely hope that the message is beginning to be heard more loudly and clearly. This is an area in which I neither sit on the fence nor bury my head in the sand. I hopefully do ‘my bit’ but know that said bit needs to become bigger. It also needs each of us to join in with our bits, and with encouraging others to make active changes rather than simply make the right noises. It is something that requires on-going changes rather than just a short-term fix. It requires so much more than just the English and French versions of us being screwed to be on the lips of politicians, manufacturers and Jo and Jill public at large.

ON A MORE PERSONAL LEVEL

Hereby stands the reason for my use of the picture – the deflated Santa. I took his picture this morning when not only was he deflated, but he was also sitting in the cold and rain as I passed by on my walk. Bless. As I walked by, I realised that this was just how I feel at present – my get up and go has got up and gone – my physical, emotional, mental resources are deflated. So, I am listening to my own advice and taking care of myself. This will be my last blog and podcast until after New Year.

I wish you all a happy Christmas. As for 2021 – here’s to it being a whole heap happier and healthier than 2020 turned out to be. One in which we can say, with reference to the above and the many more personal problems we each have – Non, nous ne sommes pas foutus! No way am I – or are we screwed. We will, instead, move onwards and upwards. OK, this could well involve taking one small step at a time, but d’you know, there’s nothing wrong with that.

So – do take care. Keep safe and well, especially if meeting up for festive family gatherings. I hope to be in touch next year.  Dee.

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