the experience of men with change and challenge

Saturday 12th December 2020—Covid, Brexit, Racism

It’s nine months now since our life here in Andalucia changed. I won’t say beyond recognition, because it really just refined itself down to the elements Urmila and I love. We tend to ignore the chaos in the UK and US and let them get on with it.
Covid is fairly quiet here in Andalucia, at least in the rural part that I live in. The peace that it brings has enabled me to develop my spiritual life. I avoid Brexit here, watching the goings on in the UK with horror and amazement. Meanwhile in the US politics and democracy are under threat, why is this?

Covid 19 in Andalucia

It’s nine months now since our life here in Andalucia changed. I won’t say beyond recognition, because it really just refined itself down to the elements Urmila and I love.

We have lived here in Spain for nearly ten years now, and in this house for six. For us it’s an idyllic place to live, quiet and beautiful—conducive to a simple lifestyle based on our spiritual ideals. Yet we were not quite living that life. We were continuing our travelling, continually leaving our paradise behind.

Within the last year I went to Albuquerque, in the US, and we both went to Vienna in Austria. We thought that’s what we wanted to do.

Then the Coronavirus hit and we went into total lockdown. We were confined to the house and not even allowed out to walk the ramblas—dry river beds—around us. Urmila went out occasionally to shop but I stayed at home. She is younger and less vulnerable than me so we made that choice.

For over six weeks I didn’t get out at all. But the interesting thing I found was that I didn’t go stir crazy, I didn’t get upset. I just got on with my life. It was like I was given permission to go inside myself and live how I really wanted to. There was a magical feel to it.

We were already on a programme of meditation every morning, lockdown just pushed us deeper into it, without any resistance. We had already let go of in-person yoga classes and were doing two classes a week, from home, via zoom. This was before the zoom yoga craze. We joined other new zoom calls and became part of a daily silent meditation group on zoom. That is still going although it has now settled down to once a week.

Life goes on for us and we get less and less concerned about the restrictions in place. Currently we are restricted on where and when we can go out to eat, so we are going deeper into developing our own cooking, something that is enormously pleasurable.

We are happy and have no sense of needing to fight what’s happening.

“I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”

There’s gotta be a little rain sometimes… Joe South

Wow are we going to get drenched…

Brexit’s coming, it’s only a matter of days and BANG! the trucks start queuing up in Kent and Northern France. They’re already there in France. There was a reported 41 km queue of trucks to get to Calais the other day. Maybe they were desperate to get back to the UK before it’s too late.

OK, it doesn’t affect me that much, really… I live in Spain so the shortages won’t be there for me, as long as I don’t want HP Sauce or Baked Beans. Thank goodness I’m beyond all that stuff!

The big shortage for me will be money. The pound is crashing against the Euro slicing great wedges out of my pension—my income. I can live with that in the hope that in time we get back to the Sunny Uplands of the strong pound. Well maybe not in my lifetime, but you never know.

I lose my European citizenship but Spain is very generous in giving me permanent residency. I live here and have all the rights that I need. Also I am married to a Dutch citizen and so keep my right to Freedom of Movement. I’m not sure I need that any more, Spain suits me just fine. But it’s nice to know it’s there.

The great plus for me is that being a pensioner I continue to get free healthcare, I continue to have a working EHIC card and I keep the uprating of my pension.

I look in horror at what I see happening in the UK and especially at the antics of UK politicians. Of course I am pointing to Boris Johnson who shows such disrespect to his European partners. Apparently his antics at the dinner with Ursula von der Leyen left a great deal to be desired. She quite rightly told him to keep his distance.

I’m sure I’ll be back on this subject again, it’s not going away—unlike freedom of movement!

American Racism

I have written before about my disdain for the USA (I Intend To Boycott The United States Of America) but the current shenanigans with Trump takes it to a whole new level. Last night the Supreme Court, for a second time, threw out a plea to intervene in and overturn the election. Of course we all knew that wasn’t going to happen, except a certain person and his followers!

I am less interested in that as such, rather in the background to how and why this has become such a big deal. Not for Trump, of course it’s a big deal for him, it demolishes his ego and makes him a loser, something that is just not possible for him. No, why is it such a big deal for his base?

Of course there are many reasons for people to follow him but there is one that runs very deep in much of American society—Racism

The people he most appeals to are white, majority men and largely less well educated. (I am trying hard here not to be confrontational!) To put it quite simply: they don’t believe that blacks are people who should count. They hark back to slave days in thinking that they should be told what to do by their masters.

Now, of course, they don’t exactly put it like that, but that is what they feel deep down. That’s what White Supremacy is ay heart. For them the votes are fraudulent simply because they come from the Black cities, the ones they think should be blown up.

OK my rant is over. Many people, including me, worry about how this can change, if it can…

Core of Masculinity Book