This week we learned that the government's own impact assessment of Brexit shows that the whole country will suffer from any type of Brexit (soft, hard, squidgy, fudged or colourful). The Sticks, although very close to the border with the North West, is officially in the West Midlands which will be particularly badly affected.
Of course this economic hit isn't a surprise but Brexiters insist the assessments are merely forecasts, which are wrong. The forecasts have been produced by biased civil servants intent on sabotaging the will of the people and all their past forecasts have also been inaccurate, they claim, as they go on to make their own forecasts (which of course being based on faith and belief are indisputably accurate and unchallengeable) of more than adequate survival supplemented with huge doses of immigration control, global trade and sovereignty, which of course will stand in lieu of jobs, income, health care and food.
It is at times like this that I am glad to be retired. At least I don't have to worry about my job prospects, but the fall in the stock markets around the world is worrying as I am now reliant on my savings and not least my pension fund which is likely to be hit by this development. And of course I am worried about the future for my daughters and their generation.
Time to prepare to be lean and mean for the hard times ahead. Will we be able to live off the land? Can we grow enough of our own food? How well will we adapt to eating only home grown seasonal vegetables? Restoration of the vegetable garden and green house is now falling behind schedule. I had forgotten to take account of the snow, ice, wind and rain. An obvious omission from any sensible plan, but hey, at least I haven't screwed up the Irish border yet and, to be fair, I always acknowledged restoring my garden would take longer than Liam Fox claimed it would take him to renegotiate hundreds of trade agreements and strike dozens of new ones.
While David Davis flounders in his talks with Mr. Barnier, Mr Fox clocks up his air miles and Mrs May looks over her shoulder to avoid monocled MPs stabbing her in the back, the Webmaster, the young dog and I have been taking solace from walks in the local countryside. At least that remains constant and a source of pleasure. Snow on the yellow broom flowers, icicles on the hedgerows, pink lit clouds in the sun set and blustery breezes over the hill tops, locals working in their allotments, buzzards soaring and crows chasing them away.
At least Brexit can't take any of that away, unless of course environmental controls are scrapped, planning and development rules relaxed and a new mine or gas rig installed. Far fetched you may say, but during my time at the Sticks we locals already fended off plans for an open cast mine & proposals to drain the lake to save money on the dam maintenance. And a few miles along the road there is a relatively new gas rig. But for now, the buzzard population is continuing to thrive and the hedgerows are still full of blackbirds and robins.
So, for an antidote to Brexit and to celebrate the delights of this perfect spot at the Sticks, I walk out with husband and dog to watch the buzzards, sometimes with camera. This week I snapped one flying directly overhead. They do that often but I'm not usually quick enough with the camera. This week I got lucky. Not perfect and a bit fuzzy, but my first picture of one of our feathered neighbours.