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The passage of time

The last US presidential election was just over four years ago. I was buying a home.

Since then, my father died. I had one brief girlfriend and now have a long-term partner.

My partner is a traveller, and with her I have been to Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Belfast, Budapest and Barcelona; the British Peak- and Lake Districts, to the Rutland Water Nature Reserve, to and around the Norfolk Coast AONB and the Norfolk Broads, to Oxford, to York, (and I have shown her the South Coast where I grew up, Portsmouth, Chichester, Arundel, Brighton, and the Queen Elizabeth Country Park); in Kenya to Nairobi and to Hells Gate National Park; in California to San Francisco, Asilomar, along Route 1, Sacramento, the Sequoia, Sierra and Yosemite national parks, to Fort Bragg’s “Glass Beach”, to Lakes Berryessa and Tahoe; and because of her but not with her I have been to Rotterdam, Berlin (again), Hannover, Frankfurt, Zürich, Heidelberg, Köln, and Luxembourg.

I lost a friend because of Brexit, and somehow then managed to become an international dog minder. I’ve looked after six fluff-faces in three countries over the last four and a half months.

The post-Brexit months have taken me from (Duolingo level) zero to 20 in Esperanto, seen me write a short story and add a few tens of thousands of words to my novel.

The election (and Brexit) gave me despair, but writing down all the things that have gone well has given me hope. Yes, I know I’m privileged. I sympathise, and in the cases of religious and sexual minorities I empathise, but I really don’t know what to do to help those in need any more.

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