vrijdag 9 december 2016


It took some time before I became aware that I was watching a scene on the beach. It was very difficult not to notice because the people who were involved were the only ones to be seen. It was a beautiful day at the end of August, holiday season over and done with, which made it very quiet over here.

A child, no older than 4, was playing at the shore line, jumping up and down in the water. Sometimes he shouted "Daddy, daddy! Watch! Watch!"
Daddy was not watching, daddy was on the phone, sometimes shielding his free ear off to be able to listen better without distraction from the child. A bit further away was a lady standing on the beach, her arms in front of her body. She made it clear she was not really involved and the child took no notice of her.

This must have been going on for at least 20 minutes, when an elderly man came walking along the shore line with a large dog, I think a labrador. The dog must have been quite young and a bit wild, the old man had no control over the dog whatsoever. The dog was not on a leash and was totally out of place. During summer dogs are not allowed on the beach and certainly not unleashed.

The dog ran like a little pony, jumping in and out of the water and jumped on the little boy. The dog was almost bigger than the child, so he fell over and into the water. "Daddy, Daddy! Look! I'm drowning!" The man turned around, shielded his ear off a bit better and walked a bit away from the child. The woman did not move at all.

The child stayed seated in the water and splashed it all over himself. When the father finally finished his phone call the boy was really soaked. The man took a towel from a bag and called his son over. He dried him while the woman remained where she was before.
After the man was satisfied with his work, he put the towel in the bag and told the boy to come along.

The child took the bag in his hands and started to walk towards the end of the beach. The man stopped him and yanked the bag with all his force from his hands. This caused the boy to fall and to cry. There are many ways of crying and the way of the child was the loudest possible. It was quite obvious that the man was very embarrassed. He held the bag under his arm and held the boy with two arms tight to his chest. Like this he started to walk away from the water, the boy screaming his head off and the woman following them, keeping some distance. It took quite some time before I could not hear the boy anymore and the seaside was peaceful again.

woensdag 12 oktober 2016


It's 15 October 2021. 

Theresa May is managing the Brexit as well as possible and maybe that is why the Conservatives have won the elections last year. She remained as the Prime Minister but reshuffled her cabinet a bit.

There is a constant flow of pensioners coming back from European countries like Spain, Portugal and Greece. The visas and permits to stay in these countries have expired and so they are forced to come back to the UK, often they have to sell property for a lot less than what the price normally would be.

There are already 600.000 of them and there are expectations that more than a million will follow. It has caused a housing problem. The Labour shadow cabinet has suggested that second homes and holiday houses should be used to solve this. The Tories have rejected this immediately, so the repatriates are forced to stay with relatives and friends.

A few weeks ago we received a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Amber Rudd that I should prepare myself to be removed from the country for the obvious reason that I am a European foreigner. Of course we made use of the possibility to oppose to this. I received a reaction on this that my case was being handled but that it would not have the effect for me to not send me to a Return Centre when my time was due. It would be possible that the decision had to be made while I was being prepared for being forced out of the UK.

We talked about this with relatives and neighbours, but nobody really knew what could be done against it. A neighbour said this all was impossible, it was so very not British. I reminded him of some history: concentration camps were an invention by the British during the Boer wars. They had been very efficient, I added cynically, one third of the inmates died. He tried to assure me things would not be like that nowadays.

A Pick Up Truck drove up to the front of our house this morning. In the back I could see the pharmacist and her family (Chinese), the cook of the cafe where we sometimes ate (American) and two women from the staff of the hotel in the village, who probably were Polish or Bulgarian or such. They all looked a bit cold sitting there unprotected.

Two men came to our door, their hair very short like military. They were wearing civilian clothes but had armbands on saying Assistant Police. They told me to get on the truck.
I asked them if I could pack some things first at which they reacted quite irritated. I had a three week period already to pack, they said but they agreed anyway. While I was busy doing this, one of the men was ordering me to hurry, "they didn't have all day".

My wife pleaded with the other man, saying I was her husband and her carer. He reacted that there were plenty of Englishmen who could do this too.
I had my things packed and I could quickly kiss her goodbye.
At the door she asked the men where they would bring me; they told her it would be the Deportation Centre of Colchester.

"But how do I get there to visit him?"
"You don't!"
They pushed me on the back of the Pick Up and I sat down next to the pharmacist on a blanket. My suitcase was thrown in after me and the men went in the car and hastily drove away. I fell over and before I could wave at my wife we were out of the street.
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