Cowart's Common Room
Afternoon Post

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Later this afternoon I am off to a reception at the Welsh Assembly to mark the start of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union. It's very kind of them (or rather the European Commission in Cardiff) to invite me as I hold no position these days and do little except cheer from the sidelines. I also won't be able to stay long as I have to get back for a Town Twinning meeting, which had to be rearranged for this evening. Still enough time to pay my respects.

Estonia is a fascinating little country and certainly the place for Camilla to go if she wants advice on the cyber world - for Estonia is to digital what the Spanish Main was to gold. Europe's answer to California, though why Europe's answer couldn't be in Andalusia or Sicily, I do not know. But I suppose in the long winter nights of a latitude far to the North of FN and Bradan you have to do something and it might as well be digital. Anyway it is their turn at the Presidency which means that they get to chair all the committees and to some extent get to dictate the agenda. Now this should have been Britain's Presidency but we turned down all the advantages that a Presidency brings on the sniffy grounds that as we were leaving the EU a Presidency would no longer be appropriate. How to lose friends and alienate people indeed. But Britain's loss is Estonia's advantage. And now it appears we won't be leaving the EU after all, or at least not for a very long time.

A couple of years ago we had, thanks to Rosie, an Estonian workawayer who lived with us for two weeks and painted all the doors and windows in the house. In return we fed here, took her to see the sights and helped with her English. She was a lovely woman called Leah. She didn't like the Russians much, though given Estonia's history this isn't surprising, so they are glad to be locked into the EU, though very sad that Britain should be leaving. That is about as much as I can tell you about Estonia. I cannot even tell you about the photograph above which is the logo of the Estonian Presidency, but it will be something to ask about this evening. But if you should see a Goldfinch (or is it -crest?) munching thistledown then it's probably Estonian.Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 17th Jul 2017 - 02:34PM   Posted by Fennie   Afternoon Post Comments: 7

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Ivy's Avatar Oh Fennie, how come you think you ( UK ) are not leaving the EU? All I heard on the news this morning was, that the UK refuses to pay the EU the money they owe them and therefore the soft Brexit and all the extra treats Theresa May wants are not going to happen until the accounts are settled. Interesting that you mention it as my sister who stayed in Cornwall for four weeks, seemed to be under the same impression only she was wondering how the UK can try to dictate the terms and conditions they are going to get from a community they voted to leave. I personally would be glad if the UK stayed in but I somehow can't figure out how this is going to happen after T.M. hastened to trigger article 50

Posted by: Ivy on 17th Jul 2017 at 03:00PM

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Fennie's Avatar She didn't exactly hasten, Ivy, as she took nearly a year to do it - but the political situation is so confused here and so muddled that you would not believe it. I say Brexit will not happen for the same reason that you cannot push water up hill. It is impossible to see how Britain can ever achieve a result half as good as the deal we have now. If we withdraw we shall just impoverish ourselves - indeed that has happened already with the falling pound and firms relocating. We were the fastest growing economy in Europe; now we are the slowest. When Trump comes to Europe he goes to France and Germany not to Britain (not that we want him!). The Government is split (and without a natural majority), the Opposition Labour Party is split. It is all a terrible mess. So I just don't think we could cope with Brexit just now and I don't think the City and the Treasury and the Bank of England will let us. Besides opinion polls now show that a majority of voters now regrets the 'Leave' vote. Help! Help! Rolling Eyes

Posted by: Fennie on 17th Jul 2017 at 05:02PM

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Ivy's Avatar I hope and pray that you are right, regarding the Brexit not happening. On the other side I hear European politicians sulk over UK leaving. The word "you can't eat your cake and have it" springs to mind whenever we are told the British position. You can't feed a whole nation lies prior to a referendum and tell them aftrwards they have been lied to. UK press ( most of it) has made us Europeans look like greedy plonkers and now they are outraged we do not let them off the way they want to dictate us.
The EU has been the bigest peace safeguard Europe has ever had. Leaving it will not only impoverish the British people financially but also culturally and intellectually. Applications for German citizenship have risen enormously since Brexit was declared and I am not sure after triggereing article 50 there is a way back or one to stop it, but then again our media might not be that fair and honest either.

Posted by: Ivy on 17th Jul 2017 at 06:15PM

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Withy Brook's Avatar I am beginning to try not to think about our political situation or leaving the EU, it is all so depressing.
Goldfinch, Fennie.

Posted by: Withy Brook on 17th Jul 2017 at 09:00PM

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Camilla's Avatar When we first moved up to Norfolk permanently in 1985 we had lovely neighbours. The man said he met his future wife nearing the end of the Second World War while he was serving in the army. He and his comrades had gone into a cafe in Estonia where she was serving as a waitress, he asked her to marry him after two refusals she accepted his proposal but he wanted his officer in charge acceptance from him that he could marry before he was shipped back to England. Don't remember the full story but apparantly the neighbour told me it was the first of its kind. His wife was Estonian and was a farmer's daughter from Tallin. They married and settled in Surrey eventually very happily and had three children. The lady neighbour had an Estonian friend who was a nurse she went on to marry the man's best friend when he was in hospital there, they too settled in Surrey near them after the war.

Posted by: Camilla on 17th Jul 2017 at 10:53PM

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Camilla's Avatar The neighbour whose wife was Estonian Fennie, his wife had a cousin who came over twice to England, he used to chop wood for them for the fire and do some painting and decorating while He stayed with them. I heard after that it was quite difficult for the cousin to get over here due to the Russians and airport this I think was in the early 2000's.

Posted by: Camilla on 17th Jul 2017 at 11:45PM

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Fennie's Avatar The Estonians had a lot of trouble with the Russians but since they have been independent and in the EU they are as free as we are - though for a Briton going to live and work in Estonia may he harder to achieve - and may be impossible - after Brexit. Now it is a right of course with health care, human rights etc etc guaranteed. Very Happy

Posted by: Fennie on 18th Jul 2017 at 09:34AM

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