Sunday, 17 September 2017

SUnday morning thoughts!

I was having a domestic Sunday morning - baking, making soup, cleaning the kitchen - and listening to the radio at the same time.

On Desert Island Discs the film maker Paul Greengrass was talking about his life and choosing his records: a bit of film soundtrack, a bit of Mozart's "Magic Flute - a bit you could imagine old Wolfgang having great fun writing, a bit of Beatles, a bit of Springsteen, a bit of Dylan. The soundtrack of his life coincided with mine quite a lot.

He reminisced about seeing David Warner in "Hamlet" back in the 1960s. He is the second interviewee I have heard in the last week remembering seeing David Warner in "Hamlet" in the 1960s. I have been racking my brains to remember who that other interviewee was, to no avail. The thing is that I too saw David Warner in Hamlet in the 1960s, probably 1966. I was in sixth form, studying "Hamlet" as part of my A-Level English Literature course, and the school had organised a trip to Stratford. We visited all the tourist places, marvelled at Ann Hathaway's cottage and watched David Warner perform in the evening. Of course we all fell in love with as this was when he was young, tall, slim and mysteriously dangerous-looking, not the portly gentleman he became later. Unfortunately he did not age well.

Paul Greengrass also spoke about the magical (for him) experience of going to the cinema, watching a story unfold on the big screen, the watcher isolated in the dark. And I wondered if perhaps something of that experience has been lost. Of course, you can still go to the cinema and lose yourself in the dark but many modern cinemas indulge the modern way of film watching with a cup-holder next to the seat so that you can have your super-size soft drink or perhaps pint of beer to accompany the popcorn or crisps you will almost inevitably munch through the film. But, in this age of streaming and Netflix, some may not even get to the cinema but will watch the latest blockbusters on the small screen, even at times on their mobile phone.

Later I listened to a news report about Wales and heard concerns expressed about whether funding for a whole range of projects there will continue after Brexit. I kept hearing about one thing after another that was made possible through EU funding. Blue plaques with gold stars seemingly abound in Cardiff. Why was more not made of all this during the referendum campaign? Nobody seemed to truly address the question "What has the EU done for us?" And the Brexit negotiations continue and seem to be coming to no decent conclusions. We shall see.

Meanwhile on the forum for EU citizens on Facebook, I keep coming across things like this:

"I hope you can help me. The company I work for is currently doing some restructuring and for employees that have old contracts of employment (including myself) they have been offered to sign a new contract with some added benefits, which is fine. However, I have compared my current contract with the new one and in the new one I did notice a new sentence: “We may terminate your employment with immediate effect without notice and with no liability to make any further payment to you if you cease to be eligible to work in the United Kingdom”. Is this normal ? This clause is not present in my current contract. Not sure if should query further or not."

And like this:

"I'm in the catering trade and this is real. There is a severe shortage of staff. Why would anyone come for two years only and have no rights? Restaurants are struggling to get staff right now, and brexit hasn't even happened, and probably won't. Its a house built on sand and doomed to failure."

On the other hand, I also see things like this:

"So we constantly hear what burden to this country EU citizens are. There is rarely a mention of how much value we bring and how we help shape the UK society. So just a reminder that immigration from Europe has brought some fantastic entrepreneurs, who came to the UK to set up the following: Easyjet- set up by a Greek immigrant
M&S  - set up by a Belarusian immigrant + his British partner
Tesco - set up by a son of a Polish immigrant
Schroeders -set up by a German immigrant
WPP group -one of the largest advertising/marketing groups set up by a son of immigrants from Russia and Romania
Bloody EU migrants, coming here setting up some of the biggest British brands, creating jobs and growing the UK economy...😎"

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