I am in the restaurant of a golf club in Sussex. It is Sunday morning. And the waiter, as it happens, is from Poznan.
I tell him that the soot on the buildings there always used to remind me of Edinburgh. That I used to visit the city often when I lived in Warsaw.
That I always looked forward to jajecznica for breakfast on the train. And that I always liked to follow it with a coffee and a cigarette.
I butter my toast and I unfold my Telegraph. Tomorrow I go back home. And then I can stop pretending that I belong here. I don’t. And of that I am now certain.
I’ve been at a wedding. And I’ve thought it best this weekend, and around these parts at least, to keep that I live and work in Brussels on a need to know basis.
It was my niece’s wedding, my daughters were her bridesmaids, and the ceremony took place in a beautiful village church on a perfect autumn afternoon.
I like England. I lived half my life there.
At last night’s wedding breakfast, at what in Scotland we would call tea time, the conversation turned among the party’s bremainers to their many bremoans.
Well, it’s not really a proper wedding without a fight, is it?
And I found my thoughts returning to what I’ve written here before. Albeit in rather happier times.
For what is the marriage that we have witnessed if not the very definition of union? And what is the pub we are celebrating it in if not living breathing proof of community?
Hardly controversial stuff I know. But had I succeeded in finding a brexiteer still out and proud (and oddly that’s not easy now beyond Westminster or Fleet Street) I doubt that even the hardest of the hard of them would deny the merits of sharing in a union, or of supporting, and being supported by, a community.
Or advocate the wholesale rejection of both to stand proudly alone. For pride, as we know, often comes before a fall.
And that I think is the problem. Or one of them at any rate.
Because the English, let’s leave the Welsh for a moment, having never been able to agree about what it was that they joined in the first place, now can’t agree at all about what it is that they want to leave. Or how to go about it.
Having had their wake up call they’ve now no idea what they want for their brexit: the full english or the continental?
Hard boiled, soft boiled or half baked? It certainly won’t be over easy.
And if they really do still want the bacon and egg, as some do, then the ones who get to be the chickens are going to have break the bad news to those that end up the pigs.
Or as Donald Tusk put it: “I invite proponents of the have your cake and eat it theory to conduct an experiment: buy a cake, eat it, and then look at the plate”.
In Britain’s scorched earth political landscape, you see, up is now down and left is now right. A plummeting currency is thoroughly good news.
A right wing government embraces industrial policy while its left wing opposition denounces state aid.
I should say that you really couldn’t make it up. But that, of course, is exactly what they are doing. Increasingly, in fact, it looks like all they’re capable of doing.
Theresa Puetetre presides over a government spinning out of control. United only in their need to do, or at least to be seen to be doing, whatever it is that’s popular. And then to fail in doing it.
Jermy Corbyn, to our sadness and our loss, seems finally now to have given up all pretence of leading a once potent political party.
And has found instead what seems, to him at least, an altogether more natural role at the head of a popular, if ill defined and somewhat sclerotic, social movement.
Well, good luck with that, Jeremy.
Tim Farron. Who? Exactly.
Thank God, I hear you say, for Nicola Queen Of Scots.
And so to the question of ‘taking our country back’. But which country? And whose?
What of The Full Scottish? And The Ulster Fry ?
Perhaps, maybe, there is a first glimmer of hope in today’s High Court ruling as to who may, if you’ll pardon the pun, and who may not, trigger Article 50.
Let’s hope so.
Because, at the risk of stretching the breakfast thing one last time, I can’t help but feeling that there may well be a difference between what that the english choose to celebrate their divorce with, and what finally ends up on the plate.
Cold shoulder anyone?