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A New Year

So, we’ve waved goodbye to 2020. For many of us, midnight couldn’t come soon enough after such a horrendous year. But of course it was also tinged with sadness, as it involved the final act of Brexit. My partner and I opened a bottle of champagne at 11 to drown our sorrows at leaving the EU, then promptly knocked the bottle over and spilled half of it. It seemed poignantly symbolic somehow. As did this rusty shopping trolley that I spotted this morning in Margate.

I’d already seen the trolley the day before, presumably having been pulled out of the sea and looking somewhat forlorn and useless. But some innovative revellers, determined to make the most of a bad situation, appear to have repurposed it as a New Year’s Eve drinks trolley.

I couldn’t avoid a wry smile when I saw the empty champagne and organic wine bottles inside. It seemed an appropriate analogy for this country and our deluded sense of significance and entitlement. We drink posh wine and kid ourselves that our country is superior to all the rest, conveniently forgetting that the wine was produced in France, Spain and Italy, and purchased from Aldi, a German supermarket. I bet we didn’t even make the trolley ourselves. Sewer is pumped into the sea near where I saw it though – so at least we can say that any shit on it was ours.

I know that it’s time to move on and accept Brexit, no matter how ludicrous an act of self-harm I consider it to be. But as I look back on New Year 2021, Brexit will now be symbolised as that rusty, smelly old shopping trolley covered in slime, that we’re supposed to believe is a fancy drinks trolley. Deep down we all know it isn’t, but we’re playing along anyhow, because no-one wants to admit that they we’ve been duped into making such a bad decision for our country. So instead we have filled our glasses with French champagne, and drunk a toast to good ship Brexit and all those forced to sail on her.

Of course the hangover starts today – it could well be a long one. Let’s hope we at least learn something about ourselves along the way, so that we’re never so reckless again.

This image is part of my ‘Daily Print’ series and is purchasable as an A4 print here

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Out with the old

It’s New Year’s Eve and I think that just about everyone is ready to move on from 2020. Even the Christmas baubles are lacking a certain sparkle this year. Like most people, I’ll be having a rather muted celebration at home. It will be tinged with an extra dose of sadness, with the death of my distant father earlier this year, and now my country’s unnecessary departure from the EU.

The bubbly may taste a bit flat this year, but I can only drown my sorrows and hope for better days to come – even if the world feels like a very different place to the one I knew a year ago. There is hope on the horizon, with the roll out of the new vaccine, and a sense of personal resignation that we are where we are and will just have to deal with it the best way that we can.

In the absence of time spent with friends and family, I am seeking solace through my camera. My daily walks amongst nature bring me comfort, and also a sense of purpose – I’m determined to come out of this all with some positive reflection of it. My New Year’s resolution is try other artistic mediums too, starting with painting after my partner set me along that way with this year’s birthday present. It’s time to finally pluck up the courage to open up those paints and see what I can do. When life brings challenges, make art.

This image is part of my ‘Daily Print’ series and is purchasable as an A4 print here