Monday, 4 July 2016

The Big Lemon: Letter from Amalfi.

Two days after the referendum result, we flew to the Amalfi coast to meet up with a couple who come from Hong Kong and Seattle.

As we tried to digest the chaos we'd left behind in the UK, their Asian and US perspectives were both invaluable and depressing.

To cut a long discussion short, they just couldn't believe the British people could be so short-sighted, so narrow-minded, so xenophobic.

They looked at us pityingly and, no doubt, felt sorry for us personally.

How awful is that? The world actually feels sorry for us.

Truth is, I also felt sorry for us.

In the 48 hours following the Brexit result, we withdrew an accepted offer on one property, and declined to participate in a 'best and final' bid for another.

It didn't seem like we had any choice.

As I sit on the terrace of our small and basic, but very hospitable, hotel looking out across laden lemon trees to the glamorous speed boats buzzing up and down this beautiful coast, London seems a place to forget.

A place that's had its day in the sun and is now fading fast.

I hope that's not true, but fear that it may be the outcome of our isolationism and pig-headedness.

Like many, we're battening down the hatches. Renting rather than buying. Hoping that this mistake isn't as bad as it seems. Wishing that the bitter resentments of certain sectors of our country hadn't defeated the vitality, optimism and ambition of our youth and many of our immigrants.

As yet another over-sized lemon drops onto the terrace tiles, it seems there is only one way to describe London today : The Big Lemon.

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