Europe why worry?

I went to the Mediterranean this year, for the first time in 47 years. I had never been anywhere truly hot. It was beautiful, everything I could hope for. It was a short break in Palma the capital of Majorca. I can remember the smell of Jasmine and Orange trees. The lovely old walled city with its spectacular cathedral perched above the harbour. I would move tomorrow and live a simple happy life in the sunshine, in a tatty house with Olive groves, Almond,Orange and Lemon trees. I would wander into town to shop at the local market and stop for a cafe con leche. It sounds idyllic doesn’t it.
The Balearics islands are part of Spain, our european partner. We have many partners with fascinating astonishing people and places. Spain for example was once a huge world power with dominions thorughout the globe with a fabulous history and culture. Spain like the other member states all share the same daily struggles we do. Poverty is prevalent in many European countries. Unemployment is also common as is crime just like the UK. We speak different languages but on the whole the rest of Europe tries to speak English whereas we will only if pushed.
Why then are we all so different. Don’t buy into all the historical bollocks as to why we as a nation generally mistrust other europeans (Armada, Nazism, etc). We don’t much like anyone. Dara O’Briain in his book ‘Tickling the English’, suggests that the English are the rule writers of the world. We didn’t invent Football or Cricket but codified. Our national character suggests we want to tell the others how to live and be proper partners (proper meaning obedient and stick to the rules). UKIP (the old farts party) always cite French indifference to the common fisheries/agriculture policies as what is wrong with Europe. I admire the French attitude. Its like children who continue to do something wrong whilst staring at you after being told to stop. I think we’re just jealous. They don’t give a shit and we’re jealous.
I would love to think of european friends sitting in a cafe in Leeds, enjoying a frothy coffee and a  toasted teacake; marvelling at this fine vibrant city. I would hope that they don’t go away thinking about how much money their country is spending on its partners and why its unfair. I expect that they don’t because they seem to try harder to just get on. Xenophobia is sadly alive and kicking (promoted by the Daily Mail). Maybe we should spend more time trying to live with each other, embracing difference and partnerships. Who knows we might just learn how to shake off our national neuroses (as long as those foreigners don’t try and tell us what to do).
Adios as they say in Guiseley

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