Last week was busy. On Monday, Sam and I drove to Birmingham to pick up an old 60 Series Land Cruiser. We've always both loved them, but finding a classic one in the UK for a good price isn't that common. We toyed with buying a new and shiny 4X4, or even a safe "mum car" that has wipe clean furnishings and "iso fix" for baby car seats. But we knew that we were destined to look like the pikiest family in middle class Wormit, and after having spent the last few years driving vans, not cars, we needed something with a little character.
So we left Nel with one of Sam's brothers, whilst another brother and Sam's cousin ran the shop for the day.
We drove 6 hours each way, which was just delightful, but we ended up back home with our new Land Cruiser. We're going to give it a paint job, and get it looking quite smart, but it's already pretty cool. It's a bit of a shock trying to drive it; I swear my left bicep is bigger from changing gear, and getting in the thing basically requires a step ladder but it's all good.
It was lovely getting home to Nel, I missed her just being away for a day, and she treated us to a lay in the next day.
I worked four days in a row last week, which was good but a shock to the system. We had really crappy, drizzly weather, so at the weekend I went into work with Sam's cousin, expecting it to be pretty dead. I've never seen queues at the shop like we had this weekend. It was mad. So much rushing around trying to get through orders as quickly as possible, whilst you get a series of orders such as this come through back to back :"5 flat whites, 4 cappuccinos, 3 lattes, 5 Mac n cheese sandwiches, 4 Mr Whippys, and an iced coffee with a Nutella milkshake." Hell.
I came home and just collapsed in the bath. It's good to have more people than ever out and wanting to spend their money though, I don't know if it's because people love us, or because nothing's open, and they have money to spend with no where to go, but it's a relief that our business doesn't 't seem to be going under just yet, after what was a very scary few months.
I keep seeing odd articles online; friends posting about how much they hate Boris, and being ruled by Westminster, and how much of a giant fuck up the Tories have made of Corona. All of this is very much true, and I whole heartedly agree. But, as ever, when there's a crisis, people from the other countries in the UK, share articles about how they want to break free more than ever, and not be tied to England, with a real "fuck you England" mentality. It's mad, because I'm sat here in Scotland, as an English person, again AGREEING that Boris is a MASSIVE twat, but also watching Nicola Sturgeon make a royal balls up of it too. I don't know if people are too angry at Westminster, to see that Hollyrood doesn't give a shite about it's own people either? Sturgeon wants to paint a picture of socialist bliss, and get all her countrymen behind her, however, she's pretty much copying Westminster verbatim, but just a couple of weeks after. The same issues apply up here. You're sorted if your either really poor, or really rich, however, if you're somewhere between those two ends of the spectrum, you don't get much help at all regarding the Corona crisis. In fact, the Scottish Government, have handed out thousands of pounds in grants to people from England, who own multiple holiday homes in Scotland, whereas people like myself and Sam (who's actually Scottish and run a year round business in Scotland, employing Scottish people and using Scottish goods, and supply chains) get sweet fuck all. However, the Scottish Government, try and cover this up, by saying they wouldn't help anyone not from Scotland, and then going on to do exactly that. I just feel it's really quite funny to see so many shite articles from news sources like bloody Vice, banging on about "The Case for a United Celtic Republic" when these people aren't seeing that the likes of Nicola Sturgeon and Kate Forbes will shaft them just as hard as Boris. Can we not just overrule all these useless idiots, and have the whole of the UK in a better situation?
With the recent killing of George Floyd in America, and the revival of the Black Lives Matter movement being bought to the forefront of the conversation once again, I've felt really emotional and overwhelmed at the state of the world. I was certainly aware that racism was still alive, not only in America, but here in the UK, and in Scotland too, however, I must admit I was naive at how much so. I felt guilt at being a white person, guilt at not knowing or appreciating my own privilege, guilt at the thought of the awful things my own ancestors most likely have said and done over the years, and guilt at my complacency for just thinking not being racist was enough, rather than being "anti racist".
Since watching awful videos online from the States, and of the despicable, low life, come-collect-your-wannabe-football-manager-fat-dad-from-the-pub group of men, otherwise known as the EDL, I am determined to challenge any behaviour or conversation now rather than letting it slide, and do more to educate myself to be more emphatic, and to raise Nel that way too.
This morning was my first (very small) test of this, when at 8am, I had someone come to clean my sofas. This man was white, from Dundee, and was clearly outspoken from the moment he stepped in. Most of the conversation heavily revolved around the complete denial of Covid, and people being "pansies" that were too afraid of getting sick. (I agree there's something very odd about the Covid numbers, however, I do whole heartedly appreciate why some people wouldn't want to put themselves at unnecessary risk). After he'd exhausted all the breath in his lungs on that topic, he randomly came out with "and I will just never understand these idiots protesting for this Black Lives Matter shit".
I didn't know what to feel more enraged about. The obvious flaw in his insanely ignorant comment, OR that he's now blaming the people marching with BLM for spreading Covid; something he's just spent 30 minutes denying the very existence of. I quickly reminded him of the fact that The Far Right / EDL were gathered in huge crowds this weekend, and also tried to remind him of his own white privilege, the consistent deaths caused by police brutality in the States, and of course, of the injustice of Grenfell, and how that would have never happened to a bunch of white, middle class people living in a tower block situated in Putney.
Throughout this, Nel was stood at my side, tugging at my jeans saying "mamma, jobby, mamma jobby". I was ignoring her because a) she has a very odd habit of telling me she's done a shit, when in fact, she hasn't, and b) I was concentrating on ranting, whilst trying to remain calm, and not just shouting "You're a fucking idiot, you racist bigot!" which is my usual arguing style, but I appreciate this needs more work in the "being diplomatic" department.
Anyway, God bless Nel for her perfect comedic timing, she quit the tugging, ripped off her nappy, walked over to the bigot, and handed him a nappy, filed with the biggest and smelliest poo. I am proud to say that that was Nel's first display of activism, and I will happily stand beside her in all her protests. I didn't even apologise, instead, quietly picked her up, and took her away to wipe her bum.
That's my girl. #BLM