What I do

each morning: I get a cup of instant coffee and my computer and I check the news. A year ago I got Trump Fatigue and dropped my subscription to the New York Times, deciding I could write the stories myself, and just reading the headlines would suffice. I started reading The Guardian, because of Brexit, in which I feel that, as a citizen of the EU, I have a stake. I don’t want the UK to leave the EU, I was hoping, I was almost, in fact, convinced, that the UK would see the light and reverse course. But this doesn’t seem to have happened (and it may be that my own point of view is, if not marginal, not ‘majoritaire.’) Still, having lived in France for a large part of my adult life, having French citizenship as a result of my marriage, having French children, I love my second home and I also love the idea of ‘Europe’. When I went to London, I was chuffed to think I was almost British, that our passports were the same colour.

Besides, in Canada we studied ‘English’ literature, not ‘American,’ about which I learned little, if anything, in school and even university. In 11-12th grade, my school had an extraordinary English teacher, who took us on a guided tour of English literature from Beowulf to, well, where did we stop?, Yeats? Hopkins? Hardy? Lawrence? I still have the textbook, a doorstop, but it’s in France.

She was a heavy woman with bird ankles and I remember her tromping back and forth across the front of our classroom, chanting ‘We are foot-foot-foot-slogging over Africa!’ a poem I doubt anyone reads in school any more, even in the far flung parts of the Empire, like British Columbia.

Where this was headed was to say that now I fear I’m going to have to stop reading The Guardian too, because PM Boris Johnson’s tousled head and emerging policies are becoming as antipathetic as you-know-who. One should be angry, but not first thing in the morning.

Meanwhile, the temperature has dropped, overnight, from 90 degrees F + to 57 degrees this morning. It’s time for heavier/more quilts, hotter hot water bottles, woollier socks. And now that I’ve finished with the news and several cups of coffee and a bowl of porridge, and my husband is up and out on his bike, I’m going to have a shower, make the bed, and settle down in the living room to read and write. And that’s what I do in the morning.