*Warning, this post may contain traces of politics*
It’s never really been my intention to talk about anything other than arthritis, and how I deal with that, on this blog as I don’t particularly feel qualified to give advice in many other areas and nor do I have a lifestyle that people would find that interesting. It has certainly never been my intention to talk about politics here, given that I would definitely avoid talking about it at a dinner party (unless it was the sort of dinner party that required you to have heated arguments and maybe a punch-up at the end of it).
However, I’m now at an impasse; discussing politics is the new normal, that’s all we can do, and it would be weird, given that it’s affecting so much of everyone’s lives right now, to just glaze over it. The political climate in the UK can only really be described as a total farce, in which no one knows what’s going on, the main political parties are operating on another plane of reality, and the uncertainty and helplessness of the situation is making me very stressed. Given that stress has long been linked with increased inflammatory mediators, I really feel like I need to do *something*, at the very least to help my arthritis feel better about the situation.
I voted to stay in the EU; I think the UK is stronger in the EU and, for all its faults (wastefulness and bureaucracy for example), the EU provides stability, fairer laws (employment and human rights being some of them), and helps to keep a peaceful Europe. I also feel European, and being in the EU seems natural to me, I see free movement as a bonus should I want to move to somewhere else. I don’t want to denigrate anyone that voted leave, I am sure they have their reasons too. Democracy is democracy, and the 17 million people that voted to leave the EU can’t be ignored; however, I am seeing that many people decided to vote based on the lies of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson: an extra £350 million a week for the National Health Service, for example. Of course people would want that. I benefited from experimental treatment for my arthritis that required Primary Care Trust funding that I probably wouldn’t get today, £350 million sounds pretty tempting. But of course, it turns out to be a lie and people regret voting to leave. A referendum in which a complex question was blithely asked of a public that was fed lies, with the help of Britain’s vitriolic press, is a joke, and now everybody is dealing with the consequences.
So, this Saturday I am going to a protest march, to protest against the lies and misinformation that were fed to the British people during the EU referendum. I am showing support for a more inclusive and kinder Britain. I hope this political pressure will lead to us not leaving the EU but, in any case, I think we’re now working on damage limitation, and I think this march will help to show our politicians the nation is angry at the shambolic way things have turned out.
So, the march itself isn’t going to be a very long distance, but it will mean a lot of standing about, walking at an enforced pace (hard to do with arthritis, walking too slowly or quickly makes my pain worse) and I am going to find this difficult. The most obvious choice of footwear would be my Merrell approach shoes, but here I have the aesthetic versus functional battle I always do.
I know, given the circumstances, it really doesn’t matter at all what I look like, but it makes me feel better, and that matters at the moment. I would have preferred to wear a European rather than American brand like Merrel (not that I have anything against America, apart from Donald Trump, but, you know, it’s Europe day). If beauty were the important factor, I would chose my Ancient Greek Sandals (a Greek brand unsurprisingly). They have lightening bolts across the foot: who could fail to be politically inspired by such a shoe?
But alas walking in these would wreck my ankle, they are generally pretty comfortable for a very flat, strappy shoe, the leather is good quality and soft so they mould to your feet well, but I recommend these as party wear, not for political marching .
My only sensible options would be Birkenstocks (German):
Or Golden Goose Brand (Italian):
A lot depends on the weather, which has been appropriately apocalyptic the last few weeks, but I will let you know how I get on. Now, back to obsessively following the news…