In a week’s time, unless the UK's democracy catches another dose of cold feet, representatives of the UK and EU will commence negotiations over Brexit. Some time ago, the European Council published their guidelines for those negotiations, setting out what the EU aims to achieve from the talks, and its 'red lines' - the limits to its flexibility.

Brexit is Brexit, and Brexit means the withdrawal of the UK from membership of the EU via the process outlined in Article 50.

Occasionally, amid all the post-Brexit hype, and almost drowned out by the fanfares heralding a bright new entrepreneurial dawn for a Britain still suffering the after-effects of the last financial crisis, a quiet voice comes whispering in my ear, and it is not a happy voice.

Honeybee on Styphnolobium japonica flower

From a reference for the June 2016 Watercolour challenge at the forum

From a reference for the July 2016 Watercolour challenge at the forum

The Tree Shepherd was quietly minding his own business, arranging a few stands of alder, throwing sycamore seeds about and trying to find the best place for a hornbeam, when he heard a voice from above.

 “Not there” it said, “you want a walnut there.”

June 2016 watercolour challenge

From a reference for the June 2016 Watercolour challenge at the forum

Gaspar lived in Tharsis. Today, Tharsis is a small town in Spain, with a few mines, a wind-farm and a pretty little church surrounded by palm trees, but in Gaspar’s time, over two thousand years ago, it was a village with a small castle, a library and a little tower for looking at the stars.


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