Pride after a fall.

I am recuperating at home under Thomas’s care. The book I began a few months ago is on hold. I have little to distract me from staring into the lights of the approaching Brexit disaster.

“ I have suffered a recycling accident.”

When I write “under Thomas’s care”, I somewhat overstate the situation. I get a cup of tea and a grunt every morning. Not that I have been a great one for care. It was not something to exhibit if one wanted to get on in academia as a woman.

It was not the dreaded Covid that immobilised me you will be glad to know. I have suffered a recycling accident: I was doing my bit carrying a few empty wine bottles out, when I slipped on something unidentifiable. Without a spare hand to stop my fall, I crashed to the ground cutting my forehead on the broken glass and breaking my hip. The blood flow was spectacular.

Amazingly Thomas had the presence of mind to call an ambulance and it came very quickly. In A&E, nurse Camilla, not a name I associate with care since The Windsors came on TV, very carefully stitched my gaping wound together. The hip was more tricky but apparently they have pinned things together pretty well. I am soon to start an exercise regime to restore mobility.

Didn’t they teach Boris economics at Eton?”

The physiotherapist Prescilla visits me daily and takes me through my regime, while listening to my explanations as to why Brexit is going to be such a disaster. She seems very grateful for her education in economics.

I feel so much better after her visits. Unfortunately, she can only stay for 20 minutes before having to rush off to her next patient. She is incentivised to be as efficient as possible through a complicated penalty system which I am yet to totally understand. Priscilla is Spanish.

So how did we get here? How did the Conservative party get taken over by “little Englanders” when Margaret Thatcher was one of main architects of the single market? Didn’t they teach Boris economics at Eton? Trade agreements are all about mutual benefits but none exist without rules of fair play. This means sovereignty must be forfeited. I tried to explain this and more last year to Rupert, our local MP, when he asked for advice. He hasn’t asked since.

Thomas has reconstituted our building’s “no deal” planning committee set up last year but rather forgotten about in the face of the pandemic. He claims this is what keeps him so busy.

He is on Zoom, constantly trying to galvanise our fellow residents to create a building food reserve in the common kitchen. It has not been plain sailing as I hear through the thin walls of our apartment. Not exactly contributing to my recuperation.

It seems his previous campaign to reduce our share of service charges hadn’t exactly helped communal spirit. He had discovered we were paying more for common services due to having two bedrooms rather than one, which he considered quite reasonably unfair.

I reminded him that there is going to be an excess of lamb and fish that won’t now be sold to the EU, so we wouldn’t starve. Unfortunately I am not particularly keen on either.

Thomas has reconstituted our building’sno deal” planning committee.”

At least I have stuck with my investment in the hedge fund run by my star student and Brexit funder, Crispin McDonal. It has been rocketing in value with the escalating Brexit crisis. Once Thomas and I get vaccines in the New Year, we will be able to have a pretty marvellous holiday. Though somehow, I don’t fancy our usual cruise – however luxurious. I am not sure I totally trust this virus.

Verity Bastion

Verity is an emeritus professor of economics now living in a retirement apartment with her husband, Thomas, after a distinguished career. She writes a regular column for The Mint on …

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