How Le Monde Sees Brexit and the Scottish Referendum

The week that ‘Article 30’ was triggered by Nicola Sturgeon and ‘Article 50’ was triggered by Theresa May’s letter, I was in France and over a cafe creme each morning, read about it all in Le Monde. This great European newspaper with its painstaking reportage and thoughtful opinion; sophisticated use of photography, and broad agenda of international news, illuminated the situation and it is always interesting to see oursels as ithers see us, as the poet said.

At their meeting in Glasgow, May said to Sturgeon about the referendum call: “Ce n’est pas le bon moment.” Some things just sound better in French. In English her: “Now is not the time,” has a rather nanny-ish ring, it’s one of those circular phrases that May likes. I can imagine a character saying this in Alice In Wonderland and the White Rabbit replying, irritated, looking at his watch: “The time is always now, don’t you know anything?” But “Ce n’est pas le bon moment,” sounds faintly desperate. It reminds me of the Jacques Brel classic “Ne me quitte pas,” with its lines “Oublier le le temps perdu” (Forget the time and the time that’s past). This song, of course, would also do as a soundtrack for Brexit.

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Holiday Reading: Brexit, Sexit and Don Quixote

For holiday reading, newspapers are hard to beat. Photo: Mary Kemp Bruce

HOLIDAY READING 2016:  newspapers and Don Quixote. I still love newspapers. I like everything about them, the way they smell, the way they crinkle when you fold them over at the bit you're reading, the way you don’t have to hang onto them but can drop them on a cafe table for the next customer to enjoy.

I read a lot of newspapers this holiday. There is no shortage of news at the moment, what with Brexit and the heightened possibility this creates of “Sexit” (this phrase coined in a ditty here). One afternoon, on a motor boat trip, the engine noise too loud for conversation, I crouched over the previous day’’s  FT. It seemed as if wherever I sat a personal deluge of sea water sloshed over me, rather refreshing in the brilliant sunshine. I clutched the paper to my chest to protect it.  My friends were amused to notice the inky headlines of the Big Read smudged onto my chest, cue some teasing about my “reverse Linda Lusardi” moment. (“Some women put their tits on page 3, but others...)

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Road Trip Part Two: Utah. Zion and A Bottle of Water That was the Answer to a Prayer

Road Trip 2. (Find more in this series under 'Travel' on the right hand menu).

First light is the best time to take pictures, and on our road trip stop off at Zion National Park, a chilly dawn found us at Overlook Point, Rob and his tripod hovering on the edge of a 1,000 foot drop.


The landscape stirs echoes of cowboy B movies, Star Trek scenes and prehistoric epics. You could almost believe the rocks were polystyrene and peering down into the deep valley, I half-expected to hear a dinosaur roar.  This area has been the backdrop for many movies, the most famous being Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.


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Road Trip Part One: Utah. Bryce Canyon




Photos: Rob Bruce


I have a precious 15 year old Baedeker guidebook to the US, the pages falling out with overuse. In the flyleaf of the book is a tiny map of the entire country with around a dozen sites picked out. Bryce Canyon is one of them. It always intrigued me as it was one of the only ones of which  I had never heard. So it was great to get an opportunity to visit on a road trip from Salt Lake City to San Francisco this September.



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