Metro 221

What a terrible month this has been. I can't recall being as depressed and terrified by the news since 11/9. Misdirected anger and frustration and mental illness have combined and the death of people who couldn't be more innocent is the result. It's like Twitter has gained consciousness and taken everything posted there as a literal instruction.

Not many of us had heard of Jo Cox before last week, but her death hit us all. I don't know what being British is, but I know it is not this. Last Wednesday Jo Cox and her family were caught up in the pantomime of the Thames flotilla as the Brexit supporters doused their boat with water and on Thursday those kids didn't have a mother any more.  Farce turned to tragedy.

This is a referendum that most of us didn't want, that any sensible person feels unqualified to vote upon and which has divided our country in a way that I don't think we can easily recover from. Because if this vote is close, as it seems certain to be, then is the losing side going to meekly agree and forget about their passion and anger. I mean we should do, because that's democracy and we have to abide by it. I suppose the only tribute we can give is to go out and vote, whatever our opinion, just make sure we settle this at the ballot box and then abide by whatever the stupid, unqualified people of the UK decide. 

My wife and I went out for a meal and a movie on Thursday, but we sat in silence for much of the time, both too depressed about what had happened to be able to move our minds anywhere else and what was there to say? Life felt hopeless. As we left my wife said, “I have a question. It's not about what you think.” I wondered what was coming.

 â€œWhy do we have frozen peas?” she asked. She was right. That wasn't a question I had expected. “You know, most veg we have is fresh, so what is it about peas that means we keep them in the freezer."

As much as I wanted to answer I wondered what had led her to this train of thought, given all that had happened, but it's quite a good question and it demanded an answer. I thought it was probably down to the fact that fresh peas, in their pods, take up a lot of space and take a lot of work to prepare, plus de-podded fresh peas don't have a long shelf life. But also as a sweeter vegetable they are a good way of getting vitamin C and stuff into a child and so to have them handy and easy to cook is a boon. Plus, I am not sure, but I think most vegetables don't survive the freezing process too well. Certainly fruit is never as nice. But peas, for whatever reason, come out of it pretty well.

We discussed this for a good five minutes and it was a relief to think about something else. One of the many things that attracted me to my wife was the strange way her brain works. But at a time like this being made to think about why we freeze peas and pretty much no other vegetable was a great way to distract my brain from the horrible world and our inevitable self-inflicted doom. It was a reminder to enjoy and appreciate the ones we love, just on the off chance that the increasing madness of humanity impacts directly on us.

My daughter bought me a Father's Day card at the weekend (though God knows where she got the money. It said "To my fantastic dad". I have to say I was disappointed. I was hoping for the "best dad in the world" nod this year, but it must have gone to someone else. Well done if it was you. Maybe next year.