My British Friends,
On this day of days I just want to give you all a hug.
I'm not an Anglophile, I'm a European,
Feeling as comfortable in Rome as in Tallin.
But my being European started with the English, with the Scots, with the Welsh and even a bit with the Northern Irish.
In the late 80's, reading everry Agatha Christie novel i could find.
Dreaming of a Britain, that might never has existed
(In a n ironic way, I shared that with later Brexiteers)
Studying the Tube map, as simbol of my transit fever..
But then, the 90s....
Visiting the south, tasting the goodies of Devon, being overwhelmed by London, camping by ourselves
Viewing English football on Match of the Day, when foreign football was still exotic.
But most importantly, being educated by the magazine Amiga Power,
which had a lasting effect on my usage of language, my view on art, my sense of humour
And Trainspotting, providing a mirror to my own problems with growing up.
In the oughts, I had moved on, living in other countries, working on EU programmes,
Speaking different languages, experiences different cultures
I still visited Britain, for work, for football, for rugby, for BeexBQ
But I looked at it through a critical eye,
Seeing the poverty, the messed up public services
Watching women drinking too much with almost no clothes on in the freezing cold.
But you were my first,
And everytime I see you being sun-burned in Spain,
Or talk with you about videogames
Beat you in Mario Kart
I know that our feelings are still there,
Even though we fought Four Anglo-Dutch Wars
So I'm sad you'll be leaving tonight,
But I'll always be there for you....
A hug from the United Provinces.