International events

We have been living international news this week. Some of my family are in the Caribbean and were at the end of last week in the pathway of Hurricane Irma. We have a family whatsapp and everyone was pouring over maps of the eye of the storm, which seemed to be different whichever map you looked at. We knew they were fortunate to be in a robust house with its own generator – that’s not the experience of many – but even so it was very worrying. By the weekend Irma had moved on to Florida and there was news from my stepbrother that it would affect him all the way over in Atlanta. Now begins the huge task of dealing with the aftermath.

Meanwhile on Monday there was a major festival in Catalunya which has of late become a massive demonstration of Catalan nationalism. My partner was incensed that it didn’t feature on the BBC news [there’s an independence referendum taking place in October for those who watch the BBC]. He has created his own mini Catalunya in the kitchen and stands there glued to Catalan radio every night when he is not on his computer reading about Brexit.

He woke up daughter one on Tuesday. “She says she’s not going to school this morning,” he stated. He is so engrossed in the news that I fear he has lost touch with everyday events in his own house. Daughter one was off to an interview. It had vaguely registered on the outer reaches of his consciousness, but this week at least he is probably more present on whatsapp than in person. As with most things these days, no one knows what is going to happen next.

I’m not sure I have been of any help because, due to work, I have been more focused on the future of Europe and I’m more a glass half empty kind of person so optimism is not my strong point.

Meanwhile life goes on and people are back to the usual moans and groans about getting up early. I caught daughter two on the computer on Sunday night. Suspiciously she closed it just as I walked in. “What were you looking at?” I inquired. Of course, this is an approach that is generally doomed to failure. My main concern was that it was some vegan extremist vlogger telling her to eat an even narrower range of food than she now consumes and than is currently available at Tesco. Surprisingly, she re-opened the computer and showed me a Youtube video entitled “how to get As”. She had also written the word allegorical on her hand because daughter one had used it in a sentence and she wanted to “look smart”. I am sure many people now think there is a Youtube tutorial for all things in life, if not an infographic. You just have to watch for 2-5 minutes [any longer and the attention wanders, I am reliably informed] and all your problems are sorted. If only life was that simple.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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