BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN
Hearing the high-pitched squeals of some Remainers over recent weeks has been shocking – not just for Leavers but for many Remainers too, who were never die-hard about the referendum in the first place.
Suddenly Brits across the land have discovered their inner political animal when, previously, they seemed more bothered about the outcomes of the Six Nations or Strictly.
This week’s Article 50 judgment in the High Court put the Brexiteers on the back foot for a brief while until they realised that Brexit was going to happen eventually anyhow; whatever time-wasting obstacles were conjured up by the die-hard Remainers before Britain’s divorce from Europe finally occurred.
As a Leaver – and this goes for many of my fellow Leave voters – we were also flabbergasted by the sudden venom emanating from Leave-side reactionaries this week, who spat tacks for most of Thursday afternoon and evening thinking that the People’s prized Brexit was being stolen from under our noses by the wicked Establishment.
Of course, Leavers’ fears soon waned when the facts became clear. The light of day is a fine thing.
I was reminded during Thursday’s commotion of a man I know, who, for a tenth wedding anniversary, took his wife on a long weekend break near Marrakech. They arrived at a beautiful guest house set in desert sands with an oasis-style pool circled by lush palm trees and were sat down to a sumptuous dinner of lamb with apricots, almond and mint.
Since the guest house was well outside of the Casbah, wine was served. And they happily sipped their way through two bottles of Château Valentin Margaux. Indeed, the food was so delicious, and the scene so appealing, that the wine tasted as exquisite as Chateau Margaux itself.
The pair found themselves staring into each other’s eyes as they hadn’t done for many years. Their children, dog and mynah bird back in Surbiton seemed suddenly a distant reality – a reality which could be put on hold while the flames of their love rekindled after a decade of nappies, commutes and hard slog.
After a moonlit dance beside the pool, they stumbled – giggling – into their ground floor suite with a french window opening onto the terrace beside the pool. They felt impassioned and liberated. They proceeded to undress each other and ended up making passionate love on the huge four poster bed in their room until they fell asleep in each other’s arms – spent and content.
A couple of hours later, they were awoken by a loud banging noise emanating from above their heads. There was a repetitive thud coming through the wall of their hotel bedroom from the suite next door. And amidst the banging noises were those unmistakable groans and sighs.
Ah well, they thought, we’ll just wait fifteen minutes and the couple next door will fall asleep just as we did. They were probably swept up by the stunning desert location – and celestial food and wine – like we were.
But the banging continued for an hour. And on it went. My friend and his wife were far too English to tell their neighbours to be quiet.
After two hours had passed, my friend’s wife seemed to be framing him with a mounting air of critique.
After three hours had passed, my friend was feeling rather small and was pretending to be deeply ensconced in a replay of a particularly dull game of football involving Raja Casablanca and FAR Rabat on Moroccan TV.
Soon after the 0-0 match ended, so did the neighbours. The TV was switched off and my friend and his wife slept as best they could to relish the remaining couple of hours before breakfast was due to be served on the terrace by the pool.
They were the first guests up for breakfast that morning and wore sunglasses. As they tucked into their croissants and sipped on their fresh mango juices at a table beside the shimmering pool, my friend could see his wife’s eyes darting to and fro behind her Ray Bans – between her breakfast and their vigorous neighbours’ hotel suite french windows.
My friend admitted to me afterwards he was scared. Who was this man? This superman? He confessed to me he was dreading a Cary Grant or a Brad Pitt appearing from the neighbouring suite wearing Speedos and sporting a six pack. Later pulling up a lounger by the same pool they would be lying beside all day under the resplendent Moroccan sun. My friend was so bothered he says he broke into a sweat. His dread was palpable. And then – finally – the French windows opened and a woman walked out.
By this time, my friend’s wife was staring with fixed glare in the same direction as my trembling friend. Their eyes transfixed on the outline of a shape approaching the French windows from inside their neighbours’ suite. Here he was. The Leviathan. Who could this superhero be?
And then out walked another woman.
At this point my friend was a nervous wreck. His croissant was no longer a croissant – now reduced to a series of flakes spread across his plate and lap as if his two year old Leo had been eating it. He was expecting Zeus himself to emerge from the French windows now. Could he be an adult film star perhaps? An Olympian? Perhaps an all-conquering All Black?
But no Zeus appeared. The second woman turned and closed the French windows; locking them with her guesthouse key. The two women then took the table alongside theirs and the two couples exchanged polite smiles as guests at foreign guest houses tend to do.
It took some time – but, finally, the truth dawned and my friend’s masculinity was restored. And his wife asked him to pass the honey.
So, dear Remainiac friends and Thursday’s Leaviacs too, please pay heed for all our sake:
The oldest and most powerful human emotion is fear, and the oldest and most powerful fear we can have is fear of the unknown. Until Brexit is negotiated, perhaps it is best not to worry at all. For, as that most wise saying goes, Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due. Britain has no need for any Premature Remainiacs – Premainiacs. Let’s just wait for the negotiations, shall we? Now is a time for stiff upper lips. Let’s deal with any “bumps in the road” … when, if ever, they come.