A final few years of Lotus eating in a quiet and tranquil setting, and then perhaps a few treasured memories would come to mind. I thought that there would be enough time to put pen to paper; to savour the past, whilst living somewhere cheap and cheerful. At least cheap enough to let an average British pensioner cover his living expenses.
That was ten years ago, and together with some savings, I have managed to live a comfortable no frills life in a village in Evros. Close to the Turkish and Bulgarian borders and in the heart of Greek farming country, it is where I found peace and quiet, and the opportunity to write.
I have always kept a friendly eye on British politics, and politics in general. Having lived in Greece through their years of austerity, I have watched how people subsist, observed the closeness of families who clearly stick together and helped one another through the economic crisis. To put it simply, I like and admire the Greeks for their fortitude and their gift of survival.
But, I do not like some of their Byzantine governmental methods of collecting taxes, especially the monthly electricity bill, and the way over the years I have been forced to pay for items which in no way I could be responsible for, or partly responsible for, or to actually need.
Because I was not living in Greece when a spendthrift government decided to throw money around like a demented man with four arms, this is a little billing item which gets up my nose, because we foreigners cannot be held in any way responsible for past Greek fiscal behaviour, and yet we pay.
For me this also includes a fee or a monthly TV charge. Can you think of anything of interest on TV, which you cannot get from the internet? And why are there so many competing news programmes comprising rows of blabbering political acolytes, all speaking at the same time. Together with some dreadful films – probably free off the internet – what else does the Greek TV offer the British pensioner, other than instilling a profound knowledge of the Greek processed cheese industry?
So, it’s now time to have a closer look at Boris Johnson. Yes, I know, it makes you feel sick as a dog the very mention of his name, but whilst we all decided to live somewhere in the Balkans, Brexit has managed somehow to mangle most of our income via the Forex market, and the 30% depreciation of the British Pound.
But what is more alarming is the fact that the current British government is also planning to cut off our reciprocal Medicare arrangements between all EU governments, for the payment of treatment, and vital medicines. As a diabetic myself, with a serious need for insulin, I can well understand the concern that expats have – not only for their financial future – but their very lives as well, and in the context of the current Johnson government there seems very little hope for any political or practical intervention. So what can we do?
The British Embassies are rather like Banks, who only offer you an umbrella if the sun is shining, or in the case of the former, trot out Borris Bollocks as if it is helpful information. But in truth, they only offer Brexit threats, carefully made to unnerve us all. Perhaps some embassy officials do their best, but most are as useful as a chocolate teapot.
We now know that a “no deal” Brexit is a scam for “Shorting the British Pound,” but then why should we suffer, and medicines and treatment represent only some of the issues? I have had a beige internal passport for years, which is not the biggest problem, believe me, but there are more sensitive issues which must be addressed, and we should now try to help one another on Facebook. We all know what Boris is, but we also need some practical help, in how to deal with him!