Early on Wednesday, I’ll begin the long drive to Britain, so familiar and yet now so remote. Everything has changed since I was last there, including the border I have often been waved through, without even being asked to show my passport. Now, sanitary regulations require a series of forms, declarations and tests. Websites and emails warn that ‘If you are unable to produce the necessary documentation when required you will be refused travel.’ Brave new world.
My intention is not to stay, now, though private and public events make any forecast unwise. There is a lot to be done, and it will be better do it while I can. The states and corporations on whom we now depend (try travelling to Britain now without online skills and resources) require us to narrate our lives on their behalf. They do not believe in the unexamined life (though they would put Socrates to death in a moment). My mind is settled, my heart sad but fortified. My future is here, in France, in Europe, without illusions but with hope. And, all being well, I won’t be away for long.