Welcome to my day: 13 August 2018 – switching to a walrus-inspired diet

Welcome to Rhode Island, the Ocean State and the smallest in the Union. First to declare independence, and last of the original thirteen States to join the United States, it’s probably the least remarked upon part of New England. It is, having spent the weekend in a quiet corner near the Massachusetts border, rather pretty and, if you’re in the area, worth a peek.

So, why the steamed clams? They’re something of a delicacy in these parts, and thrive in the absence of walruses, whose diets consists largely of clams. And, despite my historic lack of enthusiasm for seafood of most kinds, I’ve spent this evening learning to eat clams and appreciate them. It’s more fiddly than I expected.

Otherwise, it’s been an interesting weekend, observing events from a distance. Is Boris Johnson simply a crass racist, or is he pivoting towards mainstream thought amongst Conservative Party members in an attempt to secure the succession to Theresa May? I’m guessing both.

The logic underpinning Brexit continues to unravel, and trying to explain it to Americans requires answering more disbelieving questions than ever before (other, less engaged, Americans are also available, unfortunately…). There’s talk of how Ireland will benefit from inward American investment that might once have come to Britain, and of the impact that increasing use of English across continental Europe has on where new plants or regional headquarters might be located.

Withdrawal of the Article 50 letter, or crashing out without a deal? Is the Government capable of agreeing a stance that can then be negotiated over with the European Union without being dead on arrival? I fear not, with the implications that this has.

But what do I have for you today?

It’s amazing what comes out of casual conversation, and on talking to our American hosts this weekend about the differences and similarities between our two rural communities, an idea was put to me about how Rhode Island has addressed a problem of local government finance. See what you think?

Richard Fisher thinks that we need to be talking about big, liberal ideas and not just Brexit. Actually, I agree with him, although that’s not why I’m publishing it.

And that, as I fade towards sleep on this side of the Atlantic, is all we currently have scheduled. When I awake, we’ll see what else has come in, or whether I’m inspired further. And until then, good night, or good morning…

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