For many people certain years are marked in their memories by the events of the time, whether they are personal or historic. “Milestone” years, birthdays that end in a zero, silver wedding etc. are often commemorated by doing something extra special to mark the occasion. This in turn creates deep and lasting memories, memories of people and places that, however old and forgetful one may get, stay firmly lodged in the mind. So it is with death, illness and tragedy, people remember where they were and what they were doing when real tragedy strikes.
For Colin Cross the year 2001 started very badly and continued to disappoint as it wore on. What should have been a momentous period in his life was coloured by a number of friend and family deaths, most of which were unexpected.
Charlie Cross, Colin’s father, finally succumbed to bowel cancer on January 5th 2001, his death wasn’t unexpected but Charlie and Colin had only just reconciled after many years and much that could have been said and done ended up staying unsaid and not done. This weighed heavily on Colins mind. Colin wasn’t happy in his work, 60-70 hours a week and working every weekend was taking its toll both on his body and at home. Colin was secretly gambling and consuming far too much alcohol than he knew was good for him. In March Colin got the news that one of his closest friends had died in a car accident in Eire, leaving a wife and young family, within 2 months 2 of his neighbours, both friends, died suddenly and without warning. In September that year we were treated to the 9/11 atrocity.
On the 2nd of October Colin got a phone call from his sister informing him that their mother had been taken ill, without warning, and was in a pretty bad way. On the same day Colin, worse for drink, fell in the bath and cracked a bone in his wrist meaning his journey back to Yorkshire needed to be done by train rather than by car. Jane Church, nee Cross, nee Penstock died in terrible pain in a filthy unlit room at Doncaster Royal Infirmary on Saturday 6th October and Colin and his sister became orphans.
Things Start to Look Up
Here we get to the real point of the tale, Mrs Cross had long been planning a trip to Rome to celebrate Colins 50th, at first he had said to cancel when he was told about it, but was convinced that it would do him good, life goes on after all. Rome, in 2001, was a fantastic vibrant city, food and drink were reasonably priced, the streets were relatively clean and Colin and his wife had a wonderful time. They ate pizza and drank Peroni near the Trevi fountain on the Friday, walked miles to visit the Vatican and to eat in Trastaverte on the Saturday night (without any concern for their well being), the walk back to the hotel, stopping for the occasional Limoncello was one of the highlights of the weekend . They visited the Coliseum on the Sunday and ate a wonderful meal served by red jacketed and bow tied waiters in the Quattro Fuomi Restaurant in the Piazza Navona on the Sunday evening.
Colin’s belief that Rome and not Paris was the jewel of mainland Europe was, to his mind, proved. Yes there had been Roma beggars in the piazza’s and an African man had tried to sell him a rose on the Sunday night, there were some homeless people living rough by the Termini Roma but, all in all the experience was so great and memorable that the crap of the previous 10 months faded and the trip to Italy was the abiding memory of 2001. The coin, flipped into the Trevi fountain was, Colin hoped, a precursor to further visits.
Fast forward now to 2011 and Colins 60th. Colin had a great job by now and he had just moved into his new house, friends hosted his 60th birthday and the Cross women had provide 60 individual presents for Colin to open. The last one, a large coloured envelope, contained tickets to the Italy v England 6 nation’s game in March, coupled with a 3 night break in Rome. How Colin beamed, Rome, his favourite city in the world, to be shared with his wife and daughters, he couldn’t think of anything more enjoyable.
March 2012 in Rome was cold and snowy, the streets were dirty and on the Friday night, even at 9.45 nearly everywhere near the apart-hotel they’d booked was closed but they managed to scare up a pizza and a beer and turned in, ready for the Saturday adventure. What a change had taken place in 10 years, the walk to the Termini was through streets lined with African men noisily selling counterfeit rubbish from blankets, the buildings around the station area looked neglected and all the little cafes were now full of immigrants on computers. One of the biggest changes was the prices, which were extraordinarily expensive, even given that the English were in town. The piazza’s were full of immigrants and the atmosphere was less than convivial, Colin couldn’t believe how much change there had been and, from what he could see, not for the better. It snowed before and during the match and England scraped a win, the evening meal on the Sunday was excellent (The Quattro Fuomi was closed and shuttered) but, all in all, Rome wasn’t the city that Colin remembered.
Now, here we are a couple of weeks from Colins 65th and we live on a continent that has been culturally and financially raped by an organisation that is determined to create a homogenous super state. An organisation that is so deeply amoral and corrupt that it is willing to condone the murder of its citizens and the cultural decline of its peoples for the sake of globalism, elite liberalism and political expediency. An organisation that has been complicit in creating a mass displacement of people that threatens to dwarf the horrors created by WW 11.
On the 23rd June 2016 we made the historical and sensible decision to leave the EU, we knew what we were voting for and we were happy when we won. Those politicians and celebrities that would deny us our voice should travel to one of the major cities in France, Italy, Germany or Spain and stay in a cheap hotel for a couple of nights, they might get the message. Colin didn’t know what his 65th birthday surprise would be; he just hoped it wasn’t a weekend anywhere in mainland Europe. That is a damning indictment on what the EU has created and just one of the many reasons for Britain to leave the EU totally in the hope that the rest of Europe’s indigenous peoples will take similar steps to restore their countries to former glory.