I awoke to find that the inevitable had happened, the UK has left the EU. Due to a long story about messing up a postal proxy vote I didn’t get to participate in this circus but I’d have voted to remain. While I’m no huge fan of the EU institution, I was part of the group that was content with the status quo and believe that it offered the best opportunities for younger people. Remaining in the EU also helps the spending power of my UK Sterling abroad. For what it’s worth I thought that the whole campaign was poor. There was an unprecedented amount of scaremongering and patronising the electorate from both sides. Prior to checki-out this morning, I watched a bit of the television coverage. Nigel Farage made himself look even more arrogant and obnoxious than he previously has, something that takes some doing. He genuinely seemed to believe that 17 million people had voted for him. Farage was Nero-like when dismissing questions about economic misery, preferring to propose 23 June as Independence Day and a future national holiday. On the Remain side there was plenty of bile being thrown about. Clearly the vast majority of these 17 million are not racist, xenophobic little Englanders. For whatever reason they genuinely thought that change was in the best interests of the country. Throughout my travels I’ve found the UK to be one of the more tolerant of places. Hopefully we can move on and the divisiveness and vitriol of the last few months will ease off. Anyway that’s enough of the politics, hopefully for the rest of this blog. I’ve seriously questioned whether to leave this paragraph in the blog but it may be something interesting to look back at in a few years.

The bus trip from Knoxville to Chattanooga should have been a leisurely couple of hours down the freeway, as they refer to the motorway over here. Well it would’ve been if one of the back tyres of the coach didn’t blow out. It wasn’t as dramatic as that sounds. One minute we were cruising down the road and the next it became a bit bumpy. We then sat on the white painted lines between the slow lane and a slip road for two hours until the tyre repair service turned up. He wanted everyone off the bus while he changed the tyre. This involved everyone running across the slip road and onto the grass banking. The old tyre was absolutely shredded, slightly scarily. It then took another hour before we were on our way again, arriving in Chattanooga at teatime, three hours late but all safe and sound.

At the Chattanooga hotel I was assigned a room that someone else was always staying in. This is the third time this has happened to me. One contained a sleeping gentleman who didn’t rouse. On the other occasion (and this time as well), the occupants weren’t around but I feel I’m riding my luck with this now. Sooner or later I’m going to get punched (or even shot in this part of the world) for walking into the wrong room. As if the day couldn’t get any worse I then proceeded to wash my headphones while they were in my shirt pocket!

Close-up of the shredded tyre