on being a heartbroken immigrant

this was a family blog, but not today. today we swear, so stay away if colourful vocabulary upsets you


*thank you to the 48%


I am an EU immigrant in Britain, an inpat if you like. Ten years ago I moved to Bristol and the rest is history. Mine was meant to be a quick fling of a couple of years, but it turned into a beautiful love story of 10 years – I fell in love and was certain the feeling was mutual. Until Britain dumped me. 

Let me rewind only a tad bit. The love story. Don't you love a good love story? I do. Mine had butterflies in the belly and sparkly eyes and romantic prose. As Britain got more and more under my skin and I felt myself become part of that great British public, flags and Old Blighty and Queenie waves and all. Fish and chips on Fridays, Shakespeare in the park, Shakespeare in Stratford, queueing like a Brit, the true pros at it, Henley, Ascot, cricket (for Christ's sake I went to Lords!), full English breakfast on Sundays, endless cream teas, Lake District, Peak District, Brecon Beacons, a panto (oh I loved it), lots and lots of West End musicals because life is so much better that way, so many 'sorry' for no good reason that I lost count, and an utter determination to just get on with it. Yeah, I fell for Britain, head over heels in love, and I was happy.

Until Britain dumped me.

Being dumped by Britain is like being dumped by Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – 50% of it loves you and 50% of it wants you out. But dumped you are, in the end. First you face an absolute shock, borderline denial, because you know, you were so happy just the day before and loved up and prepared to take on the world. Then reality hits; you're now alone and lonely and trying very hard not to hate it because Dr Jekyll is still nice and lovable and you can't get over that bloody love you feel, oh why the hell did I let my guard down and just went all in into this cursed relationship, what the hell was I thinking, type of mood. Or maybe that's just me.

As you sit on the sofa eating ice cream from a tub (is there any other way to eat ice cream?? I think not!) you have impure thoughts and you wish it a belly ache with severe diarrhoea, except you don't because how could you, you bloody love the bastard! And there's still that annoying Dr Jekyll, who's been nothing but lovely to you always until you wrapped your heart with a red ribbon and offered it to 'him' on a plate. Because it was bloody mutual, this great love affair with a massive rainy cold spectacularly-wonderful bloody queue-loving island. So as you eat your ice cream in the summer blizzard, because what else? It's f****** July but the weather didn't get the memo, you realise you love this f****** country and it now dumped you. And you feel shit, because it is shit and you are heartbroken.

Heartbroken. Heartbroken. Heartbroken. 
It bloody hurts. Like being poked with a thousand fat needles at the same time (I'm assuming, because fortunately this never happened to me on the literal sense, but it is happening metaphorically). Whilst you have joint pain all over your body and a migraine with mouth ulcers. Painful. So painful you feel it all over your body. Heartbreak is a bummer, if you've ever been there. 

Heartbroken. Heartbroken. Heartbroken.
With tears. And anger. And swearing because swearing relieves stress, I'm sure there are studies about this, but I'm too sad to research that right now. Right now I just want to swear this feeling away, and the last couple of weeks, or this whole year to be exact because it's been f****** painful. 

I too want my country back. The Britain I fell in love with 10 years ago. It was open, and inclusive, and funny, and caring, and so incredibly-beyond-words AMAZING that even the grey skies and endless rain were endearing. The one that made me so proud to be a part of. Except that as with most unilateral breakups, there's no going back. I have tears to cry, realities to accept and a need to figure out my life, but for now and the foreseeable future, I am simply heartbroken. 




  1. 18 July 2016 / 15:58

    Thinking of you, dear Joey, always … and quite speechless, for some weeks now …

  2. 18 July 2016 / 23:32

    Oh Joey Joey Joey. Huuuuuuuuugghs. Sometimes I go an hour without remembering and then someone, on the radio, on the phone, at a meeting and then I remember with oxygen leaving me, asking why why why why why? more hugs xxx

  3. 1 September 2016 / 17:22

    Please post a new article Joey! I keep seeing this and it makes me depressed!

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