Friday 19 February 2016
I am writing to inform you of an important referendum that is due to take place that you may have heard about. On the first day of this year, that is Friday 1 January 2016, I informed my family of my decision to hold a referendum on whether or not I should be allowed to go skiing without them this winter or next. Well, as you can imagine they were flabbergasted and aghast. I informed them that the referendum was in the best interests of the family in terms of increased productivity, unity and social cohesion. To this I was sure they would agree. I pledged that I would work tirelessly in the coming months to get the best possible deal I could for the family.
Aware that the negotiations would be fraught, my preference for the date of the referendum was June 23 so I could wrap it up and get on the slopes this winter. There I would traverse the Alpine vistas with a hip flask of fine English whisky and music streamed to my ears: Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Wake Up’, no wait, Ultravox’s ‘Hymn’, ‘the power and the glory, till my kingdom comes’ and ‘Love’s Great Adventure’, ‘I spoke a million words, they didn’t mean that much to me’; and in the bars at night I would drink litre glasses of Kronenbourg (is this ok, Lynton? Perhaps John Smiths?), whilst innocently watching smiling Swedish girls gyrate on the dance floor.
In anticipating my family’s shock at the announcement I informed them that this was a historic moment as they had never taken part in a referendum of this kind and had never had a say. I think they really appreciated this. Unfortunately our youngest, 5, cried when she realised she was too young to vote, but I explained that the referendum was about grown-up things and that my absence for two whole weeks would not affect her in any way.
For the next two months I negotiated tirelessly in the public houses around where I live, with some even further afield, often, and exhausted, not arriving home until the early hours. On this I tried to get the best deal I could for Briton (Bethany, my wife). I fought for Briton. I battled for Briton. Eventually I negotiated what I truly believe was a deal that is best for Briton and which achieved everything I set out to achieve.
I didn’t want any thanks, I explained to my family. I would leave that to history and the Evening Standard. I informed them of the details of the deal and recommended that they vote yes at the referendum. Briton was at first unsure that the deal really was the best for Briton, and my eldest was a sceptic from the word go, until I reminded her of the new bike she would get for Christmas. Roll on Alpine vistas.
See you at the next referendum.
James Montgomery Briton,