Europe. I know, I know, we’re all sick of Brexit but Youngest Child is Not Happy. Not Happy at all. Her displeasure started when she woke up one morning last year and discovered her father was a “migrant”. Never mind that he’s been here for 40 years paying tax, working, contributing to the economy and learning the etiquette of queuing (although he’s never taken to panto or salad cream) – months on, his status, like thousands of others in Scotland is uncertain.
Now that events have forced us to think about identity, we realise that our household is a happy mix of Scots, Sassenachs (as my dad used to call my mother, in jest, causing her to throw pans, in jest), Europeans, New Worlders, itinerants, inabootcomers and Jock Tamson’s bairns, the “purest” indigene being Biggie Smalls, the feline fae Fife. We can trace our First Nationer back through a long line of farm cats, although the big ginger tom from across the field (a handsome beast identical to young Biggs) remains silent on the paternity issue. However, go back far enough and cats came from Asia, Africa, China and the Middle East anyway. Fortunately Biggie says he has no plans to visit the Land of the Free. He’ll be staying on my bed as usual.
So my happy householders all pledged our allegiance to the Remain flag, but now it seems Europe itself has shaken Youngest Child’s commitment down to its roots. Literally. Her hair roots. She’s decided on highlights.
“Will you make me an appointment please?”
“Why bother? You’re blonde anyway, that’ll be your Cornish/Viking genes, not the Pict/European ones...”
“Who cares. Please phone. Pleeeeeease.”
“Aw sorry, they won’t do you,” I report. “It’s illegal under European law for hairdressers to colour the hair of an Under 16.”
“Well I know LOADS of people my age who’ve had them done,” she says.
“Maybe I could do them?”
“Well never mind,” I say.
“This isn’t over,” she says.
No doubt. As far as Youngest is concerned, Highlights means highlights.