I was one of the million plus people marching on Saturday.
At the time of writing, there are fewer than ten working days left until the UK is scheduled to leave the EU. No one knows what is going to happen, and no outcome has been adequately prepared for. Living in a constant state of uncertainty is not good for the mind, or for the financial situation of a nation.
Last week, the UK Parliament voted against leaving the EU without a deal, and in favour of an extension. But all this is meaningless without action. Unless the Article 50 notification is revoked or an extension is requested and agreed with the unanimous consent of the European Council, the UK is leaving next Friday.
There are now 16 days, 23 hours, and 53 minutes left until the UK leaves the EU with no withdrawal agreement, unless something changes very soon.
It’s not looking good.
As I wrote recently, I’ve been working on using LilyPond to produce attractive and readable shamisen sheet music. It’s not all been for my own purposes, though. I’ve used it to put together a free collection of traditional pieces that I have learned, so that others can benefit from more readable scores.
If the UK’s Article 50 period were a progress bar, it would now be at 97%. When it reaches 100%, the UK will leave the EU by automatic operation of law in circumstances that are currently unknown.
I’ve been playing the Tsugaru shamisen for a couple of years, with a lesson almost every week. In that time, I’ve made good progress, and I’ve learned a whole lot of pieces. What I haven’t seen much of, however, is good quality sheet music.
The shamisen has its own tablature-based notation system. As it’s quite a niche instrument, especially outside Japan, there’s not really much software to help with making scores, and a lot of scores are handwritten and/or multiple-generation photocopies that are hard to read.
Motivated by one particularly illegible score I was trying to learn, I decided to do something about it.
I knew they’d make a mess of this. I just didn’t anticipate quite how much of a mess.
As of today, there are twenty-six days to go until the UK leaves the EU. With a deal? Without a deal? Nobody knows. With things staying mostly the same? Crashing out with tailbacks at ports, shortages, and chaos? Nobody knows. What happens about Northern Ireland? Nobody knows, and, at least on this side of the Irish Sea, nobody seems to care.