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#PeoplesVoteMarch

On Saturday 23 March 2019, I joined the People’s Vote march – and made history.

I met a schoolfriend at 11:30, another Manx transplant paying British taxes and living as an “other” in a city of 9 million people, 37% of whom are born outside of the UK. Our parents messaged us throughout the course of the afternoon offering support and admiration that we were joining the thousands of people giving up their weekend to make their voice heard and presence felt on the streets of Westminster. Our mums told us to take care, which turned out not to be necessary. I had never felt so bouyed and welcomed in London as I did today.

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Spotting the most creative placards was a fun game while we stop-started along the road to Green Park. The team behind the People’s Vote campaign, who organised the event, handed out daffodil coloured t-shirts and Union Jack flags (the latter of which I passed on, being Manx-born). There were babies as young as a few months old, and people well into their eighties. Every single person was upbeat, friendly, and dare I even say hopeful.

It’s impossible to know the scale of the crowds today without the aid of a drone or helicopter. The BBC have captured this footage, which I caught a glimpse of on Twitter somewhere around St. James’s Park despite the phone networks being down for most of the afternoon.

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We were very close to the front of the march and passed Downing Street at 14:15 before the flow of people came to a standstil. Protest groups and ad agencies had utilised electronic billboards showing tweets from politicians throughout the last few years, demonstrating their change of stance on the ‘B’ word that to date has cost us over £40bn.

In years to come, historians will write approvingly of the British people’s passionate, peaceful and successful fight against Brexit. They will say that as our institutions buckled under the strain, Britain found its voice. And you will be able to say to your children and grandchildren: “I was there. I stood up for my country, I faced down the extremists, I protected your future.” So come today. Join us. Let’s get our country back. – Lord Adonis, writing for The Guardian on 23 March 2019

I can’t say for certain that I know how I’d vote if a General Election was called. At this point, I might even say I have lost hope in the current political system to deliver an effective government that could represent the myriad communities that make up our great nation. Perhaps electoral reform is the only way we can realistically hope for change.

I am British. I am an EU citizen. Today, I am proud to call myself a Londoner.

News, Singing, Travel, Updates

Happy New Year!

Christmas Dinner!
Christmas Dinner

The weather may have been terrible but overall it has been a very relaxing and enjoyable Christmas holiday. It has been great to spend time with friends old and new and I’m sad to be saying goodbye to those who have made the leap across the Irish Sea (they’ll come back one day… everyone does).

2015 was undeniably one of the most challenging years I have ever experienced, but the payoff for those challenges was enormous.

I began 2015 as an NQT at Castle Rushen High School, working as a music teacher in a two-person department. The rigorous training I received at Bristol University the year before proved to have been worth the blood and sweat, as I was able to ‘hit the ground running’ and remember most of my students’ names within the first half term (tip: this is the most effective behaviour management technique any teacher can utilise). It was a lot of fun and I wish my former pupils all the best; if you’re reading this, I’m sure I’ll see you at orchestra soon.

My experience working at French Woods Performing Arts camp in New York state over the summer was quite unlike anything I could’ve ever imagined. I hoped I’d make some new friends, meet a cute guy or two, travel a little and learn some new skills. I am forever indebted to my brilliant, eccentric, talented, magnificent and overall bonkers co-staff throughout the summer, who laughed and cried with me for thirteen weeks without so much as a sour word. It was one of the toughest challenges I have ever attempted – including my fairly brutal teacher training – but it has made me a much stronger person. For that I will always be grateful.

My post-camp travels took me on a journey, both literal and (dare I say it without sounding pathetic) spiritual. I started where I began, in New York city. I travelled to Philadelphia, Washington D.C., then on to Los Angeles where I spent an unforgettable week living the ‘Hollywood Dream’ and spending more money than I care to admit. I then met two of my co-counsellors in Chicago, a city in which I felt unusually at home and didn’t want to leave. I enjoyed the view of Boston from the plane as I flew over the Cape, despite leaving the city a day early for the sake of seeing my friends in NYC again before I flew back to the UK.

I have recently made the decision to stay resident on the Isle of Man for the foreseeable future, which is good news for those who were expecting to see me performing in the Guild and other concerts in the next twelve months. After six years of moving back and forth between the UK, US and the island, I am finally settling down to a full-time career and the opportunity to do as much singing as possible. 2015, for its virtues, was fairly unstable, and I am breathing a sigh of relief knowing that I can now refocus my mind on the things that make me most happy.

Long term, I am fully committed to building up a portfolio of songs and repertoire and working closely with other Manx musicians in order to develop broader performing skills.

I am keen to be involved in concerts for charity or otherwise, both as a soloist and as part of choral groups. As always, my email address is elizabeth.florence@me.com.

Blein Vie Noa! Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2016.