My final words on the EU referendum (at last)

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm so excited for this whole referendum lark to be over. It's got all the excitement and apathy of Christmas meets Eurovision, but where you know Australia are going to bring a tornado as their entry.

If this is Christmas, then I'm somewhat fortunate to have been selected several months ago to be on Santa's good list of young uns and that the general public want to know what I want to Christmas. If this is Eurovision, I'm one of those screaming families that records their ridiculous parties and Graham Norton shows them to the world.

For whatever reason, the BBC chose me to be a part of their coverage of the EU referendum along with 200 other 18-25 year olds. For all intents and person, we are the ominous, unheard, marginalised "voice of the youth".

But for the best part of the program I've been a totally silent voice of the youth, basically getting a lot of exciting phone calls then being told the day before I wasn't needed. In fact, I've posted more memes and tongue in cheek humour on the Facebook group (and a question about referendum night - but we'll keep that to ourselves) than I've spoken about voting to Remain on air.

Things started to pick up drastically when I went to Stoke (a line I never thought I'd say) for a radio debate piece last week, and Tuesday lunch saw me in Salford (which I thought was near Kingston but apparently not) for another radio debate.

I'm standing on the train platform ready to commence the trek home on Tuesday afternoon, and find that whilst I was having an especially cheeky Nando's, I received a missed call, a voicemail and an email from the same person. I call back and am told the Beeb would like me in Manchester the next morning at 6.30am. I can do this, I mentally prep myself for the ludicrous time I'll have to get a taxi, I once got up at 3am to run away from my problems in a hot air balloon.

But, no, they want to book me a hotel and me to head "up" that night. I explain I am "up" and need to head "down" before I can head "up" again.

Please remember this is the blog of someone once rigorously mocked on YikYak for her eagerness to go literally anywhere for under £10, someone who owned spare toothbrushes to carry with her always in case of an adventure.* I had a headache before I left Manchester and I'm pretty sure I groaned when I was told the plan, but I said yes anyway because a) About 70% of my choices are made by thinking "will it be a story one day?" b) I'd just read On The Road by Jack Kerouac c) I'm a bit of an up-for-anything idiot.

Armed with a pair of Douglas Adams books - for entertainment, not supporting my arguments, though the way the campaigns are going I may as well have - more sugary food than you'd believe and anything and everything I would and wouldn't need for a single night stay in a hotel, I headed back "up".

Being chauffeured door to door seems like a really cool idea, but it got a bit literal when my door handle was broken and I needed a receptionist to open my hotel room door. Long gone were the plans for a drink at the bar for fear of drunkenly tackling said door a few hours later.
Here's what I learnt in Manchester:

  1. It's hard to make a fort in a Jury's Inn bedroom.
  2. No hotel shower is pleasant.
  3. Jury's Inn have free WiFi.
  4. Jury's Inn have hair dryers without you having to ask.
  5. Hotel rooms have great lighting for selfies.
  6. If you "comment" about waking up at 5am, someone will "comment" about being up since 4am.
  7. Halloumi is a perfectly acceptable breakfast food.
  8. The best photos of me are taken in eateries with red mock-leather booths.
  9. People care more about the Euros than the Referendum now.
Here's what I didn't learn:
  1. How early morning TV presenters look happy.
I intended to explore Manchester but all I did was buy and send postcards, get lost in Debenhams, and get a train to a big hill. When I answered a call to someone asking about my thoughts on the referendum, I was surprisingly happy when the signal went, so I moved to an area with no signal on said hill

I am sick and tired of the referendum but here's my biggest point: I wanna travel on the cheap. I got to do that (thanks Beeb) for a night in Manchester and it reminded me of something. In fact, this was something I mentioned on Radio 5 Live when we were discussing migration across Europe.

What's so wrong with helping other people? What's so, so brilliant about our gentrified, Americanised blot on the ocean that makes us so superior to people who can actually win Eurovision? Why do we think we're better off without helping each other? Why does anyone think they're better off separate?

Whatever, don't argue with me on this because I'm fed up of the referendum. Thanks to the bunch at the BBC I've met some solid people and had really awesome experiences. And that's the best thing to have come out of this whole thing.

Also I saw a dog in the coffee shop this morning.


*Note the past tense "owned". I left them at my mate's house and in a "big clear out" he threw them away. As said friend is voting to Leave, I really think he make a dangerous choice because tomorrow's outcome could affect our friendship even before he threw my stuff out but there we go.

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