Site Logo  England
  
When I started the site it was intended to be about teaching. Then it developed along the lines of my experiences gained through teaching. When I added a page for each place Iíve worked in it never occurred to me at the time that I have in fact lived and worked in England. How often do we overlook the most obvious things. Anyway, after a little thought and delving into my memory bank, I did come to the conclusion that there are a few things I could say about the place. Quite a lot in fact.

England was invented in 1142 by accident when a man called Albert England was out walking his dog and found that the St Georgeís cross kept sticking to the dogís fur. He swiftly moved to patent it and after an appearance on Dragonís Den was able to obtain a five groat investment from a dragon which he would later slay after a disagreement over the business plan.
Early days were marked with revolting peasantry and hot cross buns, but as the fledgling state began to develop a sense of national pride it would top the league in sports as diverse as flag planting, gadget creation and even football, until it gave up the winning habit for some five centuries. It produced heroes and villains, Saints and Greavesies, the likes of whom have breathed life into an already fond adventure. It has given the world trains, trainers and probably drains and drainers too, such is our ability to mesh necessity and mothers.


But joking aside, a nation of diversity, inimitable (as Dick van Dyke found out) and dignified, England has been central to much of human history for the last 2,500 years, perhaps not always proudly or willingly, but oh so often unavoidably. It is a magnet for tourism, business, trade and those seeking the best education. England is also a hugely diverse country given its size, from rolling hills to jagged peaks, endless plains to sandy beaches, its landscape as varied as its weather. It boasts more languages than almost any other nation on Earth yet its own is the lingua franca almost anywhere you go.
Its musicians, writers and thinkers have guided, informed and inspired millions for centuries, from the powerful works of Shakespeare to the magic of Harry Potter. We Brits have made the world laugh, cry, dance and sing, play and study, often all at the same time (although perhaps not the same people at the same time). We have taught people art, science, how to fly, how to drive, how to sail. We gave the world the internet, the flagship of modern communication. Without British spirit in Churchillís day we may all be living in a very very different world now. Sure, nobody knows how different, we never will.

I lived in England for 30 years which is enough time to get to know it, along with all its idiosyncrasies. Being away is not so hard as other parts of the world appeal to me too, but I canít forget some of the magic of my birth nation. I love the green countryside and picturesque little villages. We have very varied cities, London for example encompasses periods from Roman times onward, as do smaller towns such as Bath and York. There is also the coast, never the same round some several thousand miles of its distance. We have mountains, plains and cliffs, not always so big but England more than any nation on Earth proves to the world that size truly does count for nothing.
English people arenít always polite and friendly but we do have that reputation and for the most part have earned it honestly. Iíve never heard anybody stress an opinion to the contrary anyway. There may be a certain suspicion of other countries at times, and most British people think weíd be better off out of the EU. I agree, not from a British superiorist point of view, just I donít think the EU acts in Britainís interests. Besides, if we are a democracy how can you justify acting against the will of such a huge majority of people? They wonít give us a referendum on Europe because they already know the result. And in the absence thereof, it becomes easier to argue that in fact the people do want to remain a member state. No, we are British, many of us would rather be British and poor than European and wealthy, mistakenly maybe, but thatís the way it is. If you ask me, weíd be better off managing our own affairs.

But donít be fooled, British streets are not paved with gold and nor are all British families rolling in cash. Many of them live below the poverty line, and this is not a blip and is not set to change. The two party political system essentially produces democratically elected governments but effectively at the expense of having a government who has the courage to do whatís needed. Instead they smile sweetly and ask us to vote for them again, as they find feeble excuses for rising crime and unemployment, as well as the national embarrassment that is the British railways. Many of us believe the spin, quite sad really, I wonder how many people know Britain started the last century with the highest standard of living in the world and now lingers around about 27th place.
Mind you, weíd still whinge about something were we in the top 5.
Iím still for good old Blighty though, bring out the Union Jack and blow those trumpets! Only, I have also come to know that other countries have just as much to offer too, in their own way.