Two regions, alike in dignity. And united only in their hatred of one another.

When I moved to the south of England five years ago, I didn’t realise that it would soon become my mission not just to defend my homeland but to repeatedly explain exactly where it is. I hadn’t thought about the fact that the British voting map divides as much by the north-south line as our […]

I read the news today…

Incidentally, I have an early memory of walking home from the paper shop with my dad, dodging the uneven bits of pavement and singing about ‘4000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire’. My musical indoctrination clearly started from an early age. But anyway. I am currently in the grips of what I think of as a news […]

L’anglaise et la mer

I grew up on an island. A reasonably sized island, a country, where we eat fish but don’t necessarily live by the coast. (Indeed, even when I was taken to the ‘seaside’ as a child, it was often the Blackpool-Southport area, where the tide goes out so far that you can’t even catch a glimpse […]

What they miss out in history at school

This year is 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War. You probably didn’t need me to tell you that, since we’re not exactly allowed to forget. This war and it’s sequel, 25 years later, seem to have been stuck on the history curriculum ever since, as a reminder of how justified British […]

Napoleon and me

You know, after last week, I decided that it was important not to just concentrate on the big subjects, that they might be a bit too famous, and have already had a bit too much critical attention thrown on them to be tackled by little old me in a few hundred words. So this week […]