This England: thoughts as I approach my third year of being away

So what do I think of when I think of “home”?

First of all, what is “home”? I’m a pads brat, so it’s quite hard for me to say. There are two images of England, of the United Kingdom.

“Picture postcard” Britain:

  • Buckingham Palace
  • Guardsmen in bearskins
  • Big Ben
  • Warm beer
  • History
  • Tradition

Then there’s the other side, based on my own experiences and prejudices gained in towns like Middlesbrough and Bracknell, aka, Broken Britain.

  • The European “centre of excellence” for single mothers
  • Sink estates
  • Low aspirations of youngsters, coupled with low expectations
  • Way too many “neets” (under-25’s who are “not in employment, education or training”), arguably the latest generation of “proles” from George Orwell’s book 1984.

Oh well, back to the UK I fly on 3rd January.  I always remember the words of my Grandma.

When you close your living room curtains, the whole world looks the same.

God willing, please God, I’ll be “stationed” in Düsseldorf again from the start of February.  If not, then Schatz and I will be getting to know Heathrow Airport quite well.

Have a sliding day, won’t you!  (Those of you who speak German will understand that expression.)



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