Maybe we’re just an Island of moaners by nature? I don’t know, but it never ceases to amaze me the number of British people that having had the good fortune of being born here with all the benefits that bestows, then choose to continually denigrate and knock the place. Of course there are things we could all complain about, that’s only natural, it’s a god given right, a perk of being British. However on balance and when set against the security, freedom and opportunities we often take very much for granted, the vitriol with which many of my fellow countrymen slag the place of their birth says more about them, then accurately reflects a balanced view of life on our old little rocky island. Compared to our grandparents, we ‘little Englanders’ of today have it easy. I was born ‘English’, well Yorkshire, with some Welsh, Mountain Ash, Williams blood from my grandfather on my mothers side. Dai Williams stood five foot five in his hobnailed boots and he served in the trenches during the ‘Great’ War. He survived the shelling, the bullets and the bayonets ok but after a couple of years at the front he was badly gassed and sent home on a medical ship. He convalesced and eventually recovered. Unfortunately for him due to his age and previous military service he was one of the first called up for the rematch. Again he survived the Second World War right through to VE day and was demobbed back to Civy Street and the coal mines. He died shortly after from pneumonia complicated by the damage to his lungs caused by the gassing thirty years earlier, and we moan today eh! Having travelled, lived and worked in all four corners of the UK, from the ‘Garden of England’ Kent, the beautiful but then troubled Ulster, to the Wild West of Kernow and the even wilder Cape Wrath in Sutherland, North West Scotland, I feel distinctly British as opposed to English. I love Britain, the history, the landscape and culture, I always have and I’m sure I always will. It’s a connection that grows stronger the more I travel and the older I become. So when British people knock the UK and especially when they do so by comparison to the latest holiday destination they’ve just returned from and are now thinking of moving to, it gets my back up and I get all defensive. Having said all this about the way I feel about our homeland then it could appear strange that I choose to leave this Sceptred Isle and joined the rush for a place in the sun!
Our decision to move away and live abroad had more to do with taking an opportunity to try something different and to experience a new life and culture, rather than any dissatisfaction with our lot in the UK. However this does not appear to be the case with many of our peers, who seem to be totally dissatisfied with how things had or were working out for them at home in Britain, and where they felt they UK was heading.
We are now back in the UK and have the most wonerfull, rich and fullfiling lives.
Pablo Silver or Lead?