England (an occasional series)

25Jun10

Lord knows I tried. I was even there when the ITV high def channel switched to an advert during the England-USA game. But I can’t do this.

It’s only a game, no matter how much hype you dress it in, and no matter how much advertising and corporate sponsorship goes into it on the infallible assumption that we’re all idiots some of the time.

There’s more to England than football, thank goodness.

England is lots of wonderful things, ‘specially in summer. Here’s a good start:

“There are more ways than one of getting close to your ancestors. Follow the old road, and as you walk, think of them and of the old England. They climbed Chillingbourne Hill, just as you. They sweated and paused for breath just as you did today. And when you see the bluebells in the spring and the wild thyme, and the broom and the heather, you’re only seeing what their eyes saw. You ford the same rivers. The same birds are singing. When you lie flat on your back and rest, and watch the clouds sailing, as I often do, you’re so close to those other people, that you can hear the thrumming of the hoofs of their horses, and the sound of the wheels on the road, and their laughter and talk, and the music of the instruments they carried. And when I turn the bend in the road, where they too saw the towers of Canterbury, I feel I’ve only to turn my head, to see them on the road behind me.”

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3 Responses to “England (an occasional series)”

  1. Hi Eugenem brilliant writing dear boy – but I thought you were irish? However, the same pulses stir in our veins. Hope you are OK. Are you going to Kim’s thing? I am writing a new novel – my sixth. It’s a wartime comedy thriller called PG Tips Think you might like it. Are you still at Venue????

  2. Wotcher Will … Oh yes, Irish indeed, but, you know, have lived in England most of. I’ve long been intrigued as to the exact nature of Englishness, the more so since the other nations of Britain are breaking away. Still at Venue a bit of the time. Good luck with novel; let us know when it’s out. Am currently writing fiction myself for first time in years. It’s not as painful as I remember … Might not make Kim’s London do, but hopefully the one in Somerset if it happens this year.

    • It’s a fascinating topic. England Britain no longer synonyms. I relate very much to the concept of Englishness as have spent a life time as a journalist being slagged off by pissed off people from the other nations.(Example – even if you call them fucking nations they are pissed off because it’s the wrong word!) Well let them break away. Britain was merely an artificial entity created by expanding colonial power- Vaughan Williams, sky larks, crisps, satellite dishes, James Bond films, Marmite. Good luck with your writing. Cheers will


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