It’s all very well blogging about being English, but you’re already asking yourself if I am properly qualified for the job, aren’t you? Hmmm, I thought so; it’s perfectly understandable. Always best to make sure your ‘reliable’ source of information on England is not a French-speaking Haitian living in Timbuktu who’s simply read a bit of Jane Austen.
So; confessions first.
- I have two Spanish cousins by marriage and I’m married to a Scotsman (although he grew up in England).
- I suppose I could be more British, in that my family only moved to England around a thousand years ago (with William the Conqueror as one of his chefs) and before that we were French.
- I have never in my life owned a pair of galoshes (although I have occasionally felt a hankering for some).
However, if you’ll forgive these little discrepancies in my credentials, we can look at the good stuff.
I live in the very middle of England (Oxford to the South, Stratford upon Avon to the North, The Cotswolds to the West and….well, not very much to the East, to be perfectly honest). We inhabit a glorious mellow stone 17th century yeoman farmer’s house with a 1671 date-stone in a teeny weeny village where everyone knows everyone else and there are more sheep than people. I was born and educated in Warwickshire, read Enid Blyton avidly as a child, own a waxed jacket, am frequently seen wearing a twinset and pearls whilst carrying my handbag over the crook of my arm, can effortlessly bring jam to a good rolling boil and make a jolly decent cup of Assam tea (my teapot is my most essential kitchen item).
So if you can find it in your heart to forgive me the obvious oversight of the galoshes, we can make a start in helping you to discover, understand and embrace true Englishness in all its forms.