No, Sir, after you …

It’s a cliche universally acknowledged that two Englishmen in close proximity is a queue in want of a purpose. The way by which one may distinguish a true Englishman (and I use man in the widest sense, inasmuch as it includes any and everybody) from those others who merely wish they were English is simple: place a random selection of people in a room and the ones who form a queue (even if the queue is to escape the room) are truly English. I wonder if UKIP use this fact in their campaigns, targeting the queues that form for no reason other than the laws of gravity (English, remember)? You certainly never hear them talk about immigrants waiting to enter the country, while Cameron, in his turn, seems intent on starting the naturalisation process early, by making ‘them’ wait before they may claim benefits. It’s a wonder he hasn’t said that ‘they’ must ‘wait in line like the rest of us’. Continue reading

A very english day at the beach

(first published 11th March 2012)

It was one of those sundays. There was just enough March sun to justify, if not necessitate, the pulling down of the roof for the coast road journey from East to West. There is no feeling like it, and the long, winding roads that thread the flatlands behind the Kent seawall are simply breathtaking when taken at speed. The A259 had been closed for several weeks, and the detour took me through Lydd and a series of other villages I’ve never before visited. They do rather remind me of the fens. And it’s not merely the flatness. Continue reading