I don’t really have a great deal of Nationalism built into me. I feel privileged to have been born in a Country that still takes care of it’s sick and injured, that doesn’t just throw its most vulnerable and poor onto the scrap heap to rot, and that has such a plethora of cultural differences from North to South; and I feel privileged to have been born into a Country with such a rich history.
Sometimes I need reminding of what it is I expressively love about England. Our southern coast is perhaps top of my list of what I love. It feels entirely different to any other coast I’ve visited. It has, almost a nostalgic heritage about it. I am reminded of the old Hovis adverts we used to get on TV years ago. The idealistic small villages with the cobblestone roads and small streams. The kid on the bike with the basket at the front. The old Georgian style cottages with broken autumn leaves covering them. Everyone knowing each other. Everyone having a Yorkshire accent, or perhaps a Somerset accent. They’re very similar accents, at entirely opposite ends of the country. We should move Somerset up by Yorkshire. That is my idealistic view of England. The reality is obviously far different; and whilst villages like that idealistic model do certainly exist across the country; we have spent the past fifty years being shoved into high rise flats so that the very wealthy can buy the beautiful Georgian cottages, price everyone else out the market, and slowly destroy the villages (see Beadnell in Northumberland).
Anyway, before this turns into a rant, I thought I would play you the song that evokes such a strong sense of nostalgia and English heritage, in me. I have this song on my iPod in my car. It is a nice relaxing way to drive home from work, and it manages to take me away from the miserable work I just left, and puts me briefly in a kind of time warp; an utterly different time and a completely different place. It sparks memories of my childhood, when I actually had no worries whatsoever, despite thinking I had every worry in the World at the time. It captures 20th Century middle class England beautifully. The song is Symphony No 9, 2nd movement, from The New World’ by Antonin Dvorák.