I recently heard a song by English folk bank The Shires, called ‘Made in England‘ and it reignited my love of the funny little island tagged on to Northern Europe. It sings the praises of England’s grey skies and the fact that when you step off the plane it will probably be raining… but the chorus happily declares:
Cause I’m made in England
And I’m proud to be
From this little island
It’s more than home to me
Yes, I’m made in England
Nowhere I’d rather be
Rainy days and milk in my tea
Is good enough for me
We’re all a little guilty of berating our homeland from time to time and looking with desperate envy at the amazing places other people had the chance to grow up, but the older I get, the more proud I am of being English. Yes I could have grown up on a beach, or skiing in the mountains, or somewhere hot, or exotic, and if that’d been the case I’d probably be a completely different person speaking a different language now and I’m sure would have taken a very different path through life. In short, where we’re from shapes who we are.
What other nation could know and love lyrics like:
I only want a beer
If it’s poured in a pint
The taste of vinegar and salt on my lips, oh yeah
There’s nothing like a Friday night fish and chips
Sitting out, there in a coat, on a cold pebble beach
The grass will always be greener and human nature means we will never be truly satisfied with what we have, but we should always take the time to appreciate where we grew up and the memories we can take from it. From the mindless tv shows and pop songs we remember as kids, to the quirks and oddities of the people, and from the ridiculous eating habits that no other culture will ever understand to the weather we always complain about, it’s who you are.
I do give it some stick sometimes, and I don’t live there now (there are no skiable mountains and very little snow…!) but I’d never choose to have grown up anywhere else. Good old England!