Countries in the UK
« Where the bloody hell is this Sealand place anyway? I've never heard of it. Can anyone give me the precise map reference (long/lat) so that I can pinpoint it? Off the noth east coast.....would that be just off Sunderland or Hull or some such place? »
It's actually about 10km off the coast of Suffolk.
« Nothing irritates me more than when my Scottish banknotes are chucked back at me down in England (and in Wales for that matter!) Don't they know that Scottish banknotes are actually Sterling as well - exact parity with the standard UK currency notes? We accept those as normal here in Scotland so why the refusal to reciprocate? »
Haha — since my purse will be full of Scottish banknotes from September onwards, I'm going to make a point of trying to use them whenever I go to England. ;) I must say though, I've had a very frustrating time over the past few weeks trying to open a bank account with a Scottish bank — it seems as though I'm going to have to wait until I'm actually in Scotland, which is a pain.
Good luck, Benjamin. Fàilte chridheil oirbh uile!
You will love it here in Scotland....which part? I would be more than pleased to show you round Edinburgh if you would like that?
You will find quite a few differences from England in certain things - banking practices included, and many legal things.
In both Leeds and London I had several heated discussions in shops over the acceptance (or lack of it) of our Scottish banknotes. Gggrrrr.....I'm off on an anti English bender.....
I've just checked a map (google images). It's 10 miles south-east of a town/city called Felixstowe.
« You will love it here in Scotland »
I hope so — I'm really looking forward to it, anyway! (Even if part of my motivation for going is because it's not England, lol). A lot of people here think I'm a bit mad for choosing to go there — and my dad keeps saying 'yer'll've had yer tea' to me in a fake Scottish acent — but I suppose I'm probably a bit mad in general. ;)
« which part? »
St Andrews if I get at least ABB (which I hopefully will), or Aberdeen if I don't but still get at least CCC (which I almost certainly should, unless something has gone horribly wrong). I really liked St Andrews when I visited there last year, but I suppose it's kind of cloud-cuckoo land — I like quiet places, but I just hope that it doesn't become immensely dull after a few years. ^_^
« I would be more than pleased to show you round Edinburgh if you would like that? »
Oouh, yes please! I've only ever had flying visits to Edinburgh before, but I really liked it when I was there — for some reason, I sort of imagine myself living in a Georgian apartment with grand sash windows in Edinburgh's New Town in a few years time (with my fantasy boyfriend, of course!). By the way, am I the only person who thinks that Edinburgh has Waverley Station in the same way that other cities have a large central river?
Waverley station.....the name is linked with our best known Scottish literary hero Sir Walter Scott...he of the great monument alongside Princes Street. Think train stations and for Edinburgh Waverley immediately comes to mind. It's always fun going down all those steps (the station is mostly underground level) and watching all the comings and goings on the main concourse. The nest main station in Edinburgh is Haymarket.
Sorry very pushed for time right now, Benjamin - speak to you later about your comments above. A Georgian town house / apartment in the Auld Toun (Old Town) could well become a reality for you in due course - surrounded by history and romantic connections. I live out in the western suburbs.....not far from the zoo, so I'm in good company.
About the boyfriend bit sharing it with you - why need it be fantasy? The scene in Edinburgh is fantastic.
So I suppose the answer to my original question is...it depends. The situation reminds me a bit of Canada. There was a survey a few years ago asking people throughout the country whether they identified first with their province or the country as a whole, and only Ontarians said that they identified with Canada first. (In case you didn't know, Ontario is the biggest province, with about a third of Canada's population and home to the capital, Ottawa, and the biggest city, Toronto.)
I have another question about identity: What kinds of regional identities are there in England, and how strong are they? There seems to be a Northern identity, since they had a referendum about making an assembly, but since the referendum failed it doesn't seem to be very strong. Are there separate Northeastern and Northwestern identities? Is there a Midlands identity? West Country?
"I have another question about identity: What kinds of regional identities are there in England, and how strong are they? There seems to be a Northern identity, since they had a referendum about making an assembly, but since the referendum failed it doesn't seem to be very strong. Are there separate Northeastern and Northwestern identities? Is there a Midlands identity? West Country?"
I would say there is a strong northern identity, but unlike the Scots we're not so impressed by the smoke and mirror politics of the Labour Party - who needs another layer of idle, useless government anyway?
-North - Geordies (Newcastle) have their own identity as do Scousers (Liverpool), then there's the on-going rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire.
>>Did somebody say Nordic?.<<
Are you Fredrik from Norway?
« I have another question about identity: What kinds of regional identities are there in England, and how strong are they? There seems to be a Northern identity, since they had a referendum about making an assembly, but since the referendum failed it doesn't seem to be very strong. Are there separate Northeastern and Northwestern identities? Is there a Midlands identity? West Country? »
There is a Northern English identity, but even that is broken down into separate section — there is a particularly strong Yorkshire identity, and there are definitely Lancashire, Cumbrian, Northumbrian etc. identities as well.
There is definitely a very strong Cornish identity, to the point that many Cornish people don't even consider Cornwall to be part of England. Devon next-door also has a fairly strong regional identity.
Many cities also have strong identities. Birmingham, where I've always lived, definitely has an identity, but because I don't speak the Birmingham dialect ('Brummie'), I've always excluded myself from this, and have usually been excluded from this by others. So essentially for me, Birmingham is just a place to live, and I have no emotional attachment to the place at all — perhaps this is at least partly because I have been subject to prejudice all my life for speaking the 'wrong' dialect.
Everybody knows that Yorkshire folk are slightly grumpy people whereas people in Lancashire are lovely, warm, kind people. (Right, thats started the war of the roses again).
Northern parts of England (and Scotland) like UK/Euro-made electronic and dance music, southern parts of England like pop and USstyle music like hip hop...Although dance/electronic music is virtually ignored by SouthernEngland based tv channels and radios, people from North of England and Scotland do support dance acts and buy their cds, so there's almost always a top 10 dance/electronic hit among all those boring US/and USwannabe hip-hop and rock offerings...So, North and South of England have different music tastes...Scotland and Northern England: dance and electronica; Southern England: hip hop (US style); the same is true of Canada, people in Canada like more dance & electronic music than people in the US...there's even a tv channel in Canada that plays only dance & club music... there are some tv channels in US called ''dance'' but they play only rap&hip hop; that ain't dance for me...
Leaving aside traditional regional musical / dance culture (a separate issue altogether) I'm not sure really whether there are clearly cut differences in musical taste on the pop scene from one part of the United Kingdom to another. In my experience I haven't found much difference at all in the club scene (musically or in any other way) whether it's here in Edinburgh and Glasgow or down in Leeds, London, Milton Keynes or wherever. Rap is a lot more prominent in London though...much more than it is up here but I don't go for rap at all really - it's too political and some of the sentiments are a wee bit OTT.
Yorkshire people grumpy? Mmmmm.....I admit they do take a bit of getting used to....I would use the word "blunt" rather than "grumpy". They tell it as it is and you get it right between the eyes, verbally, so at least you always know where you stand with them. That's fine as far as I'm concerned. As for the South of England - that's a different story in a way from what I discovered.....I found a lot of Southerners more reserved and much less likely to come out with their opinions one way or another......but it depends on the age groups I think. I found older people down South quite indifferent in their attitude in many ways compared with their equivalent up here in Scotland.....restrained is another apt word to describe them as a rule but we should never generalise in such matters. But people of my own age group there are a lot more forthcoming and upfront, and that's while they are still sober. :-) I have a friend from uni who lives in Epsom (just to the south west of London....in the South) and his family are the friendliest and most welcoming you could ever meet, and so were a lot of his mates. We went to nearby Wokingham (Berkshire...again in the South) one day and everyone there, including in all the shops etc, were really friendly. It's all a bit relative really. One difference beteen Epsom and Wokingham and that area of Southern England is that they never call you "luv" - (the Northern way of saying "love"). In Leeds (North of England) they all seemed to call you "luv" in the shops or anywhere else. I even had a male bus driver calling me "luv" - nothing at all significant about that apparently - it's just the way it is there.
I don't know the Lancashire scene - it's on the other side of the Pennines from Yorkshire and I have to watch Corrie to experience the cultural scene down there. I miss old Fred (the butcher guy) who "died" (the character not the actor). He used to repeat a lot of his sentences, I say, he used to repeat a lot of his sentences. Apparently that is (or was?) a characteristic of the Lancashire dialect, I say, a charcteristic of the Lancashire dialect.
Why doesn't anyone mention Northern Soul? Northern England isn't just bloody dance and electronica. :-(
"Nothing irritates me more than when my Scottish banknotes are chucked back at me down in England (and in Wales for that matter!) Don't they know that Scottish banknotes are actually Sterling as well - exact parity with the standard UK currency notes?"
Nothing irritates more than the fact that Scots have many cancer drugs that are denied to the English, have free dental care whereas the English have to pay, and don't have to pay to go to university whereas the English have tuition fees (thanks to SCOTTISH politicians who voted at Westminster FOR England to have them even though the Scottish parliament voted AGAINST Scotland to have them and not allowing English MPs to have a say). Life-prolonging implants for brain tumours and a series of drugs for Alzheimer's patients are also available North of the border but not in England. Nothing irritates me more than the fact that only those pensioners in England on means-tested pensions credit are availabe for grants to heat their homes, whereas pensioners in Scotland get FREE central heating installation, available to ALL. Nothing irritates me more than the fact that everyone has to pay for public transport in England, even pensioners and the very young, except for local off-peak journeys, whereas EVERYONE in Scotland over the age of 60 has free bus and coach travel. In Scotland, those aged between 16 and 18 again one-third off bus and train travel, as well as a FREE £20 rail card. Nothing irritates more than in England eye-tests cost £18.95 and dental check-ups cost £15.90. In Scotland, they get all these tings for FREE (in line with the rest of Europe).
And all of these goodies that the Scots receive but are denied to the English (and Welsh) are paid for by......the English (and Welsh) taxpayer.
So you can excuse the English and Welsh for not accepting Scotland's differently-designed banknotes.