Proud to be English. Glad to be English, too. Logically, that means I am glad not to be one of the others, and I suppose that's true. But England is, and always will be, home. I have lived out of it for 22 years now, but I still feel a sense of homecoming when I cross the Severn Bridge and see the signs saying "Welcome To England". So I wish you all a very happy St George's Day.
And also a very Happy Birthday to Derf, one of my regular commenters! I've sent him an email telling him he's a rancid skunk's rectum.
No I haven't.
Yes I have.
It's traditional at this point to quote something worthy, so I am going to remind you of John Of Gaunt's words in Richard II. But I am going to quote past the usual bit and on to the end of the speech. See if it makes you think differently.
This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England...
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,Scandal it is.
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death.