In the immortal words of the Scottish bard:
O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
How true, and the quote that made me laugh today comes from Kentish Man (or is it Man of Kent?) and Graun columnist Stuart Heritage. This is how he sees those of us living north of the border and in the far southwest of Englandshire:
“Scotland, full of beautiful countryside and majestic red deer. Cornwall, full of rich a**eholes from Islington called Sebastian who’ve got crap ginger dreadlocks and septic wounds where their nasal piercings used to be“.
and just so the Cornish don’t feel too ‘got at’, this is what he thinks of his home county of Kent:
“Wander far enough north and you’ll soon find yourself lost in the unwanted hinterland of Bromley. … Go west and you’ll enter Sussex, which is to all intents and purposes Kent with a violent Laura Ashley infatuation. Go south and you’ll drown in the sea, which doesn’t sound great but is at least preferable to spending any meaningful amount of time in Folkestone”.
I don’t know how true this is as I have only ever ventured to Canterbury (which seemed fine) and Bromley (that had a cocktail bar sans cocktails) and I vaguely remember passing through Folkstone very early one morning after disembarking the ferry from Calais and, true, it did look a bit grim. But even though I think it may be a bit harsh, I do recall a fellow student from my Masters course – Simon, a nice chap – lamenting in laconic style that he came from Kent, except in his words it appeared to be even worse: “I come from Gravesend; name says it all really“.
Postscript: I learned today the difference between a Kentish Man and a Man of Kent (ditto a Kentish Maid versus a Maid of Kent). I’d heard of the former as it was the title of Frank Muir’s autobiography and I thought the term applied to anyone from Kent, but no. Men and Maids of Kent may originally have been Jutes whereas Kentish Men or Maids may originally have been Saxons, the former traditionally hailing from that part of Kent east of the River Medway and the latter from west of the river, although some doubt the historical accuracy of the river as the boundary. And it might all be mythical anyway …