Day 239: These Are Not The Cons You Are Looking For

The evil lord Darth Vader, obsessed with finding young(ish) Dave Golder, has dispatched thousands of remote probes into the far reaches of Somerset….

August 27

Okay, I don’t actually live in Somerset any more (it’s debatable I ever did), but adapting the opening crawl from The Empire Strikes Back to say, “South Gloucestershire”, didn’t sound as funny. There’s just something intrinsically funny about the word – or maybe the concept – of Somerset. It’s like Droitwich, or Dudley – English place names that just sound amusing. But not as ostentatious as places Nether Wallop of Lower Piddle which just sound like they’ve been made up by a village council desperate for attention.

Avon

What Avon was carved up into. Gloucester isn’t even on the map. What a mess.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not taking the piss out of Somerset. I love Somerset. And even though I only ever lived in that bizarre rump of a county known as Bath And North East Somerset (or BANES as it’s sometimes known, the ugliest sounding name for a county ever) that was Somerset enough for me. Before that Bath was in Avon, a county the locals loathed for some reason; it was created in 1974 and they seemed to resent it as some forced-upon-them upstart. But surely living in Avon is better than living in BANES, a county that sounds like a dithering second officer in some 1950s British war film? Blake’s Seven wouldn’t have been half as good if Avon had been called Banes.

Now I live in an odd offshoot of a county called South Gloucestershire even though I feel absolutely no connection to Gloucester at all. In fact, Gloucester feels like another dimension. I feel nearer to Cardiff than Gloucester (it’s possible that’s true). It’s weird living just a few miles from both Bristol and Bath, and being in a different country to either of them. I feel like I come from an area that includes Bath and Bristol; I feel like I come from Avon, dammit.

Though as someone pointed out recently, if Avon did still exist, my council tax would probably be a darned sight more expensive.

See you tomorrow.

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