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