Whirr be she vrom?
Well actually, I come from Somerset. Though you’d never have thunk it, thankfully I lost the accent way before I lost my virginity… No offence fam and friends, but I kind of prefer not greeting you with ‘alriiiigghh luv’, referring to that pudding made from milk as ‘yogit’ and declaring I am ‘code’ in the middle of an Arctic snow flurry.
There are oh so many tell-tale signs of being brought up on Arthurian legend and Cornish pasties in the land of Enid Blyton, Jethro and Reef. So ‘put your hands up, put your hands up’ if the following ring your cow bells. Here are my top ten reasons why a West Country upbringing rocks:
1) You know which way your scones should be buttered
And that’s with Devonshire clotted cream on them first. Always. And no more than a tablespoon. This is followed by a tablespoon of strawberry jam. Scone fillings should always be tasted in equal measure. We’re big on that in the West Country. And the tea shouldn’t be anything fancy. No Early Grey, no English Breakfast and definitely no posh Darjeeling! Just proper tea from proper tea leaves, strained with a dash or two of milk. It’s got to be medium/strong to cut through the richness of the scone. You’ll have learnt that from your Grandma.
2) You know all the words to The Wurzels’ hit ‘I’ve Got a Brand New Combine Harvester’
Which came in very handy when it hit the clubs when you were at Uni. And even if you have never even heard of it, fear not; all of these little ditties come back round again every fifteen to twenty years. And you knowing the words, well, it could basically make all the difference between pulling a hottie – or nottie.
3) You have the patience of a Saint
This stems from years of trundling along B roads behind tractors and silage contraptions, waiting for cows to cross main thoroughfares into neighbouring fields, deciphering farmer talk, cycling for miles to the nearest Cider Farm to buy Scrumpy for the teenage weekend camping trip and getting in line with every man and his dog (who weren’t from the West Country and should’ve been at the back of the bleedin’ queue!) to purchase your Glasto tickets…
4) When you finally go ‘Up North’ it’s like being abroad
Blackpool is Las Vegas. London is New York – hey, I know technically that is further South than much of the West Country, but we have a collective distorted perception of distance; everywhere is far, far away.
5) You’re always within an hour of a beach
Look, I didn’t say they weren’t brown beaches.
6) You’re an easy to please date when you move to the city
Have you ever been to a West Country town and counted its number of night time venues? I rest my case.
7) You can (mostly) keep a straight face when you hear a dodgy accent
This comes from spending your childhood in a classroom full of weird and wonderful enunciations. Why former Bristolians Lee Evans and Matt Lucas have never done a sketch of a class full of West Country teens repeating words verbatim in French, I will never know.
8) Green fields, rolling hills and luscious pastures make for a healthy start and an inbuilt respect for the countryside
We just won’t mention Bridgwater, Land’s End or Weston-Super-Mare.
9) You don’t need to travel to Notting Hill or Rio de Janiero for the carnival
Now we will mention Bridgwater. When it comes to carnival, nowhere does it with such panache.
10) Someone you know will be able to get you into Glastonbury Festival for free