Lincolnshire Peasant

Exploring places from a peasant perspective.

Month: March, 2012

Prologue

This time last year, a group of fellow students and I visited Morocco, where we met and saw a massive variety of people and places. I have since lost the photographs in a harddrive failure and misplaced the only souvenir I purchased, an ancient Jewish coin, but I still have a great many memories from that week in North Africa. While I had travelled before, this really piqued my desire to see new cultures and places, and I can no longer contain this need.

And so I am financing an expedition to Europe, the land of empire builders and inventors, the birthplace of our civilization. I will be exploring it by rail, with a student Interrail ticket. Accompanying me are the most trustworthy and ingenious of companions that I could find. Truth be told, I didnt look awfully hard.

Connor, an old accomplice from Maroc, will be joining me. An expert linguist, he will be acting as translator as we converse with the locals, and ensuring we do not cause offence by breaching any heathen customs. Fluent in French and German, and so perfect for Europe!

From the grimy conurbation of Manchester we will be joined by Madeleine, an acquaintance of Connor, who I have never met. I presume she is a young city orphan waif, much like Oliver Twist. However, she has learned to write, and I am sure travelling will widen her horizons and help her escape the poverty of her home city.

Oh, and Charlotte too. A tough little thing, who is alright so long as she doesnt cook you risotto. Emphasis on the little, she has growth hormone issues which she is very sensitive about. Poor little midget.

I must mention, here, my fellow geographers; who will not be accompanying us. I would like to thank them for their support at home, for making all which I achieved, and for being a  font of support and encouragement as I navigate the logistical perils of purchasing train tickets and booking hostels. And I would also heartily recommend interrailing to anybody else intrested seeing Europe on a budget. Have a look into it at http://www.interrailnet.com/ .

Stereotyping

Dear Internet,

Before I continue with this blog, I should perhaps warn you that it is a strongly held personal belief of mine that stereotyping is a necessary and even acceptable part of the english language, which can be used to bring the most colourful characters to life. These days, it is very easy to be shot down in flames and to be labelled a racist if you refuse to conform to political correctness. And I rejoice at this increased emphasis on racial cohesion, and eagerly await the day in which race is nothing more than an attribute. However, I still feel that political correctness is the wrong way to go about this. It makes life plain and tedious, and every step must be considered as if on a tight-rope, to avoid offending this or that minority. Political correctness builds barriers between cultures; people are afraid to cause offence and so avoid each other: their relationship is polite but cold and insubstantial.

Think of your friends. True friends are happy to tease and mock each other, because they know that such things are meant in fun and that no harm is intended. This is the sort of racism which I engage in, a gentle teasing which should bring us closer together rather than sow hatred. And it does! I am friends with an indian, an egyptian muslim, and a chinese person, and I have no qualms about using stereotypes to their faces, nor do they have objections.

This treatment is fair; no stereotypable group is left unturned, including those which I belong to. I am no hypocrite, so here is a list of words and phrases that you can apply to me if you wish:

Hormonal teenage vagabond. Nerd. Country bumpkin. Lazy male pig. Geek. Loner. Four-eyes. Pig nose. Pretentious fool. Thunder thighs. British tea drinking scum. Mudblood. Whatever.

You get the idea, I hope, and so will not take offence if, for instance, I call a Jew “dark and evil”, or an Irishmen a “jolly dancing leprachaun”. If you do take offence then you have my apologies, and you need not ever return to this page again.

Have a pleasant evening.

Good morning, internet.

Dear Internet,

A peasant girl who lives in the next valley along introduced me to blogging last night. This is my first time, so have mercy, perhaps I should have sacrificed a dozen unfleeced sheep at the altar of the computer desk? I suppose  we should spend a little time learning who I am, and what you are.

I live in Lincolnshire, an empty corner of Englands green and pleasant land, in a modest town perched upon the wolds. I grew up here, among the farms and winding country lanes. Sixteen summers I have seen on these chalk hills. However, the idyllic scenery has its downfalls. The people here are generally old, or boring, or both. The only jobs in the area seem to be picking turnips in fields or stacking shelves in the local shop. And so, regardless of how intelligent and ambitious I am, it seems I am doomed to remain here as a Lincolnshire peasant until I can complete my quaint grammar school education and go to university. But at least I can inflict this on you too now!

Have a pleasant day, I’ll be posting something proper this evening.