I am sitting in my my chair in my faviourate bookshop drinking Earl Grey tea brewed in a tea pot and served in a mug. All across the world there are many people far less blessed than I am.
I am an Englishman living in a peaceful epoc of English history. We started as a nation of pirates who took advantage of the fall of the Roman Empire to establish ourselves in the country that now bears the name of one of the Germanic tribes who migrated here in the 4th and 5th centuries. What was once precarious is now part of the world and where else would you find the English than in England?
I love England. I drive for most days for about an hour through the country and if I can get away from the motorways and divert myself down the little lanes I will. I love the landscape that bears the scars of the last ice age, the green shadows of the trees and the lazy sun of our temperate climate.
Its these things that draw people in and I think England makes the English and not the English England. I remember a poem by CS Lewis where he writes that he comes across a moss covered meteor that once ranged amongst the stars but England made her own. This is what I think happens to all the migrants to these isles. England herself makes them her own.
England opens herself up to her lovers and in her the pirate mercenaries found a loving misteress, fully capable of lulling them away from their previous identity on the continent. As I drive through Warwickshire and the Midlands I feel her spells and I would not want to be anywhere else than here.