Being in a Union does not destroy individuality, After 300 years Scotland is still Scotland and Scots know that they are Scots and I know when I am in Scotland. It is the same for Wales which survived the Welsh Knot. As to the English? I suggest you read Jeremy Paxman’s book – The English: A portrait of a People and Exotic England: The Making of a Curious Nation – by Yasmin Alibhai Brown.
Last week we travelled to France on Brittany Ferry and, at at the dreadful hour of six, tinkles on the public address system woke us to a view of St Malo through the porthole.
Friday we had a delightful French evening which started by having dinner with our son and daughter-in-law and a Dutch couple who are good friends. It was a pizzeria so I had my favourite with capers, olives, anchovies, oregano on the bed of tomato and cheese. We then went to a small community theatre where a friend was performing singing typically French songs.
The excellent singer, ambience, audience, glasses of rosé cider, the intensity of the performer and audience was vraiment Francais. ( I cannot find the cedilla).
There is the wonderful oven-roasted beetroot in Leclerc (my favourite supermarket)
and delicious asparagus bought in the Market at Mauzé sur le Mignon.
One tent supported a society for the protection of “Itinerant Singers” modern day troubadours I suppose,
and there were squares and impasses as well as a very French Café.
Where else but France can I have a plate of whelks, clams, mussels, cucumber salad and hard-boiled egg in a transport café ( Les Pyramids) ? Well Napoleon was an Egyptian buff, his soldiers used the Sphinx as target practice.
The shellfish came from a magnificent buffet and it was followed by delicious poached cod. (The bread was great which is unusual in France nowadays)
So back to Epron and an English rose in a French garden alongside a French river. The French do rivers very well.
Oops! I almost forgot. France makes toilet paper par éxcellence!