There and back again and back again

It is always proper form to begin at the beginning. If you begin anywhere else you leave much to the imagination and even leaving some to the imagination is dangerous.

So here it is: the story of how my people came to Britain, left Britain and came back again. While members of my family have spent a lot of time researching and discussing our history at length and in detail, I have distilled the most important bits as they relate to me exclusively, for my own purposes and ego, never mind the rest.

At some point, some time in the distant past, possibly prehistoric, if not, then at the very least historic, ancestors of mine decided to come to Britain. Some anthropologists hypothesize that much of human migration to northern Europe can be attributed to insanity. “Why,” some anthropologist surely asked, “would people move from the south, with its temperate warmth and round the clock party atmosphere, to the dreary cold north?” “They must be insane,” a colleague replied. Leave the question of scientific consensus to the scientists; although future generations may laugh at us, the Insanity Hypothesis is all we have.

When I say that at some point, prehistoric or historic, my ancestors came to Britain, I risk sounding irreverent, so let me correct your misapprehension right here, or rather fill it out a little more. It’s not that I don’t care; I also don’t know. It could be any number of heat-fearing lunatics, Celts, Angles, Saxons, Danes, or Normans (unlikely), coming at any historical (or prehistorical) moment. Whatever. All I know is that over the centuries my genetic material was transported to this island by successive waves of masochists. Maybe some came against their will. That’s forgivable at least.

The state may have very well oppressed my ancestors on this site.

The state may have very well oppressed my ancestors on this site.

Then, however they got here, they had a good go at it, toiling on their mud farms, dying violently in civil or continental warfare, or disease, or famine, or dampness or even more likely trampled under hoof. Eventually, the country they lived in conquered the world (or thereabouts), and some of my people, having successfully bred the insanity out of them, decided fuck this, let’s move to a colony. So far as I know they ended up in the Canadian prairies, which was cold but not wet enough, and so subsequently settled in Vancouver. Again, they had a good go at it.

This wasn’t long ago. In fact, I was personally acquainted with some of these people. And to be fair, some of them decided to skip the “centuries in Britain” plan and came right to Canada from continental Europe. But I’m deviating into the technical.

Thirty years ago, I entered the mix. And then thirty years later (present day if you do the math) I married a woman of similar decent (i.e. northern European) and shortly thereafter decided to return to the United Kingdom and have another go at it. And so here I am. Having only been in the UK for a few weeks, on the inside looking in, I hope to offer a new inmate’s account of the asylum.