I fell out of love with my country...

I loved England, I still do, but it’s like the breakdown of any relationship. “I still love you, but I’m not in love with you any more”… I’ve travelled the world, and still there is nothing I would rather be than English, but there’s no way I’d choose to live there now…

I miss rolling hills, I miss the cold – I miss snow, I miss rain, I miss running streams, I miss green, I miss the Lake District, I miss English village life, I miss my family and friends and most of all I miss my kids. I miss them every day… Every single day! But, if I was still there I’d still be missing them, just in a different way as they find their own way through life.

What I don’t miss, is that my 13 year old son gets mugged by other kids, the crippling cost of living, the reports of drive by shootings in inner cities, the deteriorating education system, the stress, the traffic, the constant struggle, the scum….

And, what I really don’t miss is the racism – the hatred for people from Eastern Europe who have moved quite legally to the country to try and make a better life for themselves and their families. Who can blame them, I’ve spent time in Eastern Europe – its not nice in many places, they come to England with hope, with optimism, and get treated like animals by many… The only people who should, and can fairly, be held in contempt are those people who choose to either move illegally, or those who choose not to live by the law of the land… If you don’t like it, you have a vote, blame your government, not innocent law-abiding foreigners.

I chose to leave; I live now on a barren rock, albeit a very beautiful one in the Atlantic Ocean. It has one of the most incredible landscapes in the world, which may, to some, seem like an acquired taste. I love the place, I love the stark beauty. I love the relaxed way of life… I am an immigrant and economic migrant too! I get treated better than a foreigner moving to the UK by far, and for the most part we are made welcome here by the islands ‘natives’.

But at times I’m ashamed of my countrymen. Many ex-pats will not even attempt to learn the language – usually the people that ‘back home’ would be the first to moan that Mrs Singh’s mother at the corner shop has “has been here 20 years and doesn’t speak a word of English”. They behave like they are still part of “The Empire”, it’s a never ending source of embarrassment…

And then, then there are the tourists, what scum gets off the plane to visit each week we can not predict… Like the 30 something woman at the local taxi rank who chose to punch my wife to the ground with her ‘taxi rank mentality’, developed at 3am outside a night-club in Manchester, Birmingham, Southend-on-Sea or whatever other rock she crawled from under…

Of one thing I am sure, my next move will take my body, my mind, and my soul yet further from the England I once loved…

I fell out of love with my country...

Alan Gandy

Joined March 2008

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Why I left my homeland…

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