Having recently read the book ‘State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America‘ I was exposed to a series of vignettes written by multiple authors who have written about each state in the US. It’s a great insight into the great variety that is present in the USA, and also the important aspects of each state which it’s inhabitants value most (or at least feel the strongest about).
This led me to think about the UK. Yes, the United Kingdom is much smaller, but it is made up of four countries (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) and is further subdivided into a series of counties and unitary authorities. Each of these, although small compared to the size of US states, still feature their own unique histories, cultures, traditions, and features. Having lived in a few places myself, it is interesting to see how even neighbouring counties can be somewhat different.
So where is this post going? Well, I would like to start my own panoramic portrait, but of the UK, county by county (technically some areas of the UK are not divided into counties but by unitary authorities, but I will explain this in more detail at a later date). I will be able to cover Northamptonshire myself, growing up there I feel I have enough insight into the county to write this section, even though I now live in the north. If anyone is reading this and would like to get involved in writing a short chapter, around 3-5 A4 pages on a county they know well in the UK, please get in touch. Chapters could typically include things you value about the county, places/highlights/traditions/changes/features found in the county that maybe overlooked, or just how you feel about the county, what does it mean to you, and why?
This project is very much still in it’s infancy, but I will post about it’s progression as and when it happens in the near future. If you’re interested in helping mapping out the diversity of the UK have a think and get in touch. You can comment on the blog post or email me (address available by clicking on my gravatar image at the top).