Sunday, 23 March 2014

Go North, Young Man

This advert boasts about the time one could travel from London to Sheffield and back for only £23.00, courtesy of Intercity.

Yes! Leave your home in London, step aboard an Intercity train and find yourself transported up north, to Sheffield - and all of this for only £23.00.

Personally, if someone offered me £23.00 to leave the bright lights and wonderful charms of our capital city, to spend a day in Sheffield, I would have to refuse the offer. Not even £230.00 would tempt me to go north, even if it's always good to see new places and meet new people.

Of course, I'm being quite heartless in my criticism of Sheffield, where, after all, there are many things to entice someone who's feeling bored in London, and who's in need of a quick fix of life up north, where real men will show those southern nancies a thing or two.

And then this got me thinking about how many towns in England, whose name starts with the letter "S", are just as charming as Sheffield.

Well, there's Swindon in Wiltshire: a fine town, which has no hidden treasures beneath a veneer of ugly housing estates and factories. Then there's Southampton in Hampshire: worth a visit if you're mentally unbalanced and in need of therapy. Or what about Stoke on Trent, with its charming toilet factories and delightful town centre? Next, there's Sittingbourne, in Kent, which is twinned with Shitehousen - a town recently voted the worst place to live in Germany. Solihull is another one to avoid, together with Stockport, Slough and the aptly-named Staines, which is a terrible blot on the map of Britain.

Salop, in Staffordshire, may not be that bad, unless you happen to be French, as salope (pronounced in the same way) is the French word for bitch. Sunderland is hardly a land filled with sun and St. Albans has got nothing to write home about.

And on the list goes...

Today, a train ride from London to Sheffield costs more than £23.00, although a low-cost flight to Shitehousen, in Germany, costs only £30.00. This can't be right, I hear you cry. Well, right or wrong, I don't really care, because I have no intention of stepping foot in any of these towns.

Luke Ryman is an author of ebooks. "The Londoners" is about people living and dying in London and "But Bloody France!" is a series of ebooks about friends not having fun in France. He has never been to Sheffield or Salop although he once spent twenty-four hours in Sittingbourne.

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