Well, I do know that I’m neither of them but I’m in the middle of an identity crisis.
You see, I’m Cornish. Born and bred. Grew up here, went to school here, lived here all my life. Well, apart from the times that I lived somewhere else that is. Oh, and the born and bred bit. It’s a minor technicality really, but as I grew up just on the Cornish side of the border, on the occasion of my birth the hospital in Plymouth was closer than the one in Truro, so I was actually born in Devon. Makes no odds though, ‘cos as they say down here “Iffen the caat ‘as kittens en the oven it doan maken pasties do et?” So that’s it then, Cornish bred. I can belong to the story that at the bottom of every deep mine in the world you’ll find a Cornishman, similar to the other popular story that in every ships engine room you’ll find a Scotsman. Ahh….. another minor hitch. My father was actually born in India. He wasn’t of Indian descent it was just that his father, as part of the great British Raj, lived in India and designed bridges during the construction of the railway system. Dad’s parents were both Scots and at the age of four he was shipped back to boarding school in Scotland where he spent the remainder of his formative years. Apparently he didn’t see either of his parents again until he was seven, which was considered quite normal then. Extraordinary
So technically then, I’m a Scot. That’s great, I can handle that. It’s still part of the big Irish, Welsh, Cornish, Breton celtic thing. I’ve just got to realign myself to be part of the engine room story instead of being at the bottom of the pit. So I and all the thousands of the rest of us stood in engine rooms throughout the world can look forward to receiving our ballot papers for the up and coming Scottish independence vote then?
Err……. No. Apparently you’re only Scottish enough to vote if you actually live there, even though both you and your parents might have been born and bred in Prague.
So there you go. Gave up my beloved Cornishness to become a Scot, only to be told I’m not one.