I just read this phrase in a local paper and I’m apoplectic with rage. I sort of get the whole ‘bid’, ‘tot’, ‘axe’ thing, as short words save space. But ‘Eateries’? ‘Galore’? What sort of person writes this stuff? How…
Eee. Are yiz alreet pets? Bolly and I are back. We now live in a bosky dell near Newcastle, with Highland Cows at the end of the road. Since we last Peacockshocked, Boll celebrated her 16th birthday (80 in human years) and I did lots of travelling – Athens, Stockholm, Durham and so on. How are you???
I was sceptical, but I clicked and had a go at the BBC’s Where in Britain would you be happiest? quiz.
I answered questions about how conscientious, neurotic, extrovert, trusting and imaginative I was. But they seemed pretty general and there didn’t seem to be enough of them.
I was thoroughly expecting it to get it horribly wrong and come up with Swindon, Middlesbrough or Scunthorpe.
But the blurb was encouraging.
According to the BBC:
The predictions made in this test are based on research by scientists at the universities of Cambridge and Helsinki. In a collaboration with the BBC, they conducted a survey of the personalities and life satisfaction of over half a million people. They found that certain traits clustered in regions around Britain. For example, people living in metropolitan areas like Manchester or London were very open. High levels of agreeableness were found throughout most of Scotland, and pockets of the Midlands were particularly conscientious.
And my results:
Happiest place for me:
Cambridge (65% happiness)
Interesting. I lived there for five years and was very happy. It’s still one of my favourite places and I occasionally think about moving back.
Unhappiest place for me:
Newham in the East End (54%)
According to the BBC:
Notable neighbourhoods include West Ham and Forest Gate. Residents generally reported higher than average levels of openness, extraversion and neuroticism for Britain. Levels of conscientiousness and agreeableness were lower than average.
Verdict on Hertford, where I live:
Not far behind Cambridge, so that’s OK.
They predicted the best place for me near here would be:
Saffron Walden (62%)
Pretty accurate. I like Saffron Walden a lot. Picturesque town, with Audley End nearby. Not far from Stansted Airport. Geographically half way between Hertford and … Cambridge. Sort of.
Notable residents of Saffron Walden:
The late Hattie Jacques
Jeff Hordley (Cain Dingle from Emmerdale)
Well, I’ve met Tom Robinson a few times. And people frequently describe me as a cross between Hattie Jacques, Cain Dingle and Pike from Dad’s Army, so I’d say the quiz is spot on.
Why not have a go yourself? And please tell me where you end up.
I just discovered that Oliver and Olivia are the most popular baby names in Hertfordshire, according to the Hertfordshire County Council 2014 Registration Service.
Can’t think of many famous Hertford Olivers, but Oliver Cromwell stayed overnight at the Salisbury Arms in 1647. He liked it so much he now haunts it.
Sadly, I can’t find any famous Olivias whatsoever from these parts. But Olivia Coleman’s from Norfolk. Not too far.
For Hertford girls, it’s Isabella, Alice, Georgia, Olivia, Eva and Penelope.
No comment. Don’t want to get beaten up in Waitrose.
As I said to my cat Bollinger earlier, name snobbery is a terrible thing. I’m not a name snob as such, but I do find unimaginative copycat naming a bit sad. And I am partial to an unusual name.
Over the years, I’ve worked with a Horatio, an Anastasia, a Che (named after Guevara), a Byron and a Hieronymus … but I do work in the media.
Meanwhile in real life, I have a friend called Jesus. My godson is named after a medieval Japanese knight (but shortens his name to something more normal-sounding). My friend H (a novelist) once had a hamster called Clytemnestra. And I had a great uncle called Theodore Octavius Christiansen Peter Tversted. We called him Uncle Teddy.
Anyway, must rush. I have to feed my Pit Bulls Chantelle, Charmain and Tyler. Talking of which, here’s Katie Hopkins being a ridiculous name snob
Katie? What sort of name is that? Sooo Stevenage.
If you need to kick the January blues, just watch this amazing video of dogs and a cat on the beach accompanied by Happy by Pharrell Williams.
Oddly for a dog trainer, Digda is his only pet. She has her own YouTube channel Catmantoo which has loads of cat training tips. Bolly watch out.
Robert has lots of experience in dog training, with the army, the police and celebrities such as Mel Gibson, Pamela Anderson and Olivia Newton John. And he takes the dogs, and Digda, for a beach party once they’ve graduated from their training course.
Digda is clearly top dog, so to speak.