Needless to say, the title of this blog - assuming the webeditor has decided to use the one I suggested - makes all the statement I probably deserve.
I am not local.
I am not from round these parts.
I am not a born and raised Plymouthian/Janner/Westcountry-boy.
Understandably, that probably means a large percentage of you will feel that any opinion, observation, or views I have on Plymouth will be entirely without merit and can be dismissed as easily as you would any other drooling, retarded, gibbon-faced moron who comes to your fair city from they evil hinterlands of the East.
I must admit, I’ve done the same thing myself. Growing up in south Essex, where the dirt says hot but the label says either “fake” or “shoplifted” any Dartmoor-pony-molesting countryboy with an opinion about the flatlands above the Thames would be simply dismissed as being fit only to ride on a threshing machine as long as their fingers were first taped to their armpits.
But here I am and I must say I find the place quite enchanting.
No, really, I do.
So much so, I’m now living and working here, raising my three boys – one of whom was even born here – and getting to know more about the place.
My Mrs, who is a bona fide Janner, eventually had had enough of the badlands east of the M25 and could no longer resist the call of the West being placated by brief visits to her mum and brother.
So, in late 2006, we loaded up the van, filled up a full tank of gas and did that thing that everyone else in the UK does. Yes – we made it as far as Exeter and foolishly told the kids “we’re nearly there!” Yeah Gods, but doesn’t the journey go on and on! Who put Plymouth so far west? I checked on a map once – the only city you’ll find after Plymouth if you keep heading west is New York.
As the paper’s crime reporter, much of what I write is – obviously - about crime although I do get opportunity to write other stuff occasionally. Regardless, I’m hoping to use this blog as a chance to opine about all and sundry, not just crime matters.
Call it mouthing off, filling my boots, therapy – whatever – but like the rest of the bloggers on the site I certainly aim to get a few things off my chest.
While not all of it will be polite, or even nice, I do hope we can start a little dialogue. There will undoubtedly be disagreements, perhaps even a few fights and tears. That’s assuming anyone’s bothering to read this guff. Either way, let me know. Even the most devout priest occasionally wants to hear a voice back when he’s praying. I’ll probably be just as surprised.
Anyway, as I was saying, I’m not local. But much like yourselves – and yes, I do read the comments on the Herald’s website – I have an opinion on everything. Such as “While I often joke to Essex mates that I’ve landed on the set of ‘Hot Fuzz’ crossed with ‘Life on Mars’ do you really all have to live up to the worrying stereotype that you’re the last British city stuck in 1971 quite so much?”
Well, I did warn you some of it wouldn’t be nice, didn’t I?
Did I mention I wasn’t local..?