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Notes on the Geography of The United Kingdom: The Power of the Past

Why did the Brits refuse to adopt the Euro? You don't have to conduct a poll or commission a battery of social scientists. Just take a look around the country.

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Winter morning at Towersey, east of Thame, southeast of Oxford. The old buildings (the dark one was once a barn) are now living quarters, meticulously modernized inside but carefully preserved on the outside.

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The Towersey village church, locked up tight during the week.

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Christmas Eve hymns.

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In the churchyard, a relic of empire.

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Speaking of Burma, we've come to the grim Hughendon Manor, the country residence of Benjamin Disraeli.  As prime minister, he arranged to give Victoria the title Empress of India. Neither of them ever went there.

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The old canals, ruined long ago by the construction of railways, are not filled and forgotten.

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Wives lose a few pounds by opening and closing massive lock gates.  Husbands do the serious business of steering--and ruminating on Britain's glories.

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Enough nostalgia! Time for the real England, the England ripping out hedgerows, bringing in combines, and doing its best to escape the stranglehold of tradition.

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Hard to believe: round bales in Ye Merrie Olde England.

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But even here, in a country with big rolls of moisture barrier, people still top it up with ephemeral, traditional thatch. The Euro? Not this week.



* Argentina * Australia * Austria * Bangladesh * Belgium * Botswana * Brazil * Burma / Myanmar * Cambodia (Angkor) * Canada (B.C.) * China * The Czech Republic * Egypt * Fiji * France * Germany * Ghana * Greece * Guyana * Hungary * India: Themes * Northern India * Peninsular India * Indonesia * Israel * Italy * Japan * Jerusalem * Jordan * Kenya * Laos * Kosovo * Malawi * Malaysia * Mauritius * Mexico * Micronesia (Pohnpei) * Morocco * Mozambique * Namibia * The Netherlands * New Zealand * Nigeria * Norway * Oman * Pakistan * Peru * The Philippines * Poland * Portugal * Romania (Transylvania) * Senegal * Singapore * South Africa * South Korea * Spain * Sri Lanka * Sudan * Syria (Aleppo) * Tanzania * Thailand * Trinidad * Turkey (Istanbul) * Uganda * The U.A.E. (Dubai) * The United Kingdom * The Eastern United States * The Western United States * Oklahoma * Uruguay * Uzbekistan * Vietnam * The West Bank * Yemen * Zambia * Zimbabwe *
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