Satire Thoughts and Musings

Is there a city in the North of England?

A carefully consider response the the question of whether there are cities or other signs of civilisation north of Watford Gap

Being the caring, sharing kind, I actively participate in Quora, the Knowledge sharing site, where I attempt to provide robust answers on topics where I have expertise, or opinion on topics where I have an interest or experience.

Quora’s mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge.

Mostly these are somewhat technical responses to queries around Microsoft 365 etc.

Occasionally, a question comes along which is so bonkers, left-field or unexpected that there is a choice between either getting snippy, or being British about it. Some of these responses I’m sufficiently proud of (and entertained by) to think they are worth sharing in their own right. Today, I offer you this genuine question:

Question: Is there a city in the North of England?

Asked by Bixin Shui on 5th June 2020

My response

It’s true that there is not.

I have explored ‘The North’, as foreigners like to call it, for more than 4 decades, braving the narrow, rutted trails, the feral whippets and unceasing, inclement weather. Coast to coast, Watford to the patrolled wall that protects the advanced civilization of Scotland with its gleaming towers and ancestral protectors, there are barely any traces of major settlements. A few shabby ‘towns’ eke out some paltry existence on the coasts, sustaining themselves through meagre fishing in the fearsome sea and the occasional sung shanty or other musical endeavour, some of which have been known to be humoured by the great civilisations.

Dark satanic tripe mills lay abandoned, their promise of supporting an industrial revolution to transform the world, not just the region, unrealised and the hundreds of people that relied upon them scattered to the winds.

A sole airstrip, set amidst the low Pennine hillocks to the west provides sporadic air access for anthropologists, relief workers and the occasional missionary. The piteous locals cower in dismay at the sight of the iron birds that land to disgorge these noble travelers; they tremble to see the otherworldly beasts feed on any souls gathered at this place, few of whom are seen again.

Beyond a fierce natural beauty, The North is a forlorn, forsaken place. History shaping battles, great families, mighty halls, invention, innovation, art and culture, great thinkers and seminal deeds have all passed the region by. ‘Tis little but a wilderness and not worth the expedition to get there. Instead, take yourself to the worthy metropolisis of Slough, Reading, and Croydon.

By Simon Hudson

Simon Hudson is an entrepreneur, health sector specialist and founder of Cloud2 Ltd. and Kinata Ltd. and, most recently, Novia Works Ltd. He has an abiding, evangelical interest in information, knowledge management and has a lot to say on best practice use of Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and cloud technologies, the health sector, sustainability and more. He has had articles and editorials published in a variety of knowledge management, clinical benchmarking and health journals. He is a co-facilitator of the M365 North User Group Leeds and is Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Hull.

Simon is passionate about rather too many things, including science, music (he writes and plays guitar & mandola), skiing, classic cars, technology and, by no means least, his family.


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