Tuesday, February 10, 2015


To Sevenoaks today for an appointment with my favourite dentist, the ever gentle and understanding Louise.  Nothing too serious - just a check up and a bit of repair work - but I noticed driving into Sevenoaks that it is twinned with Pontoise in France and also Rheinbach in Germany.

Even closer to home, a few of the nearby villages are also twinned with places in foreign parts.   The metropolis of Ditton is twinned with somewhere called Rang-du-Fliers in the Nord Pas de Calais, whereas the People`s Republic of Snodland is twinned with Moyeuvre grande, a town of similar size in the Lorraine region of France.  I`m pretty sure I know which town has the best part of the deal.   

And, of course, throughout the land there are numerous other examples of towns and villages having twinned with those in other countries.  Some of them are `interesting,` such as Wincanton in Somerset being twinned with somewhere that doesn`t actually exist  - Ankh-Morpork, an entirely fictional place featured in Terry Pratchett`s Discworld novels.   And, in all seriousness, Dull in Scotland is twinned with somewhere called Boring in America.

Now I have some experience of the dark arts of the twinning world, having once - and only once - been press-ganged into being part of an official twinning arrangement with a small town in Germany.  But seeing the signs on the way in to Sevenoaks made me realise that here in my home parish we are not twinned with anywhere else, so I`m going to start a campaign for the Parish Council to organise something.

But let`s not just twin with any old where - no more small towns in Germany or France, but somewhere where there would be mutual benefits from the exchange visits.   Places like St. John`s, Antigua; Carvoeira in Portugal or Sandy Lane, Barbados.   If we`re going to do it, let`s do it properly and extend the hand of friendship and rewarding cultural exchanges to places like that, who are currently in blissful ignorance of the treasures and pleasures to be had in our small but bounteous corner of this green and pleasant land.

Well, anything`s got to be better than Stoke Poges or Penge. 

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