J'habite à marché Harborough, Well Not Quite, Market Harboro

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A fun blog of 'soft' philosophy about the life and times of a Westiepoo called Chester. Written as a prelude to a more serious novel raising the question: Who is the most bankrupt: the banker who won't whistle-blow or the chef who loses her livelihood?

Although my name is Chester and I hail from Cheshire, I live in Market Harborough in Leicestershire The reason? Well, one day when I was ten weeks old, Mr. A picked me up from the farm on which I was born and put me into a foreboding black cage and drove me to my new home. During that journey, I whimpered until I fell asleep, Mr. A ignoring all my cries because he hadn't become reconciled to my purchase (yet)!. I did a few other things on that trip that I shall not mention but begins with constip ... (if you get my drift)!

Now all considering, I have forgotten the land of my parents, and I enjoy inhabiting the town of Market Harborough: not to be confused with Meerkat Harborough, as a prominent Insurance company would have you believe. According to Wikipedia, Market Harborough originated as a small village, believed to have been called hæfera-beorg, (harborough) meaning "oat hill". How many residents of the town knew that? It's biggest historical significance was during the English Civil War, when in June 1645, it became the headquarters of the King's Army.

Very near to my home, is Bloodyman's Ford, where the King decided to cross the River Welland on the way to confront the Parliamentary forces of Oliver Cromwell at the Battle of Naseby, south of the town. The Parliamentarians led by Sir Thomas Fairfax defeated King Charles I and Prince Rupert of the Rhine in what was the decisive battle of the War. Imagine that? Me, a Westiepoo living in the twenty-first century, passing a turning point in my country's history virtually every day.

Unsurprisingly, the chief reason I love living in marché Harborough isn't its history. Very impressive as it is, it's the people who count. My favourite, apart from family, is Uncle Daz. Uncle Daz isn't your ordinary middle-Englander. He describes himself on Facebook as Privateer, Buccaneer, Scallywag, and Scoundrel!!! I describe him as my best friend. His deep laugh and cheery voice have me wagging my tail, panting for joy every time he knocks on our door. Uncle Daz is a thespian, as well as a storyteller and philosopher. He is exceptionnelle!

Other people that I meet are equally friendly: there is Uncle Giles, Mr. and Mrs. Smeeton, Mrs. Mary, Auntie Annie, Auntie Rachel, Mr. Guy and his first lady Mrs. Delves. In fact, so many characters that enhance my otherwise boringly earnest life. For that is what it is: Market Harborough your ordinary market town full of extraordinary people.

In fact, the other day, Mr. A, and I happened upon the opportunity to drive a stranger from the village of Foxton to the canal basin of the Market Harborough Branch of the Grand Union Canal at the Wharf. Foxton, the home of a series of ten canal locks consisting of two "staircases" each of five locks, is noted for guests to Leicestershire!

The man, whose name I forget, is wintering his canal boat with his wife and was wanting to take a bus to the Wharf to carry out his business for the day. Mr. A offered a lift, and he happily took us up. The man's impression of Market Harborough had been framed by trips to the local theatre to see the performance of 'Northern' comedians who poked fun at Harboroughians for being old, white, middle-class people, unrepresentative of postmodern, progressive England. Maybe he and they are onto something? One thing for sure is I am a 'Northern' dog, who has friends here.

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