My daughter is extremely bright on so many levels but geography has never been her forte, nor her twin sister, to be fair! Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised when she walked in yesterday and started asking about the constitution of the group of islands we live in, as expected, it was an interesting conversation.
With all the recent publicity surrounding the EU vote she’d realised that we’re called a lot of different things! ‘What is the UK?’ she asked, ‘It’s England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland’ I replied. She frowned, ‘So what’s Great Britain?’, ‘That’s England, Scotland and Wales’, more frowns. ‘I’ll find a map!’ I exclaimed, thinking that a map would clarify everything. I was wrong….
The first thing we had to establish was which bits of land were what, having finally confirmed that Ireland wasn’t Wales and clearing up her confusion as to why everyone she knew ‘flew’ to Ireland, I thought we were getting somewhere. By the time we’d finished I felt she’d pretty much got it but I drew the line at trying to answer the question of ‘Why is it so complicated?’, a whole new history lesson in the making there!
So here’s a question:-
How many of you knew that Britain is England and Wales?
Great Britain is England, Wales and Scotland
The UK is England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
…..and the British Isles are all the of the above (and don’t forget the little blobs at the top of Scotland and Ireland!
Our little bunch of Islands are complex but that’s down to us having an incredibly rich and varied history which makes our tiny piece of the world fascinating for everyone. I’m so glad I live here, there’s always something new to learn and for ‘Time Team’ to discover, I just wish that schools taught more about where countries actually are instead of teaching endless cloud formations, maybe then my girls would have known that New York is not in Europe!