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Ports And Corners (Or - Why You Could Say I Am A Geographic Link Between My Parents)
I suppose you could call me a "hybrid" (don't worry - my Mum beat you to it).

I think I told you before that my Mum and I both have her native city on our Birth Certificates and in our Passports - she has the word "Rotterdam" and I have the international Dialing Code for the same city as my Birthday (31 October - or 31 10).

However, there is another thing we have in common - we were both born in Port towns.  Well - OK - Rotterdam is more of a Port City but at least Kings Lynn is still a Port.  Not only that but Kings Lynn is a rather special Port.  It is the only current Hanseatic Port in the UK.

Kings Lynn also forms a nice little link with Leicester (where my Dad was born) - just drive west on the A47 and you will eventually end up there.

However, there is another slightly odd kind of link between Leicester and Rotterdam.  Or - should I say between England and The Netherlands???

Allow me to attempt to explain.

I realise my French is very rusty but I seem to remember that the word "Port" is door in French.  I also know that "Hoek" is corner in Dutch.  (If you want to ask a Dutch person where to find the nearest Port - your best idea would be to ask for directions to the nearest "Haven" which literally translates as Harbour.)

No - this is not going to be a sermon on the subject of the pesky Brexit negotiations.

Nor is it going to be a comment about the Immigration debate.

Forget the idea of the world being full of different countries and far away places.  At one time the world was nearly all joined up by land which was in places where there is no land today.  (It wasn't until I saw "QI" last week that I learned Doggers Bank was actually a peice of land which linked the UK with The Netherlands a long time ago.)

If the world keeps changing shape we might find ourselves slightly closer to places like Russia than we might normally expect.  You cannot really have a "Cold War" between Russia and the US if Alaska has moved so far that the only way the Russians are going to be able to keep the US out is if they borrow an idea from Donald Trump and build a wall to keep them out.  (Apparently that idea isn't as farfetched as you might think - Alaska is moving towards Russia at a rate of 25 miles per year.)

In a funny way I miss the idea that The Netherlands and the UK are two parts of the same country - just with one lot having a dialect which is about as comprehensible as Glaswegian to most English-speakers.

I know it is a long drive from Leicester to Kings Lynn - and an even longer one to Harwich (the journey by train isn't exactly quick either) - but I love the idea of being able to look out of a window and being able to have an undisturbed view of boats and sea.

Yes - I am the daughter of what you might call an "Immigrant".  In fact - depending on which country I am standing in out of England and The Netherlands - I am the daughter of two Immigrants (Dad lived in The Netherlands when he met and married my Mum).

I might have been born in England but I have always felt more at home in and around Rotterdam.

We cannot choose where we are born or where we grow up.  However, I am thankful that my parents brought me up with a knowledge of both England and The Netherlands (as well as teaching me the language which I think is the most expressive when I hear it spoken).

The only way we are ever going to get proper peace in the world is if we mix with people from other countries and learn about different cultures.

You cannot get more of an opportunity to mix with people from other countries if your parents come from different countries themselves.

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