English story easy

The Very Hungry Dragon (Beginner)

If you’re looking for online language classes, I recommend italki. There, you can find teachers from around the world, and get lessons at a time that suits you.

If you go to EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/italki and sign up, you’ll get $10 of free classes when you spend money. So go on, book some classes, and get learning! When you use that link, I’ll also get some money. Thanks!

So that’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/italki.

OK, let’s start the episode.

[introduction music]

Welcome to Easy Stories in English, the podcast that will take your English from OK to Good, and from Good to Great.

I am Ariel Goodbody, your host for this show. Today’s story is for beginners. The name of the story is The Very Hungry Dragon. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/DragonL1. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/DragonL1. This is a levelled-down version of an intermediate story. You can listen to the intermediate-level version of The Very Hungry Dragon at EasyStoriesInEnglish. com/Dragon.

OK, I’ll just explain some words that are in today’s story.

Various jewels (Photo by Sung Jin Cho on Unsplash)

A jewel is a type of treasure. Jewels are special stones that are very pretty and cost a lot of money. Diamonds are the most expensive jewels, but there are also rubies, which are red, emeralds, which are green, amethysts, which are purple, and so on. These days, people put jewels in earrings and on dresses to make them look nice.

A statue of a dragon (Photo by Ravit Sages on Unsplash)

A dragon is a magical animal, an animal that is not real. However, we find stories of dragons in all cultures around the world. Dragons can breathe fire and fly, and they like to eat people. Dragons like to collect treasure, gold and jewels, and hide it in their home. In Game of Thrones, Daenerys had several dragons.

Taste is how food feels in your mouth. Basically, it is whether it is good food or not. For example, I think McDonald’s tastes good, but some people think it tastes bad. I think dark chocolate tastes better than milk chocolate, but you might think the opposite. If something tastes of nothing, then it does not have a strong taste.

When you spit, and the past tense is spat, you throw water or food out of your mouth. In the UK, people don’t spit outside, but in the past, people used to eat tobacco and spit it out. If you eat some very bad food, you might spit it out.

Smell is when you go [sniff sniff]. The past tense is smelled or smelt. You smell with your nose. Usually, you smell without thinking. If food smells very bad, you shouldn’t eat it. If a person smells very bad, you shouldn’t kiss them!

Ignore is when you don’t look at something or don’t listen to something. For example, you might see someone you know outside, but you don’t like them. You ignore them. You think, ‘I don’t see you!’ but you really do see them. It is very bad to ignore someone when they are talking to you!

A cart pulled by hand (Rémi Kaupp CC BY-SA 3. 0)

A cart is a small vehicle, like a car, but it doesn’t use petrol or electricity to move. Usually an animal like a horse pulls a cart, and it is used to move food and goods for sale. These days, carts are not very common. People use lorries instead.

When you eat or drink something all in one go, you eat it very fast. For example, maybe you have a bar of chocolate, and you put it all in your mouth and eat it as one piece. Usually, you would break up the chocolate, but this time you’re eating it all in one go. Of course, if you eat lots of things all in one go, you might hurt yourself!

Your reputation is what people think about you. If you have a good reputation, then people think you are good, and if you have a bad reputation, then people think you are bad. If you want to change your reputation, then you have to change how you look, how you talk and what you do.

A very cold freezer with ice cream in it (Photo by Dev Benjamin on Unsplash)

A freezer is a piece of furniture in the kitchen. Freezers make things very cold, colder than a fridge. If you put water in a freezer, it turns into ice. You also put ice cream in a freezer. Many fridges have freezers in them.

When you see a friend or someone from your family, you might hug them. You put your arms around them and hold them very close. In some countries, people hug more than in others. In Spain, people hug a lot, and kiss each others’ cheeks. In Japan, people don’t hug very often.

From now on means ‘starting from now’. Let’s say that in the past, you never had chocolate in the house. But your boyfriend loves chocolate, and when he doesn’t have chocolate, he gets very sad. So you decide that you will start buying one bar of chocolate for him a week, and he can eat it all. From now on, you will buy one bar of chocolate a week. God, I’m really talking a lot about chocolate today, aren’t I?

I’m recording the rest of this year’s episodes in advance, so I don’t have any new Patreon supporters to announce today. So I’ll just say thank you to everyone who’s supporting me now, or has supported me in the past! I’ve been doing the Patreon for over a year now, and it’s been really wonderful to see it grow and interact with you all on there.

OK, so listen and enjoy!

Once, there was a very hungry dragon. She was called Grella. Every day, Grella ate five meals. For breakfast she had ten bananas, five eggs and three slices of toast. For her eleven o’clock snack she had twenty chocolate biscuits and three cups of tea. For lunch she had twenty bowls of soup and thirty loaves of bread. After lunch, she was very tired, so she slept for an hour, and when she woke up she had some pickles. Finally, for supper she had a roast pig with honey.

This was all good. Grella was a dragon, and dragons are always hungry. But it was strange, because Grella never ate jewels.

‘I don’t understand!’ said Grella’s mother. ‘Soup and pickles and pig are all good, but you need jewels! Jewels are very important.

But Grella hated jewels. They were hard, and they tasted of nothing. At every meal, her mother gave her a plate of jewels, but she never ate them. Sometimes, her mother made her eat them, but she spat them out later. So her mother tried changing how the jewels looked. She made them look like vegetables. But Grella smelled them and knew they were not the right food, and threw them on the floor.

One day, Grella’s mother got angry.

‘Grella, if you don’t eat your jewels, then you can’t eat anything else.’

She took away the bananas, and the eggs, and the bread and the biscuits and the pickles. She filled every cupboard with fresh jewels, and for every meal the family only had jewels.

‘Now, eat your dinner, Grella.’

Grella looked at the plate of green jewels in front of her.

‘I won’t.’ She flew to her room and shut the door.

For a few days, she stayed in her room. Her mother left plates of jewels outside her door but she ignored them. She thought that her mother would get very worried and bring her toast, but this did not happen. For several days, Grella stayed in her room and got more and more hungry.

Finally, she could not stop herself. One night, she went into the kitchen.

She picked up a jewel and looked at it. It just looked so strange. But all the other dragons in the world ate them…

Grella ate the jewel. It tasted horrible!

‘Eugh!’ she said.

But she felt less hungry, so she ate another, and then another.

By the next morning, Grella had eaten all the jewels in the house. Her mother was very happy.

‘Wonderful, just wonderful! Wait here, Grella. I will go and get some more jewels for breakfast.’

Her mother brought three bowls of jewels back with her. She said she stole them from a king’s castle. It was enough for a whole family for a week. But when Grella’s mother wasn’t there, Grella ate all of the jewels herself.

‘Grella!’ said her mother. ‘You didn’t eat all those jewels, did you?’

‘I did,’ said Grella. ‘And I want more. Where’s dessert?’

‘Those were all the jewels I got!’ said her mother. ‘Look, I can go and make some toast if you want.’

But Grella could only think about eating jewels. She needed more, and she needed them now.

Grella ran to the window and jumped out, flying away.

‘Grella, where are you going?!’ shouted her mother. ‘It’s a school day!’

But Grella didn’t hear her. She flew through the air, and far away, she smelled jewels. She followed the smell, flying over the mountains where they lived. Finally, she found a road. On the road, there was a cart with some people.

And the cart was full of jewels.

Grella’s family had taught her to be a good dragon. She knew that it was bad to kill people, because then they would come and kill dragons. But she just wanted to have some fun.

She flew down and took the roof off the cart. The people with the cart saw her and ran away. Grella laughed, and picked up the cart in her hand. She emptied it into her mouth, eating all of the jewels in one go.

Grella understood now. Her mother had been right. Jewels were amazing. They made her feel wonderful inside, like there was a party inside her stomach.

Grella flew off to find more food.

Grella flew around for a whole week, stealing all kinds of jewels. People soon found out about her. Young dragons thought she was amazing, so they started stealing jewels like her. Of course, the adult dragons thought she was very bad. Grella was giving them a bad reputation, and doing very dangerous things. Anyway, she should really be in school!

Finally, after eating so many jewels, Grella grew fat and heavy, so she flew home to sleep.

But her mother wanted to speak with her.

‘Grella, I can’t believe you did that!’

‘I thought you wanted me to eat jewels?’

‘I— I— Not like this! I was so worried about you, and now everyone is talking about our family and saying bad things. It was very bad of you!’

Grella’s mother shouted at her, but Grella ignored her. She felt very tired, and she could not stop herself from closing her eyes…

When she woke up, it was night. She had no idea how long she had slept, but she was sure it had been a very long time. She knew this because she was very hungry, so it was time to go and eat some jewels.

Grella went to the kitchen and opened the fridge.

No jewels there.

So she went and opened the cupboards.

No jewels there.

She looked in the freezer.

No jewels there!

She looked in the whole house, but she could not find a jewel anywhere!

But she did find something in her brother’s room. Under his bed he had lots of food: pickles and biscuits and chocolate and bread and all sorts of soup. Grella pulled the food out, took it to the kitchen and looked at it.

They were not beautiful like jewels. They smelled strange. Some were hard, but some were really soft. They had all sorts of different colours. Slowly, she picked up a chocolate biscuit and ate it.

Oh, it tasted so good!

Grella started to eat. Several hours later, her parents woke up and came into the kitchen. Almost all the food was gone! Grella lay down on the floor and looked very happy.

‘Oh, my daughter!’ said her mother. ‘My daughter is back!’

She went and hugged Grella, and the young dragon felt a bit sick.

‘I don’t understand you!’ she said. ‘First you want me to eat jewels, then you shout at me for it, and now you’re happy that I’m eating other food!’

‘I know, I know. I’m sorry. I was wrong.’

She started crying, and hugged Grella again. Mothers were so strange!

‘My food!’ said Grella’s brother. ‘Grella, that was my food!’

‘Don’t worry,’ said their mother, drying her eyes. ‘From now on, we will have all kinds of food in this house. There will be jewels for dragons who want them, and other food for dragons who want that.’

And so everything was normal again. Every day, Grella ate five meals. For breakfast she had ten bananas, five eggs, and three slices of toast. For her eleven o’clock snack she had twenty chocolate biscuits and three cups of tea. For lunch she had twenty bowls of soup and thirty loaves of bread. After lunch, she was very tired, so she slept for an hour, and when she woke up she had some pickles. Finally, for supper she had a roast pig with honey.

Oh, and sometimes she even ate a jewel.


I hope you enjoyed today’s story. It’s one that I originally wrote quite a long time ago, but I really like it. You could probably hear in my voice, I really enjoy telling this story.

Anyway, recently I’ve been having ‘winter brain’. So winter is the coldest season of the year, and your brain is the big pink thing that sits in your head and helps you think. I talked more about it on Patreon, on Elevenses with Ariel, my other podcast.

But basically, it’s winter and I’m sleeping more, eating more and socialising a lot less, I’m talking to people a lot less.

Mainly, I’m playing lots of video games. I don’t know about you, but I love video games. However, I don’t play them all the time. I usually only play two or three games a year, and I’ll play them really intensely for a few months, and then for the rest of the time I don’t play them so much.

So I was playing a video game called Hades for a while, and I was really obsessed with Hades. I think I played Hades for over 120 hours, so, oops!

At the moment, however, I am playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses. It is a strategy RPG. So basically, you have an army and you choose where they go and how they attack enemies and you have to think a lot and plan out your moves. It’s a bit like chess, but in my opinion, it’s a lot more fun than chess.

Although, to be honest, I’m not actually playing Fire Emblem so much now? In the past week, I’ve gotten really into baking. I’ve started baking loads. So I’ve been watching a great TV show called The Great British Bake Off, which is a baking competition show. It’s actually really popular here and there are different versions in lots of different countries. So, yeah! But I’ll get back to the gaming, I’m sure.

What about you? Are you a gamer? Come and let me know! Leave a comment on the transcript at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/DragonL1.

And, if you’re feeling generous, there’s an orange button under the episode, or on EasyStoriesInEnglish.com, that says Buy me a coffee! If you click that button, you can send me $3 so that I can buy a coffee… or a cupcake, or a hot chocolate, or… I don’t know! Lots of things. I guess there are lots of things you can get with that much money, huh?

Anyway, thank you for listening, I hope you enjoyed the episode, and I’ll see you next week. Bye!

The Tattoo | Easy Stories in English

Are you looking for an English teacher to take you to the next level? Well, that could be me! I do classes over Zoom, where we will write stories, watch fun videos and talk about whatever you’re interested in.

To find out more information and book a class, go to EasyStoriesInEnglish. com/Classes. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Classes.

See you soon, future student!

[introduction music]

Welcome to Easy Stories in English, the podcast that will take your English from OK to Good, and from Good to Great.

I am Ariel Goodbody, your host for this show. Today’s story is for beginners. The name of the story is The Tattoo. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Tattoo. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Tattoo. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation after it.

Today’s story is a science fiction story. That means it happens in a world that is like ours, but it is a bit different. I thought I should say that, because I don’t want people to get confused. By the way, this story might not be suitable for children, because it has a mention of sex in it.

OK, I’ll just explain some words that are in today’s story.

Many traditional tattoos have anchors, like this one (Ricardo Almeida CC BY 2. 0)

A tattoo is a piece of art that you have on your skin, on your body. You go to a tattoo parlour to get a tattoo. People who work at tattoo parlours are called tattoo artists. Tattoo artists take ink and push the ink into your skin to make a picture. People usually get black tattoos, but you can also get coloured tattoos. It hurts a lot to get a tattoo, because the artists use sharp things called needles to push the ink in. As you get older, tattoos look less pretty, but some people get tattoos all over their body. Common pictures for tattoos are roses, hearts, names of loved ones, skulls and so on.

When you do something months in advance, you do it many months before you have to. For example, if you want to go to a really expensive restaurant, you will probably have to book it months in advance. Or if you want to go and see a popular show like Hamilton, you will have to buy tickets months in advance.

When you lie, you say something that isn’t true. For example, if I tell you, ‘Hi, I’m Queen Elizabeth,’ that’s a lie, because it’s not true. I am not Queen Elizabeth. Children often lie when they don’t want their parents to get angry at them. Sometimes people lie because it is very hard to say the truth.

A rhombus, circle and triangle, three shapes (Wrtlprnft CC BY-SA 3.0)

Squares, triangles and circles are all shapes. Shapes are very important in mathematics. Geometry is the study of shapes.

Anxious means worried. Everyone gets worried, but not everyone gets anxious. Anxious is when you are very, very worried. If you get anxious often, then you have anxiety. If you have anxiety, you might have to take pills, medicine, to make you feel less anxious.

Hide, and the past tense is hid, and the past participle is hidden, is when you make it so people can’t see something. For example, maybe you are eating chocolate, but you don’t want other people to see it, because then they will want to eat the chocolate. So you hide the chocolate in the cupboard so that they won’t see it. Now the chocolate is hidden. Of course, if something is hidden for a long time, you might forget it’s there.

Your bum is a part of your body. Your bum is at the back of your body, below your back and above your legs. You sit on your bum. To be honest, people don’t like talking about bums very much because it’s rude. ‘Bum’ is a word that children often use, or a word that we use with friends.

When you treat someone like something, you act like they are that thing. For example, if you treat someone like they are your pet, you will not listen to what they say, and just make them do things for you. Your boss might treat you like a pet: ‘Go and get me coffee! Sit down!’ More generally, you can treat someone well or treat someone badly. If you sit down and start barking like a dog, woof woof, then your boss will probably treat you like you are very strange.

Traditional barbers often have this sign outside (Ellin Beltz CC BY-SA 4. 0)

A barber is someone who cuts your hair. Generally, hairdressers cut people’s hair, but barbers specifically cut men’s hair. Because men’s hair is usually shorter, the styles are different, so many men go to barber’s. Barbers can also cut your beard, but hairdressers don’t cut beards.

When you shave your hair off, you take a razor, a sharp knife, and cut all your hair off. When men get older, they often start losing their hair. They start going bald. When you are completely bald, you have no hair on your head. Of course, many people take a long time to go completely bald, and it can look bad if you only have some hair on your head. So some people decide to shave all their hair off before they go completely bald, because they think it looks better. My father and brother started going bald when they were quite young, but luckily I haven’t started going bald yet. If I did, I would probably shave all my hair off and start wearing a hat.

When you have an original idea, it is an idea that nobody else has had before. Steve Jobs was very famous for having original ideas. Before the iPhone, nobody had thought of making a phone like that. It was a very original idea. These days, it’s very hard to be original, because you can find almost anything on the internet.

When you remove something, you make it go away, you take it out. For example, if I am teaching a class and there is a very difficult student, a student making lots of problems, I might have to remove them from the class. I don’t like doing this, however. If you find you keep eating chocolate and are getting very sick, then you might have to remove all the chocolate from your house. I don’t like doing this, either, but sometimes I have to!

We have a bumper crop of new patrons today. A bumper crop is when a farmer collects their food, their crop, for the year, and there is LOTS more than usual! So we have more patrons than usual, a bumper crop. And those wonderful new patrons are: Sara Disantis, Charlotte Dupré, Jarek, Renata and Valeria the Dancer. Thank you all for your support!

If you join the Patreon by giving just $5 a month, you can get access to 23 bonus episodes of the podcast. This month’s bonus episode is The Boy Who Cried Wolf. It’s a story we had before at beginner level, but this time it’s at the intermediate level. So it’s a great way to learn more vocabulary. You can join the Patreon at Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish.

OK, so listen and enjoy!

Most people got their tattoos on their 18th birthday. It was what you did. People booked their appointments months in advance at the best tattoo parlours in town. You didn’t want to find that they had no more appointments left. May was a very busy month, because most people had their birthdays in May, so it was very hard to get an appointment then. Sometimes, people got angry at the people who worked at the tattoo parlour, or they paid hundreds of pounds just to get an appointment.

Gary wasn’t like most people. He didn’t want a tattoo. His parents, his friends and his girlfriend all told him that he would want a tattoo one day, like everyone else.

‘I know you think you don’t want it,’ said Gary’s girlfriend, Claire, ‘but just think. When you turn 18, most of your friends will have their tattoos already. People will want to see yours. Look, you can tell them that you’re getting it later, that you couldn’t book an appointment, but how long can you lie? One day, you’ll look around and think, “God, why don’t I have a tattoo? Everyone else does.” ’

‘But why do I need one?’ said Gary. ‘Everyone else has one, yes. But I don’t want one.’

‘But Gary!’ said Claire. ‘You’re always like this. You think that, because you have to do it, that it’s something bad. You were like this when you learned to drive, as well. Think of it like this: getting a tattoo is a way to tell the world about yourself. It’s a way to say, “This is me, this is who I am, this is what I want.” And I can’t wait to see what you choose!’

Gary sighed and started talking about something else.

That was the other thing, the thing that Gary couldn’t talk to anyone about. He didn’t think it mattered. Why did you need a tattoo to tell the world about yourself? Why couldn’t you just be yourself, dress how you wanted, talk how you wanted and so on? People know who you are just by talking to you, don’t they?

But no, the tattoo was important. What you chose for your tattoo said what you thought, what you liked, who you were. Some people got tattoos of their pets, or strong animals like lions, or stars or moons or whatever. Some people got words in foreign languages. Some people got simple shapes.

Actually, Gary didn’t know what he would get. For several years, when he thought about getting a tattoo, he felt anxious. He knew who he was, but he couldn’t take ‘Gary’ and put him in a picture. He was more than that, more than just a few words or a shape.

People thought it was bad to tell other people what your tattoo was going to be. Of course, many people did talk about it. Gary’s friends had told him what tattoos they wanted. But they were sure. They knew what they wanted. So when they asked Gary what he wanted, he told them he knew, but he didn’t want to tell them.

One day, his mum found out that he was anxious about his tattoo. She told him it was normal, that many people get anxious.

‘So just get it in a hidden place. Get it on your bum, if you need to.’


But it was true. Most people got their tattoo on their arm or leg, so they could show it to people. Some people really wanted the world to know who they were, so they got their tattoo on their head or their hand. Some people wanted to keep it hidden, so they got it on their back, or the bottom of their foot, or yes, their bum.

But those people often got treated badly. These days, it wasn’t cool to get a hidden tattoo. The day after your 18th birthday, everyone wanted to see it. So if it was hidden, they sometimes took your clothes off and took a picture, anyway. Gary did not want that.

Gary knew that there were some people who didn’t get tattoos. One of his uncles was like that, but he had never met him. His family didn’t like to talk about him, either.

Gary didn’t understand why. Why were people who didn’t get tattoos treated differently? They were seen as strange. People said they were like children, because children didn’t have tattoos. They often couldn’t get jobs, because their boss wanted to know who they were, who they really were, and if someone didn’t have a tattoo, they were hiding something, weren’t they?

So Gary knew that one day, he would probably have to get a tattoo. He could keep saying no, but one day, he would have to.

On the day of his 18th birthday, his parents took him to the tattoo parlour. Of course they did. They had booked an appointment months in advance without telling him. Gary didn’t want to go. He said he wanted to go and see his friends. But his parents had booked the appointment for 10am, and they couldn’t change it.

When Gary got there, he went into a room with the tattoo artist. The tattoo artist was a woman who was maybe 40 or 50. She had lots of tattoos, of course. All tattoo artists did. They were the only people who could get more than one tattoo. Well, other people could, but they were treated as strange. Wasn’t one enough?

Gary was surprised that the tattoo artist was a woman. Usually, men got tattoos from other men, and women got tattoos from other women. But his parents had probably chosen a woman because it might make him feel less anxious. Or maybe it was the only appointment they could get.

Anyway, she was very friendly. She gave him a cup of tea and asked what things he liked, what his hobbies were, if he had any pets or people he really loved.

His parents must have told her he was anxious about it. It made it worse. Gary did have lots of things he loved, of course. But none of them were so special. None of them were so great that he wanted them tattooed on his body. And where would he get it? He didn’t want one where everyone could see it, but he didn’t want to be treated badly by the guys at school.

And then Gary had an idea.

‘Can I… get a tattoo on my head?’

The tattoo artist looked very surprised.

‘Well… yes, you can. But you have a lot of hair. Nobody will be able to see it. And I can’t tattoo you until you get your hair cut.’

Gary stood up. ‘Could you wait while I go to the barber, then?’

The tattoo artist sighed and checked her watch.

‘Alright, but be quick.’

Gary ran out. His parents were waiting outside the room, and they were surprised to see him.

‘Don’t have time to explain,’ he said. ‘I’m going to the barber’s.’

His parents probably thought he was going to get a tattoo on the side of his head. That was a popular fashion. Yes, it meant you had to cut your hair short, but it looked really cool.

But Gary didn’t want that.

He told the barber he wanted him to shave all his hair off. The man was very surprised.

‘But you’re so young. You have wonderful hair. Do you really want to go bald?’

‘Yes, yes. And I don’t have much time.’

So the barber shaved all his hair off, and Gary was bald. He looked very strange, but he didn’t care. He said thank you, paid the barber, and then ran back to the tattoo artist.

‘Oh my God!’ said his mother when she saw him.

But she didn’t have time to say anything else, because he was already back in the room with the tattoo artist.

‘I’m ready,’ he said, panting. ‘And I know what I want.’

Nobody liked Gary’s tattoo. Firstly, it wasn’t original. Everyone wanted an original tattoo, and Gary’s was just a simple X shape. Lots of people had those, but they usually got something with the X, to make it more original. But not Gary. He just had a big X shape.

Of course, the place he got the tattoo was very original. Too original. His friends all thought it was funny. They said that only Gary would get a tattoo on the top of his head, so it was perfect for him. But his parents hated it, and his girlfriend Claire really hated it.

Weeks passed. Gary’s hair started to grow again. His friends stopped laughing about his tattoo, and life started being normal again.

But then the questions started.

‘When are you going to get a real one?’ asked his dad. ‘I mean, that was a funny joke, Gary, but you need a real tattoo. You can’t go bald every time you want to show it to someone.’

Gary couldn’t believe it. He had done the thing that everyone wanted, hadn’t he? So why was it a problem?

But his dad wasn’t the only one. Claire asked him to get a new tattoo every day. She drew pictures for him, texted him ideas. Finally, it was too much for him, and he stopped seeing her.

Gary didn’t get a new tattoo, of course. The first one had hurt, and it cost a lot of money. Yes, his parents had paid for it, but he hated that they paid for something he didn’t want. And really, he didn’t like the tattoo he’d gotten. It was fun to make everyone laugh, but it really didn’t look good.

Gary’s hair grew, and soon you couldn’t see the tattoo at all. He was happy with this, and he didn’t feel anxious anymore. He could forget that it was there.

But of course, this just made everyone else angry. Fine, Gary had gotten a bad tattoo, but now he was hiding it from the world.

‘You can’t get a tattoo there and then cover it with hair,’ said his mother. ‘You should shave off all your hair again, or get a new tattoo.’

‘No,’ said Gary. ‘I won’t do it. I got the tattoo, OK? You should be happy now. I don’t have to be like everyone else.’

Gary went to university, and there he had more problems. Everyone showed each other their tattoos. It was a great way to make friends, because you could talk about why you got your tattoo like that. And when someone had a hidden tattoo, everyone wanted to know where it was and what it was. Gary told nobody where his tattoo was. Several girls tried to sleep with him, because they thought he might have it on his bum.

When people found out where it really was, they were not happy. Some boys from the football team went into his room at night and shaved all his hair off. The next day, everyone saw his tattoo and laughed at him.

‘What a bad tattoo,’ they said. ‘It would be better to have none.’

Until then, Gary had been thinking about getting another tattoo. It was just too hard with his X-shaped one.

But now, he knew that he would never get one. This was who he was. And he found out that there was a word for it: tatless. Tatless people were people who couldn’t get tattoos, or didn’t want tattoos. Some tatless people had tattoos but they removed them, or they never showed them to people.

Finally, Gary met other tatless people. He was very anxious, but when he met them, he knew that they were his people. They understood what it was like, to be treated so badly. They understood why he didn’t want a tattoo, and they thought he was great for the tattoo he got.

Gary liked one of the tatless guys very much, and they became boyfriends. They had to keep their love hidden, of course. If Gary’s parents knew he had a tatless boyfriend, they wouldn’t be happy.

Many times, Gary’s boyfriend, Kyle, said, ‘You know, you could get that tattoo removed. I know it’s hidden, but it’s so much better when it’s removed. When mine was removed, I felt amazing. And it’s very safe. I have a friend who does it.’

But Gary said no.

‘It’s hidden. That’s enough. If I can’t see it, it doesn’t matter.’

Gary and Kyle stayed together over the years. When Gary grew older, he started going bald.

He had been worrying about this. Now his tattoo wouldn’t be hidden, and he would have to remember everything that had happened. He hadn’t talked to his parents in years, and he didn’t want to remember the day he got that tattoo.

So he decided to get it removed. But first, he had to shave off all his hair.

Kyle did it for him. Gary closed his eyes, and Kyle shaved it very quickly.

‘I don’t believe it,’ said Kyle.

‘What?’ said Gary.

He was so anxious that he didn’t want to open his eyes.

‘Did you have it removed already? It’s gone.

Gary opened his eyes. And it was true. On his bald head, there was no tattoo.

The X was gone. Somehow, it had removed itself.

Gary laughed.

‘My body knows what it wants,’ he said. ‘And it didn’t want that.’


I hope you enjoyed today’s story. It’s another original story from me, another story that I wrote myself.

I said earlier that it was science fiction, but really it’s more speculative fiction.

Speculate means when you say, ‘Hmm, what would the world be like if X were different? If this one thing was different, how would the world be changed?’ So you are speculating about a different world. That is speculative fiction.

So in this story, I speculated, ‘What would the world be like if everyone got tattoos when they turned 18?’

Personally, I don’t have a tattoo, but I’ve wanted a tattoo for years. The problem is, I can’t decide what I want, but I think I might finally know.

Me and my girlfriend call each other ‘starlight’ and ‘moonlight’. So she calls me ‘starlight’ and I call her ‘moonlight’. I know that’s really soppy. Soppy is when it’s like really romantic and sweet and, aww, cute! But, yeah, that’s what we call each other. Starlight and moonlight.

So we were thinking of maybe getting tattoos with stars and moons, maybe on our arm. I know it’s a really bad idea to get your partner’s name tattooed on you, to get your girlfriend or boyfriend’s name tattooed on you, but this is a bit different because, even if we do break up, it’s still a pretty tattoo, and I’ll still like how it looks. I have a friend who has a tattoo of the moon on their arm and it looks really cool.

I think this probably will be the tattoo I get, because otherwise, I don’t know what I would get. I’m really bad at making decisions. My interests change very frequently, so if I got a tattoo from a TV show or something, I might hate it in a few years’ time.

Anyway, do you have a tattoo, and do you want one? And what do you think about tattoos in general? Come and leave a comment on the transcript at EasyStoriesInEnglish. com/Tattoo.

Thank you again for listening, and if you’re feeling generous, you can send me $3 so that I can buy a coffee, a tea, or any other beverage that costs around that price. Just go to EasyStoriesInEnglish.com and click the red, or orange, button that says Buy me a coffee. Mmm, I’m enjoying the imaginary coffee already! Thank you again, and see you next week!

History of England. New Era – analytical portal POLIT.RU

Hummingbird and Azbuka-Atticus publishing houses present Peter Ackroyd's book History of England. New era. From the End of the Victorian Era to the Beginning of the Third Millennium (translated by Valentina Ionova) is the final part of the six-volume cycle History of England.

The history of England is a continuous movement and a series of constant changes. But the whole history of England, beginning with primitiveness, is permeated by continuity, so that the main thing in it is not change, but constancy. Until now, in England, one can feel an inextricable connection with the past, with traditions and customs. Until now, this country has resisted change in any aspect of life. Peter Ackroyd shows the origins of England's age-old immutability, its conservatism and commitment to the past. nine0004

In this volume, English history begins in 1902 with the end of the Boer War, during which disillusionment and shame gradually engulfed those who had previously been proud of the empire. Edward VII, though not as politically powerful as his mother, Queen Victoria, was the most beloved English king after Charles II. Under his son George V, the country participated in the First World War and still retained some features of the Victorian era, but by the end of the reign of the next monarch, it had changed beyond recognition. George VI came to the throne after the abdication of Edward VIII, his elder brother, and became one of the symbols of the struggle against Germany and Nazism during World War II. He was the last emperor of India and the last king of Ireland: the British Empire collapsed and its transformation into the Commonwealth of Nations took place. After the death of the monarch and the coronation of his daughter, a new Elizabethan era began. By the turn of the millennium, to which the story reaches, ten prime ministers have changed during the reign of Elizabeth II, the most famous of which were Winston Churchill, Harold Wilson, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. nine0004

We suggest reading a fragment of the book describing the events of the early 1950s.

The old world

On February 6, 1952, the king died and, as it happened, a new Elizabethan era began. Another herald of change was the Conservative government of 1951. Domestic duties were no longer seen as inevitable, and the status of nurses and teachers rose proportionately. The woman was no longer just a "duchess", "mistress", "housewife" or "worker", she could well teach mathematics or physical education. It took two bloody world wars to make this clear. Of course, as in any turbulent times, there were those who were dissatisfied: is it really necessary to train women to be doctors in a world where there is always the threat of layoffs? nine0005

The coronation of the young queen took place with much more pomp and much more pearls than her father's, but those who had ears heard a new and very gloomy note in the celebrations. The new monarch of Great Britain did not bear the title of Empress of India; she was proclaimed simply as "The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth and Defender of the Faith of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Her other Realms and Territories". Everyone noted her declaration of affection for "our great imperial family," but the young queen understood her new place. nine0005

The previous year was marked by the Festival of Britain. For luxury and abundance, he could not compare with his Victorian model, but this was his fame. Times were more modest, pockets more empty, and people less prone to triumphant experiences, but flags fluttered and beer flowed like water. The festival also celebrated the opening of the South Bank (literally - "South Bank") as one of the cultural centers of London. Not without curiosities, of course. One of the exhibits was a collection of colored fabrics made from artificial viscose fiber, and the king was invited to look at it, but the purpose of the material was not explained. After receiving the necessary explanations, the monarch muttered, "Thank God, we will not be forced to wear this." Despite all the outward gestures in support of the people, the royal family could not fully share the common experience. During the war, her role was highlighted as an anomaly. nine0005

The Empire was actually barely teetering on the edge, although few people were aware of this fact. India broke away in 1947, the political legend went, because of the connivance of middle-class English rulers. In fact, the efforts of Gandhi, the Congress and the Muslim League eventually convinced the British that they were too late away. The government faced a choice: the country could overpower either the empire or the welfare state, but not both at the same time. Lord Mountbatten warned the local princes of the subcontinent that if they refused to integrate into the successor states - India and Pakistan - their territories would be left to fend for themselves, without dominion status and a place in the Commonwealth. At midnight 15 August 1947 years the territory of British India gained independence and was divided into two countries. No one could have foreseen this then, but this partition will create 14 million refugees and countless deaths. The border between India and Pakistan was drawn by the British, who practically did not take into account local features and relations.

But now, without India, what was left of value in the empire? Of course, people liked the glow of the pink imperial lands on the map, but for most, the idea of ​​\u200b\u200bthem was only a vague glimmer somewhere in the outskirts of consciousness. The paradox of a colonial and industrial superpower, where at the same time such horrendous poverty reigned, was what inspired Marx and Engels in their time. Repeatedly defending the imperial idea, Cyril Radcliffe, the man who was instructed to divide India and Pakistan, agonized over the very question of the value of empire until the end of his life: “We brought ... Roman gifts: peace, order, justice and all the fruits that grow from these things … Those were admirable deeds. ” However, he could not help but make a reservation: "Perhaps the government of one people by another people can never last long, since goodwill and justice will not replace national enthusiasm." Radcliffe was talking about India, but his observations can be applied to the empire as a whole, which was about to have a massive and humbling awareness of all these truths. nine0005

It started rather quietly. In the summer of 1948, the liner Empire Windrush 1 moored to the English coast, carrying less than a thousand inhabitants of the West Indies Islands. Someone paid for the fare, someone "caught a ride", the rest served in the army. He had all heard of the "motherland," as Britain was still called, but few had seen it with their own eyes. At first, they and those who arrived after them were greeted with "Welcome to Britain" posters. What kind of "good" was waiting for them after the posters and smiles? When the settlers settled down, the agenda changed, signs “We don’t rent to colored people” appeared in the windows of rented houses. In its own—and rather repulsive—way, the approach was inclusive, rejecting anyone with a skin color darker than pink. Who knows what will happen to the bedding? nine0005

Vince Reid, the only teenager who arrived on that ship, recalled a fact that many in England chose to forget: the Windrush generation represented only the latest of many chapters in Black England's history. “I was a boy. I didn't have any expectations. When I went to school, for the first time it became clear how they perceived me: I was a kind of curiosity, which is strange when you are used to thinking that there are black soldiers in England. And you know, people came up and rubbed your skin, checking if the blackness would come off, and they pulled your hair, and, you know, all this is very insulting. nine0005

In the war films of these and subsequent years, black men and women who have made one or another contribution to the common cause are rarely seen. And for immigrants, their very appearance turned out to be a curse. Tryfina Anderson recalled: “You don’t think about your skin, but you feel that other people think about it. And no matter what you do, everywhere there is some kind of reaction to you ... you get on the bus and sit on an empty seat ... But when there are more people on the bus, they will sit next to you last, and then it becomes clear: there is something that's not so." nine0005

And the cold that can seep through the warmest clothes; what can we say about light formal suits, a favorite outfit of newcomers. However, immigrant stories are not limited to displacement and prejudice. We met both warmly and friendliness, and sometimes in the most unexpected places. One visitor recalled his visit to the local butcher. “I got a mixture of sincere sympathy and great curiosity. I always remember going to my first butcher shop in Dewhurst when I was seven, and there I was seen by this big, big lady. She looked and looked, and then she turned to the butcher and said, "Oh, it's so sweet, I just want to eat it. " I will always remember the butchers in Dewhurst." nine0005

The England they entered was then in a depressed and exhausted state. The proud imperial nation of rumor and propaganda was barely distinguishable in a small, cramped island nation still struggling to catch its breath from the blows of a war it nearly lost. "Diamond streets" in reality turned into lead pavements, gaping funnels and surrounded by gray houses, indistinguishable in size and shape, inhabited entirely by the elderly population. Along with anxiety, fear and relief, immigrants sometimes felt some pity for the people who adopted them:

But I think what was most shocking was the age of the people. In those days, old people worked at the stations, and only old men and women rode the buses. There were not many young people to be seen. And then it began to dawn on us that the war took its toll on the young - somewhere from eighteen to thirty-five ... And people lived in block houses, this also seemed strange. It was not clear why they should live in buildings that seemed to us to be slums.

Other customs were also surprising. There was an extensive and varied support system for families with children, but many Caribbean people found it both intrusive and difficult to access—there was a lack of deeper support. Another novelty for many of the Windrush generation was "sir", which sounded more pretentious than respectful. Some of the customs that the immigrants encountered evoked fear and dislike, and it was sometimes difficult to say what was more depressing - the cold climate or the coldness of others. nine0005

It's easy to forget the fact that England just wanted cheap labor, but immigrants had other concerns - and education is not the least of them. Among other flattering characteristics, England was seen as a country of educational opportunities, but not everyone had a chance to take advantage of them. Russell Profitt was lucky to have many attentive teachers, but the secondary education system proved to be confusing and confusing for him. He grew up in an environment where education was taken very seriously - as a way of self-improvement; the very essence of the school was not in a pleasant pastime, but in learning. Here he encountered a different approach to education, generated by the welfare state, and the problem was not racism at all. nine0005

Most of the people in leadership positions wanted to help, but they hardly understood how I felt when I had to somehow cope with the racial problem and somehow adapt to an educational system that was very different from the one I had in the Caribbean islands, where we studied in a much more formal and structured environment, where we were given assignments and we completed them strictly by a certain deadline. Many of the black guys just got lost in an incomprehensible system. nine0005

Twenty years later, many Caribbean mothers experienced the same problems as Profitt's mother: “My mother did not study in Britain, so I think she does not fully understand how the education system works ... The pressure on teenagers was not at all like as expected in Caribbean families." Baroness Amos recalled how she was sent to the weakest class of the parallel:

When I went to school, I had a shock because no one tested me before entering, and I was sent to the weakest class, where I found that everyone sort of behind me in relation to what I'm used to. However, my parents were not going to put up with this, they went to school and insisted that my knowledge be checked, and then I was transferred. And I think another thing that was hard to deal with was the environment and the fact that I ended up in a much less disciplined community. nine0005

She remembers the reactions that came from simple ignorance, ignorance that is not malicious in itself, but unintentionally unceremonious. “I sang in the school choir, and at Christmas we went to the so-called nursing homes to sing. And there all the old people touched my skin and my hair: I was the first black person they saw. For many Britons, the empire has always been some kind of abstraction, but now it has come to them on the threshold in the flesh. Englishmen and Englishwomen had new neighbors, new plants in their gardens, new influences to which they had to adapt. The best people in all the major parties recognized that the country owed them a duty to take care of the immigrants, whether because they should be compensated for the excesses of colonization, or because old loyal servants should not be let down. However, no leader could afford to talk openly about the benefits of a multicultural society. nine0005

1. The name of this ship, on which the first group of Caribbean immigrants arrived in England, then passed to the entire generation that settled in England from the late 1940s to the early 1960s - the Windrush generation.

Scotland and England: "Our Dear Eternal Enemy"

  • Yana Litvinova
  • BBC Russian Service London

Photo copyright, GETTY IMAGES

Photo caption,

After more than 300 years as part of the UK, Scotland is once again deciding whether to become an independent state

Sometimes it seems that God deliberately placed the English and Scots on one, relatively small island so that they can constantly blame someone else for their troubles and take out on each other their general dissatisfaction with life.

The Scots have always been distinguished by a certain intractability; the British, absolutely confident in their own superiority, did everything possible to subdue the Scots. nine0005

The debate about where and how the Scots will be better off - as part of the United Kingdom, or on their own - for some reason revolves around the economy, oil, finance, partly EU membership and the fate of the pound sterling.

For some reason, even the National Party of Scotland, or SNP, which advocates independence, does not translate the issue into an emotional-historical plane. Although it is there that lies the main answer to the difficult question: why do the Scots want independence?

image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Photo caption,

Supporters of Scottish independence take every opportunity (and surface) to call on the people to vote Yes

Things are far from simple.

Uncompromising northerners

The islands have always been different. nine0005

The Romans, having conquered half of the known world and created their own Pax Romana, failed to subdue the Pictish tribes, despite initial victories accompanied by great bloodshed.

Image copyright, GETTY IMAGES

Image caption,

Emperor Hadrian

The successful guerrilla warfare of the people of northern Britain led the Romans to think it wise to leave them to fend for themselves and protect their civilized world "from wild barbarians" a defensive wall, called the Wall (or Wall) of Hadrian. (Fans of the George Martin saga will easily recognize in him the prototype of the Wall from Songs of Ice and Fire). nine0005

Photo copyright, GETTY IMAGES

Photo caption,

Roman Emperor Hadrian walled off Roman civilization from northern "barbarism"

Any historian dealing with relations between two nations has a difficult time.

How tempting it is to portray the British as aggressors - but is it?

The last Albian king and the choice of Edward I

The Scottish kingdom was finally formed by the end of the 13th century. Historians call it the "Kingdom of Alba" to separate this period of Scottish history from the subsequent period in which the Stuarts played a predominant role. nine0005

The last Albian king, Alexander III, died in 1286 without a male heir.

Photo copyright, GETTY IMAGES

Photo caption,

After the death of Alexander III and his son, Scotland was left without a king with 13 claimants to the throne

Skip the Podcast and continue reading.


What was that?

We quickly, simply and clearly explain what happened, why it's important and what's next. nine0005


The End of History Podcast

The only direct heiress was Margaret, the Virgin of Norway (well, they loved such ornate names and nicknames in the Middle Ages), Alexander's granddaughter from his only daughter, also Margaret, daughter of the Norwegian King Eric II.

The Lord Protectors of Scotland made a treaty with King Edward I of England, deciding to marry Margaret to his son, Edward of Caernarvon Plantagenet, on the condition that their future children would rule England and Scotland together. nine0005

If it had gone according to plan, then, most likely, we would not have been waiting for the Scottish referendum now, and the whole subsequent history of the British Isles could have gone in a completely different direction.

However, Margarita did not make it to England and Scotland. The girl fell seriously ill during a sea voyage from Norway and died as soon as she set foot on the land of the Orkney Islands.

Scotland was left without a rightful king.

Claims to the crown were put forward by no less than 13 (!) Scottish aristocrats. nine0005

Of these, John Balliol, John Hastings and Robert the Bruce (grandfather of another Robert the Bruce who later became one of the greatest Scottish kings) had the most rights.

Image copyright, GETTY IMAGES

Image caption,

King Edward I of England, nicknamed "The Hammer of Scotland"

The threat of civil war was becoming a reality, the Scots themselves could not decide who to make king. As a result, they did not come up with anything better than to turn to ... all the same King of England Edward I with a request to make this difficult choice for them. nine0005

Edward, being a sophisticated politician, immediately demanded that all claimants to the throne first recognize themselves as his vassals. The Scots, instead of being indignant, agreed, because no one wanted to drop out of the royal race before the time.

The English king chose John Balliol, who became the king of Scotland. But not for long.

"Hammer of the Scots"

Some historians believe that Edward deliberately chose the weakest of all applicants. However, in fairness, it should be noted that it was Balliol who had the most serious rights to the throne: he was a direct descendant of King David I of Scotland, although through the female line. nine0005

Of course, by virtue of a preliminary agreement, the newly minted Scottish king had to swear allegiance to the king of England.

Edward immediately demanded that the Scots help him fight the French. The Scots, for some reason, decided not to fulfill the agreements and, instead of crossing swords and spears with the French, they made an alliance with them against ... the British.

Edward, of course, was indignant (one would like to write "quite rightly"), gathered an army and prepared to go north with it. nine0005

Meanwhile, the Scots also raised an army and - with the support of the French - attacked the English city of Carlisle.

In the end, this escapade ended sadly for them: the English troops utterly defeated the Scots, Edward imprisoned John Balliol in the Tower (where he died) and annexed the lands of the Scottish crown to his possessions.

Intoxicated with victory, the British behaved in the lands of their northern neighbor, as it should be for conquerors and occupiers, for which Edward I received the historical nickname "Hammer of the Scots". nine0005

The expropriation of the Skone Stone

The author of the photo, PA

Image description

The "Skoon Stone" or "Stone of Destiny", the symbol of Scottish statehood, was returned to Edinburgh by the Labor government, under the leadership of the Scot Tony Blair

The King of England finally decided to undermine the hopes of the northern neighbors for independence: in 1296, he took to London the sacred Skone stone - a huge piece of sandstone that served as the coronation throne of the Scottish kings. nine0005

Deciding to deprive the Scots of the sacred foundations of statehood, he ordered a stone built into the foot of his own throne.

All the English and later British kings and queens sat successively on the Skoon Stone.

However, in 1996 the Labor government under the leadership of the Scotsman Tony Blair decided to return the Skoon Stone to Scotland - with the condition, however, that it would be loaned back when the time came for the next British monarch to be crowned. nine0005

As a result of continuous wars, the Scots managed to win their independence only by 1328.

One king, but two kingdoms

Photo copyright, GETTY IMAGES

Photo caption,

James I, King of England and Scotland. Contemporaries believed that he never managed to translate his broad knowledge into concrete deeds.

Fast forward another three centuries. The next "unification" of England and Scotland occurred after the death of Elizabeth I.

The "Virgin Queen" was childless, and King James VI of Scotland actually inherited England, becoming King James I of England. the Tudor dynasty.

Leaving Edinburgh for London, he promised the Scots that he would return to them several times a year. In reality, during the 22 years of his reign, he visited his homeland only once. nine0005

Contemporaries called Jacob "the most educated fool on the throne." The Scottish-English king was distinguished by the breadth of knowledge, which, however, he could not put into practice.

The normal unification of the two countries did not take place during his reign: the Scots still had their own parliament, their own laws and minted their own coins.

Two crowns joined on one head, but the two peoples largely remained on their own.

image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image description,

Charles I was sold to the British by the Scots for an impressive sum of 400,000 pounds

James was succeeded by his son Charles I, who, having lost the civil war, lost his kingdom, freedom and head.

There is one juicy detail in the history of his fall: Charles fled to Scotland. It can be said that he returned from England to his native country.

The Scots first placed him actually under arrest, and then, in 1647, they handed him over to the representatives of the English Parliament for a huge sum of 400 thousand pounds sterling at that time. That is, they sold their legitimate and blood-born king to the worst historical enemies, if you call a spade a spade. nine0005

Then there was Cromwell and the restoration, James II, who converted to Catholicism, his exile and invitation to the British throne of William of Orange with his wife Mary.

All this time the Scots pursued their own cunning policy, deciding at some point to support the deposed James II, remembering his Scottish roots.

Glencoe Massacre

On August 27, 1691, King William III promised an amnesty to the Scottish Highland clans for participating in the Jacobite rising - on the condition that they take the oath of allegiance to him before the New Year. nine0005

After that, an event occurred that, without exaggeration, can be called almost the darkest page in the history of the two peoples: the massacre at Glencoe.

Image copyright, GETTY IMAGES

Image caption,

The Three Sisters in Glencoe

The Scottish Highland clans took a long time to respond to the offer of an amnesty. First, they turned to the deposed Jacob to ask his permission. The deposed king dragged on for a long time with an answer, but nevertheless, by the end of autumn, he reconciled and agreed, the news of which reached Scotland only by mid-December. nine0005

After that, the leaders had very little time to carry out Wilhelm's decree. So, Alistair Makian, the head of the MacDonalds from Glencoe, only on December 31 managed to get to Fort William, where he tried to take the oath to the military governor. He, however, was not authorized to take the oath, and sent Makian further, to the sheriff of Argyle.

In order to make sure that the leader of the Macdonalds still managed to meet the deadline, the governor provided him with a corresponding letter.

Makian reached the Sheriff of Argyle only on January 6, where he took the oath, considered his vassal duty fulfilled, and went home with a light heart. nine0005

Image copyright, GETTY IMAGES

Image caption,

Women and children of the MacDonald clan.

Everything would be fine, however, Wilhelm needed at least some kind of clan, which should have been roughly punished for warning to everyone else. The MacDonalds were perfect for this, being late in taking the oath.

In early February, 120 soldiers arrived at Glencoe under the command of Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlion. A small historical detail: two years before this, the Campbell possessions were plundered by the MacDonald clan. nine0005

It is clear that the captain jumped at the opportunity to take revenge on the offender with delight. For almost two weeks the soldiers ate, drank and slept in the MacDonalds' estates, after which the order came to massacre all people under the age of 70.

There was a terrible noise. And not only because several dozen people were treacherously killed at night in their beds. After all, history has not yet seen such a thing. And also because they were killed when they "trustfully" offered shelter and food to their future executioners. nine0005

From the point of view of the Scottish clans, this was the most terrible crime.

Image copyright GETTY IMAGES

Image caption

Glencoe still refuses to deal with the Campbells. A monument at the site of the massacre in Glencoe was erected by one of the descendants of Alistair Macian

Adherents of historical justice reminded that, without detracting from the bad behavior of the British, the fact remains: the Scots - albeit with the connivance of the English king - were killed by their own Scots. nine0005

To this day, the front desk of a small hotel in Glencoe is adorned with a sign that reads, "We don't serve traveling traders or Campbells."

Meanwhile, it was not long before the final unification of England and Scotland.

Merger of Parliaments and Darien Bay tragedy

Photo credit, GETTY IMAGES

Image caption,

Letter dissolving the Scottish Parliament, from the Scottish Public Records Office in Glasgow. Will history be reversed? nine0005

In 1707, the Parliaments of England and Scotland simultaneously passed decrees dissolving themselves and creating a united parliament, which was located in Westminster.

Timid attempts to create a unified parliament have been made before, but for the first time historical circumstances have developed in such a way that in both countries there is strong public support in favor of unification.

According to one version, the Scots wanted to get English money, and the British wanted to make sure that the Scots did not try to choose their own king once and for all. nine0005

There is a (very controversial) opinion of historians that an unsuccessful attempt to colonize the Darien Bay in what is now Panama, the so-called "New Caledonia" project, prompted the Scots to ally with England.

Photo copyright, GETTY IMAGES

Image caption,

Scottish colonists could not stand the weather in Panama and isolation from other European colonies in the New World

On July 14, 1698, the Scots sent five ships with settlers to Panama with the intention was supposed to serve as a transit point for trade with the countries of Southeast Asia. nine0005

The Scottish Trading Company raised a whopping £400,000, about one-fifth the value of of the country's assets.

Future colonists did not take into account two things. Firstly, the fact that the climate on the Isthmus of Panama was very different from the usual moorlands, lakes, forests, fields and rivers.

And secondly, that the English colonies - either in order not to annoy Spain once again, or for some other reason - decided not to provide any help to the new colonists. Of the 1,200 people who went to Darien Bay, less than a quarter returned home. nine0005

In addition, news of the failure of the first colonists did not reach Scotland until after the second batch had set out for South America in .

So, the Scots, having lost one-fifth of the value of their country, desperately needed the money of the ever-richer England. Of course, such a mercantile approach is not to everyone's taste.

The financial issue of the unification

Photo credit, GETTY IMAGES

Image caption,

Scots around the world celebrate Robert Burns' birthday with haggis, whiskey and a volume of the national poet's poetry

A few decades after the unification of the two countries, Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland, wrote: English more than once

Were dulled in battles,

But we were bought with English gold

At the market."

The look, of course, is romantic and irreconcilable, but on the whole it corresponds to the facts. Tens of thousands of pounds were sent from London to Edinburgh to compensate the Scottish MPs for potential financial losses from the union and to pay them pensions. nine0005

In addition, the association opened colonial markets for Scottish goods, which helped the country recover from the financial disaster of Darien Bay.

Learn more


North Coast Community Services
710 Fraser Street, Prince Rupert, BC V8J 1P9
Ph: 250.627.7166 | Fx: 250.627.7482

© All Rights Reserved | powered by ExpressionEngine