A review copy of celebrated wordsmith Iain Aitch's We're British, Innit has come into my possession, providing much needed evidence that at least one Margatonian can string two words together without the net result looking like an explosion in a Scrabble factory.
It's out in paperback next week (published by Harper Collins at £7.99, but only £5.99 from Amazon) and is chock full of bitesize bits bursting with bang-on bon mots about Blighty, arranged in a read-it-all-in-one-wet-afternoon A-Z format. The new paperback version boasts an additional chapter containing brand new material suggested by members of the Great British Public.
A random flick elicits this entry on Seaside:
Being an island nation we are never more than a short drive from the seaside, which is naturally one of the first places that our leisure industry evolved. We rapidly went from bathing machines to kiss-me-quick hats and saucy postcards, identifying the water's edge as a place where inhibitions could be cast aside. It may have lost some of its allure in the twenty-first century, but it is still the place we go to make sandcastles, ride donkeys and catch crabs, be it in a bucket, from the bed in a B&B or from a local heroin addict prostitute.
Educated at Chatham House, clearly Mr Aitch is still in touch with his Fannit roots, although I gather he can more frequently be found these days swanning it up with the Guardianistas in Stoke Lesbington. Not far from my own pied-a-terre in Norf London's media heartlands, as it happens!