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You probably think of Britain as being a green and pastoral paradise, that is basically Hobbiton with Tower Bridge, thatched roofs and the occasional palace, but it can be a very scary place. Bad stuff happens over here, stuff that even Dangerman: The Incredible Mr. Goodwin (which premieres Monday, Jul 8 on BBC AMERICA) would have to have assessed for health and safety implications.
Let’s start with the call of the wild and work our way round, shall we?
The Scottish Mountains
Whether you’re climbing Ben Nevis or off on a hike across the Cairngorms, the wild beauty of Scotland’s peaks and valleys is no bouncy castle ride. In fact fatalities have gone up over the past year, among experienced climbers and amateur ramblers alike.
Actually, this can be used to represent any large, wide beach that has a welcoming panoramic view, demanding that you stroll right into it, and a viciously quick tide. Morecambe is the biggest, though, being a 120 square mile expanse of beach when the tide is out. And notorious for catching people out as they try and cross from one side to the other on foot.
Should you get into a car in Greater London, you are statistically far more likely to be involved in a crash than any other county in Britain: 8.1 cars get bashed up for every 1,000 on the road. Mind you, Nottingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Brighton do even better, proportionally, it’s just condensed into a smaller area.
And once you’re out and about, just minding your own business and taking in the day as I am now, what perils could possibly befall you in scenic Manchester? Oh, wait, just a second, I can’t answer that now, some street toughs are enquiring as to the whereabouts of… ow!… and they seem to have taken a fancy to my… oof! Oh, oh dear, I think I’m about to be kicked in the… YAROO!
Tell you what, we’ll come back to this one when I’m a bit less winded.
So long as you are in your right mind, happy and carefree, there is nothing to trouble you about this natural wonder. Beachy Head is part of the chalky south-easterly shore of Great Britain, near Brighton. It’s a great white cliff rising vertiginously above the crashing waves. Sadly, this combination of romantically dramatic landscape and enormous plummet has made it something of a suicide hotspot.
There again, it does make a very good natural dramatic ending for a film, like, say Quadrophenia:
Mind how you go now, y’hear?
See more posts by Fraser McAlpine
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic