Yes, I know Calais isn’t strictly in the UK – but that’s about the best thing you can say for it.
In fact, you can have it. You’ve made it English enough. The town’s great misfortune has been its ease of access from Dover. I’m not talking about all those long centuries’ of marauding armies eager to escape your rain-lashed island, or even the pounding it took in World War II. No, Calais was doing okay until the Brits realised that it was almost as easy for them to reach as their local supermarket – and able to supply them with plonk and beer at fear cheaper prices.
Back when stirling was strong against the Euro, booze cruisers from Britain wrecked this town. You filled it with gigantic cold warehouses, red-faced men lugging around beer kegs almost as absurdly huge as their bellies and endless chattering, clattering, giggling women topping up on fizz and puking on the pavements. You even once sent that conard, Chris Evans. Fortunately he didn’t stay long, but he did live broadcast his own alcohol shopping and so encourage even more people to visit.
But the worst of it wasn’t all the bargain hunters and alcoholics. It wasn’t even all the outsize Tescos and shops named after soap operas that looked like ruined fairground rides and where even the staff refused to speak French. No. It was the fact that you all stopped coming. As soon as the pound collapsed, you English bastards abandoned us, leaving economic ruin, rotting warehouses, and endless empty car parks. It now looks almost as bad as Swindon.
‘Francis De Guise‘