Explorer Mikael Strandberg

Once I arrived in Mosside I just knew I had to do a documentary about England!

I wrote these lines just before Christmas:

“Right now I am sitting in the kitchen dressed in thermals, a hat, shoes and my down vest. my wife is doing her final job on the Christmas presents together with the girls upstairs. We are all heading for Scotland over Christmas, a journey we look forward to, thanks to an old desert friend, the very kind and generous Mick James and his family who will offer us Scottish highlands and a warm house!
   Our time in Mosside have been extra ordinary interesting! This is considered one of the most densely populated areas in Europe and where we live, we almost speak as much Arabic as English. Mosside also used to be one of the roughest areas of the UK with lot´s of gang violence, drugs and weapons, but this was kind of terminated 2006. But the area is still a landscape of concrete and asphalt, poverty is easy to see and high unemployment. The house we live in is 120 years old, a place where tired families of cotton workers used to live. Not much has changed since those days. There´s no insulation in the house, it is dark, damp and the cold is penetrating. It has been a very challenging time, but gee, how important for the family to get perspective! And people are really welcoming and great!”
It has been a real eye opener and I realize, the England I once remembered from being a child in Buckhurst Hill in the early 70´s has dramatically changed. I need to do a journey by foot to figure out the England of today. A country I think is dramatically different to what most people think. Even to the English themselves.

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