Not the Best Jew since Jesus: Latham of Leeds

For all those who heard that Dr. Marc Latham hates Leeds, they were either lied to or misguided by the misguided, as myths have a habit of distorting and escalating over time.

I’m sorry if I upset any Christians or Jewish people with the blog title, and I don’t know of any Jewishishness in my blood, but I know there’s been none in my life, with the Japanese war cry Tora! Tora! meaning more to me than the Torah, as I was reading comics like Battle and Action rather than religious books in my childhood.

Even if I was Jewish, Einstein was probably better than me… so far anyway!

I was a Christian then, but never believed in it much, although I liked the stories and films. My land was pagan before the Christians arrived, but so was everywhere in the world before some religions started invading others, as Islam is mostly doing now.

Jersey Boy Northerner – greenYgrey

Being born in Jersey, I never felt that Welsh, where I grew up. Maybe it was the parents splitting up before the move; maybe it was that I preferred football to rugby, or maybe it was because I liked animals from an early age, and didn’t like the farming and hunting around town. If I’d grown up in the more mining-orientated south-east of Wales I  might have related more to it. Ironically, Wales seems to have become more environmentally-focussed recently.

Marc started supporting Leeds United in 1970, during the golden era. He recently saw this period cited as a goldilocks period for Leeds fans, with the majority of non-Leeds fans of Leeds United aged between 45-55, on the Leeds Away Days documentary on the Made in Leeds channel.

So he identified more with England, but not the south of his birth, more the working-class north he saw on television in programmes like Kes, Boys from the Blackstuff, Auf Weidershen Pet, sitcoms (although Only Fools and Horses was his favourite) and soap operas. This was probably because Wales was similarly working-class, but didn’t have as much media representation.

Jersey of England, Latham of Leeds

I didn’t know my name’s association with West Yorkshire when I decided to move to Leeds in 1995. It was only later I found out that the name derives from the area:

Latham Name Meaning
English: habitational name from any of the various places in northern England named with the dative plural form (used originally after a preposition) of Old Norse hlaða ‘barn’ (dative plural hloðum, i.e. ‘at the barns’), as for example Latham in West Yorkshire, Lathom in Lancashire, and Laytham in East Yorkshire.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press
Unfortunately, most proud Leeds and Yorkshire people don’t know about the Latham place name, as it has now disappeared. So I haven’t received a prodigal son returning home welcome like a Mac might do returning to Scotland. 
Because I think you might think I’m trying to beg preferential treatment, I would just like to add that I can take or leave Leeds, Yorkshire and the north now, after the initial excitement and euphoria has worn off.
Leeds is generally a nice city with lots of nature nearby, and most of the landmarks and amenities you need, and particularly some fine ales, not that I partake much any more! It really needs a Premier League football team again though.
The troubles of LUFC have been partially mediated by the nice and spacious Yorkshire countryside and coast, thankfully preserved by two national parks. 
Wales also has lots of nice spacious countryside, but I was more interested in avoiding it then, thinking my townie identity more important. Leeds and Yorkshire has inspired my writing and creative spark, which is probably partly to do with its landscapes, and partly to do with me graduating from university here, and the rich vein of English writing and poetry history in the region.
And for those of you who think I’m just writing the above for personal interests and gain, no I’m not going out this weekend – and yes, staying in is partly because of the Negatives who think such things.
And yes, I would like you to buy or borrow my books from places like Amazon, so I can become a full-time writer, because I think I deserve it after a decade of hard work and innovative creation… but so do a lot of poorly paid writers… compared to musicians who can live off the royalties of one Christmas song!

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