I have lived in Devon for 22 years and I am still, and probably always will be, regarded as an "incomer." I have spent many hundreds of pounds in the local grocery store but have not yet received even a hint of recognition by the owner, who is likely to keep me waiting for ten minutes while he chats to real villagers. I don't worry about it, I know that things could be much worse: I could be treated like a grockle! A grockle is a holiday maker, someone to be overcharged for goods and sent in completely the wrong direction when lost.
Some recent events, though, have made me a little more sympathetic to local attitudes. A few weeks ago, a certain Mr Copp, on holiday with his family, went for a walk around the small harbour in Ilfracombe.
Mr Copp was not to be placated. He contacted our local newspaper: "It's not the sort of thing you want to see on holiday, he said. "My children were quite distressed. These people should be a bit more considerate to the holidaymakers."
The people of Ilfracombe and around are still laughing at the goings on of "thikky grockle". The outcome of another incident a few years ago was not so amusing. A townie moved into a village and objected to being woken early in the morning by a neighbour's cock crowing. He took the matter to court and a judge (another townie?) found in his favour and granted an injunction against the poor owner of the cock to keep it quiet until after 7am every morning and to pay £5000 in costs.
I'm thinking of buying a house alongside Heathrow airport and then suing the aviation authorities for disturbing my peace!