What kind of relationship would Scotland have with the rest of the UK if independence were to happen? UK Chancellor George Osborne says Scotland and the rest of the UK would become foreign countries. However, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond says that to Scots England, Wales and Northern Ireland would never be foreign.

When I first drove down to live in Cornwall more than 20 years ago, I was met by a graffiti message on a railway bridge near Truro: "Go home, English!" I should have taken it personally. I should have politely turned around to head back across the Tamar.

A relationship on the rocks is never a pretty sight. England’s 307-year union with Scotland is imperiled by a Scottish referendum set for September on seceding from the United Kingdom.

Even after 18 years, I never really knew where I stood with the English. Why did they keep apologizing? (Were they truly sorry?) Why were they so unenthusiastic about enthusiasm? Why was their Parliament full of classically educated grown-ups masquerading as unruly schoolchildren? Why did rain surprise them? Why were they still obsessed by the Nazis? Why were they so rude about Scotland and Wales, when they all belonged to the same, very small country?

It’s a classic image of England, but “classic English” isn’t what I’ve come looking for today. Quite the opposite, in fact. I’m here in Bristol to explore a side of this historic port city that hasn’t always been smiled upon by the establishment, including the local police. I’m here to see graffiti. Walls and walls of graffiti.

Americans began July celebrating their independence from colonial rule. Less than three weeks later, many are rejoicing at the birth of a royal baby boy. It is one of the great American paradoxes that a country which got rid of the monarchy in 1776 continues to lavish so much attention on the Royal Family. One thing that the Windsors continue to command here is airtime on American television and column inches in the newspapers.

Does this do what it says on the tin and does it matter if it doesn't? At the start of the V&A's latest exhibition you're led to believe that the objects on display will tell a particular story. This, according to a board at the entrance, is the story of diplomatic gift-exchange between the Tudor and Stuart courts and their counterparts in Russia – then known as Muscovy.