Avatar Twenty years on

This September we take a moment to pause and look back on a major world event. In September of 2001, Ian and myself helped to found a new country.

Filled with youthful hope for a brighter tomorrow, we joined forces with Chuckie and George, and – deciding that the spirit of the Office would serve as a perfect basis for a nation state – declared independence for a small area of Leeds suburbia. Through a complex system of writing down random letters, we named it Zyurisizia.

Geographically, it faced certain challenges, with its capital city located inside an office in a school building. Most of Zyurisizia’s territory lay across the path between the music block and the sunken playground, and its vast rural hinterland took in the wildlife area, a small field, and a slightly bigger field that we didn’t really go in much.

Moving on from the sixth form in 2002, the four of us bequeathed this fledgling nation to the youth of tomorrow, hoping that it would serve to bring them enlightenment and liberty as it had us, and hoping that one day its boundaries would extend to a worldwide empire where equality, justice and silliness would be shared by all humankind.

Let’s see what became of Zyurisizia in the two decades that followed. Here are the borders of the nation superimposed on modern-day satellite photography.

Satellite imagery © Google. We were unable to source pictures from the Zyurisizian Space Agency for some reason

As you can see, the rapidly developing country has been completely urbanised. It’s delightful to see that the wasteland we left behind has been turned into this sprawling metropolis, known to its inhabitants as “Scholars Gate”, stretching in every direction to meet the borders of the nation. The name of the settlement is a clear indication of a society that prizes education and enlightenment above all else.

One can only assume that the proud citizens of Zyurisizia are continuing to uphold the traditions of free-spiritedness, self-determination, and occasionally writing unsolicited letters to Tony Blair. As a founding father, and a former passport holder of Zyurisizia myself, I could not be more delighted.

Here’s to the bright future of Zyurisizia. If I could remember the national anthem, I’d sing it.

9 comments on “Twenty years on

  • I tried to find a picture of the flag to include in this post, but I couldn’t, so I didn’t. I have a feeling it involved triangles.

  • Triangles and a red circle, a bit like the Chinese flag. It was beautiful whatever it was.

    I remember marching into territory and taking it for ourselves. I am shocked that nobody from the school thought it contact us before discussing selling the land off.

  • Yes. We made a flag and attached it to the longest flagpole we could find, which I think was a wooden metre rule that we found in the office. We then planted that in the small field out past the wildlife area. We may also have planted it in the wildlife area itself, but I don’t think we bothered with the big field because that was further away and frankly our military resources were limited.

  • We took photos to commemorate the day. They must have made it onto the Of-ice CD. I still don’t know where my copy went.

    Anyway, I’ll see you on Friday when we take the land back. I hope Kev is good with cannons.

  • I think I still have mine but I don’t know where it is. I own a house now so the answer is almost certainly “in the loft”. That’s where everything is now.

  • Kev does that a lot. Two eights of his house is a loft.. If I tried to put anything in my loft I’d be in my upstairs neighbour’s flat and they don’t like it when I shove boxes of Reuben stuff into their living room which, really, is quite selfish of them.

  • Kev’s loft is large enough to fly helicopters inside it, and if you can’t find him, that’s where he’ll be.

    If I can find my Office CD I’ll rummage for pictures of all this, and probably put them on here.

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