21 Reasons it’s GREAT to be British
April the 23rd always strikes me as a most glorious day to celebrate being British. St Georges Day and William Shakespeare’s Birthday, two absolute lads of British history and identity. Something that truly makes me deeply sad is how many people don’t feel patriotic about being British, and more specifically English. A lot of my friends admit to feeling that way, that they feel that Brits have a bad reputation and to celebrate being from the UK is a bit embarrassing- again more specifically, to celebrate being English. Whether that’s due to the representation in the media of fishbowl-slurping ‘Brits Abroad’ or all the not-so-brilliant pillaging and empire building we did back in the day, or the recently slide of the English flag becoming synonomous with vile and extreme political parties- I’m not sure.
But I always feel proud of being British, and English despite those things. I feel proud of us, our little island, and personally, I think there’s a TONNE of stuff to love about being from the UK.
Here’s my list.
1. Scones- I don’t care whether you’re passionate about the cream being slathered underneath or straddling atop the jam, either way, scones will always be the dreamiest of tea-time treats.
2. ALL THE SICK BUILDINGS- Hampton Court Palace, Edinburgh Castle, The National Theatre, The Colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, The Liver Building, St Paul’s, Hadrian’s Wall (it counts), Roman Baths, Hever Castle, The Globe, Clifton Suspension Bridge, Brighton Royal Pavillion- we give good architecture.
3. The legends- King Arthur making it pop with his round table, Robin Hood merry menning about, Sir Gawain giving beef to a Green Knight, Merlin and Morgana, dragons giving everyone the fear, faeries and Nessie and Glasto and Stonehenge. RICH.
4. The music- AND DID THOSE FEEEEEEEEEEEET IN ANCIENT TIMES/The Archer’s Theme tune. Two of the greatest pieces of music in the history of time.
5. The Beatles- because
6. Having BBQs in the rain. Because we are well hard mate.
7. Saying “sorry” after everything. My brother drove over a pothole the other day and I said “Oh sorry.” BRITISH LOGIC.
8. London- quirky, dirty, teeming London. I think you’ll always be my one true love.
9. The NHS- We have THE BEST medical system on the planet. Let’s keep it?
10. Crumpets- particularly very hot, covered in melted butter and dripping with marmite. AH JUST HOW I LIKE MY MEN. (I jest. (or do I?)) (yeah, no I do, I’m not a COMPLETE animal.)
11. Blackadder– The best television there e’er was.
12. Our actors- HEY HOLLYWOOD STOP NICKING ALL OUR WICKED ACTORS, GET YER OWN CUMBERBATCH PATCH.
13. Summer Fetes- A wedge of victoria sponge and a go at welly wanging, whilst the brownies do a Country Dancing display. Sweet.
14. Full English- America, why do you insist on dicking about with pancakes and maple syrup when you could have a platter of artery clogging deliciousness instead?!
15. The accents- Nowhere in the world will you find such a HUGE diversity of accents. Drive twenty minutes down the road and you’ll be hit with a whole new sound. MIND-BLOWING.
16. ‘ough’- though, through, cough, rough, plough, ought, borough. hahahahahahaha someone was clearly wasted when they let that happen. SORRY EVERYONE LEARNING ENGLISH. Especially for the word ‘Loughborough’.
17. Pubs. OH GOD WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT PUBS?!
19. Daffodils- Stalwarts of Spring, mighty yellow spears heralding the arrival of longer, sunnier days. You’re beautiful.
20. Place names- We are the KINGS of funny and rude place names. I giggled in joy when I heard a train guard say “The next station is Bat and Ball” recently. THAT’S NOT A PLACE NAME YOU CRAZY RASCAL! Also this:
21. The Literature- John Barleycorn, Armitage and Duffy, Puck gadding about on Pook’s Hill, glorious pastoral visions, The Hundred Acre Wood, “A HANDBAG”, being Far From The Madding Crowd, being A Shopshire Lad in Adlestrop, visiting Cold Comfort Farm to have A Cider With Rosie, bunnies frolicking in Watership Down, The Wife of Bath keeping it real, revisiting Brideshead stopping off at The Shire, Yorkshire Mills and mining pits, Dickens and Magwitch and Rochester, Tess and her D’urbervilles, The BFG blowing dreams through a trumpet, Tintern Abbey, ladies who live in lakes, Mr Holmes searching for a Baskervillian hound, Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness, STORMS AND HEATHER AND MOORS, Heaaathcliiiiifffff, GAS GAS QUICK BOYS, Sylvia and Ted, April is the cruellest month, MOVE YA BLEEDING’ ARSE, opium eaters, the mighty Mabinogion, “I think I’ll buy the flowers myself”, Platform 9 3/4, “Last night I went to Manderlay again”, Five having ginger beer on Kirrin Island, Chesil Beach, Dover Beach, Arundel Tombs, Ulysses and a Heart of Darkness, ‘Twas Brillig with Mole and Toad and Ratty.
There’s obviously a billion more, bacon sandwiches, roast dinners, red buses and phoneboxes, haggis, Lowry, Turner, Millais, Hunt, eccles cakes, the Lake District, National Trust, Stephen Fry, wild and rocky coastlines, Stephenson, British Bulldogs, Newton, baked beans- I could go on and on and on but these were the things that came to me today. Please do feel free to share yours!
Right I’d love to stay and chat about Merry Olde England, but I gotta go slay a dragon, neck some Pimms and blast through some Shakespeare sonnets. Be proud of where you’re from, there’s just so much to revel in, despite the bad bits.