What makes Britain great? This is a debate we have often around Comms Towers. The team and I enjoyed a cracking Easter break. Those of us with children had the delights of them enjoying a well-earned mostly sunny holiday. And when the sun is out is there a better country than the UK?
The fields are a cacophony of green and yellow, apologies for those hay-fever sufferers but the rape brings a lovely vibrancy to our countryside. Coastal towns come alive, alfresco dining is the only way to dine and the vibe in the air is intoxicating.
Yes, our fare Isle has plenty to be proud of. Entrepreneurs, business, music, film, writers, sports, a good bank holiday, we have them all in abundance. Despite suffering financially over the last few years, shows such as ‘Children in Need’ and ‘Comic Relief’ have broken records such is our generosity as a nation.
However, it is our estimation that all of these pale in comparison to our top ten, where Britain can stand toe-to-toe with our neighbours.
1) Sarcasm – bullying and being mean are just plain wrong. However a good dose of stiff upper lip sarcasm you cannot beat and us Brits are pretty darn good at putting down others with a great aside. The ingredients have to be balanced just so, but once found you just cannot beat a good and witty piece of sarcasm.
2) Queuing – it is what we are renowned for, we are Olympic gold medallists at queuing. We understand the etiquette and prowess to queue well. Not for us jumping in, no if we see one person standing still one of our contemporaries will stand behind them and lo-and-behold a queue has formed. We have a sense of duty and know how to take our turn like true professionals.
3) Tea drinking – a nice cup of Rosy-Lee just puts the world to right. A cup of good old fashioned please, not for me a new fancy concoction. Full bodied and great tasting, the pot warmed, in a china cup, with a splash of milk and no sugar and I’m a happy bunny!
4) Roast dinner – our national dish (surely there is no other?!) is jolly hard to find abroad. Many attempt to pull it off but this Holy Grail of cooking is a daunting task for some, but when delivered with aplomb tastes like no other, and of course, our mums are always the best!
5) A bacon butty – a rather humble edition to our list but British bacon is the best in the world and when partnered with a great wedge of fresh white bread and tommy sauce you’re in heaven, whatever the time of day.
6) Fish and Chips – the last food in our list but is there a more distinctive smell than great fish and chips in a bag with a liberal sprinkling of salt and vinegar?
7) Pubs – a good cosy public house with of course beams, adorned with a horseshoe or two, a comfy armchair, convivial atmosphere, good landlord or landlady and weather permitting a roaring fire and you have the perfect way to enjoy a pint, or two!
8) Sorry – we do love to apologise. Someone stands on our foot and we say sorry. Ask someone to move and it’s ‘sorry’. Such are our upbringings that a gentleman will offer up a sorry on any occasion.
9) Moaning – we love a good old moan, don’t we? Bad service – don’t say anything but a good old moan on the way home soon sorts us out.
10) Weather – you cannot go anywhere or plan to do anything without someone mentioning the weather. We are rightly proud that we have so much rainfall. It, of course, helps to make ‘this green and pleasant land’.
Yes, it’s the above and many more characteristics – curtain twitching, soap operas, ability to laugh at ourselves, that makes me proud to be British, proud to be part of our great multi-cultural society. Our stiff upper lip mentality makes us a force to be reckoned with and long may it continue.