40 Good and Bad things about Living in England

Not in any order….

GOOD THINGS

1. NHS – Generally free treatment (although I think if rich people can afford it they could buy treatment). A bit of ‘free and private’ can be good so the system isn’t ‘clogged’. It doesn’t make sense that overseas people also get free treatment as well, after all, many haven’t chipped in.

2. Generally they are animal lovers, though I think things are changing as we live in more urban and sanitised areas. I have met people who don’t like dogs and lots of animals in England are being dumped. Then you get loads of people here leaving their dogs in cars, sometimes even their babies. I don’t think people are very educated about animal care sometimes. They don’t like people ‘telling them what to do’ as they say ‘they know all about dogs’ etc. It is nice to know that there are good rescue homes about, even ones for wildlife.

3. English Food – I love traditional English cookery, and I love learning about food history round the counties. It may not always be good for you physically, but mentally it can be good and it brings a bit of togetherness. I love going up and down the country trying local breads, cakes and buns from regional areas. I am a huge fan of the real Bakewell Tart, not the one we have in the South of England, which isn’t a ‘proper one’. I am a big fan of the London stick Chelsea Bun and Kentish Gypsy Tart. Brits like food and trying new things, but they make good ‘armchair cooks’. The English are excellent picnickers, and they always to choose ‘the right foods’ for a picnic, from a beach, to a demo of some sort and to a posh music concert. My friend from Maidstone in Kent always takes his fresh salmon, salad, cream cheese and black pepper brown bread sandwiches when he goes on a political demo, along with his favourite coffee or homemade soup with vegetables from his garden. Nowadays our picnics seem to be a weird jumble of English and Foreign foods. An outdoor picnic isn’t complete without midges and wasps. It is all part of the ‘spirit’.

4. Art – I think we have a great selection of art and if you want to be an artist, people don’t frown on you when you are an artist, although, parents will say ‘Art is not a proper job’. Once you have actually sold things, you are respected.It can be educational and fun. I also like the Outsider Art scene. You can never be bored here if you enjoy art.

5. Crafts – We have a great selection of crafts and we are always learning new things which is exciting. People from all age groups can talk and mix together. We have a lot of expertise in England you can call upon, such as those from the Royal College of Needlework.

6. I think we are good horsemen and women, if they are into that and nowadays it is not ‘classless’. Everyone can have a horse if they can afford it, some working classes have horses. We have had a lot of knowledge handed down, in some families anyway.

7. We have an amazing range of cuisines to choose from, from Indian, to Ethopian and we’re pretty close to Europe if we want a weekend away and a change of scene. European travel is quite cheap.

8. We are getting into coffee now with so many coffee shops springing up. I was never really interested in the ‘pub culture’.It is nice we are getting into all kinds of fruit and herbal teas now.

9. You can’t beat a rhubarb crumble in a ‘greasy spoon’.

10. We have a variety of weather, it is not always the same. Personally I love a good storm, and lots of rain, rather than a heatwave. Rarely it is extreme.

11. We have some great Ecology Parks and Nature Reserves, with decent hides and knowledgable staff.

12. We have good museums and exhibitions

13. We have good libraries

14. Many English people have a dry sense of humour, although I think we are starting to take life too seriously now. Things are changing.I find that the older generation seem to have more of a dry sense of humour

15. There are lots of free things to do, particularly in cities.

16. You can always get free water in a restaurant or café.

17. We have decent ‘posh places’ if you want to visit for tea like Fortnums and Claridges

18. We can be eccentric

19. We have a variety of countryside with different kinds of wildlife and flora.

20. If there is a disaster, we pull together.

BAD THINGS

1. People can be negative about petty things and they can go on, and on about. I don’t think we make good hotel guests, or flat mates!

2. People can be very passive aggressive and ‘fake’. It can be very difficult to trust people here. It takes a lot of time. You always to be on the look out for ‘people gathering information’ as they could ‘use’ this later. I am quite wary of new people in the workplace. It can be a very judgemental society.

3. At work, people form cliques a lot. This can be frustrating and ‘hard to get into’.

4. Too many people have cars and it causes traffic jams, road rage and pollution. They spend far too much money on smart cars, I prefer to put my money on property.

5. The class system.

6. People not saying hello or smiling at you when you see them in the street. Your work colleagues, neighbours could well ignore you. I find this strange, as I have more of a friendlier ‘American’ attitude. I try to change this, every so often. This should be ‘challenged’ as England can be a very lonely place. I have met lots of people by talking to them more.

7. Crime – you have to ‘nail things down’ in England. At work, even colleagues can sometimes steal from you. One colleague of mine in Kent stole my colleague’s credit card and tried to make a loan in her name! Even the last people you would expect would steal from you, given the opportunity and we are talking, in my case, a group of ‘mature business ladies from Kent’ who nicked things from the company I was at. I have had people steal my bag in a café once and a bike by my home, in a shed. There are also those ‘bookkeepers’ in a company that need to be ‘watched’ as they can take advantage of their employers if they could. I think there’s a lot of jealousy in this country and greed. I think some criminals take stupid risks, but they do end up caught, because they give away a lot of traceable clues. It is a bit foolish but some people think they can get away with it. They even forget that their mug could be on display in national and local media too.

8. They buy children lots of presents even though they rarely play with them or talk to them about ‘real things’. They often have nannies or dump young kid in ‘childcare’. I was very lucky not to have a nanny or have ‘early childcare’, but my mother looked after me instead, rather than a stranger. Quality time is very important for kids I think. I have met several English people who hardly know their parents as ‘they’re always at work’ and ‘come home too late’.

9. Family gatherings – Famillies only meeting up a few times a year for ‘show’. It can be very false and you get superficial and awkward conversations. I have had more formal conversations with family members than people at work. You always feel uncomfortable with your family and look forward to going home. One hour is far too long with them. I wouldn’t even call them ‘family’ if they are like this really. I have had to stop seeing some of my families because they are so ‘superficial. I focus on the ones that do care, though it is mostly my friends now!

10. Supporting the Monarchy even though it is very expensive, unfair and class orientated. Fortunately this is also changing, as young people find it hard to get on the property ladder and you get these people who have no problem whatsoever.

12. Poor transport at weekends and absolutely no transport at Christmas and Boxing Day. This is so frustrating.

13. Alcoholism, Drugs and Junk Food – they don’t seem to care about their own health, until the doctor gives them a ‘harsh warning’. There are too many places that sell alcohol.

14. Easily led. If someone says to do something ‘they will do it’ even if it is bad. They at not very good at thinking for themselves these days. They will do very dangerous or stupid things ‘for the banter’.

15. Obsession with bad pop music and diabolical melodies. However, when we ‘do music properly’ like opera or make original music like The Beatles we are very good. We have really good classical music around.

16. We can be marketed very well like sheep. Just look at the hipster craze. Everyone looks the same. Sometimes we can be marketed to go to ‘cool things’, even though, the more people who do it, it stops looking cool anymore. Now the Craft Beer craze is one of them. In Bermondsey, beersheep go round Breweries because they think it is cool to have a Craft Beer, but they all stand out looking the same and talking shop and superficial things. They look those people who go on Harry Potter tours. Guys, it is not cool anymore. Booze is unhealthy too, so it is not doing you any good.

17. In England they can be very dirty. Many people think nothing of chucking fag butts outside shops and chucking beer cans, coffee cups and crisps in cities in the rural countryside. They look at you, as if you are weird, if you pick it up for them. They say ‘the countryside should have bins’ or ‘it can be someone’s job’. It is very lazy, many have no conscience.

18. There’s a lot of ‘nasty stuff’ behind closed doors such as domestic violence, abuse, financial, spiritual and child abuse. It can very sad living in England for some people. There’s a lot of controlling behaviour around. Many of us have been touched by this in some way, at home and in the workplace.

19. Brits don’t tip enough. You can do the ‘extra mile’ but it is not appreciated.

20. At work, you often don’t get a thanks. It can be hard to feel motivated or appreciated. There is a lot of ‘demotivation’ in the workplace and henpecking at home too. I think England could benefit more from a more positive attitude.

England: “Because it’s Tradition”, we do weird & stupid things.

LONDON:

I always find that State Opening of Parliament fills me with nausea. We have this cringeworthy spectacle for an unelected woman to make a speech in Parliament, a supposed democratic institution. (hello?) Is it just me to thinks this is weird?. The mass media never talk about this. It is like the elephant in the room.

Then I also get annoyed that the soldiers in their bearskin hats are outside Parliament in a 32C heatwave, and are not being allowed to take them off ‘because of tradition’. It is just ‘not good form’ to do that. So soldiers are expected to faint instead. What kind of culture are we in? The class system is plain stupid. What kind of army leaders do we have? What, a ‘real soldier’ doesn’t take his bearskin off? The Queen didn’t seem bothered at all that they were very uncomfortable. Well, she is of a different generation. After all these years, they still make soldiers keep them on. Why don’t soldiers stand up to this nonsense – they are probably court martialled if they do, or bullied.

Even 91-year-olds like the Queen should not be out in a heatwave, on the ‘hottest day of the year’ and the NHS encourages us all to ‘check on their neighbours’ and to keep out of the sun from 11-3pm. Haven’t we forgotten that we are human? In countries like Spain, they have siestas for times like this, but no, we English go ‘out in the Midday Sun’ as the song says. And a lot of the time, we don’t even wear hats either to protect us from the high UV levels, which again, the Government warns us out. Some Brits have second degree burns because they don’t even use any sun protection, unlike people in other hot countries.

What about the emergency services who are inundated with people ignoring Government public health heatwave advice? Why don’t public health warnings apply supposed old people like the Queen? Why couldn’t the Queen just get Prince Charles do her job, at least she wouldn’t be out in the heat getting roasted? No, the Queen has to be out in a heatwave at 91 years old, ‘because it is tradition’, and even then, she’s stubborn enough to be out there during this time because ‘she wants to’.

I understand that the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, has been taken to hospital yet the Queen would appear to be at the State Opening of Parliament, instead of being with him during the day. And, after that, she even went to Ascot in the heatwave. All because she cannot upset ‘tradition’.

Horses should not be racing on the hottest day of the year either, and she is supposed to be a horsewoman. Horse.com advise “Know your horse and signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke can happen anytime your horse is exposed to excessive heat that his body cannot handle. Heatstroke can happen if exercising in hot conditions, but be aware that it can also happen if standing in a hot stall or trailer.” I am at a stables, we keep our horses cool, and none of them have even been out riding in the heat today. The racing industry can be appalling and greedy. The Queen should not be encouraging racing in this weather too. Why not have race times only in the cooler part of the day, or would that ‘not be tradition’? I would rather ‘blow tradition’ than have a sick horse to attend to. I don’t hear anything from the vets at Ascot, maybe they are gagged or are ‘enablers’ of the greedy racing industry in a heatwave, after all, they get a free day out at Ascot.

There comes a point in life that doing the ‘right thing’ is taking the time off work for family reasons, health reasons and animal welfare, this is more important than ‘being on show’. Some traditions are plain stupid, and even more so, in a heatwave. Being a younger generation than most of the old fogies who carry on making these stupid rules, I make my own stamp, by standing up to it and questioning it.

Some people who do ‘challenge things’, actually comes from kids. Recently a academy school banned kids from wearing shorts during a heatweave, so the boys wore skirts as a form of protest and got lots of media coverage. Why can’t boiling soldiers all together, in a band of brothers’. and make a stand, why can’t horse grooms make a stand for their horses? Even the journalists are made to wear suits in a heatwave, ‘for show’, which is ridiculous too. Sometimes were Brits are a bunch of wimps and won’t say boo to a goose!

We have to question our culture, but adults never seem to learn, and that’s a tradition too!

++ Note I am typing this in a library, keeping cool with fans.

London Bridge Station users are disrupted by Prince William’s Visit to the Shard

Prince William, who was speaking for Tusk at an event for the Shard today, disrupted several commuters at London Bridge as the Press and Police gathered at the station.  A helicopter was also circling the area.

One passenger on social media who was blind was unable to get any help at the station as staff were too busy watching the royal.

Some businesses were affected as office workers struggled to buy their lunch.  Salaried media invited to the Shard exchanged very positive tweets about the visit.

Kensington Palace: Republican’s Picnic

Labour for a Republic are running a free picnic on the afternoon of 12th June, when many royalists round the country will holding picnics for the Queen’s 90th.  The event will  take place next to Kensington Palace and all supporters are invited.

They  encourage people to bring kids, neighbours loved ones, grannies, dogs and to bring picnic food, drink, rugs and musical instruments..

However, it looks like there will be heavy rain forecast for the afternoon challenging most hardened republicans.