There is an argument that the English are in fact the least nationalistic people on earth. While our Celtic cousins celebrate their saints days with raucous displays of invariably alcohol and food fuelled patriotism, April 23rd St George’s day generally passes by with merely a shrug of the shoulders.
We are even slightly embarrassed about our flag too, just ask Emily Thornberry.
But that only tells part of a story and doesn’t stop (some of) us loving a country which has given so much to the world over the years (and yes taken it away too).
So today I asked my Facebook pals to come up with a list of what is wonderful about England and being English. I have cut and pasted the list below.
It was simply too good not to share and is for anyone who calls England home.
So Happy St George’s Day – personally I don’t care about a Turkish dragon fancier, but I can always celebrate Orwell, Harrison and Formby!
All the English things I love: the stones, the kinks, sandwiches, shit weather, kooky fashion, our silly class system, our beautiful gardens, Kate bush, roast dinners, exmoor, Isle of purbeck.
The Beatles, Smiths and Pink Floyd, Suffolk beaches, Cambridgeshire meadows, art deco lidos, our obsession with cycling, the bittersweet nature of a winter in London, Orwell, Patrick Hamilton, Powell & Pressburger, Ealing comedies, understated country Anglican churches and pubs, lots and lots of pubs, oh and the fact that most English people were foreigners at one point too
Greasy spoons, standing stones, bleak moorland, chalky downs, well dressing, cheese rolling, sitting on our coats, picnics in the car, cheering in the pub when someone breaks a glass, dance music in warehouses, beat music in cellars, mushy peas, Aloo Gobi, loving our eccentrics, the naked rambler, the seaside pier, a bag of chips, a pint of bitter, and (despite Nigel Farage) being a country with a proud history (largely hidden) of being progressive and tolerant.
Kate Bush definitely. Northumberland Coast is a largely unknown treasure. Rugby. Shakespeare. Nick Drake. Sand dunes, salty air etc. Panto. English Ale. And definitely the fact that most English people were foreigners at one point too
Lost gloves on walls. Trainers thrown over phone lines. Badly painted numbers on wheelie bins. Zebra crossings. Curry & chips. All items of value have been removed. Picallili. National obsession with potholes. Net curtains. The co-op. Pick n mix. Black pudding. Pantomime. “Fair to middlin’.” “Not three bad.”
Gripper Stepson, Roland Browning, Zammo on smack
Putting the kettle on when things get stressful
National parks, wooly pom pom hats, sand in your sandwiches, stewed tea in a force 5 looking at the beach, chips in paper, gingham plastic table cloths, kiddies roundabouts, parish councils, playing eye spy….
Lush green hills, valleys and parks, seriously long history, crumbling castles and city walls, being able to walk to your ‘local’, always time for tea, the changing of seasons, a myriad of regional accents, the BBC, free art galleries and museums, stunning cathedrals, Cath Kidston, proper cider, proper mayonnaise
1- pretty villages
2- cities such as Cambridge which are beautiful and historic
3- a thriving capital – London
4- freedom of speech and belief
5- a rich history
7- cream teas
9-fish and chips, shepherds pie, Sunday roasts
10- classic literature
11- rich music heritage
12- Cadbury’s chocolate
13- beautiful places like Cornwall and Lake District
14- national health system
15- educational system from primary to iconic places as Cambridge and \oxford (and i will slip in the boat race there!)
Thanks to Matt Hill, Vic Ruffy, Geoff Crawford and lots of others