Today is St George’s Day and to mark it here are 23 things that are wonderful about England and all those who live within her.
1. English Breakfast
This is undoubtedly the best kind of breakfast there is. Sausages. Bacon. Fried bread. Eggs. Tomatoes. Mushrooms. Baked Beans. Yum.
If there is one thing the English know how to do it’s form a good solid queue, and stick to it. None of this free for all nonsense the Dutch employ.
The sights of England’s capital are quite something else. All the usual tourist trap landmarks make London what it is. Think Buckingham Palace, the changing of the guard, Big Ben and Tower Bridge. There’s nothing like it.
4. Fish & Chips
You never quite appreciate fish and chips until they disappear from your life. This is one appreciation I have passed on to my Dutch sons – battered fish and proper chips.
5. Gorgeous Beaches
It wasn’t until I took my Dutch family to Cornwall that I realised just how well endowed England is in the beach department.
Whether it’s sand, rocks or pebbles you like on a beach, or even cliffs and coves, England has it along her shores. And whilst we are on the topic of beaches the English sure know how to make a real day out of a trip to the beach.
England is the birthplace of Marmite, Burton upon Trent to be precise. Love it or hate it? We’re predominantly a family of Marmite lovers.
7. Bonfire Night
The 5th of November is one English cultural activity I do miss. There’s nothing quite like Bonfire Night.
England is the queen of quaintness, littered with little (and big) places that can only be described as quaint. Like Haworth, Grassington, Clovelly and Stratford upon Avon. That’s quaint with a capital Q.
9. Passion for the Beautiful Game
The English love football. Supporters live and breathe the national game, despite there being very little international success on the football pitch since 1966. That’s dedication and passion for you. Premier League football even dominates Christmas and New Year – and that whilst the Dutch players are taking a break for winter.
English pubs are like no other; the atmosphere, the beer, the crisps, the sticky tables.
In every nation there are attempts to replicate the Englishness of a good English pub but most attempts can be written off as outright failures.
11. The Royal Family
What is there not to love about this real life, albeit involuntary, English soap opera? The cast spans generations, there’s adultery, divorce, weddings and births galore – and intrigue. Will she, won’t she?
12. Regional Differences
There are amazing variations in accents, food and customs from county to county across the length and breadth of England. Compare a Cornish accent to the dulcet tones of a Geordie to appreciate what I mean. English culture is varied and rich.
13. English People are Bonkers
Seriously, the English are completely nuts. In a loveable way. From beach behaviour to Morris dancing they are a few sandwiches short of a good picnic. Read this if you are still not convinced: 9 Weird British Things
15. The English Keep You On Your Toes
At times it is impossible to know what an English person actually means when they say something. Beating around the bush is a national pastime so life is never dull around an Englishman. Even with a simple ‘how are you?’ the English keep you guessing.
16. Rolling Green Hills
The English countryside is beautiful. The hills are plentiful and stunning. Now that I live in a land as flat as can be I certainly appreciate the rolling green hills of England.
17. Top Gear
Ok, so things went a little downhill and kind of petered out but Top Gear was certainly entertaining.
18. Sense of Humour
What isn’t there to love about sarcasm and self depreciation?
19. A Sense of History
You can bathe in history in England – quite literally in the Roman town of Bath, more literary in Jane Austen’s Hampshire and deep down in the abandoned mines of Cornwall. There’s the mystery of Stonehenge, castles, museums and cathedrals galore.
20. Downton Abbey
Any country that Downton Abbey is filmed in has to be wonderful, right?
21. Sunday Roasts
Sunday lunch growing up consisted of a roast dinner and a wonderful homemade pudding. Those memories are ones I cherish. Meat, roast potatoes, vegetables and lots of gravy followed by apple crumble and custard. *salivates*
22. Benedict Cumberbatch
I don’t think I need to elaborate.