Being British, we have more than our fair share of stereotypes. Generally we are known for our love of queuing, the elegant art of afternoon tea and an insane need to constantly apologise. What I didn’t realise however, was that there was a list, a top 100 if you like, of things that tell us precisely what it means to be English (source: The definitive guide to being British, Daily Express, August 6th 2015).
Now, I could just recreate the list for you and let you peruse it yourself, however I am keen to build up my blog and my followers so I fear that posting a list of 100 things that make us quintessentially British, may not be the best way forwards. Instead, I thought I would highlight a couple of the items in this article that either made me smile, or surprised me. Maybe they’ll surprise you too – particularly as our desire to queue did not feature at all!
In at number 14 is the ‘Full English Breakfast’. If you have never tried one then you really have no idea what you are missing. Packed full of fats and calories it sounds like a heart attack on a plate but when you see it being served, steaming hot, piles of bacon, sausages, eggs, beans, fried bread, hash browns… you have a tendency to forget all about what it is doing to your insides. According to the aforementioned article, the Full English Breakfast is the ‘only unambiguously English contribution to international cuisine’.
One of my favourite things about being British, is the game of cricket and that features on the list at number 32. There is nothing quite like the sound of the ball hitting the willow of the bat as you sit in the sunshine watching a game of village cricket on the green. Interestingly, its origins date back to 1676 when a group of English sailors landed in Greece. Did I mention that we had just retained the Ashes? Apologies if there are any Australian’s reading this.
Ah… apologies. As Brits, we are pre-programmed to apologise and I was thrilled to see this one make the list. It’s there at number 3. Wow. That high? It would seem, as the Daily Express states, that it is ‘important for us not to be out-apologised’. So, if you are not British and you happen to accidentally bump into us, don’t be surprised if we are apologising long after you have forgotten about it.
Those of you who are still reading are no doubt dying to know what is at number 1.
Ah well, I shall tell you anyway.
In at number 1 on the list compiled by the Daily Express is….Alfred the Great. Hmm…at least it wasn’t beer; that only scraped in at number 5.
What, you may ask, did Alfred the Great do to get to number 1? It would seem, that back in the 880’s, he was a King who successfully defended his Kingdom against the invasion of the Vikings and died as the dominant ruler of England. So not that great a feat then?
Interesting stuff. If you fancy finding out more then follow the link above for the full article.
I mentioned at the beginning about stereotypes – what things come to your mind when you think of us Brits?