I cannot believe that I nearly missed out on taking part in this awesome feature! As ever, I’m late to the party but I’m here and I’m SO glad.
This post is the first part of a really cool blogging feature created by Marie over at Drizzle & Hurricane Books, and it provides a chance for bloggers from all over the world to connect with each other, find out more about each other’s home countries and also GET FUN BOOKISH POST! So much yay. There’s still a little bit of time left to sign up (subscriptions close on the 25th of June, so get going quick sharp!), and you can read all about the initiative by checking out Marie’s original post.
The first post is all about getting to know each other’s home countries or towns, and I’m going to tell you all a little bit about my home country; the UK. If you want to have a little look at Marie’s original post about her home town of France, click here.
We’re home to these chaps:
We listen to this (only marginally famous) old lady on Christmas day:
And we all wish that our school days were actually like that of (arguably) our most famous and best loved export:
Minus the threat of imminent death and the impending doom of a world ruled by dark magic, obvs.
Made up of Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, we are a nation of people who love to moan and who are proud of our ability to queue anywhere and everywhere. Home to The Beatles, Peaky Blinders, David Beckham and Oxbridge, our economy subsists mostly on tea and we fear nothing more than making eye contact with strangers on the tube. Most of the stereotypes are at least partly true, aside from the one about us all liking horses and having dodgy teeth. That mainly only applies to posh people, and most of us don’t like them either.
I was born and bred in a county called Berkshire, and I’ve lived here for most of my 24 years. Based in the South East of England, we’re lucky enough to be home to some most lovely countryside in England, including Bucklebury, (the namesake of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Bucklebury Ferry in The Lord Of The Rings), and The North Wessex Downs, which was the inspiration for Watership Down. My home county also boasts Royal Ascot, Windsor Castle, Reading Festival, Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle) and now an IKEA. We finally have an IKEA, people!
I wrote most of this post last night, but I realised I couldn’t publish it without speaking about the result of the EU Referendum. This not a political blog, so I’ll keep my thoughts short. I spent quite a long time drafting this post last night, writing about how I was proud to be a Brit, how I loved our cities and countryside, and how in awe I am of the writers, musicians, actors and athletes that we have produced. I’m thankful for our many contributions to society, technology, science and research. I still love my country and I still think Yorkshire Puddings are among the best food items invented, but today, I am less proud.
Democracy is important to me, and I count it among the reasons that I’m happy to live in the UK. I would never say that people aren’t entitled to vote in whichever way they choose. However, these last few months have been dominated by a campaign run by racists like Nigel Farage; driven by fearful xenophobia and dripping with lies about immigration, the economy and the governance of the EU. Only time will tell what the impact of this historic vote will be, but I hoped that as a country, we would come to our senses, reach for fact over sensationalism and realise (in the words of late MP Jo Cox) that we are far stronger united than that which divides us.
Here are just a few of my favourite things from the UK (Not including Nigel Farage or Brexit, obvs):
There’s nothing quite as British or as comforting to a Brit as a proper cuppa. A warm brew served in your favourite mug is the most calming and happy of all beverages. Also, it rains so much that we need the hot drinks.
My boyfriend lives in London, and I travel backwards and forwards some weekends to stay with him. I’m going to be honest here: I couldn’t live in London full time, but there’s no denying that it is a place of infinite possibility, multi-culturalism and incredible atmosphere. The buzz and bustle of restaurants, bars and galleries on Southbank, the colour and smells of Chinatown and Hyde Park in the sunshine are some of my favourites. London also voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU, so it’s also got that going for it.
Now I would love to say that going to school in England is like going to Hogwarts, but actually it is basically exactly the same as it is in The Inbetweeners. It communicates exactly what its like to be a teenager growing up in dull, English suburbia. It is also, as far as I’m concerned, the single most hilarious thing that the UK has produced in at least the last fifteen years. It is funnier and more British than basically anything other than this.
The Aussies have their Vegemite, and we have Marmite. Other countries are terrified of it, probably because it looks like tar. But HEY, put your fears aside if you visit, give it a go and wonder how you never knew yeast extract could be so tasty. Get yourself a few slices of hot buttered toast, slather it in Marmite, shove it on your gob and feel at peace with the world once more.
Where to visit:
L-R Starting from the top: Warwick Castle, Woolacombe (Devon), Edinburgh (Scotland), Bucklebury (Berkshire), The Natural History Museum (South Kensington, London), Fistral Beach (Newquay, Cornwall), Donnington (Berkshire). All photos my own.
From the museums and theatres of London to the Roman Spa in Bath, the UK isn’t short of things to see or do. I’ve still not explored as much of my home country as I would like, especially when it comes to cities, but the photos above are from some of my favourite places. I really do think that British scenery, when it has just a touch of sunshine, can rival that of anywhere in the world. *Promptly weeps for the death of the sun in 2016*
So that was a slightly different post from usual, and potentially a bit (very) rambling! Have you visited the UK? Where else should I add to my British bucket list? I’d love to hear more about where you all come from – let me know in the comments!