Britain - How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Sitting here a thousand miles from nowhere (in my one room country little shack) I often get homesick for old Blighty.

That's when I'm reminded of the stuff we Brits do better than anyone else in the world. Music, television, football and, ahem, rude place names.

What else have I missed out?

I'm informed that residents of Butt Hole Road voted to change the name some years ago. It's in Conisbrough near Doncaster and is now rather boringly called Archers Way.

1 user has voted.


The moment we land at Heathrow, Junior always demands a sausage roll.

And the variety of different cheeses is stupendous.

I love that image of Crocodile Mojo, sitting in a shack in the Outback, keeping the dingoes at back and having the occasional wrestling match with a gator to pass the time.

Do the math. Or geog.
It's probably Svalbard. Or the Azores.

It's a thousand miles from NOWHERE

... calling for the reinstatement the name Gropecunt Lane wherever it has been bowdlerised or changed completely. Rejected for being outside the government's control apparently. but I do like to think that quixotic appeals like this, and a straight-faced reaction to them, are something which we do better in Britain.

You can't get a decent sausage in Australia. Most of the big supermarkets now have a section selling imported UK foods (at a price) so life is a lot easier than it used to be, especially before the internet and satellite TV.

And this will mean absolutely nothing to non-Sheffielders, but I've even found supermarkets in Perth selling Henderson's Relish, a kind of Yorkshire version of Worcester Sauce and considered the equivalent of mother's milk in South Yorkshire. In the UK I've never see it sold further south than Derby.

Got to get me one of those shirts!

Victor Value used to sell it. Runny, thin and spicy.

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That's all. (Actually, no it isn't, but you know what I mean.)

tho', isn't it?

and love Henderson's Relish, much nicer than Worcestershire. Seek it out if you can. You'll generally find it in Booths or as it's known to southern softies the posh Northern Waitrose.

As to how do I love Britain? Well the answer can be summed up in one word for me: Westmorland.

Right I'm off to walk me Border Terrier in me flat cap.

It must be a tiny terrier (or you're from Yorkshire).


as it's known locally has an almost religious significance in and around Sheffield and is endorsed by Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker and that bloke from Reverend and the Makers.

You couldn't get Hendos beyond a 20 mile radius of Sheffield until recently, but here it is on sale 10,000 miles away in Australia

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Weetabix and proper beer are three reasons why I love this country - there are loads of others.
I live near the Weetabix plant and a neighbour who worked there said that I would never eat them if I knew what went on there, but people who work in food production places always say that, don't they? Including me (I had a temporary job packing a premium tea company's product - if you saw what went into it, etc.).
I fancy a cuppa.

One of the things I miss most about London, where I grew up. I have no idea about the rest of Britain, but the capital seems to have got it right to a degree that few, if any, of the foreign cities that I've visited have managed.

I work in a hugely multicultural area, and if that teaches you anything it's that people are people, and our sameness trumps our differences every time. The differences are a variation of spice on the same cut of meat.

Cockshutt last night and simultaneously heard on The News Quiz that 'Farage' in Malaysian means vagina.


I did think the whole sensory experience, while only fleeting, was quintessentially British.

Some other wonderfully named villages/locations I drove through last night included:

Ruyton of the Eleven Towns (abb. to Ruyton-XI-Towns)
Weston Lullingfields
Stanwardine in the Wood and Stanwardine in the Fields
English Frankton
Welsh End (yup, it's on the border)

The spoilsports have removed all the signposts. Now, you don't know your in it.

... shouldn't it be re-named "Clitoris"?

Coat duly fetched.

That is all.

In nearby Wombwell, not far from Jump.

I used to read the travel news on BBC Radio Sheffield.
Everyone who read travel news on BBC Radio Sheffield pronounces Penistone incorrectly the first time.

That's my favourite thing about the famous British sense of humour, more than the irony and the litotes and the mistrust of obviousness. It's that we're fucking daft. And that the worst possible thing you can say about someone is that he's got no sense of humour.

I love Britain and being British. I know we'll probably have some stormcrow flapping blackly in any minute to tell us how it's all ruined now, but it's not. Everything that's wrong can and will be fixed. I live in hope, me, and I love this island I live on, I really do.

I'd definitely want them to be called Stormcrow. And "Flapping Blackly" would be a brilliant name for the first album.

But I adore being English (though like Mozza I'm genetically largely Irish). I love the food, humour, music, countryside, and especially the North. Its the people who run the country I loathe, not the country

You may be cross, but you're too smart and humane to be a genuine doom-monger.

NUT/NHS/BBC/Guardian. (Will that do, Bob?)

there was a headline to the effect of, "Boys named Ian almost certain to be unhappy."

For some reason, I thought of you, Mr. Ess!! ;-)

I'll watch the extended edition. Botham's obviously the exception to the rule.

but there is a caricature of a Tory MP to spoil the fun!

Michael Fabricant is - despite his preposterous hair - by all accounts much loved by all who know him. He IS eccentric as hell but he has a senior job and he's been around an awfully long time

But a bloody good MP. I don't like his party one bit but I'd vote for him, as a personable and local MP, dedicated to his constituency. Must have been one of the few Tories whose majority kept in the ascendant post Majors downfall from grace. Not frightened to be a maverick. Quite a good sketch of him is given in the highly commended Jeremy Paxman book about politics (The Political Animal). Makes me proud to be a Lichfieldian.

the documentary on JCC and he also has a cameo role in a great book about Nico - 'Songs they don't play on the Radio'.

even the professional comedians.

seemed fairly quiet. I dozed of half way through, thanks to five pints, early doors, in a brewery.

Which one?

But I was actually referring to the perma-dour Tigger, obvs.

That's gone straight over my head.

Permadoor? The UK's No.1 Composite Door Supplier?

of the least dour person on here. You're it. Apart from, maybe, Hannah.

Being mentioned in the same breath as Hannah is a compliment indeed!

She's a total bastard really.


to the sorry state of your curls. You might not even have curls though. Although I sort of like to think you have as it would give my "word play" some meaning. If I could only find a way of adding humour, I'd be laughing.
It's very hot here.
I think I'll go and lie down for a bit.

I do happen to know that Hannah has great difficulty keeping her hair under control.

Wigs are notriously difficult to control & she's fantastically empathetic whenever I sob over my own lack of hair (which is often).

whereas Tigger takes the cake, Hannah bakes the cake

(it rhymes)

Today I have sleeky, shiny, Timotei hair! HOORAY!

*runs through field in slow motion, shaking tresses delightfully*

with some added thrash, is what it sounds like in my mind's ear.

This was supposed to be aimed at the Stormcrow bit and not at the ongoing character assassination / deification of Hannah and Her Curls Or Not.
I'm not trying to take over.

This place in Oregon must have been first settled by a Brit, or named for people he or she knew. The local bar is named after the locale:,_Oregon

to be said for the people of this country and our willingness to be welcoming and friendly to those who wish to live in this damp old place where the trains don't run on time. It's something to be genuinely proud of. And Marmite.

I went straight in and bought them - now you all belong to me.

a gallon pot of Marmite; 5000 Yorkshire teabags; 30 flagons of London Pride and Old Speckled Hen; 2 dozen Creme Eggs; some thick cut Cumberland sausage marmalade; copies of all the music monthlies, including Queue, Classy Crock, Circumcised and Why Are; as well as a Gro-bag of hummus and a signed full frontal souvenir pairshot photo from Kate and Will's honeymoon getaway at Germany's leading naturist park.
I'm still waiting for them to stock Private Eye and The Lady.

Hummus isn't actually British, though, is it?

We are though famous for our sense of hummus.

I'll get my Barbour

The Germans have no sense of hummus at all - which is why it has to be imported from the UK.
Thanks for acknowledging my weak puns, Tigger - although others may not thank you for encouraging me...

The UK food section of my local Australian supermarket gives the impression that everyone in Britain lives entirely on Bird's Custard, Homepride tinned curry sauce and Lyle's Golden Syrup.

BTW I was saddened to learn that the Tate & Lyle sugar refining company was sold to an American company in 2010.

Back in 1897, before Abram Lyle and Henry Tate merged their companies to form Tate & Lyle, Henry founded the eponymous art gallery in London.

Has gone through major British brands and manufacturers like a hurricane in the last 20 years, asset stripping the companies and the pension funds and shipping production overseas. All the formerly solid British brands will be shown up as shoddy mass produced shite as the coming years pass

and Cadbury's is owned by Kraft and HP Sauce is fucking made in Holland for Gods sake.

Surely the Euro Weights und Measure Polizei would've shut them down for not selling as 2 litres (maybe)...

What could be more thoroughly British than that? The tikka masala, sag aloo and onion bhajee Saturday night combo. British through and through. Masterchef? Pah!

is a very narrow one-way street which is hard to turn out of safely in my opinion, thus leading to the none-less-PC statement I once made to mrs bogl: "I try to avoid The Darkies whenever possible."

Piddle in the hole in Worcestershire and one I have always wanted to go to in Zimbabwe 'Wankee game reserve'.

Norfolk solicitors v Suffolk solicitors golf match at Aldeburgh Golf club. 2 rounds of golf interrupted by a splendid lunch. Pre lunch drinks in the smoke room (until recently, smoking compulsory, women barred, stuffed tiger's head on wall (shot in India by a member in 1925) big wing backed leather arm chairs etc. Delicious 3 course lunch with lots of well chosen wine.

Then as I was prowling around the first tee, I found a 100 year old wedding ring, engaged inside "from Maude to Gill, 1917". Either this is a family heirloom passed down from Gilliam to his offspring,or it is the first recorded instance of a lesbian civil partnership. I left it with the club, and have a warm feeling that in finding it I might have made someone's week.

Plenty of red trousers on display.

I only do this once a year, but it always makes me smile. Come the glorious revolution all this will be swept away. So three cheers for asparagus in May, the first cuckoo of spring, gorse in bloom, red trousers, politeness and civility and an understanding that we are no more and no less than those who have gone before us.

But why would it all stop? Have you ever been to France? Are they all getting married to tractors and drawing up five year plans?

PS Cut the first of our asparagus today. Delicious. Makes your wee smell funny

that features asparagus and wee smells BUT I'll desist from posting a clip of it on here

Because the world is changing. Lots of people qualifying as solicitors who don't know one end of a golf club from another. The people that run firms are less and less inclined to give people the day off and sign cheques for chaps and girls to have jollies. Everything is so more intense now. When I started, my guv would give me 50 quid on a friday afternoon and tell me to take out my business pals for beer and supper. It doesn't happen now. Equally we would all be encouraged (and subsidised) to play golf with other local professionals. Maybe it was all wrong, and it was elitist, but as the sole comp-schooled boy I really enjoyed it. It just seems to me that being young now is such a fucking joyless experience. I fear for my little girls, I really do.

I'm certainly with you there and for the same reason. But I would blame different people. The people you spent your day with aren't to blame - this is a new world.

I am sincerely very glad you had a good time!

In the mid 1990s I worked for a company run by three Directors who were all golfers. Every week (Friday, usually) they would have a Directors' golf day. Just them, spending all day playing golf. If there was a corporate golfing opportunity, they'd be up for that as well.

These guys are not unusual. And it is not networking they are doing. They spend a day playing golf by themselves. And they put it down as a working day because they might meet someone in the clubhouse who might be a client. It's embedded into their working week - they can't just do it at the weekend.

If it was any other pastime, I think it would not be tolerated. Friday? Love to, but that's the one day in the week where I go to a pub on my own and drink heavily. It's my Booze Day.


I have played this fixture for 15 years, and it is always asparagus time. Butter, black pepper, and brown bread.


That's made me think of this which I found last night on the back of something else

Slightly mean, but it did cause a naughty chuckle when i saw it.

To appear on that site. I have even been told which shops to patronise in order to pick up a pair of said strides.

I fancy a pair, too!

Gentlemen's outfitters on the high street.

Apparently you have to leave them on the washing line in the rain for 2 weeks to get that proper worn in look.

I have to drag Mr. Breakfast away from their window display whenever we walk past - he gets mesmerised by the expensives shoes. Would definitely appeal to tigs, I'm guessing (not sure if they do driving gloves though)!

I'm there, drooling at the window.

(I have my own personal supplier of gloves!)

That's the one!

Who would have thought that this site could be the best resource for brogues and red trousers?

Just what the doctor ordered!

They do seem very generous in the waist department.

They're just wrong.

But in my experience my three pairs are not that forgiving.

They are good though (leaving rightness or wrongness of colour aside).

stock A&W Root Beer and Asahi Black Beer. In retaliation Wal-Mart in Orlando stock cans of fizzy Vimto. Funny old world.

Gone are the days when I could aspire to become chairman of the Bolton-le-Moors Roundtable, before the fairer and clverer sex were allowed to join. In those days we could organise demonstrations of lady lingerie displayed by lovely models from a local boudoir, hoping for oodles of orders for our goodly wives. Funny dat. Very few orders but an marvellous eyeful nonetheless. It's all social media groups now.

for the tip-off that Wing Yip sell A&W. I have an absolute fridge full of the stuff now, should you ever care to stop by (also Wasabi peas!)

When you are next in the vicinity perhaps you may want to visit this store

Then going for a beer at a country pub in Dorset...

Or surfing at St Ives then crossing Loch Fyne on the CalMac ferry from Portavadie to Tarbert...

Walking the beach under the castle walls at Bamburgh, eating dinner at Tom Kitchin's in Leith…

This island has a lot going for it.

For Dad's 70th. Long walks on the beach - and it was freezing.

And it made me think. I've grown progressively fonder, and used to America. Lifestyle, convenience.... And when you land at Heathrow to transfer your reaction isn't exactly "oh great, good to be home" is it?

And then you go to Bamburgh. And the quirky bookshop just along the road with the overhead railway track. And you start to toy with the idea of coming back. Soccer in the lee of the castle? Brilliant - and I've refereed in Windsor as well.

... is probably the most "British" city I've lived in outside the UK, you can get very good fish and chips here (but no mushy peas or curry sauce), there are British pubs (kind of),and the food is quite similar inc zillions of curry houses.

But I miss :

- Trains that can get you pretty much anywhere (Brits moan about it but it's actually an incredible service in comparison to the US or Canada)
- British breakfasts
- Streets that bend
- The Welsh coastline
- Walks in the country
- Going to rugby matches
- I would say pubs, but I'm trying to avoid them mostly
- Cheap flights to wonderful cities all over Europe
- etc etc

The thing I miss the least is the air of menace in just about any town or city on Fri or Sat nights. Just doesn't exist here.

As you say, people moan about the trains in Britain, but I'm amazed how well they work and travel by rail and bus every chance I get when I come back home. Here in Western Australia it's a lot like California. No one walks, the car is king and public transport is for losers and the poor.

Re, your last point. It's often said that Australian society is halfway between the US and the UK and unfortunately some Aussie cities do have that air of menace on Friday & Saturday nights with booze/drug-induced violence commonplace.

Something we do well. The pavements in Asia are generally considered as an extension of the road/place to park the car. Certainly not safe for walking on without paying attention. Look in four directions then glance skywards to check for the more ambitious commuters.

1. Music - bloody hell, the UK has historically punched well above its weight. Even just considering well-known acts, let's reconsider your record collection without the HJHs, Led Zep, the Floyd, the Dame, the Sabs, the Pistols, Joy Div/New Order, ... and then there's the passion inspired by less-household-name types like the Cocteaus, mighty Fall, Radiohead, Killing Joke, etc etc. (Is it thinning out in recent times though?)

2. Sense of humour:

I think the funniest bit of the link you posted deserves a broader airing - I couldn't stop laughing at this, and when I think of it again, I start laughing again. The beauty is that, apart from the last five words, it is a measured and temperate letter. What a sting in the tail!

In my working life, I have to draft letters like the one this is responding to - words like 'unable' and 'due to' are very familiar to me. Sometimes, it can be quite a challenge to let somebody down gently.

by the 'politesse' issues with German formal language in that recent thread, it must be a minefield.

Stop me if you''ve heard this - my brother is a translator for VW and has lived in Germany all his adult life. He tells of an American journalist who employed a translator when Bismarck was Chancellor. After five minutes of a passionate Bismarck speech, the journalist nudged the translator - aren't you going to say anything? The translator said - I am waiting for the verb

I studied Kant at university and some of his sentences lasted for paragraphs - and even in English, it took a lot to untangle - his work was really like climbing a mountain, step after weary step, trudge, trudge, trudge. But each step meant you could see just that bit further.
German is a bit like that verbal tic in Wayne's World, where you hear a sentence, and then your understanding is completely turned on its head by the addition of 'not!' at the end.
With the verb and a possible negation coming at the end of a whole traffic jam of nouns, adjectives, definite articles and then adverbs, you tune into the emotion of the speaker and wait for the sentence ending to lock the logic of the whole into place like the skin slipped onto a Wurst.
It can be tiring if you are at the receiving end, but it is also fun trying it out yourself - like throwing a lot of balls* up in the air and hoping you are going to at least catch them, if not do some fancy tricks with them.
As you can see - I'm turning a bit native with my convoluted sentences. Or maybe it was always in me.
*this often being a very appropriate word when I am mashing my German.

Matching Tye

You can also visit the very-rude-sounding Messing-cum-Inworth and Fingringhoe.

Hey, all three can be visited in one day? I'm Essex bound!

Thundersley and Helions Bumpstead.

my favourite English county and best of all the lovely little fishing village of Polperro. You can go anywhere in the world and not find anywhere as beautiful as this:

A Cornishman admires your good taste.
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...No, stay with me, here.

I live in Houston, Texas (expat from Scotland), and there are 2 roundabouts, its traffic lights at every junction, so it takes ages getting anywhere.

Using the 2 roundabouts is like taking your life in your hands, local drivers don't understand how they work.

Oh, I miss cornish pasties, fish & chips and Irn Bru. You can buy the latter, but at extortionate prices.

and came thru' the top end of Leeds. They were amazed at the number of roundabouts - even tho' there are only about 5 - and that I said that I preferred them in many places to traffic lights.

O.k., carry on.

Opened just up the road from me in Vienna, Va.

They may deliver. And rather good they are too. My fitness fanatic VPG adores them.

I thought we were on a Queen Latifah tip...

Fry - Which was the last place in England to be converted to Christianity?

Hall - Is it a place called, er, "Satan-Is-My-Master-On-Wye"?

Bill Bailey - It's pronounced "Simster"...

It's a tricky one. Anything called "wank" or "shit" (or similar) - it's not nice to pose pretending to (or do) - the action.

With mojo's OP, I think the "Twatt" one works, but the "Bush Bank"

With Crotch Crescent, unless the man in the photo is affecting a crescent shape with his crotch

It works perfectly in its Viz-like simplicity. But I see your point about the others

puppet show, loads of fun for kids... it's a Fulking great day out


Montgomery's Cheddar, Stinking Bishop, Stilton, Mrs Kirkham's Lancashire. Butcombe Bitter, Hook Norton Ales, Otter Ales, Black Sheep Brewery. Thatcher's cider, Perry. The MGB, Austin Healey 3000 and Sprite. The Rolls-Royce Merlin and Griffon aero engines. The English Electric Lightning. Mallard and Tornado steam locomotives. St. Ives, Sennen Cove, Bridport, Bristol, Bath, Salisbury, Cardiff, Tenby, Chester, Whitby, York. West Dorset, Pembrokeshire, Cardiff, National Botanic Garden of Wales, Big Pit, Eden Project, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Minellium Stadium, Cardiff. Swaledale, Nidderdale, the view from Sutton Bank. National Railway Museum, Tank Museum, RAF Museum, SS Great Britain, HMS Warrior, Mary Rose. Staffordshire Oatcakes, Black puddings, Bakewell Puddings, curd tarts, faggots, black pudding, cream teas (cream first), Philps Pasties from Hayle, Bettys Tea Rooms. Hereford, Dairy Shorthorn and Ayrshire cattle. Avebury, The White Horse of Uffington, The Ridgway, Vale of Belvoir, Vale of Evesham, Vale of York, Cotswolds, Yorkshire Wolds, Rievaulx Abbey and XTC.

*foams at the mouth and falls over backwards*

I take it you're a fan of the "English Settlement" album, GCU. You get both the White Horse of Uffington AND XTC. Couldn't be better!

Huge fan of that album and XTC. Might be a little too obsessed though, as our kitchen cupboards are dark green, with an Uffington horse across them...

...are they a particular favourite?

I hadn't edited that list very well! Two Cardiffs in there as well. 3 counting the Minellium.

6/10. Must try harder...

and Jack the Ripper and Upton Park...

It's in Northumberland.

Not-Very-Goodlington Crags is how I choose to think of it. But then I would.

England? Never heard of it.

Some great pre-Beatles, pre-PC colour footage here of Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester as well as Cornwall and that London.

Lots of University Rag Day footage, including a pipe smoking competition for women. There are plenty of people blacked-up and dressed as Arabs, too.

Seemingly all British ladies over 30 had those granny perms, while the men still favoured the mentalist, short-back-and-sides look (thanks so much to Gary Barlow and Kim Jong-un for bringing that one back, we've missed it so much).

Bad dental hygiene and unflattering horn rim glasses were absolutely de rigueur and EVERYONE over the age of five is smoking cigarettes ALL THE TIME both indoors and out.

This is what Britain looked like circa 1961, when any hint of style or fashion was still a few years away.

I don't remember 1961 being in colour.

It all looks rather sweet to me. And far far fewer dead-eyed wobbly diabetic fat gits waddling in and out of US-owned chain stores.

I also sort of think big buildings look great encrusted in soot but I am just about old enough to remember them as they looked before - born 64 - the clean-ups started in the 70s I think?

Love the funky soundtrack too.

This thread really was a series of fascinating titbits. A real British smorgasbord.

was the degrading treatment of circus animals. Thankfully that's almost gone now.

Manchester's answer to Blackpool's Pleasure Beach. I spent many a happy day in the place as a kid but distinctly remember trying to avoid the smelly animal houses. Also where I had my only glimpse of a genuine flea circus and my first ride on an elephant.

Never been *quite* sure on that one...

In the Sceptered Isles video clip up there ^^^^^

It was a big deal when I was a kid. As well as the zoo, there was a circus, funfair, speedway, greyhound racing and all kinds of other stuff including live music.

I believe it's a housing development now?

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