Bored of hearing the constant drone of people moaning about its weather, politics and general attitude, Lauren Arthur tells us why she loves being British
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With my faithful Cath Kidston mug sitting next to me, I’ll begin at the beginning, with tea. Horribly clichéd yet no less true, Brits are highly dependent on the prestigious cup of tea. Whilst the actual drink is enjoyable – warming and reassuring in its familiarity, the concept of tea seems to be as big as or even bigger than the beverage itself. It’s ingrained in our systems that the first step to dealing with a crisis is to click the kettle and reach for our favourite mug. Sitting with our hands wrapped round it does actually bring an odd sense of comfort. And even if you’re not a tea lover (shame on you), I suggest you pretend to be one. Volunteering as tea maker gives you the ability to remove yourself from any awkward British situation that may ensue.
2. Our favourite conversation fall back
Like many, I seem to suffer from winter blues, meaning that this country and its dismal weather is probably one of the worst to inhabit. On my daily surveillance of hard hitting journalism last month, I read an article claiming that even the penguins in Scarborough Sea Life Centre suffer from SAD. Despite this, I’d argue that the weather makes us all the more appreciative as beings. When a beautiful sunny day does eventually come along blimey, are we chuffed. This can be a little too much sometimes… no, I will not start defending the middle aged, often overweight skinheads that rid of their tops as soon as we reach 12 degrees but hopefully the sun will partially blind you, allowing you to turn from these ghastly sights and instead ready your picnic basket.
3. Language, darling
I’m not sure if it’s because I’m slightly biased or because I can only speak one language fluently (probably both) but I’d argue us Brits have something about our air and manner that separates us – in a good way. Looking at Americans is a safe bet as I can understand their vocabulary – our lingo. You’d be surprised to hear Americans laughing at themselves as freely as we do. Their confidence is somewhat astounding, probably rivalling UoM’s rugby teams’, and whilst we sometimes look across the pond to admire this self-assurance and brash nature, I think we’re better off without it. We certainly wouldn’t be able to master the art of queuing so well. We have a certain degree of groundedness; albeit if my argument is true, we’re the only ones able to appreciate it; but nonetheless we’re not afraid to admit we’ve failed. We always have our Great British wit to fall back on. Oh, and tea.
4. Rule Britannia!
We, on the other hand, know our stuff (at least vaguely). We know we haven’t always made the right decisions but we can accept that. Our country is beautiful, full of heritage and something to be proud of.
5. Over to you, Hugh
And finally, we should be proud of the people our country has produced. Delivered by one of our most-loved actors and written by a favourite rom com screenwriter: ‘We may be a small country, but we’re a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, The Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham’s right foot. David Beckham’s left foot, come to that.’ Some total legends have emerged from our little island, quite a few of them actually, and that must mean we’re doing something right.