Tag Archives: British

What I’ve learned from Brexit

Well. What a time we’ve had here in Blighty.

It’s been almost a month since we had the EU referendum, when the nation unquestionably voted LEAVE.

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I say unquestionably, but the fact of the matter is that even now, weeks on, Remain voters are very vocally arguing their cause. A cause which must be let go of, if democracy is not to be utterly undermined by those supposedly supporting it.

The nature of the beast is that when votes are cast, at least one group will not win.

In my eyes, no side has won this time, however. And I’m going to tell you why I think that.

Arrogance, greed and fear of change now reign supreme in the UK.

I was most upset on the morning of Friday 24 June 2016 to see the way a lot of Britons were responding. The way they have continued to respond.

There is a mardiness, a toddler-ish tantrum characteristic running right through the middle of many in our country. It’s a sense of if-I-don’t-have-it-my-way-I’ll-scream-and-scream-until-it-goes-my-way. The days after the referendum were, to be honest, a shameful bout of maliciousness and moodiness unbecoming of adults. Self-proclaimed intelligent adults at that.

On top of this, the referendum result highlighted a dearth among us. No longer do we seem to courageously face a situation head on and deal with it. No longer do we strive to make the most of what we’ve been handed. Only last Saturday did I listen to a podcast where someone reiterated that we rarely control what happens in life – it’s how we react to the happenings that’s important.

We might not be happy with the outcome. But Brexit happened. It’s done. None of us knows what the future holds, any more or less now in fact than before this decision was made. If tougher times come, are the British people capable of buckling down, sticking together and tightening belts? That’s my worry. Already Scotland and London have had their paddies and called out a desire for selfish independence from a united country they both normally seem to want to exploit, one way or another.

I’ve also witnessed intense hatred, and not from a source you might expect. Yes, there has been racial hate crime since the referendum. But I’ve also seen hatred of our fellow countrymen. There was a foul, unexpected tirade online and in person of Remain voters calling Leave voters “stupid”, “ignorant”, “racist” and “selfish”. Tarring all with the same brush. Are these arrogant individuals really any better than those they claim to protest against?

Lastly, but not so surprising in nature, is the fact that we remain, intrinsically, a reactionary nation nowadays. Not just in the government, but right down to grass-roots level, in our homes. This has been coming for over a year, whoever stood victorious. Why weren’t all options considered and measures put in place before then?

This reactionary and knee-jerk methodology seems to me to be the main reason the rest of the world was thrown into uncertainty from that fateful Friday morning. Let’s hope this methodology stops soon so we can be a shining light, not a dismal failure – through our own personal failings.

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In the words of our new PM Theresa May: ‘Brexit means Brexit’. So now let’s get on with things. Worse things have happened at sea.

The British Tag

‘I think what is British about me is my feelings and awareness of others and their situations … If we are heartbroken, we don’t scream in your face with tears – we go home and cry on our own’ – Michael Caine (actor)

I love this quote above. I only came across it while thinking of this post and how to introduce it. To me it sums up a great part of being a Brit.

It’s not that we don’t have feelings or that we’re repressed. It’s that we recognise our emotions and express them differently to some other cultures. That’s not to say the odd hysteric outburst doesn’t occur. I for one can be quite an open book – and I’ve no poker face whatsoever!

I first came across this little “interview” over on Nicola’s blog, Nicspirational, and decided to give it a go myself. See – open book!

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(1) How many cups of tea do you drink per day (and how many sugars?)

I go through phases. In my early 20s I’d drink at least two cups of tea almost every day. Sometimes I’d have one sugar, sometimes none. Now I drink more decaf coffee or cola at work, and decaf tea less rarely at home. Lemon and ginger tea tends to make more of an appearance now.

When I was little I used to drink lukewarm sugary tea from a bottle, if I remember rightly. Can you be more British?!

(2) Favourite part of your roast?

I love a well made Yorkshire Pudding, but also crisp skin on a roast chicken. Or picking the carcass clean later!

(3) Favourite dunking biscuit?

I don’t dunk often, but I’d have to choose a dark chocolate-coated digestive biccie every time.

(4) Favourite quintessentially British pastime?

I think gardening is a British institution, stretching right from growing your own food to survive in the dark ages through to post-WWI middle class tendencies. I love to garden. I love the variety we have because of our seasons.

(5) Favourite word?

Tough to choose just one… But if I’m going to be terribly British, I’d go with describing someone using the two words good egg. Or going off on a jolly. Perhaps describing something tricky as a fag (not related to homosexuality in any way!).

We do also have an old local term you never hear now of something being backackard (if that’s how you’d spell it…). Basically = awkward.

(6) Cockney rhyming slang

The only one that comes to mind is dog and bone (= telephone)… But I am Northern, after all!

(7) Favourite sweet?

I love Double Decker chocolate bars. So much sticky, sugary, gooey goodness in each bite.

(8) What would your pub be called?

The Green Dragon, perhaps. I used to love dragons (I collected little statues of them as a kid).

(9) Favourite British person?

Another where there are a lot to choose from, each with their own successes but also human failings… I’d probably have to say Nigella Lawson. She’s gorgeous, confident and successful, and has proven that she can rise again from difficulties. All in a very British manner.

Of course, that’s my favourite famous Brit. I could name a few not-so-celeb people easily.

(10) Favourite shop or restaurant?

Has to be Waterstones… I could spend hours in there browsing books!

(11) Which British song pops into your head?

Land of Hope and Glory by Elgar and A.C. Benson. It makes me swell with pride and go weak-kneed at the same time: ‘Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free, How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee?’

(12) Marmite: discuss

Love it. I grew up on Bovril on toast though – Marmite’s a relatively recent development (in my later teens, I think). Still love it, however. Nom nom nom.

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Over to you – how would you answer these 9 questions? Either leave your answers below, or link to your own blog if you’ve got one. I’d love to see what we all come up with!