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BS: The Essence of England

31 May 17 - 03:49 PM (#3858171)
Subject: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

I watched a programme yesterday about Grayson Perry, a potter and artist. He was creating two huge pots and painting them with small scenes which epitomise England. He's a fascinating man and cross-dresses, calling himself Claire when in character.
He asked folk all over England to submit photos of things they felt evoked England, and the results were interesting.

As I was cooking dinner this evening, our nearby village church started their bell-ringing practice, so lovely to hear.

If you had to choose just three things which, to you, epitomise your country (not just England) what would they be?
Hard to stick to only three, but mine would be:-

Church bells
Morris dancing
bluebells in a beech wood


31 May 17 - 04:26 PM (#3858180)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Mr Red

can't improve on them


31 May 17 - 04:56 PM (#3858192)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Iains

Sadly:
Eton
The houses of Parliament
The bullington club


31 May 17 - 05:14 PM (#3858197)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Will Fly

I think you mean "Bullingdon"...

Mine would be:

The Royal Oak pub in Wineham, West Sussex
The Striding Edge path on Helvellyn
The iron bridge at Ironbridge

There are many others, but those will do for the present.


31 May 17 - 06:56 PM (#3858209)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Steve Shaw

Pendle. Penyghent. The Rumps. Trough of Bowland. Craven.

Good bitter. Early purple orchids. Brimstones and orange-tips. The bluebells in Brownsham Wood in early May (haven't missed for over 25 years). Gorse in March and April. The Halle Orchestra. Vaughan Williams. Henry Purcell. The Beatles. The warmth of people in the north-west. Settle to Carlisle railway. The A66. High Cup Nick. The Maize Beck. The Kinks singing Waterloo Sunset. Anfield. Sunday roast (chicken or shoulder of lamb). A pasty from Chough bakery in Padstow. My mum's chippy in the fifties. Garfield Sobers, Frank Worrell and Sonny Ramadhin playing for Radcliffe Cricket Club. The Strolling Bones. Richmond Green. Barnes Common. Hereford Cathedral. Tintern Abbey. Richard Hickox, much-lamented. Scilly. Trebah garden. Pentargon waterfall. Spring gentians in upper Teesdale. Wild daffodils in Tidna wood at Morwenstow. A fish finger butty. Morris Minors. The ice cream at Troytown Farm on St Agnes. Langdale Pikes. The old pierhead in Liverpool. My great uncle Jimmy's name on the WWI memorial in Salford Cathedral.


31 May 17 - 07:07 PM (#3858212)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Steve Shaw

Blimey, I forgot I was supposed to stick to three!


01 Jun 17 - 02:22 AM (#3858240)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Rob Naylor

England's Glory


01 Jun 17 - 02:47 AM (#3858243)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Big Al Whittle

love that Rob.


01 Jun 17 - 03:59 AM (#3858250)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

Since Steve has been Very Disobedient, (and will have to sit on the Naughty Step) I'll add some more to my statutory three examples:-

asparagus, Cromer crabs, kippers, fish-and-chips, rhubarb, bread-and-butter pudding, custard, rice pudding, toad-in-the-hole, summer pudding, Bramley apple pie, pork pie, Old Speckled Hen and Adnam's ales, Aberdeen Angus beef, every cheese made in UK, (all cheeses, but I'm restricted to England) Cornish ice-cream, Cornish cream, Cornish/Devon cream teas, scones, drop scones, steak-and-kidney pie, 'proper' gravy, Yorkshire puddings, Cumberland sausages, stone-ground flour. (That's some food dealt with)

agricultural shows with Shire horses pulling brewers' drays, ploughing competitions with horse-drawn ploughs, riding schools going past, herb gardens, NT stately homes, Hampton Court maze, deck chairs, village bingo, thatched houses, well-dressing, gardening, foxgloves, wild roses in the hedgerows, lawns, herbaceous borders, greenhouses.

(One of the reasons I started this thread is that I've been considering ending my days in my beloved W Africa, near to my bereaved mum-in-law and all my husband's family. It could be done, but I would miss England terribly and don't reckon I could bear it.)


01 Jun 17 - 04:30 AM (#3858256)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: theleveller

An interesting but almost impossible task, but here goes:
The poetry of Edward Thomas
Eccentrics
Country lanes with unmown verges


01 Jun 17 - 04:40 AM (#3858257)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Will Fly

Churchyards with uncut grass.


01 Jun 17 - 04:47 AM (#3858258)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Steve Shaw

I'll go along with all that except for the Devon cream teas. Grrr! And I'd specify Wookey Hole cave-aged Cheddar.

I think the weather has a lot to do with it. In spite of the moans it's very benign. You can just throw on your mac and get on with it. If the cloud's down and you'd wanted to climb Penyghent, well there's always tomorrow. We were strolling ground Córdoba last summer with the temperature at 10.30 in the evening still 37 degrees. That's was quite a novelty for us but life simply has to be governed by that (not much goes on for hours in the afternoon!). We've had a few friends who've done stints at the military base in Cyprus who tell us that you can't do anything in the heat and humidity in July and August except stay indoors. My aunt-in-law in Western Australia often hide indoors all day with the blinds down and aircon on to escape the searing heat (and the flies...) it's going to be part-cloud and part-sun today and about 22. Perfect!


01 Jun 17 - 05:46 AM (#3858262)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

You're right Steve about our weather, and you can come off the Naughty Step now :). My husband says the same thing, that it's benign here. Africa is (of course) fiercely hot and humid. But I like that. I do 'hot' very well indeed. But I just know me, I'd get there and a few months down the line I'd be thinking about all the things listed here and feel terribly homesick.

Additions:-
village fetes, medieval churches (and yes, Will, old churchyards) Maypole dancing, folk-singing and playing, January sales, carol singing, fields of sheep, horses, dairy cows, pigs etc. free-range eggs, hedgerows, Harrods, the Tower of London, cardigans, re-runs of 'The Two Ronnies', regional accents, village pubs, cathedrals and castles, hedge sparrows, barn owls, primroses, jumble sales and car boots, raffles, Helston Furry Dance, Padstow Obby Oss, people smiling at one in the supermarket just being friendly.

If I were fabulously rich, I'd be like Persephone and spend six months each year in Africa and six in Norfolk. ('Cake-and-Eat-it Syndrome')


01 Jun 17 - 06:06 AM (#3858264)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Steve Shaw

I can do heat too but not humidity with heat. Apart from anything else it brings out the mozzies. The only slight moan I'd have about the weather is that it doesn't stay warm for long enough in the evenings in summer. There's nothing like la passeggiata in Italy or el paseo in Spain when everyone turns out for an evening stroll through the old towns, dressed in their finery to socialise or just be seen. I love that and we always join in. I've been known to sit outside a bar for hours and watch those lovely young ladies passing by... The hot pants and strappy-tops brigade in Bude on a Friday night, determined to get hammered, doesn't have quite the same cachet.

Ho hum. Back to the naughty step...


01 Jun 17 - 07:12 AM (#3858274)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Will Fly

I've spent the last few days popping here and there through my part of West Sussex the countryside, in the car, with the camera, to photograph Public Access Defbrillators (PADs) in various rural locations. We have a local village Response Team - people from the community who have basic training and can act as First Responders on the spot in case of emergencies.

So there are about twenty PADs scattered here and there - in rural church porches, on the outside of cricket pavilions, etc. - and I'm photographing these locations as part of a website location map, so that people can see where they are.

All of which is a long winded way of saying that one of the delights of doing this - particularly at this time of the year - is rolling and strolling through winding, leafy country lanes, dappled with the sun shining through the trees and hedgerows - hazel, oak, beech, hornbeam, chestnut everywhere. It's glorious. One of the PAD locations is on the external side wall of the Royal Oak pub in the hamlet of Wineham. A pub with no music, no modernisation, original wooden floors, beams, no pumps on the bar as the beer is in stollage out at the back.

So I chatted with the landlord after taking a pic of the PAD, and we agreed it would be churlish of me not to have a pint of Harveys after my gruelling experience. So I sat under an umbrella at a table in the garden, admiring the ancient beams and tiled roof of the pub, pint in front of me, with all the world at peace.

Now THAT, for me, is England.


01 Jun 17 - 07:52 AM (#3858276)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Stu

The land.


01 Jun 17 - 08:38 AM (#3858286)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Bonzo3legs

Morris dancing
The Shadows
The Conservative Party


01 Jun 17 - 09:42 AM (#3858289)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

I think Mr & Mrs Smack may have to pay a visit to Bottyland Steve.

We've just got home from a lovely little outing to Sheringham. I think I'll have to add 'old-fashioned English seaside towns' to my list. And lifeboats.
Not to mention nice cups of tea with a slice of Victoria sponge cake...

Will, our village is starting a procedure to have a PAD outside the pub. (No connection I hope - their beer isn't that bad!) Leafy country lanes are definitely going on the list.

I only have to hear a few notes of Ralph Vaughan Williams 'Fantasia On Greensleeves' and I'm blubbing like a fool. And that's when I'm still here in England!

Hares, cockchafers, ladybirds, dragonflies, goldfinches....


01 Jun 17 - 01:07 PM (#3858324)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: DMcG

I will go to the other extreme and select just one: the view from the top of Whitby steps.

You have the history of the history of the Abbey, from its foundation, its Synod, destruction and a kind of rebirth under tjw various heritage groups, the links to whaling, world exploration with Captain Cook, views over the harbour and its fishing indistries. Then the literary links with Bram Stoker and it is easy to see how he imagined the doomed ship arriving ... To that I have childhood memories of glass blown ducks and joke shops. And counting those never-ending steps... And, while it might be happening when you are standing there, the memories of the festivals are there.

Yes, a lot of the essence of England at that spot.


02 Jun 17 - 04:20 AM (#3858423)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Mr Red

Well call me a party pooper but quite a lot of the "essences" above can be found elswhere. And maybe done better like Football/Soccer.

But change ringing is not, by and large, AFAIK
Morris is done elsewhere but recognised as quintessentially English.
Bluebells ? Spanish invaders abound sadly. Also found in other parts of the UK.

When I lived in NZ and did a Folk programme on Radio Access, church bells featured regularly. They were one of the things drawing me back to the UK.


02 Jun 17 - 06:19 AM (#3858441)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

I expect some of them can also be found elsewhere Mr Red. I'm not saying we have the monopoly on Good Things. But I don't believe one can find all of them together in any one place.

We have a milkman here in our village who delivers daily. And a fish man on Thursdays. And a mobile library that arrives every other Wednesday. And the village magazine comes through the door on the first of the month. And a village shop. I like all that too.

I like those little old red post boxes set into a wall, with VR on them.
There are lots and lots of wonderful things to be found in Ivory Coast, and I love it there. But I think I'd be pining...


02 Jun 17 - 08:15 AM (#3858451)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Steve Shaw

"I think Mr & Mrs Smack may have to pay a visit to Bottyland Steve."

Hmmm. Must be naughty more often then! 😈


02 Jun 17 - 09:44 AM (#3858462)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Big Al Whittle

kangaroos lolloping across the outback, herds of wildebeets being stalked by David Attenborough at a watering hole, the thrill of an opening night on Broadway....that heartening round of applause from the crowd when they lethally inject some poor sod in Huntsville Jail....all overshadowed by the day Thatcher left Downing Street!


02 Jun 17 - 01:31 PM (#3858513)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Will Fly

Were the wildebeets born and bred in Lincolnshire? I had some in a salad the other evening and they were delicious.


02 Jun 17 - 02:45 PM (#3858527)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

A child in my class years ago thought the word was pronounced 'wildie-beestie'. I can never see it written without thinking of her. (She must be in her forties by now)


02 Jun 17 - 03:09 PM (#3858532)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: keberoxu

Beets?

BEETS?


02 Jun 17 - 03:19 PM (#3858534)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Georgiansilver

A stiff upper lip! The Union Jack. Government chaos!.


02 Jun 17 - 03:57 PM (#3858545)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

Beetroot, keberoxu. I'm not sure if they're eaten in other countries.
It's a root, boiled then sliced, used in salads. Bright purple in colour.

Just to confuse things, here in Norfolk a lot of sugar beet is grown. It's hauled off by the ton to the sugar beet factories, boiled and crushed then crystallised to produce much of our sugar.

I've thought of some more:-

Dunkirk spirit, British sense of humour, Pantomimes, Punch and Judy, growing leeks and other giant vegetables for gardening competitions, garden sheds, allotments, Book of Common Prayer, windbreaks on beaches, sand castles, country dancing, 'In The Night Garden' (children's TV programme).


02 Jun 17 - 04:56 PM (#3858552)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Jack Campin

I was in England as a child, 0-5 in south-east London (which I hardly remember) and 5-8 between Oxford and Abingdon, which I remembered reasonably well after we went to New Zealand. My stereotypes were similar to some of those expressed here: countryside, the Thames, traction engines etc.

Then I came back to it in 1976, realized after about 3 months that anywhere I could afford to get to had to be a saner option, and have not been for a moment tempted to move back.

Revised "essence of England" after having to live in it at the bottom of the heap: smug selfishness, toadying pig-ignorant servility, public filth, brutal arrogance of power from anyone with any uniform or even the most trivial official status, working class turkeys clamouring for an early Christmas and reading the Express to find the ideal recipe for the stuffing to be shoved up their bums.


02 Jun 17 - 05:07 PM (#3858554)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

So, not too keen on England then Jack?


02 Jun 17 - 05:55 PM (#3858560)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Bonzo3legs

We're all C of E and victory V !!


03 Jun 17 - 04:44 AM (#3858596)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Mr Red

Troach

not the same since the EC banned paregoric.


03 Jun 17 - 05:12 AM (#3858599)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Bonzo3legs

The "Flying Scotsman" still steaming - first steam loco to officially do 100mph - going to see it early this afternoon near East Croydon!!


03 Jun 17 - 10:10 AM (#3858630)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

Will, I've just been looking at some photos of the inside of the Royal Oak at Wineham. It's gorgeous isn't it? It reminds me very much of the Earle Arms at Heydon (village quite near us) Sadly, they've started to get a bit 'foodie', and have put more and more dining tables around the place. It's more like a restaurant now than a pub. Years ago, it was frequented by 'men of the land', and the beer was out of barrels on a trestle with a spigot (no pump) The huge log fire was lit, and the decor was unchanged from over a hundred years ago. Old 'kitchen chairs' painted Georgian green. Broad Norfolk accents and singing the old songs. Wonderful.

Same thing has happened to the 'Ratcatchers' and the 'Saracen's Head'. I suppose it's the only way they can make a profit nowadays. I used to follow Kemp's Men (Norwich Morris side) around during the summer and got to know many olde worlde pubs.

Doing that, one got the countryside, Morris dancing, folk singing, lovely old pub and Adnam's ale. I used to think 'heaven must be like this!'


03 Jun 17 - 11:05 AM (#3858637)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Mr Red

Ah - the power of publicity. the power of the myth, the power of a name.
The fastest steam loco will remain AFAIK the Mallard 120 since you ask.
And the first train to reach 102.3 mph (in 1904!) acknowledged but not authenticated was the City of Truro. the timing was not authenticated by a second person, but the timer was a journalist so it must be true!


03 Jun 17 - 11:11 AM (#3858638)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Raggytash

DmcG, any view from any of the roads approaching Whitby afford exactly what you describe. I love every one of them, at all times of year. It is a truly magically place .................

except for the obnoxious drunken tourists who crowd the pubs with foul language and abusive behaviour.

Going back to the list has anyone mentioned Roses ......... especially Red Roses.

Quintessentially English.


03 Jun 17 - 11:24 AM (#3858640)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Will Fly

The Royal Oak's a good old pub, Eliza. I have to say that, in the great fox-hunting debate some years ago, it was the local HQ of the hunt supporters. But that's what you get in rural areas, so you either put up with it or don't go there! It was also the location of a folk club until quite recently, when the organiser got tired of organising it.

I like it mid-week for a nice, quiet pint.


03 Jun 17 - 01:35 PM (#3858668)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

One of the (many) benefits of being retired is the freedom to go to places midweek when it's quieter.

I'm a grumpy old biddy, and get all white and spiteful when a pub has those ghastly slot machines and one-armed bandits that make silly tinkly-tonk noises. I hate loud taped music and poncy food menus ('lightly-seasoned home-cured tortoise on a bed of tossed Japanese knotweed, with a side accompaniment of turds-in-brandy')

I well remember in the early fifties going up to Kings Cross to get the steam train to Durham (LNER?) Every platform had massive hissing engines and they seemed enormous to me. The noise when they started off was tremendous, and smuts came flying in the windows in a tunnel. Would it have been the Flying Scotsman, (or something equally famous) or just an ordinary workhorse engine?


03 Jun 17 - 01:42 PM (#3858671)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Dave the Gnome

Having an Italian coffee with my English bacon butty
Washing a lamb biryani down with a couple of pints of Black Sheep
Listening to ska in the local park while watching bowls

Is there anywhere more cosmopolitan?

:D tG


03 Jun 17 - 02:08 PM (#3858674)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

I also like the inherent kindness and politeness here. My husband gets smiled at wherever he goes. Just today in Tesco an old geezer grabbed his hand and shook it for no reason! (Well, he was wearing a Norwich City football top, but still...) I find complete strangers smile at me all the time, it's lovely.

I'm afraid in Africa, folk are much more self-contained and wouldn't smile at a person they didn't know. They give you one of those looks if you smile, as if you're completely bonkers. I've even had ladies suck their teeth at me.

You're right Dave, we are cosmopolitan. We have Chinese, Indian and Thai takeaways within 15 minutes drive from our village. And my husband can obtain all the weird and wonderful spices he needs for his cooking in Norwich.


03 Jun 17 - 03:55 PM (#3858688)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Bonzo3legs

English Flying Scotsman!


03 Jun 17 - 03:57 PM (#3858690)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Bonzo3legs

Ah yes - Carry on Films!


03 Jun 17 - 05:28 PM (#3858702)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

And Monty Python, 'Life Of Brian' (especially that song, 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life')
The Two Ronnies, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, Gardeners' World, Royal weddings, the shipping forecast, the Archers.


04 Jun 17 - 06:38 AM (#3858793)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Stu

Hylaeosaurus armatus

The Battersea Shield. Sutton Hoo. The Lindisfarne Gospels.

Wat Tyler, The Diggers, Turing, The Chartists, The Tolpuddle Martyrs, Emmeline Pankhurst and the Suffragets, The Luddites and the Swing Rioters, William Wilberforce, Freeborn John, The Putney Debates, Darwin and Wallace, Caxton etc etc


04 Jun 17 - 07:29 PM (#3858931)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: robomatic

Three items are not enough to give a sense of Engand: But trying to mention things that inspire a multi-contextual parade of images:



The Canterbury Tales, Illustrated
The Tower of London
A Man-o-War


05 Jun 17 - 08:50 AM (#3859022)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Mr Red

The Westminster Clock aka Big Ben
the Elizabeth Tower aka Big Ben aka Clock Tower (pre 2012)
Big Ben (complete with crack)


05 Jun 17 - 09:09 AM (#3859027)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Stu

I see Westminster, the Queen, beefeaters and all that sort of thing as British, not English.


05 Jun 17 - 09:44 AM (#3859031)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Big Al Whittle

its a pity MacDonalds don't do a MacEnglish burger...


05 Jun 17 - 09:55 AM (#3859032)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Stu

Don't need them Al. Our farm shop does triffic burgers.


05 Jun 17 - 11:33 AM (#3859049)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

Well Stu, Alfred Russel Wallace was born in Llanbadoc, which really makes him Welsh.

And Westminster, the Queen and the Beefeaters were situated/based in England the last time I looked.

However, since we're adding people to the list, I nominate Florence Nightingale, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare.

And Lancashire hotpot, home-made jam & chutney (my old auntie was a cracker at making those) knitting, cricket matches on the village green, Guy Fawkes Night, The Sheringham Shantymen.

It's not that I'm joining the BNP or waving me flag of St George particularly, just trying to think of all the things I'd miss dreadfully if I decamped to Ivory Coast for the remainder of my days.


05 Jun 17 - 11:55 AM (#3859054)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Dave the Gnome

Seeing as everyone else is breaking the rule of 3, I will add another.

The ability to make fun of ourselves

The Village Green Preservation Society

Proper version. Not the one by some folkie from Barnsley :-D

Cheers

DtG


05 Jun 17 - 12:20 PM (#3859057)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

Oh wow Dave! I'd completely forgotten that song! Well done!

(Don't worry about the rule-of-three. We can all join Steve on the Naughty Step and eat sherbet fountains and liquorice skipping ropes while reading our Beano and Dandy comics)


05 Jun 17 - 12:31 PM (#3859060)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Dave the Gnome

Ok - May as well make it up to another 3 then:-) Fine examples of self-deprecation from The Spanners (Russ Abbot and friends)

We're a Folk Group

and

Christmas songs

Enjoy :-)

DtG


05 Jun 17 - 12:53 PM (#3859063)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

Hahahahaa! Loved those two songs! The Spanners!!

I do think I'd miss the English sense of humour. My husband doesn't get half of the things I giggle at, he takes things literally. If I say for example, "Oooooh, I could eat dozens of crumpets!" he'll reply, "But there are only six in the packet..."

Raggytash mentioned roses. I had quite a bit of land around our last house, and made an enormous rose garden, trying to restrict my choice to the old-fashioned roses, which have a strong perfume. They were really lovely.

Canterbury bells, daffodils, crocuses, lupins, lavender...


06 Jun 17 - 02:34 AM (#3859155)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

Completely forgot----- MARMITE!! :)


06 Jun 17 - 03:06 AM (#3859159)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: theleveller

Has anyone mentioned tea? There has to be tea...lots and lots of tea (preferably Yorkshire Tea). And tea shops instead of all those crappy American coffee places.


06 Jun 17 - 03:07 AM (#3859160)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: BobL

Last Night of the Proms
Properly fried eggs (all the white cooked, all the yolk runny)
Choral evensong from 1662 BCP


06 Jun 17 - 03:19 AM (#3859163)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Stu

Thanks for the info: I didn't realise Wallace was Welsh, although his mum was English and dad Scottish (yes I looked it up ;-) ). The wonders of identity on these islands!

"And Westminster, the Queen and the Beefeaters were situated/based in England the last time I looked."

That doesn't mean they're English though (my mum is situated/based in England but is Welsh), they are not exclusively English but part of the UK. They're less icons of England than they are of the United Kingdom, like the Union Jack.


06 Jun 17 - 03:36 AM (#3859164)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: theleveller

...and milkmen, of course. Does any other country in the world have people who mysteriously leave milk in reusable glass bottles on your doorstep under cover of darkness?


06 Jun 17 - 03:50 AM (#3859165)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Steve Shaw

Perfect fried eggs? Melt knob of butter in a medium-sized frying pan. When it starts to bubble, over medium heat, break in two fresh eggs (three if you're doing it for me). Cover with a lid and time it for exactly three minutes, just enough to do your toast and get it buttered. No basting, no mucking about. Sorted!


06 Jun 17 - 04:37 AM (#3859174)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Mr Red

Completely forgot----- MARMITE!! :)

the only way dear, the only way............


06 Jun 17 - 04:43 AM (#3859175)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: JHW

Country roads that go round three sides of every field


06 Jun 17 - 04:54 AM (#3859176)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Stanron

Marmite and peanut butter on toast or, if I'm feeling virtuous, on a stick of celery.


06 Jun 17 - 06:39 AM (#3859188)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: theleveller

Most of it's here:

England in Particular


06 Jun 17 - 06:41 AM (#3859189)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Dave the Gnome

Combining Steve's culinary hints any my reference to multi-cultural food to go completely off the rails...

We had a Lidl tea on Saturday. I went Mediterranean (ish) with Hake in herb butter from France, Tortellini with ricotta and spinach, cooked and Pesto stirred in, from Italy, Greek olives, fresh vine tomatoes the variety of which I have forgotten but came complete with sachets of olive oil and sea salt, and this wine which I bought for the name but will buy again for the quality :-) All delicious and highly recommended.

Oh, another thing about England. Blokes who go off at a complete tangent when discussing anything. Just listen to pub conversations for a while :-)

DtG


06 Jun 17 - 07:57 AM (#3859203)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

I really love it when people talk and communicate, and 'go off the rails' in discussions. It's so human. My husband finds it bizarre and rolls his eyes at checkouts etc and mutters, "Yap yap yap!" the cheeky thing. He also finds it weird when everyone thanks the bus driver when alighting from the bus.

We've just come back from the library, and there was a group of little tots being led in nursery rhymes and babies' action songs. All the old stuff (Grand Old Duke Of York, Humpty Dumpty, Incy Wincy Spider etc) No-one ever sang to my husband when he was small. Very sad.

Libraries, museums, Open Garden Scheme, masses of Christmas lights on houses with a charity box outside.

Apparently, they've just perfected a vaccine for malaria. If I decamped to W Africa, that would be a huge weight off my mind. One can't take anti-malarial tablets for more than a few months.
Such a difficult decision...


06 Jun 17 - 11:36 AM (#3859239)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Raggytash

"Yorkshire Tea"? I've lived in Yorkshire for 35 years (doing missionary work from my native Lancashire) and I've never seen a tea plantation yet.


06 Jun 17 - 11:51 AM (#3859245)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

We like what my husband calls "Typhoon tea".

Bread. (not that long French baguette stuff you tuck under your arm, far too crusty with nothing in the middle) Hovis Seed Sensations. Or specialist breads from our favourite bread shop in Aylsham.

Have I mentioned Chelsea Flower Show? (I quite fancy Monty Don)

Candlelit Midnight Mass at Christmas in our 12th Century parish church.

Superb documentaries presented by the new crew of female presenters :-
Alice Roberts, Lucy Worsley, Ruth Goodman, Janina Ramirez etc.
And Brian Cox (fancy him too!) and of course David Attenborough (and him)


06 Jun 17 - 01:45 PM (#3859273)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: McGrath of Harlow

Food banks.

Allotments.

Doubledecker buses.


06 Jun 17 - 02:55 PM (#3859286)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

Have just looked through that list from leveller (thank you!) and see that I'd forgotten chalk figures on hillsides (eg Cerne Abbas giant, Uffington White Horse etc)


07 Jun 17 - 04:20 AM (#3859369)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: BobL

Senoufou, maybe it's only in country areas that we thank bus drivers. But then, they're courteous too - for example, they wait until the older customers are seated before they drive off. Not so in big cities.


07 Jun 17 - 04:55 AM (#3859379)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Mr Red

Ruth Goodman,

she is a fine caller for Contra and probably ECeilidh too. Saw her at Exeter IVFDF 3 or more years ago

Add ECeilidh on the list


07 Jun 17 - 05:39 AM (#3859384)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

I expect you're right BobL. I noticed when we were up in Edinburgh last summer, no-one thanked the driver. We always did, and got several of those 'funny looks'. Here, every single person says thank you, and the poor driver replies to each one. It must get a bit tedious over a whole day's work. My husband dies laughing, but at the same time he thinks it's charming.

I love Ruth Goodman, she's always cheery and full of fun. I'm a great fan too of Lucy Worsley (my favourite), and Mary Beard. There seems to be a plethora of these feisty women nowadays, and I really like it.

I got the brochure for Open Gardens Scheme 2017 at the library, and my goodness, the photos look lovely. We'll try and visit as many as possible over the summer (husband's hay fever permitting!) Only about £3 each and one can have tea and cake.

sea shanties, cat shows, sand castles, veteran tractor shows, (one near us next week!) wellingtons, plastic rain-hats for old ladies, Easter lilies in the church, duvets, net curtains, crinoline lady over the spare toilet roll


07 Jun 17 - 08:16 AM (#3859406)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: McGrath of Harlow

It's certainly not only in country areas people thank bus drivers. We always do round our way.

Of course in many places people can't because they are expected to get off the bus from a door way back halfway down the bus.

Bring back conductors. I'd cerainly have put them in the list, if they hadn't been abolished.

Here is Kate Rusby with a song that fits.


07 Jun 17 - 09:01 AM (#3859422)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

Oh McGrath, bus conductors were worth their weight in gold! In W London we called them 'clippies'. They were often real jokers. I loved it when they sang "'old very tight please!" then went 'ding! ding!' with the bell. And that priceless "Hany more fares please?" (Cockneys took aitches off when they were present and added them when they weren't)

My husband has just left for work and wants us to add 'feesh and cheeps', 'Chreestmas cake' and 'meence pies' to the list.


07 Jun 17 - 09:11 AM (#3859426)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Senoufou

robomatic, we studied the Canterbury Tales at school. But only the decorous Knight's Tale. However, while the teacher was rabbiting on about, 'Whilom as olden stories tellen us, there was a duc that highte Theseus' etc we had our noses in The Miller's Tale and spent every lesson sniggering like anything. If the exam had been restricted to that particular Tale, we'd all have got 100%.


08 Sep 17 - 04:43 AM (#3875788)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Nigel Parsons

Imperialism (and imperial measurements)
Hop-growing (Best in the world)
Generosity (Inventing sports & games for other countries to win)

Cheers Nigel
(not English)


08 Sep 17 - 06:06 AM (#3875798)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Donuel

Speaking of failed global empires,

Is their anything the UK can teach America about the process of losing empires?


08 Sep 17 - 06:49 PM (#3875987)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Gurney

Change-ringing for me is most nostalgic when heard from the bank of a good fishing river, across a water-meadow on a gusty day. The sounds wax and wane.
A memory from half a lifetime ago.


08 Sep 17 - 07:05 PM (#3875989)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Big Al Whittle

we used to live near a church - bellringers practice night was damn nearly unendurable.

everything in every room shook!


09 Sep 17 - 02:36 AM (#3876021)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Teribus

Anybody watch yesterday's play at Lord's?

In answer to Donuel's question:

Donuel - 08 Sep 17 - 06:06 AM

"Speaking of failed global empires,

Is their anything the UK can teach America about the process of losing empires?"


Frankly stating the obvious with regard to America - You cannot lose something that you never had.

There have been many Empires down through the centuries of recorded history Donuel, only one that I can think of that in it's wake created a Commonwealth of Nations - the second largest international organisation in the world after the United Nations. So in a way you are right, should ever the USA find itself in the position of having an "Empire" to lose, the UK would be the "go to" nation to ask advice because we obviously know how to let one go on far better terms than anyone else who has ever had one - I wish, as failures go, that was the norm.


09 Sep 17 - 08:19 AM (#3876084)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Stu

"we obviously know how to let one go on far better terms than anyone else who has ever had one"

Ha ha! I got a right belly laugh out of that one Tezza. The Commonwealth is an utter irrelevance in the lives of most people in this country. Empire dead, built on the backs and with the blood of the ordinary working people of these islands and the lands conquered by the wankers in charge. Fuck it.

By the way, the thread's about England so toddle off elsewhere with this UK and "British" nonsense.


That England that was wont to conquer others
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.


09 Sep 17 - 10:37 AM (#3876119)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Steve Shaw

The Empire was the most shameful aspect of our history. It was predicated on naked exploitation and sheer theft of resources, and when we backed out we left most of the countries we'd ruled in a right bloody mess.


09 Sep 17 - 11:54 AM (#3876140)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Backwoodsman

"Is their anything the UK can teach America about the process of losing empires?"

Possibly not, Don. However, we can teach Americans the difference between 'their' and 'there'! 👍😎😄


09 Sep 17 - 12:18 PM (#3876145)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Teribus

Steve Shaw - 09 Sep 17 - 10:37 AM

"The Empire was the most shameful aspect of our history. It was predicated on naked exploitation and sheer theft of resources, and when we backed out we left most of the countries we'd ruled in a right bloody mess."


That I think is the most ignorant, ill-informed, baseless and stupid statement I have ever heard from anyone, let alone someone who states that he was involved in the education system. You obviously never studied or taught "History" Shaw, if you ever did then the State should demand their money back because you earned it under false pretences.

Naked exploitation?

Sheer theft of resources?

Tell me Shaw, is Canada in a right bloody mess? Australia? New Zealand? South Africa (Well probably now under Zuma but that is almost 75 years since it became independent). Rhodesia/Zimbabwe once the breadbasket of Africa was turned into a hell hole by Robert Mugabe AFTER we left. India is one of the BRICs countries you and your pals keep wittering on about.

What about advances throughout the world in the fields of Medicine, Law, Democracy, science and technology? Do they count for nothing Shaw?

Perhaps you should read a few of Niall Ferguson's books Shaw and educate yourself - God knows you need it.


09 Sep 17 - 12:25 PM (#3876146)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Teribus

"The Commonwealth is an utter irrelevance in the lives of most people in this country" - Stu

With regard to "Irma" and "Jose" we will see precisely what an "utter irrelevance" it is in the next couple of months.

Second largest international organisation in the world after the United Nations. Unlike the United Nations all member states are EQUAL and there is no power of veto.

Also strange that countries with no historical ties to the UK are queuing up for membership.


09 Sep 17 - 06:54 PM (#3876202)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Steve Shaw

Colonel Blimp rides again! Do give it a rest, Cockwood! 😂


10 Sep 17 - 04:36 AM (#3876256)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Stu

No-one gives a fuck about the Commonwealth Tezza, and you know it full well. Tying it's usefulness into disaster relief is laughable. These are British offshore tax havens for wealthy spongers and they'll be looked after, if the idiot tory government can extract it's head from it's arse and actually start dong something.

It's the ordinary folk on those islands I feel sorry for. The usual British tardiness in response to their suffering is symptomatic of the disdain the posh tosspots feel for all of us.


10 Sep 17 - 04:47 AM (#3876260)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Backwoodsman

🎼 🎶 Here we go, here we go, here we go
Here we go, here we go, here we goooo-oo... 🎶


10 Sep 17 - 04:51 AM (#3876263)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Stu

Are you still pissed from last night mucker?


10 Sep 17 - 05:13 AM (#3876270)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Backwoodsman

Haven't touched alcohol since 21st December, 2005, Stu! 😜😎


10 Sep 17 - 07:35 AM (#3876287)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Stu

I'm impressed! Not bad at all.


10 Sep 17 - 11:54 AM (#3876341)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Teribus

I take it from your response Shaw that you find yourself unable to refute what has been said once again. Perhaps having one of your most recent predictions shredded has spoilt your week-end (Man City 5 - Liverpool )) - Hilarious, never mind son go an 'ave a pastie.


10 Sep 17 - 11:57 AM (#3876343)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Teribus

Of course that should have read (Manchester City 5 - Liverpool - 0)

Oh and go and have another pastie - your "gold plated final salary pension" will stretch that far.


10 Sep 17 - 12:24 PM (#3876346)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Backwoodsman

"I'm impressed! Not bad at all."

Ha! Medical necessity, Stu. And no, I'm not an alcoholic, but some of the bollocks being posted on this forum is enough to turn me to drink! 😜😄😎


10 Sep 17 - 12:37 PM (#3876349)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Steve Shaw

Yes, well, Cock-a-hoop, that was the upshot of a dreadful refereeing decision that had a Liverpool player unjustly sent off in the first half. Shit happened. Can't say I'm surprised you're pleased by a City victory. The club is bankrolled by a sheikh with a bottomless pit of dough, thirty-eight billion to be precise. I'm sure you think he's deserved every penny of it even though he does no work as such. Mind you, he has two wives and six kids, so it's a good job he can just about get by without claiming handouts, innit.


10 Sep 17 - 12:39 PM (#3876350)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Stu

Hope its all OK Backwoodsman. You're right about the forum... ;-)


10 Sep 17 - 01:41 PM (#3876359)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Backwoodsman

Yes, I'm good to go, Stu, thanks to our brilliant NHS and an amazing hepatobiliary surgeon at Queen Elizabeth's in Nottingham. It was a long, very painful haul, but I got through it. Thanks for asking.


10 Sep 17 - 03:48 PM (#3876381)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Stu

Good, pleased to hear it mate!


10 Sep 17 - 07:13 PM (#3876402)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Tootler

As has been said, very hard to stick to three but here goes

A pint of hand pulled beer
Drystone walls
That mountain range in miniature, the English Lake District.


10 Sep 17 - 08:38 PM (#3876418)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Steve Shaw

I love the Lakes though I don't know them as well as I should. I'll have to stick to telling you about Cornwall. Park your car at the Rough Tor car park, about five miles out of Camelford. Do the gentle walk up to Rough Tor, past the Bronze Age settlement. Drop down into the dip between Rough Tor and Brown Willy. Eat your cheese rolls, have a cuppa from your flask and revel in the silence. It's very hard to get pure silence anywhere these days but that's one place I've found where you can still get it.


11 Sep 17 - 04:13 AM (#3876455)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Stu

The Mouselow Stones
The Diggers
Arbor Low
Alan Garner
The Waterstons
Anglican Cathedral at Liverpool
Neovenator salieri
The mist spilling over Cophurst Edge
John Rylands Library
The Tolpuddle Martyrs
Darwin, Huxley and Mantell
Stokesay Castle
The Beatles
The Holte End
Chips and gravy
Trout streams in the Peak District
Turner
The Leekfrith Torques
Rogers Profanisaurus
Seaside towns in winter
Tea. Lots and lots of tea.
Arthur sleeping under the Edge
The Chartists
Bowie
Cider


11 Sep 17 - 10:45 AM (#3876526)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: MikeL2

Hi Dave


<" Washing a lamb biryani down with a couple of pints of Black Sheep">

Black Sheep ....oh YES. I get it in bottles around here...not on draught unfortunately.

But if it's good enough for Inspector Banks it's good enough for me.

I lived in Yorkshire for some years and they served draught. I used to call it Sheep Dip.

I miss the brass bands in the parks on Sundays and Yorkshire Pudding with gravy served before the meat course

Regards

Mike


11 Sep 17 - 12:21 PM (#3876542)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Teribus

At the moment it would appear to be Henry VIII


12 Sep 17 - 03:46 AM (#3876659)
Subject: RE: BS: The Essence of England
From: Mr Red

Black Pudding - though only the sort without the onions.