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Wednesday, 24 November 2010

ABC of England (Continued)

Says it all really
N:  Nobility.  Like M, part of a culture well past its sell-by date.  These prats keep the horrific class system going, by any means possible.  Don't underestimate them.. The originals were the most successful robbers and thieves of their time, grabbing a huge expanse of the country from the original inhabitants.  Can be recognised by the way they garble spoken English into an almost unintelligible mishmash of sounds.

O: Ovaltine.  England's greatest contribution to world culture (closely followed by Horlicks and the Spice Girls).  Bedtime without Ovaltine is unthinkable, and the Ovaltinies rendition of "We are the Ovaltinies" ranks up there with anything produced by Led Zepplin or Placido Domingo.

P: Picturesque.  Many of the small villages in the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Dales and the West Country are so picturesque that in summer they are virtually unlivable due to the massive influx of foreign tourists.  It should be remembered that these pretty little cottages are responsible for the high death rate caused by consumption, asthma, cold and damp related diseases, fungal infections and rat carried bacteria and viruses.

Q:  Queen.  England's greatest ever rock band.  Fronted by an Englishman who was a Parsi, born in Zanzibar and raised in India, who had a ridiculous moustache and a penchant for wearing tight leather pants or woman's clothing and was a confused transsexual.  Typically English.

R:  Religion.  There are now more non-Christians actively attending places of worship in England than there are actively participating Christians.  This is a good thing, as the English seem to see the Church of England as some sort of social club, whose membership is to be desired, but attendance is not mandatory.  If you're going to be an illogical loony, at least be mad with some sort of commitment,

S:  Summer.  This is the time of year supposedly found between Spring and Autumn, when the sky is blue, the sun is shining, the air is warm and mild zephyrs waft gently though the rustling corn.  This is a fantasy.  Seasons in England can be differentiated by the temperature of the rain.  If the rain is solid (ice, hail, snow) then it's Winter, Spring or Autumn, but probably not Summer.  If the rain comes down so hard, in such large droplets that it causes all of the crops to lie flat and rivers to burst their banks, then it's probably Summer.

T:  Trains.  England (with Scottish help) invented the train and the Industrial Revolution, and promptly contributed these to the world at large.  Then it abandoned them.  The greatest, most efficient transport system in the world was methodically gutted, scrapped and finally privatised.  This last step at least had the advantage of stopping the production of British Rail food jokes.
Winner of the most beautiful woman in Brighton (1998)

U:  Ugly.  English women can be gorgeous, but these are the exception rather than the rule.  Most are really ugly. I suspect a whole variety of factors.  Bad food, bad climate, bad attitude and bad genes.  To be fair, the ugliest woman I've ever seen was in Australia, near Alice Springs.  She was of such brain-stopping horrendousness that at first I thought it was a trick of the light, and that it only looked like she was walking down the road with the decomposing remains of a dead possum draped around her shoulders where her head should be.

V:  Victoria.  Not the Queen from the 19th Century, but the sponge.  A great and underestimated delicacy. A featherlight confection of delicate, airy yet buttery cake, with a layer of strawberry jam and cream.  Perfect for a traditional high tea.
Religious Service in Sydney

W: Wicca.  England developed the best religion in the world.  Any form of worship which entails young women running around in their baby-suits is OK by me.  Once you add in woad-smeared bodies and fertility rites, you've got a world-beater.

X:  X-Ray.  Originally Röntgen Rays.  There is actually nothing of interest in England beginning with X.  Except maybe Hot Cross Buns.  These spicy soft rolls, containing currants, cinnamon and other spices, with a soft pastry X on the top are delicious when served warm with lashings of butter.

Y: Youth Culture.  Supposedly developed in the 70s, it took the premise that as there were more young (18 - 25) people buying clothes and spending money, then what they did was a separate culture and therefore must be good.  An objective examination of the fashion styles and haircuts of that era proves the fallacy of that premise.  An examination of current day "youth" fashion and hairstyles just makes me feel sick.

Z:  Zulu.  Best movie ever made in England.  It had it all.  Stiff-upper-lip English officer, Gruff but kindly Sar'nt Major (who was also a raving psychopath.  Every Army needs them) hordes of regional cannon-fodder (Welsh in this case, which is a bonus, so that can all sing as they slaughter) plus huge numbers of fuzzy-wuzzies who attack in the stupidest way possible against breech-loading rifles.  The final scene where the desperate British (Welsh actually, but the English are very clever in their ethnic description.  In any sporting event (cricket, rugby, WWII) if the group involved is of any ethnic group living in Britain, Scots, Irish, Welsh Cornish etc. then they are referred to as British.  If even one Englishman is involved, AND they win (or at least a glorious failure) then they are referred to as English.) stand off the attacking Zulus by forming three lines with their backs to the wall and giving controlled volley fire is absolute magic.  In my army days, just after I joined up, we had a mad English officer who did that with our platoon as a homage to Zulu during an exercise.  We all thought he was loony.  Volley fire with Self Loading Rifles?  His other chinless wonders (other officers) thought it was funny too.  Explains a lot about the Hooray Henry type of officer found in the Army in the 70s.

I hope from my Alphabetic list that you get the impression that I hate England.  I don't, some of my best friends are English, but there are certain traits, especially of the Southern variety that get up every Scot's nose.
Arrogance, ignorance and the bloody Southern accent.


  1. Zulu was indeed a great movie. I've seen it many, many times.

  2. Thanks for that. I greatly enjoyed it in my convalescent state. Very funny, sometimes cruel and definitely clever. I also liked Zulu. There were a raft of good 'epics' in the 60's that I used to go to Saturday afternoon pictures (not movies) - The Sand Pebbles, The Longest Day, 55 Days at Peking, Khartoum, El Cid etc.. There is a funny scene in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life that parodies Zulu - where a stiff upper lip type gets his leg bitten off by a Tiger (I know, not Africa). I watched The Last of the Mohicans yesterday, set in 1758 and the dozy British were trying to do controlled volley fire in an ambush situation in the woods. They all died. This is a bloody good film.

  3. Glad you enjoyed Zulu Richard [of RBB], I to can watch it again and again.

    T; glad you're feeling a bit better, and also glad I could give you a little pleasure (like the magnifique BB) from my literary efforts. Your list reminds me that it's been ages since I saw "The Longest Day". Must watch it again, if just to see Richard Burton hamming it up with the safety pins.


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