What is stereotypically quintessentially British?

What do I reckon people see when they think of Britain? Check out my list…

I might be living in Dubai at the moment but that doesn’t stop me loving my home country, England. From the ridiculously bipolar weather conditions to drinking a whole lot of tea – there are so many things that I think have become by default British traditions and stereotypes. Other Brits mights disagree, but I think around the world these things immediately come to mind when people think about Britain or should I perhaps say, London.  Let me know if you think of something different when you think of Britain, and be on the look out for my own list of what makes Britain, Britain to me.

1 A Full English Breakfast
Oh boy, where do I even start? A Full English is heaven on a chipped china plate. It’s ingredients apparently should be enjoyed together: (although I have reservations about the tomatoes, of all things)

Back bacon
Scrambled, fried or poached eggs
Grilled or friend tomatoes
Grilled mushroom
Toast or fried bread
Baked beans (Heinz)
Sausages
Black pudding
And, if you’re really like a bloody good hash brown
HP Brown Sauce or Heinz Tomato Ketchup if you’re not quite as sophisticated (like me).

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My mouth is just watering thinking about it, I can barely type.

2 Red buses, red telephone boxes, red letter boxes & Black Cabs.
We might as well have red cabs, our love of red just seems to be ongoing.

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I promise I’m sat on a Red Bus, 2011 was not a kind year for red sunglasses, pink scarves, grey gloves, and some strange winter combo.

3 London Underground
It smells of just about every disgusting thing under the sun, during rush hour it feels like the Sahara, people push and shove but it is definitely an experience and a half!

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4 Shakespeare, Fleming & Rowling
Of course these are just three names that stick out in British literature amongst many. From Fleming’s Bond, Shakespeare’s Othello and Rowling’s Potter I’ve just named so clear-cut protagonists who made history. British writing at it’s best.

5 An unhealthy obsession with the Royals & Big Ben
Good or bad, we talk about them. Do they take all tax payers money (no) and whether the Queen looked like a sunglower at Wills & Kate’s wedding (yes), we love to moan, print pictures and fill coloumn inches with our Royals. Do we need them? Probably not. Should we keep them? Hell yes! Also Big Ben is NOT the name of the building but a nickname for the bell that dongs, the actual building is called Elizabeth Tower (fun fact), but we are still obsessed by it.

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The Queen and her Corgi are made better just by being in Lego (from Hamleys)!

6 Liberty London, Harrods & Hamleys
I can’t even describe these shops, apart from using one word – yes.

7 Wimbledon, Cricket & Rugby
I should put football in there, but I simply can’t for my dislike of the sport. Tennis, cricket and rugby however. We just seem to love them. Wimbledon, as it happens leads me to my number 8…

8 Strawberries, cream, scones & cups of tea
Strawberries and cream whilst watching centre court at Wimbledon. Why of course. Scones and tea – the perfect remedy for just about anything and a daily ritual as far as I can tell.

9 Sarcasm and Irony, and the word ‘sorry’
Something we do only too well, and since I’ve lived in Dubai I’ve notice confuses practically every other nationality. We also seem to say: ‘sorry,’ a lot too. Sorry, I’m not sure why.

10 ££££
No one else has the pound, it’s ours – goodbye.

11 NHS
Typical Britain – underpaying and overworking valuable staff, complaining constantly about how the NHS is pure shite, and then demanding it treat us for free. I love it. It doesn’t always get it right but bloody hell the people who work there seem to do little else for tuppence, and I’m not talking just consultants, doctors, junior doctors, paramedics and nurses – I’m including everyone like; admin, management, caterers, janitors,porters, all of them.

12 BBC
Of course, it’s on the list. Rocked by scandal in the last few years but still in my opinion quintessentially British.

What do you think is considered stereotypically British, let me know in the comments below? Does your country have any traditions?

 

 

 

-H

 

New Year, New Me?

How does this happen? How does a year move by so fast? I’m not sure if I can actually bring myself to believe we’re entering 2017. In the lead up to the New Year, I’ve been getting that feeling that hits your insides. A dull ache I’ve come to associate with fear. Not pain, and not necessarily sadness – more a muted fear, that I’ve not done enough. That this next year will bring much of the same. That I’ll feel like I failed in someway.

I haven’t achieved what I wanted, I didn’t share my feelings with that guy I sort of kind of but not really liked, or that in some paradoxically universe my life would feel more complete. I wouldn’t be that twenty-four-year-old living with her parents, going through a degree purely because I couldn’t get a job. The excitement of finishing in May tainted with the unknown. Do I leave the country I’m studying in, do I go home? And to what? To do what?

My friends all seem so successful – they have a plan. Or at least I think they do. And for some reason they all seem to be getting engaged, or having babies(!?) It’s amazing, I feel like I’m getting left behind.

I think we can all relate to those feelings. The feelings of shame, fear, disappointment. You’re not good enough for this, you regret not doing that, you hate yourself for making someone upset. If you’d only tried harder…

I guess I’m kind of sick of that now.

I’m sick of hating me, and in that process faking a different me who I hate even more but seems to be accepted by those around me. An ever-so-trying, always caring if slightly unhinged version of the person I should be.

I’m sick of it, and if a fake persona is what you put up too, my vote is now to stop it. I don’t want to be a half person for fear of upsetting someone, not saying something I believe because they might not believe it too. Generally I think I’m okay, but funnily enough it’s the people closest to me who probably don’t know me really, at all. I always just nod, say yes and smile.

Reality is something different.

I just want to scream at them.

So, I’m not making any resolutions, not the usual anyway, you know – be nicer, healthier, fitter.

Nope, none of them.

I guess the only resolution I’m going to make, if I have to call it a resolution, is to be me.

Unapologetically me,
because at the end of the day my happiness is all that counts and I’m a full on believer (even if I haven’t lived my own advice so far) that you have a choice to be happy.

At the end of the day, if friends and if family can’t accept you for you – do you need them anyway?

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be,” -Abraham Lincoln

Happy New Year,

-H

About time for an update…

It’s been over a year, but I think I’m back. Here’s what I’ve been up to.

Well hello. It has literally been ages. I think my last post was way back in October of 2015, about Kanpai in Dubai (aha, that rhymes, yes I sat here giggling away). You’ll have to bear with me, I feel like I’ve literally forgotten how to form entertaining and half-decent sentences since I last wrote a post. I wholeheartedly apologise for the mess of words that no doubt is to come.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll know generally speaking I can be quite a chaotic writer, you would think being a postgraduate student at present that writing would be a fundamental necessity. Somehow I think I’ve got worse. I know, I know that’s probably not the case but have you ever felt more stupid even though you’re being educated. That is me – right now.

But this post isn’t about my questionable writing skills, it’s about an update.

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but I relocated to Dubai from the UK to finish my studies in the September of 2015. Fingers crossed, in May of this year I’ll be finishing and I’ll be well on my way to finding myself a real adult job. Honestly, I’m super excited to finish, and to return full-time to England, my home.

Dubai has been a struggle for me, to say the least.

I think a lot of that has to do with the limited amount of time I spend with people. I’m constantly studying, and where as the people I do know out there prefer to head to the beach (understandably, for a beautiful sunny country) or head out for a night clubbing – I’m not a beach goer (self-confidence crisis always likes to strike) and dancing the night away in shoes I can’t walk in make me uncomfortable. It’s definitely my fault that I’ve made limited connections, but it is something I’d like to work on for the rest of my time in Dubai.

I was lucky enough during 2016, to visit a whole load of places during the Summer months whilst I was back home with my dad, I’ll be writing a post or two on my blog about them with some of the photographs I’ve took whilst I was there.

  • Vienna
  • Milan
  • France
  • Czech

I spent Christmas at home in the UK with my dad, and at the moment I’m still in England, spending the last couple of weeks before I head back to university to finish my degree program.

In some ways I’m looking forward to going back, but in others I dread leaving. It’s a bit up and down. I want to finish as soon as possible so I can finally really settle down and find myself a nice little job to start saving for a little place of my own, or at least a flat share.

Honestly guys, I’ve missed you and I’ve missed this. Blogging and just letting go of feelings, it’s such a relief. I hope I can keep this up.

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Update and Apologies

Right lets get the apology over with first of all. I have to say such a big sorry about my long absence over the past few weeks. It’s honestly nothing personal, well actually it’s all very personal. A few weeks back I got my first bar job. And since then I’ve been as busy as a buzzing bee.

It’s difficult to explain to you how much I’ve changed since getting this job. Before I was stuck in a rut of rejection and pretty much laziness. Since my graduation back in July 2014 I’ve applied for well over 250 jobs each time writing a cover letter, attaching my CV and bits an bobs I’ve written but alas nothing.  To be honest I can’t complain too much. I have an amazing support network and when it all got a bit too much, a friend said she could possibly get my me a job in a local pub and here I am now.

I love it. Literally it’s so much fun, the people, the other staff it’s all really lovely here. I’m slowly, very slowly that is getting used to pulling pints and serving food and hopefully I’m doing a half decent job.

Really though the main difference that I can see since I started working is in me. I work irregularly hours sometime and usually work weekends so I have to really plan when I want to go out to make sure it’s at times that work but that’s hardly an issue. The one thing that has really really stood out to me since I started working here a few weeks ago is that my confidence has come up.

I wouldn’t say that my self confidence is severely low, but on the outside I’m always this bubbly cotton ball fluff mess, someone actually described me like this, but like most people on the inside I suffer a whole load of insecurity and suffer from self destructive habits like calling myself names and other bits, that really are too personal to make public. The facade I put on for others has never really been who I am before but since I started meeting new people and realising that I can actually hold a decent and funny conversation with someone. Or that I can take the lead if a person, whose come in for a quick few, just needs their mind taking off the stresses of their daily life I can accommodate it. And strangely, I think I might be quite alright at it.

I like people. I like thinking that people might actually like me. And I like thinking that potentially I can make a person feel better about their day.

Whilst I’m working here I’ve been swept off my feet with how much work a bar/pub staff actually have to do. It can be quite tiring stuff and whilst I’ve had from some people the old: “that’s not a real job,” I can safely say being on my feet for 8 hours a day, dealing with issues and serving people all with a smile on my face even at the most difficult times is most definitely a job and I literally salute all those people out their who suffer from the same stigma that I have unexpectedly starting facing.

“You went to uni, you should have a real job,”.

Well if you really don’t want to class what I do as “real” that’s fine but as luck would have it I haven’t found anything in my trade that I studied. I haven’t had my “lucky break” in that sector but honestly I think of myself very lucky to be working under a great boss, with other staff who are lovely and be earning a living.  Quite frankly it’s better then doing nothing at all, which is what I was doing. Sorry if that doesn’t fit with your idea of me. Actually I’m not sorry. Fuck it. I like what I’m doing. Even if I stay here, one month or for the next few years I won’t be able to regret taking on a job that wasn’t potentially what I ‘should’ be doing after I graduated.

I’m still young and I still want to enjoy all life has to offer. So I’m saving and planning for the future but meanwhile I’m going to enjoy having a laugh with the locals and serving pints even if I never learn how to pull a perfect pint of IPA.

Susie Adams

I’m just shutting down my old blog on Blogspot which I started years ago. I found this little bit that I have to keep. It’s about someone who was iconic to me, and a role model to me in all things.

SUSIE ADAMS – 2012

Susie died this year.

She hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer, and no one, not even her knew she was dying of cancer. Instead we all thought it was a case of bad flu. The diagnosis was wrong, and although we will never know what could have happened if the diagnosis has been correct, I feel with more funding maybe it could have turned out differently.

I can’t describe Susie on a blog, words are never enough for somebody as beautiful as her. She spent her life force making those around her happy, having champagne days and dressing herself beautiful. She, to me was iconic. The only time I ever saw her cuss we were cut up by an obnoxious man in a fancy car. She believed that everyone was good, innately good, and she spent a whole lot of time telling me how I could do anything I wanted to. She was hilarious, spontaneous, full of life, and ultimately an angel. She was truly special, and not just to me but to everyone who met her.

Susie was sent to this Earth I believe to make everyone she met better. She did that with skills and ease that baffled me, and kept me wanting to be just like her, even now.

Our Susie, taken far too soon.

Gone but never forgotten.

R.I.P Susie

I’m yelling timber at ice skating

So to be honest, I’m a day behind. We actually went ice skating on the 2nd but I was far too lazy yesterday to write anything. So you get to hear about it today.

Now I’m not one to toot my own horn as it were but my ice skating skills are exceptional. Exceptionally…bad. If you could put ice skates on a rhino and let it loose in an ice skating ring you still probably don’t come close to the absolute disaster of an ice skater that I am. But even with all the gracelessness and subtlety of a huge ship blasting its way into port I love it. It’s just truly so much fun. Once of course, you actually manage to put your ice skates on right – which believe it or not I struggled with.

The ice skating ring is in Jonsdorf, the closest German town to Krompach and it’s just such a sweet little thing. They play classically awful music like Gangnam Style, which is so bad its good and gives you a beat to skate or fall over too. Check out Eiselle Jonsdorf, by clicking on its name.

Anyways this is me…

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And really that’s all there is too it. It was a afternoon of absolute hilarity and it truly made me happy.

(music: “happy” from Despicable Me 2, Pharrell Williams)

New Year’s Day. A Little Bit of Sledging, Naked Sauna and An Uphill Walk

New Year’s Day.

Just rethinking about that day makes me snort with laughter but that really comes into force later (the nakedness sauna bit). Bundled up in thermals, hat, gloves, ski trousers, ski jacket, warm boots and I was still freezing we headed out to a hill. A hill covered in snow. From top to bottom. Grabbed our sledges and began the journey down. It was over before it even began as the speed of the sledge crept upwards, faster and faster until finally with a great big: “Yahoo” from my sledging partner we flipped the sledge and landed in the bed of powder snow. Of course the flip was done on purpose?!

I couldn’t stop laughing. Until…I realised we had to walk right back up the hill and the motor sledge to pull us up had stopped working. I grabbed the nearest sledge and up I went. It was hilariously horrible, but I worked out that if I turned and walked backwards it was so much easier. Of course that meant I couldn’t see any of the other sledges trying to make their way down the hill but surely they’d move for me, right? Well they did, when they could. Steering a sledge I found out is much harder then it looks.

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After a couple of uphill walks, we decided enough was enough and did one massive sledge down the hill. I don’t think I’ve ever gone so fast in my life, not even in my car. It was so incredible, but as we picked up speed I did start wondering how we were going to miss the trees down below. My friend Mirek answered that for me. We tipped and this time it was absolutely on purpose. Snow on my face and it was freezing but completely perfect.

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The next part I’m pretty damn glad I didn’t take my phone or camera with me. It was a sauna. In the middle of Jonsdorf. Now I’ve been to saunas before but never ever like this one. As you walked in you were hit with heat, and I was informed helpfully that you go in completely undressed. So I was like well okay? Grabbing the closest towel I headed for the sauna with my two Czech friends Jana and Kate, and was greeted by one of the hairiest lady parts I’ve ever seen. Honestly I couldn’t take my eyes of it until…that was we moved saunas and I discovered that penises really do come in every shape and size, hairiness and baldness. It was such an eye-opener and actually at one point involved me leaving a sauna session being done by a really really fantastic looking young German but I couldn’t stop laughing at all the penises moving around of their own accord.

Maybe it’s because I’m British and so unused to nakedness I was just in shock. I think however I handled myself pretty well, at least I hope I didn’t stare too much. It was just…well it was just hilarious.

I’ve actually gone off point with my discussion of male and female anatomy so what I’m going to do is link here to Trixi Park. It’s seriously stunning. The facility is wonderful with different types and heats of sauna. The hottest one which regulates when in session to between 80-90C was stunning. It involved a member of staff usually one that could have jumped out of Hollister campaign sprinkling water mixed with spices, herbs and other infusions over hot coals and then with a towel pushing the heat towards you. I couldn’t actually last that one, it was just too hot. However when I walked out after two minutes I realised I was sitting in a snow covered outside and honestly: “the cold never bothered me anyway,” (had to, sorry)