Britain is Different:
HT to my friend Dwight for these painfully true 30 problems only Brits will understand.My mother could easily come up with 30 more. And Kate Fox did so in her lovely, laugh-aloud book Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of Behaviour. A vital guide for all foreigners wishing to have anything to do with our odd tribe.
Talking of laughing at/with the English . . . Searching for Ms Fox's first name, I hit upon this article on the role and importance of humour in the English culture. It's well worth a read but the (accurate) conclusion is that English humour, defined as a coping reflex against the English Dis-ease, can be considered to be a bio-culturally-derived defence mechanism against over-earnestness and, by extension, continental-style philosophy, especially when the latter has mutated into novel forms during its journey west across the Atlantic. The Comments are good too.
Allegedly, the government is bringing in a law which will make children (including teenagers) responsible for:-
- Cleaning and cooking around the house
- Assisting with domestic chores
- Participating in all aspects of family life
- Caring for the home
- Taking a positive attitude towards their homework.
- Carrying out their homework
- Treating their parents and teachers with respect
All this is to be irrespective of age and gender but no minimum age has been set. As parents are liable for minors' offences, the prospect is of a mother and/or father being fined for their child being rude to them. Utterly bizarre and one wonders which genius thought it up and whether it will make the statute book.
Faced by imminent competition from Vodafone, Telefónica has announced it'll be converting all its ADSL clients to fibre. Nice to know something will move them. Meanwhile, my neighbours on either side have given up waiting and shifted to radio reception. Quite logically, given that the aerial is visible from our houses. Come August, I'll be free to do the same.
Finally . . . I'm writing this in the Emergency Department of the city's major hospital. As ever, a friend has decided she can't be bothered to go to a GP and seek a referral; instead we will queue with others of the same mind in the, understandably, large Urgencias of the hospital. Actually, we won't, as there are only 4 other people (and relatives) in the Waiting Room and these are all in-patients in wheelchairs. So, my friend has been called inside 5 minutes and has gone off to have her sprained wrist X-rayed for a second time. It's 2.15 and this is definitely the time to be ill. There are apparently some doctors who haven't gone off for their 3 hour midday break.
It's now 3.45 and I've been told to go home as my friend is still waiting to see someone or other and could be a while yet. Scotch that advice about 2.15 being a good time. Not only are there no patients; there are no doctors either.