Phoenix Fights

Fighting the FEAR, depression and BDP on a daily basis AND making my own bread. Bring it on 2016….

Daily Prompt: I Pledge Allegiance all My Life to the Magic Colours, Red, White and Blue

12 Comments

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Am I patriotic?

I never think I am, until someone insults, generalises about or parodies my fellow countrymen/women, or slates our films, art, music or cuisine, then surprise, surprise I seem to get rather cross, so I suppose I must be.

So.

What is it to be British?

I think the poet, Benjamin Zephaniah sums it up rather nicely:

The British

Take some Picts, Celts and Silures
And let them settle,
Then overrun them with Roman conquerors.

Remove the Romans after approximately 400 years
Add lots of Norman French to some
Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings, then stir vigorously.

Mix some hot Chileans, cool Jamaicans, Dominicans,
Trinidadians and Bajans with some Ethiopians, Chinese,
Vietnamese and Sudanese.

Then take a blend of Somalians, Sri Lankans, Nigerians
And Pakistanis,
Combine with some Guyanese
And turn up the heat.

Sprinkle some fresh Indians, Malaysians, Bosnians,
Iraqis and Bangladeshis together with some
Afghans, Spanish, Turkish, Kurdish, Japanese
And Palestinians
Then add to the melting pot.

Leave the ingredients to simmer.

As they mix and blend allow their languages to flourish
Binding them together with English.

Allow time to be cool.

Add some unity, understanding, and respect for the future,
Serve with justice
And enjoy.

Note: All the ingredients are equally important. Treating one ingredient better than another will leave a bitter unpleasant taste.

Warning: An unequal spread of justice will damage the people and cause pain. Give justice and equality to all. 

– Benjamin Zephaniah

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Whilst we have had some troubles of late, our hotchpotch of colours and cultures, especially in London, is one of the things that makes British special.

 

Hang on a minute, I hear you say, that’s all very lovely and PC but what about all the quirky, idiosyncratic stuff that comes with being born under such soggy skies?

Here are some quotes from famous Brits:

 

“Only in Britain could it be thought a defect to be ‘too clever by half’.”

  • John Major

Yes, the grey one is right about this.  The majority of us are brought up not to blow our own trumpet, or big ourselves up too much, which is always a bit of an awkward moment when Americans guest on our chat shows, and their expectation of ‘whoo’s’ at the announcement of their new movie/book/offspring are met with an embarrassed silence…

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For the record, we’re not being rude, Special Friends or trying to make Tom Cruise uncomfortable (thank God he doesn’t jump on couches over here we would die in a fit of cringiness, I tell you, DIE…), we just aren’t allowed to do that.

It’s illegal!

Isn’t it?!

Anyway we know that it’s a load of hypocritical wank to pretend not to rate yourself, especially if you do, but it’s an awfully hard habit to break….

 

“Britain: the land of embarrassment and breakfast”

  • Julian Barnes

Whilst our elders and the more ‘proper’ members of society are prone to self consciousness and not wanting to draw attention to themselves, I think this is getting bred out of us with the help of multi culturalism, globalisation and the advent of down right exhibitionists, but our breakfasts do make up for it. 🙂

You can’t knock our breakfasts!

No-one can knock our breakfasts!!

I get very cross when people knock our food (yes, I’m talking about you Chirac, you bell end), you’re just not eating at the right places, OK?

OK! 🙂

 

“The British nation is unique in this respect: they are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst.”

  • Winston Churchill

We Brits do tend to expect the worse, but when the worse doesn’t happen, it’s, well, quite good isn’t it?

And if that happens, we may even take a bit of a risk and actually hope for the best!  Well, only every now and then anyway….

 

“It’s celebrated in British culture to be eccentric.”

  • Paloma Faith

Now we are in the 21st Century this is undoubtedly true, such luminaries as Paloma, Grayson Perry, Eddie Izzard, Lord Bath, Russell Brand and Louis Spence are loved and accepted by most of British society.

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Try telling that to Quentin Crisp though, who got more kickings than Bruce Lee back in the 20’s and the punks didn’t exactly get a welcoming committee reception back in the 70’s either, although Vivienne Westwood did OK out of it in the end.

Speaking of the Resident Alien….

 

“The British do not expect happiness…they do not want to be happy; they want to be right.”

  • Quentin Crisp

See?  All those beatings do something to a man brought up in the ‘if anyone’s different squash ’em’ years 😦

We can however, be a bunch of moany know-it-alls though, it has to be said, hence the origins of the Aussie term ‘Whinging Pom’

 

Finally, to end on a high note, here are a few of my favourite British & Irish people/places/things:

 

A pub lunch after a long walk on a cold winter’s day

York Minster

Hot buttered crumpets by a log fire

Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

Brunch at the Wollesley

St Michaels Mount, Cornwall

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Rambling and hiking

Hot water bottles

French sole ballet flats

Liberty scarves and fabric

Borough Road Market

Innovative, ground breaking, trend setting British fashion

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Edinburgh Comedy Festival

Tea cosies

Good fish and chips (there are too many crap fish supper purveyors, check out online reviews tourists!)

A traditional, home made Sunday roast with the family

Vintage shops and market stalls

Paddling in the freezing cold sea (guaranteed all year round cold water)

Afternoon tea at Betties of Harrogate

A hike up Brecon Beacons on a misty day

British Comedy/Humour

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British TV and film

Notting Hill Carnival

Prince Harry (most entertaining Royal, EVER)

A pint of Guinness in Dublin (has to be done)

Marmite toast

A Brick Lane curry

Scottish salmon

A long weekend in the Lake District

British Music

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Battersea Dogs Home (most true Brits are big, soppy animal lovers)

Selfridges Food Hall

Haggis and neeps

A full English breakfast and a pot of tea with extra toast and marmalade

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God, I’m much more patriotic than I thought I was!  Who’d have thunk it?

Time for the National Anthem, I think, everyone stand! 😉

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/daily-prompt-country/

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12 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: I Pledge Allegiance all My Life to the Magic Colours, Red, White and Blue

  1. Pingback: England, My England | Life & Times

  2. Online and booking my ticket to Old Blighty for the summer vacay 2014. I MUST, simply MUST have afternoon tea at Betties of Harrogate and scour the Selfridges Food Hall. You sold me on it, Sista! I’m already a massive fan of Brit telly – currently loving “Call the Midwife”. My first trip to your fabulous city in 1980 had me standing in awe outside Liberty’s and then inside lewdly fondling bolts of the most scrumptious fabric I’ve ever fingered. (Yes, that word was intentional.)

    • Fingering is the only option believe me, it’s such a sensuous experience! 😉

      How exciting, keep me posted and I’ll send more recommendations closer to the time x

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    • Wait, hold the (route master) bus?

      One Direction?

      Out of all the bands/artists he could have chosen to laud on our behalf, he chose ONE DIRECTION?

      In all fairness, I’d have taken his money, but would have been sacked within 30 seconds after punching him hard in his pompous, waxy Cowell loving’ face for (a) focussing on money rather than talent, (b) trying to appear ‘down with the kids’, (c) getting it so horribly, horribly wrong.

      Shameful. He should be made to listen to ‘What makes you Beautiful’ on a loop until his ears bleed….

      • I know right! There was really interesting commentary on BBC News about it: criticising his references to stamping out slavery when historically Britain was a major factor in it. And also questioning why he had to look to history when the Britain of today is amazing, if you define amazing as having democracy, equality, gay rights, etc….all the things Russia lacks!

      • And you know what? There are a hell of a lot of Russians in the UK now and that itself speaks volumes, I’d have used that percentage as a counter instead of One frigging D!

        He’s a knob, end of 😉

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