Sunday, 5 January 2014

England Rocks!

This post deserves a soundtrack so press play on the following clip:

The song is England Rocks by Joe Elliot’s Down N Outz. Joe Elliot is of course better known as the lead singer of Def Leppard.
This post is a celebration of my wonderful country – England – the biggest country in the United Kingdom. I am proud to be BOTH British and English so really this post is also about every part of the United Kingdom – however I can’t deny that England is my favourite part.
Although I have travelled the world, I always look forward to returning home to a country where the weather is always a subject of conversation simply because we all complain about it. We’re never happy with the weather here. In the winter it is too cold and wet and in the summer it is too cold and wet. Even when we had a wonderful July, last year, with day after day of wonderful sunshine and heat, some people moaned that it was too hot.
We grumble a lot to be honest but we do so with a hint of self-deprecation and in a humorous way that most other countries typically don’t understand. As a nation we are funny, choosing to laugh at ourselves and other people. Our use of humour, sarcasm and self-deprecation is arguably one of our most appealing characteristics.
And I love that.
There are many other things I love too – such as the widespread accents. For example, Liverpool and Manchester are only just over 30 miles apart (around 50 km) yet the accents are completely different as illustrated by John Bishop, a comedian from Liverpool, and Jason Manford, a Mancunian comedian:

I’m from Walsall, around 70 miles from Manchester, and this is what I sounded like for the first 18 years of my life:

Did you understand any of that? My accent is now “neutral” but having lived in Walsall, Liverpool and Manchester there are elements of all three when I speak. Of course, these aren’t the only accents in England and if you include our Welsh, Scottish and Irish brethren the number increases dramatically.
One of my aims over the next few years is to explore more of Britain. We have such history here and sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have on our own doorstep. I’ve travelled to places like New York, Moscow, Sydney, Hong Kong, Beijing and Johannesburg, yet I have never been to places like Oxford, Cambridge, the Cotswolds, Loch Ness, Belfast or any parts of Scotland outside Glasgow and Edinburgh.
That fills me with a sense of shame and I aim to do something about it.
The countryside in Britain is phenomenal and our cities are full of history. In the summertime on a brilliantly sunny day, the rolling hills of the British countryside are a beautiful sight to behold.
Here are a few photos from my collection that illustrate what a fantastic country I live in:

England winning at cricket in Nottingham. The less said about cricket the better given recent events in Australia!

Street Party in Manchester (Diamond Jubilee)

Manchester Town Hall - or should that be City Hall?

"It's hot with this animal on my head"


Let's Have a Beer

Tower Bridge

The Queen lives here

A House full of politicians

Newcastle at dusk

Another thing I love about my country are the people themselves. Despite rumours that we are cold and unfriendly and walk around with an air of arrogance and the typical “stiff upper lip” mentality, we are funny, friendly and warm. Some of us may be reserved but when we let our hair down there are few nations that can enjoy themselves as much as we do.
Of course there are exceptions, like Piers Morgan, Simon Cowell, Katie Price, Jamie Oliver, Boris Johnson, Gary Barlow and most politicians and the stereotypical “Englishman abroad” can be guilty of portraying us as arrogant, insular thugs but I like to think that most of us are like me; nice guys who are willing to embrace other cultures.
Finally, we have given the world some of the greatest music of the last five decades. I am fortunate enough to have been alive during a period when British bands from The Beatles to Led Zeppelin, from The Rolling Stones to Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath to The Sex Pistols have dominated world music and have been responsible for huge movements in the musical world influencing some of my favourite bands from other parts of the world.
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs by The Beatles.

England really does rock – and so does Britain.


Rum-Punch Drunk said...

Now that's what I call a 'Welcome to England 2014' post. I love my country, and it's been very good to me at times. We've got history, pomp and glamour. No other country has 4 seasons in one day. Only us Brits have the guts to go out in the middle of winter wearing T-shirt and jeans down the pub. No other country can down a pint in 0.2 seconds. And no other street sees as much fighting and vomiting on a Saturday night. That's our England, not always proud but I've got to be honest.

No one has a queen like my Elisabeth, and hasn't she got a gorgeous house? And there's NO place on earth where you can get better fish and chips. I was about to put my flag out my window but it's so windy outside, it might just get blown away with me hanging on the end of it. Great post.

Plastic Mancunian said...


Great comment and full of the same enthusiasm I feel.

You should try fish and chips in Whitby - they truly are the bees knees.




Grace said...

"England Rocks" reminded me of a song England Swings. - it's a silly song but - England Rocks - England Swings - connection made in my head.

Americans are enthusiastic Anglophiles - perhaps because Americans think they speak the same language - Personally I can't make heads or tails out of a Geordie accent...

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Grace,

O h yes - England Swings is a quirky little song that I remember well.

If you struggle with Geordie, try a Glaswegian, an accent that most English people struggle to understand.




Elephant's Child said...

I love the way that you cherish your eccentrics. And any country which invented Bog-snorkelling, not to mention rather a lot of pub games most definitely has a sense of humour.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

And we are full of eccentrics. Bog snorkeling is crazy; I don't think I would give that a go at all.