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Kings College Chapel, Cambridge
(probably England’s most famous image outside of London)
We’re a nation of complainers and moaners, us Brits.
Whatever happens we can always find the gloomy side of things. An island full of Eeyores.
We obsess about the weather, when it rains, when it doesn’t rain. When it snows the country grinds to a halt and we all say we’ve never seen anything like it. Even though we saw it last winter, and anyway snow in winter isn’t that much to write home about.
Then when it’s hot we wave our arms about and tell anyone who’ll listen that we like it warm, but this is too warm.
We don’t believe in heroes – we put people on pedestals so we can tear them down again. Except footballers. Football is a religion and the players are the archangels themselves.
We complain about a government that nobody voted in (but somebody must have done).
We complain about immigration, even though 25000 of us emigrate to Australia alone every year.
Every other nation in the world hates us (apparently). But that’s OK. We’re not overly fond of ourselves.
And our media can create hysterical fear out of ordinary everyday events.
Why? Because nothing ever happens here. And I mean that in the best possible way.
I believe Britain to be one of the safest, freest, most democratic country in the world and sometimes us complacent Brits forget how lucky we are.
Lucky to live in a country where gun laws are so strict.
Lucky to live in a country where abortion and contraception are free. Where maternity leave is a given, where we get holiday and sick pay. Where we can have that X-Ray or operation without worrying if our insurance will cover it.
Lucky to have freedom of expression, freedom of belief, freedom of religion (whatever lies the Daily Mail might tell you).
And lucky to live in a cloudy, grey, damp climate where other weather doesn’t really happen.
Yes we may all have bad teeth and a Vitamin D deficiency but when I wake up to news of a devastating earthquake in Japan, just a day after China and weeks after New Zealand, I am filled with gratitude for the grey and the damp. For the fact that the most exciting our weather ever gets is getting stuck on the M25 in some sleet or sleeping through the tiniest earth tremor since records began. That apart from that Really Rather Big Wind in 1987 we don’t have hurricanes or tornadoes, cyclones or whirlwinds. Yes we have floods sometimes, but really in comparison….
My thoughts are with Japan, with China, with New Zealand, with countries all over the world without human rights, without freedom of expression.
Let’s take a deep breath and not moan for an hour or two and instead be grateful to live on this boring, uneventful, grey little island.
-Thank you, Rachel, from the Suburban Yogi blog