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

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Written by Abigail Young

I've had a passion for everything British my entire life, despite being raised as a small-town girl in the American Midwest, After years of dreaming, I got the chance to live and work in England for an entire year. Now I write about my favorite country, and hopefully inspire my fellow Britophiles to get over there and experience it for themselves.

This article has 15 comments

  1. Wylye Girl Reply

    I’ve spent most of the past 7 years living in France. There’s nothing like living abroad to make you appreciate your homeland. The NHS has its problems but at least it’s free. France may have a first rate healthcare system but its expensive. The weather may not be all that great for much of the time but at least we don’t have tens of thousands of old people dying every time there’s a heatwave. The separation of church and state in France and the official policy of ‘colour blindness’ means that in truth racism rages unchecked and religious intolerance is commonplace because of a lack of dialogue and understanding. We have a lot to be grateful for in the UK. If we all gave up reading the newspapers we’d probably be a lot happier. Thanks for sharing this post

  2. J_on_tour@jayzspaze Reply

    There couldn’t be a be better way of saying this. We need to be more appreciative.
    As an NHS worker, it might be interesting to know on a side note to the last comment that ex-pats want to utilise our facilities while on vacation …and are prepared to spend their hard earned money on it.

  3. Abby Rogers Reply

    Thank you both for your informative comments! I’m sure that there are many, many sides to all these issues. I know that in America if you have 10 Americans gathered together, you probably have 10 completely different viewpoints on domestic and foreign policy! However, it’s best to be grateful for what we have 🙂

  4. Neil King and Carol Duncan Reply

    Very good post. I’m so grateful to be a citizen of the UK and I’d hate for these awful SNP people to tear it apart – and I am Scottish! Thank God I don’t live in the USA where I would have to worry about the cost of health care – why do people hate President Obama for trying to introduce compulsory free healthcare? Bewildering! But then again I believe the vast majority of Americans are not the ones we Brits see who are (1) New York; and (2) California. We forget about all the horrid rednecks in between (like Bush) who may speak English but are a peasant society not like us at all.

    Thank God for being British and long may it continue! (We live in Portugal by the way, where they have the same progressive views as in Britain.)

    • Anonymous Reply

      Americans dont’ want to be socialized. “Free” health care is not free. My entire family works in health care and already Obama-care has limited access to some people, not increased it. Taxes are going up outrageously. We already have a good system of health care, which anyone can have access to,although if you only have information about it via the mainstream media you might think otherwise. We get many people from the UK coming here for healthcare, and pay for it out of pocket, when they can’t get what they want or need in Britain in a timely fashion. Your comment about “redneck” Bush was just outrageous. I am in Illinois, one of those “horrid rednecks” in between New York and California. At least I am not a Brit with bad teeth in love with the royalty that doesn’t serve any function except to wear expensive clothes and live in big houses, much like the Kardashians.

  5. Alba Reply

    Sorry, ‘those awful SNP’ people are doing a very good job at representing Scotland in the 21st century. I’m also a Scot, and love what the SNP are doing.

    It doesn’t mean the social ties with our neighbours are going to disappear! I have cousins in England, and no amount of Westminster scaremongering will convince me that the bonds to my family will suddenly dissolve.

    The fact is the SNP are running an inclusive, progressive government bent on improving Scotland. There’s also an interesting article out there demonstrating why the SNP are certainly not a threat to our shared values etc.

    We can still enjoy and celebrate the cultures of these islands after an amicable and timely break-up.

  6. Chhunmeng CoolCool Reply

    Bale siap belajar dari Ronaldo

    Berita terbaru dan terkini Bola Soccer dari Agen Bola Indo11 – Meski berstatus sebagai pemain termahal dunia, Gareth Bale enggan terlalu unjuk diri di Real Madrid. Sebab Cristiano Ronaldo adalah bintangnya dan Bale siap belajar banyak dari rekan setimnya itu.

    Agen Bola Indo11 Terpercaya – Ronaldo sendiri sempat diklaim tidak akan senang dengan kedatangan Bale, yang membuatnya merasa tersaingi. Mengenai hal itu Bale tidak mau banyak berkomentar.

    Baginya kepindahannya ke Madrid hanyalah ingin membuat kemampuan sepakbolanya semakin baik dengan bermain bersama pemain-pemain top. Apalagi Ronaldo disebutnya bakal jadi guru yang hebat untuk dirinya dan ia pun tidak sabar untuk melakoni laga debutnya.

    “Aku sangat antusias, jika Anda berlatih dan bermain bersama para pemain terbaik, maka itu hanya akan bikin Anda lebih baik. Dan jelas Cristiano Ronaldo bagiku adalah pemain terbaik di dunia. Dia memiliki segalanya sebagai pesepakbola. Aku akan berlatih dengannya dan melihat apa yang ia lakukan dalam pertandingan,” ujar Bale.

    “Aku juga punya pelatih hebat (Carlo Ancelotti), staf pelatih hebat seperti (Zinedine) Zidane, segala hal terbaik di Real Madrid dan itulah yang kupikirkan ketika mereka tertarik padaku. Untuk jadi yang terbaik maka Anda harus terus belajar dan menjadj pemain yang lebih baik.” tutupnya.

  7. Chhunmeng LuLu Reply

    Brasil mengalahkan Australia 6-0

    Berita terbaru dan terkini Bola Soccer dari Agen Bola Indo11 – Timnas Brasil meraih kemenangan besar saat menjamu Australia dalam laga persahabatan. Brasil sukses menang enam gol tanpa balas.

    Dalam laga yang digelar di Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha, Minggu (8/9/2013) dinihari WIB, Brasil membuka keunggulan oleh Jo di menit keenam dan menit ke 30. Neymar menambahkan gol di menit ke 32. Brasil memimpin 3-0 yang bertahan hingga babak pertama berakhir.

    Di babak kedua Ramires menambah keunggulan Brasil menjadi 4-0 di menit 55. Kemudian di menit 68 cetak papan skor berubah menjadi 5-0 melalui Alexandre Pato dan pesta gol Brasil ditutup gol Luis Gustavo di menit 81.

    Agen Bola Indo11 Terpercaya – Setelah Australia, Brasil akan menjamu Portugal pada laga persahabatan Selasa mendatang.

  8. Chhunmeng WinWin Reply

    Draxler memilih Schalke 04 demi Piala Dunia

    Berita terbaru dan terkini Bola Soccer dari Agen Bola http://www.indo11 – Di bursa transfer lalu, nama Julian Draxler kerap dikait-kaitkan dengan beberapa klub besar Eropa. Namun ia memilih bertahan di Schalke 04 karena kans tampil Piala Dunia 2014 lebih besar jika tetap berada di klub tersebut.

    Agen Bola Indo11 Terpercaya – Berstatus sebagai pemain inti tim asal Lembah Ruhr itu, Draxler lebih bisa unjuk kemampuan di depan Joachim Loew daripada harus berjuang mendapatkan tempat di tim inti ketika pindah ke klub baru.

    “Di penghujung musim ada Piala Dunia dan Anda selalu butuh waktu beradaptasi dengan tim baru. Ini bukanlah keputusan yang mudah. Anda tidak akan pernah tahu kapan akan mendapatkan tawaran seperti itu lagi. Pada akhirnya saya mengikuti kata hati dan memutuskan bertahan di Schalke. Di atas itu semua, saya yakin bahwa Schalke adalah klub yang tepat untuk saya.” jelas Draxler.

    Schalke memang mengawali musim dengan buruk usai hanya menuai satu poin di dua laga awal. Kemenangan pertama didapat saat menaklukkan Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 pekan lalu.

  9. indo vannak Reply

    Eric Abidal meninggalkan Barcelona

    Agen Bola Indo11 melaporkan pemain bertahan Barcelona, Eric Abidal meninggalkan Blaugrana setelah kontraknya bersama Barca tidak diperpanjang. Namun, Abidal mengatakan jika pelatih Barcelona masih Josep Guardiola maka semuanya akan berbeda.
    Setelah kontraknya bersama Barcelona berakhir di akhir musim 2012/2013 Abidqal harus merelakan perpisahan bersama Blaugrana. Setelah itu, Abidal menerima pinangan dari AS Monaco. Meski Abidal menerima keputusan Barca tidak memperpanjang kontraknya, namun pemain berusia 34 tahun itu mengaku masih merasakan pahit karena harus mengakhiri karier di Camp Nou.
    Berita yang dirangkum oleh Fooball Indo11 Abidal juga mengatakan jika Josep Guardiola masih menjadi pelatih di Barcelona maka segala sesuatu akan berbeda, karena Guardiola sangat menyukai Abidal dan selalu memberikannya kesempatan.

  10. som orl Reply

    Juan Mata ingin tetap berada di Chelsea

    Dunia Bola Indo11 melaporkan spekulasi masa depan Juan Mata dalam bursa transfer musim panas 2013 kini telah usai. Mata masih tetap bersama Chelsea di musim panas ini, ia mengganggap perjalanan kariernya selama dua musim di Stamford Bridge bisa di bilang yang terbaik dan ia juga ingin melanjutkan kesuksesan tersebut.
    Selama bursa transfer musim panas 2013 di buka masa depan mengenai pemain asal Spanyol itu kerap dikaitkan dengan beberapa klub yakni Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United hingga dengan Paris Saint-Germain. hal itu, menjadi santer karena The Blues mendatangan pemanin Willian Borges dari Anzhi Mankachkala yang dipercaya posisi Mata dalam tim akan tergantikan.
    Menurut berita yang dikutip oleh Bola Sports namun, spekulasi masa depan Mata tidak satu pun menjadi nyata. Samapi akhir bursa transfer di tutup Mata masih bersama The Blues. Mantan pemain Valencia itu mengaku tidak mempunyai keinginan untuk meninggalkan klub London Barat tersebut di musim panas 2013. Menurut pemain tim nasional spanyol itu tidak heran dalam bursa transfer selalu ada rumor yang beredar. Ia mengungkapkan dirinya senang berada dalam Chelsea dan ingin melanjutkan karier di Stamford Bridge. Ia juga mengaku sudah memenangin banyak trofi bersama The Blues dalam dua musim terakhir yakni Liga Champion, Piala FA 2012, dan Liga Europa 2013.

  11. ry chard Reply

    Laga ke 150 Iker caillas bersama La Furia Roja

    Agen Bola Sbobet Indo11 melaporkan Iker casillas yang tengah risau dengan posisinya sebagai kiper utama dalam Los Blancos ternyata masih mendapat kepercayaan dari pelatih tim nasional Spanyol, Vincente Del Bosque untuk megawal gawang dibawah mistar. Berkat kepercayaan itu, casillas berhasil mendapatkan laga ke-150 bersama La Furia Roja.
    Iker yang telah menjalankan tugasnya bersama timnas Spanyol sejak menghadapi Swedia di Gothenburg Juni 2000 silam, kini ia berhasil mendapatkan laga ke-150 saat timnas Spnayol meghadapi Firlandia dalam babak kualifikasi Piala dunia 2014. Hal ini membuat Casillas menjadi salah satu bintang besar Spanyol di sepanjang sejarah sepak bola negaranya.
    Seperti berita yang dilansir oleh Football Soccer hal itu juga menjadi bagian penting dari tim La Furia Roja dalam memenangkan Piala Dunia 2010 di Afrika Selatan, Piala Eropa 2008 di Austria-Swiss dan 2012 di Polandia- Ukraina. Iker yang sebagai kapten Real Madrid dan kapten timnas Spanyol juga memiliki jumlah tingkat kemenangan tertinggi selama membela La Furia Roja yakni 10 kemenangan.

  12. Larry Barker Reply

    I would love to live in Great Britain instead of the US. Both sides of my family came from there and Canada. Ive always found myself following whats going on there more than here. So many people Ive met from there wish they lived here! I cant see it but I guess they have their reasons.

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