Archive for June, 2012


When people discover I relocated last year from the South of France to England, they all say the same thing: WHY?!

I tell them I came back because of the weather.

Really?!  they gasp. You came back for the weather?!

Yes, I reply. I’m a masochist.

Once again it’s Wimbledon fortnight, the time of year when tradition dictates the tennis-loving British public don their inflatable life rafts, pull on their wellies, and settle down under thick tarpaulins to watch grown men and women slam balls to each other at speeds upwards of 113 mph whilst GRUNTING VERY LOUDLY EVERY TIME THEY TAKE A SHOT AS IF THEY ARE HAVING ORGASMS.

SPLISH!    40 / 30!

SPLASH!  Splice the topspin!

SPLOSH!  New balls please!  (Always advisable to practise safe tennis).

But we plucky Brits don’t let a little bit of weather stand in the way of our enjoyment, for God’s sake!  We’re never better than when enjoying a round of soggy sandwiches and a glass of warm beer. We’re only sorry that the Nat West bank has abruptly cancelled all its corporate hospitality at the tournament this time around, penance for being found out in their endeavours to steal the whole fucking country from under our feet and sell it to the Saudis and George Soros. (Who, let’s face it, are the only people who can afford the punnets of tiny strawberries floating around in rain soup anyway).

I know my foreign readers will be a little mystified about the (many) eccentricities of this noble waterlogged land (to be honest, you’re not alone), so let me give you the run down on what it means to live on a tiny island in (and I mean that ‘in’ literally) the North Sea.


* Rain is not merely rain. It’s more important than that.  Just as the Inuit at the North Pole are reputed to have 47 different words for snow, the Brits have 5,863 swearwords for rain.

* Common or Garden Rain falls on gardens and commoners.  The latter includes everyone in the country, other than the 27,934 people who are the most important members of the Royal Family and who are paid for out of the Civil List. (POINT OF INTEREST: Garden Party Rain falls on commoners when they are invited to Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace. It does not fall on the the Queen – who is not a commoner, she’s the Queen, duh – because she shelters under one of her horrible little corgis.  So now you know the point of those vicious little dogs).

* Wimblerain and Bank Holirain differ from each other only in the fact they’re both completely predictable.  Which, predictably, means no point of differentation whatsoever.

* Showers are completely predictable in their total unpredictability.  Which is either predictable or unpredictable, depending on whether you’ve gone out with an umbrella or not. Or not.

* Drizzle is what it does when it’s not raining.

I hope this explains the mystical quality of the British Summer.  (Which is called mystical only because the ‘Summer’ part of the British Summer is myssing.)

Don’t feel sorry for us, we grew up in the place, it’s part of what makes us British.

(When’s the next flight out of here???)


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It’s very hard to explain to those who hail from countries where there’s no constitutional monarchy what it’s all about.  I know this to be so because someone asked me in 1986 what the point of it all is, and I’ve only just managed to come up with the answers.  So in case any of my reader is in any doubt (hello son!  The Pot Noodle’s in the post!  Hope the exams are going well!), here’s the definitive guide to the bunch of inbreds lording it over the rest of us.


1.       We are not actually citizens of Britain, we are subjects of the Queen.  That is to say, we are subjected to many privations unknown anywhere else in the modern Western World.  For example, having to stand out in torrential conditions for four days on the trot, waving small flags on sticks, to celebrate Her Majesty raining reigning for 60 years.  (Or is that decades?  Or perhaps eons? Anyway, she’s been wearing terrible attire and awful hats for at least twice as long as Prince Charles has wanted to be Camilla’s tampon. And looking at Camilla’s face, Charles has probably chosen the right end. Trust me, I’ve got a Politics degree).  But I digress. Other privations our beloved monarch has bestowed on the country include: having to shell out sackloads of dosh for her hangers on, erm, close family of 476 (combined IQ: 12); ugly, draughty palaces; teeth (think Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie); Prince Edward; and corgis.

          If you’re not a dog lover, you might like corgis.  Bad-tempered and snappy, Prince Charles probably likes them, too.  But for all their nasty characteristics (talking about the corgis now, keep up), they are actually quite clever, many of them working as registered gas fitters when they get time off from the Palace.

2.      The Royal Family may rule over Britain, but they come from German stock.  When the Queen Mother – who was rumoured to be the illegitimate offspring of a French cook* – married into the family, she was found to have strong connections with the House of Dubonnet, and thus began her reputation for being commonly drunk with gin.

3.       The number one reason royalists give when defending the institution is that the Royals bring money into the country.  This is indisputably the case.  Over the past couple of decades, Prince Andrew has made more personal wealth from his friendships with US paedophiles, dodgy foreign businessmen and evil dictators, than he’s actually spent from the public purse flying on private jets to do deals with them!  So how can we begrudge his entertaining these people at Buckingham Palace?  After all, what’s the cost of the odd cucumber sandwich when offset against wealth so vast, he’s actually able to bail out his ex-wife on a regular basis?  (Personally, I’d prefer if the corgis weren’t fed for a few days prior to their visits, but I’m only a mere subject – even if my subject happens to be Republican Despair in the 21st Century).

4.     The Queen is famed for her frugality.  To this end, and ever mindful that this is a time of desperate economic hardship for her people, Her Majesty understands that it does not look good to be seen to be increasing the numbers of those living from the Royal Purse.  Thus she has accordingly decided that Prince William’s new wife, Catherine, will only be fed on Jubilee Bank Holidays.  This explains both why the Duchess of Cambridge appears on every outing to have drastically diminished in size, and the decision of her brother to start up a cake business.  (And you won’t find any of those insulting ‘sponge to manual’ anti-Middleton jokes on here, thank you very much.  No, I’m saving them up for another post entirely).

5.      The Queen’s English is little understood.  And not actually true – as I said above, she’s German.  This orphan causes confusion.  Especially when she distributes Maundy Money on a Thursday.  (She takes Wednesdays orff).

I hope this goes a little way to explaining how the almost unique elite system operates in Britain.  And if it doesn’t, at least you’ll understand just what motivates many of us to pack our bags and emigrate to the South of France from time to time.

God bless your Majesty!

(It’s alright, I haven’t gone funny – perish the thought – she just sneezed).