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Monday, 4 June 2012


George Mikes said 'compromise means that you bring together everything that is bad', and that for the British compromise is very important. He said it was the only place where you can burn and catch a cold at the same time. This is still true as every house I stay in when I go to Britain has a fire that burns my front and a draught behind me. It's all about suffering but grinning while you bear it. What other nation would send its young up a river in the rain accompanied by a philharmonic orchestra belting out songs while catching pneumonia.

Earlier that morning I witnessed a man on one of those Sunday morning debates confirm that it's a lie that everyone on the planet would be watching the Jubilee and he added places 'like Spain' wouldn't be watching it. Well  they were, perhaps not all day as they had better things to do like march up a hill to get drunk.

George Orwell wrote that the British or rather English civilization was or is 'your civilization, it is you. However much you hate it or laugh at it, you will never be happy away from it for any length of time. The suet puddings and red pillar-boxes have entered your soul.' A lot of what he wrote in 1941 still rings true. That when you return to England from abroad 'you have immediately the sensation of a different air'. Then there is the English and 'their obstinate clinging to everything that is out of date and a nuisance'.
He talks about the English love for flowers but as far as I know he never mentioned their hatred toward children or anyone trying to ruffle their child's hair. They still are a nation of 'stamp collectors, pigeon fanciers, amateur carpenters, coupon-snippers,darts players and crossword puzzle fans.' You only have to walk into any WH Smith to have this confirmed today. Who else could come up with the idea of a cryptic crossword. Yet it is the freedom to choose. Not as I call it the 'group thing' that exists in Spain. The freedom to 'choose your own amusements instead of having them chosen for you from above.'

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