Monday, 23 August 2010

You know you're STILL English when...

  • you hide behind the sofa when you hear the 'Dr Who' theme tune;
  • you form an orderly queue, even if it's to ask what the queue is for;
  • you apologise to lampposts when you walk into them;
  • your guilty pleasure on a Sunday is 'The Archers Omnibus' on the BBC iPlayer;
  • your spend your ride home from work thinking about the cuppa you'll brew when you get in;
  • you know how to make a 'proper' cup of tea;
  • by early September, you're nostalgic for the sound of rain;
  • you finish a frappe (Greek iced coffee) is less time than it takes your Greek friends to smoke a cigarette;
  • your suitcase is packed and standing by the front door two weeks before you travel anywhere;
  • you miss picking blackberries from the hedgerows in September;
  • you crave custard;
  • you're hooked on sarcasm and irony, even though no-one 'gets it' here;
  • you refuse to believe that going barefoot will bring about the end of the world;
  • you have no "meso" (connections with folk to pull strings) and frankly don't care;
  • you have just one watch, but you're never late;
  • you lament the quality of Greek children's TV compared to 'Blue Peter' circa 1976;
  • you forget Name Days but remember everyone's birthdays (even when THEY forget);
  • you feel uncomfortable with patriotic displays of flag waving;
  • you can't take the Eurovision Song Contest seriously - Terry Wogan's commentary still haunts you;
  • you say "actually" far too much;
  • your ancestors were banging rocks together when Socrates was downing his cup of hemlock;
  • you do "British stroppy" oh-so-VERY-well;
  • no-one else in your family has the same name as you;
  • you enjoy 'cheap & cheerful';
  • you're not embarrassed to invite friends for a meal and not have the table collapse under the weight of the dishes;
  • you miss autumn mists;
  • you like Marmite!
I've been here for more than 20 years now. Since then, I've married (a Greek), had a child, worked with many Greeks, made many Greek friends, generally adapted to the way of life here and gotten a pretty good grasp of the lingo.

Some folk say I'm virtually Greek by now, but they're wrong.

For all the reasons listed above - and plenty more besides - there is a part of me that is Forever England, like it or not.


  1. The Wonderman bought a new kettle over the weekend after an argument... "A cup of tea aids diplomacy and reconciliation" he said. Bless him. :)

  2. A great list, having read it. I am a true Brit! I love the one about the queue!

    Mich x

  3. That's a fab list, and so, so true.

  4. I read such a list about people born in the 80s, felt so true and I felt like being watched :)
    I am not English, obviously, but had so much fun reading your list. I would love to be English, even if just for some of the reasons you wrote up there.

  5. The 80s? I was all done with most of my growing up by then! Child of the mid-60s, that's me.
    But I guess some things are timeless, eh?

  6. I lived in the Canaries for a while and was amazed by how quickly I craved rain. Now I rarely moan about it. That, the Archers and the NHS - wonderful, wonderful things

  7. Luckily for me, I never really had enormous need of the good old NHS - but it was certainly comforting knowing it was if I ever did.

    I have to add that it gives me enormous joy that, despite himself, my Greek-born & bred son knows The Archers music and can sometimes be heard singing it to himself when he thinks no-one can hear him.
    There's a little bit of England inplanted there too!

  8. Hi! Just visiting having spotted you on Fran's 'Being Me' blog.
    Custard! How true. I lived in Israel for a while and yearned for it, but also developed a very odd craving... for carpet! These hot Med countries just don't do wall to wall.

    Word verification: anicepu ... I'm being careful how I say it!