What Makes Britain so Brilliant?

“A lot of things actually. Far too many to mention them all…” so said the 4-page Carling advertisement covering this morning’s free Metro newspaper.

Reading their list brightened my rainy Mancunian morning, so if you don’t mind I’d like to share it with you.


Since it’s the Queen’s Jubilee (and we’re about to have a FOUR DAY WEEKEND to celebrate – Yippee!) here are 60 reasons, one for each year of her reign (shamelessly reproduced without permission…)

  1. Marmite. Mmm…yuck.
  2. Our devotion to our wonderfully gripping soap operas.
  3. Vivienne Westwood’s heels. It’s worth the pain.
  4. The Earl of Sandwich’s groundbreaking concept of putting a savoury filling between two pieces of bread.
  5. Glastonbury – mud and all.
  6. Our modesty – we never boast about how great we are, apart from today.
  7. The pound and our reluctance to adopt the Euro.
  8. The best selling music artists in the world are our very own: The Beatles.
  9. Our politeness – no matter how irritated we get, we are always too British to say anything.
  10. Kate Middleton and her sister.
  11. The Great British Summer (don’t forget the brolly).
  12. Driving on the left (the right way to do it).
  13. No matter where you are in Britain, you’re never far from a pub.
  14. Any excuse for a cup of tea.
  15. Curry, the unofficial national dish, with a pint of cold larger.
  16. We don’t moan because we’re miserable, we moan because it makes us happy.
  17. Our international language. Travelling abroad is a doddle.
  18. The Queen and her graceful wave.
  19. The Great British countryside, when you’re not stuck behind a tractor.
  20. Freedom of speech.
  21. Deep fried food. Fish, sausages, Mars bars… absolutely anything.

  22. Some of the very best museums and galleries on the planet. Free.
  23. The national tendency to cheer the underdog and ridicule the mighty.
  24. We apologise way too much. Sorry about that.
  25. Crisps. We eat more of them, in more varieties, than the whole of Europe put together.
  26. Shakespeare. When thou can understandeth it.
  27. Sir David Attenborough and his soothing voice on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
  28. British strawberries, perfect with cream.
  29. Our cobbled streets, watch your heels ladies.
  30. Chips with fish, or cheese, or beans, or pies, or steaks, or curries or in a sandwich. Chips with pretty much everything.
  31. We know the importance of a good queue.
  32. Beans on toast, brilliant no matter what your age.
  33. Courtroom WigCourtroom wigs. Our great way of making very smart people look very silly.
  34. Pantomimes. The jokes never seen to get old.
  35. No matter how cold it gets it will never keep us from our nights out.
  36. HP sauce. Chuck it on everything.
  37. The 3pm Saturday kick off.
  38. Cream teas. In case you’re wondering, Cornish is jam first, Devon is cream first.
  39. Jellied eels. And jelly. Though not necessarily together.
  40. Beer gardens. Because we love our beer and we love our gardens.
  41. Saying ‘I’m fine’ no matter how we feel.
  42. A love of mowing the lawn.
  43. Plugs with switches. Amazingly nowhere else seems to do this.
  44. Tolerating nearly everything, but banning hosepipes.
  45. Llanfairpwllgyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwlllantysiliogogogoch in North Wales. Just wait till your sat nav tries that one.
  46. World Cup, 1966. We’ll be clinging to it forever.
  47. Egg and soldiers. Those brave and tasty souls.
  48. The BBC. The only time you’re not constantly reaching for the fast-forward      button.
  49. Our British seasides. Watch out for the seagulls.
  50. Archie Gemmill’s goal against Holland.
  51. Prime Minister’s Question Time. A no-holds-barred, public bashing for whoever’s in charge. Every week.
  52. The Full English breakfast. Served all day.
  53. The weather. Although we get less of it than almost anywhere, it’s still the major talking point.
  54. 99 FlakeThe 99 flake.
  55. Morris dancing. We know how to move it 15th Century style.
  56. Allotments. Our very own little patch of the countryside.
  57. Our love of everything pickled.
  58. Carry On films. Oooer Missus.
  59. Our talent. Be it our artists, musicians, directors or just dancing dogs.
  60. And finally…

(Seeing as the list was a Carling advert I’m sure you can figure their last one out).

Happy Bank Holiday / Queen’s Jubilee / Weekend everyone!

Do you agree with the list? What are your plans this weekend?

All comments are welcome 🙂


The Weekend Review

The first thing you’re told when starting a blog is that you should decide what your blog is about in advance, then stick to it. This blog is about Manchester. It’s primarily here so we can share information on what’s happening and what deals are available, yet, as it’s ‘a blog’ I’m supposed to write other stuff regularly too.

If I was constantly doing stuff (which I’d like to) I’d always have something to write about (which I don’t). I’m conscious that random posts are just spam. The Jazz and 24:7 Theatre festivals were going on around me, yet this weekend I chose to do nothing. Nothing exciting happened. Nothing to write about. Today’s post is technically spam.

Instead of writing a review or sharing an opinion today I’m just going to ask a question:

What did you do this weekend?

Here’s what I did and didn’t do:

  1. Didn’t carry a snake. Did attempt to but wasn’t allowed. Made do with stroking a yellow Burmese Python.
  2. Didn’t go to Heaton Park music festival. Didn’t eat 20 flavours of Ben and Jerry’s.
  3. Did read the God of Small Things – followed by a short story about maniac homicidal hedgehogs.
  4. Did listen to free Jazz, albeit from outside the festival tent, plus I’m pretty sure it was actually Salsa.
  5. Did declare my intention to do 101 challenges in 1001 days.
  6. Didn’t do the TV 21 burger food challenge.
  7. Did try the new Northern Quarter tea shop: Home Sweet Home. Mmmm, delicious.
  8. Didn’t watch the end of The Human Centipede. Discovered the sky box had auto-deleted it to make room for the F1.
  9. Didn’t watch the F1 qualifing. Didn’t watch the F1. What a waste of space that was.
  10. Did watch the summer sunset from Winter Hill. 
  11. Didn’t make kiwi bread.
  12. Didn’t watch lesbian vampire queen burlesque at the Lowry theatre.
  13. Was shocked to hear Amy whinehouse had died.
  14. Wasn’t shocked for longer then 2 seconds. (Poor girl)
  15. Did watch Schindler’s List.
  16. Did get woken up by 124 voice mail messages coming through on the mobile phone – one every 5 minutes beginning at midnight.
  17. Didn’t send off for driving licence. Did empty the dishwasher.
  18. Did water the tomato plants that are sprawling across the living room floor like triffids.
  19. Did have an impromptu picnic of sushi and blueberries.
  20. Did wonder what on earth I was going to write about for today’s post.

So that’s what I did and didn’t do this weekend. How about you?

What did you do this weekend?

All comments are welcome 🙂