8 quirky facts about the Brits (from a fully paid up French woman!)

Well, here we are, I was chatting to a fellow mum the other day at school and suddenly realised – as she asked me the question – that I have been in the UK for 14 years (or even 15…I kind of lost track!)! Bam!  
Life in Britain

Even though I still feel a Frenchie through and through I have really come to love my life in the UK. I have also learned quite a few things along the way.  If you are planning to come and live in the UK or if you are visiting friends, I reckon this post might come handy to you:

1 – The Brits love queues:
Red bus in London

While in France the concept of a queue is about as attractive as swapping a croissant for an English fry up, in the UK  people queue for everything without daring to push in. This admittedly highly civilised disease is so chronic that it even extends to queuing to leave a motorway up to six junctions in advance. My hubby, who happens to be half-French, definitely carries the French gene here, careering as he does off the M25 at the last possible moment….however, overall I 
must admit that this obsession with queuing at least makes for a much more peaceful environment than in France where the sight and sound of an irate and impatient Frenchman awaiting his ‘turn’ in the boulangerie is enough to send the blood pressure rocketing.
2 – The Brits love a good ol’ pint in the pub: 
Pub in England

The Brits have this cool institution called the pub. It’s cosy and it’s a pretty nice place to have a drink. But the cosiness aspect, even during the depths of an English winter (more about the weather later), evaporates as quickly as the lagers on a Friday night – it’s time for what the Brits call a good old-fashioned drinking session!  Your average British student sinks more pints than a French President goes through mistresses – no mean acheivement….although in fairness a French President has no idea what a pair of beer goggles are (my hubby tells me he still has his from his Manchester uni days)…..

 

3 – The Brits have a love affair with tea:
Cups of tea
I come from a family of tea lovers so as such drinking plenty of tea was always gonna be a joy. What I had not quite grasped was the magical status a cup of tea holds in most Brits’ life. What is particularly striking is the fact that Brits seem to believe that the mere act of putting the kettle on can cure even the most depressing situations. Lacking in serotonin? No problem, PG Tips will sort it….. 

 

4 – The Brits are shy and polite: good old British reserve.
 
I admit that i have sometimes struggled with this – where in France being invited to dinner parties at people’s homes is common (and, in the case of the French President, the bedroom), in the UK this is much less the case. There is often a lot of talk of this but the reality is more likely to be a session down the pub, complete with drinking cap (and beer goggles if you are not married)…..

 

5 – The Brits master the art of self-deprecation.
Britmania

Brits really are brilliant at laughing at themselves. Where a Frenchman will react to being taken the p*ss out of with as much humour as a Parisian waiter on a How To Keep a Customer Happy Sales course, the Brits love a hapless loser. My hubby’s obsession with Fawlty Towers, like his Dad before him, totally reflects this and is definitely his British gene! 

 

6 – The Brits have got their own special range of food specials:
Sunday roast in England
Chocolate bars, crisps, take away coffees, bacon, fish and chips, roast and gravy, Digestives, Custard Creams and, aptly, Rich Teas (all accompanied by the sound of a whistling kettle), curries – the list is endless. What is clear is a common theme – as my hubby says, it is largely unsophisticated stuff but you just can’t stop eating this sh*t….

 

7 – The Brits have got an addiction to properties (and more specifically house prices)
Obsession with properties
Get ready to be regaled with how someone’s property has gone up 10 grand that day alone – can you believe it?! I do struggle to get my head around why Brits can get so excited over a ‘semi’ – though my hubby says I would probably rather not know….

 

8 – The Brits are obsessed with the weather.
British weather Simply mind-boggling. For a climate as consistently sh*t as the UK’s it really is quite extraordinary how this should engender so much debate…. ..and passion!
The phrase ‘it is going to p*ss it down tomorrow’, followed by a 30-minute diatribe of how this is sending them towards a spiralling depression (cue the kettle), generates the sort of passion that a Frenchman normally reserves for a strike.
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Rainbow over the city of London
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Although this article was my idea and all original thoughts were mine, I called on l’Homme to inject some humour into this blog post so I owe him a big thank you for his contribution. Here he is in the pic below cracking another joke while our friend Pierre tried to take a decent picture of the 2 of us!

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