Observations on life in the UK

Some of the things I liked (in random order):

how green it is everywhere

flowers in all sorts of places

Edinburgh bus services

flying in a propellor plane low enough to see things

the immense variety of packaged fresh foods

wine in 2-glass bottles

incentives for on-time trains

clean buses and bus stops

free wi-fi in unexpected places (like some trains, and pub carparks)

fabulous smells from “chippies”

very specific recycling bins everywhere

smoking bans in all pubs and restaurants

comprehensive free tourist info available everywhere

the accents

efforts of farmers to preserve some of their hedges

huge variety of cheese

warning speed lights in villages (they light up if you are going over the limit)

roadside markers warning of the number of road casualties in that area

free, helpful maps everywhere

being chased by young calves on the other side of a fence

a grouse rising up from the heather at my feet

the names of plants like Rosebay Willowherb (surely the heroine of a romantic novel?)

the names of towns like Quedgely Hardwicke (surely the villainous suitor of Rosebay?)

clean, orderly and well-staffed charity shops in every town

surprisingly clean air and water

Lurpak Spreadable

Some of the things I didn’t like (also in random order):

unhelpful people in the tourist industry

the immensely tempting variety of unhealthy food

getting wet glasses of tepid tap water, even in restaurants and pubs

frequent lack of a top sheet on beds (I often removed the duvet and used the cover instead)

universally complicated and ineffectual showers

stairs everywhere

non-Edinburgh bus services

the only “vegetarian” menu item always having a gloopy cheese sauce (no I’m not, but I sometimes like to pretend I eat healthily)

toilets (everywhere) that don’t flush without about 20 attempts

privatised railway services 

not having any vegetables or salad with a main course unless ordered separately

© makrhod 2011