That’s Just British…

Wit and Wisdom from Across the Pond with Russ

I feel reader, I let you down. I mean technically I promised and offered nothing but still. I wanted to give you a cheese roll experience and I failed. That is not the standard that’s just British sets.

So sadly Cheese rolling was still a no, so if you’ve come here expecting me to have somehow done the cheese rolling, you’ll be disappointed again. Sorry… this blog isn’t going to plan. However here is a video of the Master of Ceremonies (side bar how cool would it be to be a Cheese Master) rolling the cheese to ensure the tradition continues unbroken.

hopefully next year, muggins here will be running after the cheese.

So what can I offer? Well I have mentioned there other bank holiday traditions in my quirky country. And back in the day I did one of them. Almost 10 years to the day I’m going to recount, the time I almost became a world champion….

10 Years ago I was a very different person. Now I’m a below average cyclist, and a way below average runner. Back then I was 5 stone heavier and a crap rugby player. But me and friends were always up for a challenge and decided we would do the Tetbury Wool sack Race. So what in the hell is that Russ? Well Reader is held every year on Whitsun bank holiday, and you run down a stupidly steep hell with a 60 pound sack of wool and run back up it with said sack. Fastest wins. You have different categories. It at the time was known as the world championship of wool sack racing (other options are now available)

We had settled on the Mixed relay race. So two lads and two girls (one would go on to become a gold medal winner at the Winter Olympics… there’s always one who leaves the band for better things) I somehow was the lead out, which meant down the hill hand sack over. It was supposed to be easy and mean the more capable member could make up any deficit I build (they had a lot of faith in me) I approached this event with the usual commitment I had to training back then… I committed to doing little. And so I was not ready. But by 10:30 we were in the pub (rugby play) as we discovered we were the only mixed team! So we had to cross the line to win that was it.. World champion baby!

Except… the organizers felt we should have some competition… we weren’t bothered but they insisted. So a bunch of people from the British Army volunteered…. This went down like a lead balloon with us. Anyway we posed for a photo…

Then it was the start line. And the hill suddenly looked steep. I looked to see who I was racing. The man must have been 4 ft tall, but a Gurkha, a nepalis soldier, renowned for there endurance. Against me and well see in the pics what little I brought to the table.

The gun went off and I was winning, for literally a second. The fact I went early is irrelevant, but the guy was gone, while I looked like bambi on ice trying to balance the sack on my back, and stay upright… drinking was not a good idea. Somehow I made it to the bottom, my dignity and self-respect lagging behind. Handing over to the first of the girls who did a great job but the girl was fast and left our team mate for dead. Then the last downhill leg and the second girl of our team, the downhill skier just went for it, I literally saw a sack and  a pair of legs but she was flying with no fucks for her safety, there were audible cries from the crowd, as we walked back up to discover our final team mate had dropped the sack and we were disqualified, people were telling her that was the best run they’d seen.

And so I became a silver medalist (no medals were given) in a World Championship (it counts) If I do cheese rolling all I will get is some Double Gloucester!

Sadly no video evidence exists of our effort but you can see a video of what the event is like here:

Boozy Travels with Rivers

First – a thank you!

A special thanks to Seven who came up with the initial idea to have a blog segment about different drinks from different places! To celebrate that great idea the first drink is Seven’s favorite – the Moscow Mule. Aside from being a delicious drink a key selling factor for Seven is the copper mugs they’re served in. I have to agree – those mugs are fabulous. Not only are they aesthetic but the temperature conduction of the copper makes your drink feel extra cold and therefore extra delicious all while looking about as cool as the contents. 

These drinks are super common and variations are available almost anywhere you go but to make the OG at home is simple…a long as you have the copper mug! Accept no substitutes!

Moscow Mule

    1.5 oz vodka

    4 oz ginger beer

    3 lime wedges

Combine vodka, ginger beer and 2 lime wedges in a copper mug and stir. Garnish with additional lime wedge. 

And now to a land far, far away…

Next we’re gonna travel overseas to Belgium! WT has a favorite cocktail there that reminds me of something that would be served in Florida. The Belgian Orange Blossom cocktail comes from Brussels – a mellowed out, smooth drink that WT describes as a not too sweet orange hard candy. This is her go-to when heading out on the town with friends, but as the DD she orders the virgin option also included below. 

Ready for a crazy alcohol fact about Belgium? You are required by law to keep a disposable breathalyzer in your vehicle at all times. They’re sold for around $5 in auto parts stores. 

Belgian Orange Blossom Cocktail

    3 thin slices of orange (peel on)

    2 teaspoons almond syrup

    2 oz. gin [or for a virgin option replace with 2 oz. lemon lime soda]

    1 oz. pink grapefruit juice

    1/2 oz. lemonade

    1 oz. seltzer water

    2 dashes bitters

Using a tablespoon, lightly crush the orange slices in a tall glass. Do not mash the oranges; just crush them enough to release a bit of juice.

Add 1/3 cup ice to the cup, fill with the remaining ingredients, and then stir lightly, keeping the orange slices at the bottom of the glass. 

According to WT, in the clubs they sometimes decorate the glass with candied orange slices and some fresh orange wedges. Sometimes they use other fruits to make it pop or floral sprigs. 

I can’t lie. I think I’m going to have to try this one at home as soon as possible.

Its all in the name…

A random drink with a name that gives pause

We all know at least one drink with a crazy name that makes you wonder. Every post will feature one random drink with a more random name. This time its A Short Trip to Hell. 

A Short Trip to Hell

    2 oz of peach schnapps

    2 oz of strawberry schnapps

    2 oz of wild berry schnapps

    1 oz of jagermeister

    8 oz of Red Bull energy drink

Shake Red Bull, peach, strawberry, and wild berry schnapps in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into glass. Then put Jagermeister into shot glass. Drop in the shot and drink.

Had any of these drinks? Love em? Hate em? Comment below! And if you have a favorite drink that you’d like to share I’d love to hear from you and feature it on the next post! 

That’s Just British…

Wit and Wisdom from Across the Pond…

Written by Russ

So sadly I had big plans for the next blog. I was all set to take part in the cheese roll this month. But Corona put pay to that, so that’s a blog for next year, so this is an emergency blog looking at another idea i have of talking about British myths and folklore. Let me know what you think, or if there are any myths etc you’d like me to talk about!

St George’s Day

I love a good myth. The UK is full of them. I was addicted to Robin Hood and fascinated by the nights of the Round Table. But perhaps the most iconic myth in the UK, is that of St George. It was St George’s day on the 23rd April and it’s not the same as Saint Patricks day. It is now pretty contentious a day due to the Nationalistic Jingo,  using it to champion being British. Given most of us our descended from Saxons who invaded the country, I love the absurdity in all of this. I’m also descended from French and Irish Ancestry, so the sort of prick the Nationalist would love. It’s all a bit Harry Potter and Prueblood/mudblood.  But I like a myth, so lets break it down.

So little is know of George, other than it is believe he was a Roman Officer who died in AD 303. He was tortured to deny his faith in Christ and his refusal to do so lead to him losing his head and as a result being made a Saint, Britain is one of a few Countries along with Georgia to claim him as our Patron Saint.

So his most famous story, I’m sad to say is bollocks. And not just because he slayed a dragon, I’d love Dragons to be real. No the biggest problem is its historically unlikely he ever visited Britain. He was know in Britain though. The dragon in medieval times represented the devil. Anyway from about the 12th Century a story started to develop that:

He was made the Patron Saint by King Edward III when the order of the Garter (stop sniggering back there) was formed and then Shakespeare immortalized him with the line “Cry God for Harry, England and St George” in Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt.

So the story is basically thus:

A town was being terrorized by a dragon. George heard of this and travelled to Libya (the story got retconned to be in Uffington Berkshire…) Where he was told by a old man that the dragon demanded the sacrifice of a beautiful maiden and it seemed much like toilet paper now, they were becoming hard to come by. Only the Kings daughter was left and was due for sacrifice the next day. George set out, persuaded the Princess to turn back from her journey to the Dragon.

From there a battle took place, George hurled his spear at the Dragon but it was no match for the sheer scales of the Dragon and Shattered. Falling from his horse he landed under a Enchanted Orange tree which protected him from the Dragons venomous breath. Finally he found a weak point and drove his sword under the wing of the Dragon which fell dead.

So there you have it, something to me that seems very British, A saint who never visited this country. It’s still a bizarre day here now, not really celebrated without feeling awkward about it, unlike the Irish who most of us seem to pretend to be on there saints day! In fact this is a pretty dull story to build you nationalism on, plenty of plot holes, cliches and a dull narrative. But parts of Britain take it really seriously.

I’m no expert but the point of a blog is to toss out an opinion isn’t it so lets give this myth 5/10 but bump it to 7/10 for its elevated status in the UK. If people like this idea, I might toss up a Blog on another Myth next time. IF not Give me dumb British stuff you want to hear about.

That’s Just British…[by Russ]

Wit and Wisdom from Across the Pond

So British, or how I learnt to stop worrying and love America

I’m going to level with you Revo. I love America. I’ve been fascinated by your country since I studied History. I was hooked by Uni when I read a module on the Making of Modern America. Now Rivers rubs Disneyworld and Epcot in my face frequently like it’s the Holy Grail – I have to get to Florida one day. I need it, all of it. It’s so unbritish – It’s brash, in your face, it knows exactly what it is and doesn’t give a fuck. It’s everything as a people us Brits aren’t. (note to the Bloginista of course Florida would be awesome to give you a squeeze too)

I’m sorry to say to my friends from the USA but you get a bad rep sometimes. You to us Brits seem loud, in your face, you don’t give a fuck what people think of you and you know just what you are. But god dammit I love your country and I’ve been trying to put my finger on why. Then Harley shared an article with me and a line stuck out:

Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and most are.

See if you want to make a Brit uncomfortable – Be nice to him. We hate that. We can’t take a compliment. We are coy with emotions, hiding behind humour. But the US, often I’ll be told by people they love me, and it’s scary, you say it so easily. What’s more scary is you mean it. For me to say it (and ask people who know me how much of a softee I am) I need weeks of build-up, social awkwardness and enough beer to tranquilize an elephant.

I wish we expressed and were as honest to ourselves as you were. And these are of course generalizations. But let me give you an example, elsewhere on this site: Design 101. I hated it and loved it. See everyone is so blaze about putting yourself out there, asking for help and advice. Do you know how hard that is for a Brit? Splitting the atom seems easier and less risky. Have someone critique me? No thank you. And yet you’re bloody rubbing off on me, as I’ve started trying it. I asked Kitten to feedback on something, and I admit I, my toes curled but I did. Honestly we just aren’t good with emotions.

And compliments? Ugh – no thank you. I’ve told you all time and time and time again I hate it, I don’t know how to deal with it. And yet you won’t give up. Honestly, we are a nation of self-depreciation and jokes. We are at our best when it’s hopeless. We celebrate our failures the most. Don’t believe me Dunkirk. So praise us we’ll hate it.

But I love this about us, honestly the gallows humour I have all the time in the world for it. I think our humour is lost on other nations sometimes, but if you cannot take your selves too seriously we will love you for it.

I could go on but this is long already so I might make this a two-parter if people like it. See being British again, self-loathing, we hate all we do. It’s guild from empire building I think. I’m always down on my avs, my rp etc and even what you all thing of me. And like I said you are all so patient and kind. In truth your what I think we’d like to be.

That’s Just British… [by Russ]

Wit and Wisdom from Across the Pond

So I’ve had a few stereotypes or questions come in and they are great! But I need more to make a decent post, so please keep them coming. I also have an idea for Russ’ Great British Brain off – a sort of quiz for you with prizes. If you have categories or prizes to suggest get in touch. For now let’s touch on a quirk of British History: The Bank Holiday.


Bank holidays. Its what we call a public holiday in the UK. Usually they fall on a Monday. We have 8 of them. Normal people spend them bored at home, trying not to argue with the family, maybe have a barbecue, a roast dinner, day drinking and watch whatever crap is on the telly.
Across the UK though some people do things differently. Near where I live there is a Hill, its known as Cooper’s hill. On this hill is a very steep bit of hill. Now every spring bank holiday a bunch of people gather. A 7-9 pound round of Double Gloucester Cheese is picked up and Rolled down the hill. Then the “runners” (fallers and rollers seems more apt, maniacs the most fitting) give chase, if they catch the cheese, or cross the finish first they get the cheese. This probably sounds very quaint doesn’t it? Well the cheese can hit 70 mph (110 kph to you) and has since meant due to injuries it’s now a foam replica of the cheese. There have been many serious injuries in the event. This is a description by one participant:


“Twenty young men chasing a cheese off a cliff and tumbling 200 yards to the bottom, where they are scraped up by paramedics and packed off to hospital”.

Us Brits eh!
How did this all start? There are two theories. One is that it evolved from a requirement for maintaining grazing rights on the common. Because you know, we could just put some cows or sheep in the field, nah lets chuck a cheese down it, get pissed and give pursuit. The second is it originated from the Pagans who had a custom of rolling down the hill. Originally it was bundles of burning brushwood rolled down to signify the birth of the New Year. In addition buns, biscuits and the like were scattered by a Master of Ceremonies in a fertility rite to encourage the fruits of harvest.  Obviously one year said Pagans couldn’t start a fire and some bright spark thought “well cheese is almost the same thing, the Gods will be ok with that, right?”

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Anyway in 1826 the first recorded history of the cheese rolling was discovered by a message from the Town Crier. But even then it talks of the time honoured tradition.


The event is hugely popular and people crowd the hill to watch. It’s been a few years since I’ve been, it was a traditional piss up with mates and for reasons I’ve forgotten, and we don’t anymore.  Maybe one year I’ll have a crack at it.

This is one of many events like this we also have:

Dorset Knob Throwing
Well Dressing
Rubber Duck racing
Wool Sack Racing
Shin Kicking and the Cotswold Olimpicks (correct spelling!)
Water Football

Most of these events take place in my home area, which tells you something about how weird and quirky life is in the Cotswolds, but that another blog! I love this sort of crazy stuff though, weird laws, quirky traditions etc., so maybe share some you know of where you’re from, below.

That’s Just British… [by Russ]

Wit and Wisdom from Across the Pond

Ok so, as with most of my ideas, this came about due to 3 things.


1.   Running my mouth
2.   Beer
3.   Being unable to say no.


And actually all of these fit this idea for a recurring blog. They are all rather British traits. Take point 1. I’m not sure we run our mouths but we can be seen to be arrogant and have a stick up our arse. In short we know best. Maybe its our accents, who knows. 2. We love a good drink. 3. We are weird as a whole about manners, so if we promise to do something we do it. Even if that’s being drunk listening to the chat sensation of Rivers and Kitten mock your nation after saying you could blog about it.


So here we are. A blog themed about being British. There is lots I could bore you with I assure you. I feel like we aren’t that interesting, but people tell me otherwise. So I’ll pick stuff to talk about and blog about it, our weird food names, what we think of you guys across the pond, Cheese rolling, shin kicking and other weird bank holiday traditions, our weird words, our accents, our history and most importantly why we love Tea so much.
But, I’m wanting to follow the lead our Bloginista, Rivers, has set and make this a collaborative affair. So its readers’ choice. Here is what we will do: PM or discord me your questions on what you want to know. Keep it fun though, I don’t want to touch politics or religion with a barge pole. Sorry Rivers and Kitten, I’m not talking about Jacket Potatoes either. Nothing to do with not having an answer honest. But anything else you might want to know about what its like having a monarchy for example.
Also I’d love to know what y’all (I always wanted to say that! It’ll be the last time promise) think of us, so send me the myths and stereotypes you might have on us and I’ll collect the best ones and make a blog on it.

I think that’s a good place to start, and hopefully we’ll find stuff you want to know about, otherwise this idea is going to die on its arse very promptly.
And to finish I’ll leave each time with a word that means something totally different here to the US/Canada:

Bog: Ok so this does mean the same thing here to, a sort of swamp. But its also a slang word for a toilet.
E.G. “Stop being pricks and hoarding the bog roll!”