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!”