Letter From Britain

5 Nov

Sometime in the summer, Kate Shrewsday asked if I would be willing to contribute to a new blog she was setting up, about British life.

I said ‘yes’, of course; and then contributed nothing for months.  However, I now have my groove back and have produced as many as four posts for that blog, Letter From Britain.  Two of the posts you will have read on here first; one included an apology and an accidental lie; one was original material.

The original stuff is reproduced below, for those of you too lazy to visit Letter From Britain, but I hope the rest of you will wander on over.  There is an eclectic mix of writers and writing styles but all have one thing in common: we love Britain and want to give you a flavour of this beautiful, if ancient, country. Some of us prove that by making fun of it.


A Letter From Britain


The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (Photo credit: Wikipe

The British are coming! The British are coming!

Americans might claim that saying as theirs, via Paul Revere, but my favourite use of it was when it headlined a newspaper article in the Johannesburg broadsheet, The Star, in the early Nineties.  The article announced that the Equity ban was to be lifted, and British TV would be allowed to be shown in South Africa at last.

What was the first programme to be aired?

Mr Bean.

Thanks for nothing, Equity.


According to The TelegraphThe British are coming!  The British are coming! could have been shouted in 90% of the world’s countries at one point or another:

The analysis of the histories of the almost 200 countries in the world found only 22 which have never experienced an invasion by the British.

Among this select group of nations are far-off destinations such as Guatemala, Tajikistan and the Marshall Islands, as well some slightly closer to home, such as Luxembourg.

Don’t worry, countries not yet in the club: if the British don’t get you, Mr Bean probably already has.


That reminds me of one of my favourite jokes:

Why does the sun never set on the British Empire?

Because God doesn’t trust an Englishman in the dark.

28 Responses to “Letter From Britain”

  1. vivinfrance November 5, 2012 at 10:56 #

    I’ve just come back from the clinic (routine blood test) where the entry was blocked by a right-hand-drive but French registered Kangoo dropping an able-bodied man right at the door. The lady driver took up the whole car park turning round while I waited. There were three in the waiting room when I entered, including the AB man. Ten minutes later an irate woman came in effing and blinding to the AB man in English about having to wait, and went out again. AB man went in for his jab or whatever, and when he came out ages later, I was greeted with open arms and a bisou (kiss) by François (the nurse) complaining bitterly about “ces anglais qui ne parle pas français” . Makes you wonder about all those countries invaded by Brits!


  2. Kate Kresse November 5, 2012 at 10:57 #

    mr bean makes me laugh and laugh….what a goofball. good post Tilly–and loved your seque that you posted it on your site too for those too lazy to go to the other site! ha! sure, shame us into action LOL


  3. misswhiplashm November 5, 2012 at 12:12 #

    hi TillyB…I have been very lapsed in my blogging but I started to write again this morning explaining the why, the wherefore and all the rest then I had to stop due to demolishing kitchen…But have no fear ..I am fine as I always am…and happy as well, but thank you for missing me…….
    That is a very interesting blog about Britain..it gives those ‘foreign’ people knowledge of what we are like …well done..lots of ;love xxxx


  4. Janie Jones November 5, 2012 at 13:15 #

    We like Mr. Bean. But, I must say, Rowan Atkinson really cleans up when he isn’t acting the goober. *eyebrow wiggle*


  5. SchmidleysScribbling November 5, 2012 at 14:32 #

    The only reason the British didn’t invade the Marshall Islands is because the US and Britain divided Europe during WWII. The Brits took India, Burma and Indochina, while the US took on the islands and defended Austrailia and NZ. This according to Antony Beevor, British historian. Even when they weren’t invading something, they got one of their ‘friends’ to do so.

    PS. I think they did get to Tajikistan but this writer was not informed about it. Dianne


  6. SchmidleysScribbling November 5, 2012 at 14:33 #

    I meant Asia not Europe of course. We know the Brits and Americans divided Europe with the Russians for a long time. D.


  7. SchmidleysScribbling November 5, 2012 at 14:34 #

    I forgot the French and Dutch.


  8. SchmidleysScribbling November 5, 2012 at 14:38 #

    Actually, I just looked it up and the Marshall islands are named for a Brit. Apparently, he stopped by and named they while hauling convicts on HMS Scarborough to Botany Bay Austrailia.


  9. Katharine Trauger November 5, 2012 at 14:42 #

    Um. Our history texts might be biased, but I thought the quote went:

    “The Redcoats are coming . . . ”

    But I wasn’t there, so . . .



  10. laurieanichols November 5, 2012 at 16:11 #

    I loved the joke, it was very funny. The Brits did get about and thank goodness for their t.v shows. If it weren’t for British writers, most American shows wouldn’t be in existence. 🙂


  11. Al November 5, 2012 at 17:04 #

    I understand that The Maldives is ripe for the taking.The sunsets there are beautiful.


  12. adinparadise November 5, 2012 at 17:39 #

    We British are not to be trifled with. Love, love, love, Mr Bean. 😆


  13. Musings November 6, 2012 at 07:29 #

    For us in Hawaii it would have been the Beatles!


  14. viveka November 6, 2012 at 23:12 #

    Feel so sorry for South Africa that had to … see Mr Bean.
    For my Britain is Royal Mail, Full English Breakfast, Mark & Spencer, LloydsTSB, Blue Bells, new born lambs, London, wild Daffodils, Haggis and Primark and I miss it all.!!!


    • Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife November 6, 2012 at 23:14 #

      Come and visit me like you promised, and you can see Stockport’s version!


      • viveka November 6, 2012 at 23:16 #

        I will come one day … *smile – promise – but I can’t stand Mr Bean in any shape and form!!!


  15. lanceleuven November 6, 2012 at 23:19 #

    I love the Englishman in the dark joke! 🙂


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