Yesterday, April 23rd, was St George’s Day. It’s the generally accepted date England’s patron saint died and it’s also William Shakespeare’s birthday.
I have to admit it bypassed me completely until I saw something on social media about it late in the day. It’s a shame as I used to feel a real sense of pride about being English, being British.
In recent years, with all the chaos around Brexit and now our shambolic handling of the coronavirus pandemic I’m struggling to find that patriotism.
In a bid to rediscover it I googled ‘reasons to be proud to British’ and came across this very recently carried out survey. Here is the top 10:
- The NHS
- Fish and chips
- Full English breakfast
- The Queen
- British countryside
- Big Ben
- Roast Beef
- Sir David Attenborough
I really do struggle to understand the food-related ones though I do love a full English breakfast. Got me thinking what would be in my top 10 so I delved into the rest of the top 50 list to create my own ranking:
- British countryside – making a mockery of the virus, it’s in full bloom right now and there really is nowhere in the world more beautiful on a sunny Spring day.
- Big Ben – not so much the building itself though it is rather beautiful but what it represents. We gave democracy to the world and though it’s taken a bit of a hammering in recent years it still makes me proud.
- Pubs – missing them like crazy at the moment, these welcoming, convivial, homely environments where you can eat, drink and be merry.
- Sir Winston Churchill – amazingly doesn’t make the top 50 list at all but his determination to fight and win World War II changed the course of humanity.
- Kindness – it’s still here, just about. Last night’s clap for carers and the ensuing chats with neighbours reminds me that there is a basic decency to most Brits.
- William Shakespeare – the world’s greatest playwright and a symbol of all the great literature we produce from Jane Austen to J K Rowling and of the English language itself.
- The Beatles – great songwriters but also representatives of British music which is one of our greatest exports continues through the likes of Ed Sheeran.
- Sir Stephen Hawkings – an amazing man in his own right who followed in the footsteps of so many other great British thinkers and inventors.
- London – “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life,” unquestionably the world’s greatest city, so historic, so beautiful, so much to see and do.
- NHS – just scrapes into my list, despite its mainly failings it’s a wonderful but flawed concept providing ‘free’ healthcare to all citizens rich or poor.
Feel so much better now!