18 Apr 2014

P is for Phone Booths and Post Boxes

Today I'm continuing with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter 'P' I have chosen Phone Booths and Post Boxes.

A classic British telephone box near St. Paul's Cathedral
[Creative Commons image. Source.]
These have both become iconic British symbols. The red telephone box was introduced in 1924 as the result of a design competition and has always been a familiar sight on UK streets, although there are not so many of them now as there used to be. They were coloured red to make them noticeable, and from 1926 they were adorned with a crown to represent the British government.

Some telephone boxes that are no longer used have been converted for other uses, such as an art gallery called The Gallery on the Green and a library, Little Eaton Book Exchange. The Community HeartBeat Trust also has a project to turn telephone boxes into mini medical centres containing defibrillators! I think these are fantastic ideas.



17 Apr 2014

O is for Oak Tree

Today I'm continuing with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter 'O' I have chosen Oak Tree. 
The Oak tree is one of England's national emblems, as it is the most common woodland tree in England. The symbol has appeared on the back of the pound coin in 1987 and 1992 and oak leaves or acorns are the emblem of the National Trust and The Woodland Trust. The oak tree is also the symbol of the UK Conservative Party. Before Christianity spread to Britain, there were sacred oak groves where Celtic druids met to hold rituals. To the druids, the oak represented doorways to other realms and was said to provide protection and power for their magick.

16 Apr 2014

N is for NHS

Today I'm continuing with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter 'N' I have chosen the NHS. This stands for National Health Service, and refers to the publicly funded healthcare system in the UK. Basically British citizens contribute taxes and National Insurance towards these services so that we effectively get most of our healthcare for free. We can visit our GP and NHS Dentists for free, and only have to pay for our prescriptions (a standard fee of £8.05 per item) and certain treatments. There is generally no charge for accident and emergency services, hospital treatments and medical operations. The exceptions are road traffic accidents, which are usually paid for out of car insurance and certain operations such as cosmetic surgery (although this can be done on the NHS if it will significantly improve a person's quality of life).


 Foreign nationals also receive free treatment if they have been living in the UK legally for 12 months, have recently arrived to take up permanent residence, are claiming asylum or have other legal resident status. European citizens are also entitled to free treatment if they have a European Health Insurance Card.



15 Apr 2014

M is for Marmite

Today I'm continuing with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter 'M' I have chosen Marmite. Marmite is a famous British spread made from yeast extract, invented in the 19th century by a German scientist called Justus von Liebig. The Marmite brand was established in 1902 in Burton-Upon-Trent and has since become an iconic British product. We even use the term 'Marmite effect' to describe things that generate strong opposing feelings.

14 Apr 2014

L is for London

We're now into the third week of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter 'L' I've gone with the obvious choice- London. I've decided to put together a brief guide of some places to visit if you're planning a trip down to London. So here goes:

12 Apr 2014

K is for King Arthur

Today I'm continuing with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter 'K' I have chosen King Arthur. According to medieval histories, such as Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, Arthur led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The most well-known version of the story is as follows:

11 Apr 2014

J is for James Bond

Today I'm continuing with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter 'J' I have chosen James Bond. The James Bond films are based on twelve books by the English writer Ian Fleming- who also wrote Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang! He based the character of James Bond on several secret agents and commando types that he met during World War II.

The 23 Bond films made by Eon are the longest continually running film series to date, as well as the second highest grossing film series-only beaten by Harry Potter. The first film was Dr. No starring Sean Connery in 1962. Since then, like Doctor Who, James Bond has been played by numerous other actors: George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. My favourite is Sean Connery, because he's just awesome.

10 Apr 2014

I is for Inventions

Today I'm continuing with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter 'I' I have chosen Inventions, so I'm going to talk about some of the things that were believed to  have been invented in Britain. There are too many inventions to write a comprehensive list, for that see Wikipedia.


9 Apr 2014

H is for Humour

Today I'm continuing with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter 'H' I have chosen Humour. Much like our standards of etiquette, British humour can be hard for 'non-natives' to grasp. There's no 'magic formula' for what British people find funny-we're all different and amused by anything and everything. But generally speaking, British humour tends to focus on silly slapstick, witty wordplay and steely sarcasm.

8 Apr 2014

G is for Glossary

Today I'm continuing with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter 'G', I've decided to write a Glossary of some popular British words and phrases (an A-Z within an A-Z! So meta!) This list is not comprehensive but includes the words I think most relevant. If you notice any mistakes please feel free to tell me in the comments so I can correct them. I apologise in advance for the length of this post!

7 Apr 2014

F is for Fish and Chips

We're already onto the second week of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter 'F' I have chosen one of my favourite British delicacies- Fish and Chips. Well, actually I'm vegetarian so I don't have the fish these days, but still. It's a classic.

Deep-fried fish was introduced to Britain by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain during the 16th century. It became a stock meal for the working classes during the 19th century, following the development of trawl fishing in the North Sea and railways connecting the ports to major cities, which meant fresh fish could be easily transported. The first fish and chip shop was opened in 1860.

5 Apr 2014

E is for Etiquette

Today I'm continuing with the A-Z Blogging Challenge! The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter 'E' I have chosen to write about Etiquette. British standards of etiquette are often satirised by the rest of the world. We have a reputation for being overly polite and modest-but do we really live up to this stereotype? To a certain extent, yes, though not to the extreme usually expected! Not everyone follows the 'rules' of etiquette and older people often bemoan the manners of the younger generation. As our society becomes more multi-cultural, we are also beginning to adapt to include customs from other countries.

4 Apr 2014

D is for Doctor Who

Today is the fourth day of the A-Z Blogging Challenge! The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter 'D' I have chosen Doctor Who. The science fiction series is a significant part of British popular culture and has become a cult favourite in the US and elsewhere. You can tell a lot about a person from which Doctor is their favourite. Mine is Tom Baker. What does that say about me? That I have exceptional taste in scarves of course.

I've no real direction for this post (what can I say about Doctor Who that hasn't been said already?) so I've decided to  provide a collection of random links and facts associated with this great series.


3 Apr 2014

C is for Cadbury

Today is the third day of the A-Z Blogging Challenge! The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter 'C' I have chosen Cadbury.  Cadbury is the leading chocolate manufacturer in the UK.

Cadbury's Dairy Milk from 1905.
The company was established in Birmingham way back in 1824 by John Cadbury, who started by selling tea, coffee and drinking chocolate (which he prepared with a pestle and mortar) with his brother and two sons. You can see the Cadbury's timeline here. Their most famous products are Cadbury Dairy Milk (a classic bar), Creme Eggs (amazing gooey fondant covered with chocolate) and Flakes (no icecream is complete without one).

2 Apr 2014

B is for Bands

Today is the second day of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.

For the letter 'B' I have chosen British Bands. I'm going to cause controversy now by admitting that I'm not really a big fan of the Beatles. My tastes are a little more eclectic.

Here are some of my favourite British bands: