My Britain

Britain is a subject that is never far from my mind. I often feel more British than I do Canadian, and I love every eccentricity and memorable feature of Great Britain. I have been very blessed to have visited England and Wales many times, and as a result there are numerous things which remind me of Britain, even when I am not there.

Starbucks is one of the most evocative things to me. Although it is certainly not a British invention, the first Starbucks coffee I had was from a shop on Kensington High Street in July 2009, so it never ceases to remind me of London. On weekends here at home, I often visit the local Starbucks for a coffee or cappuccino. Both beverages bring chilly grey English mornings to mind, and make me feel as if I am there again.

Grey skies also remind me of Britain. But, unfortunately, grey skies in Britain are more beautiful than grey skies anywhere else, so a lack of sunshine in Canada makes me feel a little wistful. Wales comes to mind whenever a lot of fog and low cloud is about- refer to my earlier post My Best Days in Britain: Part One for more on that!

Rain over the Thames

London City Hall, The Shard, and HMS Belfast seen through the rain, from Tower Bridge, in May 2012.

Watching football (proper football- not American, Superbowl stuff!) gives me great excitement, and must be of the most British things in existence. Every Saturday morning, after sleeping in for an extra hour or so, I watch Premier League football while eating my breakfast. It is a time of contented relaxation, and reminds me of how many football shirts and adverts I have seen while in Britain. Arsenal is my team, although I also like Swansea and Cardiff due to my Welsh heritage!

Something that I have done a lot of in England is shopping- from the high street chains like TK Maxx and Dorothy Perkins to Selfridges in central London, shopping in Britain is an experience in itself. It must be said that London is a fashion capital, and it always delights me to find London-born trends in the shops at home!

Louis Vuitton logo

Louis Vuitton logo on outside of shop near Leadenhall Market.

Expensive, yet tasteful, motors are a hallmark of Britain for me. I have seen incredible things on the roads of Britain, such as a fabulous bright blue McLaren MP4-12C near Shrewsbury, a Phantom Drophead Coupe on Baker Street, and an original Ford GT40 parked outside a Sussex pub. One cannot go a day in London, especially, without seeing a dozen Bentleys, several Aston Martins, and probably a Ferrari or two. Elegant and powerful cars are a part of British history, and they remain a fact of life today. The affluence and atmosphere in Canada are not the same as that of central London, but the sight of any exclusive luxury car still takes me back to the streets of Britain.

Patriotic Aston Martin

Patriotic and perfect in every way- gorgeous Aston Martin in Union flag livery.

Finally, a pint of British ale never fails to evoke memories of the homeland. Of course, nothing beats a pint from the taps in a real English pub, but I still enjoy authentic beers at home. Fuller’s London Pride, Guinness, and Lancaster Bomber are a few of my favourites, although in the summertime Pimm’s with lemonade is refreshing and wonderful. In addition, pub grub is a comforting and happy reminder of Britain. Lovely, golden, thick-cut chips drowned in vinegar and ketchup are probably my favourite food of all time, but somehow everything tastes better in the cosy environs of a good English pub!

The Albion

The Albion near Hampton Court Palace- my favourite Greater London pub.

As you may now realize, my life is full of things that remind me of Britain. I have so many fond memories of my time there, and so many things to appreciate when I inevitably visit again. Most of the time, I greatly miss this amazing nation of which I am a member; but thanks to these vivid memories, I never feel too far away.

 

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