Ah, April the 23th. Once again St George’s Day arrives and all true Englishmen will… Well they won’t do a lot really. Unlike St Paddy’s Day, rivers don’t get dyed green, people won’t wear novelty Guinness hats or any kind of novelty head gear in fact. St David’s day you’ll see a whole nation wearing daffodils and hurling leeks (no really, there are leek hurling contests). Burns Night, St Andrews, Hootenanny, the Scots throw a ceilidh every chance they get.
Indeed most nations raise a glass and have a festival to their patron saint or national day. But for the English there is a complete lack of patriotism, nothing of note to mark the nation’s achievements and heritage as too often we let the day go unmarked. Yes Britain is great but England is eccentrically, excellent and perhaps it’s time that all Englishmen rise up as one and celebrate a nation with so much to be proud of.
Ahead of St George’s Day (April 23th for those that don’t already have it marked on your calendar) here’s a look at 23 things that England should rightly cheer.
Yep as you sit there reading this you can be rightly proud of the fact that the nation and indeed the world owes a great deal to Charles Babbage the father of the computer. When you consider his original ideas were drawn up in 1821 he probably never imagined the world of lolz cats, viral videos and hashtagging his work would one day unleash on the world.
For a small nation England has made one hell of a noise. The Beatles, Elton John, Paul Weller, The Who, Coldplay, Keane, Blue. Time and again England has produced musicians of the highest calibre and the music industry accounts for a very healthy part of national bank balance.
Really? The first Englishman on our list? Yes. Captain Slow is as quintessentially English as they come. A love of beer, an often dishevelled appearance, often found creating weird inventions that have no hope of succeeding and very rarely comes in first place in anything. How much more English can you get?
It doesn’t matter where you go in the world no one makes a banger like the English and quite frankly we’ll roll our sleeves up and give Johnny Foreigner a ruddy good thrashing should he dare to declare otherwise. No doubt about it, English sausages are the envy of the world and here’s 5 very good reasons why;
Are we really about to claim time as an English concept? Stick a flag in it because yes we are! The whole world centres around Greenwich Meantime (even if some have tried to change the name). If you want to learn more we would suggest a trip to the excellent Royal Museums Greenwich. And from now on every time you look at your watch you can be proud to be English.
England’s most capped outfield player of all time. Our one time glorious captain. The free kick against Greece, the penalty against Argentina, the single handed destruction of Turkey. Beckham is so English even his blood is red… OK bad analogy however few Englishmen have ever worked so hard and given so much on a football pitch for their country. Becks we salute you.
Another potential talking point but we will happily have a chat over an English pint with any man who wants to try and prove us wrong. In particular English microbreweries are doing amazing work. Forget the big boys, when we want a pint we’ll go for something lovingly crafted rather than some fancy import that we have to stick a piece of lime in, requires a special glass or lengthy pouring time any day of the week.
Here’s 5 of the best;
Every man’s home is his castle but it’s his shed where a man’s true genius takes hold. From Caractacus Potts to James Dyson, great things have been achieved in England’s garden workshops of which a nation should be rightly proud. It’s not merely the creators and makers of England’s fine works but the great eccentrics and their weirdest contraptions that make our nation unique and our sheds invaluable.
For all things shed related we recommend The Literacy Shed
Love it or hate it is a true symbol of England. It might divide a nation on matters of taste but it celebrates its unique place in our hearts with real style even willing to poke fun at itself for not being everyone’s favourite. Love it on Facebook
Now it would appear that Mr Fry (surely Sir Stephen sometime soon) does get a bit bored of hearing “National treasure” but he is and rightly so. Well spoken, intelligent, funny, most revered. Not only does he have the cut glass English accent but he wears elbow pads, terrible ties, smokes a pipe and drives a black cab to get around London.
Fish & Chips
Arguably England’s national dish and the perfect Friday treat since time immemorial, quite frankly you can keep your caviar and bouillabaisse there is nothing that tastes as good as perfectly fried fish in batter and chunky chips. Long day at work? Fish and chips. Just home from your hols and fridge is empty? Fish and chips. Weekend away with the lads? Fish and chips. Just got dumped? Fish and chips. Romantic stroll on the sea front? Fish and chips. Need we go on?
For the nation’s finest purveyors of seaside goodness these guys are tough to beat;
- Poppie’s Fish Bar – London
It’s like an English summer in a glass. Cold, wet and everyone looks forward to it. While we jest there is no finer English accompaniment to a summer’s day then Pimms, there is so much you can create with it and as an Englishman if you’re doing any sort of outdoor eating if you don’t have a glass of Pimms to hand then quite frankly you’re doing it wrong. Anyone for Pimms?
Some might argue (and we could possibly be among them) that this was England’s greatest gift to the world. Yes historically and politically there have been far more important things, yes in terms of medical advancement, technical know how and scientific achievement England has done amazing deeds. But we’re talking about the beautiful game here! Every four years the World Cup rolls around and the greatest show on earth begins. Admittedly every four years as a nation we release some crap songs, under achieve and end up on an early flight home but we still believe. And the English Premier League is simply the finest on the planet.
Monty Python, The Office, Blackadder. FawltyTowers, Only Fools & Horses.
Eddie Izzard, Lee Evans, Charlie Chaplin, Steve Coogan. Our comedy is yet another great export which we can take great pride in. Many of our TV shows are remade by other nations and you can go anywhere in the English speaking world, give a quote from Monty Python and be sure of getting a reply.
We asked Rufus Hound what he thought was great about England…
@stagweb Humour is our national currency. That’s what makes us special. That, and our enormous penises, of course
— Rufus Hound (@RufusHound) April 17, 2014
While other countries might hope to copy us and if you’ve been to Spain, Turkey, Disneyland, even Japan you will have seen pale imitations of the most English of establishments. But you can’t open a Dog & Duck in Marbella and think it will have the same feel that only comes through decades, often centuries of life, love and laughter washed down with real beer and great food.
World Wide Web
In 1989 while working at CERN Tim Berners-Lee dreamt up an idea “to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will”. While initially this was as an internal means of communication he soon realised that this could be accessed anywhere in the world. BY December that same year the first website had been built. Google, YouTube and Facebook might well rule the internet but it was an Englishmen who invented it.
Yes indeed. England’s most popular dish (ordered more than any other in restaurants) is chicken tikka masala. In fact curry as we know it in this country while it greatly reflects the flavours and influences of India is created purely for the anglo pallet. And this fusion of East meets West has brought about the some of the finest flavours and dishes known to mankind. Finding the perfect curry house rides high on every Englishman’s list of things to achieve so here’s a head start on 5 of England’s finest;
- Pushkar – Birmingham
- Anoki – Nottingham
We asked Marcus Brigstocke what he thought was great about England…
— Marcus Brigstocke (@marcusbrig) April 16, 2014
Forget the fleeting Scottish accent, the true Bond is a modern day high tech gadget wielding, femme fatale seducing St George. Shaken but never stirred, he fights, he flies, he falls he fornicates, and yet never a hair out of place.
He even managed to get the Queen to jump out of a helicopter at the London Olympics. Now THAT’S cool.
Fine suits with a crisp shirt. An English gentleman is always immaculate, Beckham, and Bond are both fine examples of what the best English tailoring can look like when it’s done well. In fact our good friends at Moss Bros know a thing or two about it and we’ve teamed up with them to give you a day at the races.
Widely taken for granted by the English themselves but it can well be argued that English is the most influential language in modern times. Sporting organisations and safety bodies often require it to be spoken as the first tongue (it is considered a prerequisite of maritime and aviation safety).
French mustard? We say “non!” Only English will do and at that we will only settle for Coleman’s English. No kitchen cupboard or beef sarnie is complete without a jar. They have been making our finest condiment since 1814 and even the Queen orders it in to Buckingham Palace so it bears the Royal seal of approval.
The English are famed the world over for what is viewed as our weirder take on life. We tackle everything with a stiff upper lip and curious take on life. Some of our finest inventors and most saluted figures have been considered “Eccentrics”. We have explored the world with just an umbrella and a desire to remain unruffled. Even some of our great sporting heroes have been a touch odd. Eddie the Eagle Edwards? Who else but an Englishman would enter the winter Olympics without ever having practiced on snow?
It might not have been embraced by the sporting world as much as football but where cricket is popular it’s virtually a religion. And the very way the game is played is just so English. Mix it with some English beer or a drop of Pimms, while stopping for sausage and Coleman’s mustard or Marmite sandwiches then head out to bat with a piece of willow which was lovingly crafted in your shed while whistling Beatles tunes then you will truly evoke everything that is England.
So rise up Englishmen, stand and be counted, in the words of Shakespeare (he was another English bloke) “…for Harry, England and St George!”
And if you’re looking for some truly English stag activities then check out…