Wednesday, April 23, 2008


As you may or may not know, today is St. George's Day, St George being dragon slaying, holy helping, all round good egg. He is the patron saint of pretty much everywhere you care to go and is loved by all. He was also incredibly clever to not only create a clever red on white cross for the english to use as a flag, but also to die on our national day! Nice one Georgeh!

Unlike the green madness of a month ago, when every other post on the fashion feed contained something green, leprechauny or guiness. St Georges day is quietly ignored, briefly nodded at before everyone goes back to their daily business. It wasn't always like this though.

Back in the good old 15th century, St. George's day was the best excuse to have a piss up since Free Whore day, but these days celebrating the old lizard killer is a VERY BAD THING! Apparently times have changed. Back in the day when the smartly dressed troops marched along under the flag wearing their very nicest sunday armour, quaffing tea and trying not to get scone crumbs in their chainmail. But in these stereotypical times you're likely to find it painted on the face of the angry man rearranging your facial features with a cricket bat. And that's the problem.

English pride is now english desperation, a country that not only lost its empire but has had most of its achievements undermined by other bigger countries who steal its lunch money and call it names. I'm english, I'm quite cheerful about the fact but I can't help feeling I belong to a race that was once the favourite grandparent, handing out worthers and making wooden boats (although apparently some people think we were complete bastards), but now old, senile, incontinent and a huge embarrassment to all around. It often feels we're indulged for our royal family, excitable heritage and ability to produce decent music.

At the end of the day I say fuck it, I like england, I like the fact that my accent elevates me to Liz Hurley sexy on voice, I like that we have insane roundabouts, stupid customs, evil dentists, a class system, fucked up usage of imperial and metric measurements, football rugby cricket and a complete inability to win anything, strange and slightly barbaric foods and the NHS.
I love it all.

So happy St Georges day everyone!


Peter Stindberg said...

I'll have a pint of bitter too, please!

Miriam Woyseck said...

Not to mention that George was completely made-up too. Which is just as well, since otherwise I'd feel terrible for that poor dragon.

I like your list of reasons to like being English. The NHS is a thing of joy (made by a Welshman, but such are the extra complexities of the anomaly that is the UK) and losing at cricket makes me weirdly happy. That said, I am mostly driven by (North East) regional identity and feel very disconnected from the London-centric media, but that's another whole different thing. It's great having so many levels of identity, and I don't see why they have to be in conflict. After all, Bede pretty much invented Englishness and he was a proper Northern icon.

I do find that comment on how "cute" my accent is can get a bit annoying, though. At least outside the UK nobody demand to know why I don't sound Geordie, as though I'm in some way transgressing.

Happy made-up-lizard-killing-Arab day!

Taille's Tales said...

Put down that Carlsberg, Kitty, and get some proper beer down yer neck! Newcastle Brown, Old Speckled Hen or Hobgoblin methinks should do the trick.
English and proud of it, too, but we are regaining the Empire plot by plot through crafty refurbishment of old houses on the continent. We WILL rule once more... LOL

Ann Launay said...

Oddly - or perhaps ironically - it's Administrative Professionals Day in the US.

Anonymous said...

I always thought Kitty was more a Bishops Finger sort of girl

Manticore Pinion said...

It's my Rezday too! yayyyyy!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank God I'm not the only one who feels the same way...good on you kitty for blogging

Firedragon Bellios said...

Go go Kitty!!! But I'm with Miriam on the dragon

Elaine Lisle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elaine Lisle said...

not being a native English speaker, I have to say I try as hard as I can for my accent not to sound American... I just like British English better!
as for not winning anything at sports, the odds are high (3-1) that an English team is going to win the Champions League, don't forget that. I support Barça, but... come on, let's be realistic!