After writing my recent blog about Things I Now Understand about the UK (and don’t), I thought in retrospect, even though it was tongue in cheek, it might have been a bit harsh. So here is my Mea Culpa (non-Catholics can Google it).
Here are all the things I have found good about the UK:
- The quality of English food, mostly in pubs where I eat, is now outstanding. The variety is wonderful, including many items we rarely see like duck, rabbit and lamb. The pate, of all varieties, are just superb.
- The restrooms in almost every public place are hugely improved. Clean, warm, well stocked. No more dingy “pee-holes outback” as in the past.
- The Brits are VERY courteous drivers. In the countryside you are allowed to park IN THE STREET, even on narrow two lane roads. If there are cars parked in the opposite direction to where you are headed, oncoming cars must stop and wait for you to pass (and indicate such by flashing headlights). When you have to stop to let them pass, they give you a friendly, thank-you wave.
- They know about the dreaded potholes on your side too, and will slow down to let you find a wider area to pass that does not ruin a ball joint.
- Even though I can’t understand them, they understand me. Hopefully this will improve. (My guess is that this has to do with the popularity of US TV shows.)
- Most restrooms are free and any pub will allow you (and your dog) to pee without obligation. After all, what’s the point of relieving yourself if you have to buy and drink another pint? Tourist towns have restrooms in every parking lot.
- Most places do not expect a tip, and higher end places add a “discretionary” 10% tip. Though I don’t know how you remove a “discretionary tip” from the bill.
- All food is served promptly and VERY hot no matter how busy the restaurant is. I don’t know how they do it.
- During your meal, they ask you at least three times how it is.
- Wine is sold by volume. A bottle is 750 ml. A half bottle is half the price. A 250 ml glass is 1/3 the price. A 125 ml glass is 1/6 the price. No penalty for ordering smaller sizes. That is a great idea as it discourages over-ordering and over-drinking.
- They are on daylight savings time, and being so far north, it gets light at 6am and stays light until 7pm. Later in the year it will be light until almost 10.
- Heated towel bars. Golly, why don’t we get this? Not only is the towel heavenly, but it keeps the bathroom warm too.
Enough. You’re going think I have gone over the the “other side” if I carry on.
You might be wondering about the photo at the top. Roast duck breast with walnuts, kale, shallots and mushroom gravy. The duck is sort of a cross between a chicken breast and a pork chop. Why don’t we eat this stuff?
The Jag is finally arriving on Tuesday, and the weather forecast is “improving”, whatever that means. Temps in the 60’s. No rain. I will believe it when I see it.
My landlady found me a parking spot for the Jag. No room here. Two doors down. Nice guy, Mr. Tait. He owns a very nice Austin Healey Sprite (restored mostly himself, and will be attending the European Healey Meet), which is in the garage. I am renting his covered car port. It looks mostly dry and with the car cover, will be OK. When I asked him how much he said 50 pounds ($70). I said, per ? He said per WEEK! For a carport! But what can I do? At least it’s close and dry and I can probably borrow stuff off him if need be. Oh, also, he said “you have to leave me the keys, just in case I have to move it!
That’s all for now.
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