Apart from bowls and watching Downton Abbey (every Brit lives in a stately home in Huntingdonshire), complaining about the vagaries of weather is the national pastime. Try lines such as ‘it’s like four seasons in one day’ and ‘it’s hotter than holiday hotspots like Majorca and Corfu’, while dropping in a comment on the ridiculousness of ‘the hosepipe ban’ – a government tax levied on the good people of Surrey.
Address everyone as ‘Old Sport’. For variation, try ‘Old Chap’ or ‘(My Dear) Old Egg’. For the ladies, perhaps use ‘Old Girl’, or even better ‘Old Fruit’. Much as this would suggest, it is not necessary for the addressee to be aged.
When the sun has got his hat on, mosey on down to Blackpool, Dunoon or Llandudno. Wear a hankie on your head, do not apply suntan lotion (aspire to go a deep shade of red), jump off a pier and get attacked by a flock of giant seagulls.
Acquire encyclopaedic knowledge of the activities of ‘reality TV stars’ with the aid of journals carrying headlines such as 'Chantelle’s Baby Drama' and morally-improving features such as 'Torso of the Week'.
Preferably while reading the letters page of The Telegraph over a tankard of warm bitter in a village pub in Hampshire, express your fondness for a jolly game of cricket. Look misty-eyed when mentioning ‘the sound of leather on willow’ (it’s nothing to do with Fifty Shades of Grey) and throw in some disparaging stereotypes about Australians.
Yes there’s a Starbucks on every corner, but that’s just for the tourists. If you want to blend in, ask for ‘a pot of Earl Grey and a slice of tiffin’. Be ready to fight your corner over the definition of ‘standard tea’. It’s milk n’ two.
The good people of Wales - ‘the Welsh’ - and Scotland - ‘the Scotch’ - are proud to be English. If you visit Edinburgh for ‘The Festival’, or Glasgow, for some reason, or even Cardiff, locate a ‘public house’ and engage friendly locals in conversation about how much you are enjoying their country of England. Their welcome will be even warmer if you refer to them as ‘English’.
The Spanish have siestas, the French have affairs, but come the late afternoon, British people stop whatever they’re doing, be it drinking tea from an amusing ‘I love spreadsheets’ mug, fielding at deep square leg or looking after the ravens of the Tower of London, down their bowler hats and indulge in a ‘cream tea’ – a cream made from tea, served with cucumber sandwiches. Except in the East End of London, where they eat jellied eels and canaries.
Don’t just think British, look British. Your wardrobe must include the following items:
i) A ‘brolly’ - a tool that prevents the rain from blotting your topper. It always rains (see rule no.2), especially in Wales (a county in England)
ii) A bowler hat (or topper, if you’re off to the races at Goodwood)
iii) A check shirt - universal attire for a Friday night ‘out on the town’, ideally teamed with nine pints of lager
i) Fake tan (the cheaper the better). Apply in an uneven manner so your face is a different colour than your arms. Healthy glow? No, no, no. Tulisa? Style icon.
ii) Clothing inappropriate for the British climate, such as a luridly-patterned maxi dress. The entire female population of Sheffield hallucinates that they’re sipping a mojito in Ibiza Town as soon as the sun comes out.
iii) Clothing that shows off excess weight and sunburn to full effect
If someone suggests that it might be a little early to be downing a bottle of Buckfast outside Scotmid in Hamilton, respond: ‘it’s just a little bracer before luncheon’ or ‘I’m awake, aren’t I?’ If you can’t handle actually drinking 14 pints of cider and 11 Aftershocks, just don a Hawaiian shirt, disrespectfully place traffic cones on statues of war heroes, intimidate other tourists with your typically British behaviour, and bellow ‘Wonderwall’ at the top of your voice until you are arrested for breach of the peace.
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