“Zis Vorld Off Tuday”

14 Feb

My turn!
The above is a quote from a very boring minister from many years back…it was his catch phrase and featured in pretty much every sermon.  For some reason it has always stuck with me.  He was obviously railing against the moral degeneracy apparent for all to see that so exasperated him weekly and provided the grist for his milling.  As many of you will know I am not the eloquent one of this partnership and require some time to cogitate prior to making pronouncements of any import.  So here goes.  As Janette and I have now been in England some 4 months the odd things have been noted and its now time to elaborate for those with a passing interest.

You know you’re in England when:
*The place is so old.   The Uffington Horse which we visited is 3000 years old. Roman ruins are still to be found if you look carefully. Numerous pubs are 500 years old and this hardly rates a mention. Closer to home our first house sit has been added to considerably over the years but the original section is older than any European building in NZed by a decade.    Even the topography looks ’rounded’ from thousands of years of farming I guess, and perhaps an ice age or two. In comparison home still has lots of pointy bits that are crumbly.
*The country is VERY crowded ( I think 60 odd million in the size of NZed)  This became in our face so to speak on the first ride from Heathrow to Rob’s place right through London and out the other side on the Tube.  I have a bit of an issue with claustrophobia (a clay bank collapsed on me and I was nearly smothered as a child).  Well the tube at rush hour is not the place to be.  Your personal space, that unwritten 1 metre radius  is very much invaded on in the Tube.  In addition I’m looking  around for surly Arabs carry suspicious parcels.  Not good!  Despite these shortcomings the tube is a marvel at times other than rush hour and fairly cheap and efficient.
*The roads are VERY narrow and poorly maintained. London suburban streets seem to have been built for an Austin 7 (about 4 foot wide)  or more likely a horse and cart.  This makes getting around a stop start affair with much giving way for each other especially for vehicles parked on the roadside.  This is the norm as hardly anyone has a garage. I’m told the poor state of the roads is a new phenomenon of about 3-4 years ago. Perhaps this is a manifestation the Financial Collapse. The roads in Enzed aren’t brilliant  say 8/10 here I would rate them at 4 max. The motorways however are amazing, especially the major junctions where massive clover-leaves are really popular but necessarily gobble up much scarce land.
* No verandahs.  Quite weird to our eyes, the High Street shops look somewhat naked and less appealing than they otherwise might.  Also not a good move with the rubbish weather over here and trying to get customers out spending.
* The wild life is like ours but also distinctly different.  For a start there are the Umpa Lumpa Girls (as Rob calls them).  Your London dolly bird shows distinct Amy Winehouse influence to wit, BIG hair, black eyeliner up to an inch up towards the temple in a graceful arc, lots of lip studs piercings etc.  and spray tan the colour of orange cordial concentrate and the creme de la creme (I know where the missing verandahs went) false eyelashes that must make it hard to stay awake! To cap it all off they are very fond of tights of the “does my bum look big in this ” variety.   We’ll try to get a photo at some stage hopefully without getting arrested.
*When you can’t get your camper van (3 metre high) into a car park due to barrier arms set at 2 metres.  I’m told this is to keep the much despised gypsies out!
* Speed humps, commonly known as sleeping policemen, that don’t work cause they don’t cross the full width of the road.  You merely line them up and go for it as they fit between your left and right wheels……
*Hardly any graffiti
*Ten different newspapers in London
*Coke cans with slightly smaller diameter tops
* 1 and 2 p. coins
*yellow traffic  lights that work twice: once telling you to get ready to go by pulsing and also as in N.Z. yellow again when its time to think about stopping prior to a red light.  England’s greatest invention thus far!
*dogs on trains and buses.  Poms love pets hence our job.
* not many fat people
*lots of gambling shops
*lots of smokers
* rubbish salads
*you miss The Warehouse
In conclusion some funny English place names:
Mousehole,  Westward Ho!, East the Water, Picking Stones, Black Cat, Wiveliscombe, Wookey Hole,  Hoo, Grain, Painter’s Forstall, Old Wives, Woman’swold,  Heart in Hand Road, Hoggs Pudding Lane, Silent Pool, Sand Pit, Jacobswell,  and my personal favourite,  Crazie’s Hill.


One Response to ““Zis Vorld Off Tuday””

  1. James February 17, 2012 at 2:19 am #

    You were correct dad, I did enjoy it. What is this about a collapsing bank? I vote next time the family gathers, you have to tell that story.

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