Happy New Year, (from the) UK!

Lots and lots of rain in this KombiLife video, which first made me think it was recorded roughly in early November when I had planned to drive to the north and back and then decided that maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. Lots of flooding going on. (Now again, by the way. Or last week or so in any case.)

But no, Ben mentions “summer” so I have been lucky again, apparently, being this far south!

Alaska truly is the sweetest, most gorgeous dog.

I gotta say it, though. That the colour of the wood looks really really ugly to me. I thought that it might, maybe, start looking better over time, that maybe it was a lighting effect, but nah, it remains mustard yellow.

Also, a money-saving tip from Leah in this video. If you use a VPN , she says, and book your flight from another country, you can save a lot of money.

It can work that way for train tickets as well, I’ve found, but you do need a matching method of payment and address. It’s probably done to encourage tourism. Train tickets booked from abroad for in the UK can be much cheaper than when you buy them in the UK, but sometimes the other way around as well, I think. It’s worth experimenting with.

I need to correct Ben from Jersey (not part of the UK but a British Crown dependency off the coast of France) on the weather though. Britain has always been famous for DRIZZLE! There’s been a shift towards torrential downpours, the kind of weather that I know from other countries. Drizzle has become relatively rare in Britain, so I understand. Climate change, you know.

Thankfully, I am so far down south that I have sunshine on most days. Nah nah nah nah nah.

The southwest coast gets lots of rain too (Cornwall and Devon), as far as I can tell, but the central south coast, nope, not so much.

But the weather patterns are definitely changing markedly, here too. The past few years, it’s been almost as if we now have two seasons. A long period of sunshine and a long grey, wet and cool period.

Also, “tea” still means “dinner” for lots of mainland Brits (or English?). I often have to remind myself of that when local people mention tea.

I have had a few afternoon cream teas, but that was in Scotland. One time, it was a really royal scrumptious afternoon feast with many goodies. Lots and lots of goodies. We were cold and wet and at that place, they lit fires for us so that we could, well, “recuperate” may be the word, LOL. What a wonderfully hospitable haven that was!

Tea, the beverage, came into use after tea became cheaper and whisky too expensive. It has the same colour… It was once thought that alcohol was needed after hard work. Physical labour. If you want to know more about that, read this book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Making_of_the_English_Working_Class

If you click on the image, you’ll be taken to Amazon.

And about pasties, yes, when you get to that part of England (Devon and Cornwall), the English language can sound a bit more like American at times, I have noticed. Is that where the pronunciation of the word “pasty” comes from?

Pasties are all over the place here, all over the supermarkets from the tiniest corner shops to the biggest. Cornish pasties, beef pasties and cheese-and-onion pasties. I am not aware of anything similar in other countries, other than in southern Spain, which look similar but have very different contents. Fish, and eggs. Yummy.

(Oh, boy, I must say that it is really peculiar to be sitting here, after 15 years in this these days pretty wretched country with all its misery – none of which you get to see in Ben and Leah’s videos, which makes total sense as they did not set out to track down misery after all and that’s a good thing – and realizing that I seem to know more about England than Ben. I am not sure he quite gets English pubs either…)

And wahoo, mushy peas. I don’t know how I discovered them. Probably at the chippie, yeah, where I didn’t order them but then started noticing tins (cans) of the stuff at the supermarket. The chippie is what the fish and chips place is usually called.

Part of the interior of a local pub that no longer exists

Chippies too are on the decline, as are pubs. Lots and lots and pubs have closed because people can’t afford to go there any longer. It’s not just Netflix, though that plays a role too.

People also eat lots of mashed potatoes here, also often with mushy peas. They have all sorts of weirdly named meat dishes to go with that such as bangers and faggots and pigs in blankets, I kid you not.

Why would they call food bangers? Well, the Britannica has the answer:
https://www.britannica.com/topic/bangers-and-mash

Time for a dessert now. As a lot of pubs have turned themselves into music venues, I was lucky enough to run into these guys once, here performing in southern Spain. Jon Cleary (Wikipedia) hails from these parts but left for NOLA a long time ago.

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