With the excitement of the Brits last month and i-D doing a 'Best of British' issue (which is arguably their best issue yet) it got me thinking about this small island and it's inhabitants.
I really do love this country, however I think as a nation we have a difficulty finding our inner patriotism. We are a nation with poor self confidence, constantly highlighting our flaws and standing in the shadow of America. But we're GREAT Britain for a reason.
Travelling on public transport is the best chance to get a real snapshot of the country. With nothing to do but flick through a magazine and avoid staring at people, you really get to observe your fellow passengers. The majority of British passengers will sit and keep themselves to themselves, which is another little characteristic I love. Yeah its slightly rude and unsociable, but its also an excellent example of how we are a reserved country. I think its a good thing, who wants to sit next to some stranger and hear them spill out their entire personal life. Sometimes travelling can just be an excellent excuse to rest. Yet in this country, you really do get some people that surprise you, those strangers that can bring a smile to your face.
Today while travelling back to Lincoln from a weekend back home, I got the pleasure of a wonderful lovely woman sitting next to me. For anyone thats just been on a demoralising silent journey on the tube and battled through crowds of people at turnstiles and train timetables, it really is a breath of fresh air. Straight away she said hello to me, she didn't judge me because I was young or reading a magazine. Just minutes later she offered to buy me a coffee or tea ( I politely declined) and then she was offering me most of her packet of crisps. You don't see an awful lot of generosity these days, especially with money being as tight as it is, so for somebody to put themselves out to a stranger like that, it really warmed my heart.
The 7/7 bombings really showed how this country teams together in the face of disaster. For tube commuters who would usually ignore one another to help each other in a life or death situation, was a warming example of our commaradary defeating the actions of evil. We team together when it matters and look out for our fellow citizens. It would of been so easy to escape and save yourself and leave the strangers behind, but survivors teamed together and lifes were saved that day.
It's the little things in this country that make me love it so. Yes a lot needs to change, and the weather leaves a lot to be desired. Yet here in this glorious country; a cup of tea solves everything, a Sunday isn't complete without a roast dinner and we have excellent swearwords.