England is a wonderful, culturally diverse, teeny tiny country. From the Geordies lasses, to Chelsea boys there a so very many tribes that live up and down this island, each with their very own dialects, traditions and some bizarre festivals - cheese rolling and morris dancing for instance. I love them all.
In many ways this blog is a (very very blathering) expression of things I never knew about the English; this obsession with tea, the whole kissing dilemma and Tube etiquette (though I have a suspicion that I will never understand why there are never any street signs...)
For everything else on a regional level thankfully there is 'I never knew that about the English' by Christopher Winn. It's a proper loo book, one that you can pick up whenever you have a spare moment or two and absolutely brims with delightful facts. Organised by geography rather than chronology, it holds lovely facts such as William Lee invented England's first industrial machine so his sweetheart could spend less time knitting and more time with him. Bless.
Read this and you need never chat about the weather again as a way to pass the awkward moments with your British workmates... well, no that's actually not true. You'll always have the weather, but at least you can gently guide the conversation towards more random topics..
As a wee side note I feel like I've just cracked my literary knuckles having not done a proper book review in an age. It's not that I haven't been reading, I've just been struggling to find the time to sit down and think about what I read. True story..