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Writing this post following the terrible events in Japan was difficult, but I sincerely hope that it will give you a brief moment of happiness!
The Brits have a lot of unusual ways to have fun. To my French eyes, some of them remain hard to comprehend. I actually have to admit that I don’t find them funny at all…
For instance, they love quizzes. Each pub has a quiz competition every week. You can even have quizzes on specific specialist themes, such as birdwatching, train-spotting or whatever…The few quizzes I had to attend were such a bore that I almost fell asleep. But my British friends really had good fun! They were laughing their heads off, cracking jokes I couldn’t understand, despite all the interpretation skills I have developed over the years. I have to admit that the questions were not really designed for foreigners. Maybe that’s the point. It gives them a sense of community -and excludes anyone who has not been born & bred here. Here are a couple of examples:
1.    Were are the Scottish crown jewels kept? Well the response is “in the castle of Edinburg”. Being French & hence Republican, I didn’t know and frankly I didn’t really care. But the whole debate, during the evening, was to know whether the jewels had be brought to London. And believe me, it was a passionate one…
2.    According to Beatrix Potter, what sort of animal was Mr Jeremy Fisher? The response is “a frog”. Apparently, this is hilarious as I was the only French in the audience. It took me a while to understand that one (Beatrix Potter writes for children and her world is one of speaking animals, and Frenchies are known as frogs) I am sure that no harm was meant, but I have to admit that my love of quizzes didn’t really grow that night.
Another odd thing is the Vicars & Tarts parties. Or any costumed party really. Honestly, why on earth would you want to look ridiculous and make an effort to do so! I am struggling with this love of costumed parties, but Brits absolutely love it. It is FUN, apparently. Maybe it is just an excuse to drink and act in a mad way. It is not unusual to see your (male) stern boss with a plastic pair of breasts and make-up. And he will probably be completely drunk. Whatever he does during the party, you must not mention anything the day after. It is not good behaviour. Even if he made a pass at the young trainee. Everybody must pretend that all is fine and nothing has happened.  Even if it is a big, fat lie…for some reason, it is all part of the game. Not to worry, tomorrow everything will be back to normal…Really.
And finally, we have dog races…very popular indeed. A classic. It is supposed to provide you with a safe platform for gambling. People who are usually shy and discreet start shouting and cheering like there is no tomorrow. Weird.
So why is having fun so different this side of the Channel? No idea really! Something to do with being so polite most of the time maybe.

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Yes the English are not like us and as they have never really tried to integrate maybe we should send them all back to Germany! They go to football matches, they sing charming songs about their opponents being solo sexual activists, they fight after the match and then they go home to watch themselves on TV. Call time on the Saxons I say!

  • I have to confess to having had excellent fun at examples of all three of the events above…I really must be British! Although I agree with Daithai C above about football matches – utterly unfathomable. (love the phrase “solo sexual activists” too. Mental note to get that into conversation!)

  • Haha! I’m not a big quiz night fan either, but attending a Vicars & Tarts party is on my bucket list. LOL 😉

  • Having grown up in England I can testify that good manners are everything. It doesn’t matter if one enjoyed a party or not, it doesn’t matter what one thinks, it doesn’t matter how upset ones children are as long as they are polite. Judgement and character are based on politeness. At 53 I’m still trying to deal with this after having it ‘programmed’ into me.

  • Fancy dress is something I have definitely grown out of! My husband still loves it – his preferred outfit being his Halloween pumpkin suit with green tights and green leaf hat. Yes indeed.

    Thanks for your comments on my blog by the way – I really appreciate it!

  • My husband is English so we spend several weeks there each year visiting family. Very nice to find your blog!

    Just hopping by early on the hop a little Tuesday Blog Hop.

    I hope you will stop by and check out my self care blog too!

    Take Good Care!
    Self Care Girl

  • Thanks for all your comments!
    @DC : despite what I write, I actually like the natives here…Don’t be too hard on them!
    @Sam : you would be disappointed…
    @Elisabeth : I think that I found what my next blog post was about thanks to you…
    @Carrie & Self care girl: Welcome! married to Brits…I look forward to reading your posts ladies!
    @ Accidental Londoner : there is nothing to be ashamed of. It is probably what it takes to be a native. I am a bit jealous as I will never get there!