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Being frightfully English


I have dual nationality. My mum is Australian; my dad was British. I’m proud of both passports that I carry. But, as several of my acquaintances have pointed out, I am undoubtedly the most Anglo Australian that they know. Aside from the genetic code that ensures that I support Australia at cricket, everything else about me is very, very English. So, as if I needed to be convinced, as a birthday present, a group of my friends made a list of my most English traits.

Apparently, I am guilty of:

  • apologising for everything – and to everyone, including the side of a desk that I walked into…
  • getting upset when people add milk at the wrong stage of the tea making process
  • starting conversations with London taxi drivers and then losing the ability to speak
  • sounding sarcastic – all the time
  • owning a distressed Barbour jacket that anyone in their right mind would have consigned to the rubbish
  • being incredibly polite, even when I am being very rude to someone
  • refusing to allow a friend to kill a wasp and spending several minutes trying to usher it (the wasp, not the friend) out of the window
  • paying very close attention to an aircraft safety briefing, having commented that I felt that other passengers were rudely ignoring the crew’s performances
  • wearing my Panama hat with unnatural pride
  • looking guilty when going through customs at the airport
  • tutting when someone asked for mint jelly with roast pork
  • insisting that my work shirts should have no front pocket, unless they are half-sleeved
  • describing short-sleeved shirts as half-sleeved
  • queuing for a bus
  • queuing in the post office
  • actually, queuing whenever and wherever possible
  • opening every conversation by referring to the weather
  • explaining that the jacket a friend was wearing was NOT a tuxedo, but a dinner jacket
  • insisting that I was eating ‘pudding’ rather than ‘dessert’
  • enjoying Marmite

It’s a frightening list. And an accurate one, too.





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