On the workaway I’m doing this month, were asked to write 10 facts about our countries to share with those who come after us, to help our host and each other get a better understanding of each other.
So here are my facts, please commen if you would like t debate about them, or simply disagree.
1/ We the British are on the brink of leaving the European Union, personally I hope we don’t, mainly because I believe we are better at cooperating, with freedom of movement, the ability to travel, work and get to know as many people from different countries as we can is only a god thing, for progress and harmony, in our greater society and locally.
2/ There are 4 Nations in the UK, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, though this could soon become 3 as Scotland has a few years ago had its own referendum on leaving the UK, this was just before the UK had it’s Brexit referendum, and perhaps if we do leave the Euro, Scotland will choose to separate and remain in Europe. Wales has been domintated by England, due partly to its relatively small population, so I don’t see anything similar happens with the Welsh, I do have a strong affinity and identify myself as Welsh, though not born there and with English parents I guess I wouldn’t be considered native Welsh, tough this has never caused me any issues.
3/ London is an amazing city for museums, art, science, hisory, etc, they are donation based museums, (you can chose how much to give, or not) and there are normally also special visiting shows, which charge roughly 10 pounds per person. The quality is spectacular, works are mostly breathtaking.
If you are going outside of London, the smaller cities and towns also have their own museums and these are also generally also well worth visiting.
4/ Cardiff is the capitol of Wales, it is one of my favourite places to live, there is a castle, its close to the sea and mountains, not too big, you can get to somewhere green in less than half an hour, but mostly I love the people, I have many good friends, and I spent 8 years living there, it is my UK home, where I return to when I take trips back, and I’m sure where I’ll eventually return from my world explorations one day.
5/ The UK climate is mild, with four seasons, though generally not too hot or cold, there are brief spells of extreme conditions, I can remember my home town in the West of Wales experiencing flooding one year as a child, people were canoeing in the town centre and also a time when a hurricane blew down many trees, but these extreme conditions are rare, especially in comparison to tropical Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, where the rainy season would bring almost daily flooding and the extremes of Beijing, from stifling and dry heat of 35+ celcius, in the summer, to lows of -16, when lakes and rivers freeze solid, and you can see happy skaters enjoying their free ice rinks and I took many trips to the mountains for skiing, on fake snow.
6/ The World Wide Web was invented by a British scientist, named Tim Berners-Lee, we als invented TV, the telephone, trains, stereo, photography, jet engines, the electric motor, computers, radar, the light bulb, etc, quite a lot of stuff, there is some dispute over some of these things naturally, add your comments if you have any.
7/ The reality of Britain is that the population has faced many challenges throughout history, the population itself is a mixture, Romans, Celtic, Vikings, Roman Saxons, Normans, war, trade culture, religion, moving people, have all had a big influence on British history and innovation.
8/ Hedgehogs are cute and prickly, soft underside and sharp outside, I guess, as I have never touched one. They are a little bit like a rat but much rounder, shorter tail, lighter colour and don’t live in sewers, also they are not associated with the Black Death.
9/ Pembrokeshire is the most beautiful and diverse place I know, thanks in part to the nurturing of the environment by the British people, there are many spotless beaches, mountains, forrests, woods, rivers and lakes, islands and estuaries, there is so much to experience and enjoy, the area is protected as a National Park, which provides some protection from pollution and industry, which might otherwise destroy this amazing natural place. The nature of Pembrokeshire is really what inspired me to take up photography in my youth, I would ride around on my scooter with a camera in my space time, walking secluded paths deep into nature, it was very easy for me to become an explorer of that world.
10/ Fish and chips is one of our favourites, there is normally a chippy within walking distance of our homes, and will often be available in Chinese restaurants and pubs, it is a comfort food, and no doubt there is a certain nostalgia attached to this, so that even after tasting a vast array of dishes, from around the world, it still remains one of my favourites, beside pancakes, bananas, and my adopted favourites of Chinese dumplings and a range of Vietnamese dishes.
So that’s it for my 10 facts and thoughts about the UK, I hope you found them interesting, and please share your thoughts using the comments.
Thanks for reading, Sam.