Tag Archives: British society

An invisible wave keeps assaulting my emotions

Yesterday was not too bad, despite having to put up with things that I do not normally do. To me, this time of the year is usually tedious. Thank goodness Christmas does not happen every day. On the other hand, I quite understand that, to many people who have been busy all year, this season is a good time for them to have the opportunity to rest from their banal daily lives and spend time with their own families, irrespective of whether you want to see them or not. Personally, I do not mind at all but I would not wish to do something like this every day. It is just nothing to write home about, though not quite as dull as ditchwater!  Soon, the day will be over and tomorrow I will be able to return to my usual routine. I only wish that the day would past a little more quickly. Sigh…

This morning when I woke up, straight away I was assaulted by the memory of that disastrous boxing day when the Asian tsunami hit Thailand and other countries in the region. I remember very well that on that day, I was emotionally engaged in this horrible event even though no one I know got caught up in it. I was genuinely and deeply upset by the tragedy. I can only hope that a devastating event like this will never happen again in the future.

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Christmas chore, completed by a very unreligious person

Lately I have not been very busy doing anything; as a matter of fact, I have never done anything at all for other people. Thankfully, Christmas is arriving this week and it gives me the opportunity to put this right, albeit in a small way. At least, I am pleased with my good gesture.

I finished Christmas shopping, buying gifts for people, a couple of weeks ago. Today, I have just finished writing all the cards that I am going to give to people I know well and to others whom I do not know quite so well. It is a thing that the native people do here, so it will be a good idea for me to play along. Actually, I think Christmas is a good season, when families get together and are happy, despite having to put up with your own people! It is times like this that make me think about my own family and the people that I left behind.

I was not born a Christian. In fact, my parents are Buddhist, consequently, religiously speaking, I am supposed to be like them. But I am not a religious being. Thus I am free to appreciate other people’s way of life and their traditions. And my folks never minded other people’s beliefs either. When I was a kid, they even let me have a great time at the local Christian school on Christmas night, as long as I behaved and respected the place.  There are some differences between my childhood Christmas and the proper western style Christmas. Then, I was not aware of the significance of this tradition. I simply went and just enjoyed the many entertaining things provided by the school on Christmas night such as games and a funfair. Nowadays, I have come to realise that instead of just taking, I should give people something as well; cards and presents on this special day even though it is only a small thing that I can do for them. I do not mind at all.

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Filed under Belief, UK

It might only have been an S&M game

“A MALE escort told a court yesterday how Boy George handcuffed him and chained him to a bedroom wall after a drug-fuelled erotic photo session at the pop star’s home.” according to the Daily Express.

I know that I should not laugh at the misery of this rent boy. But the story is just amusing and who knows whether or not the guy was really into this sexual, bizarre game. If the dude did not agree to take part in this kind of session, I must apologise profusely for being amused at the news. Reading about this story just reminds me of the many stories of other well-known people whose behind the scenes antics were discovered e.g. George Michael convicted of a lewd act in a Los Angele public toilet or the story of Mark Oaten, a married man and a former contender for the Liberal Democrat leadership, who quit his job after being confronted with allegations of a gay affair with a male escort. In the case of Boy George and the Norwegian bisexual rent boy, this might have been just an incident of sadomasochism that went wrong. It is hilarious to read this kind of thing on the news and it clearly illustrates that people are ready to try anything sexually. Though they have to make sure that whatever they do with their buddies is not going to go against their consent, otherwise they could end up in court like the former lead singer of the Culture Club. There’s nowt so queer as folk!  🙂

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An interesting book about English behaviour

What a coincidence that Yodmanudying happened to be reading a book called “Watching the English, The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour”, by Kate Fox, a social anthropologist. I came across this book three years ago at Waterstones while my Chinese friend and I were searching for something to buy. The book, as seen in the picture, immediately caught my attention. I did not need to think twice that I wanted to read it since it might help me to understand the local people a bit better.

The book is divided into 2 parts, excluding the introduction, conclusion and epilogue. Part one: Conversation Codes and part two: Behaviour Codes. In each section, there are some interesting topics. e.g. Humour Rules and Pub-Talk in the Conversation Codes part; Food Rules and Rules of Sex in the Behaviour Codes part. However, I must admit that I have not got round to reading the book from cover to cover yet, though I have skimmed through some of the pages. There are some entertaining topics that I like, such as Emerging Talk Rules – the Mobile Phone on page 84. What the writer describes about people on the train talking loudly on the phone about banal business and domestic matters, in the section on mobile-phone etiquette, is quite true and commonly seen. To me, it is a bit embarrassing to hear these people conversing about private matters in a public place. As funny are the Food Rules. As a matter of fact, I was very surprised to learn that there are rules regarding gastronomy in the UK seeing as people’s tastes are a bit limited here. Some foreigners have mentioned that people’s relationship with food is more like a loveless marriage, which is not surprising to know. But I also must agree with the author about the quality of English cooking. It is neither as awful as some people said, nor as tasty as the natives would like foreigners to believe. It is neither bad nor delicious; it is just bland.

This is a very well-observed and amusing anthropology. The book speaks eloquently and is a comprehensive study of people in one of the most interesting societies in the world. If I had enough time, I would love to indulge myself with this book. A fascinating read.

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British Style Genius

I watched an episode of this show on BBC2 on Tuesday. From the moment I caught a glimpse of it, I knew that I was going to enjoy the show. And I did. It was about three well known British fashion mavericks: Vivian Westwood, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen. You can watch this show again via BBC iPlayer.

In terms of fashion, their garments are not my cup of tea; I personally would not want to wear what they created, but what I see in their work is so stimulating, stylishly quirky and uniquely marvellous. The way they design their clothes and the creativity and energy that they put into their fashion show is so super interesting. It is like they tried to create art for people to wear. I could simply watch it again and again.

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Filed under British people, Clothing, Entertainment, Fashion, UK

Ode to a tree

There have been some workmen digging up the pavement in the neighbourhood for two weeks now. These people suddenly turned up because there has been a problem with a leaking pipe which has caused somebody’s driveway to subside. So far, they have managed to excavate the pavement and part of the next door neighbour’s garden. And tomorrow they are going to demolish the tree at the bottom of our garden because it is in their way.

I did not know before today that the tree was first planted in 1969; and neither did I care much about it until an elderly man who also lives in the neighbourhood came to talk to the person with whom I have been living about some insignificant thing. And he informed us about the tree’s history. I did not feel especially sad that we were going to lose it tomorrow for eternity; quite the opposite, I felt a bit relieved that we were never going to have to undertake our annual pruning routine again. At the same time, when I knew this afternoon that it was going to be cut down for good, I felt that the tree deserved some mention in my blog. It has been there for so long, it has grown up with a number of families that have lived in this house before us. I was not even born when it was put into the soil. When I first came to the UK to have my life here, it was already there. If it could speak there would be so many stories to tell about the neighbourhood and its people. Tomorrow morning, if I can be bothered to get up early, I might pay my respects to it for the last time, before it is massacred by those workmen from the water company. Though, I must remember that it is only a tree.

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What’s the story morning glory…hole?

I used to go to the high street in the town centre, here in the UK, where I live, to do the shopping on a Saturday morning. But these days things have changed; I do not do that any more as I am too bone idle, but instead I let somebody else carry out this necessary job for me. In those days, I would always have a problem getting up early to go to do the chore; I had to force myself to get out of my cosy bed, eat breakfast at a time when my stomach did not cry out for food, and worst of all I had to quickly sanitise myself and do whatever I had to do in the bathroom in a short period of time. Consequently, I sometimes could not even finish what I wanted to do, but had to rush out of the bathroom to leave the house. I suppose a lot of people who commute to work have to go through this on a regular basis. What a life we all have!

On one Saturday morning when I did not have enough time to do a number two before going out, while I was walking in the high street on the way to the supermarket, I suddenly could not stand the urge to release my browny stool any more. I hence decided to head to the public toilet; I had to, seeing that I obviously had no choice. So, I briskly and urgently walked to my destination which would later help to ease the pain in a certain part of me. When I got there, I felt a mighty relief, especially when there was nobody else there to see me running sh*t scared to the loo, except for one guy who was hanging out there for a very specific reason. I ignored him and hurried to a cubicle. By this time, I was holding very tight to my nether region. I looked at one, two and three cubicles so as to find the right place to sit. In the end, I found the one where I thought I would be able to sit peacefully and release the eruption from my rectum, but not before I covered the whole toilet seat with tissues. While it was all coming out, suddenly, the man I had seen a few seconds ago walked into the cubicle next to me. I did not pay too much attention to him as I was trying to stop the nuclear weapon pouring out of me. But the man knocked on the wall a few times and kept tapping his feet continuously. I was not scared since I was well aware that he was trying to send me a signal for something. Thank god there was no hole in the cubicle wall, otherwise he might have stuck his secret weapon through. To be honest, I was quite pissed off though I decided to carry on doing my business. Finally he just simply left and I was very relieved. After I finished, I headed to the washbasin to clean my hands, and there he was pretending to wash his hands too, while at the same time glancing at me surreptitiously. I refused to let his glare bother me and finished washing my hands before leaving the premises as quickly as I could. Later on, I realised that the guy could have been a loiterer who was merely looking for someone with whom he might have some fun in the toilet area. I guess some people are just into this kind of thing. But I was amazed at his behaviour. People are very strange indeed.

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