Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Wonderings on Wanderings: 10 Reasons Why I Would Go Back to the UK in a Jiffy!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Wonderings on Wanderings: 10 Reasons Why I Would Go Back to the UK in a Jiffy!


Dracula, an outdoor play at the Whitby Abbey Ruins
the colorful little cottages
at the beach in Whitby, United Kingdom
Just by way of introduction, the United Kingdom (UK) has an estimated population of 64.1 million in about 94,000 sq. mi.,  2/3 the population of the Philippines’ 98.4 million and only slightly smaller than its 115,000 sq. mi.  England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland make up the kingdom; some powers of the last three are devolved to its capitals: Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast, respectively. Wales was incorporated in 1536, Scotland, 1707 and Ireland, 1801. In 1922 five-sixths of Ireland seceded to form the Republic of Ireland. But on September 18, 2014, Scotland rejected the vote for independence.
little bridge over river
herds of sheep
I spent a total of two months in the UK, three weeks before April’s wedding to Clint and five weeks after. The newly-weds were ready to adopt the country as their own until April found out her work visa could not be transferred into an immigrant one. I got a pretty good idea why the couple love the UK. Here are my 10 reasons why I would go back to the UK in a jiffy:

little English garden
rolling farm meadows, even near cities
1. One hallmark is the simple, good life! Examples are lines of small colorful beach cottages for changing along beaches, sturdy stone bridges over clear rivers, rolling farm meadows everywhere, herds of sheep grazing in grasslands, and pretty little English gardens.

Stonehenge
Caerphilly Castle in Wales
2. There is a lot of precious history that is preserved in prehistoric, Roman, and religious ruins, venerable clock towers, imposing monuments, living cathedrals, and all kinds of castles that are in ruins or still in use.

red phone booth
3. The UK also reminds me of my favorite color combination, red and black: especially the ubiquitous red phone booth, the big red Hop-on-Hop-off bus, and the sleek and spacious black cab.

4. The great tradition in theater, established by the likes of Shakespeare et al, continues to live on. I saw more plays in my two months there than my previous five years with Bill, most of them outdoors! In London, shows like Wicked are wowing thousands everyday.

high tea
5. The UK ranks high on human development indicators, almost as good as the US although not as good as the Scandinavian countries. People are generally happy and enjoy quality of life. The country is 87% white.

6. The economy is very stable: it is the sixth-largest economy in the world and the third-largest in Europe. The tourism industry is a major part of the economy, along with oil and gas. She ranks as sixth major tourist destination in the world and London is the city with the most international visitors. There are a lot of reasons to do so. Even in my favorite sport of tennis, Wimbledon in the outskirts of London is the premier major tournament.

pasty!
scone, jam, and clotted cream
7. Food supply is excellent. Every single fruit or vegetable I bought was deliciously sweet and fresh. Seafood was always fresh and available. I loved the pies, especially the pasties that were bigger versions of the Filipino empanada. But I simply went gaga over fruit scones and clotted cream. Clint, April, and I had it every single day! And I would not mind having High Tea every day, just not at the Ritz!
narrow English roads
wonderful walk-ups
8. The energy-producer is also ranked #43 in per capita carbon footprint vs. #12 USA, #32 Finland, and #33 Norway. She is definitely energy-efficient.  Roads are very narrow, cars are very small, and people depend on public transport systems like the highly developed rail network. Homes are usually modest; thatched cottages and small stone homes in rural areas and walk-ups in the cities are still popular. Families have few appliances; they usually just air-dry clothes after washing and manually clean up dishes before hand washing.  

thatched cottage
9. In terms of governance, the UK is also remarkable. The unitary state is a very stable constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II, the current British monarch has ruled for an amazing 62 years; she is 88 years old.  The country is also one of only four countries in the world to have an uncodified constitution. The UK Parliament can perform "constitutional reform" simply by passing Acts. It is wonderful to view the debates on the Parliament floor. It is even more wonderful that the Parliament can legislate many changes without much rancor in either the political parties or civil society.

Hop-on-Hop-off Bus
 
Salisbury Cathedral
Brighton Clocktower
10. The UK has fourteen Overseas Territories, former colonies and remnants of the British Empire. It  remains a great power, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the EU and other world organizations of power. At its height, the empire consisted of almost a quarter of the world, the largest empire in world history. Her influence can be observed in the language, culture, legal systems, and governments of many of its former colonies, including Canada and Australia, the United States, and even former colonies of the United States like the Philippines. Everybody speaks English there, albeit in many different accents!

The UK is a great country to live in. How I wish April and Clint are able to stay there! Actually they wanted to so much; too bad it didn’t work out for them.


18 comments:

  1. Wow! Lots of good info. I can see why you liked it, but you were there during the few good weather months. Be there from about Oct 1 and April 30!

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    1. You are right! So I would go back in a jiffy during those months!

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  2. I love the U.K. We used to travel quite there quite frequently to visit friends. We were mostly in the south. I remember one memorable trip traveling through the south-west in a motor home with my daughter and step-daughters (aged, 4, 8 and 10). It's been a few years since we've been there and hope to get there this fall. Your picture of the tree-shaded road reminds me of so many of our country drives.

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    1. See you on Dec. 7 Donna. It seems we will have plenty of stories to share!

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  3. You've made some interesting points I haven't considered. I love the gardens you see all over England but would have a hard time with the incessant rain.

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    1. I was there June 15 to August 10 and didn't experience it. So, just like my reply tosomebody who pointed out the sane thing above, I will return to the UK during summer!

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  4. I'm an Anglophile too. When I was 15-16, we lived in Wiltshire for a year while my father was an exchange teacher---1969-1970---(about 20 miles from Stonehenge. Back then, we didn't have any central heating and my mother had to put a shilling in a meter to get gas for cooking on a gas hotplate. I'm glad you had such a nice visit.

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    1. Wow must have been fun! What a nice area! I only had 2 months.But I will be going back next year.

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  5. Your photos are so colorful and show a gorgeous country with lots of charm and beauty. I can understand after seeing these pictures and reading your post why you would jump at a chance to visit the UK again. You've talked me into a visit in 2015 even if I have to buy warmer clothes!

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    1. Anita, just go late spring, summer or early fall!

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  6. I agree. I love the U.K. Only part I haven't been to is Northern Ireland. I especially enjoy London, the gardens, and the castles.

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    1. Northern Ireland is a must see, uniwuely beautiful with the angst of the Troubles.

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  7. I love England. I have been there several times and ironically it has been ridiculously hot! This last time was in November - you don't expect heat! Your photos are lovely!

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    1. Yes, a few dats I had to fold my pants ip because it was hot! Thanks for the compliment!

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  8. Your photos sure capture the beauty of the U.K. Thanks for sharing all this information.

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  9. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing, I haven't been to the UK yet but plan on changing that soon.

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