English culture is confused, muddled and often borrowed. The purpose of this book is to give the reader a complete grounding in the idiosyncrasies of the English and to pin down the absurdities and warmth of Englishness at its best. Featured in this book are such established English cultural behemoths as the Beatles, Big Ben and the Last Night of the Proms alongside less celebrated quirks such as meat pies and the working man’s haven, the allotment. Here we celebrate the bell-ringers and Morris dancers, bowler hats (‘the symbol of respectable Englishness’) and cardigans (‘symbol of staid middle-class solidarity’). We examine the brutality of Punch and Judy and our historic love of fairies, once so much a part of the English psyche that they were described as ‘the British religion’. At once fond and irreverent, laudatory and curious, How to Be English might just teach us how to be English once again.
Sylvia has lost two husbands: one to sudden death, a second to divorce. She has come home from dynamic work in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to a dull office job in Calgary, Canada. Despite family efforts to cheer her, she experiences herself as lost, and still mourns her first husband. She begins to watch a handsome young stranger next door and gradually he becomes an obsession - one that intensifies when he responds to her. But though the obsession opens Sylvia to re-experiencing love, it also proves disappointing. She learns she must create a new life, one in which she meets and interacts with new friends and neighbors, and remembers to pray for guidance. Sylvia no longer watches life from behind a glass window.
The indispensable manual for everyone who longs to attain True Britishness George Mikes's perceptive best-seller provides a complete guide to the British Way of Life. Having been born in Hungary, he eventually spent more than forty years in the field, and the fruits of his labour include insights on important topics including the weather, how to be rude and how to panic quietly. Loved by readers and authors alike, How to Be a Brit contains Mikes's three major works -- How to be an Alien, How to be Inimitable and How to be Decadent. If you're British, you'll love it; if you're a foreigner, you'll appreciate it. How to plan a town: "Street names should be painted clearly and distinctly on large boards. Then hide these boards carefully." Queuing: "An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one." Sex: "Continental people have sex lives: the English have hot water bottles."
Surely you remember Wi, a name especially chosen to fit our attention spans? The world-record kidnappee, nabbee, swipee, snatchee, hoisted so many times even he’s lost count? (How about those three times in five minutes effort? That takes rare raw talent, that does.) I mean, if it wasn’t for our Wi how many of these yabbers, yarns, shaggy dogs and yank-your-chain whoppers could I trot out for you? Even getting across one’s not easy when it’s always against the wind from people laughing in your face. No, really, without our Wi, where would all the odd-balls be, drowning their sorrows by ingesting the food in Dominic’s Eatery, swallowing whole mouthfuls without a thought for their own safety? Would any plate get the Wi wipe and come out miraculously unscathed from what had been just laid upon it? Without Wi, how many screwballs could have hired him to do all they’ve always wanted to do? God knows, and the Talls say ‘God knows’ because, if you take it that God made him in His own image, then maybe you’ve stumbled across the one time God spoke too soon. Okay, setting that aside, coming to you is a cast of Lankan characters – and you’d cast too -- and barf, and burp – if you had some of Dominic’s food inside you, let’s not kid ourselves. Not all of us have cast-iron guts and can absorb what could canonize you if you kept it down. And our Wi can’t help being White, either. Did he ever ask for the hoists he’s had to suffer, or complained about the lack of duty-of-care his kidnappers have shown him -- their kidnappee, after all? No. All he asked was a hideaway high above the stars so bright. At least he got that. And, though having to watchfully wait, at least he received the epiphs, too. With the epiphs, he could epiphicatedly dream, so I guess he had something going for him. And let’s not forget he’s Talls recorded as having said, ‘Just let me know if I’m breathing too much and I’ll stop’. Hey, what kidnappee or country like Australia gets a kidnappee so considerate? Is he a peach of a pooch, or what? ---------------------- Bill Reed is an Australian novelist, playwright and short-story writer with national awards for all three. He now lives in both Australia and Sri Lanka.
Jeremy Paxman is to many the embodiment of Englishness yet even he is sometimes forced to ask: who or what exactly are the English? And in setting about addressing this most vexing of questions, Paxman discovers answers to a few others. Like: • Why do the English actually enjoy feeling persecuted? • What is behind the English obsession with games? • How did they acquire their odd attitudes to sex and to food? • Where did they get their extraordinary capacity for hypocrisy? Covering history, attitudes to foreigners, sport, stereotypyes, language and much, much more, The English brims over with stories and anecdotes that provide a fascinating portrait of a nation and its people.
Beautiful and talented, Erica Pencarrow, nicknamed Inky because of her dark hair, longs to compete in the America's Cup - sailing's toughest challenge where only the best, and richest, have a chance of success. When Inky's dream finally comes true she must conquer not only the sea but also her team's prejudices - a fight she looks set to lose when she falls for a rival sailor. Meanwhile Fabian, rich and handsome, is fighting his own battles - he was once sailing's golden boy until his partying and playboy lifestyle ended in tragedy. And Rafe, unconventional, gifted and beautiful is brought to his knees by Ava, the spoilt, rich daughter of his sponsor. Set against the ruthless world of sailing Sea Fever offers an exhilarating blend of glamour, adventure and drama as two teams battle the elements -- and each other -- in the biggest challenge of their lives.
‘Those born from a womb, beings egg-begotten, Born out of moisture or spontaneously arising, May they rely on the excellent Taught Thing Instilled and resided in all lovely lusts.’ The mother of Jimmy Massey knew nothing about any Pieter Garel Swensen walking into the Sri Lankan sea and coming out the next day, so was said, as the thirteen-year-old who started making all the predictions that starting coming true. Nor did she know anything about any of the girl’s predicted murders of religious saints across Asia and Australasia, or how come her Jimmy, a simple taxi-driver, got killed along with the priest in Cairns Cathedral that Easter. But the mother of Jimmy Massey did know it was Dr Valentino Sebastian who kept sniffing around her community’s chapel and, while she mightn’t be aware of what he could do with birthings, she was always waiting for him to come for the child visited upon her. And then, no matter what all the police and the investigators and the nosey-parkers might say, she would see the black shore and hear the howling – and even all that wouldn’t be the death of her. She didn’t need any of the hullabaloos about the girl’s loopy predictions regarding ancient temple inscriptions to know that.
The True Wartime Story of Eddie Chapman: Lover, Traitor, Hero, Spy (reissued)
Author: Ben Macintyre
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
One December night in 1942, a Nazi parachutist landed in a Cambridgeshire field. His mission: to sabotage the British war effort. His name was Eddie Chapman, but he would shortly become MI5's Agent Zigzag. Dashing and louche, courageous and unpredictable, the traitor was a patriot inside, and the villain a hero. The problem for Chapman, his many lovers and his spymasters was knowing who he was. Ben Macintyre weaves together diaries, letters, photographs, memories and top-secret MI5 files to create the exhilarating account of Britain's most sensational double agent.