What springs to your mind when I tell you I'm British?
Do you automatically think of London, with its red buses, black cabs, and Queen Elizabeth Tower (which houses the bell Big Ben)?
Watching the royal wedding at the weekend, I felt something I've not done for a while; pride in my country.
We're going through tough times.
Don't worry, I'm going to try to keep this non-political. I may be quite mouthy about my views in my personal sphere of friends, but author me tries very hard not to be. Mainly because I want us all to get along, and politics can be divisive. And it has nothing to do with my work.
So, back to the topic...
Great Britain is a landmass, containing the countries of England, Scotland and Wales (the mainland/island).
The sovereign state is actually named the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
This is a bit of a mouthful, so it's usually called the UK.
|Clockwise from top left: flags of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales|
The countries England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales form the UK (at the time of writing, at least).
It was the Romans who named us Britannia, by the way.
We then add something called the British Isles, which include all of Ireland, Great Britain, The Isle of Man, The Isles of Scilly, The Channel Islands (which are made up of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark), and 6,000 smaller islands.
Phew! Still with me?
No wonder we're all a bit confused, eh?
By the way, the flag of the UK is the union flag. It only becomes the Union Jack when it's on board a Royal Navy ship (flown from the jackstaff).
Our nation has been invaded many times, by all sorts of folk.
We're a wonderful hotchpotch of influences and cultures. This has crept into our language and our cuisine. Hoorah!
Each of these countries has a diverse landscape and their own language.
Travel around, and you will hear a plethora of dialects and accents, and see a great variety of towns, villages, cities and countryside.
Some parts of the nation are very flat, some have rolling hills. There's lakes and coasts, caves and castles, valleys and cliffs.
|My own photos of my trips around Britain|
Most of our houses are really quite small. The great estates and mansions are slowly crumbling into disrepair (although organisations such as the National Trust and private families do a wonderful job of preservation).
But this is a writer's blog, I hear you cry.
Well, yes. Yes it is.
So...all this wonderful stuff that is Britain soaks into the pages of my books.
I am British and write about British people, so yes, I use British spelling.
My British, wry, dry, witty sense of humour leaks out through my characters.
The settings are often in the UK (but not always). You get a variety.
Even our beloved NHS is evidenced in my WIP, Self Love. As is curry, our national dish.
What makes me British?
Well, I am by birth and ancestry. My father would call me English, but I'm not so nitpicky.
But what does it mean?
I think it means I'm a bit of a crazy mongrel ;-)
Where are you from? And what epitomises your country?
Always in love & light,
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