Ten Things I Miss Most About The UK

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I love living in America and I consider myself so lucky to have lived both here and in the UK for significant parts of my life.

I can experience, and appreciate, the best parts of both on a regular basis. And that makes me incredibly fortunate.

But I wouldn’t be human (and some people think I am not, by the way :-)) if I didn’t miss certain aspects of my homeland and so here I list Ten Things I Miss About The UK. Tomorrow, I’ll post the Ten Things I Love About America.

Ten Things I Miss Most About The UK:

1. Mars Bars. For some reason Mars Bars are called Milky Ways in the US. And Milky Ways are called Mars Bars. Whatever. UK Mars Bars are still the best.

2. The Great British countryside. My dream is to spend three months of the year in a farmworkers cottage with green countryside on three sides. I can’t get enough of it.

3. The historical landscape. Having grown up with it and dragged through it by my parents as I was growing up, I never appreciated it. But seeing it now as a visitor and especially through my kids eyes, now, I get it.

4. Well-designed, affordable, stylish children’s clothing. Period.

5. Driving. Driving is a real skill in the UK. It is much harder to drive there – small roads, weaving in and out of parked cars, road systems that have had to adapt to historical communities. Having been a former rally driver reincarnated as a mini-van mom, I enjoy driving, especially through country lanes. And when I get lost, it’s like I have some unconscious mind line to the traffic planners. I seem to know what they were thinking and can usually work my way out of my hole. With the exception of Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham.

6. Polite drivers. Apparently, before I was born, there was a government sponsored publicity drive to increase politeness and consideration to other drivers. That legacy still exists today. It’s a matter of course that other drivers will give way, move over to safely allow your car to slip onto the motorway, and thank you by raising their hand when you them a break. It’s not perfect, of course, but I miss that.

7. Village fetes. A bastion of British society, murder mystery novels and all-round British tally-ho. My kids love the tombolas. As did I when I was their age. And still do. (Blush)

8. Swimming pools where you don’t have to become a member, don’t cost an arm and a leg, and aren’t posey.

9. Parent and child parking spaces. I would have really appreciated these when I had two under-fives. Why don’t they have them in the US?

10. Chocolate. Again. Nothing tastes as good as Cadburys. Don’t let Kraft murder it, please!

What do you think? Have I missed anything? Can you recommend some other part of British life that you enjoy/enjoyed? Does anyone out there actually like Hershey’s? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

I am participating in a Blog Every Day For 30 Days Challenge advocated by Chris Brogan. I am doing this with the lovely Mary Ulrich who writes for Parents and Caregivers of Adults with Disabilities at Climbing Every Mountain. Check her out!

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Tamarisk September 26, 2010 at 9:30 am

Are you kidding me??? Tea! Marmite! Proper fish’n’chips! Crisps (salt and vinegar especially) and the fact that the British highstreet is the best in the world.

I used to live in Jakarta, Indonesia so I know what it’s like to miss home!
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Alison Golden September 26, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Well, clearly I’m kidding you, Tamarisk! 🙂

I love all those, and I particularly like chocolate caramel shortcake and tiffin. But I’m one of those people who can’t just eat a little, so all that food is best kept 5,000 miles away from me.

I liked your post, by the way.

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Mary E. Ulrich
Twitter:
September 27, 2010 at 12:07 pm

So many things I didn’t know. After all, much of my information comes from romance novels:) Brits certainly have some great authors. Churchill will always be one of my heroes.

Do you think the Milky Way/Mars Bar switch is like the driving on the opposite sides of the road traditions?

Enjoyed this thanks Alison. I’m sure it must be difficult to be so far away from where you grew up. How wonderful that your kids are getting the best of both worlds.
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Alison Golden September 27, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Churchill is one of my heroes too, Mary. Never give up, never give up, never give up.

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CathyP
Twitter:
September 28, 2010 at 2:42 am

oooh Alison I could go on and on but having lived in Africa for seven years my biggest ‘miss’ was British radio and TV comedy programmes ! Bet you can get those in the States though….?
Cathy
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Alison Golden September 28, 2010 at 8:11 am

Hi Cathy:

Yes, I can imagine that would be *very* tough. I am not a great TV watcher but I do watch the odd show. Just recently we’ve been watching ‘Lewis.’ We also sit down as a family to watch ‘The Choir’ and ‘Come Dine With Me.’

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Marcia Francois February 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Loved this post.

When we visited the UK in 2008, we were AMAZED at how courteous the British drivers were. I’m from Johannesburg and everybody drives terribly here (except me, of course :)) and yes, to Cadbury’s. That is all!

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Alison Golden February 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Yes, the driving thing took a bit of getting used to when I moved here but now I’m over it. It is nice though for drivers to pull over as you merge onto the motorways or let you in as you try to change lanes in heavy traffic. I have a SA friend here in the US and she’s the same with Cadbury’s. Nothing tastes quite the same. Thanks for commenting, Marcia!

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Becky September 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I know I’m like a year late 😛 But anyways, many of these reminded me of Denmark also (countryside, driving, polite drivers).
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Alison Golden September 27, 2011 at 10:21 am

Denmark is a beautiful country. I think Brits and Danes have a lot in common there. I know one Danish man (who was pretty curmudgeonly otherwise 🙂 ) simply waxing lyrical about the beauty of both countrysides.

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Becky September 27, 2011 at 10:49 am

Thank you, and yeah there’s definitely many similarities 🙂
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Tara
Twitter:
October 15, 2011 at 9:26 am

I have to agree with points 2-10 (don’t like Mars bars!) But 10 the most!! My girls and I always order stacks of Cadbury’s when people come to visit. That and beef Hula Hoops! LOL!
I haven’t been back for a while, but I’m taking my girls next year for our first ever holiday in England, so we have actually chosen to go somewhere other than where the relis live!
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Alison Golden November 1, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I can’t stand Hula Hoops (I remember when they were ‘invented’ – I was in middle school – everyone was going mad over them, I couldn’t see that attraction *at all*) so how about I trade you Mars Bars for Hula Hoops?

And good for you, going somewhere else rather than the US. The only place we’ve been outside America has been home to Blighty. We have the only grandchildren but while the kids still want to go back, I’ll take them Soon enough they’ll not want to go anywhere with us parents at all!

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Tara
Twitter:
November 1, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I don’t know. My kids are besotted by Blighty! I can’t imagine them ever turning down the chance to go back.

As for the Mars bars, you’ve got a deal! LOL!

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Tara
Twitter:
November 1, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Forgot to add, one thing my kids go crazy over is ………wait for it……….Branston! LOL!

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Alison Golden November 2, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Ah yes, Branston pickle. I’ve weaned myself off that over the years but today after reading your comment, I really wanted some on my leftover cold roast chicken. Yum! It would have been perfect!

Alison Golden November 2, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I think that’s wonderful. 🙂

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Tara
Twitter:
November 2, 2011 at 10:28 pm

LOL! Oops! Sorry! =:0
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