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A Man of a Few More Words - by Swan Morrison

Top Tips for Travellers to England

‘Happy is England! I could be content to see no other verdure than its own’
John Keats, 1817

We hope you enjoy your first English holiday. But be aware that culture and customs will differ from those at home.


When visiting a large metropolis, such as London or Manchester, you will need, in addition to normal clothing, a kevlar jacket. These provide protection against knives and some munitions. Cautious travellers might try a helmet and shield. In major cities, an upgrade of your hire car to an armoured troop carrier may afford greater peace of mind.


By law, everyone in England must stop for tea at 4.00 pm each day. On hearing the siren, calmly retire to the nearest teashop. Remember that failure to pour the milk prior to pouring the tea can incur a hefty fine!

Why not join a queue? There will often be one available, but if you are with a party, you might like to form your own - simply line up behind one another.

It is customary to hand you wallet or handbag to any young person with a gun.

Food and Drink:

Exploit opportunities to sample traditional English fare. In restaurants, ask for ‘a Chinese’ or ‘an Indian’ - the latter being traditionally eaten after ten pints of extra strength Danish lager. You might also enjoy a pizza or a kebab.

The famed English ‘Fish and Chips’ comprises otherwise healthy fish and potatoes cocooned in deadly saturated fats. If etiquette demands acceptance of this dish, it is best dropped on the nearest pavement. The English adopt this practice, and streets on Friday and Saturday evenings are often strewn with discarded food together with comatose drunks and those who, following consumption of ‘Fish and Chips’, have experienced fatal heart attacks.


English learned at home will be of little value. English people, with the exception of the Queen and some BBC newsreaders, do not speak English. If you intend to converse with the locals, then learn translations such as:

Yes: ‘Bleedin’ might as well.’

No: ‘Who‘re you fuckin’ kiddin’?’

There are no equivalent words or expressions in modern conversational English for ‘Please’ or ‘Thank you’.


All English conversation must include reference to the weather. This can be a helpful conversation starter - for example, you might state: ‘What ho, it is warm/cool for this time of year, don’t you think?’ Remember that such references must be made in ALL circumstances or it is considered to be ‘bad form’. If you assist in a rescue at one of the road traffic accidents you will encounter, you might comment: ‘It is a particularly inclement evening to be pulled from the burning wreckage of your vehicle, do you not agree?’ and perhaps add: ‘Stiff upper lip, now. Pip, pip.’


The English national sport is, of course, football. Rules are simple in that gangs of ‘fans’ wander the streets in a state of intoxication with the intent to kill rival 'fans' and ‘foreigners’. You will fall within the definition of a ‘foreigner’, so this sport is best avoided.

Shopping and Souvenirs:

England is famous for its illicit drugs, and don’t forget the exceptional value afforded by eastern European prostitution!!


Enjoy the land of Shakespeare, Milton, The Kray Twins and The Yorkshire Ripper.