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Reflections on scumbags

I've just returned from a week in England - touring East Anglia by car is highly recommended.

Some asides:

The English are getting so fat, and the fatties tend to be loud and coarse.
People drink more.
English women have no sense of style until they reach their 50s.
East Anglia is overwhelmingly white - shockingly so!
Russian tourists are the worst - so vulgar.
English houses are so small, with teeny-weeny little windows.
Rubbish bins (garbage cans) in many places are emptied every 2 weeks - good for the rat population.
Food essentials are still fairly cheap, but stray from the straight and narrow and the costs mount exponentially as they never did before.
The English still love poor-quality food - I looked around at what people were buying in the supermarket. I mean, why do they do this to themselves?
Renting holiday accommodation is ridiculously expensive - I was lucky to get a spacious 2 bedroom flat (with garden) in Cambridge for GBP 75 a night.
The general level of politeness and friendliness when you leave town centres is astonishingly high. Oh the joy of going for a walk in the countryside and saying hello to and chatting with absolute strangers.
Enormous tractors! Where did they all apear from?
Ditto, speed cameras.
Cider. England has apples and the science!

High points of my trip:
Punting unprofessionally down the Cam,
Evensong in Ely Cathedral.
Low point:
Realising that the deadlock key to my flat locked from the inside but unlocked only from the outside - I flagged down a passing Muslim woman to let me out!

Re: Reflections on scumbags

""The English still love poor-quality food - I looked around at what people were buying in the supermarket. I mean, why do they do this to themselves?""

Please tell us more.

Re: Reflections on scumbags

Did you drive over or fly and then hire a car?

Re: Reflections on scumbags

Nicked from the Yahoo news site:

Fear of 'yob culture' rising

More than half of Britons want under-16s banned from the streets after dark unless they are supervised, according to a new poll.

People are more frightened on the streets than they were a decade ago despite a record number of police on patrol.

The survey was carried out in the wake of the murder of father-of-three Garry Newlove, 47, who was attacked after challenging a gang of yobs outside his Warrington home.

In a week in which one of Britain's top police officers criticised parents for not taking more responsibility for their children's behaviour, 65 per cent of those polled said under-16s should not be allowed out unsupervised after dark.

The survey found that 62 per cent believed parents shouldered the majority of the blame for anti-social youngsters - and 89 per cent thought they should be held responsible for how they behaved.

Cheshire Chief Constable Peter Fahy said parents who refuse to take responsibility for their children's underage drinking should be forced into accepting police offers of support.

He also called on the legal age for buying alcohol to be raised from 18 to 21.

But only 5 per cent of those quizzed believed the easy availability of cheap alcohol was to blame for yobbish behaviour.

Fear of street corner gangs, hoodies and muggers led 42 per cent of those questioned to say they would rather not go out at night. Among women that figure rose to almost 50 per cent.

Re: Reflections on scumbags

I guess it depends what supervision means. If they can be supervised by a 17 year old then they might as well not bother. Gangs of more than two kids hanging around town centres should be banned.

Re: Reflections on scumbags

Sorry for not replying yesterday - there was a crushing amount of work at the office.

As for what Brits buy at supermarkets, well, where do I start?

Aha, the govt. wanted to introduce a simple scheme whereby all food packaging would carry one of three colours - red, amber or green - depending on whether the food was bad, OK or good for you. This for fairly obvious reasons was torpedoed by Tesco, which is highly influential in several areas of govt policy.

People do buy fruit and veg in supermarkets, but it all has to be washed, shiny and "perfectly-formed". This plasticky approach to fruit and veg means they rely on shelf-ripened produce which has lots of pesticide residue on.

Mixed salad in bags, costing a fortune - fresh salad hates plastic bags and loves to rot so they bathe it in highly-chlorinated water. Yuk.

We make our own coleslaw which is tastier, cheaper and, incidentally, doesn't really keep for the next day. How is it that supermarket coleslaw keeps for 2 or 3 days after purchase (i.e. 4 or 5 days after manufacture)?

Sausages. The supermarkets stock some excellent stuff, but the popular brands are the cheapest and nastiest with the lowest meat content. The moron public excels in making dumb decisions. Taste and quality come last in the order of priorities.

Ready meals - highly popular, highly expensive, highly unhealthy. Are people really that busy that they can't devote an extra few minutes to what they put in their bodies?

Discount beer? Really? Have people sunk that low?

There's an excellent range of bread, as never before, but the worst types are still the most popular - that soft white gunk you can squeeze to a plasicky lump.

The milk and cream knocks the spots off Polish produce - I've yet to find any decent dairy products sold commercially in Poland. Pasteurised, non-homogenised milk with 5.2% fat. Very good for coffee. My kids said it was yummy on their cereals and could we take some home with us. Of course, not - al-Kaeda put a stop to drinkable liquids going through airports.

Cakes - I bought some of Mr Kipling's exceedingly good cakes, but I prefer my wife's! How many English women bake? I know of one.

Fizzy drinks (way overpriced), sweets and crisps (US Eng. chips) galore - massively popular with shoppers, as was ice cream. It's a question of degree.

All in all, a pretty depressing snapshot of how the majority of shoppers I saw seemed to be stocking up on expensive, trashy food, while attempting to cut costs on meat, fruit, veg, bread etc

By the way, the juices are brilliant. I'd never seen purple grape juice on sale before, for example. Not that people buy much of course.

Re: Reflections on scumbags

Oh, yeah and Simon, I did fly-drive.
Vauxhall (Opel) Astra GBP 180 for 6 days. Without fully comprehensive insurance.

We used Cambridge as our centre of ops for the first few days then moved on to stay with my great-uncle.

Places visited: Cambridge, Ely, Thetford, Grimes Graves, Sutton Hoo, Sudbury area, Norwich, Aldeburgh area.

Regrets at not visiting: Blakeney seal colony, the Norfolk Broads, Dedham Vale(where Constable did his paintings), Little Walsingham pilgrimage centre (but we've been before), more Bronze Age burial sites, more ruined castles.