Dispelling the myth of Brits being unfriendly
In some far-flung parts of the world there is a view that Brits are unfriendly. Based on our experiences last Friday I can categorically say this is not the case.
My evidence for this rather bold statement came in many forms as we travelled from deepest East Anglia to Hampton Court in Londonium.
It started at around 9am while SWMBO and I were waiting for our train to the capital. We were sitting on a bench at our local mainline station when a Greater Anglia employee, complete with flag, wandered over and wished us a good morning.
|Good luck later, England, against Croatia.|
Nothing exceptional, you may think, but over the next ten minutes he chatted away – finally wishing us a safe journey as our train approached.
Next was the guard on the GA train – a cheerful chap who kept us informed and amused during the 90 minute journey into the capital. Incredibly, it seemed that he really enjoyed his job.
It was a repeat performance on our South Western train out from south Londonium to Hampton Court.
Another railway worker with wit, friendliness and an obvious love of his job. Ditto on our journey back many hours later. Faith fully restored.
The only blip on British friendliness was the group of young men who boarded at Wimbledon on our way back. A bunch of drunk, foul-mouthed and loud louts who had obviously enjoyed a little too much Pimms at the tennis.
I’m not adverse to the odd Anglo Saxon expletive myself but, hopefully, never on a full train.
There’s an old adage that you get what you pay for. This was brought home to us a while back when the man who cut our hedges every autumn retired.
I looked through our parish magazine for likely replacements (we always try to shop locally) and asked the three companies/ individuals listed to give me quotes. All responded swiftly, but with wildly varying costs.
And then, as we were contemplating who to choose, the doorbell went. It was a young guy, with business-monogrammed polo shirt, distributing business cards for…… hedge cutting. I asked him to quote there and then.
As he was almost than £100 cheaper than the lowest of our three alternative quotes, I booked him.
All started well when he and a workmate turned up a few days later to carry out the task.
And then I saw their technique – monogrammed polo shirt man drove a pickup truck slowly along the hedge while his mate stood in the back, cutting the top of the hedge with a petrol-powered hedge cutter. There was not a single item of safety gear in sight. Unbelievable.
I paid them when they had finished and promptly went back to our original shortlist.