On Being British

Tea & Scones

Worrying you’ve packed all kinds of elicit and prohibited items as you allow your bag to be scanned at airport security.

Being unable to stand and leave without first saying “right”.

Not hearing someone for the third time so just smiling and hoping for the best.

Telling the taxi driver “anywhere here is fine” when directly outside your front door.

Touching your bag 15 minutes prior to your station to fully prepare the person in the aisle seat of your intention.

Repeatedly pressing the door button on the train before it is illuminated to assure your fellow commuters you have the situation in hand.

Resigning to eating your food at home when someone sits next to you on the train.

Never, ever, taking the last item of food from the plate at a buffet.

Feeling relief when your valild ticket is accepted by the inspector.

Feeling horror when someone you only half-know declares “oh, I’m getting that train as well”.

Tapping your fingers on the cash machine to indicate to the queue that the wait is now out of your control.

Deliberately looking away when someone nearby enters their PIN.

Waiting for permission to leave after paying with the exact change.

Saying hello to a friend in the supermarket and then creeping around to avoid seeing them again.

Overtaking someone on foot and then having to maintain an uncomfortably fast pace to stay ahead.

Being unable to leave a convenience store without making a purchase.

Being unable to turn and walk in the opposite direction without first looking at your phone and sighing.

Being unable to pay for something with the exact change without saying “I think that’s right”.

Always doing a little jog as you near the opposite side of a zebra crossing.

Muttering “you’re welcome” under your breath at rude people who fail to say thank you.

Turning down a cup of tea for no reason and instantly regretting it.

Suddenly remembering you have a cup of tea and downing it in one lukewarm go.

Storing plastic bags in the cupboard under the kitchen sink. Forever.

Always apologising for the mess after you’ve spent 7 hours cleaning and tidying.

Indicating you want the last roast potato by trying to force others to take it.

Saying you’re off to bed when you want to look at your phone in a different room.

Mishearing someone’s name for the second time and resigning yourself to forever avoiding them.

Failing to correct someone, meaning you have to live with your new name forever.

Removing ‘kind regards’ from your email signature to indicate you are reaching the end of your tether.

Staring at your phone in silent horror until the unknown number stops ringing.

Feeling relief when after three rings, the person doesn’t answer and you can hang up.

Holding the door open for someone and then continuously doing so until the twentieth and last person passes through.

Increasing pace to an uncomfortable level when you realise you are walking directly next to a stranger.

Crossing the road at an oblique angle to avoid walking side-by-side with a stranger.

Sitting next to a stranger on a plane journey and not making a single sound the whole time.

Fume silently when someone jumps the queue.

Always nod in appreciation when a waiter asks how your food is, irrespective of how nice it actually is.

Staying in a lift past your floor because someone joined and stood in your way.