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British and proud of it

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Mike H
London Ontario, Canada
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61 of 69  Tue 22nd Apr 2014 1:18pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:441

Yes, that sketch is the funny side, but there was a documentary made about the three classes. They took three lads, one from each, and followed their progress through life starting aged 7. The lads top and bottom knew exactly where they were going, but the lad in the middle had been sworn to secrecy and appeared not to be able to say anything unless the content was cleared by his parents.

I knew my place for sure and it wasn't at the top because my paternal grandmother was from Bedworh and said 'ain't' and that was good enough for me. Thumbs up She was of small stature but had the integrity and capacity for hard work of a hundred. My grandmother from the Welsh side was as stubborn as a mule, also of short stature, but would give her last penny to help others. These are two people for whom I had the utmost respect. They had no pretentions at all and I saw that as the way to be. My immediate family didn't. Everything was secret squirrel stuff, and 'don't do that, say that, Michael'.

I wanted to be a builder like my Scottish grandfather, but was told that I had to aim for something better. What can be better than crafting something from the ground up. My paternal grandfather died not long after my fourth birthday. He and I used hang out a lot together, but I didn't know that he was dying. The day came when I waited and waited but he didn't come to see me. I was told that he was living in the clouds, but I soon found out that that was a lie on a flight to Gibraltar. He wasn't in the clouds and neither was anybody else. Sad

People are born with qualities and abilities, and where my father's was a capacity to learn academics, and my sister with her ability to play classical piano, mine was all about social conscience, and it flew in the face of where I was and what I was supposed to be. I met many others like me in private school, hotbeds of silent protest against the establishment.

The movie 'If' put ideas into our heads of revolution. Lol We had it all worked out what to do. Tommy Flynn, and Irish kid from Dublin and a master of locks would get us into the school armoury, and we would use guile and other skills to take over and defend the school against the oppression of our middle class jailers. The class system takes no prisoners, and we eventually realised that the movie was called 'If' because there was never going to be a 'When'. The establishment had been told by Head of School House that the movie was a latter day 'Tom Brown's Schooldays. We sat there, cheering on the revolution while a couple of house masters sat in stunned silence. The establishment, realising that they had made a huge mistake in allowing the movie to be shown , doubled the bloody guard on the school Armoury, and Saturday Night movies were terminated with immediate effect.. Lol

The only reality from the movie was the acquisition of noisy motorcycles and black leather jackets. That would annoy the stuffy neighbours next door, wake them up a bit, but enthusiasm and a desire to break out of the mold lead to carelessness and the premature deaths of some of my friends. One by one, the revolution died with them, and those of us who survived were quickly 'reeled' back in. There is no room for freedom of expression or freedom of any kind in the middle classes. We don't have the finesse to mix it at the top, and we are the visible line of oppressors of the working class, the managers, lackeys to the top brass. Like I said before, it is not a good place to be..

British and proud of it
pixrobin
Canley
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62 of 69  Wed 23rd Apr 2014 7:59pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2014  Total posts:1004

Hi Mike, at least I'm glad you are still here Lol I couldn't get into this site yesterday - though most other sites were fine. I have dipped my toe into Facebook on their Coventry in the 1960s threads. I'm not staying on there long. I'm not sure which class I was born into. My dad had been a postman for more than 20 years when postmen were regarded as middle-class but had left the post office soon after I was born. My mum was a farm labourer's daughter and had left school at 12. Both would have been regarded as intelligent - though having 'savvy' would be more appropriate. Even so, they considered me wanting to be a 'professional photographer' as being a little above my station. Looking back on my career (9 years as an Army photographer [mainly in Army HQs in different parts of the world] and much of the rest of it in academia) I realise that any success I had was my ability to work with people of different social classes - combined with a wit touched with sarcasm. Of course it was a mushroom existence: kept in the dark with muck thrown at you at regular intervals. In academia I was very lucky that the teaching staff had an ingrained love of architecture and the innate need to pass on their knowledge to others. But there were always the few ..........! The few who didn't realise that the picture they had in their mind was not the one that naturally occurred in the photographer's. Without communication of ideas there can be no useful outcome. It is not just good ideas that create progress. Those ideas have to fit into a system - and in our present world there seems to be little regard for the systems inherent in its operation. Here's an example of how a system failed me earlier today. I was expecting a delivery of a new computer case and it was coming by courier. I received a text mid-morning to ask me to contact the courier. My first try was to phone them. I was asked to speak the tracking number to a machine. Now speech recognition is advancing but not to the degree that it can cope with a multitude of different voices. I failed. In fact I failed 3 times. A computer voice then suggested I connect to their internet site. I did so and had to fill a form regarding MY query. None gave me the opportunity to suggest I was replying to a text that had been sent - though it did suggest I fill out a survey to say how satisfied I was with their delivery service. Still failed to contact them to sort out their problem. And a failure of their systems. (I did finally resolve it by contacting the supplier of the computer case and they dealt with it from their end. It is now supposed to be delivered tomorrow Smile ) But it is the failure to understand systems that has held back Britain in history. In World War One it was a German who suggested that the British soldier was like a lion - but led by donkeys.
British and proud of it
Mike H
London Ontario, Canada
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63 of 69  Thu 24th Apr 2014 2:25am  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:441

Lol re the computer case. I returned a case under warranty to the manufacturer in Los Angeles California. It took Coolermaster three weeks to decide that there was a problem, but eventually a new one was sent out. It was picked up by UPS and taken to a local depot. It was then up again and taken to the main depot maybe three miles further down the road. It then made a quantum leap to Hodgkins, just south of Chicago, then Detroit then Windsor Ontario (that's about two hours from me).

Oops, problem.. it didn't pass through customs, was sent back to Detroit and then back again to Hodgkins. Days were passing and I wondered if I would ever get it. Finally movement and it's back to Detroit, and on to Windsor Ontario. But there's a problem. It didn't go through Customs AGAIN and was sent back to Detroit. Two days later, it arrives in Concord Ontario which doubles as a Customs post and it gets cleared. It arrived four hours after being cleared. Seven weeks, almost to the day that I sent my old case back, my new case was delivered. SEVEN WEEKS..

I have had to get by on wit too and mimicking regional accents. The latter doesn't always work because, while I can sound like others, my knowledge of local vernacular is not quite up to speed, and I use words which some don't understand. The annoying part is that I will talk to ANYBODY about anything, well anthing except football, culture as in live theatre and opera (boring boring), and anything with dried fruit in it..

So, I am in Ossett visiting friends and we go out for a beer. The bartender put my beer in a straight glass, so I asked for it to be put in a 'normal' beer glass. He turned to a barmaid and said 'He wants a glass wi an 'andle on it.', then he turned back to me and said 'Tell 'er what ye just told me'. By this time, the entire pub was looking at me and I could hear murmurs which sounded like 'fooking' southerners, this being my cue to leave. I will say that this was the only establishment which gave me a hard time, and the rest of t'week were plain sailing..

British and proud of it
woodford
coventry
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64 of 69  Thu 24th Apr 2014 10:03pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2013  Total posts:172

Of course you should be on here, Mike-and discussing this topic. It's the Coventry HISTORIC Forum. Why would people use it if they're not interested in history? Big grin Big grin Doesn't matter what 'class' you are or where you were brought up, in my opinion, anyone who is interested in the area (including 'non Coventry ') is welcome! I once asked Philip if I could post about Keresley End and he made me feel very welcome to do so. When did this stop being fun?! Roll eyes Incidentally, I had my tonsils out in Keresley hospital and I've always felt a bit queasy when eating at the Royal Court Blush
British and proud of it
pixrobin
Canley
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65 of 69  Fri 25th Apr 2014 1:33pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2014  Total posts:1004

Never liked the glasses with handles. Always seemed people were trying to make a spectacle of themselves Wink And the glass was too thick! But the absolute pits is being proffered a pint of mild in a plastic container. As I explained to the pretty young barmaid, "It's a bit like artificial insemination: it does the job but it ain't half as much fun."
British and proud of it
Mike H
London Ontario, Canada
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66 of 69  Fri 25th Apr 2014 9:45pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:441

Lol Lol Lol You deserve a plastic glass, asking for a pint of MILD. It's like drinking 1% milk. Even this little chappie is drinking out of a glass wi' an 'andle on it.. Cheers
British and proud of it
pixrobin
Canley
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67 of 69  Sat 26th Apr 2014 12:58am  
Member: Joined Mar 2014  Total posts:1004

'plastic glass' is a bit of an oxymoron Big grin When I moved here 25 years ago (from Gravesend) one could still get mild in pubs. One of the best local milds was brewed by Thwaites (Blackburn) but then it was taken over by Scottish & Newcastle. Now when you go into a pub and ask for mild they have no idea what you mean. They suggest Thwaites 'Wainwright'. Named after the author of 'Wainwright's Walks' series of books it is more like a pint of 'heavy' in Scotland. Wainwright himself must be turning in his grave as his tipple was mild. My first pint was in the Golden Cross where in those days they served mild from the Northampton Brewery Company. I was just 15. Used to go in there quite regularly until they started to serve Watney's Red Barrel and even at my young age knew the pub was on the slide. Wink
British and proud of it
Mike H
London Ontario, Canada
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68 of 69  Sat 26th Apr 2014 3:16am  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:441

My first 'pint' was in the Jaguar, and I guess that I would have been 15 too, but alas it was not my first ever. That distinction goes to a bar in Solden, Austria. It was a school skiing trip and I was 14. We were drinking Pils/Pilsner that came to the table in litre bottles, not pints, and all I remember is that we filled the entire table with empties. Apart from passing out in a snow drift, the night was ok generally speaking. Did I feel bad next morning? Yep, and the rest of the gang did too. Strangely, it did not put us off the demon alcohol, and I continued the practice until 1981. I can't believe that it took me 28 years to work out that what I was doing was worse than totally stupid, standing against walls waiting for the door to come around, spending as much time in the latrines as I did standing at the bar..

It didn't help when the doctor told me that I would be lucky to see 30. I was a social drinker (and a heavy smoker too) and quit one Saturday night. It was 7:30, and I was the first in. I called Rachel (the barmaid) over and told her that I had to go and would catch up with the gang on the Sunday. I didn't go back to that bar (or any other) for 4 years, and then only to say 'hi'. I still smoke to this day, but have only had maybe 5 beers since then.

British and proud of it
gangan
Stockton, Southam
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69 of 69  Sat 26th Apr 2014 1:47pm  
Member: Joined May 2012  Total posts:126

I find that reality is an illusion brought about by lack of alcohol, hic
British and proud of it

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