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Old 12-09-2008, 11:09 AM   #1
Steve_A
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Default How the UK has changed and not.

Hi People,

Some of you know that I recently had to go to the UK for a few days. It's been around eight or nine years since I last went and before then it was around another eight years.

Two things really struck me this time round.

The English seem to use less words in their day to day conversations and the English language seems to be more blunt and agressive. Because of this, there seems to be more tension in the air.

I didn't like the Americanisms slipping in to the English way we speak, sometimes making us sound cheap. You can't use Americanisms with an English accent, it sounds strained and hurts the ears.

Another thing I couldn't help but notice was the increased commercial air activity in the skies of the UK. I was on a National Express coach passing near to Derby and I counted five aeroplanes in the sky at the same time. I was speaking with a Brazilian couple who live in Essex, at Heathrow and they told me they counted up to eight at the same time.
I can understand why people think that the patchwork of vapour trails left behind are 'chem trails', especially in the winter when they tend to hang more.

I was astounded by the low prices in the shops. In many cases, they were lower than here in Brazil! In Barnsley, anyone with even limited resources could have a hey day. I bought eleven footballs to bring back to Brazil, for 2.99 a bash from SportsDirect and the woman told me that the previous week they were only 99p!

But some things never change. As it is December, Slade, Roy Wood, Mike Oldfield and the Pogues are all receiving heavy airplay. Some, for non English people, have been played very year since 1972.

Ken Barlow is STILL on Coronation Street (I thought I saw Minnie Caldwell in the background). People here in Brazil can't understand how a soap opera could last over fifty years!

I was taken aback a little by the use of TV and telephone technology and was also suprised as to the 'convenience' lifestyle the English seems to have slipped in to with ready meals overtaking fresh foods (at least in my experience). The British need to be careful not to slip too much into a convenience lifestyle because if things get rough, they will not know how to even peel a potato.

Just some thoughts.

Best regards,

Steve
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: How the UK has changed and not.

Hi Steve
Heathrow is the busiest airport in the world.
I know what you mean about stupid people not knowing how to cook, Jamie Oliver went somewhere up north and found out that people didn't have a clue how to.
I dont like the Americanisums either
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: How the UK has changed and not.

I met up with my best friend last night, who has lived in Madrid for about 5 years - he echoed exactly the same comments - it's easier to see it when your not here. I know what's going on with "stuff" and one of the worse thing is that 99% of people don't notice the differences that have come along. Digital Television came in a few years ago - I noticed a shift in my family and friends, a cultural shift, so subtle almost impossible to put my finger on - but i noticed it. I haven't owned or regularly watched a TV for 10 years (since 1998) and pretty much find it an antagonistic insult to my humanity... It helps me be immune from these shifts...

and the other worse thing is - it's going to get even worse! - it's also getting much harder to express these ideas to the younger members of our society..
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:45 PM   #4
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I met up with my best friend last night, who has lived in Madrid for about 5 years - he echoed exactly the same comments - it's easier to see it when your not here. I know what's going on with "stuff" and one of the worse thing is that 99% of people don't notice the differences that have come along. Digital Television came in a few years ago - I noticed a shift in my family and friends, a cultural shift, so subtle almost impossible to put my finger on - but i noticed it. I haven't owned or regularly watched a TV for 10 years (since 1998) and pretty much find it an antagonistic insult to my humanity... It helps me be immune from these shifts...

and the other worse thing is - it's going to get even worse! - it's also getting much harder to express these ideas to the younger members of our society..

TRUE! I never watch TV anymore.
I'd rather eat my own hand then sit through a half an hour episode of Eastenders...

They always leave me feeling so deflated- JUST LEAVE THE SQUARE PLEASE, FORGET THE FRUIT STALL AND THE VIC.

I think if you watch soaps, your whole perception of reality just becomes limited.

(no offence to anyone, just expressing an opinion)
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: How the UK has changed and not.

Hi all,

What i'm noticing is a hard pull. "they" are making it hard for small businesses to start and survive. I'm running a small family food outlet and we are fighting to stay afloat. We can't get credit, we can't get help. As everyone knows, the 1st 3-6 months of a new company is mainly a loss!!
Getting a new job isnt that easy either. I'm so fed up. All I ever get is bill through the letter box "you live in a house so give me £1000" ect.

I have a pub next door to me and they hate me becaue i'm working with food. They walk past calling me names and they are horrible.

Shops are closing everywhere. Large chain stores are finishing. I reallydon't know what to do!!

No matter hard I try, there seems to be some Gov comp wanting money out of me. This country is falling apart and not the rossey place you took it for.

Walk in my shoes and you would think different.


last note; Things are going up in price but people are poor and can't spend.
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Old 12-11-2008, 06:10 AM   #6
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Yeh and Woolworths has gone into administration - in the busiest, most potentially productive quarter? Of all the times to go into admin, why choose Christmas?
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:53 AM   #7
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its the weather that gets me most after so many years living in dubai...cold, grey days and drizzle...
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Old 12-11-2008, 05:24 PM   #8
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its the weather that gets me most after so many years living in dubai...cold, grey days and drizzle...
Yea but its lovely in the summer
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: How the UK has changed and not.

How the UK has changed; in my life time.

My school. We said prayers in the morning assembly, sang a song, and went about the day. School was educational, I learnt alot, but it was fun. Also the teachers had total and utter control. Christmas Time was celebrated, the school was decorated, we made candles and gifts and had a Christmas nativety play. The teachers ruled absolute.

My social circle. We had fun, we spent summers in the rivers and fields or in the woods outdoors. We did cadets and such like activities and went round to each others houses. We had total and utter respect for the parents of our friends because they were adults.

My money. Sweets and the like were a treat. Goods were not thought to be an automatic right, but a gift or a privilege. Money was earnt and saved.

Televison. It was either rationed or none at all. I did not consider the television a form of entertainment, it was there for the adults, not for me. Books and libaries weer my learning tools, not a goggle box.

Law and order. Total respect for the Police and any one in a position to tell me off. (all adults !) I had a knowledge that there was a set of rules governing my behaviour and that was the end of the matter. I stepped out of lined I got punished, end of story and never did it again.

Now, compare to todays society.


School. Chaos. Teachers are tied in red tape and touchy feel good bullscript. No discipline and no respect. Pupils run riot. Christmas is dead, winter festival is all.

Social circle. Hoodies, chip shop door ways and out side the shopping centres.
Exercise? thats running from the Police or their last victim.

Money. Demand. They don't earn it, but expect the world to owe them a living or give them a free ride.

Television. Innit. Bling. Gangsta! brrrrpppp! and any other bullship they want to pump into our mindless illiterate feral monsters.

Law and order. Forget it. In Blackpool 7 little hoodlums tried to mug me and my wife on the sea front. Ultra violence followed and guess who got in trouble? yep, me, the one against seven, and I got a 'talking to'.


To sum it up.


I do not recognise or have any feelings towards this mockery of a country where i am supposed to be a native. It is a hellish landscape of disjointed, illiterate feral sink estates and rat runs where the law abiding are scared, the feral rule the roost and the Police? they just look after themselves.


All this has happend in less than 20 years.
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: How the UK has changed and not.

Yeh some very valid points.
Each and every person is responsible for their actions, and at this moment in time there may be a lot of self serving behaviour within our communities.

I think it's always good to balance our perspectives, especially when it's so easy to get dragged into a negative outlook on life when a lot of the content in our papers is filled with news on violence and tradgedy.

Understanding that people build their perceptions of what's right or wrong based on what they see (media having a large effect), and acknowledging that their may be decent people fundamentally behind their ego driven actions is important I think.

Having this outlook wont prevent you from getting mugged, bullied or generally from being effected by such behaviours, but it will help you to see through it all and perhaps emphasise with the people.
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:43 PM   #11
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The UK has changed - but it always has and it always will. After all, we don't have Dickensian times anymore with children working up chimneys and down mines. We don't hang them either. We don't have workhouses for the poor or send single mothers into the nearest asylum.

Maybe there are vast differences between areas in the UK because, to be honest, Sol Invicticus, the examples you cite are really rare in my neck of the woods. We've got Christmas lights on; good schools with teachers who are perfectly capable of controlling pupils; kids who are working on community projects and although there are estates, I wouldn't class them as anything like 'sink' estates with feral children. I live in a town of some 20,000 inhabitants and we've got a police station that closes at 5pm. Two bobbies patrol from time to time - but that's about it.

There are things that aren't ideal, I agree, but it isn't really correct to say that all of the UK is as you describe.

Last edited by Allie; 12-11-2008 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:52 PM   #12
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Good for you Allie, I am glad you live in a nice area. I just happen to have lived in alot of the UKs major cities and can compare them to each other.

Sink estates in Oxford, Leeds, Bradford, London, Blackpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool Cardiff and swansea.

The bit about Dickens made me laugh after reading todays latest from the government. A 40 hour community service week for your benefits. That works out at £2.05 an hour.

Who ever said slavery was dead?
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:07 PM   #13
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That's all I said, Sol - that not everywhere is riddled with horror.

I've just come back from Liverpool, Crosby to be exact, which seemed pretty peaceful to me - and although I don't for a moment say ALL of Liverpool is like Crosby, what I am saying is that there are areas within all cities that are rough and some that aren't.

There ARE problems - I'm not saying otherwise and I'm not trying to take anything away from your experiences. What I am saying is that the problems you describe aren't absolutely everywhere in the UK. I have family in Europe and much the same exists there.

I'm not quite sure where you're coming from though, Sol. If there are many yobs existing on benefit because they can't be a***d to get a job, why isn't community service an option? I admit it's not brilliantly paid, but it might move some of them onto employment (if we ever recover from the economy problems that is) and off the streets.

Whether I agree with the Community service plan or not I can't say because in truth, I haven't heard the full details. I believe the government announced it yesterday and so it's all still a bit new.
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol Invictus View Post
How the UK has changed; in my life time.

My school. We said prayers in the morning assembly, sang a song, and went about the day. School was educational, I learnt alot, but it was fun. Also the teachers had total and utter control. Christmas Time was celebrated, the school was decorated, we made candles and gifts and had a Christmas nativety play. The teachers ruled absolute.

My social circle. We had fun, we spent summers in the rivers and fields or in the woods outdoors. We did cadets and such like activities and went round to each others houses. We had total and utter respect for the parents of our friends because they were adults.

My money. Sweets and the like were a treat. Goods were not thought to be an automatic right, but a gift or a privilege. Money was earnt and saved.

Televison. It was either rationed or none at all. I did not consider the television a form of entertainment, it was there for the adults, not for me. Books and libaries weer my learning tools, not a goggle box.

Law and order. Total respect for the Police and any one in a position to tell me off. (all adults !) I had a knowledge that there was a set of rules governing my behaviour and that was the end of the matter. I stepped out of lined I got punished, end of story and never did it again.
I remember those days
We used to ride or walk to school, my mate would sometimes get picked up by his dad in the car and everyone would make fun of him for days after
Nowadays you cant get near my old school in the morning because of all the sad mothers in their cars dropping little Johnny off.

It was safe to leave the door unlocked even at night. You had two big presents in the year if you were lucky and had behaved yourself, birthday and Christmas.

We weren't allowed to stay in the house at weekends and holidays, my Mum would say "get out from under my feet" and send us outside to play. This was the same at all my friends houses as well.
If I had something it was looked after as I knew if I broke or lost it that was it.
No one was allowed a television in their bed rooms.
I was lucky and grew up on the edge of a town so I spent most of my childhood in the fields building dens etc, kids nowdays seem to be scare of and have no respect for the county side.

I used to do a paper round on my bike, if a kid can be bothered to do one their mothers take them around in the car now.

I think it's disgusting the way kids and parents treat each other these days.




I was at my sisters one evening and her 15 year old son came downstairs and asked for some crisps, she said there were none, he complained and said he wanted some, she said there was still time for him to make it to the shop not far up the road, he said he didn't want to go to the shop, she offered to drive him there but he still said no, so she got in her car and drove to the shop and bought him some crisps while he when back to his room and played on his Xbox
I couldn't fecking believe it and asked her why she did that, she said it was easier than having grief from him. Our mother would told us there were no crisps and that would have been the end of the story

IMO people are too soft on their kids and are ruining them and their futures.
And no I dont have kids of my own thx, if I did I would bring them up properly
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:30 PM   #15
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http://search.bbc.co.uk/search?tab=all&q=stabbing

That's just the BBC.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cr...ssault-victims

Nationmaster assault victims ranking by country.

Look...you can bury your heads in the sand for only so long.
It's beyond the pale now, it might be OK in a small town of 20,000 but it's coming your way.
Get out, get out now...while you still have the chance.
Don't let your children be corrupted or possibly even worse, you're EU citizens now, take advantage of it!

The pound is currently just under 90p to the euro, how much longer will you leave it? When will you accept enough is enough?
I see many on here talking about how the UK is and posting about the creeping fascism in the news etc and yet...you still bl**dy live there!!!?!
Those two simple links above should tell you all you need to know.
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:48 PM   #16
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Andy, give me the full skinny on ireland will ya?

Appreciate it! (Skinny = all your info)
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:09 AM   #17
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I'm 23 and originally form Germany. I've moved to London for my studies. Arriving here, I wasn't sure whether i was in Russia or England. It's ridiculous.
6 months to go and I'm off the island.
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:17 AM   #18
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Andy, give me the full skinny on ireland will ya?

Appreciate it! (Skinny = all your info)
See pm.
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:00 AM   #19
Allie
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Hi Cyzmra

I'd be genuinely interested to know what it is that makes you feel you're in Russia?

I lived in Munich for three years, Paris for seven and Israel for one year so have some idea of how things are outside of the UK.


I am completely in agreement with Swanny. Parental control could go a long, long way to solving the problems that have been mentioned. It seems to me that people look to schools, police and the like to sort out issues involving nuisance youths and more or less invite the Nanny State to exist - but they tend to skip over the obvious responsibilities - or lack of - of what goes on at home.

Although I have to say, Swanny - I take issue with the 'sad mothers' bit

I was a sad mother and drove my son to school because his first school was six miles away and his second was twenty I'm not adverse to a bit of exercise but I'm not hiking those type of distances and back twice a day.

Seriously though, it isn't always the case that mothers drive their kids to school out of molly-coddling tendencies. In some cases the mothers have to work so can't find the time to walk and/or there are far more cars on the roads these days and traffic and kids aren't always a good mix.
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:17 AM   #20
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Hey Allie,

It's a really difficult question to answer. I wanted to write more but what I would write in that regard would probably sound racist or like I'm pampered.

Instead of describing what I see, let me try to sum up what conclusions I and many other international students came to:
1. Facilities and the conditions of them are much worse. This isn't just because we're living in student homes. Every home in London seems to be operating at a lower standard than the rest of Europe (excluding east maybe). It's a mixture of architecture without consideration to the human mind and a lack of respect and appreciation for material things. Especially in poorer districts, I can't believe my eyes how much pollution can be found.
2. Fences are everywhere. And if not, there is a 'security guard'. Obviously this goes hand in hand with CCTV. This situation gets worse in Germany, too but our youth is more aware of this. Where can you go anymore?
3. Education is ridiculous. I enjoy my freedom here since I do an art degree but the level of expectations is, compared to Germany, below A-levels. That's what they call 'university'. The implications of that are huge but I'm sure you all know about that already.
4. Almost everyone who lived around me here for a while and went back/to Europe reported how nice people outside are. The fact is that they aren't 'so nice' but that people in here are, as stated above, aggressive and respect-less. The so honoured 'british humour' has subverted into back stabbing and it's considered funny. Everyone is afraid or paranoid, or even worse they tell themselves they're strong. I can go through some streets and I can sense that the mere level of tension that's in the air in that area is higher than most other places I've known.

Ever since I came here I have struggled immensely to find a balance. I have learned a lot however about the different cultures and have come to appreciate a range of people that is undreamt of in Germany. I do not want to diminish my experience here, because of this. However, it is clear that there is no element of communication or crossing borders. People live separately and alone.
Here you can truly do what you want as long as you don't bother anyone else. Did anybody ever truly think about that basic rule of democracy? Such a horrible concept.

By the way, I was in Russia for a while and even though things there are worse in the way of environment, people are more authentic and it makes all the difference.
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:51 AM   #21
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Hi Cyzmra

I'd agree with you on some of your points Halls of Residence in Universities are still OK but I tend to think that landlords/landladies who rent to students can be unscrupulous. There are moves afoot to end their less than benevolent practices and I hope they will work.

I was at University many years ago so don't know what the standards are now but I can believe that they have dropped. Having said that, my niece did the same degree that I did and I didn't see much of a difference so perhaps it depends on which subject you take? The drop in standards is, in my view, a direct result of 'targets' - this unwarrented move to push as many kids as possible into University when they aren't equipped for it. They often go for the wrong reasons. We need all kinds of skills and talents in the UK, not just degrees.

In terms of people - well, it's a shame you've experienced rudeness and so on, but we're not all like that. I think people today are so pushed and stretched by a way of life that I think isn't found only in the UK. My friends in France seem to find time only to go to work and back again and so being alone is the only way they get some 'still' time. Much the same appears to happen here in the UK.

I think we will always find cultural differences - for example, in terms of people-friendliness, I found some bewildering experiences living in Germany in very much the way that you describe yours here. I was terrified by the visits I had to make to police stations to get my arbeitschein! I had one or two nasty moments.

Fasching I could never quite 'get' in terms of the way people came out of their shells and spoke to you at bus stops (or wherever) during that time but retreated back into them afterwards and stopped saying 'hello'. There was a formality that I didn't always understand. Still - I appreciate what you are saying about back-stabbing. In my view some of the reality shows we have had over here make harshness acceptable.

There are better places than London though. I hope you manage to get to some of them.
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:42 AM   #22
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Allie,
You know, I left Germany for a reason. I've never much liked it there because most peoples minds are so closed down, it's unbelievable. And the experiences you mention are surely not any more pleasant in Germany.

I think when it comes down to it there are two things:
Firstly, the base living standard in Germany/Europe is just higher at least when compared to London. The holes people live in here (I'm not just talking about student accommodation or places to rent out, it's peoples homes!) are ridiculous.
Secondly, and probably most importantly, I've now been to a few countries and know what I can appreciate about Germany... I think I would know how to take it now.

The lesson is, travel, live some other places, get out of the box and make up your own opinion, I suppose.
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:42 AM   #23
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Nimm mich mit
(take me with you)
2raumwohung?
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:32 AM   #24
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I live in the southwest of England and it's good here, it's not dangerous in my area. People are friendly and happy enough.
England in the summer is a beautiful place, one of the best IMO, ok the winters are a bit rubbish but they pass.
I'm not a city type of person but I'm lucky enough to live near Bath which is my favourite city in the world but I love to live in the country side.
But there are good and bad places to live in all countries.
I've traveled to many different countries (25 I think) either working or as a backpacker spending months in the country and mixing with the people of that land rather than a tourist who goes on holiday and stays in a hotel for a couple of weeks, so I think I have a pretty good idea of life in those places.
Of all the countries I've visited I have to say that France is one of my favourite places.

If you've never been Cornwall is a nice place.
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:38 AM   #25
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I live in the southwest of England and it's good here, it's not dangerous in my area. People are friendly and happy enough.
England in the summer is a beautiful place, one of the best IMO, ok the winters are a bit rubbish but they pass.
I'm not a city type of person but I'm lucky enough to live near Bath which is my favourite city in the world but I love to live in the country side.
But there are good and bad places to live in all countries.
I've traveled to many different countries (25 I think) either working or as a backpacker spending months in the country and mixing with the people of that land rather than a tourist who goes on holiday and stays in a hotel for a couple of weeks, so I think I have a pretty good idea of life in those places.
Of all the countries I've visited I have to say that France is one of my favourite places.

If you've never been Cornwall is a nice place.
Backpacking is something I'd love to do but it doesn't seem to be the best time for it. O_o
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