20 things to know before moving to England

20 thing sto know about england

I’m back with another “things to know” post on somewhere I have lived in my travels and this time, it’s England! In the past, I’ve written posts on things you should know before moving to France and things to know before moving to Germany. Earlier this week, I wrote a guest post which is appearing today on the lovely Amanda’s blog, Rhyme and Ribbons, and if you are visiting from there then you will find this posts fits in nicely with what you’ve already read. If not? Read this post and then check out 20 things you should know about the British.

First of all, here’s a little back story for those of you who don’t know me. I am British.
Actually, that pretty much sums it up, so here’s 20 things to know before moving to England.

1. I’m saying this mostly for the sake of saying it. It rains a lot.

2. A lot of British comedy shows and comedians have no filter, meaning there is a rarely a topic they won’t touch upon for a quick laugh, no matter how offensive it may be.

3. The train, bus & underground are often late and your employer will not see this as a suitable excuse for why you are late to work.

4. Technically, it’s illegal to drink in public but everyone does it. We are partial to drinking in a nice, green park or on a long train journey.

5. Contrary to most people’s opinions of “side of the road food”, this is THE place to get a banging breakfast roll.

6. A tea break at work is usually when one person from the office gets up and leaves their desk for at least 15 minutes to make all of their colleagues tea. This is also the time to meet people from other offices and gossip/slack off. There is no time limit on how long a tea break may take, as long as you appear to be making tea.

7. If you are upset in any way, you will be offered a cup of tea to assist you with further sadness/discussions of your situation. It really does help.

8. To truly fit in, all you really need to know is that a Freddo is a small chocolate bar that used to cost 10p and due to price inflations now retails at around 25p. This is outrageous and people are seriously losing their rag about it.

9. Speaking of losing their rag, this is something people say when they are seriously pissed off about something. Take note and step way quietly!

10. Come rain or shine, the weather is something that can and will be complained about if all other topics of conversation are exhausted.

11. Boobs in the newspaper happens 5 days per week.

12. In the North of England, it’s pretty common for people to leave their back doors unlocked at all times and for visitors to just let themselves in.

13. Sunday drinking doesn’t really have an “appropriate start time”, it’s more about when the local pub opens and if you bought pre-pub beers from the shop or not.

14. Marks & Spencers (also known as Marks & Sparks) is ideal for a nice lunch, dinner or food for large family get togethers but you do not want to do a “proper food shop” in this place… unless you are up for re-mortgaging your house.

15. Tipping is not as big of a thing in England as it is in countries like the USA. We only tip if we feel we got really good service and we don’t generally tip as generously because waiting staff in England do receive (at least) minimum wage.

16. You don’t have to drink alcohol at the pub and it’s generally not somewhere for loud, drunken behaviour except if it’s a Friday night or the football is on.

17. Going out to nightclubs is a big thing. We’re talking hair extensions, false eyelashes and maybe even some body glitter.

18. Not all of the buses are red double deckers and not all of the taxis are black. Sorry.

19. England is rarely prepared for snow, even though it’s prone to happening in at least one part of the country each year. This means that when really bad snow hits, people usually manage to score the day off work for “transport difficulties”.

20. The amount of different words for “vagina” in England is uncanny and they are all used and insults as well as to refer to the actual body part. Including “vagina” i.e. “Stop being a vagina, Tom.”

I really could go on with this one, but I’m keen to get some conversation going in the comments. For those of you who are from England, got anything to add? For those of you who are curious/know some things too, share the wealth!

What if we had Facebook when we were young?


Something has been really bugging me lately about Facebook, besides the usual things that piss us all off. You see, I have several “kids” on my Facebook from knowing their older siblings, and I use the term “kids” pretty loosely here as to me they are kids but now they are like 18, but whatever. I’ve had most of them on there for at least 4 years now, so they were kids at the time.

I’ve always payed close attention to these “kids” because the way they use Facebook fascinates me. From very public arguments with their parents to sheer online humiliation from their peers, they have been through it all. What irks me about this isn’t that it’s different to my own childhood, I mean, we all had our parents shout at us in front of our friends or nasty rumours spread around school, that’s just life. It’s the fact that it’s on Facebook that really gets to me.

I can only imagine how these people will feel in 5-10 years time when parts of their (embarrassing) teenage years will still be online for everyone to see. Even if you delete them from your timeline, it doesn’t stop people from taking a screenshot beforehand or even having crap on their own timelines about it. In a nutshell, there is no escape. People will be able to find out, quite literally, anything about you that they want to know.

This made me think back to the stupid shit I did as a teenager and how fortunate I feel that social media was barely a blip on everyone’s radar by then, especially because I would have been in and amongst Facebook had it been around when I was growing up. Yep, I’m a MySpace and Bebo (Bebo, anyone?) kid. Fortunately, all of those dark and horrible times are behind me without a trace. But if they weren’t? I dread to think of all the things that would have been documented about me if we had Facebook when we were young.

As the next generation of “kids” are now joining Facebook as young as 10 years old (WTF?), this is only going to get worse as time goes on. Parents are now documenting their children’s lives online from the time they are born and essentially, these kids already have fully functional profiles before they’ve joined the site. How long will it be before Facebook transfers over all of your parent’s timeline data about you to your own profile when you set it up? Not long my friends, not long. And if you do it in the next 6 months, Mark Zuckerberg, I am demanding royalties for the idea.

Will anything really be private again? Will people ever be able to forget all of the awful, embarrassing childhood and teenage errors they made? Will Facebook even still be around in 5 years? Sometimes I think it won’t be but the community seems to be only growing in size as opposed to it’s predecessors who had their heyday and went away quietly.

On a serious note to the kids born in the last 5 years, good luck. Your employers will know when you took your first solid poo (ew) and that you used to dress up in your Grandma’s shoes. Nothing screams employable more than that.

The Kate Jordan Design Shop!

Ahhhhh! Guys! I am too excited to share this news today. This girl has only gone and opened up an online shop! Yes, that’s right. Now you can find all of my graphic designs and travel photography available as framed prints, mugs, phone cases, pillows, bags and many more things over at The Kate Jordan Design Shop. Check out some of the products I have available already!

coloureddotsphonecase   dowhatyoulovebag
dreambigpillow   everydarknightframed
dabomb   tummyboxlaptop

I can already feel my creative juices flowing to get down to some more designing for future products and I can’t wait to get started! As I mentioned above (but didn’t feature), I am also adding in prints and phone cases from some of my travel photography too, so keep your eyes peeled for updates on that!

Anything you guys would like to see? Let me know and I’ll make it happen at The Kate Jordan Design Shop!