The Best of British!

The Dabbler publishes its guide to Great Britain for those of our foreign readers who intend to use the events of the summer as an excuse to make the pilgrimage.

This summer, London will host the Olympic Games, and many foreign visitors will visit Great Britain. Although the games are still a few weeks away, I am pleased to report that my green and pleasant homeland’s reputation for hospitality is already proving well-deserved. This week for instance a gentleman named David Beckham, who is married to one of our famous “Spice Girls,” released his “Best of British” guide for visitors. Alas I cannot tell you what it contains, for Mr. Beckham requested that I acquire an “app” for my “phone,” whereas I still rely on carrier pigeons for long distance communications. But not to worry! This week, for those planning a visit, or who are simply curious about our Sceptred Isle, I have prepared my own list. Tally ho!


Paul McCartney is loved around the globe for his up-tempo ditties such as “The Frog Song” and “Biker Like An Icon.” His most recent long player, Kisses On The Bottom, is not at all about what you might think, but is rather wholesome listening, suitable for sing-alongs at the piano in the family parlor.

Last week, this Knight of the Realm celebrated his 70th birthday, and what is most remarkable is that his hair, which resembles a fine, semi-translucent purple-brown straw balanced atop a wrinkled egg, is almost intact. Is there hair like Sir Paul’s anywhere else in the world? I should think not. Truly, it is the Best of British.

Sir Paul lives in a castle located in central Liverpool and receives visitors on Tuesday mornings, 9:30-11:30. Feel free to “pop in” and pay homage to his hair, but please do not touch- for it is very fragile.


The British Royal Family is an institution revered far and wide for its adherence to tradition. Not for our regal brood the silly pandering of the Dutch Royal Family, whose members ride bicycles and “surf” the “web” on “iPads.” In Britain, our Royals still balance gem-encrusted hats atop their pates and sport long robes that have been flayed from the backs of small furry creatures. These symbolic garments are intended to demonstrate the family’s noble lineage as the most ancient royal dynasty on Earth, being as they are descended from an alien named Xenu, who arrived on earth 75 million years ago in a spacecraft shaped like a DC-8 airplane.

Visitors are encouraged to participate in the lively national pastime of Prince Edward-spotting. Because he is small, bald and ineffectual, Edward is often dispatched to the Queen’s lesser territories to perform his ritual duties in obscurity. During the recent Diamond Jubilee celebrations, he was dispatched to a volcano in the Pacific to transmit Her Majesty’s greetings to some goats. This summer it is rumored that the Queen will dispatch the royal runt to preside over the opening of some chemical toilets in a field outside Leeds. Keep your eyes peeled!


It is well-known that Britain is a nation of animal lovers; but consider this remarkable statistic – last year “The Donkey Sanctuary,” a retirement home for equine quadrupeds in Devonshire, received over £24 million in charitable donations. By contrast, the Blind Veteran’s Trust received a mere £16 million.       .

Obviously this is because aged donkeys are far more charming than blind veterans; and indeed our donkeys are the finest in the world. The legend however that British donkeys rest on satin cushions while blind veterans peel grapes which they subsequently pop into their mouths is just that: a legend. Should you pass a blind veteran in the street however, he will be grateful for a carrot.


In the old days, Britain was run by a narrow elite who attended the same schools and universities, and who then advanced through society via the manipulation of tribal contacts, thus maintaining their hereditary grip on government, business and the mass media. They were also nobly condescending to the lower orders.

How times change! Today, Britain is run by a narrow elite, who attended the same schools and universities, and who then advanced through society via the manipulation of tribal contacts, thus maintaining their hereditary grip on government, business and the mass media. Nowadays, however, members of the elite mimic the accents of commoners and feign enthusiasm for such base pursuits as football and “rock” music. There is even a special TV channel dedicated to what the elite thinks commoners like to watch – BBC 1. Do “tune in!”


Spotted dick is a form of pudding and let nobody tell you otherwise.

And there you have it! Of course, it is impossible to distil the essence of a nation so tickety-boo as ours in so brief an article. Not to worry though, for as you disembark from your airplane at the luxurious Heathrow Airport, and then speed through London on our hyper-efficient underground “tube” railway, only to emerge in the center of the metropolis where you will marvel at the reasonable prices for so many high quality goods and services, you’ll be creating your own “Best of British” list in no time!

Pip, pip toodle-oo!

(RIA Novosti previously published a version of this post).

Daniel Kalder is an author and journalist. Visit him online at
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Daniel Kalder is an author and journalist. Visit him online at

12 thoughts on “The Best of British!

  1. Worm
    June 27, 2012 at 13:01

    Is there hair like Sir Paul’s anywhere else in the world? yes, Cliff Richard. perhaps they are neighbours?

      June 27, 2012 at 14:22

      Mine, less the Cuprinol treatment although in mitigation, there is a hint of the Bill Nighy.
      You have Daniel, nailed the essence of UKPLC, what a polyglot lot we are, Brummies ‘d’yow coom from broom’, Geordies ‘div ah knaa ye‘, Scots ‘see us a podger hen’, and the rest, the fly over people.

      What a wonderfully multicultural, homophobic bunch of white, racist, male and female chauvinists we are, with added immigrants, no wonder the Guardian and the BBC have teamed up to show us the error of our ways and guide us to the light.

        June 27, 2012 at 14:58

        It is good to have the enlightened to guide us.

    John Halliwell
    June 27, 2012 at 14:29

    Neighbours? Possibly. I wonder if they live in thatched cottages? As Will, the grand old country craftsman, shuffles past he looks across at the two dilapidated edifices, shakes his head in despair at the dreadful state of seventy year-old thatch – ravaged by time and twice-monthly attempts to apply a restorative coating, and concludes that it would be a blessing if tar up the flue were to erupt and remove two blots from the landscape….

    • Worm
      June 27, 2012 at 14:47

      I’m thinking a double bill – Sirs Paul & Cliff headlining at Thatchstock ‘0’12. Music would be halted every twenty seconds for the stars to make peace signs at the camera

    June 27, 2012 at 14:40

    Magnificent wielding of what might call the judicial (or perhaps the geriatric) double-quote. And the rest of the font as well.

    June 27, 2012 at 16:22

    I think ‘Best of British’ should include tattoos (body not Edinburgh).

    • Worm
      June 27, 2012 at 18:00

      true, my european spouse always goes on about the british state of tattooedness

        June 27, 2012 at 19:17

        I hear Prince Edward has a tramp stamp.

    John Halliwell
    June 27, 2012 at 19:30

    ‘Beckham grins his way through pain barrier as torch sets fire to his right ear’

    June 27, 2012 at 21:46

    Is that Sir Paul or Prince Edward in the photo?

  7. Gaw
    June 28, 2012 at 08:02

    Football manager Phil Brown on the radio, talking about Italy’s best player:

    “I think the Premier League is the best league in the world, I think that’s why we’re attracting the better foreign players. Why … for the life of me … hasn’t Pirlo played in England?

    “Is he just homophobic? Is he Italian through and through and doesn’t want to leave them?”

    The press seem to think he meant “homesick”, but it was surely an ambitious but failed attempt on “xenophobic”. If you witnessed the manner in which Pirlo put England’s journeymen to the sword the incident is even more emblematic.

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