The Case For English Eccentricity



M’Lud, I am here to argue that our country is still as eccentric as it always was, and in some cases considerably more so. I will now submit my evidence.

The Winter Solstice, time for Pagans, Druids and other mentally disenfranchised loners to head to Stonehenge to mumble about ley lines, past-life regression, homeopathy and other discredited rubbish did not let us down this year. Hurrah to them for being so silly in these grim days. The world knows nothing at all about druids, by the way. Records suggest they were a sort of accountant, but they’re a blank page upon which anyone can write anything.


Autumn had brought us the bonfire societies, some of which have been deliberately revived in the face of EU interference. There were sacrifices, but only in effigy. And summer had brought everything from Morris Dancers to Jack-In-The-Green festivals.


Meanwhile in London eccentricity, long linked with creativity, is once more on the rise. King’s Cross, for example, is growing elephants. They keep appearing unbidden in unlikely places. Yesterday at this spot there was one, now there are two.


In Hackney last night, the annual panto took a strongly left-wing turn as the kingdom of Hackneytopia was menaced by Westminsteria, there was a song called ‘Never ask the People What they Want’ and it was suggested that royal decrees should be painted on the side of a bus to gain credibility. It was, by universal agreement, the noisiest panto ever staged here, with political jokes replacing smut for the adults (check out the dame’s hat, which keeps London European).


Meanwhile, it being Christmas, I found this sign in a fish and chip shop and was sorely tempted to try until I remembered I’m meant to be losing weight.


I’d feared that unusual behaviour would now be marked as an indication of terrorism, although the only lunatics standing on orange boxes ranting about religion around here are the Christians outside our station. After a year of horrible disappointments, it seems the English have once more decided to be Very Silly Indeed. And that can only be the sign of a healthy society. M’Lud, I rest my case.


15 comments on “The Case For English Eccentricity”

  1. Stephen Groves says:

    Hi Chris,
    Have a great Christmas.
    All Best

  2. James W says:

    These lyrics by Tony Wakeford have always resonated with me, especially nowadays – ‘England is funny, but sometimes she scares me’.

  3. Jackie Hayles says:

    The craziest thing of all is the doctrine of British Values being taught in schools and elsewhere – nothing democratic if you try to argue that the basic British value is still a nice cup of tea as a panacea for all ills; it is an abstract whistling in the dark, wishful thinking along the lines of Truth, Justice and the American Way (in fact very much along those lines).

  4. Rachel Green says:

    Was it the brussel sprout or the mince pie you were tempted by?

  5. admin says:

    Both! Only in Hackney could they do something to a vegetable to make it bad for you (and I don’t mean jokes about Jeremy Corbyn)

  6. Ness says:

    So now violence to mince pies is socially acceptable? We all know the brussel sprout deserved it.

  7. Chris Hughes says:

    Thank you! A great tonic to finish a strange and depressing year. Happy Christmas to you and All your readers and may we all spend time with those we love and cherish the memory of those we can no longer see.

  8. Vincent C says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

  9. Terenzio says:

    To deep fry mince pies in oil, especially if the same oil for deep fryin fish is used, is a crime against nature. Don’t get me wrong, I love mince pies (along with Buche de Noel the holiday season wouldn’t be the same) and fish n chips for lunch with a good beer in an atmospheric pub is one of life’s pleasures, but some things just shouldn’t be fried in oil. On the other hand, the battered brussel sprouts (one of my favorite veggies) sounds intriguing. I would definitely give those a go.

    Joyeuses Fêtes to all….from the one in the gorgeous purple dressing gown and cutesy wolfie slippers. I shall retire to the boudoir to ponder the table centerpiece for Christmas. In difficult times like these, one must enjoy life to the fullest since you never know what to tomorrow may bring including a nuclear apocalypse. What’s frightening is I’m only half joking when I say this.

  10. Terenzio says:

    Oh…I forgot about the homemade eggnog with lots and lots and lots of rum and brandy…..the holiday season wouldn’t be complete without this delectable treat. Plus January 20th is…unfortunately….right around the corner so copious amounts of alcohol can’t go amiss.

  11. Debra Matheney says:

    Besides the self deprecating humor, the thing I most admire about Brits is the tolerance for eccentricity. In US we give it a mental health diagnosis and medicate it. Speaking of medication, we may all need some over here with Twitter Trump in charge.

    Happy Christmas!

  12. Helen Martin says:

    Have just tasted an apple pie flavoured candy cane. Pretty good actually. Have a wonderful Christmas everyone, a restful holiday and we’ll see what we can all do to brighten the New Year. Here’s tae us!

  13. John Howard says:

    Wha’s like us? Damn few, and the’re all deid.

  14. Vivienne says:

    Was at Stonehenge on 21st but for sunset so no mad Druids left by then. If you don’t take the little bus you can have a decent stroll across the fields. Decided some time ago that it was better to be old and mad than old and sad.

  15. Helen Martin says:

    Right, Vivienne, and the old are allowed to be mad – if they don’t scare the horses. Right, John, and we need tae a’ stick tegither or we’ll be like them.

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