“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”—T. E. Lawrence (1888-1935)
“Paralytic sycophants, effete betrayers of humanity, carrion-eating servile imitators, arch-cowards and collaborators, gang of women-murderers, degenerate rabble, parasitic traditionalists, playboy soldiers, conceited dandies.”—Approved terms of abuse for East German Communist speakers when describing the English (1953)
“Sunday lunch in a country pub is one of those things Englishmen with unspeakable tropical diseases in distant jungles hallucinate about just before they die. And this is the pub they dream of. It’s perfect in every particular. Hunting prints. Cross-eyed stuffed Reynards on the yellow-stone walls. Inglenooks a gogo. And things growing all over it.. Roast beef that tastes like it has been cut off the bottom of the Morris men’s pantomime horse, Yorkshire pudding like dry rot, kedgeree that’s hunt-the-fish and the colour of Chinese cowardice, sticky-toffee pudding, and beers that sound like characters from P. G. Wodehouse. ‘Ah, Hock Norton, glad you could make it. Do you know Beamish and Tolly Cobbold? Marston is in the gents’.”—
As a child I’d listen to the Shipping Forecast on the BBC and think it were secret code, broadcast by a marooned British agent in some far off land. As an adult, it still mesmerises me and happily eludes my understanding. Spoken in the dulcet tones of RP (Received Pronunciation) this stuff is poetry..