Great Britain, Ireland & Colin Farrell (What You Didn’t Know About The UK)

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Johnny Rotten wants to save the Queen

The Union Jack is the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

That is Johnny Rotten standing in front of said flag… to me he is about as British as one can get. He really has a thing for the Queen. Although he goes by John Lydon these days and he lives in LA. LA is in fact not part of Great Britain.

Now the flag of Great Britain, consists of the English flag

St. Georges Cross
St. Georges Cross aka The English Flag

The flag of Scotland

Scottish Flag
St Andrews Cross aka The Flag of Scotland

and Northern Ireland’s flag

St. Patrick's Cross
St. Patrick’s Cross aka The flag of Ireland

Wales, you don’t get a mention.

Already united with England when the Union Jack was created, Wales ends up screwed and does not get a represent! (You’d think for stickin’ it out with the imperialist monarchy for so long, they’d at least get a mention.)

GB Great Britain
GB ‘Great Britain’ logo

Great Britain is not a country. Really, it’s not! It is an island consisting of England, Scotland & Wales.

The U.K. (United Kingdom) is a country consisting of four (4) nations or perhaps provinces, that are really also technically countries depending on to whom you speak.

For centuries many Scots have resisted being part of the U.K. and pockets of daring souls have periodically risen up through time against the English to gain their solidarity.

Kildrummy Castle
Kildrummy Castle. Kildrummy prospered for centuries until that little English rebellion bit.

Scottish rebellion against the English pretty much has always lead to the complete ruination of everyone involved including ancient dynasties…

Ireland is NOT a country. It is an island, like Great Britain. It is mostly not part of the U.K., beyond that wee little Northern bit. Many of the Irish had rebelled against English rule for centuries.  The Irish Free State officially gained their absolute independence in 1922 when both parliaments ratified the Treaty, formalising independence for the 26 county Irish Free State. Ireland dropped the “Free State” part in 1937, and declared itself a Republic in 1949. The 6 county Northern Ireland remains part of the United Kingdom.

Map of Ireland
Map of Ireland

Cork is in Ireland and it makes great gin. Colin Farrell is from Castleknock, which is 2.5 hours from Cork and completely irrelevant to this post, but now you know. Remember it! Oh and I’m pretty sure Colin lives in LA. LA is not in Ireland.

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Colin is not a Brit.

Ewan McGregor is a Scot and as you can see, wears a kilt. He is also a Brit. I kinda think he may also live in LA. LA is not in Scotland.

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Ewan is a Brit and a Scot. He doesn’t look unhappy to be in a kilt

I have no fucking clue why Colin Farrell is wearing a kilt. He certainly does not look very please about it.

Colin Farrell in a kilt
Colin Farrell is not a Brit, is not from the UK, is not a Scot.

As mentioned before, Ireland is made up of two (2) provinces or countries, depending on to whom you speak. Northern Ireland is part of the U.K., The Republic of Ireland is not.

Everybody knows this but for Americans. As in those from the United States, not North Americans, because Canadians know this. They learnt it in school. Unlike Texans, who learned Texas history over US history.

Now I’m not sure if Mexicans know this, because I’m American and know little to nothing about Mexicans, even though they boarder us and I’ve visited there a few times.

What I do know is that all of Great Britain and all of Ireland (even those in the Republic of Ireland) and likely even Ewan Mcgregor and Colin Farrell… maybe even John Lydon, drink far too much tea. Not that yummy herbal stuff but that caustic, tannin filled, black, black tea shit you must add milk to or die. They also almost all think Nescafé is actually coffee and not an insult to coffee.

coffee in a tea cup
Coffee; not that very black tea shite and not that crap called nescafe’

That’s real coffee in that enormous I ❤️ Tea cup. Thankfully my Airbnb host in Arnisdale Scotland provided me real coffee, yet also provided the ironical cup.

In much of Great Britain, showers look like this.

British shower
Shower in Great Britain (actually Glasgow Scotland)

< lt; lt; lt; lt; lt; lt; lt; lt; ne dials the power, the other controls temp. And they don’t have clothes dryers. Clothes dryers are made up of clothes lines with clothes pegs (not clothespins)

bathroom heater towel warmer
Bathroom heater/towel warmer

< lt; lt; lt; lt; lt; lt; lt; lt; ut they do have bathroom (aka toilet) heaters that function as towel racks. Which don’t suck! Many Brits end up hanging their wet laundry bits to dry upon these heated racks. Apparently, dryers are not energy efficient, but turning your heat up so that your knickers dry quickly, is.

Wine Glasses
Wine in Great Britain

< lt; lt; lt; lt; lt; lt; lt; lt; hen you order wine in the U.K. they ask you, small, medium or large? I’m not kidding! Order the large. It’s the American way. Oh yeah, they also drive on the wrong fuckin side of the road. And their yield signs say ‘give way’. (how polite)… and you can’t fucking turn right, you must circle first. Once miscounted, you must turn about the fucking circle again. There are rules to this, but no one knows them. They just close their eyes and pray to the Queen. In Inverness a roundabout ends you up at the police station, because it imitates exit number 4, when actually it’s the damned police station. I did it numerous times and shared the experience with confused tourists every time and likely a few Scots as well. But it was Sunday so the police station was closed. Because police stations actually close in the UK. But Inverness is quite lovely, once you’ve found your way out of the damned police station car park.

Glasgow scene
Inverness

< lt;lt;lt;lt;lt;lt;lt;lt;ell so, I’m in Glasgow. Three (3) large wines in, filling the tub as the towel rack warms and have little more to give than this post. Hope it suffices.If not “give way” man. Give way!<<<<<<<<< t;<<<<<<< lt;<<<<<< <<<<<< ;<<<<< t;<<<< gt;<<< ><< p>< /p>

Standing Stones of Avebury A Stone Circle Better (& Older) Than Stonehenge

Avebury Standing Stones
Avebury Stone Circle Wiltshire England

Yes, we all know of Stonehenge, but Avebury Stone Circle aka Avebury Standing Stones, felt much more magical to me. The Avebury standing stone circle is the largest series of stone circles in the world. A stone circle believed to be much older than Stonehenge, Avebury is not technically a “henge” because it does not have stones crossing the top of two others, which is what essentially makes a stone circle a stone henge. Yet Avebury is rather remarkable. The stones are large, and are part of other less prominent circles. The Avebury is about a mile round, which dwarfs stonehenge stone circle of standing stones, significantly.

Avebury buildings
Homes in Wiltshire near Avebury standing stones

Standing for millennia, this lesser known stone circle is enormous, extremely accessible (you can actually touch the stones) far from remote. Wiltshire is a small farming community and only 20 miles from Stonehenge. It is an active, working, countryside village of ancient origins only 20 miles from the extremely contained and tourist laden Stonehenge. It too is a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as part of the UK National Trust and if you get there on a sunny day you can stroll the stone circle for an easy hour, likely meeting up with locals, tourists, sheep herding dogs, sheep and sheepherders.

Wondrous structures, including barns, homes and cottages from the age of the Tudors dot the rolling green hills, full of sheep and other farm creatures. Free from the fences and touristy contrivances of Stonehenge , an extremely contained, roped off and overtly commercialized location, that is pretty much in the middle of a field, far from anything but their own gift shop, cafe, vendors and some sheep. At Avebury you may stroll amongst the ancient rocks at commune with them and the lovely countryside, at your leisure. There are even other things to enjoy and see, such as Avebury Manor & Garden, an interesting site in and of itself.  If you are a member of the National Trust then parking is free. If not, I believe it was only about $5 american to park for as long as you wish. Entrance to the stones circle is free, just lift the lock at the gate and in you go.

Standing stone of Avebury
Standing stone of Avebury stone circle

Avebury Stones are of varying size and shape are found in the backyards of homes still active with life today. It is a truly lovely stroll if the weather is agreeable and does not tend (at least when I was there in 2017) to be overrun with tourists.

Avebury Standing Stone next to Tudor Barn

Avebury Manor & Gardens and the surrounding buildings and village are well worth the visit. The house has an odd history and the decor spans from a variety of eras. The church , graveyard and gardens are sublime. In the end, yeah Stonehenge is worth it, but for it that experience was underwhelming compared to the the mile round, older stones that continue to be part of a thriving community today.

To think of all the people who have looked upon them with awe and touched them in just the same way you can today touch them as well.

Tudor church in Wiltshire

Avebury Manor and Gardens
Avebury Manor and Gardens

Good to note: It is difficult to find the Avebury Standing Stones without a GPS. The signage is small and obsolete. The roads extremely rustic and signage not always clear. Give yourself at least an hour to stroll the entire circle. I believe there to be a restaurant and hotel there but little house beyond the quaint farmhouses and such.

I’m on my way to my next adventure. I’ll write more about my travels soon!