Tag Archives: British

Events, dear boy, events

rose july 2013

Rose is a rose is a rose

Of course the word ‘historic’ is very much overused, but some weeks do seem to be more significant than others – Monday saw the birth of our future King, for example.

And then there are other things which make one think there’s been a fault in the space-time continuum in the last few weeks:

  • a British man won the Men’s SIngles Final at Wimbledon
  • a British man won the Tour de France – that is, the second British man for the second year in a row
  • England are beating the Australians in a Test series to retain the Ashes
  • we have had four consecutive weeks of proper hot sunny weather, as in the season generally known as summer

The list goes on and it’s all very un-British, actually to be successful at things and to enjoy an actual differentiation between one season and the next. Even my own small efforts are paying off – this week I have run a full 5k, three times, really running the whole way.

There’s definitely something wrong, and clearly we’ve fallen through some cosmic hole into a parallel universe.

Another country

The opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic games was spectacular, an amazingly well-kept secret, flawless (as far as I could tell) in its execution, creative, quirky, funny, moving, inclusive, probably sometimes bemusing to overseas viewers.  I was absorbed by every minute of it and I heartily agreed with Danny Boyle’s choice of things to love and admire about this country.

But I realised I couldn’t concur with those who said it made them ‘proud to be British’.  It’s just not a sensation I recognise because although I have lived here since I was 18 months old, I was born in Montreal to a Canadian mother and a British father who had lived in Montreal for nearly 20 years.  And after all this time, despite having been educated, worked, married, and brought up a family here, I don’t feel as though I ‘come’ from this country, and I still see myself as an outsider.

It turns out that when the chips are down and a competitor is wearing that red and white flag with its bold and beautiful maple leaf, it’s Canada that I want to win.