BEING BRITISH, BUYING BRITISH
Over the decades, we’ve had loads of slogans about Britain, Cool Britannia and how great we are. Some of you might remember the I’m Backing Britain campaign in 1968, which started spontaneously when five Surbiton secretaries volunteered to work an extra half each day without pay to help boost Britain’s flagging economy. The idea took off with Union Jacks fluttering everywhere and many people doing unpaid extra hours.
Strictly’s Bruce Forsyth even recorded a song called I’m Backing Britain with everyone involved reducing their usual fees or royalties. The single bombed – have a listen on Youtube, it’s terrible – alongside embarrassing revelations such as an order of thousands of I’m Backing Britain teeshirts that had been made in Portugal. The whole thing subsided within months and down came the flags and bunting.
But there’s a new kid on the block now with a very serious message behind it – a campaign that isn’t going away. And that’s Buying British. If you buy something that’s been made in Britain, you and the manufacturer are immediately helping the planet. No foreign shipping costs, currency fluctuations, lost-in-translation delays but also a cleaner, greener way of doing business. The government is committed to zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 so we all have to do our bit.
Some of you know that, as well as Serious About Events, we run a company called Gasket Guy, supplying door seals seals for all makes of commercial refrigeration. We’re the only UK manufacturers, we make to order and either fit them or dispatch to customers to fit themselves. During lockdowns, we were delighted to see our online side of the business suddenly taking off. So we produced online guides showing customers how to measure their fridges and freezers and order what they need. We make and ship them, and they fit them. Job done. We deal with everyone from independent businesses to national chains and household brands who all have to keep a very close eye on their green credentials. When you’re doing your weekly supermarket shop, you might just be gliding past some of our seals, keeping your grub safe. If you’re in the pub, one of our seals might be cooling your beer safely.
So next time you’re having a game of skittles in your local or social club and you hear the bar staff swearing about the coolers not being cool enough, it’s probably a cracked seal. This means the fridge needs to work harder to maintain its cool temperature. Anyone for a warm wine or beer? Er just no!! If you know a chef or anyone in the hospitality trade, ask them about wonky door seals. Be prepared for a few expletives as it can involve hours to source the right ones, the cost and the delays. If that’s what they say, then they’re not using Gasket Guy. We make seals to order and can even do a same day shipment. So please give us a recommend. You’ll be helping the Buying British campaign too. Big thanks in advance!
And while we’re on the subject of Brits in pubs, it reminded me some of the very British pub etiquette that puzzles and bemuses foreigners when they visit our shores. For example, when someone drops a glass or better still a tray of glasses in a pub, it’s customary to us all shout ‘Waaaaay’. I suppose it’s a shared sympathy rallying cry. Just don’t try that in France as I did once when a waiter dropped the whole tray. I received piteous looks from the entire staff and customers, who assuming I had something funny going on in my head.
Whose round is it? Now that’s a rhetorical question. We all know whose round it is and this is often cheerily aimed at the person who has bostik pockets.
Oh go on then….that’s another brain teaser for the foreign visitor. We use it to persuade ourselves we will have another pint even though we’re trying not to, but know we’re going to have one anyway. Still with me? Of course you are. Oh go on then….
I might join you later for a drink. This is polite code for actually I’m not coming but I’m not going to give you a blunt no. This can be accompanied by a lot of ‘sorry’ except you’re not. Sorry is one of our most popular words. We use it in every situation. It’s almost a get-out-of -jail card – sorry.
I’m popping out for a pint. This word pop causes mayhem. We pop in, pop out, pop up, pop down, pop round, pop over. It sounds like a version of the hokey cokey but of course it’s just our way of signposting a brief visit/time with someone unless, of course you have too many pints by which time you could well be in the dog house. No wonder foreigners get confused as pop also means making a light explosive sound.
On which note, how do we explain away the difference between ‘bollocks’ (bad) and ‘dog’s bollocks’ (good). I have no idea!!