1. Talking about the most famous of all British pop band – “The Beatles” originally called themselves the Blackjacks but after they discovered that a respected local group was already using that name, they changed it to Quarrymen. That stuck for about only 2 years and then they were known as “Johnny and the Moondogs” Johnny was, of course, John Lennon. Then, as a tribute to Buddy Holly and the Crickets, they changed the band’s name to the Beatals. After that, it was the Silver Beetles before finally settling on just the Beatles in 1960.
2. Thanks for keeping it right here, we’re on a flight of fancy to the United Kingdom as they celebrate their National Day, which also happens to be Queen Elizabeth II’s actual birthday. And speaking of Her Majesty… have you noticed how your roast lamb racks are almost always served with mint sauce? Apparently, you have the British to thank for that. Mint sauce became the ‘essential’ accompaniment to roast lamb in Britain all thanks to Queen Elizabeth I. You see, in a bid to help the wool industry and stop her subjects from eating lamb and mutton, she decreed that the meat could only be served with bitter herbs. Thankfully, enterprising cooks discovered that mint actually made the meat taste better, not worse. And that’s why we have mint with lamb.
3. All this week, the spotlight’s on the UK as they celebrate their National Day. Remember how we used to sing about how London Bridge is falling down? That same London Bridge is rumoured to be haunted! People have claimed to see a woman in black roaming in the night. According to history, the London Bridge had indeed fallen down according to the old rhyme, when the Saxons had torn it down using ropes and boats. So if you’re heading to central London anytime soon, do catch a glimpse of this glorious 600-year-old medieval structure.
4. Say if you’re pressed for time, and you need something to fill your stomach real quick, which would you choose? A juicy steak, a bowl of soup or a simple sandwich? My guess is, sandwich? Now the most eaten ‘convenience’ food in the world was invented by an English aristocrat with a passion for gambling, the Earl of Sandwich. And to make sure he didn’t have to stop playing, and to keep his hands clean for the cards, the Earl of Sandwich asked for meat to be put between two slices of bread. And that’s how the sandwich was born
5. Now if you have a penchant for chocolates, dark chocolates especially, you’ll know that they contain loads of antioxidants. And research showed that pregnant mums who ate chocolate daily were better able to handle stress and had happier kids. Babies who smiled more. Anyway, fact is the world’s first chocolate bar was made in Bristol in the late 1720s by Joseph Fry. His company was eventually taken over by Cadbury, another British, family owned firm.
6. Epidemiologists at Cambridge University have discovered that the greater the access people have to takeaway food, the higher their body mass index or BMI plus they double their odds of becoming obese. Several local authorities in the UK have already introduced restrictions on fast-food outlets, around schools or in places where there are already lots of takeaways, but now UK researchers are calling on restrictions on the number of fast-food outlets around offices and homes to help combat the obesity epidemic in the UK. Now if you have easy access to fast-food outlets at home or at work, don’t panic. Cuz you can always opt for fast food salads and fruit? Fruit is pretty fast food, don’t you think?
7. Previously, we learnt that The Irish consume in average 131.1 liters of beer per year. Now the British have the highest per capita consumption of cider, as well as the largest cider-producing companies in the world. Over half of England’s cider is produced in Herefordshire. The world’s largest producer of cider is H. P. Bulmer, based in Hereford. Cider making was introduced by Viscount Scudamore in 1639, who brought the cider recipe from France. Coming up, if you appreciate having a cool cider along with some good ol fish and chips, stick with me.
8. Now if you’re wondering what to have for lunch? How about some good ol fashion fish and chips? And if you’re wondering where you can find the largest fish and chip shop in the world? Just head on over to Guiseley, West Yorkshire, Northern England where Harry Ramsden opened his very first fish and chips diner. This same fast food restaurant once held the Guinness World Record for the largest fish and chip shop in the world, seating 250 people, serving nearly a million customers a year. Today, Britain’s longest established restaurant chain has 35 owned and franchised outlets throughout the UK and Ireland and serves around four million meals annually. So if you’re listening to us from the UK, remember to check out Harry Ramsden!
9. The monoliths of Stonehenge, are the oldest prehistoric monuments of Britain and some of the oldest in the world. The word Stonehenge comes from the Old English words Stanhen gist, which mean ‘hanging stones’. These stone circles were constructed by the pagan Bronze-age Celtic people for religious purposes. The alignment of the stones carry astrological meanings, as they coincide with the solstices and equinoxes. For instance, on midsummer’s sunrise and midwinter’s sunset light passes exactly into the centre of the monument between the horseshoe. It has been speculated that priests practised healing rituals or held religious festivals. However, recent excavations suggest that the site was used for cremation burial throughout its history. So if you’re northwest of Salisbury, make time to visit this designated World Heritage site by the UNESCO and be intrigued by this mammoth structure of stones hanging in limbo.
10. We have our eye on the UK as they celebrate the Queen’s Birthday which is also their de facto National Day. Now humour me for a moment, can you see with your mind’s eye thee iconic London Cab – an emblem of quaint European style? Apparently the regulation of taxicabs in London is especially rigorous and taxicab drivers have to go through one of the world’s toughest training courses before they can actually operate a cab. Part of their training not only includes identifying the quickest and most sensible route between any two points in metropolitan London that their examiner chooses but also an accurate recitation of the names of the roads used, when they cross junctions, use roundabouts, make turns, they even have to name prominent landmarks alongside them at each point! All without stopping to look at a map, relying on a GPS or asking directions from a controller by radio! So on average, London taxicab drivers take 34 months to earn their license. No wonder they charge so much for cabs in the UK!
Hey it’s Lynette and all this week on Expat Radio 963XFM
we celebrate the Queen’s Birthday and UK’s National Day
So join me on Globetrekker, Monday to Friday 12 to 1 for a one hour special
as we trek up a well trodden path to Europe’s sovereign state with authentic British music and fun facts
Experience Home Closer with music and more on Expat Radio 96.3XFM