Coach Cruise

Tourist season is upon us!

This means one of two things,

  1. You’re off gallivanting about taking in new sights and experiences
  2. You’re sat in your home town watching tourists amble round and wondering what’s so great about it. (This is me. I live in Salisbury. I do not understand why we get so many tourists. It is a pretty boring place.)

Holidays are great, and taking in culture-y stuff and shopping and seeing fancy stuff like Stonehenge is great too, but there are a couple of things everyone should bear in mind whether you’re visiting parts of Britain, or going to other countries.

  1. The place you’re visiting may not work exactly like you’re home town / country, please consider shop opening and closing times. 
  2. People actually live in the towns you’re visiting, as you swarm off a coach / cruise ship you may only be there a few hours, but the locals actually have to live there. Try not to trash the place, try your best to leave things as you found them.
  3. I repeat, the locals actually have to live there! So whilst you may be stood in a group in the middle of the pavement, or trying to get the perfect, uninterrupted picture, others are attempting to weave their way through the streets to get to work. 
  4. If you are a local, try to have a little more patience with those large groups with the matching backpacks that come swarming through. Just because you walk past a certain statue so often it blends in with the scenery, doesn’t mean it’s not special and picture worthy for others. 
  5. Similarly just because you walk the streets of your home town every day, doesn’t mean others do. You might know the market square is just behind the building you’re stood outside, confused tourists may not. It’s bad enough getting lost in another city, let alone another country, and it only takes a few seconds to give directions. 
  6. Language barriers! Where ever you go, if you’ve taken time to learn some of the language, then well done you! Unfortunately sometimes it’s not all that clear, with accents and questionable pronunciation it’s sometimes hard for the native speakers to understand, so patience is useful all round. 
  7. Obnoxious is never a good look on anybody. Whether you’re a tourist to the place, and wondering why the locals don’t drop everything to give you directions, or you’re a local who’s talking in loud voices about how horrid tourists are. It’s not cute. 
  8. Standing and complaining about the place isn’t cute either. You chose to go there, you put up with their odd ways. Whether you’re not used to the tube system or you’re wondering why everything’s shut on a Monday, keep your bitching to yourself.
  9. Oh, and finally, if you’re coming to Britain you should queue, and neatly. I believe other places are pretty content to just let the person with the strongest elbows go first, a place most likely rightly earned, but in Britain you’ll find yourself the most hated person in the vicinity if you try to skip ahead of the queue. 

Desperate To Speak: How Emily Blunt Found Her Voice
December 21, 2014 -
Photo I: Emily Blunt // Photo II: Emily Blunt stars alongside Meryl Streep and James Corden in Rob Marshall’s new adaptation of Into the Woods.
Peter Mountain/AP
As part of a series called “My Big Break,” All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.
You may know British actress Emily Blunt from The Devil Wears Prada, where she played the senior assistant to Meryl Streep’s fashion editor, or The Edge of Tomorrow, where she coaches Tom Cruise in combat skills as he relives a battle over and over again.
And if you don’t know her yet, you’ll probably recognize her soon: She stars in the new Disney film Into the Woods, (opened) Christmas Day.
On screen, Blunt is a natural. So you’d never guess that, as a kid, she could hardly say her own name — she grew up with a severe stutter.
“It sort of started to dominate my speech by the time I was about 7 or 8,” Blunt says, “and then I think, honestly, got to its most prominent point when I was about 12 or 13.”
She says she was so mortified to talk with people that she hardly talked at all.
“Kids can be so merciless, can’t they? Most of them speak so fluently and they can’t possibly understand why you can’t,” she says.
The stutter was all she could think about, she says, and she felt trapped.
“A stutter can be like a straitjacket,” she says. “I struggled with vowels, so ‘Emily’ was like the depths of hell for me.”
Blunt says she didn’t know why she had trouble communicating. She thought that maybe there was something wrong with her.
“The misdiagnosis [was] that I was a tense child, and I wasn’t,” she says. “I was desperate to speak. I wanted everything, I didn’t want to miss anything, and I felt like I was missing out. So what I was, more than anything, was just immensely frustrated.”
She says her parents tried everything, from relaxation therapy to listening to audio recordings of dolphins or the soothing voice of a woman on a cassette tape.
“Oh, God, I’m going to laugh because I remember her voice so well!” she says.
Blunt does an impression: “ 'You’re on a beautiful beach with white, white sand.’ ”
“It didn’t work for me, it just annoyed me,” she says. “I was like, 'I’m not tense!’ I then felt more tense. It just sucked, I guess, is the simplest way of saying it.”
She credits her big break to one of her grade-school teachers. He suggested the unthinkable: Try out for the school play.
“And I said, 'Uh, no.’ And I could barely even say 'no,’ so I just shook my head,” Blunt says.
He told her that he noticed whenever she did voices and impressions with her friends, she would never stutter. He suggested Blunt try acting in the play using a made-up accent.
“[It was] just extraordinary that somebody who is not a stutterer would have the kind of insight to say: Be somebody else. Remove yourself from yourself and try it,” she says.
The school play was about time travel and going back to a medieval village. Blunt played the contemporary modern kid.
“And I spoke fluently for the first time in a long time, doing a stupid Northern accent that helped me,” Blunt says. “To get through a whole play and not trip up once — I think it was probably more emotional for my mom, who watched. I think that was huge.”
Blunt says that so much of overcoming the mental mountain of a stutter is gaining the confidence to speak.
“You learn tricks,” she says. “You just learn all kinds of tricks, and you can get over it.”
She says that in a funny way, acting found her. If it wasn’t for her childhood stutter, Blunt says, she likely would’ve never pursued acting.
“I think I get a little bit overwhelmed if I think about the odds of this not working out,” she says. “I’m someone who never thought I would end up in a career where I had to speak fluently. And here I am.”
Note: Emily Blunt (Emily Olivia Leah Blunt)
Born: February 23 1983 (age 31), London, England
She is the second of four children of Janice (Dixon),a teacher and former actress, and barrister Oliver Simon Peter Blunt, QC, one of the highest-profile barristers in the United Kingdom / Her siblings are Felicity (married to Stanley Tucci), Sebastian is an actor, and Suzanna.
Spouse: John Krasinski (married July 10 2010 in Como, Italy)
Child: Hazel, born February 16 2014.
Relatives: Peter Blunt (grandfather), Crispin Blunt (uncle), Stanley Tucci (brother-in-law)