merry england

Canada: You have annoyed all of us with your Christmas music, your hallmark movie marathons, your ridiculous Christmas themed outfits and sweaters, you focused waaaay too much on just one holiday, you misused the mistletoe and-

Canada: It’s Christmas. So, America, in the spirit of family and giving… You have till midnight. 

America: Woo!!  

England: What have you done? 

France: I’ll get the presents~ 

And While We Live (chapter 2)

Uncle Lambert’s little helper


It was so windy… So loud. Such a turmoil inside my body. It looked like my organs had separated from their cavities  and stood in suspension for a while, before they return to their place. I felt my hair in the air, I felt so light.

Glasgow, present day

She had dreamed of that day, tonight. And she had dreamed of Uncle Lamb again. It was all a mess in her sleepy mind… Opening the curtains of her bedroom, she noted how the clouds seemed to match the turmoil going inside her brain. They were white and grey and so, so angry. I am not angry. I am confused, I am tired of battling demons I don’t recognize. Adapting to a new place, a new job, a new time (JHRC!!), was not easy. Letting go of the past, of the literal past, felt like tearing up an arm. But she had made a promise to her Uncle, a promise she was hell bent on keeping.

A few months after moving into her apartment, Claire was still in a whirlwind of new things, shiny discoveries, amazing places that she reached without leaving the same spot. On that Netflix programme, she found and watched the most amazing film - “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”. Sean Connery reminded her so much of her Uncle Lamb, that she found herself putting it on for company and comfort, while she cleaned or cooked.

Uncle Lambert knew. He knew a lot and while he hadn’t prepared her for it, he had left everything ready for a life she had to now live as if she hadn’t had one before. She was thinking about her old life, as she made her coffee and toast. The war was over, it was time to think about other things. About marriage, about family, about where in the world Uncle Lambert was now. About not wanting to stop being a nurse… What would Frank think about that? Quentin Lambert Beauchamp was a Blitz survivor, a true bachelor of the english kind. If he was a wanderer before, the war had just turned him into a bigger one. While he hadn’t asked to raise Claire and certainly wasn’t a by-the-book child tutor, he had done a good job. Claire was who she was, in part, because of the life she had led with this man. All the adventures, the stories, the work, letting her be who she wanted and do things considered not proper for an english little lady or lady to be…

After the stones, however, Claire had a turmoil of doubts about Uncle Lamb. The pieces of the puzzle started to be put together quickly after her arrival.

In the 30s, Lambert Beauchamp had settled for a bit in merry old England while Hitler rose to power. He had decided to teach at Oxford. There, a few years later, Claire met one of her uncle’s students, Frank Randall: dashing historian, older man. Uncle Lambert liked Frank and never stated any sign of approval, or disapproval, for that matter, regarding the relationship. But he did insist on them not getting married right away, not for the wrong reasons, or so she thought… “Wait until we settle this mess, my darling girl.” This mess being WW2. Claire saw right through him and while Frank would have liked to be legally married, Claire followed Lambert’s advice. Nothing prevented them from meeting and act like husband and wife when their leaves from duty allowed it. What was a piece of paper? But now, it seemed Uncle Lamb simply didn’t want that tie to exist, that legal impediment. What else Uncle Lamb, what else? Frank and Claire had seen each other and had a good relationship and courtship for a year, until war erupted. The United Kingdom did its call to arms, Claire followed her calling and trained as a nurse… you said it would be the appropriate thing for a woman, Frank, but if you saw me now… And if you had listened to me then… and Frank put his knowledge to the service of the MI6 after being recruited from officer training.

Their correspondence kept them alive to each other, the rare but well enjoyed encounters had been good. And they were planning on getting married once the war was over. In the autumn of 1945, they were in Scotland, in Inverness, in a magical romantic inn. They had been together for a few days. They would have gotten married on *that* day, if it weren’t for Uncle Lambert’s accident, that delayed his trip north. Accident…? It was going to happen the day after, if it weren’t… If it weren’t. More than 70 years had passed, it literally felt like yesterday. Claire also thought about those days with some longing, but with a tug in her heart, a question mark forged into her sixth sense. After years of seeing each other scarcely, of two day trips where the needs of the flesh were more urgent, after letters that were rare towards the end and in which a quick “hello, I’m alive, I’m alright” seemed enough, there had been some awkward conversations, some clouds of doubt that were quick to dissipate when the adrenaline of the decision of getting married rose in her heart and in his pleading arguments.

Claire’s loneliness made her heart ache for Frank and what could have been… But she had made a promise to her dear Uncle. She promised to carry on living, she promised to follow her dreams, she promised to not look for him, she promised not to look for Frank. There had been a Claire Beauchamp in 1945. Unfortunately killed in action, or so the documents said *snort*. But there was a new Claire Beauchamp in the 21st century, born in 1989. One that had in her hands a pack of letters to open, in order, per another request.

“Please madonna, please follow your uncle’s instructions and open one by one, follow the dates on the envelopes. Trust us.” “Please Claire, ye have to promise us.” She was still so confused, so dizzy, but these people were there, they knew her, they knew Uncle Lamb, they were standing in the middle of the square in Inverness while she was running around looking, wanting to go to the police because surely someone must’ve stolen her car after. “I feel asleep picking flowers. That was it! I must’ve forgot to have a decent breakfast.” They were there when she started looking around and getting out of her frenzy state into a slightly more frenzy scottish town with cars that really weren’t cars, street signs that she did not recognize, clothes that looked strange. Everything was the same and everything was different. The short froggy man and the tall read headed woman approached her, casually, “Hello Claire, please keep calm.” “WHERE AM I?” They smiled like she hadn’t just screamed, like she had just said hello how are you dear friend. “Please Claire, we are friends, we are here at the request of your Uncle… I’m Gillian, this is Raymond.” And so she went.

Claire shook off the memories, the doubts, the questions. Every three months she opened a letter, an action that left her with more questions than before. She had been so tempted to look for them. When the loneliness was almost strangling her. But she kept the promise.

Putting the mug in the sink, she checked her reflection in the mirror, applied lipstick, tucked her shirt in her jeans, put on her coat and went off to another day of classes. As she turned to close the door on her building and check something in her purse, a black motorbike stopped at the traffic light in the road ahead. The helmet didn’t quite completely hid the mop of red hair peeking underneath. The biker liked what he saw, when he turned his head while waiting for the light to change.

Have a great weekend! :) 

anonymous asked:

You wanted a request, right? How about Batfam, being emotional support for Dick?

I couldn’t think of an actual event/situation but then I started thinking about the ways each family members shows their support and this became more of a series of character study drabbles. Bruce is the “silent support” type, so is Cass, Tim is the motherhen but also the listener, Damian is the distracting type, Jason is a proud member of the “if you can’t shake it off, beat the shit out of something” school of thought. And Alfred? Alfred knows tea is the answer to all the world’s problems.

Thank you for the prompt, I hope you enjoy this :)

Bruce was never a bad parent, but he’d never been particularly gentle. Soft words and soothing gestures didn’t come easily to him. When Dick’s parents had died, all he’d wanted was for someone to wrap their arms around him, hold him close and tell him everything would be all right. Bruce hadn’t done that, hadn’t touched him at all the first few weeks unless Dick instigated it.

But he’s always been there. Around a corner whenever Dick needed to talk, sharing stories of his own childhood when he just wanted to listen.

It’s no secret that Dick’s always loved the spotlight, whether it’s an awed crowd or a gaggle of reporters. But some nights, like tonight, when he’s tired and sore, drained from family squabbles and persistent crime, the charming smile is a lot more effort. Which is, of course, the night he promised Bruce he’d attend one of the Wayne Foundation galas.

He’s been trapped in a metaphorical corner by Gotham’s most ambitious and successful reporters for almost thirty minutes now when fingers wriggle into the space between his arm and his side. Dick lifts his elbow automatically to allow Cass to loop their arms together. His sister smiles sweetly up at him, ignores the vultures around him with the ease of someone used to being unseen.

“Dance?” she says, a quick squeeze making it clear that it’s more order than request.

Dick’s rigid smile melts into something a little more real. “Of course,” he replies, turns to Vicki and her friends to faux-apologetically bow out of further questionining.

He twirls Cass around the dance floor, her steps light and her dress glittering around her ankles. Her smile brilliant and only for him.

“Best big brother,” she whispers when he reels her back in. Winks because they both know Tim is her favourite but she loves them all equally. The song stops and she leans up to kiss his cheek, giggling a little at the smudge of lipstick it leaves behind. Dick gins back, doesn’t wipe it away even though he’s probably going to get teased mercilessly when it shows up in photos tomorrow, because that kind of reminder that he has family who love him is exactly what he needs right now.

Tim exists in an almost-constant state of worry - it’s what drives him to Dick’s door in the first place, what gets him drafted into the Bat life. After he becomes Robin, Dick gets texts from him almost every night. Usually just a quick how was patrol?, to which he’s always sure to respond, but sometimes a more blatantly concerned want to talk? when he knows it’s been a hard night. The first few times he’d gotten such messages, Dick had brushed it off, replied with some variation of no thanks, I’m fine. He didn’t need to burden the kid, his little brother, with his troubles.

It only takes one disaster of a night and Tim showing up in his apartment because Dick didn’t respond to his text for him to learn that Tim is a really good listener. He sits quietly with his hands in his lap, earnest and attentive, and when Dick has finished pouring his heart out he finds that he does feel marginally better.

“Thought I was supposed to be the big brother,” Dick chuckles, mussing up Tim’s hair.

The younger boy rolls his eyes, ducking away from Dick’s hand, pulling the arm over his shoulder and curling closer then turning his face up to smile at him. “Big brothers need help sometimes too,” he says.

There are some places in the Manor that are just accepted as being better for… he doesn’t want to say brooding, because that’s Bruce’s thing. It’s just a bit of contemplative thinking, that’s all. The library is one such place that’s good for getting lost in thought, which is, of course, where his youngest brother finds him the day after a bad patrol.

“You’re upset,” Damian says it like it’s an inconvenience to him; small and haughty with his mouth turned down and his arms crossed. Frustrated, not with Dick but with himself for not knowing how to solve all his brother’s problems.

Dick musters up a weak smile for him, the expression settling into the grooves of his face with an ease he doesn’t feel. “I’m fine, Dami, just thinking.”

About everything that could have gone wrong. Everything that did go wrong. Everything that could have gone worse. Everything that should have gone better.

His little brother huffs, pivoting on the balls of his feet before marching off to one of the bookshelves at the back of the library. Dick closes his eyes, tips his head back and listens to the ambient sound of the room until Damian returns. His brother pauses in front of him, then exhales, not quite a sigh, and clambers up into his lap.

“Father said this was one of your favourites,” Damian declares, pushing a thin book into Dick’s hands. Dick opens his eyes, his brother’s soft hair tickling his nose when he leans forward to read the title. He thinks maybe his brother means for him to read to him, but Damian settles more comfortably against his chest and opens the book himself, beginning the story in his sweet childlike voice, “In merry England in the time of old, when good King Henry the second ruled the land…”

And Dick allows his eyes to drift closed again, wraps an arm around Damian’s waist and hugs him close, allows soft litlting words and his imagination to carry his mind away from dark thoughts to happier tales played out in the Sherwood Forest.

Red Hood catches up with him on patrol, booted feet smacking the concrete the only warning Dick gets before he’s being tackled to the ground - well, rooftop. He rolls with the momentum, comes up in a crouch with his arm around Jason’s neck. Drops it instantly when he realises who his attacker is.

Jason laughs, low and metallic through the helmet’s speakers. “Come on, Goldie, you can do better than that.”

“What do you want, Hood?” Dick sighs, not rising to the taunt.

“Heard you and the old man had a bit of a tiff,” Jason replies, casual and oh so baiting. He shifts about a metre away before standing.

Dick snorts, short and derisive, relaxing back so he’s sitting with his legs bent in front of him. “And what? You want me to talk about my feelings?”

“Not exactly what I had in mind.”

No, Jason’s always been more fond of confronting problems with his fists not his words. Unless, of course, the words are fuelled by a generous amount of alcohol.

“Thanks for the offer, but I don’t need a punching bag.”

Jason shrugs, stuffs a hand in his pocket and comes up with a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. “Suit yourself, Dickiebird,” he says. “You know where to find me if you change your mind.”

Dick opens his mouth to point out that he doesn’t, actually, but Red Hood is disappearing over the edge and shimmying down the fire escape before he gets the chance. It’s only after he’s vanished into the streets below that Dick finds a folded piece of paper sticking out of his boot, probably jammed in there during their brief scuffle. He takes it out, shaking his head when he recognises the address. It’s a bad, a doodle of two clinking beers beneath it.

There’s a teapot already waiting on the table when Dick shuffles into the kitchen, steam rising from two cups beside it. Alfred doesn’t say anything when he sits down beside him, just slides a cup over and adds a dash of milk to the hot drink. For several minutes, they just exist in silence.

“Do you want to talk about it?” the butler offers eventually, filling in fifteen down on his crossword - Darjeeling.

Dick bites his lip. He cups his hands around his tea, feeling the slight sting of heat from the fine China, watching the wisps of steam which curl around the rim. Behind him, chittering birds in the garden can be heard over the hum of the oven. Alfred waits, endlessly patient, while he thinks.

“Not right now,” he says lowly.

Alfred nods, takes a sip from his own tea. Dick knows that when he is ready to talk, Alfred will be right here waiting to listen.

Ok this one is from me! Happy holidays guys, I’m so grateful to be where I am today and hope for better things next year! So have a Christmas present from me, it’s Pharmercy. Yes..because I know this is what 75% of you are here for. Hah! Have a great day and Merry Christmas from England!

Love Risu

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - USUK FF


Summary: Arthur and Alfred are supposed to take their son Peter to visit Santa Claus at the mall, however Alfred seems to be missing…
AU: Omegaverse, Family 
Rating: SFW, mild language

The phone rang and rang but there was no answer. This was the fifth call Arthur had made and he was just about to send another text when Peter tugged on his sleeve. “C’monnn,” the little boy whined.

“Just a moment honey,” the omega said, soothing a hand through the young boy’s hair. He was still young enough that he liked to wander off on his own, so Arthur had to make sure he watched over his son properly. Peter fell against his leg and held onto him, looking around the mall in wonder. There was a line next to them for visiting Santa Claus. Up ahead there was a camera station and a fenced in snowy wonderland. Santa’s chair was out of view but Arthur knew they had it set up for taking pictures- which is why he was here. Arthur and Alfred had made plans to take Peter to meet Santa Claus and then take a photo together as a family. It was Peter’s third Christmas and so Arthur felt it was important to take the boy to these kind of events when he was younger and still believed in such things.

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Merry Christmas by Andrew Kearton
Via Flickr:

FIC: Naughty Girl

Part 3 of Shield and Gun Series

PAIRINGS:Peggy Carter/Steve Rogers

CHARACTERS:Peggy Carter, Steve Rogers

RATING: All audiences

SUMMARY:  I’m used to men and their various comments about a woman being in charge of them or making comments on my accent and why was I in America and not back home in merry old England.  What I am not used to is a man being flabbergasted that a woman is speaking to him in the first place. I wasn’t ready for Steve Rogers.

Read on A03

Read other installments on A03

Hetalia boyfriend scenarios!

I don’t own Hetalia but I own my keyboard

Meeting the 2p part 1




“Hey Alfred!” you call, stepping through his front door. “I brought the burgers you asked – “
   “Sorry doll, no Alfred here,” a strange voice suddenly chuckles, making you jump. Turning around, you see someone walking down the stairs. The man looks a bit – and by bit I mean a lot – like your boyfriend, but there is something strange about him. His eyes are red, as is his hair, and he’s carrying a baseball bat on his shoulder. That smirk on his face is what really gives him out though; Alfred would never smirk that… mysteriously.

   “I’m Allen,” the man says (though no one literally asked). “You’re pork chop’s girl, right?”

   “P-pork chop?”

   “I’m home!” America suddenly yells behind your back. “Oh, dudette, you’re already here. What’s – Allen?!”

   “Yo,” Allen smirks. “How’s it going, pork chop?”

   “Stop calling me that! I’m not fat!”

   “And yet your girl just brought you a bag full of burgers.”

   “That has nothing to do with this!”






It’s a sunny winter day, and you are just walking past a frozen lake (is this a thing in other countries? It’s now a thing in Canada apparently) when you suddenly notice your boyfriend. He’s on the ice with his skates and his favorite hockey jersey, but he isn’t alone. He’s playing hockey with someone who has his back turned towards you, but he looks kinda like Canada. Maybe it’s America?

   “Hey, Mattie!” you call, catching your boyfriend’s attention. “Did you finally get America to play with you?”

   “Nope,” the other person smirks and turns around to look at you. He definitely looks like Canada, but his hair is longer and he has a bit of stubble. “Is this your girl, Matthew?”

   “Um, yes,” Canada mumbles and quickly skates over to you. His 2p follows him, eyeing you from head to toe. “(Y/N), this is Matt. He’s… Well…”

   “I’m the 2p,” Matt announces. “You know, the guy everyone sees a murderous sociopath. Nice to meet you.”

   “Murderous… sociopath?” you gulp with your eyes wide.

   “H-he’s just kidding!” Canada chuckles nervously. “He’s not that bad, I swear.”




“Uh, are you absolutely sure you want to meet him?” China asks for the tenth time. You’re standing outside a huge mansion, and China is debating whether he should take you inside to meet his 2p or not.

   “Well, we already came all the way here,” you point out. “So why not – “

   “Omg, hi Yao!” Too late to second-guess now; Zao is already storming out of the house with a huge grin on his face. “Why didn’t you tell me you were coming over? Oh, and who is this lovely girl?”

   “I’m (Y/N)”, you smile happily. “Nice to finally meet you, I’ve heard so much about you.”
   “Aww, Yao, you talk about me?” Zao grins before turning back to you. “I’m Zao, 2p China. Wait, are you that girl? The girl Yao just won’t shut up about, no matter how many times you slap him?”

   “Apparently you’re not the only one he talks about then,” you chuckle while Yao facepalms next to you.

   “I knew this was a bad idea, aru,” he mutters.







As you come back home, you instantly know that something is wrong; there’s actually a nice smell coming from the kitchen. Someone is cooking, and the house is not on fire. Is this the end of the world?

   “Um, Iggy…” you call hesitantly, stepping into the kitchen. “What are you…?”

   “Hello, poppet!” a cheerful voice greets and you freeze to your spot. This definitely isn’t the England you know. The guy cooking in your kitchen has pastel pink hair, freckles, and so colorful clothes you worry you might get blind. “Are you peckish? I was just baking some cupcakes!”
   “Um, I… Who are you again?”

   “Oh, how rude of me! My name is Oliver, Oliver Kirkland. Pleasure to meet you, poppet!”

   “What the hell is this smell?!” a more familiar voice suddenly yells and England storms into the kitchen. He looks absolutely horrified to see Oliver. “What are you doing here?”

   “Artie, that’s not very nice,” Oliver pouts. “I was just baking some cupcakes. This beautiful poppet here sure needs some proper food after your cookings.”

   “Don’t call me that!” England snarls. “And she’s not eating any of your food.”


  I’d eat Ollie’s cupcakes

A brief attempt at Courting the Queen

Tis is my gift to @teapot-joker for the @usukexchange2016. They asked for spadeverse or steampunk christmas! usuk with maybe some nekotalia. I fulfilled the christmas spadesverse au however unfortunately I couldn’t incorporate nekotalia. Please forgive me! Other than that, I hope you enjoy it and forgive me if it’s a bit shoddy as its my first time writing this type of au. Merry Christmas!

‘And now it was winter. Almost Christmas, to be exact. His kingdom was flourishing, brimming with kindness and excitement as the festivities went into full swing. It seemed like a perfect time.

Alfred was determined to win Arthur’s heart, his Queen’s heart.  Or…at least make their relationship friendlier as he didn’t think he could take another night of this longing.  Asking him on a date might be a good start.’

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Libertarianism and Fascism

In Huxley’s Point Counter Point, there’s a character called Everard Webley that runs a fascist organization called the British Brotherhood of Freemen (thought by actual British fascist leader Oswald Morley to be an unsubtle jab at him, although the book was released three years before he started his British Union of Fascists). The book was released in 1928, well before the fascists took the world to war (again), and presumably written even earlier in the interwar period. Mainstream society and to an even greater extent artists, writers, intellectuals, academics, and the upper crust are, at this point in history, mocking fascism and fascists. The book’s characters don’t take Webley seriously. They think his obsession with the Battle of Thermopylae (the basis for 300) and seemingly ill-placed elitism slash belief in supremacy of self are goofy–but ultimately harmless, because, of course, goodness will prevail, and who could possibly unite behind ideas so clearly half-baked as the melange of what would now be the libertarian and MRA foundations of the so-called alt-right?

And yet, as the other characters mock him, his organization grows.

Webley gives a speech to a few hundred of his followers:

“The British Freemen are uniformed in green. Theirs is the livery of Robin Hood and Little John, the livery of outlaws. For outlaws they are in this stupid democratic world. Outlaws proud of their outlawry. The law of the democratic world is quantity. We outlaws believe in quality. For the democratic politicians, the voice of the greatest number is the voice of God; their law is the law that pleases the mob. Outside the pale of mob-made law, we desire the rule of the best, not the most numerous. Stupider than their liberal grandfathers, the democrats of to-day would discourage individual enterprise and, by nationalizing industry and land, invest the state with tyrannical powers such as it has never possessed, except perhaps in India in the time of the Moguls. We outlaws are freemen. We believe in the value of individual liberty. We would encourage individual enterprise; for we believe that, co-ordinated and controlled in the interests of society as a whole, individual enterprise produces the best economic and moral results. The law of the democratic world is human standardization, is the reduction of all humanity to the lowest common measure. Its religion is the worship “of the average man. We outlaws believe in diversity, in aristocracy, in the natural hierarchy. We would remove every removable handicap and give every man his chance, in order that the best may rise to the position for which nature has qualified them. In a word, we believe in justice. And we revere, not the ordinary, but the extraordinary man. I could go on almost indefinitely with this list of the points on which we British Freemen are in radical disagreement with the democratic governors of what once was free and merry England. But I have said enough to show that there can be no peace between them and us. Their white is our black, their political good is our evil, their earthly paradise is our hell. Voluntary outlaws, we repudiate their rule, we wear the green livery of the forest. And we bide our time, we bide our time. For our time is coming and we do not propose to remain outlaws for ever. The time is coming when the laws will be of our making and the forest will be the place for those who now hold power. Two years ago our band was insignificant. To-day it is an army. An army of outlaws. Yet a little while, my comrades, and it will be the army of those who make the laws, not of those who break them. Yes, of those who break them. For, before we can become the makers of good laws, we must be the breakers of bad laws. We must have the courage of our outlawry. British Freemen, fellow outlaws, when the time comes, will you have that courage?”

If you saw that on reddit a year ago, would you have blinked? If a Tea Party Republican, fiscally the GOP’s most libertarian wing, now the party’s mainstream, said the American equivalent of this Everard Webley quote about the functionality of government…

“I was five years in Parliament,’ said Webley. ‘Long enough to convince myself that there’s nothing to be done in these days by Parliamentarism. You might as well try to talk a fire out. England can only be saved by direct action. When it’s saved we can begin to think about Parliament again. (Something very unlike the present ridiculous collection of mob-elected rich men it’ll have to be.) Meanwhile, there’s nothing for it but to prepare for fighting. And preparing for fighting, we may conquer peacefully. It’s the only hope. Believe me, Lord Edward, it’s the only hope.”

…would it faze you?

Characters in this book talk about fascist removal of corporate regulation leads to ecological catastrophe (Lord Edward’s reply to Webley’s attempts to convert him to fascism), talk about how authoritarian movements always use “liberty” and “freedom” and “personal responsibility” to mean the freedom for the strong to dominate the weak with less barrier (or with outright endorsement) from the government (the excerpts from Phillip’s journal and from the BBF’s own materials).

Fascism is libertarianism with one fewer pretense.

We need to stop acting like this is just going to be fine if we make fun of Trump enough. Characters in this book make fun of Mussolini like he’s a big joke, and yet, their nation would be fighting him in real life within five years or so as one of the main components of the bloodiest war in history. This rhetoric appeals to enough people that we have to face it time and again. Huxley’s characters, as the real people of their era, wrote off fascism as a non-issue, an annoyance that would take care of itself when these losers who can’t stop playing dress-up as their warped idea of powerful men get jobs or girlfriends or whatever. We know how that turned out.

I’m not saying don’t make fun of them, especially to their faces. I’m saying we can’t let it end there and not be taken seriously, because there can be real world consequences, and they can be immense.

shaneinthehouseofficial  asked:

How accurate is Wallace and Gromit to every day life in England?

Everyday I get up early, at the very crack of dawn, as the sun slowly slips it’s fingers across Merry Old England. I shower, look in puzzlement at my dry toothbrush, eat my black pudding and baked beans and rush to my car. My bowler hat nearly whips off my head as I hurry across the cobbles, dodging red buses, black cabs and Nigel Farages to my vehicle. I race to work, desperately checking the rear view mirrors as I careen across zebra crossings and past red post boxes, funny helmeted bobbies shaking their fists at me.

Every day I get to my parking space.

Every day I see the same thing.

How do they always beat me.

When will I ever beat them.