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Life in Great Britain.

Englishmen are very polite.

When you visit GB, you are pleasantly surprised by the natural politeness of people of all classes. People are never tired of saying "Thank you.", "I'm sorry.", "Excuse me" or "I beg your pardon". Whenever a gentleman accompanies a lady along the street, he walks between her and the road full of traffic. A gentleman always rises his hat to a lady but seldom to a man. People do not shake hands so often as on Continent.

Another feature of British manners is self discipline. People wait in queues at bus stops or elsewhere in quiet and disciplined manner. They do not speak too loudly. English people also hate showing off in manners, dress or speech. They often criticize their government or their way of life, but do not like the same to be done by others, especially foreigners.

Table manners.

The English are known for their good table manners. When you are invited to dinner, never let your host wait for you. Never clink glasses when drinks are served before meals. It will be considered impolite, if you yourself are entertained and don't talk to your neighbours on your right and left. Make your food last till the others have nearly finished eating so that you all finish at the same time. The hostess will be pleased if you bring her a box of chocolates or flowers or have sent them to her next day.

Pets.

The English are very fond of animals. There are some 4 million dogs, over 6 million cats and 9 million caged birds in Britain.

Houses.

Englishmen perhaps spend more time at home with other members of family than their counterparts in any other country. They like to live in a house with a small garden. Some people live in their own house, but most houses in Britain have been built for letting, furnished or unfurnished. Although more people live in block of flats now than before the war. "My house - my castle" is still a living truth.

Free time.

A nation of over 55 million, like Britain, has an infinite variety of ways of spending leisure time. The only almost universal pastime is watching TV. Most people spend their free time at home.

Equally high ranks the radio with programs ranging from music for pop-addicts to those for the more serious minded, e.g. school broadcasts, plays, talks, discussions. Many people listen to gramophone records, of which almost 62 million are sold annually, mostly pop-music to young people.

A favorite pursuit is home decoration. People take pride in their

homes. They paper the walls, paint the ceilings, even build their own cupboards. It is called "do-it-yourself". There are "do-it-yourself" TV programs and "do-it-yourself" shops in most towns, where they sell wood, paints, bits of plastic materials and another articles for renovating the home.

Next to the house comes garden. Annual flower and vegetable shows are regual events enjoyed both by old and young in their thousands.

Crafts are common free-time activities. Particularly knitting among women. Thousands of women still prefer to make their own jumpers, cardigans and socks.

Learning to do new things interests many, anything from leather or wood-work to Scottish dancing, French cookery. Some just sit at home sorting stamps, while other watch tropical fish swim about the aquarium. When people go out, it's often to the "local" - the pub - which is still largely the domain of the men.

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