February 19

So this post is a bit of a personal one for me. Being English and in a relationship with a Frenchie I have become incredibly more aware of not only French culture but of my own too. Add to that, it suddenly makes me infinitely more patriotic, even when it comes to sport I really don’t, nor will ever, give a shit about. Perhaps some old angry feelings from our ancestors live in us all in some (obviously less violent!) way. When England has been knocked out of some rugby, football, cricket, whatever competition and we’re asked to say who we want to win, the answer is always the same: Anyone but the French! And that’s probably the way Wellington would want it.

And yes, our 2 countries are now allies. But allies doesn’t always mean friends! Well, that’s a bit harsh. I mean, and of course this isn’t true of all French as you have aresholes in every country, but from my experiences French people seem to love England! Not necessarily our politics and attitude to Europe, but our music. Our TV. A Frenchie friend of mine has a flat where nearly every single object in there has a Union Jack on it! When I saw it I actually felt guilty as my flat has only about 2 UK related objects in it. I mean, he is more patriotic than me and he’s French! There are shops everywhere with English names. French bands have English names and sometimes sing in English. And let’s not lie, my fellow English. We like their wine. Their food. Well, some of their food, snails aside. Not to mention their quality of life. Seriously, they have it so much better over there because they’re not afraid to stand up for what they believe in. It’s like secretly we both like each other but we dare not ever say so because we each think the other hates us. Which they don’t really. We’re like kids at school!

Look at the names we call each other. We call them Frogs because they eat Frogs. They call us Rosbif because we eat a lot of roast beef. Hardly insulting, are they?! In fact, I like to think of our countries as more like this than as enemies:

That's more like it!

That’s more like it!

But despite our hidden love for each other, both our countries will always think they are better than the other. But who really is? England of course! No, not really. Well…. I am English so I am a bit biased but I am going to try and get to the bottom of this in this post. This article will be split into several headings on subjects such as food, music, transport or politics and under each I will be discussing he good and bad things about these subjects for both countries. I have been forced to say by my boyfriend that some of the things I say will be based on my own experiences and opinions so that doesn’t automatically make them true. I’m sure he only cares though if it’s something negative. If it’s positive I bet he’ll love the bullshit! But that’s just the French way. Honestly though, often it will be based on my own experience and just because I experienced something shitty in one place it doesn’t mean they’re all like it so let’s all keep an open mind. And always remember, I’m with a frog so it’s pretty obvious I do have a genuine love for France. Perhaps they’ll be the winner at the end. Really I doubt it though. I do have to live with a frog at the end of the day! But for those who like the French, find them annoying or want to know about the strange rivalry between the frogs and the rosbifs, keep reading!

Here we go!

Customer Service:

France - If you’re looking for good customer service don’t come to France! Scrap that actually. Don’t go to a main city in France. In the small towns I have been to I have found mostly pleasant experiences. In a supermarket nearby, a woman working there is more friendly and polite to me then she is to my French boyfriend! In fact, if I’m alone she often wants to talk to me about England and English culture. A local bar here is also designed like a British bar/pub so you can imagine how happy the owner is to have an English person go in there. But in a big city there may as well be a sign on the desk saying ‘I don’t give a shit’ so you can be prepared at the reaction you’re going to get. A while ago my boyfriend and I went to a museum in Lille. We went up to the desk to buy tickets, said ‘Bonjour’ and the 2 people there ignored us and continued with their conversation. He tried again and we were still ignored. In the end he just starting talking over them saying that we wanted 2 tickets for this and that until they had to stop talking and give us the bloody tickets. Another time when I was younger I was on holiday with my parents in Paris and we went to a nice restaurant. We had been there before and the first time the owner of the place had served us, been friendly and given us the menus in English. The second time we went however it was a totally different story. Our waiter was very rude. He rolled his eyes when we asked for a table, gave us the French menus and when we were telling him what we wanted he pretended he couldn’t understand us even though we were speaking in French  It was only when a French woman who was also eating in the restaurant had a go at him was he suddenly nice, went and brought us the English menus and was suddenly able to understand our French! This nice woman told us that she was embarrassed by his behaviour and had basically told him off! Thing is, it’s not always bad and there are a lot of nice people. But in my experience I’ve had more bad experiences than good. My boyfriend says that people like this are probably rude because they have to deal with angry French people sometimes who do not have English manners and can be pretty fucking scary! But still, it’s not an excuse. We should all treat each other with respect no matter who you are. So my opinion of French customer service: could be better!

England - So English customer service, in my opinion, is better but not perfect. I’ve had some horrible experiences in England of really terrible customer service yet in England it seems to be the opposite to France: There’s more good than bad. Perhaps it’s because in English culture there is a massive emphasis on having good manners. At least in the day, when shopping, eating out or things like that. At night manners can disappear a bit with street fights and drunken tarts falling on the floor with their muff hanging out but that’s a different topic! In shops and restaurants people are very polite, friendly and helpful. Perhaps that is also because if you aren’t polite to customers you’ll get in trouble with your boss! Good customer service is seen as something very important in this country. In England we smile through gritted teeth at the wanker moaning because he can’t return something he was told he couldn’t return and then the moment his back is turned we’ll call him every name under the sun. But giving good customer service has rewards in jobs like this as happiness and friendliness is contagious and if you’re nice to others they tend to be more nice to you.

The winner: Les Rosbifs! Because we know what good customer service is :-)

Sport:

**Just a little point here, I don’t follow a lot of sport so I’m not going to go into real detail here but just a few basic points.**

France - Let’s start with how many sports the French have invented. Well, going on good old wikipedia not a whole hell of a lot! There’s Pétanque  if you like that sort of thing. Oh, and Parkour! Perhaps there’s others I’ve missed. As I said, I am going from wikipedia here! But so far it seems that France hasn’t really contributed much by adding to the list of sports. But the sports they do play, we have to say they are pretty good at! There’s football, which is apparently the most popular sport in France. They won the FIFA world cup in 1998, they won the UEFA European Championship in both 1984 and 2000 and they were the 1984 Olympic champion. France’s national teams are also pretty good and are well supported, however a lot of French support Arsenal mostly because of all the French in this team! France’s women’s national basketball team is 2 times European Champion in 2001 and 2009, better than the men’s team who haven’t won any major titles so far, and it seems all French know Tony Parker who plays in the NBA. One of the sports France is the best at is Handball, something us English don’t really play. France’s national team is currently the Olympic and World Champions with the team also winning the World Championships in 1995, 2001 and 2009. Not only that but the women’s national team won the 2003 World Women’s Handball Championship. So it’s really not an understatement to say that they’re fucking good at handball! I’ll finish here with Rugby which the French are annoyingly good at, having won 9 grand slams! So let’s just say the French are pretty good at sport!

France 1998

France 1998

 

For a second I though that was Thierry Henry..... who never cheated, ok! Je just forgot!

For a second I thought that was Thierry Henry….. who never cheated, ok! He just forgot!

France rugby team

French rugby team

Very clever Frenchies

Very clever Frenchies

England - So let’s just start with the sports that we invented. Are you ready for the list frogs? Ok, first of all football. Now I think we should win the sport section just for inventing this sport because without us the French wouldn’t have football, their MOST POPULAR sport, remember that France? We also invented Cricket, a sport which apart from golf, I find the most tedious. But hey! If it will help me win this topic it’s the best fucking sport that ever existed! There’s also Tennis, Rugby, Ice Hockey (I didn’t know that until I did my research for this post), Darts for those that like to throw sharp pointy things around when they’re drunk, Table Tennis, Snooker, Bowls and Rounders, one of my favourite games to play. Even Badminton in fact as it can be traced back to mid-18th century British India. Seriously, we created all of these! Surely England must win this topic for that alone. Starting with football, as I said, I don’t know much about it. What I can say is that our Premier League teams are seen as so good that they are revered by French football fans who, despite the fact we haven’t won the World Cup since 1966, think that our national team is incredible and they worry if France and England meet for a match. So that’s nice! We are also good at Cricket, winning The Ashes in 2005 and 2009 and are ranked the best Test nation in the world as of 2011. In Rugby, we won 2003 Rugby World Cup and have won 12 grand slams. You get the point. Us English are also good at motorsports, with Lewis Hamilton who was the 2008 Formula One World Champion and Jenson Button who was the 2009 Formula One World Champion. So yeah, we’re pretty good too!

England 1966

England 1966

 

England Rugby League

England Rugby League

This is how I feel when watching a France Vs England rugby match!

This is how I feel when watching a France VS England rugby match!

The Winner: Draw! If I were to take into consideration how many sports England has given the world it might have tipped the balance in our direction but that would be a bit unfair. So going on performance alone, seeing how good both countries are at different sports, I’d make it a draw.

Transport:

**Bit of a boring topic but I love to complain and it is something that factors into our everyday lives so it’s included. Plus, as my boyfriend doesn’t drive or have a car in France and I don’t know the rules in France about MOT’s or insurance I will focus on the train system instead.**

France - I haven’t explained why yet but I think I will already give this one to France. Well, it depends on whether you prefer to keep your money or your temper. The trains here are separated into 2 categories. You have the TER trains which take you anywhere in your region or at the most connect you to the region just next to you and the TGV which takes you out of your region, like if you wanted to go from the north of the france to the very south. It’s like our high speed trains. To get from Lille to anywhere in the region on a TER train that is around the same distance from anywhere in Kent to London, it’s €14 return. Nice and cheap! Probably because French trains are NOT run by private companies. Plus the trains are nearly always on time. Now to the downside. They’re always on fucking strike! I don’t know if they work on the tracks at night but I’m guessing they don’t because at one point I swear I never saw a train for about 9 months and instead had to use a bus. In fact, it annoyed me that they even called it a train replacement service because I was using the bus far more than I ever did the train! The trains were more the fucking bus replacement service. It takes them ages to work on the lines and as I said you have strikes on top of that. Like seriously? They are paid so much better in France than in England. Minimum wage alone is so much better. Just get on with your fucking job so others can get on with theirs! And I really don’t see the point of them having a desk to buy tickets from at all in these places. A couple of days a week there’s no one there at all (in small towns this is) and when there is it seems they only work a few hours before pissing off home so if they’re striking too then they never work so I can’t see what more they could possibly want? To be paid for NEVER turning up?! I do understand why it is important to strike. Us English should do it far more often. But it seems like they never stop striking and the moment they get what they want they’re asking for something else which they can do as in their jobs if they strike no one else can get work which equals a big problem. But what about all those poor people who need to get to work and can’t afford a load of days without pay because there’s no public transport?

England - Ok, let’s start with the downsides here as there’s a few! First of all, the trains are not always on time. That’s not really helpful if you’re in a rush for something and need to be there bang on time and your train is 10 minutes late. Now the price. To get from Canterbury to London RETURN, like going from Lille to somewhere in the same region, the cheapest ticket I could find was £36. That’s £25 MORE than you would pay in France for basically the same journey. And this price can go up to £52 if you want to be able to come back from any station, not just the one you arrived in, and at any time. But that’s what happens when trains are run by private companies. Greed takes over and everyone gets fucked over. Add to that how shitty minimum wage is and how high the cost of living is and if you need to commute to your job you might end up worse off than if you were on benefits. And they wonder why the economy has gone to shit? But that’s another topic. The good thing is that, at least from my own experiences, the lines are well-maintained and rarely does it happen that there is a bus replacement service. This is good news as often a 15 minute train journey can easily become 1 and a half hours long what with traffic and having to drive to every station!

The winner: The Frogs! I do get pissed off with all the striking and all the times I end up on a bus instead of a train but I can deal with that far more than paying an arm and leg every time I need to take a train!

Food and Drink:

France - If any French are reading this I guess you think this one’s in the bag! France is known for its cooking and revered around the world. I mean, they gave us croissants! And Croque Monsieur! Baguettes, coq au vin, eclairs, profiteroles, quiche, snails, frogs legs (they can keep those!), a lot of cheese which is good for me as I eat so much I could very well be a mouse, Ratatouille and so many other things. Lots and lots of delicious foods come from the land of Frogs and their food is seen often as very sophisticated with its rich, creamy sauces and many other delicious things too numerous to mention. If someone told you they were off to a French restaurant you would immediately think of a lot of posh food too difficult to pronounce and the kind that’s going to put a real dent in your wallet. Not surprising really that France has a lot of famous chefs. I mean, they invented the Michelin guide! And of course they have wine. And Champagne. The posh bastards. Really, I don’t think I need to say more about it. Everyone knows French food is great. And if French food is sophisticated and luxurious then I don’t know what to call English food except the opposite. Oh wait! I know!

A French persons lunch!

A French persons lunch!

Cheers!

Cheers!

 

England - English food is practical! And it’s good, stomach-filling food from the earth! No rich pompous sauces. That’s not us. Any English person known to eat regularly any foods sounding like ‘foie gras’ are often seen as tossers. Just eat your grub and get on with it! We’ve got bangers and mash, bubble and squeak, cottage pie, shepherds pie, Fish and Chips, gravy, Lancashire hotpot, the Pasty, sunday roast, toad in the hole, yorkshire puddings, scones, clotted cream, custard and yes Frogs, it’s custard not ‘creme anglaise!’, beef wellington, the famous English Breakfast and of course we are known the world over for our love of tea! That is something I really miss when I’m in France: a good cup of proper english tea with proper milk! Not this long life shit. Oh and chutney. And peanut butter. I’m getting hungry now. I love English food just as much as French food, if not more, but that is because I was brought up with English tastes like the French are brought up with French tastes. Because of this I can sometimes find French food a bit too rich for me but I’d never say no to a pain au chocolat! England has a poor reputation for food but this is only a stereotype. Like how people say all French are rude which isn’t true. The people that tend to say those things have either never been to France and are just repeating what others say or are generalising after one bad experience. I think that’s the same with our food. My French boyfriend loves a number of typically English foods!

Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips

Sunday Roast

Tea!

Tea!

The winner: The Frogs! If I was including my own opinion I would have made it a draw but my boyfriend said I couldn’t so therefore they win. Let’s give it to them and keep the peace! Haha!

 History/War:

**As this topic is a huge one and this post isn’t intended to be a history lesson, I won’t go into details of the events mentioned here so if you are interested in learning more than you’ll have to check these out on the internet.**

France - Where to begin here! Well, my boyfriend said with the creation of England. We all know what happened in 1066. Not sure if I would say this is something good for France! Good for England though! Since then France have wanted our little island but to no avail. Those Frenchies shouldn’t underestimate us! But seriously, French history is rich with great victories, leaders and events. One of the most well-known is the French Revolution and in particular, the storming of the Bastille. And we all know what happened to that bitch Marie Antoinette who was accused of all sorts of promiscuous behaviour, like sleeping with women and even being incestuous with her son. So with her dead, the king dead and so many others it was officially the end of the French monarchy. The French also have their beloved Napoleon who is known all over the world for being a military genius and for his Empire. But not only that. He is also known for bringing about the Napoleonic Code which was adopted in many other countries as well and he also instituted many reforms, such as road and sewer systems, higher education (le baccalaureate) and established the Banque de France. And finally you have the reign of Louis XIV who is known as one of the best kings France had, perhaps because he was a patron of the arts who allowed classical French literature to flourish by protecting writers such as Moliere and La Fontaine.

Louis XIV

Louis XIV

Napoleon!

Napoleon!

Haha!

Haha!

England - One important part of English history is the gunpowder plot in 1605. This was the failed assassination attempt against King James 1 of England by a group of English Catholics. Their plan was to blow up the House of Lords and hopefully place King James’ daughter as the Catholic head of state. James was not making any effort to end the persecution of Catholics so they decided to do something about it themselves! Guy Fawkes, one of the people involved in the plot, is the most well-known of the group. The fact the group failed was celebrated over Protestant England and effigies of Guy Fawkes were burnt. However, their failed act which was once seen as terrible has now being seen in new light. Some people now revere Guy Fawkes and the group for standing up against rulers, the government and anything or anyone that does nothing to help sufferers of injustice. Not the violence part of course! No one agrees with that bit! But the fact they tried to stand up for what they believed in. This is probably why the group Anonymous wear masks of Guy Fawkes to distinguish themselves. England also has Admiral Horatio Nelson, known for his superb grasp of strategy and the Battle of Trafalgar where he lead us to and which was Britain’s greatest naval victory. Unfortunately he was fatally wounded by a French sniper (bastards!) We also have Winston Churchill. I don’t think I even need to say more about that! Then, there was the Battle of Waterloo where Wellington led us to victory and Napoleon was finally defeated. We have the battle of Agincourt under Henry V, where the English managed a victory despite being against the French army which was far greater in size than ours. The Tudors were also an important period in our history. Everyone knows about Henry VIII for the fate of his 6 wives and for his role in the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic church. And from there it was all over the place depending on who was on the throne in this period. One minute you’re being burned for being a Catholic, next you’re being burned for being a protestant. But when Elizabeth 1 was on the throne it calmed down! She was more tolerant, avoiding systematic persecution. And when the Spanish tried to conquer England in 1588, the failure of the armada associated her with one of the greatest military victories in our history. And, as a woman, I have to include the Suffragettes! The movement was to give women the right to vote. Many women in the movement were imprisoned. But eventually in 1918 women were given the right to vote if over 30, which went down to 21 in 1928. Girl Power!

Wellington

Wellington

Henry VIII

Henry VIII

Suffragettes

Suffragettes

The Winner: Draw! I’d have to say it was a draw as both countries have a rich history full of things both great and terrible. Both our countries have had great leaders and great victories so I think it’s only fair to make it a draw. And I want to say a quick thanks to Wikipedia for helping me with the details! Haha!

Politics:

*This is going to be a fairly brief post because I don’t know huge amounts about politics in France nor do I enjoy talking about it as it’s a subject that often makes people angry! So I’ll write just a little something and avoid the spike in blood pressure.

France - Their voting system in presidential elections: It’s better. Simple. Each party elects 1 person to be a candidate. You vote for the PERSON you want to be president. Once the votes are in, the 2 first are taken and a second election occurs a week later where you vote AGAIN to choose who will be the president. Basically, it’s a fairer system than in England. Not to mention that French people take the whole ‘your government serves you, not the other way round’ thing totally seriously! If their government tries to do something they don’t agree with they strike until they give in. And they’re not afraid to pay the fine and ignore Europe’s rules! Let’s just not talk about how their politicians seem to keep cropping up in sex scandals :-)

The very serious Francois Hollande!

The very serious Francois Hollande!

England - Voting system: First Past the Post. It’s shit. Google it if you want to learn more about it as I really don’t have the time or strength to explain how it works and why it’s rubbish. But basically, any vote for anyone other than the second place party is a wasted vote as there’s really only 2 parties in play. And personally I think all the parties are totally fucking shit and we should scrap them all and start again. But there you go. Plus the government is amazing at ignoring the people and doing what the fuck they want despite what the people they serve say. We kiss Europe’s arse and do everything they say no matter the detriment to us. And I’m pro-Europe! But at least France has the balls to stick up for what they believe in and not take everything in the arse like the people of England do. The sooner the English wake up and realise they have the power things might be better. I never thought I’d say it but in case the English should really take example from the frogs :-)

And the very serious David Cameron!

And the very serious David Cameron!

The Winner: The Frogs! Not really a tough decision!

Love:

France - A stereotypical one here as they say the French are supposed to be the best lovers! What they are also known for however in this domain are affairs and mistresses and Francois Hollande isn’t helping dispel this myth! Of course Paris is known as the city of love, the only skunk you’d want to snuggle up to is of course French, and in my personal experience I’ve ended up with a Frog so…….. do they win?? Because I’m sure there are plenty of French scumbags out there, but the stereotype of them being a nation of lovers sticks. All I can say in my personal experience is that my boyfriend is very romantic, sweet, respectful, cooks for me and makes me laugh all the time. Plus he has no mistresses so even better! His best friend is a nice guy! But romantic or doing the cooking and cleaning? No. Take from that what you will.

Pépé le pew

Pépé le pew

England - Less known for romance, let’s be honest! And I’m really struggling to find anything to say……. There are plenty of English books and poems about love written by men. Shakespeare wrote many. Lord Byron. All giving an illusion of romance that transcends all time blah blah blah. Jane Austen added to this of course with Pride and Prejudice and the wonderful Mr Darcy and now most girls think there’s a Mr Darcy out there for them! There’s not. And would you really want him anyway? English fiction is less about passion in love I think. It’s more a slow build-up before romantic feelings appear and they live happily ever after. In fact, forget what I said before. Old Austen had it bang on! Take Mr Darcy. Bit of a prick to Elizabeth at first. Becomes less dick-ish. He tells her his feelings. A shit-stirrer puts a spanner in the works. They overcome the shit-stirrer and she realises she loves him and they get together. If I didn’t know it before, I do now. It’s also the story of me and my English ex. And that did have a happy ending! We seperated.

Mr Darcy

Mr Darcy

The winner: The Frogs!! So yeah, I said that maybe the stereotypes about the French aren’t all true. My boyfriend doesn’t have a mistress! That I know of…… And I have met some unromantic French. But I ended up with one so I’ve got to give them the point!

Films:

France - As an English person I find French films really great although sometimes rather strange! Take Amelie for example: Great film but I don’t think I’d be wrong to point out that Amelie is more than a little fucking odd! Nevertheless, it’s a classic and a film most of us foreigners who are trying to learn French have watched at least once in our lives. Cinematically it’s just incredible and really one of the best French films. And yeah, a lot of French films can be a bit artsy-fartsy but that’s what makes them special and distinctive. Recently we had the ‘The Artist’, a silent movie which was probably quite a risk for today! It is beautifully made too with a touching story and I really enjoyed it although I imagine it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea! They also have the amazing Luc Besson who has made the hugely popular ‘Leon’ (Jean Reno!!!) and ‘The Fifth Element’. Both films should be on any ‘must see’ list! And if artsy-fartsy, thriller or sci-fi aren’t to your liking, the French also excel at drama. ‘La vie en rose’ or ‘La môme’ (French title) is a biographical film on the life of Edith Piaf and is a great film that everyone should see! It’s happy and sad and every other emotion you could think of and so well done, and Marion Cotillard shines throughout.  And not to forget ‘La Haine’. It’s….. bleak. It’s about three young friends living in an impoverished area of Paris. One of the three is filled with hated towards the police and hopes to kill one to win respect as a ‘gangster’. Of course what we see is how such hatred destroys their lives and the lives of others and that it achieves nothing other than to cause pain. But it’s still so much more than that! And then there’s the ‘Three Colours’ trilogy. I’m not even going to try and explain why these films are awesome. Just watch them! I also want to mention how good the French are at the horror genre. In fact, not just good but fucked up! There’s ‘Calvaire’, ‘Frontiers’, ‘Haute Tension (Switchblade romance)’, ‘Ils’, ‘Inside’, ‘Martyrs’. Finally, my boyfriend told me to include 2 other films that neither of us have seen but are apparently well worth the watch: ‘Irreversible’ and ‘The Intouchables’. As I haven’t seen them I can’t vouch for them but if anyone has seen them, let me know what you think in the comments. I can’t do any of these films justice really in just a few lines so pleeeaaase take my word for them and check them out!

England - So after having annoyed myself trying to explain why French films are awesome in about 2 lines per film, I’m not doing this for the English ones! It’s not possible and it just pisses me off! So the list: Obviously, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’!! If you haven’t already seen it there’s something wrong with you so go and fucking watch it now! Another classic on my list is ‘Zulu’. My dad’s favourite movie of ALL TIME, he was transfixed by it as a kid and still as an adult. Of course it’s a bit cheesy now but at the time it was incredible and at it’s core, it still is. And seeing as this is a list of the best of the roast-beefs, you’ll be seeing a lot of Michael Caine because obviously, ‘The Italian Job’ has to be included a well! A good laugh and a good film! If you haven’t seen it, please see the original and not the remake! Moving on to more of a drama genre, another must-see is ‘Kes’. Basically a kid with a shitty life finds comfort and friendship with a kestrel, ‘Kes’. Often voted in the top 10 ten of the best British films, it really is a film everyone should watch. But prepare yourself, it’s sad! Just thinking about it makes me want to cry! Another good drama is ‘Atonement’. Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea if you’re not a fan of romantic dramas, but I really enjoyed it and thought it was well-done so it’s on the list! And of course, I can’t talk about great English dramas without mentioning the incredible Shane Meadows, one of our best directors in my opinion. His films are bleak and dark and really show the the darker times and the darker corners in England and the damage people can cause to each other and themselves. Basically, his themes are dark! But I think you always learn something from his movies and everyone should watch his work because it’s something special. I couldn’t decide on just one film of his to mention so if you haven’t seen any of THESE already, PLEASE go and watch them: ’24 7: Twenty Four Seven’, ‘A Room for Romeo Brass’, ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ and ‘This Is England’. You won’t regret watching them! Another amazing drama is ‘Harry Brown’ starring Michael Caine (I told you he’d appear a lot!). This film, set on a housing estate that is quickly descending into youth crime, shines a light on the problems of today that governments like to keep behind closed doors and hide from the rest of the world. It’s probably one of my favourite films and if you haven’t seen it, trust me it’s worth watching.  Finally in my drama list would be ‘Trainspotting’, which I guess also can be considered a bit of a comedy too. It’s a classic so if you haven’t seen it you must live under a rock! And it’s made by the well-known English director Danny Boyle who has since gone on to make ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ’127 Hours’ and the incredible ’28 Days Later’. I think ’28 Days Later’ is my favourite zombie movie because it’s so raw, depressing (as a girl I can only imagine the horror of having a bunch of men expecting to shag me in order to repopulate the country!), and probably realistic. There would most likely be men trying to rape me for either their personal gain or to repopulate. This film actually made me feel like killing myself if a zombie apocalypse ever happened because seriously, life would be far worse than death if it’s like that! Other great English horror films worth watching would be ‘Eden Lake’. If people weren’t already scared of ‘hoodies’, they will be now! Another English film I really enjoyed is ‘Hush’. Not incredibly well-known but my boyfriend and I rented it on a whim a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it! If you like feeling tense, give it a go! And finally for horror there’s ‘Creep’. Not everyone enjoyed this movie but I thought it was good and even cringed quite a few times with disgust. Mostly during the scene with the pregnant woman…… As a woman, just the thought of it makes me cross my legs and pull a face like I’m smelling cheesy feet! And it’s made by Christopher Smith who also made a comedy-horror film that is making it onto my list: ‘Severance’. If the trailer doesn’t make you want to watch it, you have no humour! And I recently watched the film ‘Doghouse’. Another comedy-horror, there was one moment where I laughed so much I cried and my boyfriend had pause the film for about 5 minutes so I could get it out of my system! And both films feature Danny Dyer, so if you like his work or if you’re a girl and want to shag him, you’ll like it! Also, this list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention Guy Ritchie and his movies ‘Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels’ and ‘Snatch’. Both fitting in both the comedy and crime genre, they’re classics so if you like that sort of thing they’re the films for you! And of course they both feature Jason Statham who seems to be quite a sex symbol! This list would also not be complete if I didn’t mention the director Edgar Wright who directed ‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘Hot Fuzz’ and ‘The World’s End’, which he co-wrote with Simon Pegg. They are seriously three of the funniest English movies. I love them! At some point, all three of them have made me cry with laughter. And my Frenchie other-half has to probably be now one of the biggest Simon Pegg fans. I like to think everyone reading this will have watched them. If not, WHAT THE FUCK! Go watch them now! I feel like I should also mention ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’. I don’t really want to. I don’t like it. But it’s very well-known. So….. I’ve mentioned it. Now let’s forget I said anything! Finally, I think it would be blasphemous of me if I didn’t mention ‘Monty Python’s Life of Brian’ and ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’. The Monty Python films are just…… perfect maybe?! And so well-known. The moment a Frenchie finds out you’re English, Monty Python usually gets mentioned! So that’s the list. And remember! Always look on the bright side of life…………

 

The winner: Draw! It’s really hard to choose a winner between The Frogs and Les Rosbifs when it comes to films. I think with horror, if you prefer a lot of gore you’re going to prefer French movies, but if you like horror films that are more tense and jumpy, you’ll probably prefer English ones. French dramas can be bleak but I think they do romance better than the English and their films tend to look more polished and beautiful. However I like the darkness and realism of English dramas and how they’re not afraid to show England at it’s worst. With comedy, I think I prefer English humour. That isn’t to say the French don’t have any good comedy movies or TV programmes as they do, but sometimes it just isn’t my humour. I like English comedies, like the Monty Python series as they do things which really make you wonder how they got away with it! But as you can see, both sides have strengths and weaknesses so for that I’d have to say it’s a draw.

Manners:

France: So I’ve already told you about how poor the customer service is here, but what about people’s everyday manners? This is a tough one really. My boyfriend happens to come from the most friendly region in the country so people do say ‘bonjour!’ when you walk into a shop and are generally polite like that. Random strangers will also just start talking to you sometimes to be friendly so overall it’s really quite nice here! Travel anywhere else though and it’s kind of a different story. We went to the south of France where no one said ‘Bonjour!’, and even after you said it they didn’t say it back out of politeness! They just stared at you as if to say ‘fuck off’ and fucked off! This pretty much happened to us wherever we went so really they were quite rude. Apologies to any friendly people from the south! Not tarring everyone with the same brush, just going on my own experience. And of course there’s Paris, where even when you speak FRENCH they pretend not to understand you. Plus, French people seem more likely to push in when queuing! I’ve seen it happen here so many times! And even worse, my boyfriend’s done it while I follow behind cringing because my Englishness is finding it difficult to accept doing it! Anyway, from my own experience, if you want to meet friendly French people, stay in the north! Even in Bretagne in the north-west where it rains all the time, they’re friendly. See! It’s the sun that makes people grumpy! Not the rain :-)

England - So I’m not going to be biased here. In my life, I have had a few rude experiences in England with the English. Just recently in a shop I politely asked a woman to move out the way 3 times and was ignored, so eventually just barged her out the way and thought ‘fuck her!’. I responded to her rudeness with rudeness. So yeah, there are rude people all over the world. But in general, I’ve had mostly positive experiences in England. I don’t know but for most English people manners and politeness are incredibly important. Everyone says please and thank you, you never push in when queuing unless you really are an arsehole and want everyone to know it and you even smile at strangers! And you should never judge a book by its cover! Once I was queuing for a bus and some young-looking chav kind of skipped the queue like he was going to push in. Inside I was feeling really annoyed with him but when the bus pulled in and the doors opened he told me ‘after you’, let me on first and even helped the old lady behind me on the bus! And after that I felt horrible for thinking bad of him! Not to mention us English say ‘sorry’ all the time, even when it isn’t our fault. If someone bumps into us, both the person who did the bumping and the person who got bumped into say ‘sorry!’. And you can’t help it, it’s a reflex!

So true!

So true!

The winner: Les rosbifs! The french aren’t all rude as I said. That’s just a stereotype. I’ve had some nice experiences here. And sometimes it helps having a ‘take no shit!’ attitude. Us English could do with being a bit more like that. But manners are also really important; being friendly, not pushing in queues and that kind of thing! So for that the English win.

TV shows:

France - So France is not really well-known for it’s amazing TV. Even the Danish are seen as better these days thanks to their drama ‘Forbrydelsen’ which was recently remade by the Americans as ‘The Killing’. But the French have their fair share of good TV and really shouldn’t be overlooked. On the serious/drama side, we have ‘Engrenages’, known in the UK as ‘Spiral’. It’s a great police drama I’ve really enjoyed, especially as the characters are really interesting and deep. Some of them you really like and some you hate and want to punch: I’m talking about you Joséphine! BITCH! But it’s a really good show, especially as sometimes the police can move over to the corrupt side and it’s great to see the lengths the characters will go to arrest their suspects and how it can sometimes backfire and blow up in their faces. Another well-known police series is ‘R.I.S: Police Scientifique’. It’s not one I’ve watched but there’s a lot of seasons so if you like this kind of show, try it out. ‘Braquo’ is a great crime drama about 4 police agents who are prepared to break the law to clear the name of one of their colleagues who killed themselves after being accused of something they didn’t do. Made by Canal+ who have done so many amazing shows and films, it has great marks and is worth the watch. ‘Un Village Français’ is a drama about the lives of ordinary people in a small rural town of France during the German occupation in WW2. If you like war dramas it’s probably one for you and it has great ratings so check it out. ‘Pigalle la nuit’ is another great drama which I haven’t seen yet but I hope to see soon. It’s about a guy who works in London and comes back to Paris for a short trip only to see his sister in a strip club. When he tries to talk to her she manages to evade him only to disappear mysteriously whereby her brother begins a search to find her. It’s had really good reviews so hopefully it’s a great show. If anyone’s seen it, let me know what you think. And the last drama on this list is ‘Les Revenants’, or as the English know it, ‘The Returned’. Again made by the awesome Canal+, this drama is set in a small town where many dead people just appear, seemingly normal and as alive as you or I. From the moment they appear, strange things begin to occur in the town, such as the water level of the reservoir mysteriously lowering. On top of that, we also see the effect on others of people suddenly coming back from the dead. Unsurprisingly some freak out and aren’t too happy about it! So good is this show that it went out in the UK on channel 4, not dubbed but with subtitles, and was watched by many and with great reviews. So if you haven’t seen it already, go and watch it now! Moving on, the French also have some great comedy programmes. Masters of short sketches, they have made some truly funny shows that comprise of sketches of just a few minutes long. Some of the most well-known would be ‘Bref’, ‘Camera Café’, ”Fallait pas l’inviter’ and ‘Faut-il’, the 2 last amazing at really awful, dark humour that makes you laugh at things you shouldn’t! Then there’s one of my boyfriend’s favourites, ‘Kaamelott’. The series, that takes place in the 5th century, pokes fun at the legend of King Arthur and his castle and court, ‘Camelot’. Silly of course, it never fails to make my boyfriend burst out laughing and is definitely one of the best French comedy series. And to finish, my favourite french comedy show: ‘Un Gars Une Fille’. Originally a Québécois series, the French version features the now worldwide-famous actor, Jean Dujardin. Each short episode is basically a small vignette of the daily life of Jean and Alex, a young couple. However it’s special as the camera is only ever centered on them, so when there are other characters present we often see Jean and Alex through their eyes. Seriously it’s so funny it’s made me cry several times with laughter and soon after seeing it I got the box set. If you have a reasonably good level of French, watch it. It is so funny, it actually hurts!

England - I have a much bigger list for English shows than for French ones. And that’s not me being biased! What it is, is my boyfriend couldn’t think of a lot of French TV shows! I had to come up with 2 thirds of the list and I don’t know a huge amount of French shows! It’s not me purposely leaving out French shows! If there are any good ones I missed, let me know. But onto the English ones. I went into some detail for the French ones because obviously my list was smaller. As my English list is kind of huge I really can’t go into detail for every single show so I’m just going to mention some without talking about them. However, if you don’t know any, please check them out!! So to kick off with the more serious/drama ones, we have ‘Black Mirror’. Charlie Brooker is just awesome. I loved ‘Dead Set’, another show he did where a zombie apocalypse kicks off during the final of Big Brother, and after what happens, they’re in no rush to leave the Big Brother house! Sounds awesome? As it is! But more recently he did the incredible ‘Black Mirror’. Showing us the evils of where our fascination with modern technology can take us, each episode really is a grim depressing look of what could await us. Go watch it now! Also in my list is ‘Luther’: A police drama focused around DCI John Luther and how he is prepared to do whatever it takes to get justice, even if that means breaking a few laws himself. One of my favourite TV shows, I am devastated that it’s finished! I wanted MORE! Following on we have ‘Sherlock’. I hope I’m not wrong to presume that everyone knows this and therefore I don’t need to talk in detail about how great it is?!! Thank you Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat! ‘Whitechapel’ is another good drama. Set in Whitechapel obviously, it’s special in the way that the police use the past to try and help them solve modern day murders. Dark and creepy, it really builds an atmosphere of evil. Who knows what monsters lurk in Whitechapel? And thinking about that, what about ‘Spooks’ and ‘Silk’, another 2 amazing shows featuring Rupert Penry-Jones. ‘Spooks’ is often hailed as the English 24 and follows the work of MI5 officers fighting terrorism. ‘Silk’ is an amazing courtroom drama also starring the incredible Maxine Peake. If I’m ever in trouble, I want her as my lawyer! And if those weren’t enough for you, there’s the great drama ‘ Broadchurch’, a story of a young boy’s death and the police’s hunt for the killer. The characters are so fleshed-out and well-done that slowly the paranoia sets in and you begin to think anyone could have done it. It’s also being remade in America. Why? Fuck knows. If the show works in England, why does America have to remake it? We speak the same language so it’s not a language barrier issue! And let’s face it, most of the time it never works because our cultures are really quite different. Anyway, I’ve gone off topic so let’s get back to it! Finishing the serious part of the list I have ‘Dr Who’ and ‘This is England ’86′ and ’88′. The former I know is both serious and comedic and is famous all over the world. If you haven’t at least heard of it, you must be living under a rock! And finally on the serious side, the ‘This Is England’ series. Made by Shane Meadows of course and following on from his film ‘This Is England’, it’s another great English show worth watching. And if you’ve seen the film you know what to expect! Onto the comedy side, there’s a lot. And this post is already long so apologies for the fact I’m going to have to be brief when talking about some amazing classics. If you haven’t watched them, just watch them! You won’t be disappointed! Kicking off the comedy list we have ‘The Office’ and ‘Extras’. My boyfriend is a massive fan is Ricky Gervais. He loves everything he does, including his stand up. He just finds it hilarious and I have to agree with him. For me, ‘The Office’ is just perfect. I love David Brent. I love Tim. I love Gareth. We all hate Neil. And we all know people like these characters. And by the end we wanted David to be happy, Neil to go fuck himself and for Dawn and Tim to be together. And it’s all done in the least cheesy way possible. It’s perfect! And of course ‘Extras’ is just hilarious. Everyone in it is just hilarious and among all the comedy Gervais is making a point on fame and dignity that shouldn’t be missed. I couldn’t miss out ‘Derek’ either. I laughed a lot and then I cried a lot. It was so touching sometimes and despite all the controversy I think Gervais’ message is clear: Kindness beats everything. And the last thing on the list featuring Gervais in any way is ‘An Idiot Abroad’. Karl Pilkington could very well be the funniest man alive right now and the things he says have made me cry with laughter. Go watch this show, it’s hysterically funny. Moving on and rushing a bit, we have old classics like ‘ Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em’, (my boyfriend loves this) ‘Dad’s Army’, ‘Porridge’, ‘Fawlty Towers’, and ‘Only Fools and Horses’. There are so many incredible episodes of that show I’d be hard-pressed to pick a favourite but the episode where they go to Cornwall to a small cottage for a fishing trip only to find there is an axe-murderer on the loose is definitely up there as one of the best for me! Another classic, ‘Allo Allo’ is worth watching, although explaining it to my French boyfriend was a funny experience! But in the end even he loved it with their clever use of accents to show which nationality each character is. A show about the French resistance during the war, it never fails to make you laugh! Either with funny character names such as ‘Herr Flick’, ridiculous storylines or the use of stereotyping: café owner René has 1 wife and 2 mistresses. If you like silly humour, it’s for you. Another awesome classic would be ‘Blackadder’. Full of incredible sarcasm and wit and great characters it’s a show everyone should watch. And not to forget, ‘Father Ted’. Just the episode where a bunch of priests get lost inside the lingerie department in a large department store makes this show one of the funniest I’ve ever seen. Primarily a show about the lives of 3 priests; one who always has things go wrong for him, one who is as thick as they come and an another who is constantly drunk and screaming for girls, it’s naughty but good fun. ‘Red Dwarf’ is another show that’s made me cry with laughter. Set in space, it’s about a young guy who is alone in space in the future, millions of miles from earth with only an annoying hologram of his long-dead annoying roommate, his cat that has involved into a kind of human-cat, the ship’s AI and a service mechanoid named Kryten to keep him company. One of my favourite English sitcoms, I recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it. And finally, the last ones: ‘Peep Show’, ‘Shameless’, ‘Bottom’ for it’s disgusting-ness and slapstick quality that makes me laugh through every episode, ‘The League of Gentlemen’ because it’s weird, fucked-up, scary as hell (YOU’RE MY WIFE NOW) and just plain awesome, ‘The IT Crowd’ which is one of my favourite modern comedy shows ever! ‘The Inbetweeners’ (roller-coaster scene anyone?) and ‘Green Wing’. I love the character Guy Secretan as he is so awful and so sweet at the same time. One of my favourite lines of his is when he’s talking about why plastic surgery is pointless and he proves his point by saying ‘I’ve never known one woman who doesn’t look better with my bollocks resting on her chin’. For this line alone in fact, Green Wing would make the list!

The winner: Les Rosbifs!! With the agreement of my Frenchie, us English win the TV show round. That’s not to say there aren’t great French TV shows as there are plenty and the ones I mentioned in the list are really worth watching. But England has so many classics, shows known worldwide, and a special humour loved by many INCLUDING the Frenchies :-) So the Rosbifs win hands down, but I urge you to watch French TV shows or you’ll miss out on some real gems.

Literature:

France - So again I need to state that there will be less French authors on the list than English ones. That’s because I only know the famous ones and yet again my boyfriend was rubbish at coming up with any. So I probably will miss out on a lot of great ones and I’m sorry Frogs for that. I promise I won’t be biased because of this! I love literature so I could talk for ages on it but I’m going to try and be brief after the long sections on TV and film! So to start, you can’t talk about French literature/authors without mentioning Jules Verne. Author of ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’ and ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’, books I think most people in the world have read, he’s one of the most well-known French authors and deserves to be included on the list. Another world famous author is Emile Zola. Probably my mum’s favourite author, she spent around 20 years looking for a complete series in English and only just managed it in the last few years. He is known as an exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literarture. Following on from him we have Alexandre Dumas, author of ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ and ‘The Three Musketeers’. I don’t think you could find anyone in the world who doesn’t know those stories! Gustave Flaubert is worth a mention for his novel ‘Madame Bovary’, and there’s also Victor Hugo who’s probably the most known worldwide for ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ and ‘Les Miserables’. ‘Marcel Proust’, ‘Voltaire’ and Simone de Beauvoir’ are also worth checking out if you’re interested in reading good French literature. To finish the list, we have ‘Moliere’. Kind of like the French Shakespeare at the time, he’s known for his great plays and for being a master of comedy. One of his most famous works is ‘The Misanthrope’, which laughs at the hypocrisy of French aristocratic society. For that reason alone, it makes me want to read it!

Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas

Emile Zola

Emile Zola

Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir

Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo

Moliere

Moliere

England - So obviously to begin we have ‘Shakespeare’. Surely that’s the first one that comes to everyone’s mind! I really love Shakespeare’s tragedies and his comedies are quite good too but I’m really not a big fan of his romantic comedy. I mean in ‘As you like it’, does Shakespeare really expect us to believe that some guy who loves Rosalind doesn’t recognise her when she puts on men’s clothes? It’s before make-up effects!! Come on! Anyway, now I’m just being pedantic. Shakespeare’s work is really incredible. I recently saw a few of his plays at the Globe theatre and really it was one of the best experiences of my life. If anyone has trouble reading his plays, go and watch them be performed as that’s really how you’re supposed to appreciate his work and you really won’t be disappointed. At the same time as Shakespeare we also have Christopher Marlowe. Not as well-known or well-rated, personally I find his work better written and his plots more interesting but that’s just my personal opinion. If you like Shakespeare you should read Marlowe. Following on we have Jane Austen. I’m sure everyone in the world at least knows the story of ‘Pride and Prejudice’! Or at least of Mr Darcy. But her other books are just as good, such as ‘Sense and Sensibility’. The Bronte sisters are also great examples of English literature. ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Bronte remains one of my favourite books of all time, even if the story is quite sad and depressing. I also loved both ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ by Anne Bronte and ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte. For the time, it’s great to see some literature that points out the flaws of men and shows us women that aren’t going to put up with it. And to carry on with great female writers, I should also mention Virginia Woolf and Mary Shelley. Personally I’m not a fan of Woolf but even I wouldn’t say she’s not a great writer. One of the foremost modernists of the 20th century she wrote some truly great novels, such as ‘Mrs Dalloway’. Unfortunately her life was troubled by mental illness and at 59 she committed suicide. If you enjoy modern literature and stream-of-consciousness, she’s one to read. And Mary Shelley is definitely worth the read if you enjoy gothic literature! Her most famous novel being ‘Frankenstein’, a story known all around the world and adapted into many movies. Anyway to speed this up (as I’m going on and on again!) we have George Orwell (1984), J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the rings), Rudyard Kipling (Jungle Book), Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Thomas Hardy (Tess of the d’Urbervilles), John Milton (Paradise Lost), Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe), Ian Fleming (JAMES BOND!!!!!!!), Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) and finally, Charles Dickens (Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol). I love Charles Dickens, I think his books are…… perfect?! But I think ‘Great Expectations’ is his best one. Everyone needs to read one of his books in their lives!

Shakespeare

Shakespeare

Marlowe

Marlowe

Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte

Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe

Jane Austen

Jane Austen

Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

The winner: Draw!! I don’t think that one side outright beats the other here. France has some amazing novelists known around the world for their work and England does too so I don’t think I can choose one side over the other. Plus, my Frenchie agrees. I asked him his opinion so I was sure not to be biased! So yeah, on this one we’re evenly matched :-)

Music:

France - Fighting France’s corner when it comes to music are plenty of great artists, and I’m going to start with Jean-Jacques Goldman. Everyone here loves Goldman. He’s a legend. And for good reason! He makes awesome music! Even my mum is a fan, although she’s also a fan of the man as well as the music if you see what I mean! Goldman has made so many good songs I don’t even know where to start. What’s great about his songs is that his lyrics are always saying something interesting, not just rubbish repeated over and over again like most modern music these days. If you don’t know Goldman and you’re interested in listening to French music, he should be the first you should check out. Going back in time there’s Charles Trenet and his songs ‘Douce France’ and ‘La Mer’ which are probably known by a lot of people. Either you’ll have heard ‘La Mer’ because you like good music or, if you like video games, you’ll have heard it on Bioshock when you enter the lighthouse and bathysphere on the way into Rapture! If you like listening to old music, check him out! Another great French singer is George Brassens, a singer-songwriter and poet. Not only does he make great music but his life is interesting so look him up. Well-regarded by the French for his great music and interesting lyrics, he’s one of the best artists to represent France as a country of good music. Edith Piaf can be considered very much the same. Famous worldwide, her lyrics also are always interesting and meaningful and sometimes quite sad. Another amazing French singer with an interesting and often tragic life, she really makes a strong case for how wonderful French music can be. And if you’re interested in her life, watch the movie ‘La Vie En Rose’. I’ve already said how great it is further up so if I didn’t persuade you then, I hope to now! My boyfriend added on this list France Gall as a singer I should mention. In all honesty, I don’t really know her music or her life but I do know my boyfriend really enjoys her music and thought she was good enough to be put on the list and he would know more than me! Another 2 he said I should mention are Michel Berger and Daniel Balavoine. Sadly both died of a young age but there songs are still known and loved today. Moving on to more recent music and into the rock genre, we have ‘Noir Desir’ and ‘Dolly’ who later changed their name to ‘Manu’. French rock…… I was sceptical! No offence to French people, it’s just that their language sounds so sweet it seems weird for me to imagine the French singing anything other that love ballads. But those bands are awesome and I’m a fan! If you like rock music, you should look them up. Changing genre again, it would be so incredibly wrong to not include Daft Punk and Phoenix. Both known around the world, they’re good examples that the Frogs can do it as well as the rest of us! And even if they’re not your cup of tea, everyone loves at least 1 Daft Punk song! And finally, a genre that neither my boyfriend and I are keen on but would be wrong to leave out, rap! And a rapper that my boyfriend doesn’t mind is MC solaar. Mostly because some of his songs actually have meaningful lyrics compared to other rap which is just about fucking hoes and being a gangster. Popular in France and even with my rap-hating boyfriend, MC Solaar is definitely worth including on this list.

England - I have a bigger list of English songs because 1) I’m English and 2) for the third time I think in this post, my boyfriend couldn’t come up with as many French equivalents. Again, I won’t be biased! And will try to be more brief as there’s more in my list. So England is probably most well-known for our rock music and my Frog boyfriend may very well be the biggest fan of English rock on the planet. He came up with more English artists than French! Now obviously I’m probably going to miss some big singers/bands. Don’t get angry, it’s just us English are so awesome at music there’s too many great artists to cover! :-) Anyway, being serious now, I’m going to start with rock music and clearly the first band I should mention here is Queen. I’m pretty sure everyone in the world knows Queen. Most people love Queen. Their songs are all classics. And they’re one of the first things people think of when they think of England. They’re amazing and I love them. But let’s move on! Another one that has to be mentioned is The Rolling Stones. Again, everyone knows them. Their songs are amazing and classics. And again, they’re what people think of when they think of England. One of best rock bands ever, if you like English music you’re surely going to love the Stones. And this leads me on the The Beatles. I’m not a huge fan myself, I just like a few songs, but you can’t think of England without thinking of them. Huge all around the world, they must be included on the list. Moving on and trying to speed things up, some other great classic English rock bands that need including are The Who, The Police and Dire Straits. All awesome, you can’t talk about English rock without mentioning them! My boyfriend and I recently did some Karaoke and had a go at ‘Roxanne’. It was awful. But we fucking loved it! England is also known for it’s great punk rock. We have the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and The Clash, one of my absolute favourites. I know the words to most of The Clash’s songs, and I love their music as they also make songs with meaningful lyrics. Obviously not every song, it is punk rock! But as far as punk bands go, their lyrics are mostly intelligent and trying to make a point. Onto a different kind of rock now, I have to include The Cure and The Smiths. Not everyone’s cup of tea, especially The Smiths, as it can seem a little depressing, The Smiths have made some amazing songs with truly great and meaningful lyrics. Although often sad, their music is still popular today around the world and therefore needed to appear on this list. More modern rock bands that need to be included in the list are Oasis and Bloc Party. I looooove Bloc Party. If you don’t know them, go listen to them NOW! And Oasis are just incredible. Their songs are classics and loved all over the world. And what’s funny is that they look so rough, aggressive and chavvy and yet their lyrics are always meaningful and clever and just brilliant. I love them. And my boyfriend was a massive fan. He didn’t take the news of their split too well! In different genres of music, I thought Cat Stevens should be included. My mum has always been a fan and used to listen to him in the car when I was a kid so I kind of grew up with him and therefore I’ve had to mention him! Another singer I grew up with as well is Kate Bush. I love Kate Bush, she’s amazing. And special. And her songs are really clever and she’s always saying something in her lyrics; not just pointless, mind-numbing shite like most artists today. I don’t think I could choose a favourite…. I love Wuthering Heights, Running up that hill, army dreamers, cloudbusting, fuck it! Name it! I love it. I love her! And another awesome woman making it’s way on this list is Annie Lennox/Eurythmics. Great music, great lyrics, great singing, great everything. You can’t talk about great English music and not talk about her. Moving on, and trying to pick up the pace, there’s Elton John for reasons I don’t think I need to explain! Massive Attack, Imogen Heap, Jamiroquai, Skunk Anansi and Florence and the Machine. Florence’s voice is just incredible and even better when she’s live. Seeing her at the Main Square Festival was the highlight of day. And yet again she’s another one who always has meaningful lyrics that appeal to those with a brain. My last 2 are quite different but equally amazing. The former is Nick Drake. Not really recognised in his time and with quite a tragic life (he suffered from depression and died when he was 26) his music is truly magical and he was really quite ahead of his time. And the latter, our final entry, is Lily Allen. Not everyone’s cup of tea but I love her because she doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks. She sings about getting revenge on a cheating boyfriend, her druggie brother (the now penis-less Theon Greyjoy) and how sexist and shitty the music industry is. Bottom line: She’s cool and I love her.

The winner: Les Rosbifs!! Even my boyfriend 100% agreed that us English win this round. There’s a lot of great French music out there that’s really worth listening to. And when it comes to love songs, I don’t think even we can beat them. But with rock music on our side, it’s an English victory! :-)

Conclusion : So who won after all? The Frogs or Les Rosbifs? Well, I counted all the victories and draws for both sides and……….. it’s a draw?! 8 points each! Totally unintentionally both countries have ended up equal and if I’m honest, I’m not disappointed. I have to live with a Frog so an English victory might annoy him :-) But mainly, neither country should be better than the other. We’re both awesome in our own ways, as this article proves! :-)

If you think I missed anything, leave it in the comments!