Susan Morrison: By George . . Where are all the English people?

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Eastenders are coming from further east, west, north and south than before

Generally speaking, I have always found that the best way to find out if a person next to you is English is to stamp on their feet.

If they apologise to you then you pretty much know that you’ve found one.

Being English means always having to say you’re sorry.

However, use this tip with care if visiting London. We went down for a bit of a break, see the sights, hopefully shout at a politician, you know the sort of thing.

Perhaps go dahn the boozer with a geezer and his missus. Blimey. But, strewth, I don’t know what they’ve done with them, but there don’t appear to be any English people in London.

There is no telling what nationality stands next to you in the tube, and they might not say sorry if you use the above English spotting technique.

Those visitors who bound up to taxis shouting gleefully about apples and pears and expecting cabbies to take you to Bayswater for ten bob, guv’nor, will be sadly disappointed.

And if you expect the hotel chambermaids to start singing about sparrows around St Paul’s Cathedral waiting to be fed for tuppence a bag, forget it.

You’re more likely to get a smiling gal from Gdansk who either doesn’t speak English or got so fed up with tourists asking pointless questions that she just pretends she can’t.

When we finally found a couple of English people I was enchanted. They were posh ones. They were young, female and blonde and they said “yah” a lot. They were leaning against a Range Rover. Yah, really. Of course, the person who runs London – that Boris bloke – is terribly posh, I’ve been told.

So I guess what’s happened is that the rich English people have managed to squeeze out the poor English people, perhaps because they were getting uppity and demanding things like living wages and education and things, and failing to tug their forelocks properly when their posh betters ran over them in Chelsea Tractors.

Mind you, if all those poor foreign folk hoovering the carpets, cleaning the wards and wiping up little Tamara’s sick start speaking to each other, they might start asking for things like proper wages, holiday pay and stuff. Be careful, poor foreign people. I don’t know where they’ve housed the poor English, but they’ll send you next.

Cheap gift but no Digestives? Tat takes the biscuit . .

TELL you what else they’ve managed to do in London and that’s keep the supermarkets out. I have no idea how they’ve done it, but in the very heart of the city can you find a bag of sugar or a box of eggs? You cannot. What that posh bloke’s wife in Number 10 does for a quick packet of Digestives is anyone’s guess.

On the other hand, if you happen to be looking for a snow globe of Big Ben that plays “Maybe its ’cos I’m a Londoner” every 15 minutes and on the hour a gilded Barbara Windsor appears? Yep, what size would you like? Every second shop clustered around Westminster is festooned with tat on a titanic scale.

Mind you, let’s not get smug here. Have you tried buying an apple in the High Street lately? The one advantage our London cousins have is that they have no equivalent of CDs featuring souped up ceilidh bands belting out Highland Cathedral at nosebleed volumes.

I bought a snow globe.

London’s Kazak restaurant gets my vote, but go easy on the salt

Given the cosmopolitan nature of London, one of our favourite hobbies while on our short break was to try to spot the most unusual restaurant. Just about every national cuisine got multiple hits, until we stumbled upon possibly the only Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan restaurant in the UK. I know little of far-flung Kazakhstan, beyond the fact that President Nazarbayev was re-elected in April 2011 after receiving 95.54 % of the vote.

Obviously, this was a landslide and, presumably, the remaining 5% of the vote or so that didn’t go his way are either doing valuable work in a Kazakhstan salt mine somewhere, or running a Kazakhstan restaurant in London.

Nobody nose what you see in him

OUR visit to London was so my son could see the Science Museum. He’s keen on that sort of thing. It’s quite a sight, I’ll agree. Science doesn’t do it for me, generally, but I was well impressed by the human body exhibition, which claimed, amongst other things, that women choose their partners on the basis of scent. However, those pesky scientists have discovered that the contraceptive pill can interfere with a woman’s scent receptors and cause her to fall for the wrong bloke.

Which explains why a lot of my friends, having hit a certain age where such precautions are not required, suddenly take a deep breath and look at their life partner and go “Jings! What did I see in him?”

Love at first sniff can be dangerous.