Blood – A Very British Experience

We, the British – stoic in our sensibilities, steadfast in our sentiments, and famously stiff in our collective upper lip; our tears seldom shed, our smiles seldom seen, our heads often shaken.

Even whilst sharing a mutual objective, the motive of the Englishman is varied and many. I see it in their eyes. I hear it in their sighs. But none of this matters.

Ultimately, we are gathered here today to serve one extraordinary purpose – to save lives.

I am late. Hesitantly, as is my nature, I enter the Church Center and navigate my way to the first nurse. She asks if I’ve brought any paperwork. I have. She asks me to go to the waiting room. I do.

Time temporarily stops, my eyes glaze over and I stare straight through the nurse in to the blood farm behind. Blue uniforms swim through the aisles between the beds like sharks having caught the scent of blood. Cacophonous alarms signify the conclusion of each harvest, and dry zombie donors drift like spectres around the demure religious hall.

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British Summertime – The Horrors of the Heat

Jumpers for goalposts. Juice and bits. Hide and seek. Hundreds and thousands.

The tender cacophony of the ice cream van as it beckons cheery children from their stately homes, distributing dairy products, heart attacks and nostalgia in equal measure.

The sweet smell of freshly cut grass as it lays strips up and down the fields, and invades the nostrils of your friends as they curse their Hay Fever affliction.

The glorious splendour of the setting sun as it scatters celestial orange light above and beyond what little cloud remains in the sky.

The British summer is a wonderful thing.

But as darkness comes and the sun cowers behind the horizon, the night lurches toward us. With it come all the horrors of the heat.

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HMS HORSEBOX

After an inconvenient delay which the British people utilised to have a good ol’ moan, I am aboard. That’s right.

Fuck land.

I’m on a boat.

Motherfucker.

But I wasn’t always this enthusiastic. Far from it. I used to be terrified of this very situation. Floating precariously on perilous waters, aboard a huge, metal death-box. At age 10, as far as I was concerned I’d be extremely lucky to make it across the sea alive. In my mind, the chances of the ferry sinking like a dead stone to the bottom of the Irish Sea were highly likely.

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