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This year’s Happy Planet index had the UK barely making the top 50, way behind Costa Rica which came out top.
But let’s not get too downhearted.
The UK is a great place to live and here’s why…
The French, in particular, used to take great delight in ridiculing our cuisine, and yet the UK is home to arguably the best comfort food in the world.
Not only do we do we have fish and chips and roast dinners, we have pies, a food which sits triumphant in its freshly baked, crusty wonder.
Meat pies, cheese and onion pies, cottage pies, apple pies, whatever delights you, they all create a degree of comfort normally known only to cats dozing in the summer sun.
Queuing consistently makes it on to lists detailing why the UK is fabulous, but then so it should as it’s one of our great gifts to the world.
Anyone encountering a ticket office in a country where waiting your turn is seen as a sign evolutionary weakness, inevitabley leading to the extinction of your family line, will understand quite what a civilising force for good a queue is.
And not only does queuing bring order and calm to a chaotic, selfish world, it also allows us the chance to discuss the weather with each other.
3. Our green and pleasant land
The UK has an extraordinary landscape and coastline.
From the rolling green of Kent to the raw wilderness of the Scottish Highlands the kingdom presents a constantly changing vision of wonder.
After just a few hours travelling you can be gasping in awe at the surfing waves crashing powerfully into the Cornwall coast, or being rendered mute by the spiritual wonder of Holy Island in Northumberland this land is simply astonishing to behold.
The beauty of this country is not to be taken for granted, as it’s all too easy to forsake it for the perceived delights of another.
4. We’re tolerant of dietary variations
If you’ve journeyed through France or Spain, for instance, and are vegetarian, or have a gluten free diet, you’ll know the trauma of trying to find anything to eat that isn’t a poached egg nestling on a bed of steamed lettuce.
In the UK, however, our delightfully tolerant nature has allowed even the most basic of pub menus to include a meat free option and something that won’t cause Nan’s sensitive stomach to growl like a Jack Russell sensing an intruder.
5. The BBC
This won’t be a universally popular choice on this list, but really we should see the BBC as one of the UK’s most marvellous achievements.
Not only is it the voice of British culture and reason around the world but, within our shores, we have a vast network of radio and television stations producing high quality programmes enjoyed by millions each day, and all for just £5.60 per week.
And even if we sometimes do have to endure Robbie Savage attempting to speak in whole sentences, it’s still worth the money.
The pub, despite so many closing down in recent years, still remains an essential destination for us, resting in our collective hearts like the tang of a salt and vinegar crisp remains on a tongue.
Generating character and characters in a manner beyond the ability of many modern bars, they are a truly British tradition in which you will meet locals who will beam a light onto the soul of our nation as surely as a surgeon in an operating theatre.
7. We know how to laugh at ourselves
Despite many glorious aspects about living in the UK, we Brits know that not everything is always hunky dory.
Overcrowded trains, the weather, being forced to watch Jeremy Kyle whilst waiting in A&E departments – all of these things, and more, could makes us as gloomy as Eric Pickles at a Weight Watcher’s meeting.
However, we pack up our troubles and smile, smile, smile with a healthy dollop of black humour that carries us through life.