Some of these games are difficult to find, as pubs have updated their amenities by offering TV and video games, such as two-men tennis, fruit machines, pinball machines, and so on. There are also other pub entertainments, such as piano playing, folk-singing, jazz performances and even theatres. However, if such table games as billiards or table football which are played with two or four players as well as cards, dominoes and coin games are known in this country, skittles and darts are less familiar.
Skittles is one of the oldest pub games and dates back to medieval England, the object of the game being to knock down as many skittles as possible with a wooden ball. This pub game has lots of variations all over Britain. Darts is also an old game, ' which was played by the Pilgrims in 1620 when they sailed, from England to the New World. That is why it is well known in the USA, too. To play this game one must first of all have a standard dartboard with numbers marked on it to indicate score. The outer ring counts double, the middle one treble while at the very centre is the bull (50) with its own outer circle (25). Dart players should stand at least eight feet away from the board. The aim of the game is to score as quickly as possible with the least number, of throws. The actual score a player must get depends on the variety of game he is playing. Many pubs in Great Britain have their own darts teams. So, if you come to Britain drop in a pub, enjoy a pint of bitter and a "tongue sandwich, which speaks for itself”.
It sounds funny to foreigners but when it is closing time, the pub barman calls "Time!" or "Time, gentlemen, pleaser!”
English Habits of Politeness
Some greetings in England are very informal: a simple “good morning” or a wave of the hand across the street is quite enough. Handshakes are only exchanged on a first introduction or as a token of agreement or congratulation. “Sorry” takes the place of “no” when you cannot do something for a person or give a positive answer in situation like “May I use your pen?”, “Do you know the time?” or “Have you any size seven shoes?”. “Pardon” is the polite way of asking somebody to repeat what he has said.
English people do not readily ask each other to do anything, they prefer to wait for a service to be offered before asking for it. If they do ask, then they say something like “I dont really like asking you, but…”
It is considered polite to give up ones seat a woman who is standing, to open door for her, carry things for her, and so on.
Manners in Public
Our manners in public, like our manners in our homes, are based on self-respect and consideration for other people.
It is really surprising how stingy we are with our “Please” when we ask anyone to do something for us. We unwillingly part with our “Thank you”, as if it were the most difficult and costly thing in the world. We dont stand aside for others to pass us in the trams, buses or the underground. We dont rice to let people pass us to their seats in the theatres or movies.
1.Not to make yourself conspicuous, not to attract unfavourable attention to yourself or others, here are some of the rules for correct behaviour in a public place.
2.Not to be conspicuous, dont wear conspicuous clothes.
3.One should not talk loud or laugh loud.
4.No matter how trying the circumstance, do not give way to anger or uncontrolled emotion.
5.Never eat anything in the street, or in a public place (restaurants, buffets and cafes excluded).
6.Do not rudely push your way through crowds.
7.Never stare at people or point at them.
8.Do not ridicule or comment on anyone in public.
9.Reserve “affectionate demonstration” (kissing, embracing, etc.) for appropriate places.
10.Dont monopolise the sidewalk, by walking 3 or 4 abreast, or by stopping in the centre to speak with someone.
When in the street keep to the right.
Parliament is the most important authority in Britain. Parliament first met in the 13th century. Britain does not have a written constitution, but a set of laws. In 1689 Mary II and William III became the first constitution monarchs. They could rule only with the support of the Parliament. Technically Parliament is made up of three parts: the Monarch, the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
The continuity of the English monarchy has been interrupted only once during the Cromwell republic. Succession to the throne is hereditary but only for Protestants in the direct line of descent. Formally the monarch has a number of roles. The monarch is expected to be politically neutral, and should not make political decisions. Nevertheless, the monarch still performs some important executive and legislative duties including opening and dissolving Parliament, singing bills passed by both Houses and fulfilling international duties as head of state. The present sovereign is Queen Elizabeth II who was crowned in Westminster Abbey in 1953.
The House of Lords comprises about 1,200 peers. The house is presided over by the Lord Chancellor. The House of Lords has no real power but acts as an advisory council for the House of Commons. As well as having legislative functions, the Lords is the highest court of appeal.
The House of Commons consist of members of Parliament who are elected by the adult suffrage of the British people in general elections which are held at least every five years. The country is divided into 650 constituencies each of which elects one Member of Parliament. The Commons therefore, has 650 Members of Parliament. The party which wins the most seats forms the Government and its leader becomes the Prime Minister. The functions of Commons are registration and security of government activities. The house is presided over by the Speaker. The government party sits on the Speakers right while on his left sit the members of the Opposition.
Education in Britain
In England and Wales compulsory school begins at the age of five, but before that age children can go to a nursery school, also called play school. School in compulsory till the children are 16 years old.
In Primary School and First School children learn to read and write and the basis of arithmetic. In the higher classes of Primary School (or in Middle School) children learn geography, history, religion and, in some schools, a foreign language. Than children go to Secondary School.
When students are 16 years old they may take an exam in various subjects on order to have a qualification. These qualifications can be either G.C.S.E. (General Certificate of Secondary education) or “O level” (ordinary level). After that students can either leave school and start working or continue their studies in the same school as before. If they continue, when they are 18, they have to take further examinations which are necessary for getting into university or college.
Some parents choose private schools for their children. They are very expensive but considered to provide a better education and good job opportunities.
In England there are 47 universities, including the Open University which teaches via TV and radio, about 400 colleges and institutes of higher education. The oldest universities in England are Oxford and Cambridge. Generally, universities award two kinds of degrees: the Bachelors degree and the Masters degree.
Cambridge is situated at a distance of 70 miles from London; the greater part of the town lies on the left bank of the river Cam crossed by several bridges.
Cambridge is one of the loveliest towns of England. It is very green presenting to a visitor a series of beautiful groupings of architecture, trees, gardens, lawns and bridges. The main building material is stone having a pinkish color which adds life and warms to the picture at all seasons of the year.
The dominating factor in Cambridge is University, a center of education and learning. Newton, Byron, Darwin, Rutherford and many other scientists and writers were educated at Cambridge. In Cambridge everything centers on the university and its Colleges, the eldest of which was founded in 1284. They are 27 in number. The college is a group of buildings forming a square with a green lawn in the center. An old tradition does not allow the students to walk on the grass, this is the privilege of professors and head-students only. There is another tradition which the students are to follow: after sunset they are not allowed to go out without wearing a black cap and a black cloak.
The University trains about 7.000 students. They study for 4 years, 3 teams a year. The long vacation lasts 3 months. They are trained by a tutor; each tutor has 10-12 students reading under his guidance. There is a close connection between the University and colleges, through they era separate in theory and practice.
A college is a place where you live no matter what profession you are trained for; so that students studying literature and those trained for physics belong to one and the same college. However the fact is that you are to be a member of a college in order to be a member of the University.
The students eat their meals in the college dining-hall. At some colleges there is a curious custom known as “sooncing”. If a should come late to dinner or not be correctly dressed or if he should bre