I bought a copy of Kate Fox’s Watching The English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour a few weeks back. I’ve not really had time to read it of course. So far I’ve managed three chapters: “The Weather” (which, appropriately, opens the book), “Linguistic Class Codes”, and “Rules of Sex”. It’s pretty accurate so far—so accurate that it’s not as funny as I’d hoped. A German friend of mine thinks it’s brilliant.

The last chapter in particular has some apt things to say about a country where a local radio station celebrates “National Contraceptive Awareness Week” by having a competition to guess how long it will take for a condom to burst when it’s inflated live on air*. My collection of Durex balloon animals is neither here nor there in this discussion. Their limbs were all past their use-by date and would have gone completely to waste otherwise.

[*For those who didn’t catch it I’ve just had the pleasure of listening to a review of the previous round and the condom lasted 35 seconds.]