I am applying to become a British Citizen. After living here for 20 years, paying taxes and national insurance contributions, having four children and eating a hell of a lot of scones I figured it was about time. Luckily it doesn’t affect my American Citizenship. I can be both. Which I kind of am already, passport or not.
Recently the Government introduced a Life in the UK standardised test that must be taken (and passed) in order to become British. Unfortunately it doesn’t ask questions like who’s David Beckham (national hero), how many days in August does it normally rain (every single one) or do English people like tea (think that might be a yes).
No. They are a little harder than that. Although some of them are as equally as silly. After all what’s counts as “Britishness” or any nationality for that matter? Am I American because of how I pronounce tomato or am I British because I say “Loo” when I want to go to the toilet?
Well, here’s a sample of some of the questions from the UK Today: A Profile section of the test. See if you think any of them relate to your national identity. And if you are British already, hope you know the answers to them all!
1. In 2001 the population of the UK was nearly a) 56 million b) 58 million c) 60 million or d) 62 million
2. St Andrew is the patron saint of which country a) England b) Scotland c) Wales or d) Northern Ireland
3. The percentage of the population who attend religious services in the UK is a) 50% b) 10% c) 15% or d) 20%
4. Is the following statement true or false: The UK football team is very important to British people
5. The Grand National is a) a horse race b) a tennis tournament c) football match or d) cricket match
6. The Scouse dialect is spoken in a) London b) Liverpool c) Tyneside or d) Wales
And my favourite question of all, from the Changing Society Section:
7) What proportion of the population of Britain have used illegal drugs at one time? a) about a tenth b) about a quarter c) about a third or d) about a half
Hmmm…think I will stick to my own very special sense of national identity. That’s around 200 days of grey drizzle, Kate and Will on the cover of everything, the Glee Christmas episode in March and lots and lots of scone eating. With my very own special spin on it of course.
Pumpkin & Maple Syrup Scones
250g spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
40g unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes
3 tablespoons maple syrup
200g pumpkin puree (I used tinned)
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Preheat oven to 200c/400f/gas mark 6 and lightly grease a baking sheet.
Blitz the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor until it forms breadcrumbs (this takes a matter of seconds).
Add the maple syrup, pumpkin and grated zest. Pulse until it forms a damp dough. Again just a few seconds is needed.
Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and very gently knead it out so it is flat and about 5cm thick. Do not apply too much pressure!
Using a 6cm pastry cutter cut out nine scones and place them on the baking sheet. Dust with a little flour and put in to the oven for about 12-15 minutes.
Serve with cream, butter, jam, marmalade, more syrup, honey…however you want.
And if you are dying to know the answer to the questions above, they are as follows:
4. False: there are no UK football teams
So how many did you get right?