Question for UK buds...

Annie Deighnaugh

I've become addicted to Escape to the Country which is a show about people moving out of urban areas and into the countryside in the UK. The show is total eye candy from the beautiful rural scenery, hills and seasides to cozy homes with character and history.


But I have a question. So many of the homes have gravel driveways or walkways that are completely weed and grass free. How is that managed? Around here of course we don't see a lot of gravel drives due to snow, but when I do see them, it seems they are almost immediately taken over with weeds and grass.

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Annie Deighnaugh

I also delight in the language differences. For me, "here" is a one syllable word...or what we call a den, they call a snug. I always crack up when they say some place is homely which to us means ugly and instead, we'd say homey.

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Raye Smith

I'm not in the UK but I've had the same issue with grass trying to grow in my gravel drive. I'd love to know the answer too. Hope it's not toxic chemicals, never doing that.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

It’s television. 😉 Do you really believe the gravel was weed free before the house went on the market and the TV said they were coming? But a hoe will keep a gravel drive weed free if you do it regularly. Or a flame weeder. And we generally have much smaller properties to maintain.


As for pronunciation and language don’t assume it’s the same everywhere. It depends where the show is being filmed as to how people will speak. Same as the US. I imagine homeowners say snug or den as they choose. Such rooms aren't that common here so there’s no one way of describing it. I’ve certainly never had one. And of course, they don’t show you the grotty bits of the country of which we have a lot. They cherry pick the pretty bits.


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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

I like that show too - such lovely scenery and homes!

Keep in mind we're basically only seeing a snapshot. It all might've just been spruced up for the camera. Homes on USA TV shows are certainly staged, aren't they?

And these are properties on the market, right?

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jupidupi

I like when they call a living room a "lounge." It sounds so relaxing.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

‘They’ don’t all call a living room a lounge. I don’t. In fact I call it the front room in my house. Depends on the people and depends on the house. Best not to draw generalisations from a TV programme.

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chisue

Along the same lines, what is a "metaled road"? I read about them in novels set in England. Oh, also: What's the story behind calling someone a "Nosey Parker"?

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Metalled is very old fashioned. It just means it has a hard surface rather than being an unsurfaced track. No idea about nosey parker.

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roxsol

MATTHEW PARKER, who was Archbishop of Canterbury (1559-75), had rather a reputation for prying into the affairs of others. He therefore acquired the nickname 'Nosey Parker'.

My mom used to say Nosey Parker all the time!

My granny called the living room the lounge and the sofa the settee, but my mom always said chesterfield.

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chisue

Thanks, floral and roxsol. Our 'common language' has its variations!

Now, *come through* to the *lounge* and have a seat on the long *whatsis* (sofa, divan, settee, chesterfield, etc.).


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summersrhythm_z6a

I love Escape to the Country. I have never thought about country living before watching the show, it opened my mind. We now have a weekend place in the country with a big circular gravel driveway. Gravel driveways are very common here in the countryside (NY, PA). We use weedkillers a couple times a year to keep weeds down.

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roxsol

My mom used to call the front yard, the front garden and the back yard the back garden. They were all lawn.

And our undershirts were called vests.

chisue, I like your comment about our common language having variations. It’s not just between countries but also within a country. My parents spoke different English from one another, even though they both grew up in England. And of course, it was different from Canadian English. It’s fun to learn about the variations!

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patriciae_gw

I watched a few of those and loved looking at the houses and country side. Of the ones I saw no one ever seemed to actually buy anything. I did wonder if it was like our house buying shows where they pretend to be considering three houses but in fact have already bought the house(or maybe not) and some of the properties arent even on the market. It is done as a "reality" thing. They even sub out the people doing the buying. Well I dont actually care. I loved the house and the beautiful country.

I have noticed people using Lounge on some of the UK shows we watch and did wonder if that was a TV thing. I dont recall anyone saying that when I lived there but it was a very long time ago. I do remember Front room. Nothing stays the same of course.

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Annie Deighnaugh

Interesting...a flame weeder...I guess that would do it.

There are a lot of language differences I noticed on the show. For instance, they refer to public spaces in the house as "reception rooms" which seems to make them a lot freer to define which room to be living vs. dining. I never hear them talk about a "family room".

They call an eat-in kitchen a "kitchen/diner".

They seem to make a distinction between a bathroom with a tub vs a shower room with just a shower.

DH always wonders why so few bathroom sinks seem to have mirrors over them.

They refer to the 1st floor as the ground floor and the 2nd floor as the 1st and so on.

They also seem to refer to the bedrooms by the size of the beds that could fit, so a small room might be a single, vs. a larger one a double.

I notice a lot of the kitchens seem to have the fridge in the "utility" room off the kitchen with the "white goods" meaning laundry.

And our powder room is their cloak room.

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maifleur03

If this virus ends enough to allow travel today on YT the Landmark Trust in the UK was showing properties. Turns out, probably known by several, that they rent the properties for stays. Renting one in the country could make your viewing come to life. Holidays mean vacations.


The Landmark Trust | Holidays in Historic Buildings

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Elmer J Fudd

What is YT?

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maifleur03

YouTube. I watch BBC shows along with some of the historical presentations from the Landmark Trust.

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chisue

We had a great vacation (long ago) driving around to four different Trust rentals outside of London, including a stay in the Georgian House at Hampton Court Palace. Each rental was four nights, so we could tour around the areas. Probably my favorite trip!

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Kathsgrdn

My son just moved to the UK a few weeks ago. He is now in his new home but sent me a picture this morning of a tiny European car saying he is probably going to have to buy one of them so it will fit in his garage, which is the only parking area he has. His little Pruis he had shipped won't fit or so he says...with the garage door closed. He's currently renting a car so I guess his rental doesn't fit with the door closed.

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Lars

My parents had a gravel driveway and the road in front of their house was gravel when I was little. I never saw weeds in that driveway - probably because the gravel was packed down too hard. I have no idea what was under the gravel, and I never tried to dig it up.

I watch Escape to the Country when we are in Cathedral City because we do not have cable there but get DABL on one of the local Palm Springs channels via antenna. What I like about that show is that almost no one has white subway tiles and I much prefer the quirky multi-colored square tiles that I see in most of the kitchens there. I can never figure out a pattern for the colors, however, but I do like the colorfulness of it. Their kitchens are definitely homely. I enjoy the historical stories of the show and like seeing houses that are hundreds of years old - very different from California and Texas.

A lot of the real estate terms are different, but at least they say "open plan" instead of "open concept." I've always hated the term "open concept," as it sounds much too contrived/gimmicky. I don't know who contrived that term, but I blame HGTV for spreading it around so much. I never heard that term in university when I was studying architecture and getting my interior design degree.

I would never want to live in any of the houses I see on the show (many of the ceiling are too low and sometimes have awkward slants), but I do enjoy very much looking at them. I much prefer Italian houses - and the Italian/Mediterranean climate. By the way people dress on the show, it seems that England must be rather chilly most of the time, and I don't like that. I guess that's also why they have so many fireplaces, and I don't like those either. I like the gardens much better than the houses.

My grandmother had a friend from Guernsey who visited us in Texas, and she said that she liked the way all the houses that she saw in Texas had little parks in front of them. She did not call our front yards gardens.

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Elmer J Fudd

"By the way people dress on the show, it seems that England must be rather chilly most of the time, and I don't like that."

Yes, cool but not cold like much of the US gets in winter. Other than in the far north, not regularly below freezing and often a tad warmer. And damp/drizzly much of the year. Winter days usually in the 30s and 40s. Summers not hot either.

Think of Seattle weather and that's close.

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chisue

It's the DAMP that would get me!

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Elmer J Fudd

Oooh, sorry, I missed the first question.


Gravel and stone driveways, walkways and the like are very common in Europe, I think for two reasons- they're cheaper than hard paving and they're water permeable. They're common in urban and suburban areas too.


Another flavor frequently seen is driveways/walkways/sidewalks even in cities made of natural stone (cobblestone) or brick or concrete cast pavers individually laid in place but with gaps in-between. Not on main or heavily traveled roads but certainly on less traveled ones, parking lots, etc. These can't be less expensive because of the labor to lay them BUT they are just the same water permeable. Fewer puddles in the road, less storm drain runoff, rain gets absorbed into the ground. And, when they need to be dug up for pipe work or other needs, the paving material is reused instead of being hauled off to a landfill. At least, that's my spin on what can be seen all over. In countries like the Netherlands, brick or paver side streets, parking lots, sidewalkds, parking spaces, etc, are far more frequently seen than paved sections.

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grapefruit1_ar

My daughter lives in London. My 6 year old granddaughter has picked up many new terms, for example, a jacket is called a “ jumper”. The backyard is the “ garden”. Baked potatoes are “ jacket potatoes”. Things are not good, nice, great, etc. They are “ brilliant “. I adore visiting London , and hearing the language is one thing that makes it special.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Be careful of drawing conclusions from a small sample. A jumper is definitely not a jacket, it’s a sweater. But we also use sweater. And be careful when you discuss pants 😉 Baked potatoes can be either baked potatoes or jacket potatoes. In our family they’re always called baked. People do sometimes say brilliant but they use all those other adjectives as well.

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sephia_wa

I love London. It's one of my favorite cities. I love the history and culture. The architecture is amazing too. Really, really old right next to modern.

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roxsol

My mom used to call a button up sweater a cardigan. If it came with a matching pullover sweater, they were a twinset.

My gran always called our hands donnies.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

They’re still called that, roxsol. It’s standard usage. Never heard of donnies. Seems to be from the West Midlands.

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roxsol

floral, both my parents came from the West Midlands. The interesting thing is that their accents and vocabulary were quite different from one another. My maternal grandmother was very difficult to understand when she got going on a topic. My mother was the same. Lots of dropped haitches! 😊

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chisue

I was 14. My DM and I were having lunch at Fortnum's in London. I asked for a glass of milk. The puzzled waitress brought me a glass of cream. As we were leaving, a nice lady at the next table called to me, "You've dropped your woolie, dear." Ah, my *sweater*! (I like woolie better than SWEATer, don't you?)

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raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

The house that I spent most of my childhood in had a long gravel driveway. Perhaps because it had been in use for so long from heavy equipment and cars (1914, former farm, the drive ran through the remaining orchard and past the barn and garage), it didn't have a weed problem. I recall my parents having a load of large gravel (like marble to walnut sized bits) brought in and spread once.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

I don’t understand the milk anecdote. Milk is milk, cream is cream. I can’t believe you’d be brought cream in a glass if you asked for milk. Was it perhaps that you weren’t used to the taste of full cream milk?

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Elmer J Fudd

"Was it perhaps that you weren’t used to the taste of full cream milk?"

My money is on this too. Fresh milk in the UK was typically higher in fat content than in the US, especially some decades back before lower fat content types had become more commonly available.

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roxsol

Maybe the milk was was not homogenized and the fat/cream was sitting on the top and you thought it was a glass of cream? Odd.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Milk here wasn’t homogenised and the cream floated to the top. ‘Top of the milk’ was considered a treat. My mil saved it and served it in a separate jug. Milk came in glass bottles with foil tops. It’s still available that way, as well as in plastic jugs. The foil is colour coded. Silver top is full cream milk. Gold top is even creamier, made with milk from Jersey or Guernsey cows. I’m pretty certain that nobody would serve a glass of cream.

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