Questions for those in England
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  1. #1
    Freebie Queen englishcottage1's Avatar
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    Default Questions for those in England

    I am a big fan of older English shows, I have the dvd collection of Keeping up Appearances (my favorite), Are you being served and Hetty Wainthrop. I also try to catch BBC America (when it runs free every once in a while). I also watch House Hunters International and the Travel Channel and notice this there also.

    Why are your fridges so small? Are all fridges over in Europe as small as I see on shows? How often do you need to buy your cold products? Does the milk man still deliver at this day and age? I think ours, over here, are so huge compared to what I see on tv? I guess you could ask why ours are so big, but that's easy, you can put more food in there so you go shopping for food less

    I also noticed that washers always seem to be in kitchens?
    Daisy

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    Registered User InDiAnNa's Avatar
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    British fridges are tiny compared to those in the US. My ex partner had an 'American Style' fridge freezer, you could fit so more into it.

    In a rented flat I had, the fridge was so small I had to go shop for fresh stuff at least once a week, if not 2-3 times as I simply couldn't fit everything in - and that is only for my and FDH! Freezers aren't as commonplace here either, seems to be considered a luxury. I now have a slightly larger fridge with two small freezers. One day I will have an 'American Style' one again!

    The milkman still does exist in more rural areas of the UK, but is almost lost in time to the cities such as London, Edinburgh, Birmingham... The cost of fresh milk delivered to your door tends to be a lot higher than picking it up at the supermarket.

    Our houses in the UK are on the whole a LOT smaller than even what is considered a small property in the US. In terms of square footage, a two bedroomed flat in South London is about 2/3rds of the size of a 'teeny' two bedroomed townhouse in Iowa for example.

    Only those with large houses (and the bank balances and social status to go with it) would have seperate utility room to house the washer and/or dryer. Some less wealthy families might have a shed with the washer in, but this is rare. So washers simply have to go in the kitchen as there is nowhere else to put it in an average British home
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    Registered User britbunny's Avatar
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    Hi,

    As the pp has said our fridges are smaller and our washers are in the kitchen because our houses are smaller! I know a fair few people who have a "utility room" or house their washer and freezer in their garage if the kitchen is too small. I prefer to have it in the kitchen as I really don't want to have a whole room dedicated to housework! *yuk*

    We buy fridge stuff once a week, we just buy enough so we don't have to chuck anything. Not to mention the fact it's usually cold enough to not have to put everything in the fridge, lol - we don't put eggs and most veg in the fridge so we don't need a huge thing. The "American style" fridge is becoming more common, but I'd rather have a small fridge and freezer and save on the electricity bills!

    In this area there are a lot of dairy farms so milkmen are not uncommon but most often people buy milk from the supermarket because it's cheaper. I was surprised that the pp said freezers aren't so common, other than when we were in uni houses we've always had one as has every house I've even been in. Maybe not having one is a London thing (?)

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    Registered User Peaches's Avatar
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    As an American transplanted to Britain 14 years ago, it took me some time to get used to the British way of life - smaller house, smaller appliances, smaller everything. It's a much smaller country, so there's less space. Yes, most Europeans have much smaller fridges than their American counterparts. I consider this a good thing. Less fridge space=less food=less waste. I have a fridge in my garage that I got from Freecycle for storing extra things got on sale, or for our homegrown fruits/veg that I can't freeze or can right away. My chest freezer is out there too. I don't consider a freezer a luxury item. Everyone I know has one in their garage. My dryer is also in my garage, although in the summertime I don't use it at all, and in the winter I only use it for sheets and towels. My washing machine is in my kitchen. Lots of people I know have utility rooms, but my house is small and I don't have one. I've gotten used to that.

    You can buy big American fridge/freezers over here, but good luck getting one into your house. I'd be suprised if it fit through the door, or if the floor is sturdy enough to support its weight.

    One thing I never got used to is the lack of storage space in British homes. What's the problem with squeezing in a closet? These are starting to materialize in newer homes, but otherwise people bought big, freestanding wardrobes which seemed to take up the whole bedroom. It seems more logical to me to have a small closet that's part of the room and fairly unnoticed versus a monstrous piece of furniture.

    Anyway, I've been here so long I don't even notice these things anymore and, frankly, when I visit my family in the U.S., I think to myself "Why do they need this much space?" Although I do envy the closets!!

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    Registered User Bournecrazy's Avatar
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    like most people say, we tend to have smaller house's in living space, ive always seen it to be normal to have a washing machine in the kitchen. my parents have one in there's but they keep a second freezer and clothes dryer outside in a shed as there is just no room as they only have a small bungalow.

    i see the opposite when i watch US shows all the rooms look really huge like kitchens and bathrooms but i suposse all countries are different in the way things are done

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    Freebie Queen englishcottage1's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the replies. I just find it fascinating about some of the differences we have, neither right or wrong, but just different

    Another question if you don't mind?

    A girlfriend of mine went to Italy and when she came back I was looking at pictures and in the bathroom the tank to the toilet was up high on the wall above the actual toilet, is this usual, if so is there a reason, or that's just the way it has always been?

    Oh, one more, when I watch Keeping up Appearances, I always see them closing the doors in their different rooms, is that also the norm? For heating purposes? I know there are some open floor plans over there because I have seen those on International House Hunters. Maybe it's just in older homes?
    Daisy

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    Registered User britbunny's Avatar
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    Hi,

    AFAIK the reason toilets had the tank up high was just the way they were designed way back when we first had flush facilities. It is still possible to buy them here but they're mainly if you want a "period" look for your bathroom which has been quite popular over the last few years. The norm is just to have the tank sat atop or to have it boxed in for that public convenience look, lol.

    I don't know exactly why we close doors to all the rooms, it probably is to keep the heat in from when we just had coal fires so the whole house wasn't heated. If we looked back it would probably turn out to be one of those hangovers from Victorian times (from which we have some of most weird habits, imo) Other than that it might just be because our houses are small or because we love gossip so much so we can listen to what people are saying!

    I am interested in the closet thing too, I used to think I would like a walk in closet type thing but I do like being able to change my wardrobes and either move the furniture about for a different look or change the doors if I fancy a change of style :-)

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    It's all down to space and money constraints, everything is so expensive here, we are taxed to death to pay for the lazy and selfish so we NEED to be more frugal. In saying that, since we bought a big american side by side fridge freezer our grocery bills have reduced as we can buy freezer stuff in bulk and when something is on a good special we don't need to worry if we have space for it.
    The toilet cisterns were up high so that gravity would make the flush stronger but advances in technology make it unnecessary now.
    If you like british tv install boxee and there are a few good plugin apps for it and you can view pretty much anything you want for free legally, its paid for by adverts which you cant fast forward through.

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    Registered User PlainCash4's Avatar
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    I miss British TV but won't pay the high cost to get SKY TV in Germany! When we first moved to England, the military had us go through an integration class- learning about British history, customs, etc.

    According to the class, each room used to be taxed at a high rate. Bedrooms were classed as rooms with closet space. That's why there is minimal storage space. Same thing with windows.

    From my experience, Europeans prefer to shop a few times a week, even everyday for fresh items. That and the high cost of utilities makes having a large fridge unnecessary and costly to run. I noticed in England, they like fresh milk from the grocery store. In Germany, most people I know use shelf stable milk.

    In England I only knew a few people get their milk delivered. I tasted some and it was sooo delicious. But very expensive.

    Our house in England (lived near the Scottish border in Harrogate) had a tiny washer and dryer. They fit under our kitchen countertop. The dryer didn't have an output hose. Instead it had a plastic container where all the water went into. It was a pain having to empty it halfway through the dryer cycle (which would take about 2 hours to complete). The washer could fit maybe 4 pairs of jeans in it. Thank goodness we were in Ministry of Defense (military housing) housing so we didn't have to pay utilities!

    Something else is like the toilet cistern, hot water heaters are usually in the attic. Because of this, it isn't safe to use hot water from the tap for drinking/cooking.
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    Registered User Squidge's Avatar
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    You can't beat Keeping up Appearances.

    The American fridge-freezers look awesome. My SO and I have always said we'd love to get one, but I have no idea where it would fit, we don't even have room for a dishwasher at the minute.

    I do think the larger fridges help hugely with food bills; currently we have a fridge with just an ice-box (no freezer), meaning we can't freeze meals, buy meats on offer etc. It's a pain...not to mention we don't have a snazzy ice or orange juice dispenser .

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    Registered User britbunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennybethg View Post
    I miss British TV but won't pay the high cost to get SKY TV in Germany! When we first moved to England, the military had us go through an integration class- learning about British history, customs, etc.

    According to the class, each room used to be taxed at a high rate. Bedrooms were classed as rooms with closet space. That's why there is minimal storage space. Same thing with windows.

    From my experience, Europeans prefer to shop a few times a week, even everyday for fresh items. That and the high cost of utilities makes having a large fridge unnecessary and costly to run. I noticed in England, they like fresh milk from the grocery store. In Germany, most people I know use shelf stable milk.

    In England I only knew a few people get their milk delivered. I tasted some and it was sooo delicious. But very expensive.

    Our house in England (lived near the Scottish border in Harrogate) had a tiny washer and dryer. They fit under our kitchen countertop. The dryer didn't have an output hose. Instead it had a plastic container where all the water went into. It was a pain having to empty it halfway through the dryer cycle (which would take about 2 hours to complete). The washer could fit maybe 4 pairs of jeans in it. Thank goodness we were in Ministry of Defense (military housing) housing so we didn't have to pay utilities!

    Something else is like the toilet cistern, hot water heaters are usually in the attic. Because of this, it isn't safe to use hot water from the tap for drinking/cooking.
    Harrogate isn't near Scotland! Maybe in US terms of space, but not in UK terms - it's miles away! In terms of tumble dryers there are vented ones as well as ones with a container - the container ones are usually used for places where it's difficult to get an outside vent.

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    Registered User beingfrugalgreen's Avatar
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    Hello, my first post here. I'm from England and always close my doors into rooms. It's to keep the heat in and draughts out., why I do it anyway.

    No our homes and gardens are not very big. Even the 4 bedroom new builds here are not massive style and estates tend to be crammed with houses. The older style houses - our is 1930's are a little bigger I find but still nothing marvellous size wize.

    The thing that's happening more and more re: 'closets' is to fit out a space with shelving and put on sliding wardrobe doors. Both our houses lately have had this. Infact, I've never had to buy a wardrobe for the master bedroom, only the childrens rooms.

    I've always had a freezer, even growing up. I remember my Grandma had a large chest freezer too. Everyone I know and grew up with had a freezer so not sure where that misconception comes from

    My fridge is small, fits under the worktop. It's always full as I shop weekly, hardly ever throw anything a way.

    Harrogate is approx 90 mins - 2 hours drive away from the Scottish borders. I am in between the two.

    Milk delivered. My neighbours get their milk delivered (older generation) but I don;t as the supermarket is way cheaper. Supermarkets are ten a penny in the UK. I have approx. 20 in a 20 mile radius

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    Registered User britbunny's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Welcome aboard. Always good to have another British person about the place.

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    Registered User Squidge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beingfrugalgreen View Post
    Milk delivered. My neighbours get their milk delivered (older generation) but I don;t as the supermarket is way cheaper. Supermarkets are ten a penny in the UK. I have approx. 20 in a 20 mile radius
    My parents have not got delivered milk for around seven years because of the cost, but they have had an 'egg man' for a few years who comes up with fresh eggs from his farm in the countryside.

    Anyone else in the UK avail of such a service? I definitely didn't think it was common.

    ETA: Also, hello

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