Culture. From it come both good and bad. Industry produces both invention and pollution: railways, newspapers, votes for women, education, the volunteer movement, the National Health Service. Also exploitation, weapons and War. Remembrance.
The Queen. Who never, ever, gets involved in anything show business-y or showy, acts in a clip with James Bond. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? She is brilliant. Doesn't seem at all ruffled by her exciting helicopter parachute jump into the Olympic Stadium.
Children. We respond to their innocence and care for them when they're sick. Sick children in bed and healthy children bouncing on their beds. All are powerful, provocative images. Fiends of the imagination like the Child Catcher and Lord Voldemort are banished by caring and magical adults - real flying Mary Poppinses. With obligatory black umbrellas. This is Britain after all.
Chariots of Fire. Elijah didn't die; he was translated. There are places between heaven and earth that are especially thin. The Christian sportsman, Eric Liddell, running along a beach; serious and uplifting, till joined by Mr Bean and a big fat raspberry. We have a sense of humour in Britain, predicated on the underdog. It's what keeps us human.
Multiculturalism. We're British and diverse. We do not stand alone. Welcome the alien in your midst. We celebrate life in pop music; the highs and lows, the heartbreak. Since the sixties we've been searching for satisfaction, love and that perfect kiss.
We so hunger for connection that we invented the world wide web. We are now so connected that news spreads around the world like wildfire. Status: 'In a relationship.'
Sadly, so does hate. Some people, ordinary people, people from many different ethnicities, got on the wrong bus, the wrong train, at the wrong time when the bombs went off. We still remember. At times like this, words are inadequate.
And so we dance. We sing...
'Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.'
For the story of Britain, or of anyone anywhere, when all's said and done, is a story about life and death; good and evil; choices; a garden, a fall and how to find the Way back.