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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 March 2007, 11:59 GMT
Your 30 ways the UK has changed
How has Britain changed in the last 10 years? Last week, the Magazine challenged readers to tell us.

Find out more about Rachel's life in OZ, and her impending return

Our inspiration was a letter from reader Rachel Hurley (right), of Perth, Australia, who is moving back to these shores with her husband John and their young daughter.

"Has anything changed?" Rachel asked, innocently enough. On the one hand, there have been seismic, and obvious, political changes, on the other, some rather predictable and prosaic ones.

But the Magazine Monitor, our weblog, asked readers to tune into the more nuanced differences; the subtle, but significant, changes to have crept up on us in the past decade.

Here are 30 of the best.

1. Coffee is served by the pint and it will cost more than a pint of beer.

Drinking a super-grande mocha. Or something
Vat o' latte
2. Once you received your gas from British Gas, your electricity from your local electricity board and your phone service from BT. Now, you will get your gas from your bank, your electricity from British Gas, and your phone service from Tesco.

3. The DFS sale which started just before Rachel left will be ending soon.
Craig H

4. I remember arranging to meet friends at a given location/time many days in advance. If they were late you had to scratch around for 10p to ring from a phone box (and their mum would always tell you they had set off). They would never stand you up, as the cowardly way of cancelling without warning by text just didn't exist then.
Felicity Matthews

5. It's OK to take photos at concerts, so long as you use your phone.

6. Marmite now comes in a squeezy jar.

7. Elaborate descriptions adorn food packaging: "freshly made", "perfectly ripe", "deliciously creamy" or (a recent favourite) a "hand-stretched" pizza.
Cazza S-B

8. Beach huts used to be for nannas and grandads rather than property speculators.
Euan Grice

Congestion charge zone
Ken Livingstone's "copyright" congestion charge
9. A "C" in the middle of a circle meant "copyright".
Nigel Macarthur

10. The M62 and M25 were still motorways rather than car parks.
Jared Read

11. "I was following my Sat Nav" is now the excuse for driving where you shouldn't.
Jan Podsiadly

12. Helen Mirren was occasionally called "Ma'am" by junior officers in Prime Suspect, but not by anybody else.
Nigel Macarthur

13. "Decking" now refers to something you do to your garden, rather than what one boxer does to another.

14. Swear words are no longer asterisked in a newspaper.
Greg Hoover

15. Headline puns are no longer the sole property of the tabloids.
David Michael

16. A wag was something a dog did with its tail.
Lynda Taylor

Kids jumping up in front of beach huts
Pricey beach huts by the British seaside - how very now
17. If children carried guns, they squirted water.
Amreek Singh

18. Policeman are still nominally unarmed but wander around in body armour - even in the Lake District - that makes them look like battle scene extras from Starship Troopers.
Richard Hardisty

19. You can no longer wear a hat or a hooded top inside a shopping centre.
Caroline, Southend, UK

20. A family seaside holiday in Britain is considered chic.
Mark Blackman

21. Northern Ireland is one of the UK's top tourist destinations.
Gordon Bingham

22. The customer is no longer wrong all the time.
Kerrin, Stratford

That shirt's gone too
23. The phrase "Big Brother is watching you" should actually be the other way round for many people.

24. Naked bottoms in TV ads!
Pat O'Donnell

25. Noel Edmonds is still on telly, but at least his Crinkly Bottom has been banished to oblivion.
Lee Dauphin

26. Daleks were reduced to scraping a living in Kit-Kat adverts 10 years ago. Today they're appearing on a lunchbox, annual, poster, t-shirt, DVD, sticker collection and life-size cardboard cut-out near you.

27. Passwords were for international spies and entry to gang huts a decade ago. Now you can barely buy milk without the need for some secretive alpha-numeric code.
Derek Scobie

28. People go to hospital to become ill.
Jan Podsiadly, Cheam

29. The UK will be just like Australia except the weather is worse and the coffee isn't as good.
Paul Woodfine

30. And everyone wants to move to Australia.
Lyndsey Davies

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