I think this is a good thread. For some reason electricians can get very angry on forums but this hasn't happened so far.
A few further points that may provoke discussions and hopefully not too much dissension.
Earth wires, aka protective conductors, are designed to protect wiring not people though they may incidentally protect people. RCDs protect people even if the shock comes from a twin flex cord, ie no earth.
British ring mains are safer than Continetal radials in some ways. You need two breaks in the earth wire before it becomes ineffective. The good old 13 amp plug has a fuse, which should be the lowest practical of 13, 5 or 3 amps, so you are unlikely to end up holding an appliance that is on fire. And the polarity is always right because even on unearthed appliances the dummy plastic earth plug won't let you put it in upside down.
Preferably only use a double insulated appliance in a two pin socket. The symbol is one square inside another. Watch out for lights, particularly the E27 screw bulb variety. If you plug those in the wrong way round the screw part of the socket, which you are likely to touch, will be live rather than the recessed contact the solder blob on the bulb sits on. That risk is just part of the racy Continental life style. For some reason the bad guy in those old French films noirs
never gets electrocuted when he plunges the stairwell into darkness by grasping the bulbholder and unscrewing the bulb slightly! I guess he hasn't encountered a broken ceramic shield yet.
Touching live and neutral simultaneously will probably not kill you because the electricity will just pass through the digit in question. I've done it several times, but it's better avoided.
Damaged electric cords are a common hazard. Using a hand electric appliance in bare feet in the bathroom or the garden is inviting trouble. The resistance you offer is 2,000 times less than if you were wearing rubber soled shoes. Likewise erecting a ladder that touches a live conductor. The electricity will pass through your whole body.
That's where the RCD saves lifes (though not with the ladder unfortunately). But it's better not to rely on them 100% because research shows they only work, at best, 93 to 97% of the time. You can increase that percentage.by tripping them regularly.
I don't know about MW's ground spike. I hammered one into the ground under my hall when the lead water pipe was replaced by blue plastic and I figured the wire with "earth connection, do not remove" looked a bit stupid floating around in mid air. But I doubt if it would have worked. consistently or at all. I've sold that house so no need to offer suggestions! Somebody more knowledgable than I has already commented on the difficulty of getting them to work and several spikes are probably desirable. MW may have cured his tingle but maybe he is swelling the coffers of EON by running a continuous small current to earth? My wife told me that she kept getting a tingle off our dishwasher. I didn't and so poo-pooed her complaints for a year or two until I took the socket off and found my British ring main was broken in the socket. Virtually none of the conductor was protruding from the red insulation of the broken wire but it was making intermittent contact with the earth terminal screw. It never tripped the RCD so either it was a very poor connection or I've got one of the 7% that don't work. The earth showed up as "no fault" on a Martindale tester but that probably doesn't mean very much.
So-called TT systems rely entirely on a spike earth. But if you have an earth provided by your electricity supplier it might not be a good idea to provide your own spike as well because their electric potential may be different which as I understand it is a Bad Thing.
In one of the first Bond films Bond despatched some villain by throwing him into a bath rapidly followed by a radiant electric fire with gratifying results. I remember discussion raging in a Physics class at school about whether it would have had any ill effect on the occupant of the bath. I suspect it wouldn't unless it did not have an earth wire and the water supply pipes were metal back to ground but in any re-enactment I would prefer to play the part of Bond
Equipotential bonding or protective multiple earthing of large masses of metal is something that can make electricians really angry. I wonder if that is known in Bulgaria? PME, I mean, I know Bulgarian electrotechnics get angry as well!
In new installations in Bulgaria RCD consumer units are compulsory but there are probably plenty of those round screw in ceramic fuses about. Can you put new fuse wire in them or are they a throwaway job like a cartridge fuse?