Category Archives: Culture
I have this general, possibly misguided, theory that trick or treating is not that big in the U.K. Part of this is based on the fact that I never went trick or treating when I lived in Scotland or London, and never knew anyone who did. Guy Fawkes Night was much more of the thing to do. Granted, that was over a decade ago. Times may have changed. Halloween may have arrived in a bigger way in the U.K. since I’ve moved back to the U.S. Has it?
My husband has an American colleague who moved to London with her family this summer when her husband landed a job there. She commented on how big Halloween was this year, how many kids trick or treated at their house. And then, in nearly the same breath, commented on the amazing items that her kids brought back from their trick or treating adventure in London, which included unwrapped M&Ms and other small, loose, unwrapped, man-handled candies, loose home baked cookies and even a pot of rhubarb yogurt.
Okay, Londoners. Is this weird or the norm? Is this an accurate picture of Halloween, circa 2013, in London? Enlighten us, please!
I lived in Scotland for two years and it remains one of my favorite places on the planet! And so I really loved this Buzzfeed.com list of the 23 most wonderfully Scottish things that have ever happened. Particularly numbers 1, 10 and 20.
I like Buzzfeed.com’s list of the 21 greatest moments in the life of a Londoner. It makes me yearn to be back in the city a little bit (particularly the joys of number 1, 3 and 21).
Love this print I found on Pinterest, hand-lettered by the U.K.’s Debbie Kendall from The Enlightened Hound. There’s only one print left on her site in a handmade frame for £95.
Cursing has been top of mind this week and I’ve been thinking a bit about the differences between British and American sensibilities around bad language.
I had just read Threec’s entertaining blog post, “Is ‘bloody’ really a swear word?”, which successfully argues that Americans are just more buttoned-up about bad language than Brits. And then I read this amazing little Daily Beast report about yesterday’s House of Commons vote against military action in Syria:
“Embarrassed by his failure, [David] Cameron’s team lashed out at opponents of the intervention. A government source told The Times of London that Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, was ‘a f****** c*** and a copper-bottomed s***’ for withdrawing support for military action.”
Whaaa? My first thought: Was this quote actually in the newspaper? Did The Times of London really spell out a f****** c*** and a copper-bottomed s*** without the asterisks? I love the color and candor of such a quote! I clicked on the link to the Times story, but sadly it requires a subscription to view in full.
However, it’s safe to say that I can’t see any reputable American newspaper ever publishing that anyone was a f****** c*** and a copper-bottomed s***, with or without asterisks. Can you?
I visited Loch Ness back in the late ’90s and was hoping upon hope to spot something. Amateur photographer David Elder apparently has beat me to it! Here’s his proof that the Loch Ness Monster exists. Exhibit A:
He is quoted as saying:
“Out of the corner of my right eye I caught site of a black area of water about 15 feet long which developed into a kind of bow wave.
“I’m convinced this was caused by a solid black object under the water. The water was very still at the time and there were no ripples coming off the wave and no other activity on the water.
“Water was definitely going over something sold and making the wave. It looks like the sort of wave perhaps created by a windsurfing board but there was nobody on the Loch at the time, no boats, nothing.
“It is something I just can’t explain.”
What do you think? Do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster?
Check out Sophie Heawood’s column in the Guardian about her favorite parts of the U.S. and the U.K.
She starts, “If you’ve lived between the US and the UK, as I have done in recent years, it can be hard to pin down which country you love more. At times, I yearn to go back and live on the West Coast, where the smiles were wider, the sun was brighter, and everyone believed in the dream of a dream at least. At other times I’m greatly relieved to be in London, with the cold comforts of sarcasm and rain, the reassuring presence of doctors who don’t ask to see your credit card, and the absence of cheerleaders and the NRA. (And cheerleading for the NRA.)”
Too true, Sophie! After returning from vacationing in Disneyland last week, I’m reminded of the bold and unapologetic optimism that surrounds such a place. It’s so American! Read on…
I had to share this – it’s ridiculously accurate, at least from my personal experience!
Ever have one of these encounters?
If you’re in San Francisco tomorrow, be sure to pop by Union Square! BritWeek, an annual celebration of UK creativity and innovation in California which takes place May 3-11, will kick off with a day of fun and British-themed festivities including a BritArt gallery, live music, theater, entertainment and a typical British beer garden serving British beers and Pimm’s cocktails from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event is presented by British Airways.
For more information, visit http://current.britweek.org/san-francisco-events.