Category Archives: Culture
I’ve mentioned man flu briefly in a previous post. But I feel it is my public health duty to dedicate a full post to this malady.
For the uninitiated: “Man flu is a crippling and debilitating disorder indiscriminately striking down male members of the human species without warning. The illness is often referred to pejoratively by female members of the species who are in fact immune from the illness as man flu is now known to exclusively attack the XY chromosome carrier. If Man Flu is kind enough not to kill the infected party it will definitely leave him weak, sick, hurting everywhere and in dire need of TLC.”
Sound familiar? Check out www.manflu.info. It has been created to provide assistance for the men who are hapless victims of man flu (and the women who love them).
My son got his first exposure to James Bond on Sunday with the 007 video montage that was shown at the Oscars. Questionably inappropriate material for a 5-year-old? Uh, yeah. But a piece of British culture that my husband eagerly wanted to pass down.
I couldn’t find said video montage online, but found this excellent look at the past 50 years of Bond.
Who’s your favorite James Bond? I have to say Daniel Craig is mine.
If you’ve wondered who are the real movers and shakers in the U.K., look no further than the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Power List.
Topping the list is the Queen, with other notables including J.K. Rowling, Adele and Victoria Beckham (AKA Posh Spice). Kate Middleton is noticeably absent from the top 100, which has created a bit of controversy since she is nothing if not influential.
Take a look at the list! What do you think?
Have you heard that the British government is its “Life in the U.K.” handbook and test for those seeking to become British citizens or settle in the U.K. permanently?
The new handbook and test focuses on British history and culture, with questions about sports, music, humor and historical figures.
Try taking a sample test and see how you do! (I got 10 out of 10!)
Today, there’s much to celebrate as the world’s oldest underground transportation network, the London Underground, celebrates 150 years today on the same day that the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton turns 31.
When I studied abroad in the U.K., one of my flatmates had an anthology of poetry that had been posted on the London Underground (where the advertisements usually ran). The book, Poems on the Underground (Fifth Edition), became one of my favorites to just dip into now and again, and ranged from Percy Shelley to Maya Angelou, Brits and non-Brits as well as some anonymous authors.
I eventually bought my own copy that year and have been revisiting those old poems this week. I found one which might be appropriate for today’s celebrations. Let’s raise a glass and have a read! Cheers.
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.
- Christina Rossetti (1830-94)
“I haven’t always been the tea-drinking, Boden-shopping, Bond-watching anglophile that you see before you. In fact, my first 19 years were spent in relative ignorance of British culture and customs.
My knowledge didn’t extend beyond Princess Diana’s latest designer dress and what I could gather from “Are You Being Served” reruns on PBS.
But everything changed my junior year of college when I took part in a study abroad program in the U.K.”
And so begins, my first guest blog post, published this week, on another blog — SmittenbyBritain.com, another great site dedicated to anglophiles. I’m so excited to share this with all of you!
Check out my blog post “How One American Became an Anglophile” and have a wonderful weekend!
This did make me laugh: Buzzfeed’s 21 Brilliant British People Problems. Don’t miss #16!
It seemed almost mystical when I heard that my MIL in England has a “no needle drop” variety of Christmas tree this year. Why do we not have such a variety? Why are we as Americans destined to a needled existence?!
When we were living in London ten years ago, I remember buying our Christmas tree online for £5 and was delivered to the house in a cardboard box – all six feet of it! Once we unwrapped the box and cut the netting that enveloped the tree, voila! Instant Christmas tree!
And so it seems fitting that ten years later, the Christmas tree industry in the U.K. would progress to non-needle drop Christmas trees. What next? Trees that decorate themselves? Trees that tie themselves to the roof of your car? Trees that never do that leaning thing?
Finally, for those looking for alternative Christmas trees on our side of the pond, look no further than Apartment Therapy’s round-up of the best 15. These will definitely not drop needles!