Sir David Attenborough’s “What a Wonderful World”

So, I’m very late to the party here (this was apparently posted back in 2011), but I just saw this lovely little video of Sir David Attenborough reading “What a Wonderful World,” featuring some stunning scenes from the BBC’s “Frozen Planet.” I hope it sets what may be a tough Monday morning for you off on the right note!

How to piss off a Brit

Queue here sign

How can you piss off a Brit?

Let me count the ways. Or rather, let me share a list I found on the Matador Network which says it better than I could.

I think #1 (tell us we don’t spell things properly) and #2 (jump the queue) are universal truths!

Aluminium, anyone?

Happy Pancakes

Making crepes

I don’t think Pancake Day really became a part of my life until I lived in the U.K. I thought it was a sweet, whimsical holiday that the Brits invented (they didn’t, by the way. More info on the origins here). But very quickly, it became an annual thing. And then after our kids were born, it became a tasty tradition — one that annually takes us by surprise (I actually didn’t realize it was Pancake Day until yesterday morning), but part of the tradition includes that fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants scramble to get ingredients on a school night and pull this thing off.

I’m happy to report we had success yesterday — and even better, my husband made the pancakes this year.

Read the rest of this entry

Crisp sandwich, anyone?

crisp sandwich

Leave it to the British masterminds who created the chip butty (fries in a roll) to also attempt the crisp (translation: potato chip) sandwich.

Yes, crisp sandwiches are now being sold at the Stock Exchange Bakery in Bristol. The bakery offers patrons the choice of granary bread or a white bun (baked fresh on the premises! and I’ve blogged before about how granary bread is the Best Bread on the Planet!) and a choice of 20 different crisps (the Brits have so much variety in flavors from roast beef to prawn cocktail and everything in between) to put inside. All this for £2.50 each. The Bristol Post reports that they’ve had queues around the block!

Not since this sandwich have I been so intrigued. Sigh. Will someone report on this from across the pond? Is it as good as it sounds?

You know you’re back in America when …

Cereal aisle

Katrina Witt/Getty Images

I enjoyed reading this “You know you’re back in America when …” posted to the Matador Network.

If you’ve ever lived abroad for any amount of time, this will appreciate these – for me, I remember vividly being struck by #1, #3 and #15 after spending my first few months in the U.K. and then returning to California for Christmas.

What’s your best “You know you’re back in America when …” tell-tale sign?

The chewy joy of wine gums

Wine gums

When I first moved to the United Kingdom nearly 20 years ago, I discovered the Maynards Wine Gums and being a Haribo convert and loving anything gummy, sweet and black currant flavored, I became an instant fan.

And then the whole Mad Cow Disease broke and there was rumor/conjecture/fact that wine gums were made out of gelatin (made from those mad cow’s joints or muscle, bones or gristle, I’m not quite sure) and they fell out of favor with me. I stopped buying them (I was a vegetarian at the time and did think it would be tragic and also ironic if I got Mad Cow Disease, not from eating cheap burgers or sausages, but from these blissfully nearly blameless fruit candies), but that decision did come with anguish every time I spotted them in the grocery checkout aisle.

Fast forward to this past year and I started thinking about those wine gums again. When my mother-in-law was packing her bag to visit us in November, I asked her if she could bring some. It only took a couple of bites into the black and red (the only flavors worth mentioning, in my opinion) and I was transported to those days at uni. I love the density of them. The hearty chewiness of them (not weak and loose in bite like some excessively jubbly candies you can buy). The black currant-y smell of them. They don’t stick to your teeth or make you worry that you’ll loose a filling. They’re just a burst of sweet berry joy and I can’t compare them to anything here in the U.S. Needless to say that packet of wine gums went quickly.

My sister-in-law came to visit us this month and also brought a box of wine gums along with Percy Pigs (more on this delicacy in a future post…) and it was again like a tasty reunion of memories and nostalgia, wrapped in animal gelatin and black currant flavors (or lime, lemon or orange, if you prefer the green, yellow or orange, which I don’t touch).

Have you tried wine gums? What do you think of them?

And … I’m back!

It's a Small World
How was your holiday season? I hope you had a wonderful one! Apologies for the radio silence these past couple of months. It’s been an incredibly busy time for me and my family — like most holiday seasons — but I haven’t been able to quite find the time to add blogging into the matrix.

My mother-in-law came to visit in November from Cornwall and we had a great visit. One of the highlights of her trip was taking her to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for the first time right before Thanksgiving! Our kids had a blast and if you’ve never been to Disneyland during the holidays, I’d highly recommend it! It was my first time visiting when the park was completely dressed in holiday splendor and we had a lot of fun seeing some of our favorite rides like It’s a Small World and Jungle Cruise get redone for Christmas.

Other Disney highlights:

* Seeing “Aladdin” stage show at the Disney California Adventure
* Watching the holiday parade at Disneyland
* Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan and Soarin’ Over California
* Fried chicken dinner at the Plaza

Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to share some other adventures I’ve had over the holiday break. Stay tuned! In the meantime, have a wonderful three-day weekend!

A good card for an Anglophile

This card was too good to pass up!

A good card for an Anglophile

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10 Things That Brits Don’t Realize Are Offensive to Americans

Stephen Fry

Last week, I blogged about BBC America’s “10 things that Americans don’t realize are offensive to Brits” so naturally we need to cover the other side and discuss the 10 things that Brits don’t realize are offensive to Americans (most of these are pretty self-evident, IMHO, including saying Americans are unsophisticated and criticizing America.) I think the typical British reserve (replying monosyllabically to an American’s “How are you?”) can often be perceived as rude. Are there others?

Laura Ashley clothing sale

Laura Ashley is so very British and high quality (a combination that usually spells “expensive.”) And so I was pleased to see some very sweet dresses for kids appearing at deep discounts on Zulily.com yesterday.

Black Embroidered Dress

Black Embroidered Dress, $29.99, regularly priced $51

Blue Plaid Smocked Dress

Blue Plaid Smocked Dress, $28.99, regularly priced $50

Black Floral Dress & White Cardigan

Black Floral Dress & White Cardigan, $33.99, regularly priced $59

They also have a sale on Laura Ashley women’s sleepwear, shoes and a couple of home items like this quilt set and curtains.

The event will end Tuesday morning so get there quick. And if you’re new to Zulily, use this link to register to the site and I’ll get $15 credit, which I would definitely use to buy this.)

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