Monthly Archives: March 2012

The next Susan Boyle

Let’s face it. The world is looking for the next Susan Boyle.

Enter Jonathan Antoine this week on “Britain’s Got Talent.”

(I love the judges’ over-the-top reactions and the background music that seems to rush in at just the right moment. Perfect orchestration for maximum cheese factor.)


Draw Something

Last weekend, I discovered Draw Something, the latest Pictionary-style app.

It’s tremendously fun and hilarious and kind of creative – like Pictionary itself, but I’m finding that there are some challenges when playing with Brits.

First case in point:

The word was “Coach.”

Now in my mind, I’d have to draw a sports coach. Whistle. Cap. Smoke coming out of his ears.

But for my mother-in-law, the picture was simple: a bus.

Second case in point:

The word was “pong.”

I’m imagining the old-school computer game. Ball. Rectangle thingy. Done.

My mother-in-law draws a nose and some odor-implying squiggles.

And so Draw Something is a particularly head-scratching yet funny game to play with Brits. Challenge one today!

Sacha Baron Cohen’s early years

Before there was Borat, Brüno or The Dictator, there was Ali G in “Da Ali G Show.”

Ali G just might be my favorite of Sacha Baron Cohen’s alteregos. He was amazing on “The 11 O’Clock Show” (Britain’s answer to “The Daily Show”) and was unstoppable in “Da Ali G Show.” He could get away with so much more since no one had a clue who he was.

If you’ve never seen the show, seasons 1 and 2 are available on Netflix (sadly, not instant view…).

Team Hollie

Have you been watching this season of “American Idol”? is officially backing Liverpool-born Hollie Cavanagh for the win. She’s got an amazing voice, but I also am fascinated by her British upbringing and her British family, as well as her slightly British Americanized accent, after living in McKinney, Texas.

If you haven’t been watching, it’s a pretty solid line-up this year. Check it out tomorrow at 8 p.m. with the results show on Thursday at 8 p.m. on Fox.

Marmite mania

Have you heard about the shortage of Marmite in New Zealand?

ITN is reporting that a jar of the black stuff is going for 2,000 New Zealand dollars ($1,600 American dollars) on the er, black market.

All of this mania is making me desperately curious to try the yeast extract again. Last time I had it, I found it too tangy and salty and strange. But maybe spread with some butter on toast? I’m willing to give it another try. For New Zealand’s sake.

P.S. Liz, I’ll send you a jar of it shortly. I just hope the posties don’t snag it before it reaches you!


Beautiful Ipswich, where the average resident has sex 18 times a year.

Hey, let’s shake things up a bit and play this, Jeopardy style, shall we?!

Question: 42

Answer: What is the number of times a year the average Brit has sex.

This according to a recent poll of 2,000 people by Dulux. They even broke it down by town with Ipswich being the #1 town to have the least amount of sex, and Bradford being the #1 town to have the most.

Here are the full results – tut away!

Top 10 Towns That Have The Least Amount Of Sex A Year

1. Ipswich = 18.1 times

2. Coventry = 18.8 times

3. Cardiff = 25.7 times

4. Derby = 30 times

5. Swindon = 30.8 times

6. Preston = 30.9 times

7. York = 31.6 times

8. Croydon = 32 times

9. Leicester = 32.2 times

10. Southampton = 32.9 times

Top 10 Towns That Have The Most Sex In A Year

1. Bradford = 66.5 times

2. Aberdeen = 62.5 times

3. Doncaster = 60.1 times

4. Birmingham = 57.1 times

5. Hull / Warrington = 56.3 times

6. Cambridge = 55.1 times

7. Brighton = 53.1 times

8. Middlesbrough = 52.9 times

9. Wolverhampton = 52 times

10. Belfast = 51.5 times

Conspiracy theories? Explanations? I’m all ears…

I will leave you with one last thought – you do know that 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything, right? Coincidence?!

S Club Reunion? Yes, please!

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s post, I’ve just received word that S Club 7 will be reuniting.

Apparently, all seven original members are getting back together for a comeback, which is set to coincide with the joyful British summer events planned including the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

I saw them in concert about 12 years ago and they rocked it. Then despite all promises that they wouldn’t stop moving to the funky, funky beat, well, they did. I’m so glad to hear they’re bringing it all back.

Earworms & how to get that song in your head unstuck

A couple of weeks ago, I was in my car listening to NPR’s Talk of the Nation. The subject? Earworms. No, not worms that live in one’s ears *shudder*. No, these were the official name of those songs that get stuck in your head.

"S Club (there ain't no party like an S Club party)
Gonna show you how (everybody get down tonight)"

They interviewed a British researcher Vicky Williamson, who’s currently studying the biological reasons for them and how they might apply to the greater study of human memory.

Listen to the story here.

I should add that since that story ran, I’ve had S Club 7’s “S Club Party” stuck in my head. No joke. (BTW, this might be the best music video ever – well, at least since Paula Abdul’s “Rush, Rush.”)

What’s the antidote? Well, Vicky Williamson suggested that singing “God Save the Queen” really slowly might be just the thing to rid one of earworms. Needless to say, I’m on it! (And apologies to everyone around me.)

The Middle Class Handbook

If you are looking for a window into the heart and soul of the British chattering classes, look no further than The Middle Class Handbook, a very British blog that documents the stuff that the British middle classes say, do and buy.

Not since Stuff White People Like have I found an affinity with a site that seems to read us and our British middle class family and friends like an open book. Are we really such a cliche?! So very predictable and stereotype-able? Apparently so.

Mothering Sunday

Yesterday, in case you missed it, was Mother’s Day in the U.K.

“Mothering Sunday,” as it is better known, is always held the fourth Sunday in Lent – a date that is always changing year upon year and a perennial source of confusion for those of us not in the U.K.

At any rate, Happy Belated Mother’s Day to the mums from the Motherland!

And in case you did miss it, you can always still purchase Mother’s Day cards here in the U.S. since our Mother’s Day isn’t until May 13.