Monthly Archives: May 2012

America does indeed have talent

Before this week began, I hadn’t seen “Britain’s Got Talent” or “America’s Got Talent.”

Sure, I’d seen the old Susan Boyle clips that have been kicking around the web, but that was the extent to it. I wasn’t interested in a talent show outside of the American Idol/X-Factor vein.

But what a difference a week makes!

I started watching “America’s Got Talent” on Monday when the new season premiered and now I get it. I get why people watch these non-singing, non-dancing talent acts. They’re fascinating. The judges, Howard Stern, Sharon Osborne and Howie Mandel, provide an honest (and often hilarious) critique. And Nick Cannon is absolutely fantastic as a host, in that very British style of Ant and Dec (talking to the camera, narrating behind the scenes).

If you haen’t seen it, and are wondering what the fuss is all about, you can watch the season premiere online.

God save the Queen (from this pop art)?

My mother-in-law sent me a link to this pop art and asked if it was nice or naff …

What do you think? Tacky or not? Am I crazy for thinking this could possibly be charming in an appropriately decorated shabby chic-style room?

Training wheels

We got my son his first big kids’ bike this weekend at a “proper” bike shop.

I had an internal debate with myself for awhile now over whether to get a balance bike or just a bike with training wheels. But when one of the balance bike handlebars actually fell off mid-test ride, it seemed a rousing endorsement for a strong, dependable old-school bike with training wheels. Or, as any Brit would say, stabilizers. So we went with it and it’s been a lot of fun so far.

I’m looking forward to many good bike journeys ahead.

Why Judy Dench loves her tea …

Hot, soothing, warming, nice … Tea is all of these things and no one understands that better than the Brits. Around 11 a.m. and then again at 3 p.m., I find that tea is the perfect companion. (By the way, I love this Tuffy tea steeper and steeping mug – perfect gifts for the tea lover on the go).

Watch Judy Dench as she reveals why she thinks Brits love their tea in a recent interview with Anderson Cooper.

When it rains, it pours …

This London skyline brolly (translation: umbrella) becomes colorful when it’s wet. Photo courtesy of Squid London.

It’s rain, rain and more rain for most of the United Kingdom this week – with fears of flooding in parts of Northern England and Scotland.

This comes after the wettest April the country has seen since 1910!

Let’s all send some sunshine and warm weather their way – puleeze!

Field for the British Isles

I’m overwhelmed by Antony Gormley’s clay figures. Three rooms of Barrington Court will house this awe-inspiring work now through Aug. 27.

“I wanted to work with people and to make a work about our collective future and our responsibility for it. I wanted the art to look back at us, its makers (and later viewers), as if we were responsible – responsible for the world that it [FIELD] and we were in,” said Gormley.


Thanks to Layla for sending!

Meanwhile in Scotland …

Thanks to John for posting this on Facebook!

Britain is …

Tate Britain has launched a new promo video, which begs the question … what is Britain?

When your fanny is not your bottom…

Take it from Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx.

You don’t want to be live on-air in Britain and make that rookie mistake of calling your fanny your bottom. Even if you think “fanny” sounds like a Britishism – beware. It’s not. They don’t call fanny packs “fanny packs.” You’ll be hard-pressed to find any British natives named Fanny, not even in elderly care facilities. They don’t even use the grammar rule “Please excuse my dear Aunt Fanny.”

Read the story in all of its hilarious glory!

Wizards use the London Tube, too

I kind of love this.

For the uninitiated, oyster cards are travel cards for the London Tube and there is a little chip in them so you can just tap them over the card reader instead of sliding your card through. Or indeed, attach them to a wand and tap away!

Thanks, Lise, for posting this!