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Category Archives: Culture

Overheard from the Posh Mums of North London

In case you were ever wondering what you were missing by NOT being a posh mum in North London’s borough of Highgate, there is a Twitter account, @HighgateMums, that pulls the lid off of the conversation amongst the ladies who brunch.

Here are just a few gems:

Highgate Mums

* “Sweetheart, I don’t blame the Art teacher for scolding you. This piece is devastatingly lacklustre.”
* “My girl’s in the lowest tier, but I’m convinced she’s being used to be an aspirational focus for her less-abled classmates.”
* “Darling, don’t scrape your chair. It makes your presence over-known.”
* “School hours are designed for the convenience of the teachers and pupils and frankly nobody else. Nobody else AT ALL.”
* “Her first words were ‘shoes’ and ‘brioche’.”
* “I know she’s mine, but she’s an appalling painter. Her use of greens is one of the few saving graces.”

SMH. Amazing.

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Taylor Swift + Chris Martin = ?

Taylor Swift kissing Tom Hiddleston

Once you go Brit, you never go back.

Or so it seems for Taylor Swift. I’ve been amused this week to hear that Tom Hiddleston is the latest in her string of British boyfriends (Calvin Harris, and before him, infamously Harry Styles).

I kind of wished she had waited a heartbeat and considered dating Chris Martin, Coldplay’s front man, who seems to be smitten with American women (famously married to Gwyneth Paltrow, then seen dating Jennifer Lawrence and possibly Heather Graham). It could very well be a match made in heaven. I can see it now. She’ll giggle as he talks about the “loo” and fixes her a cup of tea (okay … maybe not in that order). He’ll love her “garage” and “aluminum foil” and meatloaf, but we may need to wait it out. He appears to be quite content with his current wildcard girlfriend Annabelle Wallis, who hails from Portugal of all places.

Give it time. I’m quite certain the stars will align and he’ll be back on the market looking for an American girlfriend, around the same time that Taylor Swift grows tired of Tom Hiddleston’s dad dancing.

Tom Hiddleston dancing

I give it three months.

21 Brilliantly British Halloween costumes

Wanda or Wilma

While Americans are paying top dollar to buy a Minion or Joker costume this year, the Brits are having a ball dressing up as alcoholic beverages, TV presenters and, of course, Tardis.

Take a look at Buzzfeed.com’s countdown of 21 brilliantly British Halloween costumes.

As for me? I’m going as Wenda or Wilma, the Girl Friday to Where’s Waldo? or Where’s Wally? (which varies, depending on where you live!) Have a happy Halloween!

When Nicky married James

nicky-hilton-logo_2015_7.0

@TheAllisonMelnick/Instagram

Lest anyone think for even a second that I’m somehow a fan of Nicky Hilton, let me start this blog post by saying no. no. no.

But when she married Brit’s James Rothschild in London this weekend… well, I had to at least look at the photos, right? From an Anglo-American perspective? You’re curious, too?

Here are some of the photos …

Nicky Hilton's wedding table

@ModaPatMedina/Instagram

Nicky Hilton's wedding

@BarronHilton/Instagram

Nicky Hilton's wedding

@WeLikeYouLove/Instagram

Nicky Hilton's wedding

@JeffBeacher/Instagram

Now don’t we all feel better for having seen these?

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?

20 signs you were born and raised in Scotland

Scottish piper

I spent a couple of years living in Scotland – the first year in Stirling, the second in Edinburgh – but I feel almost Scottish born.

Well, apart from the fact I look not-at-all Scottish and can’t speak with a Scottish accent or play the bagpipes. But … but … in spirit, I’m SO Scottish. Love the people, love the music, love the pubs, love the weather most of the time!

How about you? Read these 20 signs you were born and raised in Scotland and see where you land.

15 surprising things about parenting in England

Erin Moore and her husband, Tom, have spent the last seven years in London, where they live with their four-year-old daughter Anne—and another baby on the way

Erin Moore and her husband, Tom, have spent the last seven years in London, where they live with their four-year-old daughter Anne—and another baby on the way.

I liked this Cup of Jo post by Erin Moore, an American, on the 15 surprising things about parenting in England. I became a mom after we moved back to the states so am intrigued by the cultural differences. Particularly the differences on compliments, on never bragging and on drinking (even at an under-fives birthday party at 10 a.m. on a Sunday! Love it!). Read on.

The 28 poshest things that have ever happened

These bloody good blokes enjoying a day at the races

Americans may have “fancy,” but Brits have “posh” and posh beats fancy hands down. For proof, check out Buzzfeed’s amazing collection: “The 28 poshest things that have ever happened.”

The list includes names like Biggles George Fittleworth and seasonal goose eggs, croquet and men in red pants.

If you aren’t sure what posh actually means in the U.K., this will settle it for you for sure! Enjoy and have a great weekend!

No Pants Sunday

Rex Features via AP Images

Rex Features via AP Images

Many London Underground riders went pantsless on Sunday as part of No Pants Subway Ride, which originated in New York City. Since pants mean underwear in the U.K., Brits were careful to clarify that trousers were optional, knickers weren’t. According to the group’s Facebook page, 250-300 people participated this year!

No Trousers Day on the London Underground, London, Britain - 12

'No Pants Subway Ride Day', London, Britain - 12 Jan 2014

'No Pants Subway Ride Day', London, Britain - 12 Jan 2014

Brits and trick or treating

rhubarb yogurt

Does this belong in a trick or treat bag to you?

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!