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.

Scottish Ginphographic

Impressive, Scotland. Very impressive!

Gin Guide - Scotland

Thanks to 5pm.co.uk for reminding me of what I’ve missed out on (I think Hendrick’s is the only one that I’ve tried…)

Princess Charlotte’s balcony debut

Oh, Princess Charlotte is a cutie. I loved these photos of the Royal Family taken on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Saturday’s annual Trooping the Colour in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday.

  (Photo by Zak Hussein - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

(Photo by Zak Hussein – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)


 (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

(Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

British men try high heels for a day

This I love …

(This video reminds me of a pair of black patent leather heels, which were gorgeous in theory – less so, when I walked around Tin Man-style around the office, not unlike these brave souls. The shoes remain in my closet and that is where they will stay.)

It’s 10 years since a man was interviewed on BBC by mistake

What happens when a taxi driver Guy Goma turns up at BBC Studios to interview for a job as a Data Support Cleanser but ends up being mistaken for expert Guy Kewney? Well, he gets rushed onto the set to discuss Apple’s court cases with The Beatles record label on live TV. His expression at the start of the interview is just priceless.

Read the full story.

Walmart management’s notes to Shane

Have you seen these entertaining notes from Walmart management to employee Shane? They have been going around virally and the story was picked up by the British Mirror newspaper this week …

Here are just a few gems.

Walmart-worker-causes-trouble-for-management

Walmart2

Walmart3

See the full collection!

All of that fun reminded me of my brief stint working at a supermarket in the small British seaside town of Teignmouth so many years ago. One of my co-workers would stick coupons to the floor just to see how many people would stop and try to pick them up, with the fleeting moment of giddy that comes from finding the right bargain.

Those were the days … 😉

Hot cross buns – one a penny, two a penny

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but we are in the last week of Hot Cross Bun season — the final stretch.

Well, at least the Brits in the room are probably well aware. For Americans, well, it’s been a season of abominations. I’ve come across all kinds, including sweet dinner rolls studded with red and green fruit, others with lemon curd-like stuff where the dough cross should have been. The devil’s spawn in bread form.

It’s been enough to draw us into the kitchen. My husband has already made two batches of hot cross buns from a Delia Smith recipe (from her “Complete Cookery Course” cookbook) and it really has been a revelation. Is it easy? Not by any stretch of the imagination. But is it worth it? Oh yes!

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London when it’s completely empty

Ever wonder what London would look like if it were completely empty?

Well, wonder no more! Freelance photographer Genaro Bardy has put together a series of photos, captured when London was completely deserted (namely Christmas Day!).

See the full staggering collection for yourself!

St. Paul's Cathedral

Oxford Street

Piccadilly Circus

Two Scots trapped in an elevator

When is voice-activated lift technology not a good thing? When you’re Scottish …

The British love affair with Cheesecake Factory

When we first moved back to California from the U.K. more than a decade ago, we had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory in Union Square in San Francisco. It kind of epitomized everything that was American – unapologetic, calorie-laden decadence detailed in a really long, laminated menu. It felt like a world-is-your-oyster kind of place. You want pasta? Steak? Omelette? Pizza? Burger? Sandwich? Seafood? Salad? You can get it here. Oh yeah, and of course, there’s over two dozen different types of cheesecake. There is simply nothing like it in the U.K.

Fresh Strawberry CheesecakeBut for me, the Cheesecake Factory ship has sailed. I have nothing against the Cheesecake Factory, but it no longer holds the appeal that it once had. We had no official falling out. It’s just become this kind of American dining experience (like TGI Friday’s, Applebee’s, Sizzler, Outback Steakhouse) that I avoid (not because I am snob, although if the shoe fits …), but because there are so many amazing independently owned restaurants in San Francisco, I couldn’t imagine eschewing them all in favor of a stop at a chain restaurant like the Cheesecake Factory.

And yet, everytime we have friends visiting from the U.K., without fail, they suggest dining there. These are friends that don’t know each other. Relatives that don’t know the friends. No common connection except for their Britishness. But they’re all on the same British Cheesecake Factory bandwagon. They don’t ask about any of the other chains, mind you. They save their love for Cheesecake Factory.

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