Oh my! Nostrich and Heather tied the knot!
Many congratulations to you both and may you always get the shortest line at the border.
Hey, guess what? If you’re going to write me an email about my blog that tells me how I should feel about anything in my life, it’d be nice if you could also delete it before hitting send. I don’t really care how YOU think I should feel. It’s completely irrelevant.
Oh! I didn’t take any photos on Bonfire night, but if I HAD, it for sure would have been of 100 Brits huddled together under umbrellas on the railway bridge in the pouring rain, watching the fireworks over the castle. British people: Must. Have. Organized. Fun.
I was really amazed and surprised how many people went out to see them despite the really awful weather. (Awful even by British standards, I mean, not just my dry-footed American ones.) We had fun, though.
Also, I got to hear one woman call another woman a slag, and then the slag replied that she’d stick a rocket up the other one’s arse, that silly cow! And really, that was worth the weather.
I was filling out our census form a little while ago. Mr. Tea is very cute about the census, stating that it’s important for future generations to be able to look up their ancestors. I mostly am of the mind that it’s helpful yes but probably just another way for the government to have their nose in my business. I filled it in anyway.
Interesting things to me about ethnicity on the UK census form:
There is no space to mark yourself as hispanic or latino. I don’t even know which one you’d pick. Nothing seems even close. I guess you’d be a write in.
There IS an option to mark yourself as a Gypsy or Traveller. With all due respect, this is always really fun for me, because where I grew up, gypsies are fictional characters that we only know from Disney films. They exist only as much as the boogeyman does, or bigfoot, and if you’re bad as a kid your grandmother might threaten to sell you to one. As an adult, I understand the error in this and that it’s more complicated than that, but this still feels like telling me I could mark Unicorn as my ethnic identity.
Also, in the states, I’d usually have the option to mark myself as some kind of White: Irish Descent or White: European descent or some other form of Generic White Person… but here, I marked my ethnic identity as White: American. Three years ago I’d have thought nothing of telling people I was Irish American but my thoughts on this have changed a lot since moving here and living closer to people who are, you know, actually for really Irish and not poser frat boys in a bar getting crunk on St. Patty’s day. It’s all well and good to embrace an ethnic heritage and remember your roots but it feels disrepectful to all parties to also pretend to be someone you’re not. I guess it feels to me now like Americans are often looking so hard for an identity that they grab onto other ones in the process sometimes.
I really feel like I have a much better idea of what it means to be an American since I moved OUT of America. I know for sure I’m a lot more patriotic, and in a much different way from earlier in my life.
formula for british television show: put four funny people in a room and have them discuss current events. (there are SO many shows like this here!)
alternatively: write six funny sketches and re-perform them week after week with only minor changes to the circumstances. the punchline remains the same.
threadless.com is doing a free shipping deal TODAY only… INCLUDING international addresses! I am so full of love for them for even considering the idea!
It’s been a long few weeks, not the least of which was a nice bout with sore throat and laryngitis. At least, though, it wasn’t hamthrax, which is more than I can say for my cousin who lives in Michigan.
Did you know Michigan is bigger than England? Did you know Michigan is the 11th largest state? America is so huge and diverse that I have a hard time explaining that to people here.
Mr. Tea went with a stag party to Wales this weekend. Wales is 3.5 hours from my house and although most of these fellas have lived here for 30 years, most of them had also not been “so far.” This amazes me. You can drive 3.5 hours from my childhood home and still be in Illinois. There is an element, too, of it being Wales, the whipping boy of the UK. They pick on Wales here the way someone from Chicago picks on Hoosiers, or the way all of America picks on Kentucky. Word on the street, though, is that Wales is really beautiful. I think they let you believe it’s awful so you don’t go spoiling it for them with tons of tourists.
I have learned that one can substitute sweet potato guts in place of can of packed pumpkin. I made fake-pumpkin bread that is totally to die for, and will make some more again soon.
I had a birthday. My mom mailed me pumpkin pancake mix (pancakes, not crepes) and my dad mailed me a box of Mountain Dew. They both mailed me Tollhouse Morsels. Maybe they’re learning.
Halloween is decidedly less festive here. I had two trick-or-treat knocks on the door. Of the 6 kids in total that I saw, 5 of them didn’t have candy bags. ENGLAND: UR DOIN IT WRONG. I was confused. What did they want me to do? Were they just going to eat the candy before the next house shushed up with the lights off and pretended nobody was home? Do they know they’re supposed to egg those houses?
Oh yeah, and on the morning of my birthday, a British woman I only know online got all uppity with me about American traditions (ie Halloween, and specifically, pumpkin carving) were ruining British traditions (ie turnip carving) and that it was somehow akin to a personal attack on the country. Relations between America and the UK are so tense, she said, and she saw a documentary once about American miliatary bases in the UK and those people weren’t nice to the locals. It reminded me of that time I mistakenly read the comments on a Daily Mail article about “american style” proms in the UK and wanted to call every one of those idiots and point out that *I* didn’t buy their kid a prom dress, or a cell phone, or… a PUMPKIN. You can feel sad about lost tradition but don’t point at me! Hallowe’en started as a Celtic holiday!
It sure is nice to be surrounded by all these here super polite brits, I tell you. Maybe, between her and Sir Courage Wolf, there is hope I will learn proper manners one day after all!
I am looking forward to my first Guy Fawkes’ day. I suspect it’s like July 4 but colder, but I’m willing to find out if I’m wrong.