Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rule Britannia

Rule Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons ne-e-ev-ah will be slaves*


I love England and the other countries of the United Kingdom.

[happy sigh]

I love British chocolates, especially Cadbury's, which Pete is smart enough to know makes an EXCELLENT stocking stuffer at Christmas. (Got that honey? A most excellent stocking stuffer. Can't go wrong with Anglo milk chocolate.)

I love British literature. A partial list: Jane Austen, Roald Dahl, Daphne DuMaurier, James Heriot, Rosamund Pilcher, J.K. Rowling, and William Shakespeare. (I do not, however, particularly like J.R.R. Tolkein or C.S. Lewis, so apparently I'm am a witless, savage, uncouth American.)

I love English gardens.

England seems to produce a lot of great musicians: The Beatles (together and apart), the Rolling Stones, Sting (and the Police), Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, Led Zeppelin, and so on.

I love reading about British history, which just has so much to offer; although, it's amazing how such a seemingly well-behaved, classy group of people have so much violence and bloodshed in their collective past.

And British men really do have a lot to recommend them.

A few choice examples:

Colin Firth/Mr. Darcy



Sean Connery (Okay, technically, he's Scottish, but still...)


Orlando Bloom


Rupert Everett
(I really don't care that he's gay.)


I've probably made my point, but let me make it a little more:

Sting


Pierce Brosnan
(Yeah, I know, Irish, but still...)



One could argue that being an Anglophile is just so very American. Just one more person who is a royal-watcher and falls easily for a guy with a nice accent.

I posit that it's more more than that, that I cannot help but be an Anglophile, as it is in my very DNA.

A quick look at my family tree shows that my father's side is filled with Brits going all the way back to William the Conqueror. Okay, so I guess technically that means that the one who came over as a foot solider in 1066 is French, but I'm going on the record as saying almost 1,000 years is enough time to cleanse the DNA. On my mother's side, mostly Brits, with a smattering of French folk in there.

So, blame it on my parents.

My girls are just like me. Graceful has known since she was FOUR that she just had to go to London and "here's what I want to see, okay Mommy?" Elegant has lately become a huge fan of Shakespeare and often speaks with a pseudo British accent.

If you look at Pete's family tree, his mother's side is 100% British. Really. My MIL has done genealogy going back hundreds of years and has actually visited the village from whence her relatives came. So we are pretty clear on the bloodlines there. Pete's father's side is 50% German and 50% Swedish. We know when and where his great-grandparents came off the boat.

So, doing the DNA math, if I'm almost 100% English in ancestry and Pete is 50%, that makes our girls roughly 75% British.

So really, the girls can't help it. They're Anglophiles, just like their mother.

Alas, I have been to the Mother Country only once in my life, about 10 years ago, which is a shameful lack in my travels. Luckily, I have successfully convinced Pete that we need to go again. It's going to be an ungodly expensive trip. But, I think we can manage it without taking out a second mortgage, selling a kidney, or dealing crystal meth out of our basement.

I'm already planning. I've been reading books (that I owned already, natch) and creating a shopping list on amazon.com. I've started a proposed itinerary and started bookmarking relevant websites. (Oh, and the label I'm storing the bookmarks under is "London, baby!" Does anyone get that reference?)

Pete's getting into it too and has been checking rates for B&B and rail passes for getting around the country. We've been talking about possible itineraries. As best I can tell, there will be no amusement parks on this vacation.

Oh, did I mention that we're not going until NEXT YEAR?

Clearly, I need to get a grip and perhaps concentrate on the here and now.

But I'm just so excited and can't wait to go.

In an ideal world, I'd love to go every year. Better yet, I'd love it if we could live there for a year. Back in 2004, as we lay awake after the presidential election, angry and pissed that that jackass from Texas George W. Bush had been re-elected, Pete and I actually talked about moving abroad for four years. England was my personal top fave, but we also talked about Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

So, I could just natter on (see, I'm talking Brit already) about my Anglo love, but I'll just end here with a few more photos.

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, London


Edinburgh Castle

Salisbury


*"Rule Britannia" is a poem by James Thomson that was later set to music by Thomas Arne in 1740. Even if you think you don't know it, believe me, you do.

5 comments:

Sean Tubbs said...

I'm counting the days until I get to go again. Five more months. I love being in England so much, as many things there simply make a lot more sense.

I'm also awaiting the day when we can (legally) watch British television here as easily as hitting a button.

Suzanne said...

Oh, I'm so envious. Even if you're not going until next year.

I spent two summers in Edinburgh ('89 & '90) and toured around England for three weeks in '90 before heading over to the continent. Haven't been back since, although I'd LOVE to go.

My friend Carol walked across England last summer, on a tour from coast to coast through the Lake District. Her husband is British, so they go at least once or twice a year.

Life can be so unfair, sometimes. At least I can live vicariously through you and Carol...

Suzanne said...

And have you ever had Ben & Jerry's Cool Britannia flavor? Chocolate-covered shortbread pieces and strawberries mixed with vanilla—YUM!!

Jennifer said...

Suzanne, I LOVE that flavor of B&J!

Lori Anderson Designs said...

WAIT! You forgot the best one! My lovely yummy Hugh Laurie!!!!

Oh, and Cadbury Flake. That's yummy, too.