Friday, October 11, 2013

British Invasion

Well, Downton Abbey is back.  In the UK, that is.  And by way of tips found on the internet for viewing it in the US, I've already been watching it.  Months before it hits PBS.  And it's so good.

In light of the pleasant invasion of Brits in my life - via Downton, British celebrities, and real live people I've met via my blog (Hi Linda!  Hi Mick!) - I've not only moved a trip to the UK to the top of my list, but I'm also listing the Top 10 things British things I already like.  I'm sure I'll discover more once I visit!   

Simon Cowell:  I don't care what anyone says.  I love this guy.  He's kinda cute, and when it comes to music and those who can sing, he's right on the money.  Well, except for when he dogged on Jennifer Hudson.  I've forgiven him for that.

Brendan Coyle:  I first fell in love with him when I saw him on Downton Abbey.  As John Bates, his strong, silent, gentlemanly character makes you wish you were Anna.  And because I loved him so much in Downton, I watched North and South because he was in it, and plan on watching all of Lark Rise to Candleford too. 

Princess Diana:  I'll never forget the day Diana died.  I was standing in my mother's kitchen when I heard the news on TV.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  It was like the room swirled around me.  I actually thought the people reporting it were kidding.  I watched her entire wedding, kept up on what she was involved with over the years, and then watched her entire funeral.  I sobbed when I saw the card on her casket, the one placed there by Prince Harry with the word "Mummy" on it.  Heartbreaking.  There was just something about her.  And she's still with us. 

Will and Kate:  No particular reason I'm fond of them.  They just seem to get on well and I like them as a couple.   

Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington:  No one in my entire 46 years of life has made me laugh as hard as these three.  Separately they are each spectacular in their own right, together they are a national treasure.  I cannot get enough.

Downton Abbey:  Just watch it.  Catch up on Seasons 1 through 3 now so you'll be ready when Season 4 airs in January.  Get in on the international sensation!  It's truly a masterpiece.

The Cotswolds:  When I first heard the word "Cotswold" I had no idea what it was, but based on what I think I must have heard on TV or read in books, I always associated the image of a cottage in the English countryside with it.  And I was kind of right since it's an area of lush rolling hills.  In fact, it's so beautiful, it's been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  It's on the top of my list. 

Ralph Cosham:  He's the voice of Louise Penny's books - and I've listened to every one of them.  In my mind, he is Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, head of the homicide department of the Sûreté du Québec.  Even though Gamache is Québécois through and through, Ralph Cosham nails his character.  I love his's got depth and intelligence and makes you feel as if you're part of a real production. 

Scones:  I can eat one every day.  I've never had a proper English scone, but I do like the ones I've had at Starbucks and other bakeries here in the states.  But if I'm going to be drinking tea all day long (and the Brits know their tea), I'm going to have to brush up on what goes with it.  Scones, crumpets, biscuits?  All great choices. 

The Mini:  It was cute then, and it's cute now.  I don't know that I'd want to tour The Cotswolds in a Mini though - I think it might be a tad too cramped for me. 

Oh - and I'm learning all the slang I can before I head over there. 

Though I don't think anything will beat "butter my arse" - a comment left on one of my Guardian pieces. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Splendid Fantasy Road Trip
2011: Hard To Get Close To
2010: Lunch In Fossombrone
2009: Taking Carving To A Whole New Level
2008: Is There Enough Yellow In THIS One For Ya?
2007: I Didn’t Realize Railway Workers Were So Frisky
2006: Individuality
2005: Text Me


Belledog said...

Salena: here's something you will have to see. Hope you get to London before it closes on April 27.

The Cheapside Hoard collection of astonishing 16th century jewelry, at the Museum of London.

Literally priceless, because there are no comparables.

Stash was buried, probably by a jeweler (or several) at some point between 1640 and 1666, and left unrecovered until the building was torn down in 1912 and the jewels came to light.

I would LOVE to see this.

The lede paragraphs from an AP story on the 17th Century Bling:

"LONDON — Diamonds may be forever, but a lot of jewelry doesn't survive through the centuries. Rings and bracelets get broken up for re-use, pearls decay, gold is melted down.

That explains the excitement over a new London exhibition of the Cheapside Hoard — a trove of almost 500 gemstones and pieces of jewelry from the 16th and 17th centuries, dug up by workmen demolishing a building in London more than 100 years ago.

The dazzling array of opals, emeralds, garnets, rubies, sapphires, amethysts, diamonds and more is displayed as a whole for the first time at the Museum of London from Friday.

The trove, which was buried under the brick-lined cellar floor of jewelers' workshops, offers a glimpse into 17th-century fashion, London life and the jewelry trade. It is also an unsolved historical mystery: Why was the priceless collection buried? And why did its owner never return to dig it up?

Exhibition curator Hazel Forsyth says the most likely explanation is the English Civil War, which erupted in 1642, bringing fear to London and devastation to the luxury trade. .... "

[Sorry comment is so long, but just saw this article after reading your post, and hope one -- or several of us -- get to see the exhibit.]

Pat said...

Downton Abbey, it's the only tv show I watch. It's great.