Ooh, how so very English!!!

I arrived safe, sound, and with a full bladder to London’s Heathrow airport on Friday morning…and allow me to be the first1 to inform you that queuing up in Immigration is no quick venture! It took me nearly 90 minutes!! What utter rubbish!!! And when I finally got to the desk of a rather stern looking immigration officer…

“And where do you plan to go while you’re in London?”
“The restroom.”
“Sorry, the loo.”
“Right. And after that?”
“Sorry! Walton on Thames.”

And off I went to meet The Brit’s Mum, Lulu, who was there to meet me. (The Brit was set to arrive on a flight much later on that day.) After a quick detour to the restroom loo, we threw my belongings into the boot and were in Surrey in no time at all. And after a shower and a quick kip, I was a new woman.

The Brit arrived shortly thereafter and got himself sorted. This involved a shower and a pint. Or four. And a positively gorgeous dinner with Lulu, his stepfather, aunt and uncle that evening.

The following morning, we packed our small bags, grabbed our brollies, and headed for Newbury (properly pronounced: “Noooooooooooooooooooooobry”) for a proper English countryside wedding. There are precisely 4,325,218 roundabouts between Walton and Noooooooooooooooooooooobry. (I was counting.) And, considering I’d only been to London and Manchester before (and 8 years ago at that) I didn’t know what to expect of Noooooooooooooooooooooobry…chalk and cheese, really! I do love London, but it was quite lovely out in the English countryside. I donned my very best frock and The Brit his most presentable trousers and suit jacket (we were looking more than a bit swish, to be honest) and off we went! I thought I’d be out of place without a proper hat, but instead I was out of place for lack of a fascinator!2 Despite my glaring Americanness, the wedding was quite lovely and highly enjoyable. The bride and groom (friends of The Brit’s family) clearly got on like a house on fire, the location was stunning (a beautiful weekly boarders school set amongst rolling hills and a large pond), and the food was gorgeous. There were sausages, and a proper English roast with Yorkshire pudding, wedding cake and tea and biscuits, and bitter and pims and fizz and pims with fizz. (And a bit more pims with fizz after that.) Bloody hell, but people (particularly the blokes) were getting pissed left and right! And just when I thought the whole thing was going to get out of control and go tits up, it was over. Spot on!

The next morning we had a bit of a lay in…a bit too much of one, actually. I was gutted to find that I’d slept right through the traditional English breakfast. I was quite looking forward to some blood sausage black pudding and beans! But alas, the drive out to see Stonehenge (I’d never been) on the way out to dinner with The Brit’s godparents more than made up for it.

It appears I’m now going to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to a Star Wars Exhibition3 and on a day when the London Underground might grind to a halt because of strikes! No way to escape the exhibition!?! What pants! If I survive that, there’s a show to go to in the evening and then a week full of plans to meet some of The Brit’s mates from boarding school and uni. And maybe even a blogmeet and a meet-up with some American friends of mine who are out here for work!

What fun!

1. Perhaps I’m exaggerating just a bit…maybe the second or third?
2. This shall be quickly remedied before the next wedding I have to attend. Oooh, but what will the Americans think????
3. I’ve mentioned that The Brit is an absolute freak about Star Wars, right?


14 Responses to “Ooh, how so very English!!!”

  1. 2 Rachie September 3, 2007 at 6:59 am

    Oh my god – I only came across the word ‘fascinator’ today, while looking up wedding dresses on the internet. I had no idea what it could possibly be, and frankly the amount of information on getting married that lurks on the interweb terrifies me, but you have answered my question! Hurrah!

    By the way, if you ask for blood sausage in the UK, no-one will know what you’re talking about. We call it black pudding.

    Hope you’re having fun!

  2. 3 jlafferty September 3, 2007 at 7:00 am

    By the way, I’ve discovered another difference that was a bit surprising to me with American English and British English… the word “Pasty”

    To the Brits: A meat pie or turnover
    To Americans: one of a pair of adhesive patches worn to cover the nipples of exotic dancers and striptease performers.

    Whoops! And, I thought they had mispelled “pastry” at the Tube Station…silly, silly American that I am.

  3. 4 Rachie September 3, 2007 at 7:09 am

    Darn it, the name/link in my first comment is wrong. Curses. WordPress is being difficult. Any chance of changing it? I know not how…

  4. 5 Open Grove Claudia September 3, 2007 at 9:06 am

    Well done. I bet you’re quite knackered after all that round abouting, wedding and nights with lymies. Any cheese?

  5. 6 edvard moonke September 3, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    ha, love the way you anglocised your post. clever clogs.

    heathrow is a terrible advert for england. not to mention that the immigration officers are some of the most unpleasant people you’re ever likely to encounter anywhere.

    coincidentally, I drove past newbury last sunday. nice place… and very busy when the races are on!

    sadly, it doesn’t look like we’ll meet as I live oop north and surrey is precisely 1.3 billion roundabouts away…

  6. 7 norabarnacle September 3, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Um, so really, did you enjoy the cake? I assume it was a traditional English wedding FRUIT cake! Ugh. I was forced to have a tier of that in my cake…

  7. 8 Catherine September 3, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    I’m so glad I clicked on your fascinator link. Who would’ve thought! Those Brits… they’re terribly fascinating indeed.

    Have a grand time!!

  8. 9 Sausage September 4, 2007 at 1:24 am

    What a very English post! Brilliant! Glad you enjoyed the wedding. I lived in Walton on Thames for a while. VERY English. Let me know if, when you’re in town, you fancy beer and cheese!

  9. 10 enidd September 4, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    enidd is going to start saying “spot on” all the time now, and wearing a fascinator[1] while she drinks her afternoon tea. she was one quibble with your englishness, though – you don’t once mention the weather!

    [1] she thought this would be a dildo. she has a dirty mind.

  10. 11 Wanderlust Scarlett September 4, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    I laughed so hard I’m not sure I didn’t pee myself.

    I’m holding you entirely responsible for my incontinence.

    Such a good one… thanks for all the proper wording too… and the lesson in articulation.

    Good luck with the tube strike.

    Scarlett & V.

  11. 12 mamaacusa September 4, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Are there any birds left with feathers in England? God i hope so!!! Glad you are having a great time…

  12. 13 lacubanagringa September 4, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Kevin – Tis!!

    Rachie – So glad I could be of service!! Will your bridesmaids be donning fascinators at your wedding, then? (And DARN IT!!! I KNEW it was black pudding…I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote this!)

    jlafferty – Hey! Don’t be so down on yourself!! You might be onto something there…I think MANY Brits might like the idea of a meat pie adhered to the nipples!

    Rachie – Done!

    Claudia – Knackered indeed!

    Edvard – Bugger!! (Bloody roundabouts!)

    Norabarnacle – It WAS proper English fruit cake. (And…actually, I quite enjoyed it!) (I’m weird though, I actually like fruit cake.)

    Catherine – I’m going shopping tomorrow for a fascinator of my own!

    Sausage – See you on Thursday! 😉

    Enidd – Regarding your quibble, I haven’t mentioned the weather because it’s been absolutely brilliant these last few days! Quite UN-English! (And regarding the “fascinators”, I’d be happy to bring you one back from England but I figure you could pop over to Good Vibrations and get one for yourself right there in SF!)

    Scarlett – Oh dear! I’d hate to be responsible for your urinary incontinence! Quick, get some Depends!

    Mamacusa – Not if Camilla has anything to say about it!

  13. 14 heart in san francisco September 10, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    I kept expecting the wedding menu to have cheese. It’s the least they could do. Or are they still pouting about the War of Independence and all that?

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