Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Yanks All Up in King Arthur's Court

We have briefly mentioned our affinity for all things British. ALL. THINGS. We're not sure what exactly it is about that island that calls to us so loudly. We can both trace some heritage back there. Maybe it's some primordial pull? Dunno. Don't care. This blog post is anything but brief. If you aren't already an Anglophile, you will be by the time you're done reading. If you actually read all the way to the end. Which will be impressive. ***

Today's post is the Top 10 Reasons Why Great Britain Rocks! (In no particular order...)

10. British Stitchery - We love several designers of British origin. But oh so much we love Moira Blackburn. Nikki has approximately eleventy hundred of her charts, I recently ordered the Moon Sampler, and one of our shared WIPs is Three Things Sampler.

9. THE Accent - What is it about British accents? All I know is that if someone with a British accent cussed me out I would probably thank them and ask them to do it again just to listen to them. It makes normally unattractive people beautiful. It makes jerks seem proper and refined. I want a British accent! Instead I say things like, ya'll. Life is not fair.

8. TV - Sooooooo much goodness to list here...Nikki would probably slap me if I didn't firstly include Doctor Who (I have been instructed very clearly that should I ever use the abbreviation Dr. instead of typing out the whole word or saying THE Doctor that I would be disowned and/or attacked by MI-6 agents). This list also includes awesome sitcoms like Coupling, Gavin and Stacey, Ab-Fab, etc. The drama list is even better. We thank the British Isles for epic awesomeness such as Downton Abbey. DOWNTON FREAKING ABBEY! Julian Fellowes...is...a...genius. Also, MI-5 (known as Spooks across The Pond), Sherlock, Being Human, Monarch of the Glen, Inspector Lewis, and pretty much anything on Masterpiece Theater and/or any of the BBC stations.
We do have one point of contention. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY must the seasons be so short! You're killing us Americans who are used to being able to glut ourselves on a TV series! We respect that it's quality and not quantity that counts but are still throwing a tantrum in the corner.

7. British Authors - The classics go without saying. Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (help save his house!) and J.R.R. Tolkien top the list for us in that category. For contemporary writers we'd like to give an American author, Laurie R. King, an honorable mention for her Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. Then there's J.K. Rowling. Duh. We are still waiting for our acceptance letters to Hogwarts. We like Ken Follett a great deal too. We are also totally in love with Anne Perry and Jacqueline Winspear (who is British by birth, but lives in California....WHY?) If you like strong female protagonists and a really good mystery (set in Britain, of course!), these ladies are definitely for you. We strongly suggest Perry's Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series and William Monk series. Jacqueline Winspear writes the fantastic Maisie Dobbs series.
Also, should any of these books get turned into movies, we DEMAND that Maggie Smith be cast as Great Aunt Vespasia and Lady Rowan Compton. DEMAND!

6. British Food - In general, the UK doesn't come to mind for culinary achievement. But a few things score big. Scones, delicious! Bangers and mash, yes...and bonus that the name is funny! Fish & chips*, of course! Anything I can use vinegar on with abandon is good in my book. Shepherd's Pie*...mashed potatoes, gravy, oh even yesser! (Nikki and I disagree on these things. She doesn't eat fish. I don't like shepherd's pie. Thus far, this argument (or row!) has not come to blows.)

5. British Phrases - Perhaps this should have been included in the accent section, but I kind of felt it deserved its own category. Fun fact. Ever heard of Cockney rhyming slang? It's an old tradition of explaining  or describing something by using a rhyming alternative. For example "raspberry tart" = "fart". According to Bill Bryson in, "Notes From a Small Island," this is why when you blow a "raspberry" you're making a farting noise. HILARIOUS.
Other British terms/phrases we find amusing: knickers, twat, loo, "What the devil are you getting at?", pants!, bloody, snog, etc.

4. British Teatime - What? A bonus snack/meal? YES, PLEASE!

3. Hats - This is a trend we really wish would catch on in America. Hats are FABULOUS! FAB-U-LOUS.

See??? (Oh, have we mentioned our love of Maggie Smith and Downton Abbey? It really can't be said enough.)

2. Winston Churchill/British Politics/Wills & Kate - First of all, Winston Churchill was a certified badass (even if at some point most infants look like him...even my niece).

If you are interested in learning more about him, this was one of my few forays into non-fiction and I was fascinated. Secondly, watching members of Parliament perfect the art of insults is hysterical. Thirdly...

If you don't get it....I...wha?....what's not to get?

1b. British Men - Again, the accent comes into play here for sure. But still...Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Laurence Fox, pretty much every Mr. Darcy ever, David Tennant, John Barrowman, Jason Isaacs, Dan Stevens, Tony Blair, Prince William, Prince Harry, ohhhhh so many more....

1a. Matthew MacFadyen.

That is all.

***Stereotype Disclaimer: We fully acknowledge that we may be playing right into stereotypes, but no harm  or disrespect is intended. :)

In other news...

Recipe Post:

Guacamole...much like Philip Davis...is fantastic, but not sexy. I cannot vouch for Philip Davis, but this hot mess is tasty.

I have no recipe, per se. I use 2 avocados, 1 roma tomato (seeded and finely diced), 1/2 of a red or white onion finely diced, and lime juice, fresh cilantro, and salt to taste. Seeded and finely diced jalapeno optional. Mix until it tastes right and double, triple, or quadruple as needed. 

In stitchery news:

I have been Three Things Sampler-ing as well MTMing. MTM Jessica stitches, I OWN YOU!

Pip, pip, and cheerio, old chaps! Have a great day! 

P.S. This is to amuse Nikki...

- Lauren (with much assistance and input from Nikki)


  1. Coming from this #1 Anglophile, I am in total agreement with your blog! My two week stay in London,which filled me with an "at home" sentiment, led me to wonder whether I lived there in another life. Maybe I did. I would like to think so.....

  2. I approve of this blog post for many reasons, the obvious being my love of the Brits too, and that there are recipes, and it smacks of smuttiness. I'm all for the liberal sprinkling of smut...

    And so I'm going to add Spike to the list, just so vampires are included and its perfect. Yes, I do realize that James Marsters isn't British, but SPIKE is, and that, my friends, is good enough for me. He's up there with Mr. Rochester in terms of deliciously complex character crushes. The fact that he's dead just adds to his appeal, as far as I'm concerned. I would very much like to snog him, among other things...

    Did I just say that?

  3. P.S. Can I also add some phraseology? Blimey and bugger never cease to amuse me... And rubbish. And schedule, but you know, the way they say it, all sheshule-like... And Sam says "have a cuddle," which sounds British to me, even though I've never heard anyone else use the article quite like that. It's quite "Brilliant!" if I do say so.

  4. Matthew MacFadyen.....absolutely.

  5. Anglophile...Francophile...call me whatever, BUT please don't forget me!! I am in AWE after Saturday -- I got to hold, caress and fondle Paris with all it's silks and beads!!!! OMG-OMG...my heart is still racing!!! Simply AWESOME work, Nikki!!!!!!!!! And I'm sure that Lauren will add to it's beauty!!!!!! How lucky I am to have such fabulous nieces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!xoxoxoxoAK

  6. And Lauren, your MTM and sampler stitching is great...those Jessica stitches are WOW!!!!xoxoxoAK