Thursday, February 2, 2012

This week's column

A love of jolly ole England
Recently, I was accused of having Anglophilia. Now before anyone gets their knickers in a knot, that simply means an admiration of England and all things English.
I thought about it a while and maybe I am a bit enamored with England as well as Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
Don’t get me wrong, I love America, am proud to be a citizen. And let’s face it, basketball and football beat soccer and cricket any day. But there’s something about the homeland of my ancestors.
I scanned the Internet for some insight on what marks someone as passionate about England and here’s what I discovered.
Fans of England tend to love the British accent. This might be confession time. At home, when no one is around but the dogs, I often find myself speaking in a British accent. It just sounds so proper and distinguished.
As for English royalty, I know some people think it’s cheesy and corny but I think it’s kind of cool. It might be part of what made me absolutely adore “The King’s Speech” last year.
Another mark is a love of English history. I was a history minor in college and took a class on Tudor-Stuart England and it was my favorite class ever.
The way of life and homes are another draw. I would love to live in a flat and shop the local markets on my way home from work. But more than that, I would love a cottage in the hillside near a road speckled with crossing sheep. Let’s not forget tea time and fish and chips. Call me crazy, but I also love rainy days.
A love of British television and movies is also a must. It’s as if a British accent makes it even better. This, too, is me. My favorite television programs come via the BBC on PBS. “Masterpiece Theater” is my favorite and I couldn’t wait for a new season of “Downton Abbey,” as a bonus “Sherlock” episode has been airing lately. My favorite British series, now in reruns, is “As Time Goes By.” Because I do not have cable I have only seen one episode of “Dr. Who” but I am almost certain it would be one I would follow.
Another sign is a love for British humor. I don’t know what it is but those Brits are pretty funny. Except for Ricky Gervais, he’s just rude.Castles. I think that’s self explanatory.
James Bond. Again, no explanation necessary.
Possibly the biggest draw for me is the literature. My favorite authors all come from across the pond: Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Dickens and the like. I love, love, love, love the literature.
As I look over the list I guess I am pretty fond of the United Kingdom. I love Celtic music, enjoy a good shepherd’s pie or fish and chips and thoroughly enjoy Mumford and Sons.
Come to think of it, my dogs are even from the old country, a Labrador retriever and Welsh Corgi. That was an accident, I think.
And let’s not forget men with British, Scottish or Irish accents always seem more attractive. Jude Law, Colin Firth and Gerard Butler are just a few examples. The latter being my personal favorite.
One day I will visit the British Isles to see the rolling hillsides of Ireland, bask in the Scottish Highlands and visit the Rabbit Room in The Eagle and Child, where the Inklings met and Lewis and Tolkien discussed their latest writings.
But until then I will watch “Masterpiece Theater,” reread “The Hobbit” and practice my English vocabulary while watching the telly.

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