England

E        I’ll admit, I am enamoured (that’s enamored, for you Colonials) with ENGLAND.

I’ve had a crush the size of the Two Fat Ladies on the Motherland, probably since I was old enough to Sing a Song of Six Pence. Who doesn’t love singing about four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie? And while we’re at it, who doesn’t love the Two Fat Ladies? They make national dishes with zany names like Bubble & Squeak, then they get on their motorcycle w/side car and roll away. Very entertaining!

Not sure exactly why the fascination started. Perhaps it’s that innate sense of heritage – I am English, Dutch and French on my mother’s side. Although from what I know about my ancestors, many were of Quaker descent and probably got the boot in the 17th Century. So let’s fast-forward to the 1970s and examine the appeal. It’s safe to say my first introduction was through the telly. Thanks to my older brother, who was in charge of channels, two vastly different male personae made quite an impression: James Bond and Benny Hill. Suavity and gadgetry vs. slapstick and goofiness. I was enthralled.

Then the 1980s hit and with it, the NWOBHM. Say what? A musical movement the critics dubbed the New Wave of British Heavy Metal had sloshed up against our U.S. shores and stormed across much of Middle America. Through the magic of Mtv, the British musicians invaded our living rooms in their tight trousers and their London leather. My friends and I were happily pledging allegiance to the Union Jack – completely entranced.

Trooper Bruce

From cream of the crop...

Def Lep Jacks

...to over the top. Jack-o-mania!

We didn’t just love the NWOBHM males – most of our über-hip rock heroes were also from the right side of the pond: Bowie, Townshend, Jagger – we were enchanted! My childhood best friend and I vowed we would one day travel to Blighty together.

And we did, 20 years later. Thanks to the internet, we found each other after a decade-long separation and renewed our friendship. Soon after, we traveled to London together. The internet has made the world a much smaller marble, and I have since made many friends who call England home. A few years later, I hopped the pond again; to London, Sheffield and Birmingham. These trips were mostly music-related, so confined to the cities. Next time, my goal is to see some of the countryside.

I know my view of England is through big-ass, Elton John-worthy rose-coloured glasses. No place on Earth is perfect, and England certainly has its share of 1st World problems. Even still – England evokes elation!

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12 thoughts on “England

  1. Oh wow…Benny Hill! I used to love that show. Thinking back, I was too young to catch a lot of the innuendo but even so…it was hilarious. Wondering if it is is a heritage thing as you said because I have always been fascinated with a few countries even though I’ve never been out of the US…well…except for Canada, which was awesome. Cool post. 🙂

    • jesstopper says:

      True, I am sure as kids we missed a lot of what was really going on. Esp. with the Brits, they have such a sharp wit and a love of irony. Thanks for popping by!

  2. Alison Stone says:

    I am *so* enjoying your trip through the alphabet. I love your voice. It shines through in your posts. So excited that you’re only on E. So many more posts to look forward to!

  3. Merritt | LiveSimplyLove says:

    Ah! I love that you used elation as well as England (since that was my word today)! England is truly a special place (though I’ve only been once) but I think my heart belongs to France. Happy AtoZ!!

  4. nutschell says:

    I’m a big fan of England as well. The trip I took there last year was the best trip of my life so far. 😛 Great A-Z post!
    Nutschell
    http://www.thewritingnut.com

  5. I’ve loved my share of British rockers, and BBC shows–Torchwood & Downton Abby. And I’m slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. Plus, Arthur C. Clarke has been my fiction idol since I was very young.

  6. Even still – England evokes elation! – YAY! Perhaps one day I will embark on a voyage there.

  7. anna says:

    Aw how fun to get to go to England together! I’ve only spent 2 days in London but am definitely smitten with the whole country. Hopefully one day I’ll get to go back 🙂 Very nice post!

  8. jocelynrish says:

    I’ve always loved England, too. For the longest time I was absolutely convinced I was going to marry an English lad, but living in South Carolina, i didn’t actually run across very many. I finally made the trip across the pond a few years ago, and although I had a great visit, alas, I wasn’t wooed by any English gentlemen.

    Wishing you continued success with the A to Z challenge,
    Jocelyn

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