Watching Britain

Non-working monkey, whose non-workingness I greatly envy and admire and whose wit and certainty of opinion intimidate me, wrote a post on what’s going on in Britain as seen from her monkey desk in Canada. As a foreigner living in Britain (over six months now; I’m starting to think that the rejection phase may end at some point) I felt the need to compare notes but thought she might not be interested in my silly little opinions so decided to just write a post of my own. This is the ultimate procrastination strategy for someone newly reunited with the world of internet (thank you, BT man – finally…) who really, really should work now but really, really doesn’t want to. Headings from NWM (hoping she doesn’t mind), thoughts my own.

The Weather

Whatever it is, it always makes the news. First it was too warm for winter. Then it was too dry for spring. Now it’s too wet for summer. I shall escape to different climes for a while but I expect it will be too cold for autumn by the time I get back.

The Olympics

Apparently, although the country celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June this was actually the wrong year for it. Can’t find the reference now, you’ll just have to take my word for it. I know why they chose 2012, though: so that people could hang their Union Jack bunting in May and leave it to soak until September. (Does any other language have a word for bunting?) What else…well, there seem to be two camps of Londoners: 1) those who complain about the never-ending Olympic news and warnings and traffic closures and expenditure and 2) those who complain about those who complain. Personally, I’m more in the first camp, mainly because for reasons beyond my control I have to make my way home from Heathrow on a day that my local buses are cancelled and the roads near my house closed. That’ll be fun.

Food

I think the weather might have something to do with the mouldy strawberries in the shops. Had lovely honey mangos once but had to travel far to get them – there are a few Polish shops nearby but unfortunately no Asian markets.

Middle-class media foody-ness (for want of a better word) is still going strong. As far as I know, there is no Masterchef, Great British Menu or Great British Bake Off on at the moment but there always seems to be another one just round the corner. There’s a strange masochism in watching these relentlessly repetitive, over-dramatised reality cookery shows. A guilty pleasure, someone might say.

The Royal Family

Don’t know. Don’t care. Anti-monarchist, that’s me.

Politics

I haven’t paid much attention – no internet for a month (what’s up with telecommunication companies in this country?) will do that to you. It’s all a bit scary here but, as someone from a country that uses the single currency, I’ve been more interested in what’s actually happening to the euro that what Cameron has to say about it. (On a similar note, as a European in Europe I find it puzzling how often Europe is seen as The Other in the UK.)

The Bachelor

A TV show, I presume. (Also, I’m running out of steam. Just a few more things…)

50 Shades of Grey

As far as I can tell, this is some sort of chick-lit mega-bestseller. I only heard of it very recently as jokes about it started to trickle into my regular news sources (i.e. BBC Radio 4 comedy podcasts). This is one of many occasions where I can guess the point of the joke from its structure but can’t actually find it funny.

The Archers

Another regular reference in jokes, all I know is that it’s a long-running radio drama that features at least one vet. Can’t quite be bothered to find out more.

Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney turned off

The not-having-seen-any-news-for-a-month monster strikes again. What?

***

That’s all, folks. I guess I’ll have to do something now.

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