London Calling

Things I (Mostly) Miss About Living in Britain – in no particular order.

• Proper tea. Sigh. Once you’ve had a proper cup of tea, Lipton won’t do.
• I could find good red currant jelly and clotted cream.
• Farmers markets
• Portobello Road
• On cold days in the autumn, people still sold roasted chestnuts which I bought to stuff in my pockets to keep my hands warm.
• Sumner’s bakery on Old Brompton Road had scones fresh from the oven at seven in the morning.
• Best pub name ever: The Inebriated Newt. It sounds rather Hobbity, doesn’t it?
• The chocolate hall at Harrods was the biggest I had ever seen in my life and the chocolates were the most exquisite pieces of art that I could barely afford. They were worth every penny!
• The Tube was a wonderful thing except when the football games were getting out. I learned to be nowhere near Wembley Stadium when the football fans were going home. A lot of them were drunk, and if their team lost, not very nice.
• Used bookstores were a thing of wonderment.
• The streams in the Highlands looked like they flowed with brown beer.
• Fish & chips wrapped in newspaper.
• Brown ale.
• Shandys are kind of gross.
• I loved the rain.
• I don’t miss the Sloan Rangers. They were too snooty for my tastes, and I was too common for theirs. They’re probably called something else now.
• Live Theatre! Peter O’Toole was very tall. Frank Findlay’s performance in Amadeus made me cry. I couldn’t afford to see Cats.
• Getting to walk the streets of London early in the morning when the town was still relatively quiet and it has snowed in the night. It was special.
• If the good looking, very polite Scot who huddles under the raincoat with you in an unheated train car asks you to go home with him when he gets off at Dundee, don’t be an idiot and think, “What if he’s a psychopathic axe murderer?” Younger self: you should have gotten off the damn train with him!
• I know why composers write symphonies about the Highlands. There is magic in those mountains, and splendid desolation.
• Australians can drink you under the table. More remarkable is that when they get up to leave, they don’t walk like badly listing galleons.

If you’ve ever lived in Britain, what do you miss about it?


3 thoughts on “London Calling

  1. hehe … Bavarians can drink you (and any Londoner, brit, whatever) under the table too 😉 … I’ve only been to London twice, almost got run over by a car – why can’t they just drive on the RIGHT side? 😉 but loved it. What struck me at the time was the fact, that even people who apparantly were Indians or other nationalities behaved utterly ‘british’. Something that is completely different for example in Paris.

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