Friday, April 15, 2005

Oh to be in England

View from my old apartment balcony on St Saviour’s Dock, London, SE1

Of late I’ve been feeling wistful about the UK and London. I’m not sure why. Maybe I’ve been reading too many English blogs but the sentiment of Robert Browning’s poem has been tugging at me a bit recently. It’s hard to believe but it’s now been four years since I was stomping around the streets of Southwark, Docklands and Old London’s square mile. Nostalgia is a funny thing. It seems to come and go according to the season and is very situation dependent. In considering this emotion I’ve started to think about a couple of recent and rather brief trips back to the Old Country and how things have changed since I departed for these shores in the rosy optimistic glow of the New Millennium. Mostly I’m aware that despite reading the BBC News website everyday, I’ve completely lost touch with British popular culture. Consider the following of which I’ve read but have no first hand knowledge:

Chavs: a new word but an old concept. Bring back public flogging, I say (just joking -sort of).

Minging: a new word meaning rebarbative. I don’t think it is used by anyone over 25.


Ant & Dec: I have vague memories that this pair might have been around before 2001 but they seem to have made the big time now. A couple of Geordie larger louts I’m told.

Kirstie Allsop and Sarah Beeney
: Sacryduck keeps going on about these two. Allegedly they are hotties. Back in 2001 Carole Vorderman and Charlie Dimmock were the thinking man’s crumpet. Or, something. I have know idea about this latest pair though…

The Office: This phenomenon has now crossed the Atlantic but I don’t have the required cable package to watch it and I’m not prepared to shell out $80 for a whole series on DVD. So I'm in the dark.

Dr Who: now back after a nearly two decade hiatus. I’m curious to know what the new Doctor is like. I’ve read he is a bona fide actor although for some reason handed in his notice before the credits finished rolling on the first episode. I expect it will take a couple of eons to get it on American telly.

Top Ten: I haven’t a clue who might be appearing on TTTP (assuming it’s still running). My interest in popular music largely ended with Dire Straits, around 1982.

John Peel has gone which is unbelievably sad and leaves an unfillable void…

The Erotic Gherkin: I’m really curious to know how the London skyline has changed in four years.

Congestion Charges: Probably a good thing but I’d certainly be broke if I was still living in London.

Oh well, fings ain’t what they used to be, I suppose.


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