Oh, England; I Love You So.

I can’t say precisely when I first loved England. Perhaps my raging anglophilia began with my mother’s choice of bedtime readings: Ten in the Bed, The Water-Babies, “Bessie’s Boil,” or James Herriot. Perhaps it began with television: The Chronicles of Narnia or The Scarlet Pimpernel or (my somewhat confused) late-night sneakings downstairs to catch Red Dwarf or Doctor Who -Oh! or Keeping Up Appearances!

Whether begun there or in some unknown infancy, I can admit to my affection’s growing through a guilty pleasure: BBC broadcasts. I remember paying rapt attention whenever they interrupted my listening to KBYU, the local LDS University’s classical music station.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

There was class! There was distinction! There was the most correct, proper way to pronounce …anything. I harbored a secret dream to one day be able to speak in as refined a manner as the BBC radio announcers.

I even practiced.

Erm… practised.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I read a lot as a child, my preferred genre being fantasy and adventure. My preferred period was the Any-time of Probably-England or its nearby Kingdoms. From Narnia I found Prydain; from thence, Cornwall; then the moors; Darrowby; Wonderland. England and its surrounds became synonymous with the romantic locales of magic and imagination.

My infatuation grew. Was it my heritage, being mostly of British descent? Was it my love of beef and potatoes? My odd sense of humo(u)r? My name?

Do I think I’m unique in this adoration? No. Look at the British Empire’s reach or at the popularity of The Beatles or Harry Potter.

I believe most of the world reserves a tender spot for that soggy land. Whether most of the world wishes to enter England’s sogginess through a magic wardrobe is another story -but the tenderness is there. Right?

©2022 Chel Owens

71 thoughts on “Oh, England; I Love You So.

  1. Frank Hubeny May 24, 2022 / 10:12 am

    I wonder if there is a personality disorder associated with back-seat driving. 🙂 Nice clip of Hyacinth.

    Liked by 1 person

      • RuthScribbles May 24, 2022 / 12:47 pm

        It was my husband’s job just before retirement. It’s not really doable to live but I will visit again. My daughter and family live in the Netherlands, but covid😞 so in August will be three years since I’ve been there.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Stevie Turner May 24, 2022 / 10:25 am

    I love it too. I have no desire to travel anywhere else. Yes we can sometimes be a bit soggy, but the weather man says there’s a heatwave coming next week…

    Like

  3. sherijkennedy May 24, 2022 / 10:42 am

    Right there with you. And yes, I think a lot of it came from early reading of the classics for me too. I was obsessed with British authors, films, musicians and even sitcoms. Still some of my favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. TanGental May 24, 2022 / 1:44 pm

    Well golly gosh and blimey. This is a terrificly spiffing read don’cha’no? Seeing all that red on the map reminds me of the old joke. ‘Why does the sun never set on the British Empire?’ ‘ Because God can’t trust the British in the dark.’
    Of course, being a native we think we are hopelessly prejudiced, emotionally anal, smug, out of touch, and full of wind. Sadly we also know that to be true. On the plus side, most of the rest of the world sees through our pretentions and is happy that we are at our best when we accept we’ve never really left the 1950s. When Ford Prefect edited Earth’s entry as ‘Mostly harmless ‘ I rather think St Douglas of Adams was thinking of the British.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens May 24, 2022 / 2:15 pm

      Do you really say, “Spiffing,” Geoff? I mean, lately? 😀

      I hadn’t heard that addition to the old saying; yes, it fits. And yes, Adams’ observations and too-honest human characteristics are very British. Aren’t you pleased to be so loved despite all the foibles?

      Like

      • TanGental May 24, 2022 / 2:29 pm

        I’m amazed and rather bemused but really rather touched. I suppose i know a few too many Brits who fall on the other side of the ledger, the sort who encourage one to think compulsory euthanasia isn’t such a dreadful idea.
        And spiffing is reserved for when I have my spatts retreaded.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Geoff Stamper May 24, 2022 / 1:51 pm

    I have lived the back seat driving😂. Also trying to guess which restaurant my wife wants to go to when she allegedly does not care but shoots down every choice I make!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens May 24, 2022 / 2:16 pm

      😀 I do the restaurant-indecisiveness to my husband. We read that a good fix is to pick three the husband wants and have the wife choose from those. We haven’t tried it yet so maybe you can be the first.

      Like

  6. obbverse May 24, 2022 / 2:35 pm

    Oh good: An American who knows one puts a U in your humour. Plus, I’m amaaazed Red Dwarf actually got an airing over there, it’s… out there. Sure ain’t no lame-as ‘Three’s Company.’

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens May 24, 2022 / 3:52 pm

      The existence of ‘Red Dwarf” does cause me to wonder what American pieces filter down to the world.

      Liked by 2 people

      • obbverse May 24, 2022 / 4:29 pm

        We, out here on the outer spiral arm of the galaxy, or the South Pacific, get your usual; ‘Friends’ ‘Big Bang’ all the usual American stuff. Also the odd one that works for me- ‘Fargo,’ Santa Clarita Diet.’ And then the ones that make me LOL till I cry unintentionally, like ‘The Kardavacuous.’ That is pure drek.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens May 24, 2022 / 7:36 pm

          Having the internet has changed what gets through. What do people think living in America is like? ‘Friends?’

          Liked by 1 person

          • obbverse May 24, 2022 / 8:39 pm

            Nah, as you say the internet has opened up the world. PS; say ‘hi’ to Ross Rachel Phoebe and the gang when you see ’em!

            Liked by 2 people

  7. gregoryjoel May 24, 2022 / 4:40 pm

    Nothing personal but being Scot-Irish I am nowhere near an Anglophile. Colonial conquest is not my cup of tea… I did however, love Monty Python and Fawlty Towers each Sunday night on PBS when they were on. I was delighted to hear Sein Fein won the Parliment in Northern Ireland!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens May 24, 2022 / 7:38 pm

      Did he? I didn’t mean to rub any sore wounds. 🙂 I also have Irish and German ancestry.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Tippy Gnu May 24, 2022 / 5:00 pm

    Have you ever been there? I imagine it to be a gloomy, drippy place, where it’s cold nearly the year round. And I hear the food is bland. But I like their big, red buses, so if I ever visited I’d definitely ride one, on the top deck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens May 24, 2022 / 7:39 pm

      I haven’t been. Just read about it. Maybe that’s part of the appeal: my traveling from a Dune-like Utah to the wonders of wet England.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tippy Gnu May 24, 2022 / 9:38 pm

        Yeah, I live in the desert, too. Sometimes, a cool, wet English landscape seems inviting.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. tnkerr May 24, 2022 / 5:24 pm

    Have your been there? Have you lived there?
    Enquiring minds want to know!

    Liked by 1 person

      • tnkerr May 24, 2022 / 8:12 pm

        I did live there for several years. In the South. I oldest daughter is a victim of English schools, and my youngest still has the accent, when she wants.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Doug Jacquier May 24, 2022 / 6:36 pm

    Being a former colony of the British Empire that plundered other nations’ wealth and disposed of all resistance with extreme prejudice and exported their convicts to found our nation, Australians up until the 1960’s were almost compulsorily British in outlook and were educated in the Queen’s English. Thus I was raised on Enid Blyton, Biggles, The Goons and ABC newsreaders who were obliged to wear a dinner suit for evening news broadcasts, even on radio. But what keeps us permanently linked is that we share a sense of humour that is based on more than snarky putdowns and slapstick. I always imagine Americans like you, Chel, huddling in darkened rooms to guiltily watch Fawlty Towers, French and Saunders, Upstairs and Downstairs, The Prisoner et al. And of course being married to a Liverpudlian helps, even if I’ve had to eschew expressions like ‘drier than a Pommy’s bath towel’. (Pommy or Pom – Aus vernacular for Englishman).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens May 24, 2022 / 7:44 pm

      Don’t get me started on American humor -especially the ‘humor’ of children’s movies. Mine is more dry wit and pun than crotch shot.

      😀 I think you ought to keep your expression. It’s hilarious.

      …I find foreign expressions amusing. Is the same true of your hearing American ones?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Doug Jacquier May 24, 2022 / 8:24 pm

        Some. My favorite American comedian, Rich Hall (aka Otis Lee Crenshaw), introduced me to ‘dumber than a bag full of hammers’. I also love Jeff Foxworthy’s ‘you know you’re a redneck when ..’ routines. Fits so well with a our local version i.e. the bogan.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens May 24, 2022 / 10:40 pm

          I haven’t heard the term ‘bogan.’ I don’t listen to many comedians, but tend to like pieces of the popular routines.

          Like

    • obbverse May 24, 2022 / 8:43 pm

      Weren’t we talking ’bout this on your blog, ya big galah Doug???

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Prior... May 24, 2022 / 9:21 pm

    I enjoyed your post and I also share a love for England
    And sometimes get teased about liking BBC series
    -/

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ian Kay May 25, 2022 / 3:40 am

    We don’t mention the Empire. 🥴

    Red Dwarf is excellent – light years better than Doctor Who – but do you get its satire on contemporary times? All futuristic sci-fi is, of course, more a reflection on contemporary times than an imagining of the future. (Funny, last night we watched an original series episode of Star Trek. Kirk was meeting a futuristic lawyer and the poor man was in his futuristic space dome office looking through tall stacks of huge leather bound law books. My wife said, “wouldn’t he be better off with a Kindle?” lol.

    I love it that all computers and gadgets have random flashing coloured lights all over them but no readable screen. A hard to dislodge imagination failure meme in all the sci-fi props dept., that one.)

    We’re also successfully phasing out Received Pronunciation. Even Prince George is being instructed to speak in Cockney, Manc or Scouse (though cockney is on the red list endangered accents now). All the tv continuity announcers speak Street now.

    Come now – or very soon! – before it’s all gone. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens May 25, 2022 / 7:29 am

      I doubt I caught much as a child. 😀 You’re certainly right about what they’re trying to do.

      I’ll have to go … right now!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Nope, Not Pam May 25, 2022 / 4:32 am

    I used to like The Good Life. And the Two Ronnie’s 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ian Stuart May 25, 2022 / 4:46 am

    Chel – thank you for being so nice to us. I am a Brit, or rather a Northern Brit. I live in York the capital of Yorkshire ( think of Yorkshire as the British equivalent of Texas ( only rather smaller.) I am a Northern lad through and through – born in Lancashire ( the second largest county in England)

    York is half a dozen cities piled one on top of the other – underneath Marks and Spencer’s there is a Roman gateway.We still have a city wall pierced by four medieval gates – Monk Bar, Bootham Bar, Micklegate and Monk. At the heart of the city is York Minster – a cathedral, and the stone to build it was
    floated down river and then pulled up…yes, you’ve guessed – Stonegate.

    By the way, Bars are gates, not boozers and gates are streets…I hope youre not confused.

    There’s a ton of stuff on York. on gthe internet. Enjoy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens May 25, 2022 / 8:28 am

      See; I don’t think of this as being nice. What you’ve described sounds so neat! What history! I will read up on this.

      Like

  15. D. Wallace Peach May 25, 2022 / 2:00 pm

    Ah yes. How many of us practiced our accents! Lol. I haven’t been to the UK, Chelsea, but plan to. My infatuation (I think) is also born of my love of fantasy, which mostly takes place somewhere England-ish. I want to see castles and narrow cobbled streets and eat rashers and pies in low-ceilinged pubs! Want to go?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. M. May 26, 2022 / 7:00 pm

    I too share a love and fascination of the UK. Ya know I even helped fund the second memoir of Robert “Red Dwarfs Kryten” Lewellyn and got a thank you in the back of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

      • M. May 26, 2022 / 10:02 pm

        Also was interviewed (well in a radio fluff sorta way) by Craig Charles on the phone for his music program on BBC Radio 6 The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show twice lol

        Liked by 1 person

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