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.

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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.

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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