21 July 2012

Meeting Fellow Fanatics

There really isn't anything quite like meeting old friends and realizing that you have more in common than you ever imagined. I've known these two lovely ladies for years, though most of our interactions have been on Facebook and over the phone. Last week, though, all of that changed.

I got the opportunity to fly down to Texas and visit Tori and Beebee, two adorable girls I soon discovered to be fellow Britophiles! When I arrived they revealed a penchant for tea, Doctor Who, Jane Austen, and Richard Armitage.

Just think of my delight! Afternoon tea is a well-established custom in this household, complete with Jammie Dodgersdigestive biscuits, artisan muffins and sugar lumps! I was in ecstasies. We talked about favorite British actors, singers, comedians, etc., and spent way too much time discussing food. 

I have these dears to thank for properly introducing me to Doctor Who. I had heard of the show, of course, but had never absorbed much of the love and lore. Now I have watched portions of Tom Baker, Peter Davison, David Tennant, and Matt Smith, and am beginning to appreciate the full depth and scope of this wildly popular series. (Have you ever seen "Don't Blink"? It's an incredible episode.) Would you believe it, my friends were brave enough to take on the enormous task of knitting replicas of Tom Baker's scarf, complete with authentic color palette! We snuggled in these quite often during my stay.

Kippers were a new taste sensation for me. We piled them onto English muffins smeared with stout ale mustard. Mmm! We also tried Fevertree ginger beer, which is a mixer but quite good by itself. Oh, yes, and who could forget the Marmite? I've finally tried it for myself, and know its power firsthand. 

I came away from the gourmet shops in Texas with quite a bit of Brit-tastic loot!

Here are a few more discoveries I made with my fellow Britophiles:
  • CBeebies Bedtime Stories: Watch your favorite BBC celebrities read aloud entertaining children's stories! You'll never see Alex Kingston or David Tennant quite the same way again.
  • Tea is better in a teacup: Really tiny spoons help too. 
  • British Accents are Very Fun: I had a blast testing out my Northern accent, my South London, my Yorkshire, etc. Tori and Beebee are wonderful at differentiating dialects.
  • I Don't Have a Monopoly on Celebrity Crushes: As much as I would like to think that I am one of a select few who adore the looks and talent of such heartthrobs as Alan Rickman and Richard Armitage, alas, I am far from unique. These girls beat me on several fronts. Sigh.
  • Nobbly and Squidgy: I already knew about the amazing words "scrummy" and "splodged," but these were two new ones to add to my adjectival collection. In case you weren't aware, Hobnobs are nobbly oaty biscuits, Jaffa Cakes come with a squidgy orangy bit inside, and Jammie Dodgers are scrummy biscuits splodged with raspberry-flavored jam. 
  • Traveling is Fun, but Traveling with Friends is Fantastic: You can't beat fellowship, food, and laughter shared together. 


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