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An Evening With the Brits



Random Photo of the Day: Sun Over Santa Rosa Beach, Florida


Paul Revere's Ride


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

 He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.

Every American child learns this famous poem by Longfellow.  It is part of our elementary school cultural history experience.  Click here to read the poem in it's entirety.  I won a prize for memorizing the poem when I was eight years old.

In spite of all that, I now sleep with the enemy...literally.  I must say, I adore the Brits.  I really do.  And, not just my own through marriage Brits, but pretty much all Brits.  I love their quirky humor, their funny accents, their clunky Clarks shoes, many of which rival Birkenstock's for their lack of femininity,their funny hats at weddings and I especially love their cream teas and even their lowly sausages (awwww...this made me sad for my piggles).  I love that Brits know how to have fun.  On our transatlantic cruise last year half of the passengers were Brits returning home from the states.  Those Brits knew how to pass the time...Trivia slams (very competitive), line dancing, Karaoke competitions, costume contest, poolside tom name it, the Brits did it and with gay abandon and many Gin and Tonics.  It's Americans that are stuffy, not real life Brits.  Trust me on this one.

About ten days ago John was watching TV (telly in Britspeak) and shouted for me to run across the house and down the stairs to see something on the screen.  It was an announcement for the tenth anniversary dinner of the Sarasota British Club.  Hoping to meet some new folks, we immediately paid our dues and joined.  We further paid for tickets to the anniversary dinner held this past Saturday.

 Two days after joining, John attended a monthly tea for members.  I was unable to attend.  He said there were about fifty in attendance, only one of whom he could remember, a woman who had also worked at the British Embassy in Washington, but before John arrived at the embassy.  He could not remember her name or anything else about her or if she had a husband there and had no clue how old she might be or the color of her hair.  I finally gave up asking questions about her.

We drove down to the venue where the dinnerwas to be held and entered the clubhouse as strangers in a strange land.  We were warmly greeted and there were name tags all made out and waiting for us.  It's no wonder the Brits were so good at colonizing foreign lands...they are very well organized. 

 There were no assigned tables so we mingled a bit and then found two open seats at a table occupied by three other couples.  Introductions were made all around.  We had wine and beer and soon salads arrived.  As we nibbled, a barbershop quartet ambled to the front and were announced.  I'm not being age biased (I'm old too), but these guys were so old they had to sit to sing.  I've never seen that before.  The audio equipment was poor and their ability to project non-existent.  Everyone started conversing in whispers because they really couldn't hear the quartet.  The good part was that I don't think the singers had a clue that no one was paying attention because they couldn't hear.  The  audience clapped politely  every time they noticed that the singers' lips had stopped moving.

After the quartet was mercifully escorted off the stage, we had our main course.  There was a break before dessert.  An elderly lady at our table began talking about how she had met a lovely new member at the tea and that he had also worked at the embassy in Washington after her tenure there.  She hoped to see him again this evening.  John-whose-hearing-is-fine-everyone else-mumbles was seated across from her and heard not a word of course.  The lady said she was a bit forgetful these days and she hoped the lovely man would recognize her and stop by to say hello at some time during the evening.  Rather than screaming, I just kicked John and re-introduced them.  He had no clue that she was the lady from the tea three days earlier.  Each smiled brightly at the other and I head for the Ladies.  It is at times like this that I regret giving up cigarettes.

Over dessert we watched an incredibly inept magician.  Then some club members performed a skit which was greeted with gales of laughter.  I didn't get it.  You must have had to be born a Brit or something.

All in all it was a good evening and we met some nice people.  I am a wee bit apprehensive about being around this group for fireworks and bond fire on Guy Fawkes Night....

Reader Comments (2)

Love the pic, just come back from training in a field, ok the few dribs and drabs of sun but the wind was very chilly. Given in or should I say resigned to winter, fingerless gloves and four layers of tops was the order of the day, so very cheering with a hot drink to see the sun shining on the sea when I got in. Clark shoes, that I should be so lucky? Happen to be one of the 11% of narrow fittings, very expensive shoes from your neck of the woods or occasionally Italy.

Strange, I like horseriding poems, the Longfellow poem brings to mind the Walter de la Mare one of the rider calling: "tell them I came." Also the ride from Aix to Ghent, which makes me think dig out my book of poems and renew my acquaintance. Long time since I read Up the faerie mountain, down the rushy glen, daren't go a huntin for fear of little men.

Do enjoy Guy Fawkes night, take some gloves and light a sparkler, do some circles in the air; I'm hoping to go to a firework night too. Jill

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJill

You're really talented.Words beautiful, fluent!I like it very much!ulysse nardin watches replica

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