Sunday, December 20, 2009

The English Factor

For those wishing to explore integrating knitting into a spiritual practice, looking elsewhere would be advisable.
Matthew the Raven (Wisconsin) on Zen And The Art Of Knitting: Exploring the Links Between Knitting, Spirituality, and Creativity

Last week lawyers acting for Woods issued a High Court injunction banning British newspapers from publishing any naked photos of the star. But Woods' British lawyers deny any nude snaps exist.
Tom McTague, 18/12/2009

New York Post cover December 12th
You've got to hand it to the Murdoch press. It's always good for a laugh. And if you're feeling down, you only have to glance at a news-stand to get a laugh from the chutzpah of the local tabloid rag. As long as there's a good scandal to be had, Rupert and his boys are there.

They are of course currently having a field day with the Tiger Woods' story. Rivaled only by the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal of last century.

And never let it be said that Rupert's guys let the truth stand in the way of a good story!

I was feeling down this past week. Even the New York Post headlines were not cheering me up. I'd been told by radiology at Beth Israel hospital that I needed an intergalactic biopsy. Or some such horrible thing. So I've been checking the news-stands daily, in need of a laugh.

New York Post cover 1998
Of course, it all started (the Murdoch press, not the biopsy!) in the U.K. But in true colonial fashion, only the worst of British culture has spread to the new world.

What IS it about the English?
New York Post December 3rd

I am convinced that something happens to people once they venture to the British Isles. For example, there's my friend Maggie.

Maggie is from Perth. She spent her childhood and teenage years there and then moved to America where she lived a fairly normal life and was, as far as I could tell, a normal modern woman.

We used to discuss books and stuff.

Then she moved to England. Now don't get me wrong, we are still good friends but - something happened to Maggie.

For starters she moved to an "address". Every where else in the world, people live in places that have a number, a street name and a suburb or town. And so on. But in England for some reason there are houses that don't have numbers (I expect it's regarded as "common") - they have names. Such as "The Nook, West Hampshire Lane, Hamps WXZ21". Or "The Mews, Fern Lane, Hampstead NW3" ... and so on.

My 2009 Christmas present from Maggie
And then they have "states of being" that they advertise, such as being "at home" or "at leisure" which means you are allowed to call on them.

I have a young Australian friend who has spent the last six years in London. Last week he posted on FaceBook - "I will be in Melbourne over Christmas for two weeks and will be granting audiences on a first-come first-serve basis."

You've gotta love 'em!

All sorts of people go weird when moving to the mother country. Just look at our Germaine. In Australia she was spot on, a feminist through and through. A member of the Sydney Push along with Wendy Bacon and Frank Moorhouse. Germaine now lives in Essex, wears frumpy clothes and fancies herself as an expert on women's fashion.

But back to Maggie. I received a lovely present from Maggie this week. I was pleased to see that she has taken up knitting and has been making her own Christmas presents. I HAD been expecting a gift from Harrods, and so was pleasantly surprised to see that Maggie has become DOMESTICATED!!!

Yes, Maggie is definitely "At Home"!

So impressed am I that I feel I must reciprocate. In kind. This is truly a CHALLENGE. Something to aim for - for Christmas 2010.

Yes, I do so want to surprise Maggie next year with a lovely home-made little something.

Suggestions are welcome!

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