You knew this would be coming, didn’t you? But don’t be disappointed that I’m only referring to the British in me in this posting. There will be another coming up where the American in me will come forward. Because … I’m kind of a mixture of everything. Born and raised in Austria my love for everything “English” started to develop quite early. Despite a really horrible experience at school in the form of awful teachers up until the last four years, where I totally lucked out with a great and inspiring English teacher. Thanks to the vacations with my parents I also never had trouble actually using foreign languages, no matter how much or little I knew in those times. And I admired my father greatly, who spoke French fluently (thanks to his school education) as well as English and Italian, thrown in with some Spanish and Czech. All of those other languages he learned by himself on business trips and I guess my love for languages is something I inherited from him. But that’s not the real topic here, is it? You want to know why I consider myself as part British, even though my family tree reaching back to the 18thcentury doesn’t show anyone resembling having lived on the British isle. Or in one of its colonies.
- My car: yes, I’m living in a country where the “best” cars are being manufactured. And what do I do? Buy a British one! My lovely Range Rover Evoque! And let me just say, every time I drive it and pass a VW, Audi, BMW, Opel or Mercedes I’m proud to not being one of the masses! And I never will be … (hope I’m not thrown out of the country now for not driving a German car!) Oh, and have I mentioned that even my navigational system is talking to me in English only? Even though, I haven’t decided yet whether I prefer British or American English. So, I just switch between those two … guess the sensible thing would be British, right? After all it’s a British car. Oh … how difficult to choose between my two navi guys.
- My books: it’s sad. It’s really sad. If it’s not an English book store I can’t be tempted at all … everything I read in my private life is English. Luckily, we’re living in times now where I can just download the latest British mysteries for my Kindle …
- My entertainment – at least part of it, since I dutifully divide my attention between British and American: which is sad part II. Movie theatres? Hardly go to the movies cause synchronized movies are just awful. I prefer the original. So, sad old me has to buy DVDs, if I want to see the movie. Latest TV series? Same game. Not to mention that lots of really awesome BBC series don’t even make it to Germany. And since my TV set is not up to all the new stuff like internet and streaming yet. (Even though one of my colleagues constantly tries to convince me to move into the new technology age on that!) Sad part III? All those great British magazines I need to download to be up to date in terms of gossip, cooking, history, country life, travelling and interior decorating.
- My tea: favourite brand – M&S Earl Grey. Just opening one of those packages, with the bergamot infused tea bags is pure bliss. Preferably to be enjoyed on a lazy Sunday afternoon in real tea time fashion. (Apart from the loose leaves!) But I do pre-warm my china teapot, then put the tea bags in to develop the aroma before adding the hot water. One teaspoon of sugar in my cup and … enjoy! And I never forget what my aunt Do once told me, “Never stir more often than three times, don’t tap your spoon on the cup, don’t lick it, just carefully put it next to your cup! And always take up your cup with the saucer, taking one sip at a time!” Gosh, I miss her so much!
- My toiletries: since the first time I entered “The Body Shop” I was hooked and it has led to a lifelong obsession. Wherever I see one I have to go in … which can be quite exhausting in a city like London where the density of Body Shops is still large. I can’t help myself. I love the smell, the products. And I’ve tried them all – Strawberry, Shea, Satsuma, Pink Grapefruit, Moringa, Virgin Mojito, Frosted plum, Vineyard peach, White musk, … and whenever there’s something new … guess who will have to get it as quickly as possible!?
- My groceries I can’t live without: SPAM, Ovaltine Just add water, Horlicks Malted Drink, tea biscuits, scones, baked beans, …
- My office breakfast: porridge! Earning a disgusted “Euw” from my colleagues whenever I prepare my oats with hot water, seasoned with raisins and honey. It’s funny, though, that porridge has made its way across the channel and is now fashionably available here in Germany too.
- My paleness: sun is evil! Evil, evil, evil! Not going out without an SPF 50 sunblock, protected by my sun hat at times and my sun glasses, of course!
- My vacations: well, I’m cosmopolitan of course. However, London is one of my favourite cities, feeling quite at home there. Definitely need to get back there soon for some power shopping!
Oops, bit much today! I could go on for at least double of that, but I guess you would be totally annoyed with me and stop reading. So I’ll just keep some of my British to me … and might continue another time!