Few mourn US embassy relocation — “Now all is set to change, as the embassy prepares to shut up shop in central London and move to a brand-new building – in somewhat less salubrious surroundings on the south bank of the river Thames.” (BBC News)
Do WAGS make good role models? — “Lizzie Cundy, the wife of former Chelsea Player Jason Cundy, and Caroline Jordan, headmistress of St George’s school in Ascot, discuss whether WAGs make good role models for schoolgirls.” (BBC News)
Britain’s lonely high flier — “A resurgent Rolls-Royce has become the most powerful symbol of British manufacturing. Its success may be hard to replicate, especially in difficult times.” An exceptionally interesting article. (The Economist)
Old time ads — “Nostalgic commercials and brands are being revived as advertisers seek to tap into recession-ridden Britons’ urge for security, predictability and reassurance.” Interesting slide show of some classic British ad campaigns. (Financial Times)
Blagojevich, the Iambic Anglophile — “Impeached, indicted and feeling alone, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich has found some unlikely friends: Dead British poets.” May I suggest a little Robert Browning? “I give the fight up: let there be an end, a privacy, an obscure nook for me. I want to be forgotten even by God.” (the New York Times)
Kate’s no lady in waiting — A video from CBS’s Early Show about Kate Middleton’s 27th birthday and will Will or won’t Will pop the question soon?
A chronic battle with directional dyslexia has brought a ignominious end to freelance food writer Diana Burrell, who stepped out in front of one too many black cabs while eagerly bounding across Portobello Road in Notting Hill, shouting to her travel companion Alison Wellner, “Oh my God, it’s another bookstore!”
Says Wellner, “Diana passed on to a good place — where every meal begins and ends with pudding, where everyone’s ironic and understated, and shopkeepers mind their own business — with a smile on her face. She clutched a sackful of cookbooks purchased at Books for Cooks to her chest and as she departed, she said, ‘Either that mall goes, or I go.‘ ” Wellner passed condolences, as well as charge card receipts, to Burrell’s family, who weren’t entirely surprised by her demise or the amount she spent on books. “She could never tell her right from her left, and she was always a bit profligate around a bookshop,” said a family member who wished to remain anonymous. “I mean, two copies of Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management?” The family member snorts. “Like we’ll be fighting over them in the will.”
Rather than going through the expense of shipping her remains back home, her family decided to scatter her ashes in the River Thames, along with her books, jams, teas, and a Christmas plum pudding from Fortnum & Mason that no one stateside would claim. Shopkeepers and booksellers lined the streets as her funeral cortege passed by, and in a rare outburst of emotion, wiped away tears knowing that an era of economic prosperity had fluttered through their fair city all too briefly.
I’m am so, so curious how the first meeting between the new president and the British government will go, mostly because whenever I saw Bush and Blair giving joint news conferences (or heard them speaking through microphones they thought were turned off), I wanted to climb under a table, stick my fingers in my ears, and hope no one else in the world was hearing it either. Now that Bush will be out in January, I give you Exhibit A, above, for your viewing and listening pleasure.
Last night I was thinking about it and came up with Americanophiles. Actually, I came up with Americanaphile, but then thought it sounded like someone who appreciated things like country dances, lawn art, and Norman Rockwell calendars. Apparently, the Russians and Chinese use Americanophile, and have even translated it into their respective languages. Cool!