S is for Skipping

…because I skipped Saturday. According to the official April A-Z Challenge rules, skipping Sundays results in the correct number of days in the month (26). Seeing as yesterday ended up the kind of day when I didn’t even turn on my computer, I decided to skip yesterday and blog today instead. As my grandmother always used to say, “It all comes out in the wash.”

Friends have been clamoring for me to blog about my time in London (okay, one friend suggested it out of politeness) so I’ll begin with a few of my impressions of the place.

– It is incredibly civilized. By that I mean that you can get a cup of hot tea just about anywhere (and most places a pot), and they bring you milk when you ask for it, not half-n-half or non-dairy creamer (ye gods!) because they are at a loss.

– It is incredibly civilized. By that I mean that they have excellent public transit. We never had to wait more than five minutes for a bus or tube train and could transfer between lines and modes without difficulty.

– It is incredibly civilized. By that I mean that people seemed to conduct themselves in public with a reasonable degree of awareness of and courtesy toward those around them. (Except that young couple who wouldn’t stop snogging on the tube platform one afternoon. And folks leaving the bars at 3:00 a.m. And the French schoolchildren, as mentioned in an earlier post. But maybe the latter don’t count because they’re not British.)

– It is incredibly civilized. By which I mean that even the corner quickie mart offered a delightful array of British cheddars in the cold case with nary a slice or block of petroleum-based American cheese product in sight.

– It is incredibly civilized. By which I mean that it is considered perfectly appropriate to have a pint of ale with lunch. Every day. And with dinner, too.

(Caveat: These are merely my impressions from a brief sojourn. If I am wildly mistaken, I welcome gentle correction from folks more knowledgeable than I in these matters.)

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6 responses to “S is for Skipping

  1. So…I’m guessing they were pretty civilized, huh? Or should I say, civilised. 🙂 All I can say, with a measure of intense wistfulness, is that YES!!! WHY CAN’T WE HAVE PUBLIC TRANSIT LIKE THAT HERE!? EVERYWHERE? BRING ON THE HIGH-SPEED TRAINS AND RELIABLE BUSES! (sorry for shouting) I miss Japan for that very reason. I didn’t care about sushi, but I did care about the wonderful transport system (and taxi cabs with white lace seat covers and drivers with clean white gloves). Thanks for posting! I was especially impressed by the cheese at the quick mart and the ale. I have been known to have a nice red with my lunch and didn’t think a thing about it until the waitress made a remark about how “nobody orders wine with lunch”. Yikes. Felt like a criminal!

    • Jennifer Barricklow

      I thought about British spelling as I wrote, but I haven’t actually relocated, so I decided to stick with American spelling. I think I could have a ploughman’s lunch every day: break, cheese, fruit, pickle, and a pint. Mmm!

  2. I visited the island for 4 weeks in 1984. I have to agree with your assessment. (I didn’t partake of the ale, though, because I don’t like it. But we did have wine with our fruit, cheese, bread lunch everyday.) At the time there was a group of young people (my age at the time of my visit!), who hung out in certain neighborhoods of London who were disatisfied with society and liked to show. However, they were civilized enough to remain in their self-designated neighborhoods and so one could choose to encounter them or not.

    • Jennifer Barricklow

      Ooo, I could do wine with cheese, bread, and fruit any day, too. If I institute this lunchtime regimen on my own, I may have to alternate between ale and wine. Thanks for the idea! 🙂

      I think “Keep calm and carry on” has rather seeped into the bones of British culture. A sense of decorum seems to be the general expectation, and people tend to respond to that.

  3. Time for a spot of tea on the spot, aye? Handsomely civilized, indeed. I enjoyed your London post, Jennifer. Blessings to you…

    • Jennifer Barricklow

      How prescient of you: my next post is about tea! Make yourself a nice cuppa before you read it. 🙂

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