Sunday, May 24, 2009


Marc & I arrive at Heathrow a bit early yesterday. But our 10:30 AM arrival didn't do us much good. His father had to battle 2 hours of traffic to get across London to get us. We're here for Linda, Marc's step-mother, Linda's funeral. She passed unexpectedly on Monday morning. We are all sad for her untimely departure.

After the rough ride through the city, Marc's father decided we would take the Northern route of the M25 around to his house in Rainham, on the East side of London. Not the best choice. We had a four hour journey which did include several country roads and a short pause to divest our bladders of their contents as well as refuel with a round of battered sausages & chips. Yes, I commenced my first day in England, in a similar way to my departure - sans-a-veggies. We had kabob for dinner, I'm not sure the shredded lettuce and bits of onion would be a very scant single serving of vegetable. All yummy and I do fear I'll need to shop for larger pants before my departure in 10 days.

As we were walking through Heathrow, down the long halls on our way to Immigration & Customs (where I did confuse the poor Immigration Officer by pointing out my British traveling companion who was already in England, technically) I had a David Sedaris moment. Marc lamented that he had forgotten his allergy medication. My response, "I'm sure you could get some from a local chemist." Boy did I feel smart - using Chemist instead of Pharmacy... look at me, picking up the local lingo! And then I was thinking of how Sedaris would smartly describe my pretensions and pride, right before skewering me or having some dark twist.

My focus on word springs from the book I'm reading, well listening to, The Woman in White and find it mesmerizing. Set in England in the mid 1800's, the characters are all so bright and fun. Probably people didn't really speak in such a vivid and luscious way, yet I do enjoy thinking they did and morning our current minimalist mode of communication. But I do find it plausible, as I'm provoked into hard listening here with the British form of phrasing not matching up with my Hollywood English ear. Between the locals, my novel and Angel Sedaris on my shoulder am dizzy with words. I hope I don't get pretensions in my speaking or blogging - maybe that's where my Sedaris angel comes in. He'll nudge me whenever I try to use the British tongue, as I am bound for failure as so many American women do in their attempt to wear the Parisian beret.

On a side note - Mom, please email me. I can't find your address.


Blue in Bristol said...

Well done for correct usage of 'chemist'! 7/10. Full marks would have been awarded had you said
'I'm sure you can get some from Boots.' Boots is a huge chain of UK chemists which every British person has grown up with and Boots is a catchall term for any chemist more or less - a bit like Sellotape.

Looking forward to seeing you on Sat.

Jen DeLano said...

What is Sellotape?