Actually I don’t know what a proper English weekend looks like- maybe a cricket or polo match, tea in the garden and a nice supper of roast beef and yorkshire pudding. We didn’t do that.
But we did go to a “lovely” musical in the West End on Saturday- “Blood Brothers.” It was a wedding gift from a friend, and I very much enjoyed the story of twins in Liverpool, separated at birth, one raised poor and one wealthy. It’s been running in London for 25 years, an impressive feat. It lasted only 2 years on Broadway and I think I know why. One of the last lines of dialog in the show by the Narrator is: “And do we blame Superstition for what came to pass, or is it what we the British have come to know as class?” Anecdotally, I have heard from a number Americans that Britain relies socially much more on an old-fashioned class system, and because of that the English often do not know what to make of Americans. When we say what university we attended, or high school, or speak with a certain regional twang, the English cannot make the same immediate judgments they can of their countrymen. We beguile them, us Yankees.
Sunday we went to a street fair in our neighborhood, but it was called a “Village Fayre,” which certainly should have tipped me off to the caliber of the food and festivities. If you are fascinated by English feudal property law and how flats are part of “estates,” click here. Anyway, an American street festival this was not. There were no funnel cakes, bad chinese food, highly flammable stuffed animals, or tramp stamps. There were, however, an abundance of award-winning cheese platters, drum circles for children, vegetarian curries, ballroom dancing, gelato, couture and Pimm’s. Bryan and our friend Ian even waited patiently in the World’s Longest Queue for a hamburger made of beef aged no less than 290 days from cattle so organic and free-range they were briefly spotted on holiday on the coast of Montenegro (it’s the “new” Croatia, duh). It was totally worth it.
It wasn’t an entirely perfect weekend, however. So long fair Tim Russert. May you find John Ritter and the Crocodile Hunter in heaven.