It’s been three years this month since we moved to London for two years. We just renewed our visas to stay on for a fourth.
I don’t know what it is about Fourth of July that makes me wax wistful and nostalgic (and a bit rambly)… I guess maybe because we moved here in July, so it’s nearly the anniversary of our big move; and it’s our home country’s birthday, and so I’m feeling more patriotic than usual. (I’m not particularly patriotic, generally.)
I’ve always thought that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but maybe it’s a tie with the Fourth of July. They have a lot in common, when you think about it. Both are all about coming together with friends and family and neighbors and eating and drinking and enjoying a nice social atmosphere, with no gifts given or received. And they are both holidays that can be celebrated by all Americans, regardless of religion. And, unfortunately for expats, both are celebrated only in America.
We love you, England, but we are still Americans. Despite today being a school day and work day we are still celebrating our Independence Day. I feel a bit envious as I see the pictures friends post of all the fun things they are doing today—Fourth of July BBQs and parades and pool parties, eating watermelon and setting off fireworks, just classic American summertime nostalgia—while we are having only a small family celebration this year.
I have really fond memories of big neighborhood Fourth of July BBQs and fireworks displays from my own childhood. But our kids’ childhoods will just be a bit different than our own.
The girls still loved dressing in red, white, and blue; waving flags and sparklers; and helping me make patriot parfaits for a special dessert.
Last Sunday, the famous Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club opened its new £70 million, five-years-in-the-making retractable roof over No. 1 Court (and also closed it, due to rain), and threw a big do to celebrate, which was broadcast live on BBC1.
Since I have as yet been unlucky in the Wimbledon Championships ticket lottery every year we’ve lived here, and we won’t be here forever, I figured this might be the closest I ever get to attending the Championships. These tickets were easier to get, and I still got to eat strawberries and cream and drink Pimm’s while watching the pros play on the famous lawn court. And we had great seats, too! (Plus, some of the proceeds went to charity.)
On Wednesday night, I went inside London’s most exclusive members-only club.
I hadn’t heard of Annabel’s before, but apparently I’m in the minority. It’s a London institution, for decades a playground for the rich and famous. Oh, and supposedly it’s the only nightclub the queen has ever been to. NBD. Continue reading →
Right now I am watching the Red Nose Day telethon on BBC, which alternates between comedy sketches by British celebrities and heart-wrenching videos showing where the money raised for Comic Relief goes to help people in need, in the UK and abroad. And some live music performances thrown in there. Throughout, there are pleas to donate money for the cause. Continue reading →
Yes, last month M and I really went to two concerts in three nights—rock concerts, even, not classical music at Royal Albert Hall or something!—because a band he wanted to see and a band I wanted to see happened to be playing in London two nights apart. It’s like we’re teenagers again! Except that we don’t have the luxury of sleeping in the next morning. And also it turns out we’ve gone a bit snobby when it comes to the drink selection at a concert venue.