Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Indiana is not a Plane

So, as some of you may know and most of you may not, I was thisclose to applying to a study abroad program in England this summer. And once I finally listened to the internal advice that was beating me over the head, I decided not to. But if I had, I would be on a plane today, headed over to England where I could achieve some life goals and possibly kidnap Gerard Butler. But since I'm just sitting in Indiana instead, I figured a blog that celebrated England would be appropriate. Here are some things I love about England:
  • The accents! You knew this was coming so I decided to get it out of the way.
  • It's the birthplace of how many of the authors I love? A lot. Including Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, JRR Tolkien, James Herriot, CS Lewis, Thomas Hardy, JK Rowling, JM Barrie, and the Bronte clan.
  • Besides authors, think of all the other great things that came/come out of England: Coldplay, scones, Robin Hood, Jeeves & Wooster, Orlando Bloom and an appreciation for dental care
  • It's little.
  • It has such lovely names: London, Manchester, Wolverhampton, Weymouth.
  • It's the setting for all of those books written by all of those authors I just listed.
It's harder than I thought to make a list because there are just so! many! things! that I love about England/that came from England/that are part of my VERY BEING. Also, why talk about England when you can look at it? Let's look at it.

There are goals, and then there are goals: things you absolutely must do. I absolutely must go to an English moor and run around on it.
The British Museum. Pretty!
John Singleton Copley. OK, so he was an American colonial painter, but he eventually hopped the pond and settled in England. Part of me says "Way to ditch your country, Mr. Copley" but mostly I think "Yeah, I don't blame you, Johnny."
And my favorite painting? Painted by an Englishman. Thank you, Edwin Landseer. And thank you, St. Louis Art Museum, for buying it.



  1. Anonymous6:18 PM

    Gerard Butler is in his homeland of Scotland right now between films so you would have been unlikely to see him in England.

  2. Ah, but the beautiful thing about this program was that it included a 4-day jaunt to Scotland, which would have facilitated the kidnapping quite nicely.

  3. You were going to do a study abroad in England? How do I not know these things?! Were you going to get library credit? Did Lokman tell you about it? He told us something of the sort and I thought about it last year... but not that long.

  4. That painting is fantastic! You sent me a copy of it in a letter when I was in Milwaukee and I posted it with my pictures next to my bed in every area. It's so captivating.

    You will make it to England one day, I predict. And when you do, bring me back Cate Blanchett. Oh wait... she's Aussie... Kate Winslet then.

  5. Preach on, sister!!!! (Waving my lighter in the air) It would have been fun had you gone and I would have found a way to fly over too for a vacation. It really is disgusting that neither of us has been to England. Maybe next year? We can discover everything together! My degree in freaking British Studies will be meaningless until then.

  6. Ah, England, how I miss thee so! sigh! Seeing as how I was the instigator in the England scheme (for awhile Control and I were going to go together), I think it appropriate that we pause for a moment of silence.

    My list looked a lot like yours when I went over a few years ago. Oddly enough, one of the things that I liked most about it was the British Library! I wasn't even thinking of being a librarian then! And yet now I'm becoming one. Was it fate? I must go back to England to find out!

  7. England would be very cool, but don't forget that a lot of bad food came from there: black pudding, bubble and squeak (probably not bad, but the name!), cottage pie, faggots (the real name for an English meatball made from worse than hot dog meat), jellied eels, toad-in-the-hole, spotted dick (how do they come up with the names?), and I'm sure there are others. Stay away from these if you go!

    Yes, great authors and music. Hooray Radiohead! And Portishead! Also, they way they pronounce Worcestershire with only three syllables is cool.

    Also, the U.S.A. kicked their butts 232 years ago! Good thing we're buddies with them now.

  8. La Dolcezza: It was for library credit through the University of S. Missisisisisisispi, and I saw it on the listserv. Lokman actually was adamant that Marcue NOT do it, but I never talked to him about it (he's not the boss of me!). But don't worry, the next time I feel like doing a study abroad, I will let you know!

    Drew: Kate Winslet probably won't want to leave her kids behind...will that be a problem? I'll do my best!

    Ferskner: Next year sounds so far away...but let's do it! After we go to Asheville and Disneyworld.

    Marcue: You SHOULD go to England again. And you SHOULD take me with you. How much fun would it be without Control?

    Chaos: I will eat the scones and avoid the spotted dick. That has always been my plan. ;)

  9. Anonymous5:49 PM

    Control, I take offense at your hinting that Lokman is my boss! How rude! :P My decision was NOT based on his advice.

    Although Lokman did tell me not to go, he was nice about it and pointed me to another program where they work all the time and never see any of the English countryside. snoresville! The one fun thing they did was visit as many English pubs as humanly possible as a way to relax from their tiring day of study.

    Since seeing the English countryside was my prime motivator for going, and I don't care for pubs, I didn't take that suggestion very seriously.

    I WILL go to England again when I can afford it, and Control, you are welcome to come along. You'd make the trip very fun indeed! Everyone else is free to join us as well.

    ~Marcue :)

  10. Well written article.