“No, really, you should send God a bottle of wine or a quiche or something.”
~ TJ to her cousin Kat on her getting a gorgeous boyfriend, The Wedding Date


Wedding’s in London. I’m watching it from my laptop. And this quiche -nope, not to be sent up above but for me to enjoy on a lovely Sunday morning in a charming English-style tea room in Bangkok. The owner lived in England for some time and when he came back home for good, brought and applied a piece of England to his business. This is where I go to whenever I want a feel of England with my morning tea.

Mrs Nesbitt and the ABC Team



pinkLegoland, not far from Windsor Castle

This picture reminds me of myself when I was this girl’s age. I had exactly the same privilege: rides on father’s shoulders. Growing up and being an only child, I was my Papa’s princess. And I had a lot of pink stuff.

Here are three pink quotations by English people:

“I don’t think I will ever get tired of wearing pink.” ~ Emma Bunton
“I believe in primping at leisure… I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe in pink.” – Audrey Hepburn
“You’d have to be daft as a brush to say you didn’t like Pink Floyd.” ~ John Lydon

Mrs Nesbitt and the ABC Team

1st 12 – join cabinet
2nd 12 – given position (Minister of State)
3rd 12 – Undersecretary of State
4th 12 – Parliamentary Private Secretary to a Cabinet Minister


Jeffrey Archer Books and Plays

When I browsed Jeffrey Archer’s First Among Equals for the first time since I read it last year, I noticed my own notes on the margins. It turned out I extracted them from the first paragraph of Chapter Six.

In most democratic countries a newly elected leader enjoys a transitional period during which he is able to announce the policies he intends to pursue and whom he has selected to implement them. In Britain MPs sit by their phones and wait for forty-eight hours immediately after the election result has been declared.  If a call comes in the first twelve hours they will be asked to join the cabinet, the second twelve given a position as a Minister of State, the third twelve made an Under-Secretary of State, and the last twelve a Parliamentary Private Secretary to a Cabinet minister.

downloadThe Sun

Looking around for more Jeffrey Archer quotes,  this –

“I have discovered with advancing years that few things are entirely black or white, but more often different shades of grey

led me to wonder about the origin of EL James’s novel title –



I read James’s Fifty Shades because the protagonist is my nicknamesake.

Just joking

… about the reading. (I didn’t even if in college I was actually nicknamed Anastasia by very close friends. Until now I am still Anastasia to one or two of them on their phones.)

I have an inkling Jeffrey Archer is not even the first one to have said “shades of grey.” Researching origins would be fun but maybe later for another J week. I may come up with something like Justly attributed…”

Mrs Nesbitt and the ABC Team

Greatham gate

G is for gate. But goodness gracious I can’t remember which gate is this. It’s near Buckingham, and all I can think of is the flooding floral tribute to Diana in 1997.

If I knew about blogging when I was roaming England some years back I might have thought of taking photos with a clearer purpose in mind. Oh well. Please scroll down…

london 17

because I resorted to Pinterest! and this green garden gate in Greatham, Hampshire is definitely closer as visual illustration to J.R.R. Tolkien’s words –

“Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.”

gateway a87a36cddf38c96b15e434405879e058
Frustration solved. I’m a happy anglophile again.

Mrs Nesbitt and the ABC Team

Crown chat

abc15-1-300x191Look up grouse before you run one over…. 😀

Lee Harvey Oswald or John Wilkes Booth? Your Majesty, these two confuse me endlessly.

In some non-Commonwealth countries, some subjects sniff rugby, not play it.

~ a few things I muttered to myself after reading Michael Yon’s post which I’m sharing with bloggity friends.


To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II


In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except North Dakota, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’ Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’).


2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ”like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u” and the elimination of ‘-ize.’


3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.


4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.


5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.


6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.


7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.


8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.


9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.


10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialect in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.


11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).


12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.


13.. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.


14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).


15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!

PS: Only share this with friends who have a good sense of humour (NOT humor)!

Mrs Nesbitt and the ABC Team


Birthday Bond

abc15-1-300x191 An anglophile greets her Mom on her birthday…

Happy birthday, Mama. I know you are busy entertaining right now so I will ring later.  OMG my bill…! *kidding* You know it’s one of my fave resource-draining habits. I wish circumstances were nicer and I could be there with you but I am happy that you are surrounded by family and friends as you celebrate your special day. Tell me about the speeches and leave me some leche flan. Oh, but sugar is not good for geriatrics, is it? 😉 I’m  just pulling your leg, or legs that used to often be on pumps that I so adored. Did I tell you I got several pairs of Vivienne Westwood?

Now for a birthday wish. It’s to accompany you on the piano once again as you sing songs that make you happy. Wait… I haven’t touched a piano in ages so I may need some practice first but while doing that I could let you know how thankful I am that you were given another year so we can have another chance to be reminded that although our relationship may be punctuated by volatile episodes, our Bond is blessed by the invincibility of 007.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOTHER!

* The Bond phrase was spontaneous.

ma's 73rd 3xb

Seventy-three years ago this woman was born.  Thirty years later she gave birth to a girl to whom she read fairy tales. Lots of fairy tales.  And many of them were, according to her, happened in England.

I grew up believing castles in England were actual homes of Rapunzel, Snow White, and Cinderella.  England was fairy land. Looking back at it now I see the connection; the attribution to this fondness for the place, ways and all.


Mrs Nesbitt and the ABC Team

windsor 18

Walls will you whisper
what it was like in the late 11th century….

guards windor castle

I will be honest. I knew where we were going. To Windsor Castle. But as the coach approached the magnificent edifice, I went into what I can only explain now as shock. My first thoughts were ‘what is that?!’ ‘a mammoth or something?’  I did not recognize what was in front of me (walls). Nor did I realize that I was already starting to experience what I wrote on the tourist visa application form as my reason for visiting the UK: to fulfill a childhood dream- see an English castle.

Luckily it did not take long for me to get over the initial visual confusion, and as soon as I did, I went warbling in glee. Quietly. I was walking on winged feet at the realization that this is it, something I only see in fairy tale books when I was little has finally materialized. Wonder galore! And my affinity for things old easily made the magic come alive.

Thanks to our host: Mrs Nesbitt & the ABC Team * Rubbish Tuesday * Ruby Tuesday Too

Shakespeare’s omnipresence is  fun.  At least I think he’s everywhere, then and now, and I love that about him.  It’s amazing how he seems to have something to say about everything and everyone.

Old as wine yet fresh as a spring morning, this year marks the 450th anniversary of his birth.  The Shakespeare World is alive with celebrations.

shakespear 6~ Stratford ~

Truth is I used to resist Shakespeare in school until I went crazy about anything Jane Austen. Suddenly I chant Sonnet 116 ala Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken….

shakespear 4~ the wife’s abode ~

And for a thorough helping of insult, try this one from Henry IV. Nothing beats what Shakespeare fancies tickling. These are words only a Shakespeare can pull off.  Is the Bard cheeky or what?

“Away, you scullion! you rampallion! you fustilarian!
I’ll tickle your catastrophe.”
–Falstaff from “2 Henry IV” (2.1.68)

Thanks to our hosts: Mrs Nesbitt and the ABC Team * Our World

Railway Man

Recently I watched The Railway Man, a film about a former British Army officer who was tormented as a prisoner of war during World War 2.  He discovers that the man responsible for much of the ill treatment he received at a Japanese labor camp is still alive. He then sets out to confront him.

Reasons for watching the film I may have a few:

  1. It stars Mr Darcy alias Colin Firth
  2. It is nice to recall trips I made to filming locations in Thailand

Right next to me in the tour van on a latest tour of the Death Railway in Kanchanaburi was a Japanese guy in his early twenties.  Our chat went like this:

“So you studied in London?”

“I had to… Dad’s assignment was there – banking and finance… How did you find London?”

“Cold. Expensive. Perfect for the history lover in me.”

2 jeath war museum 3

In grad school I took a course in International Negotiation where I learned this bit of advice on dealing with the Japanese: do not talk about World War II.  I had a Japanese classmate who kept on chuckling when we smilingly turned to her as this point in the lecture came up.

2 jeath war museum 2x

Railway Man Eric Lomax got into trouble for building a radio. As I remember from the film he also loved trains. My favorite part is of course resolution: getting over a “lifetime of bitterness and hate.”  Forgiveness. Peace.

8 ww2 train 7

Reviews and ratings are available here.

Thanks to our hosts:

Rubbish Tuesday * Ruby Tuesday Too * Our World * ABC Wednesday


mango 1

From the Mango Rights Corporation, here’s part of a poem titled If You Were a Mango

…  I’ve seen a pumpkin turn into a coach
and rats turn into coachmen
So I see no reason why
You can’t turn into a mango

‘cos the 1st deadly sin
I’d gladly commit for you

Your gluttonous concubine
I’m obsessed with you

Raid every fruit store from Brixton to Lewisham
to stock up on you

Chutney, salad, smoothie
Get gastronomically sensual with you

Turn Buckingham Palace into a mango plantation
I dare her to defy you

I know
is just having its own fantasy
Mentally playing me
with thoughts of you

and though it was fun while it lasted
now I think it’s time
to think of a different fruit

or veggie if you like!

Mrs Nesbitt & the ABC Team