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Posts Tagged ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain – Places’

Pictures of England

While reading definitions of anglophile I was doing a bit of self-evaluation to see which among definitions from dictionaries I consulted reflected me. I ask if I can call myself an anglophile. It is through this question that I decided my first post on this blog would be to make out what type of anglophile I am. So, an anglophile is –

Someone who likes the UK, British people, or British things ~ MacMillan dictionary

A person who is not British but is interested in, likes or supports Britain and its people and customs ~ Cambridge Dictionaries Online

A person who is fond of or greatly admires England or Britain – Oxford Dictionary

A person who greatly admires or favors England and all things English. ~ Merriam Webster

All true to me except “all things English.” I go for honesty here. I am not necessarily ‘all things English.’ For example, I do not even know many of today’s English pop artists, or those around my age. While I am willing to get to know them, there’s no guarantee I will have time or energy to idolize them.

But I am fond of England (as if that’s not the title of this blog already). And I got  symptoms:

  • TV shows subscription of the apartment where I live is so pathetic even CNN, which I think has a tendency to sensationalize, vanishes at the first sign of thunder. So I scan youtube and watch every British TV show and English classical drama available until my eyelids need toothpicks to pitch them open.
  • constantly dream of crumpets, cottages and castles; always converts numbers indicating the London weather and the English pound to their equivalence in the country where I am
  • spell ‘spelt’ ‘theatre,’ and write ‘whilst’ in my correspondence on purpose.
  • it’s been six years since an English friend brought me boxes of peppermint tea, and I still have them in my cupboard. All expired. And I’m proud of them as ever.
  • not twitting you the latest anything I know from planet Jane Austen if you insisted that the 1995 Pride and Prejudice was better than the 2005 version.
  • answers to question memes repetitively have something to do with England
  • occasionally mimic Rupert Grint‘s ‘car,’ Julie Andrews’s ‘girl’ and have this tendency to teach my son how to pronounce ‘mother.’
  • sleeping pills are old English books.
  • when I heard ‘cadswallop’ from Hagrid of Harry Potter, I researched it with as much sense of importance as when I worked on my graduate thesis.
  • in danger of boring my friends to tears, if not strangled, for constantly subjecting them to my rants about England and the English.
  • endure horror films if it means getting to see English countryside scenery

There I have them. Perhaps I could elaborate if I wrote a post like The Anglophile that I am not. I’ll see what I can come up with.

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Header by Samulli. Play T13 here.

Purpose of visit: To fulfill a childhood dream – see an English castle.” After examining my visa application and inch-thick supporting documents, the British immigration officer looked me in the eye and said right on the spot, “I’m giving you six months.” Spontaneously he encoded his decision into the computer, while I gawked in momentary disbelief. The Thai assistant cast me a glance; a subtle smile crossed her face. I knew then that my childhood dream was going to come true.

On a sunny April afternoon I came out of Heathrow in a Mercedes Benz, and my date with beauty and charm began. As England unfolded through the car window, those illustrated storybooks I slept on when I was little came to life. Fairyland is very rich in history and culture. I got so much more than I bargained for. The visit enriched my life in ways I didn’t expect, didn’t plan, nor imagine. The learning part connected me to my past, inspired my present and allowed me a glimpse of what could be possible in the future. These are 13 happiest and most meaningful moments of an awesome experience:

13. A castle it is. As a kid I used to imagine Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty waiting for their princes from the keep of Windsor… 🙂 The highlight here is seeing Da Vinci’s drawing of the Vitruvian Man.

12. Yorkshire Moors. I busied myself imagining Harry Potter with Ron Weasley in the flying car. Hogwarts must be somewhere in the vastness. And there’s this friendly dog I met while exploring the moors. We played catch-the-stick for a few minutes.

11. Beamish. It was fun learning about English culture in this museum. The guide spoke Geordie. After listening to him without understanding a word, my friend Anne (behind me) and I followed him inside a coal mine. And I thought teaching was difficult.

10. Antique shops. Having a fascination for antiques, I had a lot of fun observing old things on display, especially candelabras and tea sets. The antique sign above me reads: No trespassing. Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again.

9. Quaint cottages. They amaze me no end. The beauty of the English countryside takes my breath away.

8. The Bard of Avon. After many hours of sitting in English literature classes and wondering who really is this guy whose writings I am required to analyze, Shakespeare finally became easier to picture when I set foot in his home. I had goosebumps looking at signatures of other literary greats who visited the famous playwright’s home: Dickens, Twain, Tennyson, etc. and finally Shakespeare’s grave itself.


7. Anne Hathaway’s cottage. A look at the abode of the woman in the life of England’s national poet. This place oozes with charm eventhough I bumped my head on the low ceiling.


6. Burton Agnes. The Grinning Skull story on the lower floor walls held my attention. Cameras were off-limits in the king’s (George? the king who lodged here during his hunting trips) bedroom. I stood admiring the intricate bedspread til my heart was satisfied before touring further. The Manor House at the rear of this Hall is older than my country.

5. The Shambles. I loved browsing the book, doll and hat shops. At the end of this street is the starting point of a ghost walk. I wanted to join but stayed put at Guy Fawkes as I couldn’t stand the cold.

4. York Minster. The vespers chime beckoned me in. I’ve never experienced such beautiful worship. The choir was awesome. I went all sentimental when I lighted a candle for my father who passed away the year before.

3. Church and graveyard. Call me weird, but I love browsing graveyards and reading epitaphs. I was particularly looking for Anne Bronte’s grave. These slabs of cement I was walking on turned out to be graves! I jumped right into the grass, and back on the slabs as I thought of golf course grass. Poor, jumpy tourist. But this was my idea of a blast.

2. Post-humous meeting with a feminist. A published author before she turned 28 – it’s an achievement of hers that only became clear to me when I saw her grave. I read Bronte novels when I’m insomniac in Bangkok.

1. Big Ben. It’s him I first saw from the descending plane. The butterflies I felt in my tummy when I kissed my first boyfriend came flitting back. But this time it’s absolutely different. Gazing at this symbol of my love affair with world-class history is magical.

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