Confessions of an Anglophile on 4th of July

 

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This blog was inspired by Tony Burgess’ post Happy Treason Day, Ungrateful Colonists!

Treason day indeed…  Now don’t get me wrong. I love apple pie and freedom just as much as the next guy.  But truth be told, I often do feel like a treasonous American.  All my life I have been an Anglophile and felt a bit out of place here in my home country. I  blame it on Shakespeare. Or more specifically, Franco Zeffirelli. I saw  his Romeo and Juliet movie when I was a little girl.  I then became obsessed with England, Shakespeare, and all things Elizabethan.

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I also blame it on Lewis Carroll, his tales of Alice, powerful queens, rabbit holes and  mad tea parties.

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Oh yeah, and I really blame it on the Rolling Stones!  Once they hit town I was completely hooked, sold, crossed over.  A total traitor to the New World 🙂

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When I was 17 I got my chance to go to the UK for the first time. It was my senior class trip,  a memory I still hold dearly.  First time to see Stonehenge, the Tower and those stoic soldiers who never blink an eye.  First time to ride the Tube and hang out in pubs with scruffy backpackers from all over Europe.   Since then, whenever I could scrape together enough money, I’d hop a plane and head back to England. I still love everything about the place — the gardens,  the dense lavender meadows, the cobblestone streets. And especially the pretty cottages where I’d love to live one day.

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I have been fortunate enough to visit the stomping grounds of all my heroes. Oxford, Canterbury, Stratford,  Liverpool, Abbey Road.  Over the years friends have gravitated to me who were just as Anglophilian as myself. We have theories that all of us have lived past lives in England, which I am certain is true.

This always made me feel a bit guilty.  American by birth but British in my heart.  Since the Revolution, other wars (specifically WWI and II) have brought England and the U.S. together, inextricably bound against our common enemies.

 

As I sit typing this my neighbors shoot off an endless barrage of homemade fireworks. (It is illegal here, yeah.)  My cat cowers in the bathtub, his poor ears shattered.  I once knew this guy who made homemade fireworks every Fourth of July.  Roman candles, bottle rockets and sparklers that exploded like land mines.   One year he actually blew off his own testicle. (True story, I swear!)

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I have an English friend who tells me that even if  his country had the liberal gun laws that America has, they would not be shooting them as often. “Why not?” I ask.  “Because we are a polite society,” he says.

Now I hear that England has left the EU. We shall see where this decision will lead them, but one thing is for sure: they are marching to the beat of a different drum, just like their sons and daughters of the American Colonies. Maybe we are not so different after all.  As for me, I will always embrace America, the land of my birth. But I will also embrace England, the land of my heart, hopes, imagination and lavender dreams 🙂

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Hope everyone had a safe, sane and fantastic Fourth!

 

 

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4 comments on “Confessions of an Anglophile on 4th of July

  1. poeturja says:

    Oh, me too, Christine! I’ve never been to the UK, though. I almost failed American Lit when I wrote an essay detailing why the female British writers (mostly Victorians) were superior to the American ones. Not very smart, I suppose, although American Lit is wonderful, too. Just something about their long history and, yes, Shakespeare… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is a definite sense of solidity, roots and history there that we do not (yet) have here in the U.S. There are great writers on both sides of the pond, but no teacher should fail you for your opinions! They should instead have been glad you were such a critical thinker 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. poeturja says:

    Thanks, I agree. I already upset her when I said that Bob Dylan was the greatest poet of the 20th Century. Sigh… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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