Sunday, April 13, 2014

This Week in Britishness

As an unrepentant tea drinker I of course lean toward the Anglophilic, but even I have to concede that these two pieces take Britishness to extremes.

The first was an excerpt of a memoir called Coming Up Trumps that I have to admit sounds wonderful, written by the 90-year-old Baronness Trumpington, nee Jean Campbell-Harris, who seems to have been brought up in luxury and been willing to do pretty much anything to anyone at any time. The photo here is the time "when my good friend Tom King – Lord King of Bridgwater – commented that those people who had served in the Second World War were starting to look ‘pretty old’, it was a natural reaction to stick two fingers up at him." As one does when in the House of Lords.

In the snippet in the Daily Mail, the Baronness writes (among other things) of her time at Bletchley Park.
Although essential, the work formed a dull and exhausting routine. Whenever we could, we rushed up to London and danced all night, then ate enormous breakfasts at a Lyons Corner House, with fake scrambled eggs, fake everything. We always went to the 400, a nightclub on Leicester Square that doesn’t exist any more. We had such happy parties there. I was horrified once because I was at one table with a boyfriend and I looked round and saw my brother at another table with a girlfriend. That was bad enough. But then I looked round again and there, at a third table, was my father. With a girlfriend.
I will have to get my hand on this memoir when it comes out.

And the second moment of Extreme Britishness...well, this is where I have to admit that I regularly and very happily listen to The Deadline, the weekly obits podcast produced by the Daily Telegraph. And there is this very odd section in the middle about letters written to the Telegraph that almost makes me wonder if it's a parody of Britishness.

Take this week, for instance, in which there is a segment about letters on "the proper way to fold fitted sheets" that somehow leads us to King Alfred bowling the cakes, George II's son Fred "who was killed by a cricket ball," and Rule Britannia...I'm still not sure how that worked. You'll just have to listen to it yourself. And say no to the tyranny of hospital corners.

Now, mustache news...

7 comments:

it's margaret said...

I learned the California way of folding fitted sheets --and distinct ways of folding different size towels while in charge of the guest house at CDSP.... I'd be glad to teach any one interested in learning those fine theological machinations...

revbranwen said...

My mother taught me how to fold everything (well, linens and clothing). For years I thought folding towels in thirds had some sort of theological implication until I asked her why she did it that way. She told me it was just a habit she developed because they fit that way into the wringer of her mother's washing machine and they folded them that way to fit into the linen closet. The habit came in handy when I learned Altar Guild rules (except for lavabo towels). There's always an exception to the rules!

Iftekhar Ahmed said...

Glad to read your post :). It is very informative!

Toby McGuire said...

Your article is very useful and have good knowledge, thanks for the post.
DMP

fog247 said...

Very value able post, I read the whole story when I start reading it.
FOG

rcuk said...

I appreciate your blog post, beautifully expressed and well written.
Radiator Covers UK

Praveen RS said...

I like this blog
Aluminium Planters