27 April 2014

So much to get through and so little time! That seems to be the story of my life. We need to reflect, a bit, on the Citizenship “Do” we held a few weeks ago as well as our recent sojourn in the States which is already beginning to become but a fading memory.

Time before last I wrote about my acquisition of British citizenship in spite of the best efforts of the coalition government who would prefer that all foreign-born residents should bugger off back home again and leave Britain to the British. Of course, most of those currently residing in Britain are descended from immigrants/invaders anyway and all the evidence suggests that immigrants actually make a positive contribution. But why let the facts get in the way of some good rabid, right-wing rhetoric?

So, the Citizenship “Do” was well attended and we enjoyed a thoroughly British evening. Ms Playchute prepared a quintessential British feast of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with all the trimmings. The table was set with Union Jack napkins and, although we were “forced” to drink French wine and champagne, it was a splendid (and delicious) occasion. During dinner I insisted that our guests (all of whom are native-born) answer some of the questions comprising the British Citizenship Test. You will be relieved to know that only two of the fifteen present and participating achieved the pass mark of 75%. I am coming round to the government view that we need to expel various inhabitants but think that instead of picking on the immigrants they should be targeting their attentions on those who cannot pass the test, starting with the Prime Minister who spectacularly demonstrated his ignorance while appearing on the David Letterman show soon after the test was introduced.

See how you do with these few questions:

[slickquiz id=2]

God save the QueenAs well as embarrassing everyone with their lack of relevant UK knowledge, we also played a game which proved highly amusing (and would probably get us all consigned to the Tower if word gets out so keep it to yourself) – pin the goatee on the monarch. The image says it all and, if you think you recognise that goatee, yes, it is indeed mine. I have to confess, I had never noticed such a striking similarity in appearance between the Queen and myself but it’s plain to see once you add a few facial whiskers. Also, you should note that Ms Playchute’s goatee is the one which ended up closest to (and, indeed, almost exactly in) the correct position. Her familiarity with the aforementioned facial hair must have given her an unfair advantage.

No sooner had we recovered and cleared up the detritus of the festivities than it was time to jet off to the States to spend a few days with my folks, both my brothers and their distinctly better halves. We flew to Boston where the temperature was 68o Fahrenheit (20o Celsius) when we arrived. When we got up to Hanover to see my folks my father announced that there would be snow overnight. Naturally, we made fun of his prediction which, to our thinking was absurd. Imagine our consternation when we awoke the following morning to an inch or so of snow! Chilly, to say the least. Fortunately, the weather improved and we had decent and very pleasant temperatures for much of our visit.

As well as visiting with my folks, we had a great visit with my brother Sandy and his wife Pam at Lake George as well as a lovely couple of visits with my youngest brother Steph and his wife Hope. We were able to go out to Canaan to inspect the progress on their new house (it will be fabulous and was so impressive that we immediately booked the guest room for our next visit) and Steph provided one of the highlights of the visit – an opportunity to stand on the village green in Lyme, New Hampshire and watch the international space station scurry across the night sky.

Easter Sunday we all met up at Kendal, the finishing school where my folks reside, for a half decent Easter feast. I think just about everyone felt that the lamb was a bit tough and Penelope’s was certainly underdone, as far as her tastes are concerned. But that disappointment was more than made up with the mountain of scallops I was able to consume not to mention the scoops of Moose Tracks ice cream. We also enjoyed a couple of photo opportunities although my father sped off at the speed of light after lunch to collect the post, preferring that task to being seen and photographed with us!

And, if you’ve never seen the original photo of the Toupee Brothers you can find it here.

Back down to Boston on Tuesday afternoon for our flight back to the UK and now, a few days later, the jet lag is gradually dissipating but the memories of a splendid visit remain.

Late Update: I don’t know whether the estate agent/realtor brought them round when we were in the States or whether their inspections have taken place in the few days we’ve been back but we have at least one pair of swallows busily renovating the derelict apartments in the garage from previous inhabitants. They’ve signed the lease and promised not to crap all over the garage floor and whatever items are stored underneath their nest but I don’t believe them. You know what these immigrants are like!

Much love to you all,



2 thoughts on “27 April 2014”

  1. Apparently I am mainly foreign with our joint score of 9/20. The score agrees with a recent Facebook quiz where I managed a miserable 18/70. It suggested I belong in the colonies. Good job the Australian Citizenship test which we plan to take in November has sensible questions such as: What are Budgie Smugglers? How many tinnies in a slab? What would you do with a snag? Etc

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