Today’s Confession by Carlton: I am not a world traveler.
I did visit Canada once when I was a toddler, but I have no recollection of that trip, other than some photos my parents took.
I have experienced world travel vicariously through the media, and one theme has emerged over the years: I love England!
It all started when I was a teenager, and my local PBS station showed a slate of British sitcoms. I connected with that wry sense of humor and became a fan.
My senior year of high school I was assigned to write a short story. I concocted a tale about an American who visits England and falls in love with a princess who is trying to break away from the Royal Family. Yep, I had a serious case of British fever. And a weird outlook on things, but we’ll save that for another post.
Several years ago I discovered Keeping Up Appearances, and I adore Hyacinth Bucket (It’s Bouquet!) and the crazy lengths she goes to impress people. I’d love to visit her and enjoy a waterside supper with riparian entertainments. If you haven’t seen the show, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about—look it up!
It’s a competition show unlike any I’ve ever seen. First of all, it takes place in a BIG TENT on the lawn of an English country estate. I mean, could it be more British?
The hosts are the comedy duo of Mel and Sue, and they embody that British humor that I fell in love with years ago.
The judges? Their names are Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. I did not make that up. Mary is evidently the Grande Dame of British cuisine and has the cutest name ever, and Paul is an expert baker with a glamorous moniker.
Contestants are put through a series of challenges, making biscuits (crispy cookies, not the fluffy things we Americans smother with gravy), puddings (still haven’t figured those out), meat pies, and more. They measure in grams instead of tablespoons. They have wonderful accents. Most importantly, they seem to truly like each other, with a prevailing spirit of camaraderie .
As Mary Berry often says, “It’s lovely.”
So . . . would anyone like to send me to England? You would be welcome to go with me, and we could sip tea, eat biscuits, and drive around until we find that baking tent.
WRITING PROMPT: You have been selected for a reality show in which you switch places with a person who lives in England. What would your first day be like?