Off Betsy and I go to Northern England, my first visit to the land of Hobbes (Thomas, not Calvin-and-) to find the philosopher’s answer to a life that is naturally “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short!
Okay, no glumness here–we’re actually going to celebrate a wedding! Betsy’s nephew, Nicholas Eggers of San Diego, is marrying Aditi Das of Leeds, England, in a three day affair that we consider an improvement on last weekend’s Royal Wedding. For one thing, we’re invited. For another, the bride and groom are stars in their respective families and cannot be outshone by Prince Andrew, Meghan Markle or the Queen for that matter. And if that’s not enough, the clincher for us is that 2 of the 3 days are dedicated to Hindu wedding tradition and ceremony, which we haven’t witnessed before. This feels like an incredible honor!
Our preparation to date has consisted almost exclusively of watching BBC detective mini-series. We study the culture, dress and accent, and unfailingly admire the penetrating English intelligence and use of language. I highly recommend “Unforgotten”–after you’ve warmed up with “Foyle’s War”, “Endeavour,” “Inspector Morse”, “Inspector Lewis”, “Doc Martin”, “Broadchurch”, and–need I go on?
For all the studying, my personal grasp of English-speak is a bit shaky, as you may have already discerned from the title of this post. Between unfamiliar pronunciations and my personal hearing loss, I’m never quite sure if I got things right. This visit will be the test as I plan to talk like a native. Will I blend in? This could go terribly wrong–stay tuned and I will let you know.
We are trying some new things on this trip which add a certain unpredictability and excitement. First, we are flying Virgin Atlantic, the Richard Branson airline, and thinking it will be a better experience than staid, tight-seated old Delta. Secondly, we will travel exclusively by train, bus, bike and foot once we’re in country. This seems less exciting since I injured my foot in a running incident and we may have to add Uber/Lyft as an option.