Looking Across the Pond at UK Blogs

BlogHer Original Post

I don’t remember how I became curious about the United Kingdom. Certainly Benny Hill certainly had something to do with it. My apologies to those folks I just made cringe. Let me put this into context

As a preteen on a summer night, I had nothing better to do than flip through the television channels. I landed on a comedy with people speaking strangely, but the language sounded like English. Somehow I entered the vortex of The Benny Hill Show.

I know. How could I? Well, I was about 14 or 15-years old. At the time I fully accepted that men acted crazy around women. I was at the age trying to figure out why.

Was the show sexist? Well yes. It was British burlesque on TV. Looking back at a few video clips it does seem that most of the time Benny was the one to really suffer the consequences of his lascivious actions. And he did teach me about the word “assume.” I wince but I still have fond memories of Benny.

Benny Hill was one of many gateways to wanting to explore more about the UK. Looking back at Monty Python, the British (musical) Invasion, movies from Powell & Pressburger and, of course, Dr. Who (Tom Baker 4 ever!) did have a part in my development.

Watching the trailer for the movie, The King’s Speech, started me thinking about that cultural pull for a land I’ve never visited. There are embedded cross cultural influences that both countries exert on each other populations.

There has always been an exchange of people and culture. UK/US blogs are no different.

Anglophile View

I’m not not really an anglophile. I have an appreciation for certain types of UK television, audio dramas and literature. But the food? No, thanks. A true anglophile accepts just about everything occurring in the UK with delight.

Melissa at Smitten by Britain is as good a starting place as any. There are suggestions on how to legally watch BBC1, cultural tips and and comparing the differences between America and the UK.

Diana Burrell’s Hail Britannia is another great blog that looks with love toward Britain while living in the States. Diana has lived and loved in the UK so her observations are from actual experiences. It is a hard-won wisdom but really good reading.

American Residents in the UK

I know that some folks love the various accents from UK, but for me it has always been the language. Once I sorted out that lorry = truck, I was on a roll. Valerie Tanswell’s posts on language are helpful. If you are visiting the UK you need to know the difference between a US and UK fanny.

Kat at 3 Bedroom Bungalow is in England and writes about her experiences with her American military husband and children. Not From Around Here moved to the United Kingdom for employment and is learning to adjust to a different cultural dress codes. One of the adjustments is attending black tie events and having to dress for them.

She’s Not From Yorkshire blog is written by three American women, two in the UK and one in the US married to a UK citizen, that clues us in on the benefits and frustrations of living in the United Kingdom. One of the perks is that women with curves are appreciated on the other side of the ocean.

United Kingdom Expats in the United States

Love seems to motivate a lot of travel. Take one husband, two kids and travel to another country to attended a medical residency. The blog, Nappy Valley Girl in New York is written by a mom from southwest London here on a three year visit. The nappy in this case is a diaper.

Culturally Discombobulated moved to the United States for love and writes about the encounters with people trying to emulate the accent, bring up ancient history and otherwise befuddle normal thinking.

Toni Summers Hargis writes at Pond Parelys and shares her observations on navigating dual cultural perspectives. There is an interesting post on seeing health care from the UK and US side with other expats.

If I can’t get to the United Kingdom at the moment at least I have on-line places to go to get a better sense of the real country and its people. If you know of other expat cross cultural blogs please feel free to drop a few in the comments.

Gena Haskett is a BlogHer Contributing Editor. My Blogs: Out On The Stoop and Create Video Notebook

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