I am not flirting with you. I am just American.

Hello friendly coffee shop man, I’d like latte, please.

Yes, I’ll have a friendly chat with you.  It’s nice to shoot-the-shizzle while I’m waiting for my glorious latte.

Wait.

Waitwaitwait.  No, now you’re flirting with me.

Nono.

Crap.

When did ‘chat’ become ‘flirt’?  Now I have to cool off so you don’t think I’m flirting back.  I’ll put my wedding ring frosted hand on the counter for good measure.

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Does this happen to anyone else??  My friendly Americanness keeps backfiring and innocent chats turn into weird hot-potato situations where I start trying to throw people’s flirtation back at them without having to touch it.

The enemy has broken through my defences. My husband is making mince pies IN OUR HOUSE.

Even now he’s cutting out treacherous little pastry circles and putting them in a tin.

The mince meat is mixed and ready to be scooped into it’s new buttery home.

The stench of candied peel is hanging in the air.

Soon they’ll go in the oven and the WHOLE HOUSE will reek of mince-pies-of-doom!

Help!  Anyone!  SAVE ME!

Do we tip bartenders here?

SO!  My brother (Leonard) and his wife (Ella) flew into London from Chicago (they get in to Bristol this afternoon!) and this means one thing.  Seeing the UK a-fresh through Yankee eyes!

I can already tell that hanging out with them in England is going to:

a)  Be amazing

b)  Give me major flashbacks about what life was like when I first moved to the UK

For example, I got a text from Len last night – all is said was:

Do we tip bartenders here?

I texted back a quick ‘Nope!’.  But that one text opened the flood gates and I remembered my days of uk-mystery-tipping.  I had no idea who to tip, so I tipped everyone – an extra quid every time I bought a drink, 2 or 3 quid for taxi drivers, a tenner for my hair dresser (TEN QUID!  I can’t believe I did that – no wonder she cried when I moved away!).  Oh, the memories!

Does this happen to you guys?  Someone comes to visit and every time they marvel at a Zebra Crossing, you’re hurtled though a quantum wormhole back to your early days in the UK?

Makes me smile. :)

How did you celebrate the Royal Wedding? Come on… confess.

Yesterday I had every intention of rolling out of bed and casually sipping my coffee while watching the Royal Wedding.  I had firm plans to relax and ‘have it on in the background’ while I did some day-off-admin.

teal fascinator

Kind of like the fascinator I was wearing…

But come 11am British-Royal-Wedding time, I was sitting entranced on my couch wearing a party dress and a fascinator (a bit like the one pictured), bouncing up and down on the sofa and occasionally squealing like a little kid.

PeacefulYorkshire (who was also wearing a party dress) and I were Skyping so we could watch it together and talk about it.  ’It’ ended up being mostly talking about people’s wedding hats – I think the British could teach the world a thing or two about how to rock a fantastic hat.  (For the record, the ones that caused us to make the most noise were Princess Beatrice’s, Victoria Beckham’s and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson’s – opinions on a postcard, please…)

Anyway, I was completely swept up in the excitement and I think it was an awesome thing to be a part of.  A fine day to be British!  (Even though I’m still technically not British…)

It was AWESOME to see so many people gathered in London to celebrate.  It seemed like there were some seriously good vibes flowing and everyone was having a royally excellent time.

How did you guys celebrate??  Did anyone go to London to take part in the big-style-party-atmosphere?  Did anyone actually witness the balcony kiss first hand??  I’m still excited and I want to hear all about it…

The Royal Wedding!!! Have you ever SEEN so many crazy-mazing hats??

I literally feel exhausted after watching the royal wedding.  I was soooooo freakin’ excited!!  Far more excited, in fact, than I ever thought I’d be.

PeacefulYorkshire and I were Skyping each other while watching the prep on the BBC.  It was awesome watching Wills ride to the Westminster Abby (not a shabby place to tie the knot, I must say…).  Kate’s dress was insanely gorgeous – she looked completely perfect.  I think she did an awesome job of masking the outright terror she must have felt because of the pressure and attention.  I walked down the aisle with 35 people watching at it almost ended me… 2 billion and I would’ve needed to be air-lifted down the aisle with a special lacey bridal oxygen tank for good measure.

But my favourite part (aside from the ceremony, my Brit-lovin’-darlings) was the HATS.  Have you ever seen such outstanding hats in your life???  I couldn’t get enough of it.  I still can’t get enough of it… I’m going to have to Google some pictures after I write this.

I want one… a HUGE one.  A hat so big that the person next to me has to move down a chair because my swirly bits of fabric are waggling too close for comfort.

Have any of you lovely ladies bought giant hats or fascinators for weddings or the races?  I’ve yet to join that club… but I think I’m caving fast…

Congrats Wills and Kate!  You’re both gorgeous, lovely and surfing on a giant wave of wonga – the ladies of She’s Not From Yorkshire wish you the royal best! :)

Shite buggery knob bollocks… England are out of the World Cup

yankeebean

I write this thirteen minutes after the whistle blew in the England v Germany game.

I’ve had thirteen minutes to recover with a consolation croissant and a consolation cup of coffee… Sigh.

America was knocked out yesterday :( and now the UK follow suit against their uber rivals, the Germans (4-1?!? 4-1?!?!?!?).  Not the best 48 hours of sport I’ve ever experienced if I’m honest…

I watched the game with my Ma-and-Pa-in-laws and my guy, Mr Nice Guy.  There was much effing and blinging (well, the conservative equivalent of effing and blinding) when England had their second goal disallowed.  And as soon as that happened, the predictions of England’s demise started flying around the room.  Optimism had left the building :)

“The Germans look so much more of a team”

“Yes, they’re all the same size and shape, too”

“England have style, but they’re not as technical”

(“Well, at least they have style”, I thought, grinning inwardly to myself)

“Look at the Germans… they seem… so… GERMAN.  They execute every play like cold robots”

I burst out laughing at this one.  Watching the English in the living room was just as entertaining as watching the football on TV.

All in all, I think we (they?) were completely trounced by the Germans.  But, hey, at least we won the war! ;)

The Scottish and English Divide: a single male Scot 'tells all'

yahooavatar15On occasion us 3 American ladies at She’s Not From Yorkshire post interviews with random Brits. This week, Owen, a single (take note, single ladies, take note!) Scot gives us his opinions on the fabled  Scottish and English Divide– and  everything else from visiting England’s chippies to the Simpson’s…

Tell our lovely readers a little bit about yourself.

I am male, Scottish, and born and largely bred in Scotland -  I have recently started regularly visiting various English towns (several in the picturesque north-east) but also mainly London and the Midlands. Thus I may not be wholly typical of most Scots/English! I am a newly thirty-something, newly-turned homeowner (just pre-crunch), who is trying to find some drive to finally de-clutter all previously acquired possessions and rediscover youthful ambition in order to decide where I want to go in life – or to just confirm that I am happy plodding along in my new little house!

And your work?

I have a good job,  if a little lacking in prospects, but also outside interests which compete for my attention and I probably should organise both better!!

What is the main difference between the English and Scottish in attitudes (if there are any) from your point of view?

I believe stereotypes have some use and do exist to an extent though I realise the dangers of generalising too much!  I would say the English can be a bit “chipper” – if that’s correct, more up-beat, possibly more confident without a bevvy in them first – though that is not possibly wholly true.  The Scots can be very proud (as can the English) and certain sections can be noisy and boorish in equal measure!

How so?

The Scots are always the underdogs which possibly seems to cause them to give up in sporting events and on balance England has often been seen as superior in many things e.g. football, rugby and cricket.

I’ve heard that opinion from my English boyfriend, too.

But, that said, Scotland has given the world numerous inventions and can stand as proudly as England (perhaps more so – my history could do with brushing up!) in terms of the number of pioneering people and inventions originating somehow from Scotland.

Yes. Like the Alexander Graham Bell chap.

It might be worth noting that several pioneering Scots (e.g. John Muir) made their fortune in the Americas – either through voluntary emigration or perhaps earlier through forced emigration by clearances. It is not as black and white as English land-owners and red-haired bearded randy drunken Scotch Picts, however!  Several land-owners may well have been Scottish – there are also some divides between English north and south and Scots lowlanders and highlanders. Several, perhaps slightly anglicised, land-owners (possibly simply through having business interests in London rather than any particular English favouritism) may have been hard on their more native Scottish tenants.  Thus it is as always a complex picture.

Do you feel out of place when you are “Down South?

I don’t feel hugely out of place when south of the border – oddly I am possibly more British than Scottish (although I feel one ounce of guilt with that lack of Scottish-ness balanced by one ounce of it being perfectly reasonable to be British and a mistrust of blind nationalism.)

I am aware of being a Jock – however I have been called Scottish in England (not sure it matters so much in London – except for Scottish bank notes)  But significantly (and possibly due to a slight twang in my accent from my years in the Midlands) I have been called English when in Wick! (Wick can be a wild place on a Saturday night). I have however been considered to have a broad Scottish accent by a posh Liverpudlian girl so it all gets a bit confusing.

Give us an example.

I don’t really notice being a Jock in London – though I do notice it a bit more in other parts of England.  I was at a fish and chip shop in the Midlands last year and when asked about salt and vinegar I was taken by surprise (as if they don’t have salt and vinegar in England) and stammered out “aye, a wee bit” – since I was speaking to a more working class fish shop operative (ok they may have been a middle class student I suppose but it was the outskirts of this small town away from the college. Upon returning to my guests house I was given my order which was identified by “a wee bit” !

How about that Scottish money people always moan about accepting  in England?

On balance though I only really notice people occasionally pretending to complain about Scottish money… generally less so now.  Ironically that has only been an issue in London when I’ve dealt with foreign bar staff.  Doubly ironic given that the Prime Minister and Chancellor are both Sots – the point I always have ready to fire at them if they complain.

Why do you think that the English and Scots don’t get along?

There is a some degree of rivalry and mutual resentment/mistrust – most commonly however which appears thankfully only as light-hearted rivalry. I don’t think they seriously hate each other – not when considered intelligently – more likely there are isolated cases of racism towards other nationalities like ones I have sadly witnessed where I live in Glasgow. There is friendly rivalry although there are instances of more serious stuff but I think that is people’s nasty behaviour coming out with the Scottish-English thing rather than being inherently anti-English.

But how about you personally?

I can’t claim to be immune from a borderline racist slur (if just thought) but this is just a way of making the pain or frustration inflicted by the other person’s behaviour or bad driving seem less…

That said, any deep-seated subconscious resentment (which is hard to shake off over many generations) can be traced back to the Highland Clearances and attempts by the centres of power in the south to subjugate or whatever the heathen people of the north.

The subsiding of any justified bitterness has of course been hindered by things such as the Poll Tax experiments, perceptions of Scotland’s supposed oil being raided – (more likely by Norwegian, American and other companies than England!) – and last but not least the Scots’ ability to wallow in sentimental self-pity! Look at the portrayal of the Scots in the Simpsons – it’s not that far off!

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(If you have missed previous interviews in our interview series, you can click here .)