Pip! Pip! Cheerio! Jolly good! God bless the Queen!
Ok, now that I’ve used all the stereotypical English terms I’ve heard in movies and most likely insulted all of my British friends in the process, let’s get on with it. Congrats to William and Kate on their eight pounds of precious Prince George! I will admit that I was hoping for a little princess but I’m obviously not good at influencing the sex of babies with my wishful thinking as I am the mother of 3 boys.
Anyway, I figured the fact that dear Kate chose to push out the little royal on a Monday was a bloody good sign that I needed to pull myself out of my current project and post a blog. Needless to say, this will have an English flair to it. The problem with this endeavor is that outside of watching Love Actually about 20 times, reading ALL of the Harry Potter books in two weeks, and being able to name at least 3 of the Spice Girls…I know very little about British culture.
Sure, I’ve been to London, but it was a 24 hour stop on our way to Italy. If it hadn’t been for my husband’s lovely cousin, all we would have seen was our hotel and the Tower Bridge. But with a quick trip on the tube (ooo…be amazed by my London slang) we were whisked away by our generous family for a whirlwind trip that included Abbey Road and the house boat Richard Branson began making his millions from. Now, it wasn’t the Jack the Ripper tour I had my heart set on (have I mentioned I studied forensic psychology?), but it was a blast that I can’t wait to do again.
So, since my knowledge is limited on all things across the pond (outside of 19th century serial killers and the Bard), I have turned to my amazing, wonderful, genuine, kind, beautiful, hilarious, creative friend–Sam!! You may think that I’m just buttering her up with all those compliments so she’ll help me out, but it’s all true. She’s also ADD like me and often makes me feel better by falling short in the “keeps a perfect house” category. She also loves wine, belly dancing and swimming naked!! She even has an honest to God pub in her house!!!! And the cherry on the top of this awesome friend sundae–she’s British!!!
Now don’t get any ideas and try to come kidnap her. I found her first!!! But tonight I am willing to share her knowledge with you to make this royal edition the best it can be. Pip!! Pip!! And cheerio…again!!
The Libation (the pint):
Sam informed me that when a baby is born in England the father will often head to his “local” (pub) and buy everyone a round of drinks. This is called “getting the baby’s head wet.” Now, I figured the baby came out pretty wet but apparently amniotic fluid doesn’t substitute for a good ale. I’m not quite sure I can picture William doing this but I bet Harry would gladly do it on his behalf.
Now, I think this is a grand (that’s sounds pretty English to me) tradition…for the father. But what about the mum? When does she get her chance to “get the baby’s head wet” outside of pushing him out and giving him a bath? Sam has assured me that Brits aren’t as stodgy when it comes to drinking some wine when you’re pregnant or nursing. Her midwives even prescribed her a large glass of red wine every night to help relax her irritable uterus. Hell, that idea sounds so good I think I’ll go get some wine right now to relax my uterus (nevermind that I don’t have one).
So, where is the libation recipe in this dribble? If you aren’t good with downing a yard of Carlings or a “dirty chicken” with your closest mates at a local pub, or maybe even kicking back some wine with some ladies with grumpy reproductive organs, then maybe these classic English cocktails will do.
The Pimm’s Cup:
Sam said this is something like a British Sangria in that it’s basically liquor with fruit floating in it. All you need is some ice, Pimm’s, lemonade (the British word for 7up, Sprite, or ginger ale), cut-up fruits and veg, and some mint. Sam says that mint was too posh for the concoction they made at her old pub in London, and I say that cucumbers are just gross. I mean, if I want a salad I’ll order a salad, but it’s up to your taste buds.
So grab your pitcher, dump in some ice, pour in one cup of Pimm’s no. 1 Cup, 3 cups of your “lemonade”, and a whole bunch of chopped-up fruit (apples, oranges, lemons, berries, and cucumber and mint if you must). There you go! Easy! The perfect drink for the old trouble and strife while she’s on the dog and bone (that should make Eliza Doolittle proud).
The Duh-I-Alread-Knew-That Helpful Tip:
Find a good friend. Seriously. Find one amazing friend who absolutely won’t bat an eye if you show up at her house wearing your 8-year-old’s field day t-shirt and your husband’s swim shorts because they are the only 2 items of clothes that aren’t attracting flies. Have a friend who is able to recognize when you are teetering between an overdose on your homemade cocktail of wine, “borrowed” ADHD meds, and chocolate and beating the shit out of people with an umbrella. This is the friend who laughs with you, cries with you, and helps buy the plastic tarp and shovels when you’ve “accidentally” back-over the neighbor who keeps releasing his dog into your yard to crap. And when you find this friend, make sure you reciprocate. LISTEN to them. SUPPORT them. Make sure you extend the same kindnesses they do to you. Don’t just talk to them when they call you–call them. It seems like common sense, but eventually people notice when they’re the one making all the effort. Make conversations equal. Don’t say “hello” and immediately turn the conversation into something about you. Love and connection is what every single human needs and craves so if you’re lucky enough to find someone you click with, cherish them.
Well, I spent a couple of hours making a funny little bit in photoshop only to realize I was using a Getty image for the base. I’m all about paying people for their images but they need to make it more affordable for bloggers who are making approximately Jack shit off their blog. There are also little rules about not manipulating the image once you buy it. Maybe one day I can afford to do the same shit Perez Hilton gets away with on his page (and mine will be funnier). Unfortunately there are too many bloggers I’m hearing about getting lawsuits slapped on them to take the risk. My personal Facebook friends can see my little invention on my personal page but the rest of you will just have to rent Austin Powers. Until then, a photo I cannot be sued over. This is the sign that hangs over Sam’s amazing stove.