Posts Tagged ‘Anglophiles United’

Anglophiles United at our "local" pub quiz Image Credit Laurie Frashure

Anglophiles United at our “local” pub quiz
Image Credit Laurie Frashure

As you may know I occasionally report on the activities of my Anglophile group, cleverly named Anglophiles United. This week a large contingent of our membership hit the road in hopes of experiencing an authentic British pub quiz. This outing was educational in scope and the fact that alcohol was freely available had nothing to do with our healthy turnout…

We gathered at an establishment with a name designed to avoid any confusion about its purpose or mission, The Pub. This American franchise concentrated in the Midwest and Southeast is to the the public house what mock Tudor housing developments are to historical stately homes. The serving staff wear kilt-ish uniforms, in addition to ales and whiskey they serve American cocktails like martinis and Manhattans, and they are located in an upscale shopping mall complex. To be fair they don’t claim that they’re the genuine article. Their slogan is “British-inspired, American-crafted” after all.

After keeping our tartan-clad wait staff (yes, we had three) busy with orders of shepherd’s pie, scotch eggs and lots of beer and wine, the quiz began. We broke into three teams -ours chose the name Jiggle Me Timbers because my son thought it would be amusing if the quiz mistress had to announce it over the PA system. There was no vetting process or pre-quiz selection though I can’t blame Inspector Fowler for trying to weed out the dimmest of the dim on his team.



The quiz itself consisted of twenty general knowledge questions, a speed round which required participants to order an actors’ films from oldest to newest, and the final round which tested our musical knowledge. Apparently technical difficulties are common as we had a similar experience to the members of the Phoenix Club – just without the record player.



None of our trio of teams won the big prize; however, luck was with us as each participant was given a ticket for door prizes and our entourage won all three drawings!  Each team left with bar glasses and gift certificates and no animosity towards the Hot Moms who apparently beat us by two lousy points. Nor was there any shoe throwing out in the parking lot after…



And as far as I know, there were no diva pub quiz champions in the crowd that night. At least no one threw a hissy fit like the Oracle did in Benidorm. It’s all just a bit of fun, mate!



All in all, I’d have to say our pub experience was a fun night out.  However if British TV shows accurately depict the UK pub quiz experience, ours did not approach the same level of competitiveness or nor was anyone’s ego or reputation at risk if they lost. Well, perhaps my son had higher aspirations for our side. That being said, he did win the speed round for us and the indeed the Jiggle Me Timbers team had their name announced throughout The Pub for all to hear.




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On occasion I’ve shared with you the summer exploits of the Anglophile/expat group I lead at my library.  Well, this year we decided to put on a British car show.

Our parking lot was a showcase of British motor engineering  – Lotuses, Mini Coopers, Jaguars, MGs, a Triumph or two, a Landrover, a Mini Moke and the most rare of all – a 1950 Healey Silverstone.

Our winner received a gift certificate for auto detailing and an almost one of a kind Stig Pincushion Cat.  If you want to buy one for yourself, check out Fat Cat Crafts here.

I was really chuffed with our first attempt.  We attracted 21 area car owners and drew a crowd of about 100 British automobile enthusiasts. We had beautiful weather, but it was the generous assistance of my fellow Anglophiles that made this inaugural event so successful.  From helping with set-up to recruiting car owners, from donating crisps and biscuits to being my cheerful greeting staff, their attendance and participation was key to such a wonderful day. They’re the best!

But as much as I enjoyed marveling at all these unique and sometimes exotic vehicles, when it comes to cars I’m a very practical woman. ( I drive a 1998 Toyota Camry with over 215,000 miles on it after all). So  I thought it might be nice to organize a little virtual cruise-in right here featuring some functional, hard-working, telly automobiles.

Welcome and please enjoy the Working Man’s British Car Show:

1. Ford Cortina TC Mark III GXL   – Life on Mars

Gene Hunt’s beloved Ford Cortina was involved in its share of police car chases in and around 1970’s Manchester.  I think he loved this car more than his wife…who we never did see, by the way.

2.  British Leyland Mini 1000 – Mr. Bean

Mr. Bean’s Mini was definitely an extension of the man himself.  It was quirky and reckless and multipurpose- whether he needed it to be a dressing room or a delivery van.

3.  Reliant Regal Supervan- Only Fools and Horses

Del Boy and Rodney ran their dodgy black market business, Trotters Independent Trading Company, out of their dilapidated Reliant Regal Supervan so it literally was a working man’s vehicle.  Though perhaps they shouldn’t have chosen such a conspicuous color or model if they wanted to avoid the notice of local coppers.

4. The Reasonably Priced Car- Top Gear

Top Gear‘s newest model for it’s reasonably priced car segment was the Vauxhall Astra.  That’s all anyone needs really, even a star like Benedict Cumberbatch.

5. Type 40 TARDIS – Doctor Who

I know. You’re saying hold on, the TARDIS isn’t a car.  But it’s my list, my blog and this classic British mode of transportation is exactly what I would choose if I could find one in working order. Besides they come with a Time Lord chauffeur.

Vote for the People’s Choice award by commenting below.  If you’re not satisfied with the entrants, write-in candidates are welcome.

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Friday night I met up with a few folks from Anglophiles United – it’s what we call our support group for expats of the UK and lovers of British culture.  Eleven of us gathered to watch the Olympic opening ceremonies here:

Beef O’Brady’s – Wadsworth, Ohio

The name hints at an Irish affiliation but I doubt BBQ bacon cheeseburgers or “whole lotta steak nachos” originated on the Emerald Isle or within its general vicinity.  Several of us did enjoy a nice pint or two of “Irish” red ale.  I don’t care if it was brewed in Indiana.  It’s quite tasty.

Busted Knuckle Red, endorsed by irate leprechauns hiding in tall grass.

Cozily huddled around two scooted-together tables, we tucked into our chicken wings and fingers, veggie wraps and yes, fish and chips.  Around 8 pm it became clear that NBC Sports channel was not broadcasting the opening ceremonies, NBC’s main network was.   After pleading with the very busy staff a few times, the bartender clicked the remote, sound was finally established and we began our journey into Danny Boyle’s Isles of Wonder.

I’m sure most of you reading this watched the ceremonies yourself so I don’t plan to give a full account of the program.  My intention here is to relate my experience in watching it with a group which included a contingent of people who were born and bred in England.  Naturally, they brought to it their unique sense of humor.  For example, after the queen’s parachute “jump” one gentleman commented that it was the first time Her Majesty had gone without wearing knickers.

Advert your eyes. One should never peek up the Queen’s skirts.

They also expressed a degree of famous English cynicism.  In the tribute to the NHS, they bitingly observed that while nurses are dancing about the wards, patients are stacking up for a lengthy wait in the corridors.

All right, you lot! Where have you hidden all the bloody bed pans?

I think it’s safe to say we all delighted in Rowan Atkinson’s appearance as the notorious Mr. Bean and his Chariots of Fire daydream.  Leave it to an Oscar-winning director to insert a cinematic homage or two into the festivities.

I was disappointed they didn’t use Mr. Bean’s yellow mini in the dream sequence.

Personally, my heart was warmed by the choir of pajama-clad children singing and signing “God Save the Queen.”  Unfortunately the cameras caught Queen Elizabeth with a rather stern expression during this rendition which in turn gave rise to a swift and witty wave of royal memes:

To be fair, after 60 years the monarch may just be really sick of that particular song.

By the time the British music segment arrived, we were all getting a bit distracted and a little confused, particularly by the glowing party house. I wondered at first if we were heading into Trainspotting territory.  As the lengthy Parade of Nations got underway, we decided it was wise to make a break for it and return home in order to discover the secret identity of the final torch bearer(s) from the privacy of our own living rooms . Incidentally, when I walked in the front door, the procession of countries had only progressed to the G’s.

I would like to thank Barbara, David, Katie, Michelle, Chris, Barry, Sherry, Susan and her hubby (so sorry, I didn’t catch his name) for joining my husband Jeff and me to share in this quintessentially British experience.  I would also like to acknowledge our intrepid young waitress, Joni, for her tremendous patience and sense of humor. I doubt we could tip her well enough for all her excellent work

The following day I talked to some people who expressed their disappointment with the whole production.  I listened to their opinions and they are, of course, welcome to them.  I think it comes down to individual tastes and sensibilities.  It’s sort of like Monty Python humor, either you get it or you don’t.  I won’t speak for my expat friends, but I gathered they were happy with the overall ceremony.  In true English fashion, there was no gushing or bragging; however, I suspect they were quietly proud.

And I don’t care who you are, the fireworks were utterly awesome:


Whichever side of the pond you’re on, what was your assessment of the Isles of Wonder?

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