Sunday, September 16, 2007


Having traveled to London annually on business for more than ten years, often extending my stay to explore many parts of England, Scotland and Wales--I guess I'm what you'd call an anglophile.

Of course, having friends and distant relatives in London contributes to the feeling of home when I'm there--as does the lack of a language barrier, the sense of a shared history and, perhaps, a shared destiny.

Compared to when I first visited in 1972, one now finds extraordinary food everywhere in London (Brits being mocked for the blandness of their food since time immemorial!).

And while it certainly rains far more there than here in Southern California, it's not much wetter than the Eastern U.S. if truth be told, and I've experienced some extraordinarily beautiful weather during most of my visits--in all seasons.

Our local PBS station, KOCE has broadcast for years many of the popular British TV series, and we've sampled just about every one of them. But we're partial to that soapish institution East Enders, and KOCE offers two episodes each week (though it's still a couple of years behind the real schedule over there).

It's not brain food, just local color that brings me back again and again to the show. We watched 4 episodes last night, catching up from my recent travels, and one can do a crossword puzzle and check email and engage in other tasks all while watching the inhabitants of this fictional working class neighborhood in London where life revolves around The Vic, it's local pub.

Is it really any better than a typical American daytime or evening soap? Probably not. But it's fun to watch and reminds us of how much we enjoy the English.

Until next time...


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