Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 201

Desperate English Housewife gets desperate

Put it this way. Flying home to the USA has never been less simple. Or less enjoyable.
It’s a long, complicated story and there is still the mystery of the missing suitcase with all my worldy possessions in, which ain’t nice, and I can’t yet strike Chicago off my bucket list, because I don’t count a four hour stop over in the airport, however lovely an airport it is, as ‘going to Chicago’, but I’m back in the USA and it’s good.

Last flight home from Chicago

Last flight home from Chicago

I did sit next to Nina from Nina and the Neurons from CBBC, but that’s as celebrity as it got ;).

Nina was on the plane, but her Neurons were not

Nina was on the plane, but her Neurons were not

Good things about being back in the USA:

a) at midnight the air was still warm
b) I didn’t miss too much sun apparently
c) I can top up my faded tan when the sun is out since the pools are open for a few more weeks yet
d) school starts again two weeks – hurrah.

Downton Abbey USA vs UK

I have spent a lot of time on planes in the last 48 hours (too much). Thus, I watched a lot of stuff. Stuff I have not yet had the chance to catch up on from the UK, and yes, that includes series 3 of Downton Abbey. (Yes, I know it is on PBS, but I don’t watch it!)

What really struck me about this series (and I do still think it is a stiff upper lip version of Eastenders) is the Anglo/American relationships, and I suppose that is a key theme that the directors wanted to draw out.

Most of all, it was the barbed comments from Maggie Smith’s tradition-fuelled and change-adverse matriarchal character about the US and its people, and the retorts from Shirley MacLaine’s new world, flippant, red lipstick-wearing American dream chaser.

Brit vs USA old stylie

Brit vs USA old stylie

Julian Fellowes says this about the two characters: ‘Violet (Maggie) thinks everything was better in the past and now it’s falling to bits. Whereas Martha is the opposite: she thinks changing is great and the future is terrific and she wants to fly on a jet plane and get moving.

“So you have these two almost exact contemporaries in real life facing back towards the 19th century and forward to the 21st.”

It works.

Violet: “I’m so looking forward to seeing your mother again. When I’m with her, I’m reminded of the virtues of the English.”
Matthew: “But isn’t she American?”
Violet: “Exactly.”

How rude! But amusing in context.

Cora: “I hope I don’t hear sounds of a disagreement.”
Countess Violet: “Is that what they call discussion in New York?”

Cora: “I might send her over to visit my aunt. She could get to know New York.”
Countess Violet: “Oh, I don’t think things are quite that desperate.”

I found it curious and interesting (and it made me cringe!) to hear and see such resistance to the USA and its ‘modern ways’ through Violet’s character. I guess people are afraid of what they don’t know…I think I remember saying that right at the beginning of this blog about some attitudes in the the UK to the USA……

Anyhow, it’s good to be back!

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3 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 201

  1. “stiff upper lip version of Eastenders” – that’s a new one, hadn’t heard that comparison and it’s certainly dead wrong isn’t it?

    Funny, the quote from Julian Fellowes about Violet and Martha? That just about sums up the difference between the attitudes of some Brits and some Americans, or perhaps many.

  2. Amanda says:

    I hope you get your luggage back soon! As for Downton Abbey (which I love love love), I always find Violet a riot. I don’t really know what people in the UK think about us here in America, but they were very friendly to me when I was there many years ago. I personally think that we make great neighbors and the more we laugh at our stereotypes of each other, the better. 🙂

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