Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 421

East Coast Beaches

I love a beach. Oooh, I do. I love the sun and the sea and the sand (actually, I don’t love the last one when it’s in my food and my bikini, but I like the IDEA of it and the feeling when my toes are sinking through it…). Anyway, we’ve been struggling to find a really lovely beach in the Maryland/Virginia area because we don’t always want to have to drive to lovely Delaware, as it takes a loooooooooonnnnnng time.

So, we’ve been kicked off fancy private beaches (communities ‘own’ these beaches in their residency, yet they are never frigging on them!) and we’ve sat on man-made beaches with orange sand, which makes me look even more orange.

And then we travelled to Virginia and found this place:

North Beach, VA

North Beach, VA

It’s North Beach and it’s very lovely and kind of classy in a beach-front way, although I did turn to the boardwalk and wonder for a moment if I was in Torquay:

North Beach boardwalk

I think some of it might be man-made and you do have to pay to sit on the beach, but what the hell, it’s a beach, the sand is golden, the water is warm and they sell Sugar-Free Caramel Turtle Sundae Butter Pecan Ice Cream 🙂

Extra, extra!

Last night I stayed up till 3am wearing a cop’s uniform. Yes, you read that correctly.

This is not some stooping-to-an-all-time-low job that I have as a stripper, nor have I become a real cop. No siree! It’s because I was filming as an extra in Investigation Discovery‘s Deadly Affairs show.

And I get to find the body/ies. I shan’t give too much away, since you’ll definitely want to watch it, I know, when it airs. Apparently folks on both sides of the pond love this show and its sister shows Evil Kin and Southern Fried Homicide. I’m not aware of a British version – somehow, Northern-Deep-Fat-Fried-in-Batter-Murder doesn’t have the same ring to it.

This is me practicing my 'who has been murdered and where is the murderer and where is the murder weapon' look ;)

This is me practicing my ‘who has been murdered and where is the murderer and where is the murder weapon…?’ look in the loo 😉

Tangier Island

There is a little place here in the USA called Tangier Island in the Chesapeake. How nice, non? It’s a three-mile-long fishhook-shaped piece of land and has always been a community set apart from the mainland.

Though just 12 miles off the shore of Virginia, the island’s mostly Methodist residents chose not to join the rest of the state as members of the Confederacy when the American Civil War broke out in 1861. More recently, Tangier’s town council voted against allowing the 1999 movie Message in a Bottle to be filmed on the island because of the presence of swearing, sex, and drinking in the script.

I’m not sure I’ll be booking a stay there though. Here’s why. The 500-plus residents, who mostly use golf carts as transportation on the village’s narrow roads, don’t allow the public consumption of alcohol. 🙂 But, lovely for them, they have managed to retain a great deal of their traditional culture.

Pretty, ain't it?!

Pretty, ain’t it?!

Why am I talking about this place? Well, probably the most striking example of their heritage is the islanders’ unique way of speaking.

What stands out most about Tangier residents’ speech is their unusual pronunciation of common English words and their use of words and expressions that are only understood by islanders. In addition, residents employ a curious way of communicating that they refer to as “talking backwards.”

David L. Shores, author of the 2000 book Tangier Island: Place, People, and Talk, is a linguist who was born on Tangier Island. He has pinpointed the reason why the speech of Tangier Island strikes outsiders as odd.

“They have a lot of idiomatic expressions, but the vowel system is quite different,” Shores says. “I mean, it’s English. You can understand the people, but they have a tendency to prolong a vowel.”

According to Shores, the islanders pronounce their vowels louder and longer, which causes common words to sound different when uttered by Tangier natives. “If you would take the words ‘pull’ and ‘Paul,’ they would pronounce those the same way,” he says.

Some writers and scholars have said the natives of Tangier, an island that people believe has been inhabited since 1686, speak an old form of English that goes back to the time of Queen Elizabeth I, who ruled England from 1558 to 1603.

See if you can work out what they are saying!

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4 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 421

  1. Andy says:

    The Tangiers people speak like yokels from Devon or Cornwall, so maybe they originated from that area? I could understand about 95% of what they were saying without too much trouble though. I have to wonder though in small place like that if there is a lot of inter-marriage which (and I’m looking for a ‘pc’ term here) means it is maybe at the shallow end of the gene pool.

    Oh and I totally love the cop uniform, did they let you keep it for those “special occasions”? 😉

  2. Pat and Pam says:

    If there were a series here titled “Northern-Deep-Fat-Fried-in-Batter-Murder”, I would DEFINTELY watch it! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 477 | ukdesperatehousewifeusa

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