What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

05 November 2010

Remember, Remember

Parliament, as you can see, not blown up. Although it was
under construction when we were there last.
So, I do a lot of British things, as a result of living in Scotland for a couple of years (where I basically adopted the things that I liked). And some of those things carry over to my writing, although my current British writing quirks are more the by-product of continuing to read the BBC news on a regular basis than they are from living there 10 years ago.

The biggest one, of course, is the spelling. I spell like a Brit. I get lots of comments on Facebook, and teasing from various family members, for spelling like a Brit. My uncle recently sent me a Tweet: "When in Rome, spell like the Romans do." I replied, "But I don't know Latin!"

In my own defence, I started spelling in British when I was quite young-- around nine or so-- because I got my hands on an old copy of On the Banks of Plum Creek that for some inexplicable reason was written in British. I asked my Mum about it, she explained that those were perfectly acceptable spellings (oops!), and I was hooked. And now, of course, I spend most of my time reading the likes of Terry Pratchett, Lynne Truss, J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien... and the aforementioned Beeb. There is no chance whatsoever of me getting my spelling back to American. Even some of my textbooks this semester are in British, to which I have no objection.

Okay, long digression to say this: I knew about Guy Fawkes Night long before I moved to Britain. My parents, who did all they could to raise reasonably smart children (with a fair amount of success-- good job, Mum & Dad!) bought the complete set of the Childcraft Encyclopaedia before their eldest (me) was even able to read. One day, when I was about 7 or 8, I got bored and pulled one off the shelf. It didn't take me long to go through all 15 of them, one of which was called Holidays and Customs-- and that, my friends, is where I learned about Guy Fawkes Night. (Incidentally, the Childcraft books are just fantastic. If you have children, and especially children who like to read, I'd call them well worth the investment. They've gone through some changes since 1980, of course, but I'm betting they are still wonderful.)

So when I was finally able, in 1998, to personally go to a Guy Fawkes celebration, I was delighted. It was like a childhood dream come true. And it was lots of fun, too. I'm kind of surprised that Austin doesn't have some sort of Guy Fawkes event-- it seems like something that this wacky, weird, and very international city would do-- but all my internet searching has brought me nothing. I shall, therefore, remember, remember, the fifth of November in the privacy of my own apartment flat. (If I'm going to be British, I may as well do it completely, yes?)

What say you, my British and/or Commonwealth friends? Will you be celebrating today?


Carole Anne Carr said...

Will have to wait until tomorrow, usual story, non stop rain in my part of England! Carole.

sparquay said...

Hurray! Unfortunately, like I have said before... the best fireworks display I have ever seen to this date was back in Glasgow, Scotland on this very night 11-12 years ago. It's interesting to note, that in that display... Guy Fawkes is depicted as the hero who succeeds in blowing up Parliament, where as in England they burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes. Funny how they celebrate it in different ways.
Our plans are to go to the Seven Oaks pub, where they're having a big family night with what was assured to be the best fireworks display around. Hope it's a good night for you!

....Petty Witter said...

Ah Guy Fawkes Night. I wonder how many actually know the origins? Enjoy but please stay safe - remember to check your fires before lighting them as animals may well be nesting there AND follow the fire work code.

LadyJai said...

I miss Guy Fawkes Night! When I lived in England (Oh my has it really been 26 years?) they didn't celebrate Halloween, like we did on the military base. So, us Americans got to have a double header...Halloween on the 31st of Oct, then waited a few days and celebrated with a bonfire and fireworks in our local town. Thanks for the memories.

I, too, like to spell like a Brit and love the influence I had of the British culture on what I consider my most impressionable time in my life. I now know, too, that I have loads of British blood running through my veins, and am happy for that! :D

Su said...

@Carole: That's a shame! Probably freezing cold, too, eh?
@sparquay: I remember having that conversation with you & Keely-- it was like, "Better luck next time, mate." :)
@Petty: I live in the US, so I won't be lighting any fires. :( After the movie V for Vendetta, though, I think more people have a vague idea of what it comes from.
@LadyJai: I miss it, too! I'm glad you had a similar experience with the British culture so you get what I'm talking about. :)

Mary Mary said...

I've never experienced it myself, but I have family who live over there and they say "it's loads of fun"! I must say that Guy Fawkes is about the only interesting part of the storyline in "V for Vendetta".

Su said...

It's not really my kind of movie, but the husband likes it, so it was on in our house a couple of weeks ago. :) I think every culture needs a day to shoot off fireworks, yes?

Megan K. Bickel said...

Su - I left an award for you on my blog today. : )

Jenni at talking hairdryer said...

No idea about this Fawkes you speak of, but I am a fan of Childcraft! We used to have a set of those.

Su said...

@Megan: Thanks! I shall come by to view it. :)

@Jenni: Aren't they brilliant?