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David Brider [userpic]

Random stuff.

November 26th, 2014 (08:32 am)

I can only assume that it's because of Thanksgiving that there's no new episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this week. In which case, I won't be giving thanks for that, thanks.

Speaking of which, I don't know if it's particularly widespread, but I've noticed both Tesco and the UK branch of Amazon advertising Black Friday sales. Which seems a bit odd, as Black Friday is directly related to Thanksgiving, and...well, we don't have Thanksgiving in the UK. Obviously. Wonder why that's happening? Anyone know? Sarah suggested that it might be to appeal to American expats living over here, which I guess is feasible.

Also speaking of which, why is it that Americans refer to the toilet as the bathroom? I mean, okay, some bathrooms have toilets in them, but Americans seem to use the word to refer to the room even if it's just got a toilet in it (for example public toilets). I presume there's some cultural reason for it, but it seems odd.

Last night, I woke up with some extreme back pain. Sarah, bless her, rubbed some Tiger Balm in, and also suggested (very sensibly) that painkillers might help. Which they certainly did. When I woke up properly the pain had gone. Possibly a trapped nerve? But anyway, thanks to Sarah for being a proper angel.

As I may have mentioned, Sarah and I were at this on Sunday. Lots of good music, played loudly and exuberantly by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with singing by the London Philharmonic Choir, and a lively and engaging conductor in John Rigby. I'm pretty sure we'll be going to the next one! It did occur to me, though, that it's fascinating how much classical music can be described by The Friends Principle. So, we had The One From the Old Spice ads, The One from Monty Python's Flying Circus (it's very difficult to take that one at all seriously), The One from 2001: A Space Odyssey (The Blue Danube, although I'm sure they'd have performed Daisy Bell if we'd asked nicely...*), The One from Torvill and Dean's Ice Dance, The One from The Last Night at the Proms (very pleasant and lively piece of music in its own right, but there's something more than a little sinister about a hall full of people singing patriotic music and waving national flags...). And that was just in the first half. The second half also brought us The One from The Barber of Seville (damned impressive tenor in Jonathan Antoine, apparently a former winner of Britain's Got Talent - maybe that show title does have some truth in it after all..), The girl's got a 'phone (Sarah's affectionate nickname for La donna è mobile), Jerusalem (lovely music, lousy theology - "and did those feet in ancient times/walk upon England's mountains green?" "No," is the answer you're looking for...), The One from the 1990 World Cup ("quid in the Nessun Dorma box, Henry..."**), and closing with a rousing performance of The One from the 1812 Overture, with fireworks and, as advertised, thundering cannon. Wonderful evening out.

That was preceded by heading down to Shenfield for a mini family gathering - visiting grandma, my aunt Lynn and her hubby Roger, and joined by my sisters Jessica and Emma, their mum Joan, and Emma's fella Jeremy and his two daughters, as a slightly belated celebration of grandma's birthday. Very pleasant to get a large chunk of the clan together again. There was, naturally, much reminiscing about dad. Grandma hadn't been able to make it to the funeral (she's more or less housebound nowadays), so Emma was able to give her printouts of the various tributes people paid him during the service, as well as a recording of most of the service (made on an iPhone and sounding really rather good quality...but then as Emma and Jeremy both work professionally in sound design, that shouldn't be too much of a surprise...). Also, I downloaded onto Lynn's computer that picture of me, Antonia, dad and Joan that I posted here a few weeks back, as well as a couple of me, Antonia and grandma from the '70s that hopefully grandma will find pleasantly nostalgic. :-)

So yeah, that was a nice Sunday!

* Or they might have just said, "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that..."
** Any Drop the Dead Donkey fans will hopefully get that reference...


Posted by: Diaries of a dolphin (luckykaa)
Posted at: November 26th, 2014 10:27 am (UTC)

A lot of people are on the internet and interact with a lot of Americans. So it's American Cultural Dominance, or "breaking down borders", however you want to spin it. It's part of the package that comes with McDonalds, Trick or Treating and sticking one finger up rather than two.

Posted by: Icarus was a test pilot (galwithglasses)
Posted at: November 26th, 2014 04:54 pm (UTC)
Odysseus grin

Hopefully Black Friday will only show up on Amazon and not anywhere you have to encounter it in real life. It has gotten absolutely crazy with the way stores try to get people in their doors.

I think we refer to the toilet as the bathroom for a couple of reasons. One is that we have the one word for what probably exists in our houses if we are lucky and no one wants to bother with extra terminology. The other comes from the fact that many people are uncomfortable with discussing what actually goes on in the bathroom so to admit that there is a toilet in there is a little too much for some people. It's like 'sleeping with someone' really means something else entirely. If you are under the age of about 5 or you spend your time with small children you probably refer to the bathroom as the potty. As in 'do you have to go potty before you go to bed, get in the car, put on your snowsuit, boots and mittens.' If you are between the ages of about 3 and 30, any mention of anything related to a toilet or any allusion to what might be done there will produce snickers and additional potty humor much to the dismay of the 'adults' in the room. It is much expected that teachers and mothers we'll give you the stink eye if they hear it if not call you on it entirely. We know they are often trying not to snicker as well. Grandfathers are expected to participate however and will provide sound effects if necessary. Ewww, Grandpa. I don't speak for everybody in the US, mind you, just as an older sister, mother, granddaughter, wife, etc. I have a well developed stink eye but have been known to snicker along when I can get away with it.

I love your labels for the concert music and was glad to know I recognized most of them. Here, The Barber of Seville would be The One Where Bugs Bunny Cuts Your Mop.

Hope you have a great day.

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