As this Thursday is Thanksgiving Day, I decided to write up a list of ten Brit-tastic things I am giving thanks for! Feel free to add your own list in the comment section below.
1. Classic literature. A rabid book-lover myself, I have spent many a happy hours delving through the pages of such writers as Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, the Bronte sisters, John Bunyan, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, J.R.R. Tolkein, Aldous Huxley, and of course the immortal J.K. Rowling (ahem).Their legacy of liberty and individual rights. As an American, I can't help but thank the Mother Country for her many gifts to my own nation. As H.W. Crocker, III said, "...the British Empire...not only put [the United States] here, but gave us Christianity, limited government, and a system of rights founded in British common law."
3. Dreamy British actors and gorgeous British actresses. From Carey Grant to Clive Owen, Kate Beckinsale to Keira Knightley, international audiences faint, thrill, and gossip by turns at the spectacular stars that Britain is so generous as to lavish upon the movie-watching public.
4. Preservation of history. I live in a part of the United States that contains very few buildings, towns, streets, anything besides perhaps a few trees, that are more than 150 years old (the oldest public structure in my state of Arkansas was built c. 1829, and it's no palace), so I greatly appreciate the amazing work that Britons have done to preserve the relics of their own ancient history. Hats off to English Heritage, Historic Scotland, and Cadw.
5. Trench coats. These classic symbols of mystery, pea soup fogs, and weapon-concealing fashion are by no means limited to fedora-sporting mobsters.
6. Great cuisine. You non-Brits may think I'm joking, but listen to this. Not only does a 2010 poll decide that Britons are better cooks than the French, but they have also contributed greatly to international cuisine with such dishes such as Yorkshire pudding, Cornish pasties, and British Indian Restaurant Curry. The English invented plum pudding. Need I say more?
7. Heavenly accents. What would this world be like without a single plummy English accent? Just listen to this and see if you don't agree with me that it would be hard to go on living.
The Beatles! Everyone's got their own favorite British band, but my personal allegiance is owed to those darling mop-tops from Merseyside.
9. Beautiful gardens. Manicured landscape gardens, rambling cottage gardens, gardens with sham ruins and statues and little pavilions, magnificent botanical centers...Britain is certainly a feast for the gardener's eye.