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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Poppies Across the Atlantic

We'll see how late I can make it, but I'm enjoying watching the BBC election coverage. 

A roundtable discussion in Washington is great. Hello, Katty Kay! History in the making, media and politics in one night? No wonder I'm not sleeping. This is well worth the vat of lattes I'll have to endure to get through an earlier than usual morning and a few meetings at Our Sweet School. 

So. It's can't look away now viewing tonight when I probably should be attending to something Mary Poppins party-related or perhaps dozing. But that's nearly impossible when the BBC has teams of folks Stateside to give Mark Mardell a bit of company. Surely my guy Nick Robinson must have a few days off with all this Yankee Doodling. 

The Americans being interviewed by British reporters must wonder what's with all the poppied lapels. Too bad they'll miss my church lesson on Remembrance Sunday. Big Sister calls those "Poohah-pees" not as I say: "PAAH peace." My girl likes me, but she's no fan of my American accent. She hears it, and now fully immersed in proper British English, assumes I'm mispronouncing. A lot.  

My French girlfriends say they completely relate and that their children are always correcting them, too. Sure. But English is my first language. There's that.  

When Big Sister, sweet as she is, imitates my pronunciations, she does it with a look of distain. Or like she smells something a bit off. She is now completely annoyed that I keep telling and retelling this story, but she doesn't read my blog and this is exactly what I'm getting at: We know someone named Miss O'Connell. When I spoke her name recently, Big Sister scrunched her nose. "Momma!" she said, "It's not Uh CAAAHnail, it is OH Cuhnul!" 

In addition to the entertainment factor of hearing more American accents in one evening than I think I've heard all year, watching the polls close from afar has been fascinating. In a bizarre alternate universe sort of way. Seeing pundits I adore and abhor pontificate with an ocean between us is strange to be sure. I feel simultaneously remote and part of it all. Also hopeful that Cook County will actually count my vote and grateful for our many friends here who are watching the election so closely. Some over big bowls of homemade chili! How happy am I that my British friends love a theme? And like America?!

Surely we'll all be drinking lots of coffee (and tea!) tomorrow. Some might even have a bit of champagne or at least English sparkling wines. I'm feeling inspired to make an apple pie. It will go great with a latte or 6 in the morning.

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