Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My First Ever Post

I think the time has come for me to start posting original stuff that wasn't culled from my Facebook. The question is, when one sets out to start a blog, what does one talk about? Some people clearly have an advantage over me in that they have a definite idea before they even start writing. My friend Marissa is an excellent example. Her blog, Wildhair ( is a well-thought-out, well written daily post, not just some mindless prattle put out for the sake of it. Every day she writes something new and entertaining and thoughtful. Oh, and funny too.

So what to write about? I have so many thoughts in my head but organizing them into something coherent is not necessarily my strong point. I once tried to write a novel; I got 13 chapters in before I realized that while the ideas in the book might be entertaining to me, Kurt Vonnegut I was not. I once wrote a review of a concert I went to and sent it in the form of a letter to my sister; she seemed to like it and said that perhaps I should do a column in a paper, sort of an "Englishman In New York" type of thing a la Quentin Crisp. Trouble is, I wasn't in New York. I was in Seattle, and yes, I was experiencing some culture shock, but not to a huge degree. Growing up in the UK, we got a lot of American TV, so a lot of the cultural differences were not new to me. More and more the Americans were colonizing the English mindset. Back when I was in secondary school in the 1980's, we didn't have a prom or a graduation, or even much of a school spirit. School was just a place you went because you had to, you learned stuff, took your exams, either passed them or failed them, and then you left. If you did well, you went to college, and if not, you got a crappy job, and life went on.

After I moved from Seattle in 2000 for the hell-hole I find myself in now (Georgia) I found that two things were happening; 1) I was sounding more and more American - I pronounced my R's and said laff instead of lahhf, bath instead of bahhth, etc., and less and less people noticed my English accent, and 2) those who did notice my English accent here in the South were more inclined to try to impersonate me, but all sounded like Dick Van Dyke in "Mary Poppins". Now, I work at Outback, where everyone I work with has a go at the accent on a daily basis, usually referencing the Kellogg's Raisin Bran Crunch commercial as they do so ('Ello, guvnor!') and about 50% of the people I wait on notice the accent but do not know whether it's Aussie or Kiwi or English. This usually results in me explaining about the loss of accent over time and culminates in the question "So how did you end up here in Gainesville?", whereupon I have to give them a brief life story. I've done it so many times it's automatic now, but I am heartily sick of retelling my tale. I'd much rather talk about food or music or movies or, or anything. My coworkers also find it necessary to tell me when there's an English-sounding person at one of their tables; however, I can't help myself and usually swing by the table and try to catch a whiff of the accent, and sometimes stop and chat for a minute if I feel so inclined. The other day I had a lovely lady at one of my tables who was from Pinner, but had lived here for over 30 years and hadn't lost her accent at all. We had a good natter about spotted dick and blancmange and Bird's Custard. Everyone else at the table must have thought we were nutters. Ah well. Let 'em.

Well, I guess this post is about done, but doubtless there'll be more on this topic, as I'm sure I will feel the need to tell my life's story to you all, explain about certain cultural anomalies and the correct way to pronounce oregano.

Have a good day (not a g'day) and TTFN.



  1. Hooray for Jeff's World! World of Jeff. Jeffiewood! I'm glad you're blogging and it's so kind of you to mention me. I'm honored and flattered.

  2. Congrats on the new blog, Marissa's already directing traffic to you .... nice that you're using blogger, it's pretty much the easiest to use. Now, upload us some pitchers of that there wonderful place you live at!

  3. Nice blog Jeff! I'll be ordering a pint of Spitfire in your honour next time I'm down the pub! A part from how to say Oregano properly, a course in how to prenounce British places would be a good idea! Hey and this'll make you chuckle, 2 Amercans were overheard by the Marketing Manager at Leeds Castle (friend of mine) saying: "what a swell place this castle is and so clever to build it near the freeway (M20)"


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