Anglophilia: Anglophile Problems That We Have to Accept

tumblr_m1rk6sTM1a1r9hddlo1_1280

Being an Anglophile these days can be a tough hobby to follow. We’re a fairly small community that not many people can identify with and so the issues we run into are so small – they’re not likely to ever be fixed.

But what exactly are those issues?

Here’s our list of ‘Anglophile Problems.’

Britain Being an Island

This may seem obvious to people familiar with Geography. But Britain being an island makes Anglophile life difficult for one reason: its expensive to get there. Especially from the USA. So many Anglophiles I know have never even had the chance to travel there and can only dream of it. It will never be cheap to travel to Britain – the distance from the USA is just too great. So, travel there will only be a life dream for many. That’s such a shame.

BBC America Will Never be the Channel We Want it to Be

A cable TV station with the words BBC in the name? Surely this would be an Anglophile godsend!

Just try watching the channel…

Star Trek… endless Ramsay or Top Gear.

Admittedly, the channel is improving – for example they now air Doctor Who the same day it airs in the UK.

But I have a feeling we’ll always be disappointed with its output when there is so much British TV they’re not showing.

Waiting for Downton, Call the Midwife

PBS does a great job of getting us hooked on the latest British costume dramas and then proceeds to make us wait for new episodes. For example, Downton Abbey Series 3 finished airing in the UK months ago but will only start airing in the US on PBS in January 2013. This is cruel and unusual punishment. BBC America airs Doctor Who the same day – why can’t PBS air Downton the same day? The advent of the internet ensures that SPOILERS cross the pond long before the shows do – leaving two scenarios – people pirating for their fix of British TV or having their favorite show spoiled by just reading the internet.

Difficulty in Moving There

What Anglophile doesn’t dream of living in a twee little English cottage in the countryside? The problem is that it’s practically impossible in reality unless you’re very rich. It’s basically not possible for Americans to move to the UK unless they’re a banker or are independently wealthy. The current British government has slammed to door on immigration from anywhere in the world and Americans get no special treatment. So, we just have to enjoy Britain in the short amounts of time we can travel there.

Feeling Glum on the 4th of July

Our fellow Americans just don’t get why we’re so glum on the fourth of July. Sure we stroke our Union Jacks secretly in the closet as fireworks go off around us. We love America just as much as our fellow Americans but we can’t help but think we missed out on something by throwing off the shackles of British rule.

Time Difference with the UK

The time difference with the UK makes it difficult to keep in touch with friends and even order things online. We do a lot of business with the UK and we have to start our day extra early just to make sure we don’t miss out on anything.

Hard to Find a Good Cuppa

It’s just so hard to find a good cup of tea anywhere but Britain (though there are plenty of bad cups there!).

Family That Doesn’t Understand Your Anglophilia

Friends and family don’t easily understand your interest in all things British. It’s just a harmless hobby to them but to you, it’s so much more! Sometimes it’s best to just not say anything about it at all to avoid awkward questions (which is a very British thing).

Amazon UK Shipping Costs

One of the best discoveries an Anglophile can make is that all the great stuff you love in Britain, you can get directly from Amazon UK. The only problem is that you’ll get sticker shock when you go to check out and discover that shipping will cost just about as much as your purchase and it will take forever to get to the USA.

DVD Region Coding

This is related to the above – while most modern Blu-ray DVD’s don’t have region coding, many standard DVD and TV box sets have region coding which means they can’t be played in the USA unless you buy a special region free DVD player. So even if you legitimately try to get your favorite British TV shows on DVD before they air in the USA, you may not be able to play them in your DVD player. A key tool in any Anglophile’s arsenal is to acquire a region-free DVD player so avoid this problem.

No BBC iPlayer

The BBC posts all their shows online after they air onto the BBC iPlayer. It’s an amazing piece of technology and an example of a content producer getting online access to content right. The only problem is that it’s not available outside of Britain. If you try to watch it, you get greeted with a message saying so. There are ways around it, however. The other British TV networks have something similar as well.

No Respect for Proper Football

Have you ever tried to watch American Football and get bored out of your mind? English Football on the other hand is fast paced and exciting and never stops.  It’s way more intense the American football but it doesn’t have nearly the following or the interest. When the World Cup goes on, there’s a collective sigh as America just does not care. Unless of course, the USA makes the finals in which case everyone will all of a sudden care. But thankfully, if you really want to watch REAL football, it’s pretty easy to these days.

No Proper Fish & Chips

Thousands of restaurants across the USA promise authentic British Fish & Chips, you only need to order a couple of times to realize that pretty much no one ever gets it right. The only place to get real Fish & Chips is Britain.

What’s your number one Anglophile problem? Let us know in the comments!


Comments

  1. avatarpaul says

    American football boring????
    When ever did you see a 0-0 game. NEVER.
    “proper football” is a yawn .like watching grass grow

    • avatarDavid Blackmore says

      How can you call it American ‘Football’ when only the kicker and punter are the only players amongst a team of dozens of players who actually kick the pig skin??

  2. avatar says

    Jonathan,
    Try adddressing your love of English TV by streaming Acorn onto your Roku. Just go to the Acorn website to find out more. We love it it, and, like you, find BBC America extremely dissapointing, but enjoy the Acorn channel so much that we watch it most nights.
    Your English fan, Julia

  3. avatarPaul says

    BBC America’s OK, but I agree with you about the quality of some programmes they have. If you can get it try WETAUK (It’s on channel 265 on Comcast) the programmes are all repeats, but they DO have some good reruns.

  4. avatarLaura says

    LOVE English football… once the action starts, NO commercial interruptions until halftime… of course if you’re drinking a lot of pints, this could also be a problem :)

  5. avatarGregg D says

    Couldn’t agree with you more in regards to your list of Anglophile problems. All of them are right on the mark, but I especially appreciate your listing BBC-America and their endless episodes of Top Gear, creepy Chef Foul-mouthed Ramsay, and StarTrek (which I assume is shown simply because Patrick Stewart is the star). As for the Fourth of July, I don’t let that keep me from proudly flying my Union Jack from a pole on the front of my home! Yes, like you I love America; however, given my choice, I’d rather have my passport be from the UK. If only it wasn’t so difficult and expensive to do that!

    Keep up the great work you do. I look forward to your mailings every day and appreciate the links you post with it. I’m looking forward to your British language book!

    (One suggestion for you: You might want to do a closer job of proofreading before you post. As a British Literature and English grammar teacher, I’m always finding errors in your material. And, if you ever want to hire someone to do it, I’m newly retired and available!!!)

  6. avatarWendy says

    “What Anglophile doesn’t dream of living in a twee little English cottage in the countryside?”—– I have been told is that those lovely thatched roof cottages are hugely expensive to rethatch and that thatchers are becoming rare…and once thatched, a cottage cannot be reroofed with other materials…

    “It’s just so hard to find a good cup of tea anywhere but Britain (though there are plenty of bad cups there!).”…how true!,espcially the bad cups…

    “Thousands of restaurants across the USA promise authentic British Fish & Chips, you only need to order a couple of times to realize that pretty much no one ever gets it right. The only place to get real Fish & Chips is Britain”…right on…that bad cup of tea comment applies here as well…

    ditto the BBC reruns…

    …quite a cricket match on Downton last night!…they needed Mr Remijan from Upstairs, Downstairs….

    …getting ready to brave the 27 mph wind out my door…

  7. avatarChristina Wheeler says

    You need to open a proper chippy here and then make it a chain so all us at heart Brits can have some ;) Have some proper teas shipped in too and you’ll have a corner on the Angliophile store market. How I miss battered sausages and mushy chips…yummm. It is possible for Americans to live in the UK and work there. Many military bases there are hiring civilians. Surely there are other ways to live and work there. We lived there for three years on the local economy thanks to the military. It’s not so expensive once you get away from the attractions and fully emerce yourself into the true culture like a local. We lived in a little village and I worked on the local economy and we had the best neighbors, friends and landlord. You will be taxed like the locals, so it’s still not cheap, but far less expensive than living in one of the larger cities. As to American football, I will never forget when my folks came to visit, my dad was watching an American football game on the telly when the announcer said, “and since nothing else happened, we will skip ahead to the 4th quarter”! He about died! It had only just started…lol…He tried and tried to figure out Cricket, but no such luck. Poor poor dad was going through a sports withdrawl. Oh, and don’t feel so bad on July 4th. Our base opened to the locals for the holiday and had a huge fate, so we invited some of our friends and neighbors. As we sat by the river with our guests, watching the fireworks, I commented how odd it must be for them to spend the day with us celebrating our independence from them in their own country. They responded that there was no hard feelings and that Brits were actually quite glad things turned out the way they had. Our countries had been such great allies fighting off the Germans, so all had been forgiven. If you are absolutely dying for your latest installment of British telly shows, you can buy seasons at a time on ebay. They will be pirated copies from China, but it is possible and they will be made for our region. I could go on and on about how you really can have your own personal British Eden here. As small as the world is today, it’s really not so difficult. If you lived there all the time, there would be things here you would miss. Until it becomes a perfect world, we will be traveling there once every two years. We try to stay as long as possible when we do go, because as you say, it is not cheap to get there. If we can’t got for 2 weeks, we put off till we can, so as to get our money’s worth. Love this site, btw, I was one of the British Airways winners last year and I found out about the contest from you. Thanks again! My mom and I thoughly enjoyed the trip. Cheers and ta ta.

  8. avatarMary says

    I read so much British literature and watch so many British shows I unconsciously use British phrases while talking to friends and family and get some weird looks.

  9. avatarSusan says

    I actually bought an all regions DVD player! Problem solved.

    I do not understand – in this time of high tech gadgets etc- why are we not able to watch British TV? Thank goodness for Netfix!

    I agree – English footie is MUCH MUCH better and more exciting than American football.

    The tea problem – when you go to England fill up your suitcase with Typhoo teabags like I do! It works.

    OK, what is Acorn and what is Roku? I am totally interested.

    PS – no one understands my Anglophilia! but I do (:

    • avatarKaren says

      Roku is a small device about the size of a hamburger that lets you stream content from the Internet to your TV. It has various “channels,” including Netflix, Hulu Plus, and best of all from the point of view of a British telly lover, Acorn TV, which shows a rotating selection of British, Canadian, Australian, and Irish series, some of which have been shown on PBS, some of which have not.
      As for the region-free players, they’re available online, and cost about $20 more than a comparable North America-only player.
      I’ve ordered DVDs from Amazon UK, and I’ve found that anything that’s the least bit old is sold at a steep discount. For example, you can get complete runs of Prime Suspect and Inspector Morse for a fraction of what they cost here, and since, as a non-resident of Britain, you aren’t charged VAT, that makes up for the shipping costs. I’ve also ordered series that were never shown here, such as Tenko and Taggart.

  10. avatarAl Burnside says

    Just one point to my American cousin’s the UK flag is only called the Union Jack when it flies from a ship, otherwise it is known as the Union Flag.

    • avatarFiona Frazer says

      Has this always been so? I am British, still, even after living in the US & Canada for years, and grew up calling it the Union Jack. Hadn’t heard the term Union Flag until last year’s Jubilee celebrations.

      • avatarPeter says

        Hi Fiona, Al is correct, the Union Jack is the flag used on board ship and is usualy flown from the Jack Staff ( it used to be on the Aft deck ), The correct term for the British flag is the Union Flag or flag of the union, but I agree that for most of my lifetime I have heard it refered to as a Jack …

        • avatarHoward says

          Actually, the jack mast has always been at the front of naval vessels, set on the bowsprit on sailing ships, or nowadays on the peak of the bows. The RN flies the White Ensign from the ensign staff on the aft deck.

  11. avatarLauren says

    I love that Karl’s “head like an orange” is included in the graphic. :p

    For those of you looking to get around the region blocks on iPlayer, you can use BBC iPlayer Global for your i-devices: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/bbc-iplayer-global/id449130604?mt=8&affId=1529572 (I’ve never used this so I don’t know if all the programs are available, but this is what Stephen Fry uses when abroad.)

    You could also use Tunnelbear, which is what I use on occasion: http://www.tunnelbear.com/. It works by disguising your IP address to make it look like you’re in the UK (don’t worry, it’s completely legal.) The only downside to the free version is that it has a monthly data limit which you might burn through if you watch a lot of iPlayer.

  12. avatarBeth Rang says

    You can get good tea here in the states if you look for it. I suggest Tea Source: http://www.teasource.com, but there are many other tea importers who do an excellent job sourcing teas and creating their own blends. One of the things we did after our first trip to London was pick up an electric tea kettle. Now we can make good tea so quickly!

    When people think I’m strange about being an Anglophile, I like to mention how interesting it is that most people have a country they love other than their place of birth. For my Dad, it was Australia, even before he ever got to work there and make friends. A friend of ours who’s an American from Venezuela who is obsessed with Iceland. And of course there are so many Americans in love with France and Italy. I think it’s a really human thing and makes life more fun.

  13. avatarKerryn says

    You think it’s bad being and American Anglophile…. Try being an Australian one…. You wake a little early to communicate. We need to stay up all night. The UK is almost impossibly far away.

    Sigh.

  14. avatar says

    I want fish and chips so bad – hold the fish. Seriously, why is it impossible to find decent chips in the US?! Just fry up some steak fries!

    • avatarDiane says

      The reason you can’t get good chips here is because of the potatoes. It must be the soil or something but American potatoes are naff. Ever tried making a ‘pub grub’ favourite ‘Jacket Potato with Cheddar Cheese’ ? Urgh….don’t bother, it’s like eating wood pulp. You can get wonderful cheeses here if you know where to shop, but the potatoes just do not compare. A British spud is one of the things I miss the most.

  15. avatarSusan says

    Clotted Cream!!! I can make the scones, but getting good clotted cream is impossible! Oh, sure, you can get it in a jar but it sure doesn’t taste the same.

  16. avatar says

    Some of you will understand this. The house across the road was for rent and one day there was a young couple were moving in the house and they walked over and said hello. The young lad was from Leeds, his wife was from the States. It has been a joy to talk about my favorite shows, food etc. I am invited to dinner often for Shepherds Pie, Toad in the Hole with mushy peas and other goodies.

    He is my Bisto connection. When his family comes over from Leeds he has them bring me Bisto, Jellie Babies and tea.

    They did not did not laugh when I flew a 6 foot Union…flag on the day of Jubilee, got up at 3 am to watch it. :-)

  17. avatar says

    As for DVDs, I always buy a DVD player that will play all regions and convert PAL to NTSC. I wouldn’t even consider any other kind. You can get them for under $100 at B&H Photo in NYC. I ordered Downton Abbey as soon as it came out, and watched the entire 3rd season before it was even listed on my TV listings here.

    I am also fortunate as I live near the Canadian border and we get two TV stations from Canada. I get to see a lot of British TV, including Coronation Street on those channels.

    Also, for anyone who does not know – they have changed the laws in the UK and if your mother was a British citizen on the day you were born, you are now entitled to British citizenship by right of dissent. I got mine last October :)

    • avatarPamela says

      Thank you for this information. In this case I am definitely a UK citizen through my mother. I have a British husband and we made sure to register our children with the UK Embassy when they were born. Since I was born in Canada, my children are also Canadian. My daughters are fortunate to be able to work in Canada, the UK, the EU and the USA, without obtaining additional working papers. This makes them desirable to employers with international businesses. I would encourage people to give their children this advantage.

  18. avatarMary Evens says

    I found Classical FM on the computer and got hooked on it. It is a really good classical music station, but what I really enjoyed were the traffic reports for the whole country, not just around London and the commercials. Sometimes I would pick out a familiar voice, like Inspector Lewis for AutoGlass. An I loved when they would take requests and a child or teen would ask for what their choir sang last weekend, or for something to soothe their minds while they were “revising”.

    For some reason, I can’t get that channel anymore on the computer. They cannot send outside the country. So I’ve lost my little link with England, and I miss it.

  19. avatar says

    I used to love BBCAmerica but since they have nothing but Gordon Ramsey and his inflated ego, Top Gear and all of that testosterone, and reruns of Star Trek — I seldom watch it. Have discovered Ovation where they often run British movies and Antiques Roadshow and Restoration Roadshow.
    I have several British friends at church and we have a very active Daughters of the British Empire — at least once a year you can find a decent cuppa’. As I live fairly close to the Canadian border, and there are many ex-pats in the area, we can find real Engish tea, treacle, HP Sauce, Hob-Nobs, and Flake bars in one of our grocery chains — QFC (a Kroger company in the Pacific Northwest). Also, check out Cost Plus/World Market — I found English Christmas Crackers for our dinner.
    Even with all of the English and Scottish people in our parish, we don’t seem to be able to get the coffee hour folks to put out milk for our tea — cream just doesn’t work!
    To brew a decent cup of tea, invest in a good. old Brown Betty and a tea cozy and only buy loose tea! Patience helps too!!

  20. avatarCharles Sachs says

    Being half British, “Mum” come over in 1913, this year is the 100th anniversary. Used to make it over often on the QE2 and other trips from the 1980s until to 1993. Had not been back until last summer. Yes, Terminal 5 can cause anyone to never come to the UK again; was lucky just a hour and 3/4 wait. Then discovered the used to be cheap tube to London for the cost of a 1 pd ticket is now 24 to 28 pds for the same ride. Buses not 50 p. now almost 3 pds a ride unless a special pass for around $15. The intercity trans were a good value. Not Branson’s now Virgin Trains, which railroad you if not ordered weeks or months in advance. Cancelled two intercity trips and the day trip London to Liverpool was almost $140 with a discount. The train was 95% empty or more. Average meal in any small sidewalk restaurant was 15 pds plus tip, all appeared with water pipe smokers too. My “discount club” I used to stay at can be beaten by bookings.com with easier locations. Saw Her Majesty on the giant screen at the Tate, 20 deep plus to the shore to be able to see. The Tate still my favorite London treat. Discount theatre tickets up there in the 40-65 pd range too. So, in short miss the UK a lot but then found many I thought here Brits and would ask a question were, in fact, not British. I found that London was so crowded that the pigeons were on raised platforms to feed them since no room on the ground (not really, but told can’t feed them and they have to do take aways). Hope a way to return, but there needs to be a review of some services to make them user, not abuser friendly. Charging more means less in the end.

  21. avatarSteve says

    As a British-American my Anglophilia pet peeve is when American-Americans don’t understand a term I use. Constantly correcting flat to apartment and boots to cleats gets a bit tiresome. I don’t speak a foreign language, it’s not like I should hire a translator. =)

  22. avatarBostonKaren says

    Boston has some VERY good fish ‘n’ chips places. Maybe it’s the only place in the U.S. where there are enough Irish? You can also get a full Irish breakfast in many restaurants, and a properly poured pint in the pubs. The supermarkets all carry goods from the U.K., too …

  23. avatarRachel says

    After spending the past 6 months in england on a tourist visa I have found that even though we love brits they def dont love us back! I have heard so many anti american statements on television and have had so many people make fun of my accent both when they knew i was listening and when they didnt know. I had people actually tell me they were glad we were “penetrated” during 911 because we thought we were invinsible. Its very sad and I did think we shared a great respect for each other but I guess that was a bad assumption.

    • avatarSusan Hunter says

      Rachel,

      I don’t know where in England you encountered these unpleasant people, but one can encounter that sort of behavior here as well. It depends, in large part, on where you are. There are places in this country, where I as a Californian am regarded as a peculiarity.

      My late husband was British and I have numerous extended family and friends over there and not once have I encountered the behavior you describe.

      Perhaps you need to frequent a different locale on your next visit…if you choose to make one…

      • avatarLorena Sankey says

        Susan,
        I married an Englishman and lived there from 1995-2004. I used to get lots of positive attention being American but it changed around 2003 with the invasion of Iraq. After that, I would speak to a shopkeeper or whomever and they would notice my accent and then I started getting small jibes about MY president, MY country, MY war-mongering people, etc…

        The worst offender and my biggest anti-American critic is actually my brother-in-law. He was a corporal in the RAF (until last week when he retired from his 22 years of active service) and spent some time in Iraq. He used to poke fun with anti-American remarks when I married his brother in 1996 but they’ve become more unsavory as time has gone on, especially after he returned from Iraq. He and many other English people I’ve encountered since I left in 2004 when I’ve visited have been rather rude. I’m not exactly sure why that is but it happens.

        I was a little shocked when my mother-in-law was spewing venom because a member of Obama’s administration had made the comment that “Britain should stay in the European Union”. She said and it left me with my mouth open: “That is bloody typical of THE AMERICANS. They should mind their own business. I really hate when they talk about the “special relationship” our countries share. It’s not “special” but convenient only to their advantage”. I kindly reminded her that politicians and every day people do not always share the same opinions. She was reasonable and said that it was true but it didn’t stop her from feeling very upset. I think it’s a feeling that people share.

    • avatarLinda Strother says

      Wow Rachel,
      thats too bad. I spent 2 weeks in the West Country and Wales. I was conscious of my accent so I did not speak unless someone talked to me. I was in line/que at Morrisons and I motioned for a lady to go ahead who just had a few items. She thanked me and commented on the weather. I commented back and she said “OH You are American! We just love your Mr. Obama so glad he was elected”. I had similar experiences wherever I traveled. “Are you from The States? How nice to have you visit, my aunt went to New York” etc I had similar experiences everywhere.

  24. avatar says

    Some of this is spot on, but you missed the mark on football.

    I belong to a group in San Francisco that gets up regularly each weekend, sometimes as early as 4:45AM to watch Arsenal FC.

    There are similarly groups all over the US. Just search Arsenal America and see for yourself.

    And in, doing so, I have encountered fans of other English, Italian, French, etc teams all over the United States.

    Proper football is the fastest growing sport in the US. Why do you think NBC just shelled out an obscene amount of money for the rights to broadcast the Premiership next season.

    • avatarMary says

      I’m one of the people that gets up to go to the pub and watch Premier League football. Though luckily for me on the East Coast it’s not until 7:45am :)

  25. avatar says

    Family That Doesn’t Understand Your Anglophilia…

    I am constantly teased by family and friends with my obsession all things Brit; So I have learnt to keep a stiff upper lip. We call it soccer here in Australia …nothing like a Liverpool vs Arsenal game to get the adrelanin going.

    p.s. Excited about the new Richard Curtis film About Time, cannot wait to see it!

  26. avatarDavid Blackmore says

    Why is it that when in the company of an American I find myself speaking in that cross atlantic drawl. Do Americans do the same when conversing with an English person?

  27. avatarDenise says

    My biggest problem is listening to family & friends complain why I won’t go somewhere else in Europe to visit. I am tired of hearing “why don’t you go somewhere else?”

    I go because I like it in the UK. I feel comfortable there. I am never bored. I know where everything is & how to get around. The language is easy to understand. I love the people, & it calls to me……. As for BBCA It started out good but now has become repetitive. I am sick of Ramsey & Top Gear.

  28. avatarBrittany says

    Region locking should not be allowed. What’s a good region free DVD player to buy that’s under $100?

    I used to watch BBC America all the time, but now I only watch it when Doctor Who is on.
    i get annoyed when people don’t understand British terms.

  29. avatarJean W says

    You missed the #1 problem – the exchange rate! Much as I love visiting my friends and distant relations in the UK, one must save up for months and months, since the US dollar only buys a little over half as much. Top that off with sky high prices in London, and you’re lucky to get to visit only every other year. At least one can buy plane tickets priced in USD…

Leave a Reply