Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bright as a button?

Bright as a button? Not me! I've only just realized that it's just over a year since I started this blog. In that time I've posted 68 times, which at over one a week, is okay I'm thinking.

I started it with the intention of giving my English family and friends, or any anyone else for that matter, an idea of what it was like for this English "traditionalist" to adapt to living in a new country. It was also intended to give my American family and the many wonderful friends we have made here, an idea of the differences between English (East Anglian) and American (Southern) culture, food and language. I've strayed many times from that original idea but, hey! what the heck?

Many of these differences are very pronounced, some not so. As an East Anglian (Norfolk) boy, I'm used to the rest of my homeland calling us "Carrot Crunchers", "Tractor Boys", "Country Bumpkins" and the like (even though I was raised as a townee). A similarity here is that "Southerners" have traditionally been treated the same by those from more "sophisticated" states.

The differences in language are again sometimes not so great. When growing up in Norfolk, it was common to call a respected person "a good ol' boy". Here in the South, the same was and still is true.

In England the true Norfolk and Suffolk culture is being diluted by "invaders" from London and the Home Counties as well as from Europe. The same is happening here, especially in the Triangle of North Carolina, but this time the "invaders" mainly hail from the North-East. In fact a nearby very fast-growing city, Cary, is said to be an acronym for "Collection Area for Retired Yankees" (only joking). So many similarities exist.

One of my favorite blogging themes has been "my catholic musical taste". If anything this has widened and I spend many hours each day listening to various genres (I'm currently listening to Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No. 5). I have had the immense pleasure of introducing our wonderful Vicar to jazz. She happened to mention that she wanted to learn and listen more, so I have "trickle-fed" her with the likes of The Modern Jazz Quartet, Art Tatum, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and many more. Overhearing her recently telling someone that "Mick is teaching and helping me appreciate jazz", did wonders for my ego. Fancy me becoming a "rabbi" to my priest!

Another thing I realized is that, whilst updating my database of music collected, is that, yes, I am a Romantic! This hit home when I was trying to compile a list of my top ten composers and noted that 70% were of the "Romantic" school - Brahms, Berlioz, Bruch, Chopin, Dvořák, Tchaikovsky and Verdi.

I wonder if Gail thinks of me as a "Romantic"?

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