Friday, March 2, 2012

Why I love the UK...

Since I can remember the English language has fascinated me.
I remember speaking jibberish and pretending it was English, and I think I was nine at the time. When I finally learned English I wasn't very good at it. My mark ended up horrible. Though, I felt that mark was completely wrong somehow. I always felt that English and I belonged, like Monty Python and Spam, like Aragorn and Arwen, like Blackadder and Baldrick, like tea and biscuits...
So when I, as a thirteen year old, visited London the very first time, I had the first revelation of my young life.
I love English!
I love the UK.
And I love the humour of the British.
Imagine getting a strong revelation like that, remember I was thirteen.
I saw Starlight Express, and the guy playing Greasball swept me off my feet. I think that was the first time I fell in love. His name was Drue Williams, and I haven't found him anywhere ever since... wonder what became of him? He was gorgeous I know that much...anyway, I had a major crush on him. This isn't him, by the way... but this is Greaseball... As a writer I understand why I liked Greaseball better than Rusty... Greaseball is a more complex character. He's nasty, but he has a good side, and the good side wins in the end. Rusty's only noble, and that's a bit boring.
My mark improved a bit, but the next summer I visited London again, and this time I saw Startlight Express a second time. I loved it just as much, though Drue had been replaced by another chap that didn't leave that much of an impression.
All this time I felt life was fantastic whenever I visited London, and a shade of grey entered my outlook on life as I left for gloomy home...This is a feeling that remains to this day! Leaving London is hard, but it leaves me a new chance to come back...
And now my mark shot through the roof...where it stayed ever since.
The third time I was in London I once again re-visited the Apollo Victoria Theatre and the cast of Starlight Express... Yeah, I know, I'm like kids, I like the same story over and over. Only this time my friend and I went to the Barbican Theatre to watch a staging of A Winter's Tale. And this was the second turning point in my life. I obviously knew Shakespeare before this, but now I had seen it with my nineteen year old eyes, and felt like I was chosen for something incredible. Plus, Bergerack played the king...
Enough with the history of Silje's life...
I think it is time for one of Much Ado About Nothing's fabulous lists.

Why do I love the UK... And believe me, it's all flattery.

All the fabulous comedy shows I watched growing up. Monty Python's Flying Circus (shown here from their timeless epic The Holy Grail...Run Away!!!),
Not the Nine 'o clock news, Smith and Jones, A bit of Fry and Laurie, Red Dwarf, My Family (the latter was added at a later stage, but I sure do love The Harpers)
 etc. And also finding out the fact that the comedy-people we had in Norway so clearly had mimicked Monty Python, sometimes even literally stolen and just translated the material was a great discovery, there we were thinking our comedians were genius, only to find out Monty Python did it ten years earlier...

In my grown up years I have fallen in love with QI,
Jonathan Creek,
 Live at the Apollo, Comedy Road Show, Russell Howard,
Midsummer Murders (with John Nettles), Dalgliesh (with Roy Marsden), The Palace, Silent Witness. And I must add a guilty pleasure here, I really like Deal or no Deal. I also enjoy New Tricks. And also Life on was brilliant.

You have some the world's best orchestras in London, or in the UK as such. And my favorite is without a doubt The Filharmonia. They play from Royal Festival Hall and is truly a sublime collection of musical talent and soul. I was lucky enough to attend one of their concerts a while back, and it remains to this day the single most significant classical concert I've attended. They played, among other things, Bruckner's 4th Symphony, and it was totally mind blowing and utterly inspiring.

The language... both the written and the spoken. I love British English. You all sound so great. You have the best language in the world, are you aware of this? I love the fact that I am trying to master this, and that I'm learning new things every day. I might have let it slip that I'm a bachelor student of English literature at the opinion might be somewhat clouded by that... Though I was an English nutter before starting my program...

Your literature. I will deal with Shakespeare, Tolkien and Lewis later in this list, but British literature in general has given me so much. J.K. Rowling changed my life as she changed millions of lives.
But the contemporary isn't the only thing exploding in my mind. I think names such as Wordsworth,
 Shelley, Byron, among others, have changed history... Paradise Lost by Milton...Aw, the most beautiful literature in the world comes from the UK.

All the beautiful buildings, churches, theaters, museums, bridges, castles, universities... My favorite from all of these are two significant buildings...
Shakespeare's Globe
and St.Paul's Cathedral.
 They are so magnificent that I'm in tears whenever I'm close.

 C.S. Lewis
and Oxford...
The first time I visited Oxford one of the things greeting me was a blooming jasmine tree as I found my way to The Eagle And Child.
 I felt I was walking in history, breathing history. I spent an entire day sitting below Tolkien's photo at his pub, and for all I know he was sitting right there next to me, inspiring  me.
I felt right at home in Shire-land.

And top three at the moment, and this will probably remain as such for some time...

Doctor Who.
Finding and getting to know The Doctor has been another one of those life changing events for me. I really love the imagination put in to creating such an complex and creative character.
By the way, I do like Matt Smith, but The Doctor to me will always be David Tennant.

I'm actually a bit surprised Will is on second place, but wherever he is I'm sure he'll understand. A writer has to keep his or her muse close. Shakespeare is a part of me whether he's in first or second place... And his powerful words from ancient times continue to inspire, always. Leaving the first place to my muses.

You guys really should be incredibly proud of the fantastic Marillion. They make symphonic beautiful music, and their lyrics are powerful as if Shakespeare had written them himself. Neverland is absolutely's one of the best prog-rock songs I have ever heard.
They represent the Britishness in my heart...five normal chaps creating magic!

Until we meet again! :-)

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