For the Love of British Expressions

As we walked home from school today, I was considering all the phrases that I have come to love since arriving. Some of them I have to adopt, despite being American. My thoughts were interrupted by Quinton in the stroller as we arrived to our swishy-swashy grass at the church tower. "Mommy, this is the world!" he proclaimed with voice and body in his very outside voice. "Yes, Q-Q, this is the world." "It has Quintons, and mommies, and brothers, and houses, and grass, and castles....." the list went on. Then as an afterthought, "This is London, right Mommy?" "Yes, love, this is London." It was like he was pondering a whole new concept and I had the privilege of being there for it. Sometimes I need to just eat him up. Aahhhh, the stuff of life, as I like to say. But back to my favorite phrases. One I learned just today from Paula, a favorite mum of mine who has all this energy and joy, always laughing and never taking anything too seriously. She said as we walked into the school that the Irish (OK, so I guess this is not an official British expression) would call the weather a "soft morning." How lovely is that? The morning was moderate temperatures, completely cloudy, and sort of misty - but not quite raining. We would probably say "drizzly" or "gray" - something rather depressing. But a "soft morning." I love it.

Annie, another mum friend was describing a sweet little hand-knitted stuff elephant needing a wash because it was a "bit rank." I had to laugh out loud. In The States something rank would be so over the top nasty, certainly never "a bit" and definitely not to describe an adorable little elephant toy. I think when Elliot and Quinton need a bath now I'm going to have to call them a bit rank (British accent included), just for fun.

And finally, my favorite of all favorite expressions so far (and there are too many good ones) - "having a lie in." One of my most desired activities - sleeping in. But "sleeping in" sounds lazy, sort of over-indulgent like it can and should be interrupted. But a "lie in" - oh no - this is an event! It is deserved, formal, never to be interrupted! "Quinton, you can't go in by Mommy, she's having a lie in." Oh how I love that! I expect many of them in my future. Perhaps tomorrow.