Today is Thanksgiving... if you live in America. For those of us in the UK, it was just another regular old school day/work day. Yesterday evening I went to the grocery store for a few items and it was blissfully calm. There were no folks dashing down the aisles in search of Karo, pecans, cans of cranberries, a spiral ham or those tasty fried onion rings you sprinkle on top of a green bean casserole. It was all business as usual, which was so very unusual when Americans like me realized it was the day before Thanksgiving.
So how did we spend Thanksgiving? We got the girls off to school and then headed into London to St. Paul's Cathedral. Every year they have an 11:00 service of Thanksgiving for Americans in the London area. We had been told by another expat that we should take the girls out of school for it. However, I knew the younger one would be bored to tears while the older one would complain about having to make up the two tests scheduled for today in Spanish and environmental science.
It was a very nice service, with the American ambassador to England giving a little speech before the sermon that was led by a pastor from the American church in London. I knew the pastor was gonna do a good job at speechifying when he mentioned that southerners made some of the tastiest Thanksgiving birds since they deep fried them. That got a chuckle out of the crowd.
One thing I wasn't expecting this morning was the sight as we rounded the corner of the cathedral...
What a bunch of copycats. Barq's Root Beer and Velveeta Cheese can't jump the pond, but the Occupy movement can? There's definitely something wrong with that little scenario. The occupy folks didn't seem too busy today, though I don't think they really know what their role is at this time. I heard recently that some surveillance was done in the occupy zone using high tech heat detecting instruments and that only about 1/3 of the tents were occupied at night. I guess some of them got tired of sleeping on the hard ground in the cold and took their protesting selves home every evening for a good night's sleep. So quit your ranting and raving about corporate America, those same companies that make all of the niceties and conveniences which make your life very comfortable.
And what did we have for Thanksgiving dinner? Gourmet Burger Kitchen! The husband and I had contemplated a "nice" lunch in the city, but then I felt guilty about not including the girls and suggested we just get a snack and wait for them to get home from school. That way we could all sit down for a family meal at our favorite local Italian restaurant. My dreams of mushroom risotto and prosecco were squashed when my darling little varmints rolled off the bus just starving and wanted to eat right then. My Italian restaurant doesn't open for dinner until 6:00 pm and the girls assured us they would expire well before that. So yeah, it wasn't traditional but I guess at least it was a very American meal... burgers and fries.
No Macy's parade, no football games, no delicious cornbread dressing made by my mother or tasty pumpkin pies made by my mother-in-law. But then again... no crazed cleaning, last minute prep work and massive clean up. Maybe we're on to something here.