New Nonfiction (with commentary): 28 March 2016
Link: Review of the new book "Empire of Things."

Eye candy for Anglophiles: "British Stuff: Life in Britain through 101 Everyday Objects."

So I've pretty much given myself over to just pretending I'm British. Yesterday I was writing something about colors and I almost wrote colours. Today I told a friend I had to go to the piddly diddly department.*

British stuffSo of course when I see books in the library like British Stuff: Life in Britain through 101 Everyday Objects, I have to immediately take them home and read them. I LOVED this one--beautiful photos and just enough text to impart good information while still making it a quick (and fun) read. And yes, I'm totally pathetic and prided myself on how many of these objects I already knew about. Sad that my self-confidence is tied up not with keeping a tidy home or making awesome craft projects with the CRjrs, but rather with how many British things I can identify on sight.

Here's a particularly fun entry, for the simple "Garden shed":

"A shed is usually a simple, single-storey structure in a back garden or on an allotment which is generally used for storage, for hobbies or as a workshop. Of course sheds exist all over the world, but in Britain the shed has particular cultural significance. It is where British people, especially men, retreat to, in order to 'potter,' to escape, to 'do stuff.'

It is their refuge from the rest of the world, a place where they can dismantle a motorbike without having to suffer the abuse they might otherwise earn if they carried out the same task on the kitchen table. In exceptional circumstances the shed may also be used to sleep in if their owners have locked themselves out after a night at the pub. And whilst it may still be men who most often seek refuge in their shed, increasingly women are also enjoying their own space there."

I'm totally going to build a backyard shed to be my refuge. I will go there and pretend I'm British, and I will tell Mr. CR, "I am going to my shed. Kindly do not bother me whilst I am there. I will be back in when I need to go to the piddly diddly department."

It's a great book. Do humour me and go and read it.

*Meaning the bathroom, of course--you would totally know that if you had read Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicolson books like I told you to.