Tuesday, March 11

Balls Up

England survives a bona fide hurricane that rolls across our island last night - these Brits twitter about their weather, a favorite subject no matter the calamity. On calamity, tomorrow Alistair Darling releases his first budget and we anticipate the so-called non-dom-tax which could cost some of us thirty-grand a year to live here. A real fall-out is the departure of friends and talent plus the message Britain sends to the world's young and motivated: "we don't want you fuck off." While this has always been the quiet attitude, the trade-off has netted jobs and increased living standards - recall England had to borrow from the IMF as recently as 1981. Before us ex-pats in the '90s England was on her knees; with the Americans and others, standards for professional services became world class leaving many of the lunchtime-pint drinking-blue bloods in the dust (so long BZW, Kleinworts, Natwest.. . .). Any case, it is clear London changes from tomorrow.

Here are some favorite often-used words:
balls-up - error, mistake
bog standard - plain vanilla, completely average, no distinguishing feature
butty - a buttered sandwich, often with chips, eaten at breakfast
gobsmacked - utterly astonished, openmouthed
manky - feeling ill, rough, out of sorts; filthy, dirty, rotten

nosy parker - a busybody
paki - Pakistan