Hi, my name is Tina and I'm an anglophile.
(Hi, Tina)

What's an anglophile?

: ˈaNGgləˌfīl/
noun: Anglophile; plural noun: Anglophiles 
 - a person who is fond of or greatly admires England or Britain.

So, basically, it means, I LOVE pretty much everything British. 

For. Serious. 

I think my love for Britain and British culture started with literature. I've always been a reader, but somewhere around the 7th or 8th grade, I was introduced to British Literature via "Jane Eyre." Prior to that, I'd been a Judy Blume and Laura Ingalls Wilder girl, but Ms. Bronte's "Jane Eyre" changed everything. 

However, my love affair with all things British didn't really kick into overdrive until after I watched "Pride & Prejudice" for the first time. The language, the turn of phrase, and even the buffoonery enchanted me. I then proceeded to watch P&P six more times over the next two days...and not the short, stupid, poorly acted version with Keira Knightly...I'm talking the full 6 hour masterpiece that is the BBC/A&E version which features Colin Firth as the restrained-yet-passionate Mr. Darcy and Jennifer Ehle as the delightfully forthright Elizabeth Bennett. 

So...that's real commitment. 

Pardon me while I take the mandatory 30 seconds for my Darcy-induced heart palpitations to stop.

Ok, back.

From that point on, my love for all things British has just grown and grown.
Later, I discovered comedic gems like, Monty Python and the Holy Grail...and began quoting it often. 

"It's a very silly place!"
"Go away or I shall taunt you a second time!"
"It's only a flesh wound."
"None shall pass!"
"Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

Whose Line is it Anyway? Some of you may have heard of it, because, like "The Office" this show was copied and reproduced for American TV, but like most things, the British version is way better. It is a mad cap improv game show type thing, but the comedians are the contestants. The host, Clive Anderson, is as buttoned up as you'd expect someone named "Clive" to be. He is the straight man that keeps the show from descending into utter chaos, yet without completely removing the "anything can happen" vibe.

As an added bonus, the show features two Canadians, and everyone knows Canadians are second only to Brits on the "Cooler than Americans" scale. They are followed by the French, Australians and Jamaicans, in case you were wondering.

Absolutely Fabulous...it's name says it all. It is also absolutely ridiculous in the most British, and at times awkward of ways. 

Miranda, which, full disclosure, I discovered only recently by way of "Call the Midwife". Miranda is Miranda Hart, a comedienne, who as it turns out is also a great actress, period, and plays my favorite character, Chummy, on "Call the Midwife." She. Is. Hysterical. I "litrally" (#britishpronounciation) belly laugh during every single episode...which I may or may not have watched 3.7 times each...so far.

Then, naturally, my love affair with British TV inevitably led me to the show that is the butter to my bread, the cream in my coffee, the Jay Z to my Beyonce...Doctor Who. Now, for those of you who have no clue what I'm talking about or are picturing some geezer battling really 70's-esque, Sid & Marty Krofft-type alien puppets, let me share a bit of world rocking news...

There was a modern reboot of Doctor Who and...it...is...awesome! The Doctors are typically younger, hipper, and generally more attractive than the original set of Doctors.

And, they're sassier, too.
Other shows worth mentioning while we are on the subject of British TV: Broadchurch, Sherlock, Midsomer Murders, Merlin, Lark Rise to Candleford, Top Gear, IT Crowd, and, of course, Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey.

Britain also does some pretty amazing mini-series. I've already mentioned "Pride & Prejudice", which then led me to "Wives and Daughters", "North and South" (not the Civil War movie), and "Bleak House". All excellent and all emotionally gutting, if you're into that sort of thing.

One of the reasons I think I enjoy British television and movies so much, besides the fact that most are far better written and far wittier than anything America has to offer, is the accents. Even the most cockney, unintelligible character sounds infinitely smarter than Americans. A Brit can read a gangster rap song and make it sound like a great work of literature...they're that good.

In addition to the accent, they just seem to handle the language more deftly than Americans, which I suppose comes from living in the land where the language originated. Even the regional slang that makes no sense to those of us stuck Stateside sounds like something out of Dickens.  

In comparison, the average American sounds like they read the Cliff's Notes on "How to Speak English Good" or as if they are working from a bad translation.

If you're like me and can listen to British accents all day, here are two other videos with accents. These two each feature one person imitating all of the accents and dialects found throughout the UK. One is funny and one is not, but they are both enjoyable. I may or may not have watched each of them 10 times in a row...so far.

An anglophile's resume would not be complete if it didn't include enjoying a good "cuppa" now and again, which I do. For a while there, I had "tea" at around 3 or 4pm every day, which consisted of a cup of tea steeped in a single serve tea pot on my desk and a few dainty cookies (or biscuits as they'd be called in the UK).

One thing you will learn if you ever attempt to explore British culture is, there are very strong opinions about how to make a proper cup of tea. Seriously. Books have been written on the subject. Most Brits will generally agree that the right way is "milk first." Which means, you take your cup, pour in the desired amount of milk (actual milk, not cream or half & half) and then plop in your tea bag, followed by your boiling water. However, I found the following video on YouTube which is as impressive as it is inclusive and interactive. Check it out...

There is one area of British culture that I've yet to work up the courage to explore and that is: British Food. Being from New Orleans, I have strong opinions about food and being American, I have an inherent snobbishness (read: fear) when it comes to things that are different (read: weird). And, there's not much "weirder" than the contrast between American food and British food. 

Maybe one day...

Our local World Market has started carrying a lot of British imports, including Spotted Dick...in a can. Soggy cake. In a can. #shudder

On second thought, some things are best left to the imagination (read: nightmares) or, until I can try the real deal in the UK.