Our American Accents Are Starting to Sound Weird to Us.
We arrived in Dublin, Ireland at the end of August, played at a most awesome wedding in the middle of the country, did a couple of shows north and south, and hung out on the southwest coast until our flight to London, a week and change later. Highlights from the UK side so far include a slot at the coolest, remotest and Scottishest festival on an island with only six ferry trips per week; a co-bill with our California popster friends, the Corner Laughers (along with our brand-new friends, Fun of the Pier); a surprise rendezvous with our Finnish folk friends, Vellamo; and our rented Citroen, which is big enough to hold a lifetime supply of steak and kidney pie and gets over 50 mpg on our beloved diesel.
We're finally in the final month of our 2016 Double-Crossing the Pond Tour of the British Isles, and, as usual, happy and sad to return stateside on the 25th. Here are a few of our favorite things about the UK that make us happy:
- Public footpaths. Zillions of these criss-cross this beautiful country and exist for pedestrians only. Footpaths zip through public and private property and are the best things in the world. Scotland has a right to roam, meaning you can go pretty well anywhere, assuming you know where you're going.
- The National Trust. You get a membership and you can visit the most glamorous houses, castles and gardens as if you were born into it.
- Politeness. In a crowded country, this social lubricant lets people slide past one another without harsh words or gunplay.
- Savory pies. Not limited to chicken pot. Steak and kidney, duck and gooseberry, goose and beefeater--if you can combine them, you can have them in a pie.
- Sausages. Forget mild and spicy Italian. Cumberland, Lincolnshire, Gloucester, Shoreditch--if you can locate it, you can have it as a sausage.
- Supermarkets. Like going to a fancy restaurant, except everything's refrigerated and boxed up. Just throw it in the roaster. And they call cookies biscuits. They have more, and they're better.
- Beer. Nothing can match a good British cask ale served in a good pub.
- Coffee. Only the good stuff.
Roundabouts. Without these, every car in Great Britain would crash into every other car.
Here are a few of our favorite things about the UK that make us sad:
- Crowds. It's a small country with a lot of people. See politeness, above.
- Tiny parking spaces. Apparently designed for lawn tractors, they're next to impossible to enter without a ten-point turn, cursing, and dinging your neighbor's door.
- Toilets. They use 2,000 gallons per flush and still manage to leave a mess behind.
- No drinking water. Water fountains are practically unknown, and restaurants won't give it to you unless you ask nicely.
- Coffee. No cheap, bottomless cup of joe here. You pay for every gulp.
- Thinking while driving. If the road looks too narrow for two motor vehicles to cross each other, it is. On all regular roads, be ready to duck into a passing place, which may be between two parked cars or someone's driveway, to avoid sideswiping that lorry, bus, taxi or bicycle.
- Sending money home. Without a British bank account, it's exceedingly hard to pay bills in the US from income earned in the UK without being charged a king's ransom in fees. We've figured out many things about touring over here, but not this.
- Corn. Not taken seriously as actual food. You find bits of it lurking in tuna salad or perhaps on a pizza, but not much else.
- Roundabouts. They draw a dot in the middle of a tiny intersection, and that's supposed to be a roundabout. No one seems to know what to do with them.
Frustrated because you can't be in our home state of Vermont this year to see the incredible fall foliage? Visit Hungrytown.net or Facebook.com/hungrytown and you'll see that we can't be there either, if that's any help.
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PLEASE SEE OUR CONCERT CALENDAR FOR THE NEXT FIVE WEEKS BELOW. SEE OUR ONLINE CALENDAR FOR MORE COMPLETE AND UPDATED INFORMATION.
Friday, 7 October, 8:00 PM (doors: 7:45)
Ulverston Live Music
Ulverston Sports Club
Ulverston, CMA LA12 9HT
+44 (0)7749 827488
Saturday, 8 October, 8:00 PM
The Green Man Gallery
South Buxton, DBY SK17 6PY
+44 (0)1298 937375
Tickets: Tickets £10. Our friend, the most superb Jonathan Beckett, opens.
Monday, 10 October, 2:00 PM
Nicola Gilroy Show
BBC Radio Lincolnshire
9:00 AM EDT. Click on "Listen Live" here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radiolincolnshire.
Monday, 10 October, 8:00 PM
Boston Folk Club
144 West Street
Boston, LIN PE21 8RE
+44 (0)1205 361116
Wednesday, 12 October, 12:30 PM
Lunchtime Recital Series
Parish Church of St. Luke Sevenoaks
St Luke’s House, 30 Eardley Road
Sevenoaks, KEN TN13 1XT
Wednesday, 12 October, 8:30 PM
32 London Road
Sevenoaks, KEN TN13 1AS
Friday, 14 October, 8:00 PM
AIRinG Presents Hungrytown
Clifford's Mesne Village Hall
Mesne, Newent, GLS GL18 1JN
+44 (0)1531 821654
Tickets: £10 (under 18, £5). Sponsored by Arts in Rural Gloucestershire.
Saturday, 15 October, 8:00 PM
AIRinG Presents Hungrytown
Oxenhall Parish Hall
Kempley Road, Newent, GLS GL18 1RN
+44 (0)1531 821354
Tickets: £12 (light refreshments included). Sponsored by Arts in Rural Gloucestershire.
Friday, 21 October, 8:00 PM
Valley Folk Club
The Ivy Bush Hotel
103 High Street
Pontardawe, WGM SA8 4JN
+44 (0)1792 425231
Wednesday, November 2, 5:30 PM
New Haven Free Public Library
133 Elm St.
New Haven, CT 06510
Thursday, November 3, 7:00 PM
East Granby Public Library
24 Center St.
East Granby, CT 06026
Saturday, November 5, 2:00 PM
Port Jefferson Free Library
100 Thompson St.
Port Jefferson, NY 11777
Tickets: Free. Suzanne Mueller accompanies us on cello.
Sunday, November 6, 2:00 PM
Norwell Public Library
64 South St.
Norwell, MA 02061
Tickets: Free. Sponsored by the Norwell Public Library.
Think you can get rid of us that easily? Think again--way more shows here.