The Horseshoe English and American Bar, 1 Bould Denain near the Gard du Nord by Louis Abel-Truchet, 1857-1918 on file with the Library of Congress.

I grew up in Pennsylvania, but I possessed that Masterpiece Theatre romanticism that a lot of Americans have about Old Blighty and dreamed of living in the U.K.. Well, I had to dream about something while eating all that snack food and listening to Duran Duran. Regardless, dreams came true when I was stationed there for four years during my stint in the Air Force from 1992 to 1996. In the process, I gained a more realistic view of the culture. (Imagine the look of horror on my face upon the purchase of my first English sandwich…chicken salad: a thin piece of chicken, a limp piece of lettuce, a flavorless slice of tomato the circumference of a golf ball, no condiments, on bread made from sawdust.) Despite subsisting on minimal ice cubes and paltry cuts of meat, I gleaned many good things from living in the U.K., like the joy of a proper cup of tea and good television comedy. (Note to the Americans: Benny Hill and Keeping Up Appearances are not considered good television comedy. Stop saying they are. It’s embarrassing.)

To cut a long story short, after fast forwarding through twists and turns and life’s changes, I met, fell in love with, and married a self-proclaimed failed Englishman in the United States…a man who had no desire to go back to his island of origin but who loved me because I knew how to make said proper cup of tea. I also actually listened to what he said and didn’t swoon over his accent. Thus, we started a life together, which brings me to here.

Even though I live in the suburbs of Chicago, my world is British-American. My daughter can hold two passports. I have access to both kinds of Milky Way bars. But even more so, this blending affects how I think, how I live, what I eat, and what I do, and I thought I would share this with those who are interested. This isn’t a blog to advocate for one nation over the other overall. Both sides have their quirks, faults, and peccadillos, and I will be throwing slings and arrows accordingly. But each one also has qualities that I love, and I want to celebrate them too.

Now I will be making references to my family from time-to-time, but I want to maintain their privacy, so without further adieu:

The Cast of Characters

The Boffin (American translation: The Geek/Nerd): My husband…chemical engineer/business wonk by day, project monger by night, off-and-on annoying git the rest of the time, but the best man a girl can spend her life with.

The Sprog (American translation: The Kid): Our daughter…an offshoot sporting a permanent Totoro hat on her head, as opposed to her elbow. 10 years of fun, creativity, and smarts in an adorable package.

The Fluffball: The cat of very little brain who opens doors with her head and has licked her hind quarters bald. Demands strokes by beating you and looking cute.

I realize The Fluffball does not care about her online privacy, but my OCD just needs to keep things neat this way. My mental illness does not fall into personifying cats…yet.

My hope is that you get a rudimentary level of entertainment from reading the entries and perhaps learn a little along the way. My standards and expectations are low, but perhaps that’s where the common ground lies.

Happy reading!

Karen Nehilla

Oh, I need to add one more thing.  All work on this site is copyrighted and cannot be reprinted without express consent of me.  It doesn’t hurt to ask.

33 thoughts on “About

  1. I’m an American living in Cornwall. Couldn’t agree more about not taking sides in the which-nation-is-better contest. Or about that sandwich. But the tea? Yeah, it’s great.


  2. Hi Karen! I followed you home from Gibber Jabber! I too am in the Chicago Suburbs! It’s nice to meet you! I can’t wait to look around a bit!


  3. No nickname for Karen? Hello from Carol, the American half of a mixed marriage. Himself loves my country and we’ve just spent 10 years there. I love his country, a little bit influenced by our kids here in the UK.
    I’m enjoying your perspective on tea, sandwiches and comedy.
    See you again soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Carol! Welcome! Since I am the owner/proprietor of this place, I decided that I just gotta be me. The Boffin can nickname me on his own blog, if he wants.

      A mixed marriage. That’s one way of putting it. A mixed-up marriage is another way, especially in the beginning when you are figuring out each other’s foibles. But it’s all good. I hope you enjoy it here. Sometimes I’m serious. Sometimes I’m flippant. But I am always sincere.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for finding my blog. I lived the British American life as my wife was British, and she was naturally the boss. I was sent to England by the Air Force–RAF Lakenheath.– where I met her, where I lived the American-British life, sort of, with support from the BX and commissary. for a number of years. I keep up with the slang now watching “Corrie” on Hulu Plus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome, Greg! Your post is making me smile.

      I am a USAF veteran too and spent 4 years at RAF Mildenhall. I met the Boffin when I came back to the States and sealed the deal because I knew how to make a proper cup of tea.

      I would say there is no “sort of” about it. You lived the American-British life.

      Miss being stuck behind the carrot trucks on the roads?


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