Sherlock clears his throat and widens his stance. The Belstaff hides the evidence, as it were, and he feels the heavy weight between his legs with a uniquely curious awareness, as though he’d been caught nicking sweets and is now forced to empty his pockets in public.
To the beloved queen of the Harry Potter Universe:
Let me begin by first thanking you for being an inspiration to your millions (if not billions) of readers. Your writing has touched souls across the world, perhaps even saved lives. You have captured the essence of what it means to be human: to have a little bit of light and dark in every one of us. And while we might begin a little biased towards one side or another, it is ultimately our choices and the power of love that define us. We choose who we become, and you have single-handedly whispered that powerful truth into the minds and hearts of countless strangers you will likely never meet. I am one of them, for your universe is truly magical.
But with such accomplishments in mind, I’d like to ask you one thing.
I don’t mean stop writing, forever, because that would cruelly deprive the world of the continuation of your magic that you still have so much to give. But I’d like you to take a step back, stop, and breathe.
As I am loathe to do on sleepless nights, I turned to the newest update on Pottermore, excited to immerse myself again in the Potter-universe, but with a distinctly American twist. Ilvermorny, an intriguing name, seemed a promising treasure trove of new secrets to discover.
The possibilities were endless - the spoilers about the house names seemed to point towards Native American folklore. Would we learn about the magical traditions of the Cherokee or the Apache? Perhaps they would open up a whole new world of creating magic – without the European influence of wands, perhaps their magic would be channeled through sacred stones that had been carefully carved and treated. How could they cast spells through their ritual song and dance? How might they view “No-Majs” differently from European cultural norms? What if instead of disdain, they held the utmost respect for non-magicals – for those people had to be the most imaginative to invent ways to go about their daily lives where magic could not ease their paths?
But while well-written and certainly heart-tugging, I was simply left with another sour-cream-white traumatic orphan sob story (not to trivialize whites, orphans, or tragedies that numerous people face) that was eerily reminiscent to Harry’s orphaned past and defeat of a dark wizard through the power of love.
And I get it, Jo. It’s a theme with you – that despite the thousands of obstacles people face, love and tenacity conquer all.
But why couldn’t we have had wandless healing, channeled through song, dance, and herbology? Why couldn’t we have learned how to identify the magic thrumming in the soil, stones, trees, and animals around us? Why couldn’t we have learned how the Native Americans sought balance in dark and light magic, and performed magic that no European had ever encountered before?
Why couldn’t we have had a narrative about the European colonization of the Americas, where Native Americans had to run to the most isolated parts of the continent, ward their homes with heavy enchantments, and struggle to brew new potions to battle the horrible, foreign, diseases that came with it? Why couldn’t we have seen a population learn from each school of magic, mixing in perfect harmony? Classes could include Transfiguration, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Charms, and Herbology, but with Amulet Creation, Harmonic Healing, Ritual Spell-casting, and Elemental Charms?
Let’s have an openly LGBTQ+ character, not a closeted Dumbledore that is only confirmed after publication and book sales. Let’s investigate the Native American gender and sexuality identities - take a new perspective on what it means to be human. Let’s deal with income inequality in a whole new light - two friends from opposing worlds who constantly find themselves reevaluating what they know to be true. Add some more strong female characters - I want to feel the subtle condescension, passive aggressiveness, and glass ceilings as we watch them struggle through their careers. Let’s see the post traumatic stress of the entire generation that fought a war as children. Let’s have canon (confirmed before, not after the fact), strong, and compelling people of color in your writing, where the characters’ names aren’t two surnames (Cho Chang… really?) and as dimensional as the sad pancake on which someone sat.
When you write your next installments about the other schools in Brazil, in Africa, in Japan, I want you to do some serious research. I want you to try, at least try, to understand and explore the cultural beauty that you’ve allowed yourself the freedom to pioneer. I want to hear about family, not blood-prejudice in Japan, and how honor and a history of ancestors in warring states still hold onto that enmity today. I want you to detail the families that were ripped apart in Africa by the slave trade, and the inventive magical ways that different tribes avoided detection. I want to see the conflict between magic and the religion that Portuguese colonists began to impose on the indigenous people in Brazil, and how somehow they were able to reconcile that religious-magical barrier. I want you to treat each culture with respect instead of white-washing, and even if you don’t get it quite right and you come under fire, you will know in your heart that you tried to understand and that you will learn so much more from what people say is different to your outlook.
You deal with so much prejudice in your books, in gruesome detail outlining the harm it causes to all. Unintentionally or no, are you really doing much better when you maintain the same, incredibly British storyline and try to apply it to other places?
Perhaps this is harsh of me. Perhaps this perfect cultural melting pot is too idealistically American of me, as it will never be the same to tell a story that you have not experienced yourself. But instead of more of the same, why can’t you try?
Stretch yourself, Ms. Rowling. I want you to challenge the world you created, for there is so much possibility and so much room to grow. I want you to challenge your own rules, explore and pioneer and learn because that’s another fundamental truth that Hermione Granger not only knows, but epitomizes. You’ve become too comfortable in your own universe, writing installments that are really just repurposed storylines with characters of different names. Instead of wasting your time taking swipes at Donald Trump on Twitter, grow your universe. It’s time to upend it, throw it in the wash, and look at it again with a new perspective.
So please stop. Why don’t you stop writing for a little bit, and try listening? There are so many interesting and different stories for you to tell.
Viking Barrel Lock and Key, Jorvik, York, 20.5.17. The intricate and highly decorated lock and key would have been a valuable item for a Viking of wealth and of high value in itself. The decorated sides of the barrel are highly intricate and display a high level of crafting.
had started as a conversation. Just a bit of talk among friends.
had been watching some Olympics fail highlights on YouTube, because everyone needs
a laugh, right? Kitty had suggested they watch it, to cheer the team up. It
had, and the whole team was in tears within the first five minutes.
was very fond of the gymnast fails, mostly because it made him think of the
times when he practiced in the circus—back when he was all flailing limbs and
an uncontrollable tail, and had a hard time getting some tricks down.
mentioned this to Kitty, trying to be quiet as the others continued watching, but
Rachel had heard him.
thought you were perfect at the whole acrobat thing?” she’d asked with a cock
of her eyebrow.
puffed out his chest in mock-arrogance. “You think so little of me? I am perfect at the whole acrobat thing,” he crowed.
huffed, crossing his arms. With a smirk, he said, “Shame you can’t show off your
perfect-ness at the Olympics.”
grinned. “Yes! You would be brilliant!”
shrugged sheepishly. “I don’t think they’d allow me to participate.”
be good, though,” Kitty pointed out. “Your physical abilities aren’t a part of
your mutation, so it wouldn’t be cheating.”
allowed his tail to slap against her leg. “But most athletes don’t have an
extra limb, and would probably see this as an insult, if not an advantage for
scoffed. “If you don’t use it, then what’s the problem?”
Kitty argued. “The only problem I’d see is your looks, but when has that ever
stopped you, Fuzzy?”
didn’t answer. The conversation shifted to other possible Olympic-level
athletes among the old X-Men, or even among themselves. Eventually, it devolved
into who would be the funniest to watch fail when they tried to compete, or who
would win ironically. Kurt didn’t participate, his mind still stuck on the
Could he compete in the Olympics?
few days later, Kitty phased into the kitchen for some breakfast. Brian was
already getting his morning coffee, and Meggan was sitting at the kitchen table
eating cereal. Rachel was currently occupying the bathroom (because cheese and crackers that girl took
longer than Kitty in there!).
Kurt?” Kitty asked, pouring herself a bowl of cereal.
shrugged, yawning. “Don’t know. I usually hear him romping ‘round in the early
hours, but seems he decided to take the day off today. Haven’t slept in this
late since before we formed the team!”
said this jokingly, so Kitty rolled her eyes. “Yeah, okay. But still…Has
someone checked on him recently?”
sure he’s fine,” Meggan said. “I believe everyone is entitled to a lazy day,
appeared out of nowhere and gulped down half of Kitty’s cereal before she could
answer. Kitty shrieked, “Lockheed, no! Bad dragon!”
shooed the tiny reptile away, forgetting about Kurt.
wasn’t until the morning had turned into afternoon that the rest of Excalibur
shared Kitty’s concerns. Kurt had still not come down from his room, and had
not made even a peep.
not sensing any distress,” Rachel said when Kitty confronted her. “But, then
again…I’m not picking up on Kurt at all. Either he’s blocking me, or he’s out
of the lighthouse.”
nodded. “Alright, but wouldn’t he leave a note or something? Or maybe tell us
he was going somewhere at all?”
shrugged. “Maybe he’s got a hot date and doesn’t want to spoil the alone time?
C’mon, Kitty—let him have a day off to do whatever it is Kurt wants to do.”
didn’t let it go. She decided to phase into Kurt’s room to look for some sort
of sign. The room was clean, with no signs of struggle. A note had been placed
on his bed. Kitty read it.
Don’t worry, I’m in no trouble. I went home to
Germany to settle a few things. Nothing serious, just paperwork and
circus-family visits. Be back in a week or so. If I need you, I’ll call. If you
need me, just call Amanda. She knows how to get a hold of me.
PS: I’m assuming Kitty phased to get into my
room to read this note. Shame on you,
snorted in laughter. “Fuzzy, how could you know?” She shrugged. “Oh well. I
guess we can handle things without Kurt for a few days.”
phased out of the room to show everyone the note. Everyone seemed to reach the
same conclusion: If Kurt was needed, he’d come.
wasn’t a surprise when, a week and a half later, Kurt returned. However, he
seemed rather stressed. There were small bags under his eyes, and his shoulders
looked burdened with an invisible weight. He was dragging his feet up the
all right, Fuzzy?” Kitty asked gently.
Kurt said in a strained voice. “It’s been a trying week, and…let’s just say I
have a lot more to deal with than I originally thought.”
gave her a small, tired smile. “Nothing you need to worry about, Kätchen. Now, if you don’t mind, I
believe I need a nice, long nap…”
shut his door softly behind him, which Kitty was grateful for. Had he slammed
it shut, it would have been alarming. As it was, Kitty realized her friend was
just tired, and any questions about his week would have to wait until the next
was back to normal the next day. He smiled brightly, had a spring in his step,
and seemed to have no cares in the world.
blinded by such a 180 turnaround, forgot to ask him what had so troubled him
the day before. Of course, when a call came for Excalibur to handle a situation
involving a kidnapped Queen, all questions concerning Nightcrawler’s week in
Germany went out the window.
weeks later, Captain Britain was collecting the mail that had piled up in their
mailbox. It was still early in the day, so he walked into the kitchen for an
Bill, bill, bill, letter of appreciation, angry
note…hmm? Brian squinted at the
letter at the bottom of the pile in his hands. It was addressed to Kurt, from
the Germany Olympics Registration Committee.
Why would they contact Kurt? Unless… Brian thought back to when they had joked that
Kurt should be in the Olympics. No…He
huge grin was plastered on his face by the time Kurt had teleported into the
kitchen. The blue mutant muttered a tired greeting and poured some coffee into
his Batman mug.
he’d gotten a sip, Kurt eyed Brian suspiciously. “What?” he asked. “Is there
something in my hair? Did Kitty dye my face fur again?”
pushed the letter towards his friend. “I believe you got something interesting
in the mail today.”
took maybe two seconds before he registered what the letter was. He hastily
grabbed it and teleported away, only to reappear a few moments later, the
letter no longer in his grasp.
saw nothing,” he growled.
chuckled. “I saw plenty. Planning on competing, eh?”
shushed him. “Not so loud! I want to surprise Kitty and Rachel. I was planning
on surprising everyone, really, but…”
was that them saying you made it onto the team?”
shook his head. “Remember when I vent to Germany a few weeks back? Well…I was
pleading my case to compete. It was met with…an unenthusiastic response, to say
the least. I had to go through so much paperwork, write up exactly why my
physical mutations—tail aside—would not give me any advantage in competition, what I would do with my tail. Trying to keep it all swept under the rug was a
nightmare in itself. Press got curious every once in a while and started
sniffing around when they saw me.”
didn’t you just try out here?” Brian asked. “England knows you, and we’d
shook his head. “I’m a German national. I don’t even have an American citizenship, much less one for
Great Britain. The fact that I’m on a visa only means I’d be disqualified.”
nodded, thoughtful. “I understand. So, how did it go?”
sighed. “I could only do things personally to a certain point. The rest was up
to my lawyer und Amanda—I entrusted
her to fight for me since I needed to return.”
teleported away and back again. He held the letter with shaking hands. “This
should tell me if…if I’m allowed to register and try out for the team.”
open it before the girls get down here, blast it! You’ve got me all excited
alright!” Kurt used his tail to open the envelope. He pulled out the letter and
read its contents.
Brian shifted in his seat. “What’s it say, Wagner?”
face erupted into a huge grin. All of his fangs glinted in the soft kitchen
light. “I’m allowed to try out!”
cheered and clapped. “Congratulations, Kurt!”
says I have until the end of next month to get back to Germany and try out in
front of the coaches and board members. I’m not allowed to use my tail or
wall-climbing abilities, and they understand that my acrobatic ability does not
come from my mutation. If they like what they see, I can fill out the forms and
set up a training schedule!”
stood up and patted Kurt on the back. “You’ll make it, Kurt. And when you do,
just know that Excalibur will be cheering you on the whole way!”
“But what about my duties to Excalibur?”
I wanted to try out to be a personal guard to the Queen for a few months, you all would
encourage me to do it, regardless of my hero duties. If we run into some major
trouble, you can be sure we’ll call you immediately.”
smiled. “Thank you, Brian. It means a lot that you all would support me…”
step of the way, my friend. Now, are we still going to keep this a secret from
the ladies or just Kitty and Meggan? Because I’m pretty sure Rachel just picked
up on our excitement.”
out, Rachel had picked up on the
excitement. Kurt instantly pulled her aside and happily told her what had
happened. She hugged him so hard he thought his spine would break.
was a little skeptical about keeping Kitty and Meggan out of the loop, but once
Kurt explained it a little more, Rachel was on board. She also volunteered to
watch Kurt’s try-out practices, giving outsider tips and pointing out his
between the crime fighting and the hours of preparations, Kurt crashed into his
bed—barely—totally exhausted. He also had to keep making excuses for Kitty,
since she wanted to hang out with him, too.
Don’t act suspiciously, he repeated to himself. Don’t act suspiciously. Don’t act suspiciously!
were a couple of close calls when Kitty had caught him working out his routine,
but Rachel had quickly made excuses for him. Lockheed hadn’t been impressed—Sometimes I wonder if that dragon knows too
much, Kurt thought as the little lizard narrowed his eyes at Rachel and
in the middle of the next month, Kurt packed his bags and went to Germany. No
one went with him, at his insistence. Good or bad, he’d bring the news back on
safe,” Rachel said when they hugged good-bye.
luck,” Brian encouraged.
and Kitty, oblivious to Kurt’s plan, merely smiled and gave him heartfelt
days later, Excalibur—sans Nightcrawler—was taking a night off, enjoying a walk
through London and exploring the sights. Autographs were signed, selfies were
taken, a few minor crimes were stopped, and a revelation was made.
were passing by one of the TV shops when a news flash erupted onto every screen
in the window. Meggan saw it first and squealed in surprise, gaining everyone’s
“Reports say that a huge legal battle has been
ensuing for the past few months,” the news lady said. “The
committee agreed to allow Mr. Wagner to try out, as long as he did not use his
Wagner,” Kitty repeated. “As in…?”
picture of Kurt, in mid-jump during a circus performance, flashed behind the
reporter. “Kurt Wagner has been known as
many things, mostly associated with the X-Men and, more recently, the British
team Excalibur. He grew up as a trapeze artist in the circus in Bavaria, which
led to his request to join the German Olympics team.”
Kitty shrieked. “What did she just say?”
and Rachel shushed her. Their eyes were glued to the screen now. The needed to
know the results!
“Because of his acrobatic past, the committee
considers his ability not a part of his mutations—which include a prehensile
tail, an ability to cling to nearly any surface, teleportation, and three
digits on each hand and foot. It was agreed upon that Mr. Wagner would not use
his tail or teleportation during his try-out.”
if he’s in or not!” Brian screamed at the screens. A bunch of bystanders had
also been drawn in at the sight of one of their country’s heroes trying out for
the Olympics. They were all excited to know, too.
“Oh, Mr. Wagner’s results are in,” the reporter said gleefully, her finger on her
was pressed up against the window, now. Their hearts all stopped for half a
reporter smiled. “And it looks like the
Olympics’ first mutant competitor is German national, Kurt Wagner, aka the
entire street erupted into cheers. Meggan and Brian hugged, Rachel nearly shot
into the air in her excitement, and Kitty almost kissed a random guy on the
street. Even Lockheed whooped in joy.
Wagner was going to the Olympics!
Hope everyone enjoyed that! I wanted to do more, but I feel like Kam and Gyo did the best job with the plot thoughts all on their own ;)
Summer. Despite Britain being notoriously known for
having the most horrid weather – cloudy, rainy, and cold – today stands out
like a sore thumb in the bleak crossed off days in the calendar. It’s hot,
there is a delightful cool breeze that tosses your hair, kisses your thighs
once your floral dress rises and tickles the back of your neck. You find
yourself flipping a muggle magazine in the garden, on the freshly mowed grass,
with James Potter, the boy whose residence has only the two of you as
occupants, beside you curiously counting the freckles dotting your cheeks and
the pout of your lips. His gaze seems to wander and for once he settles with
silence and so do you. Birds chirp from above. A few kids dash by on bikes
behind the white fence.
“James,” You say after a while, tilting your head to
him with a flirty smile, “you’re staring again.” He shrugs lightly.
“About what?” You inquire turning a page.
“Us…” He trails off, dropping his gaze, “(Name), describe
our relationship in two words.”
you are driving on a narrow road and need to turn the car around. every so often you come across a house. all of them have a ‘no turning’ sign in their drive. you are too polite to disobey them. you need to turn the car around. you have been driving for miles
the next time you are in whitby you don’t visit the abbey, instead you sit on a bench in the nearby churchyard. just beyond the churchyard wall someone has pitched a tent on the clifftop. you wonder if they know how close they are to the edge. you can feel the abbey behind you
you are in harrogate. the queue for bettys extends far down the street. it’s sunny but cold. the next time you pass, the window display is different. the queue is longer
where are you? the streets are lined with grey-faced terraced houses. further along is an apartment block for elderly people. you haven’t seen one elderly person since you arrived here. you haven’t seen anybody since you arrived here. there is a coffee morning on at church. there is always a coffee morning on at church. you think you would quite like a coffee right now. and look, here is the church hall
you catch a train to leeds. the pre-recorded announcer lists the stations between you and your destination. each name sounds vaguely similar to the last. the announcer ends with ‘and leeds’. his intonation makes it sound like he has more to say
a tourist comments on the weather. ‘it’s grim up north’ the locals chuckle. they say this to everyone. ‘it’s grim up north’ the children repeat. the sky darkens
on a day trip to york you visit every single museum. how many are there? there must be hundreds. you leave the last museum. it is still light outside. you can’t wait to tell everyone the complete and comprehensive history of the city. a person passes you on the street. you will start with them
There was more to him than he let people believe. Moreover, there was more to him than even he knew. He excelled at being seen, being heard. And for whatever he could not do, he never told. After all, Los Santos’ golden boy had a silver tongue.
Gavin Free, Ramsey’s lap dog, sitting pretty in the best seat in the city. He was a man of culture, a man of refined expensive tastes. What he could not buy, he lied and twisted and made people give him. His honeyed voice charmed entire crowds into giving him what he wanted. And what he wanted, more than his golden aviators or his gold-plated gun, was power.
But, more often than he would admit, he could not charm everyone. When the bullets began flying, not even he could keep his cool.
Maybe that’s how they met. When lightning strikes, you always see the flash before you hear the bang.
There was less to him than he let people believe. That’s what made his job so easy. He excelled at disappearing like smoke through a vent, maybe even better. After all, smoke is borne from a smothered fire, but his flame would never go out if he could help it.
Jeremy Dooley, Ramsey’s elusive cat, slipping through the alleys just because he can. He made escape an art, gone before any alarms could be triggered. That is, if there were any alarms still armed after he made a mess of them. Before he met Free, he never challenged himself with hiding something as flashy as Gavin.
And that’s why they worked. As a unit, as a team. What Gavin could not con out of people, Jeremy could steal right under their noses. Gavin outshined everyone, and Jeremy faded into the background. They complimented each other. Where Gavin would panic in a fight, Jeremy would calm down and continue.
And this is how they worked. And this is how they excelled.
Can you please write how Arthur (England/ Britain) Alfred (America) and Emil (Iceland) would react to a usually joyful s/o breaking down in front of them?
Arthur (England)- He’d be completley shocked, and would hurry over to them and hover for a few seconds, unsure of what to do in a situation like this. Soon he’d gently lead them over to somewhere they could both sit down. After another moment of hesitation, he’d rub their back until they calmed down enough to talk to him. At one point, he’d get up and get them a hot drink to help them ground themselves. He’d stay with them even after they calmed down, and he’d tell them he’s always there if they needed to talk about something.
Alfred (America)- Alfred would waste no time and wrap his s/o in a tight hug. He’d be freaked out that his normally happy s/o was feeling this upset, so he’d be willing to do whatever he could to be able to see them smiling and laughing again. In the moment, he wouldn't do much else unless his s/o asked him too, but for a few days after this happened he would send a text or ask them in person if they’re doing alright.
Emil (Iceland)- Emil wouldn’t know what to do, since his s/o usually never acts like this. Therefore, he gently ask them what he could do for them, and go from there. He’s not the best at handling other people’s emotions, but for his s/o, he’d try his hardest to understand what they need and how to help them with something they’re struggling with to the best of his abilities. He might try to seek advice from a close friend or a family member to see how he could handle something like that better in the future later on as well.
did you know that in the UK that your social class is partially determined by what supermarkets you shop at? even though most supermarket’s stock costs about the same no matter where you go?
here is an (incomplete) list so that you can increase the level of realism in your roleplays! remember to call any characters who shop at the bottom of the list a ‘dirty oik’ or ‘scaf’!
Upper Middle Class
Kate Middleton was ‘just like us’ when she shopped in Waitrose, however this was reported by the upper middle class media - which just goes to show just how upper middle class Waitrose truly is. Of all the supermarket chains, undoubtedly top. Dirty oiks will accuse you of being a posh wank and cooing parents will raise eyebrows in soft surprise and point out that ‘you’re doing well for yourself then, eh?’ should you choose to shop here.
Ah, M&S. Once, I went to get a birthday cake here because I was ‘splashing out’ and it turned out that you could get many cakes for but a few pounds. Much exclaiming of ‘my goodness, I cannot believe how cheap M&S is!’ passed between myself and my partner, which shows how socially ingrained it was in us that M&S was for people above our echelon.
Sainsbury’s is still perceived by parents as being awfully expensive, but stocking only quality products. In truth, it’s pretty cheap, and even has its own basics range with patronizing slogans on the tins such as ‘Dinner is easy peasy, just a little less cheesy!’ on their own brand cheese & tomato pizzas. Sells a variety of fruits and vegetables, showing it clearly caters to those who will actively prepare and even make their own meals - a definite middle class red flag. Middle of the road and a safe option, you are unlikely to be mocked for using Sainsbury’s. And don’t forget to collect your nectar points for clicking on some random ad or remembering to wipe your arse!
TESCO, Ah, Tesco - the friend to all students. Sells bags of cookies* for like £1.50, and lunch time sandwiches can be purchased for as little as £1. Even their luxury salad range has massive reductions if you come in at the end of the day, and hey, just the other night - i got some reduced to clear Smirnoff gold vodka for £9. £9! Anyway, Tesco is the go-to shop for your bog standard anything you want. Once there was a scandal about their own brand peanut butter causing cancer - and I, who ate peanut butter sandwiches almost exclusively for lunch at Primary school, was the subject of much bullying and ominous health predictions for this reason.
*Please do not assume I am not British for using the word ‘cookies’ here instead of biscuits. Cookie in British vernacular refers a very specific kind of biscuit - aka a round flat thing typically filled with chocolate chips. Sometimes smarties.
Morrison’s is a dark horse, and I cannot say for certain that it actually belongs in this class category. A relatively new chain, the town I grew up in did not have one until I was around sixteen - and I can always remember my mother muttering that she ‘didn’t like Morrisons’. Why someone would dislike a supermarket chain, I cannot fathom why - but here we are. Sells a lot of cheap meat, I think? And has an offensively ugly logo as you can see above, giving me an deep sense of distrust and uncertainty. In retrospect, my mother was right. I do not like Morrisons.
Asda… bought over by Walmart, and therefore familiar to the typical American audience. I believe Asda were the first to start this whole ‘smart-price’ thing - where it will match the price of products you buy in store with any of the other large chains. Price fixing? Some believe so. Others argue that it is simply the American way. I feel truly transnational shopping in this wonderful supermarket, although I have memories of a blue-jeaned mother slapping her behind causing a pleasant jingle of coins to resonate from her back pocket. This image haunts me and I have only just now realized how deeply scarred i have been by this. I realize now the meaning was both to put a bottom on the television screen and to make me feel jovial and have a little laugh as though I am an asinine child, and to convey that I can save pennies simply by shopping here. Thank you, Asda.
& Farmfoods. Sell mostly frozen goods, but a little tip thats not so well known about? Booze. Booze and drinks are SO cheap here. I mean, I got three 5l bottles of coke for £5! £5!!!!!! It’s ridiculous. Seriously I don’t think anything in Iceland costs over a fiver tbqh, it’s just that kind of shop. Around Christmastime, Kerry Katona will resurge on the telebox to tell you that all mum’s go to Iceland. I don’t think my mum has ever gone to Iceland? Is she perhaps not a real mother? I’m not sure.
& Lidl. Sell a tonne of imported brands, particularly Polish food. My Estonian friend loves it for this reason. Also, every brand will be some kind of cheap knock-off. You are a serious, utter scaf if you shop here. There is no getting around this. You will be mocked as a penny-pincher or poor af. All the meat is Horse Brains and also actually contains like 0.0001% meat. There is no redemption here, shopping at Adli or Lidl will condemn you to the life Channel 4 documentaries, in fact, I’m pretty sure Channel 4 producers sit around and hawk on anyone passing into these stores. I guarantee you that 80% of Benefits Britain’s footage comes from just following around Aldi shoppers.
no one actually does all their shopping at poundland. Unless… you do? In which case, holy fuck, you could get better deals at Aldi probably? But hey listen, Poundland has changed the face of British supermarkets… forever. Many of the large chains had to reduce the prices of their products to just a £1, all because of poundland. Poundland is also the face of all evil, if one thinks about it, as most of their employees are there on a voluntary basis and aren’t paid at all. In fact, Poundland made it pretty in-vogue to not pay their employees and get away with it when no one would dare before (probably not true, but eyy.)
And that is it, our tour through the wide range of British Supermarkets and what Social Class it Says About You. Go on, ask any British person on the validity of this list - and I guarantee you that they will acknowledge at least the sentiment of the truth in this. It should be noted that of course, shopping in any of these places doesn’t actually say anything about you - but hey, that’s classism and culture for you!
I know you're from Australia, and I don't see it so much in your writing, but I always think it's funny when someone from Britain is writing about American teenagers and uses slang and words that we don't use here. Fortnight. Whilst. I've never heard an American use whilst, ever. Bloody (hell, disgusting, etc). All the extra letter Us. Eating beans on toast. Setting a story in New York City and having them drive everywhere. A cross-country car trip that only takes one day.
Google is my friend!
Yeah, some phrases are really jarring to read when the characters are American. I have a fair amount of practice writing American though, since both my publishers are in the US and so the default is American English.
I still make some choices that cause my editors to scratch their heads though!
I this my favourite will always be car park.
Coauthor: What’s a car park?
Me: A place where you park your car.
Coauthor: A parking lot.
Coauthor: Because it sounds like a place where your car can go and play on a swing set.
So that’s what I imagine my car doing while I’m at work.