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Thursday’s feature is full of … English things

Thursday’s regular feature (being posted admittedly somewhat belated on Saturday), comes under the catchy title of:

“Things that help make me think that I’m not actually 4,000 miles away from home”.

And once you”ve got that in your head, I’ll start off this week with the fact that when we went to Target last week, the very first thing on the purchase list was an electric kettle.

Note to all Americans: Tea is not made with hot water, it’s made with boiling water. There is a difference! I’ve just spent two days away at a nice hotel and tea in the morning could only be made with hot water from a thermos style serving jug. Yuk.

So, one electric kettle bought, Yorkshire teabags on the go, and it’s a darn sight quicker than having to wait for the stove-only-version which Leigh had previously (red thing in the background!).

And what’s this … my goodness! A 3-pin plug! Just when I thought that all appliances (including the new crazy shaver I bought in Target too which I can plug direct into the mains in the bathroom!), were 2-pin, it appears that things like kettles, cookers and even the toaster (which – by the way – BROILS instead of toasts) have an earth pin on them.

Accompanying this of course is some of my collection of London Underground mugs which I couldn’t resist bringing with me – all eight that I have, carefully wrapped in newspaper and squeezed into my suitcases over the last couple of trips. Excellent – feels just like home.

Right, just talking about tea is making me thirsty. I’m going to go and put the kettle on. Cuppa, anyone?

18 responses to “Thursday’s feature is full of … English things”

  1. Tim says:

    Underground mugs! My god I haven’t seen them anywhere… *must buy*

  2. Anthony says:

    They’re in the LT museum shop and are (IIRC) too expensive for me!!

    Milk, one sugar, thanks, Geoff.

  3. Bob Hannent says:

    Ah, the good ol’ American three pin… “Hmm, yes, lets put 15 amps at 120v through it…”

    It seems technically anything in the USA with two pins is supposed to be double insulated (meaning it must be designed that only through deliberate or extream violence should you get access to the high voltages).

    Give me the good old BS 1363 connector any day, or at worse a CEE 7/7.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_AC_power_plugs_and_sockets#Type_A_.28American.2FJapanese_2-pin.29
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Map_of_the_world_coloured_by_type_of_plug_used.png

  4. geofftech says:

    #2, kettle’s on mate. which “line” mug would you like?

  5. I discovered the same thing upon returning from my visit in England. The stove top kettle just took too long and sometimes so long that I had even forgotten I was planning to have a cup of tea…I saw that everyone, everyone there had electric kettles and so I purchased one and it made a big difference– it had the water boiling in less than two minutes. And you can use it for lots of other things that need boiling, not just tea.
    By ‘earth’ pin–do you mean a grounded pin? That’s what we call that…a grounded plug.

  6. Anthony says:

    #4. Piccadilly please, of course!

    Now I’ve got to make a cup of coffee because it will aid in waking me up. Yes – coffee. In a Starbucks mug, would you believe?! Only because it’s such a big mug, though.

  7. Andrew says:

    My main gripe with American plugs is that they just *look* cheap and horrible! Flimsy, bendable pins and high voltage just shouldn’t go together as far as I’m concerned. European plugs are slightly better in that respect, but give me a nice solid UK 3-pin plug any day…

    …oh yeah, another thing, surely it’s also far better to have a plug where the cable (flex?) drops vertically from the socket, rather than sticking out and getting in the way???

    Just my 2 cents 🙂

  8. Chz says:

    Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but your link to a definition of broil seems to suggest that all toasters are broilers.

    1. To cook by direct radiant heat, as over a grill or under an electric element.
    2. To expose to great heat.

    *checks toaster*
    Yep, toasts things by direct radiant heat (great heat, even!) from an electric element. It doesn’t say that it *has* to be under or over it.
    (Okay, I’m done being pedantic for this morning now…) 🙂

  9. anon says:

    Who’s the visitor then?

  10. geofftech says:

    #9 – I was not making 3 cups of tea, I just lined up 3 mugs for effect, the photo is (shock!) staged. Not a real one…

  11. Anthony says:

    I couldn’t find those line mugs on the LT museum shop website are they still available?

  12. geofftech says:

    I couldn’t find them either! Maybe they don’t them anymore.

    Anyway, tea’s made – you popping round for it or not?

  13. Does the tea taste right? I never managed to get a good cup of tea (or bread) in America. Even when I brought over my own tea bags… I just assumed it was something to do with the water.

    Two ersatz-sugars and milk for me please! and none of your Earl Grey nonsense. I want my tea so strong it could walk over to Guantanomo Bay and take hostages…

  14. Emzi says:

    I see your Underground mugs and raise you….my Underground expresso cups! 😀 http://www.artmeetsmatter.com/products.php?cat=18&pg=2 Purves and Perves near Tottenham Court Road (www.purves.co.uk)do huge Underground map mirror and I want one, along with the Underground bathroom tiles.

  15. Fimb says:

    Emzi – I bought the espresso cups in the Tfl Museum Shop about a year ago now 🙂
    Never used them, even though I make an espresso every day *L* I just add water to said espresso and drink it like normal coffee (it just tastes ALOT better!) The saucer of one does make a handy spoon rest when cooking though *L*

  16. Tower Block Tina says:

    750 for an Underground Rug?? That’s a bit steep. Time was when you could buy a house for that! Are these products licensed? We don’t want any copyright infringements do we!

  17. The Divine Mrs M says:

    Aw Geoff. Missing ya. I’ll have a cuppa please. Make that three. I usually have two enormo mugs of tea at breakfast time but the sprogs conspired against it today so I went straight to coffee x 2 at my neighbour’s house instead. No tea all day..! It’s now past 6 o’clock so I’m on to the wine now of course…;-)

  18. geofftech says:

    Blimey, tea tea tea! You all want tea. Ok, Andrew.. one is poured for you too, and Mrs. M. you know what i need now, don’t you? That’s right… a TEA POT! I bet you can’t buy one of those here…

    Emzi – Leigh doesn’t know it yet, but im ordering some of those ceramic tiles, and am going to redecrorate the bathroom using them. First stage though is to get my 1933 Harry Beck map hanging above the toilet… classy!!

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