Thursday, April 7, 2011

These are my People

My dad is actually first generation American. His parents and older brother were all full-bloodied Eng. And despite that, all 4 boys could not even imitate their parents accent. Seriously!? Alfred's accent seemed so exotic and sophisticated, which is something for a man that was fist fighting well into grandpa-dom.

Despite frequent goadings, my dad & uncles are vague in the extreme about their parents. Some of our favorite stories are well preserved

(the family friend of a mafia man my grandma wouldn't let in the house; the theft of a farmer's pig while my grandpa held the title of "game warden";
the terrible driving due to the loss of one eye in "the war";
the battles with rooster "Rambo" in his California suburb)

while other facts of their lives have completely vanished. Because of complicated family matters, there are almost no pictures of either of my grandparents or the boys. Our connection to England has almost died out with the loss of my great-great Aunt Victoria (thankfully not when I lost her at a State Fair in the US). We know that they were both from the area around Liverpool, but know next to nothing of their hometowns.

My dad & the rest of the Balls are fairly comfortable with our British past. But for me, I want to know more.  The stories of his life truly are legendary. A real swashbuckling, outrageous, character of a man. I miss him, and sometimes think being more in line with the Brits will put me more in line with the Balls.

Ian & I are re-visiting one of our favorite places over Easter break and heading back to Old Blighty, The Old Dart, merry old England. We will be mostly staying in London doing touristy things and not-so-touristy and maybe, just maybe, connecting with some roots. 
So far our list includes:
Tea Time!
  • High Tea (location to be decided)
  • Hamlet at the Globe Theatre
  • Fish & Chips
  • Battle for decent Indian men at Brick Lane
  • Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park
  • Find a Banksy graffiti piece
  • Meeting my boss man (been working for him since 2008 & just heard his voice for the first time last fall)
  • Jack the Ripper tour
  • Markets
  • Harrods? (Compare it to our KaDeWe)
  • Matinee for more theatre
  • Go to Cockfosters (promise a picture!)
  • Dim sum in Chinatown
  • Chelsea Physic Garden in Spring
  • Tour the BBC

Outside of London:
London Sandown park
Horse Racing in England

We're going full ENG.

Also not to be forgotten, the Tower Bridge was the site of our proposal in 2007. Not bad Ian Porter, not bad.


 The trip to London was all that we hoped for. We even made it to Cambridge and Cardiff. Now we need to explore the north.....


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We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008