WHO I AM (See ABOUT for more info)
Hi, my name is Zella Watson, and I live in New York City. I contracted a disease called "Anglophilia" years ago, probably from watching too much PBS and devouring Jane Austen books. The British Invasion didn't help either--with those darling lads called The Beatles. My mother is also an Anglophile, and my father was Scottish, so perhaps the disease is inheritable. The symptoms I exhibit include an excessive desire to engage in British culture, ingest Marmite, purchase tea cozies, Google search "Britain," and plot my next visit to London. And this is only a partial list!
But seriously.... about me and who I am.... By profession, I'm a writer, editor, and illustrator who has taken career detours into nursing and archaeology. I'm also a traveler. To date, I've visited 30 countries and six continents. Because the world is so big and there are so many countries I've not seen, I rarely desire returning to a country I have visited. Only a few exceptions exist--and Britain is one of them. (India and Canada are the others, both of which, obviously, have a strong British connection.) But few places on Earth make me feel as content as when I'm in Britain. London, Yorkshire, the moors, Bath, Greenwich, Oxford, Scotland--I love them all!
My life has frequently intersected with Britain. In my younger days, I took archaeology fields schools at University of London and at Oxford University. The differences in the culture that surrounded archaeological field work at those schools, compared with my classes at SUNY in upstate New York, were positively startling! At both excavations in England, we stopped every day for biscuits and tea. These were served on silver platters. Within the cool shade of a huge, elaborate tent. And there were Porta-potties and spigots of running water.
And what was archaeology field work like at my SUNY college in upstate New York, you ask? There, we slaved for six hours a day, digging and sifting, with only one short break for lunch. It was taken on the roadside, by the field where we excavated--in the sun. We would lean against our instructor's van, attempt washing the globs of mud off our hands with Purell, then eat our grubby, packed lunches. The only shade we had to take refuge in when we overheated in the field was under a tiny, lean-to tarp that frequently collapsed on us. And when nature called, our "toilet" was any space we could find to hide in the thickets on the far side of the excavation field. Britain vs. America. Genteel and civilized vs. coarse and rough. I was hooked!
ROYAL ENTOMOLOGICAL SOCIETY
The last time I visited Britain, a five-week stay in London a couple of summers ago, I joined the Royal Entomological Society. I'm studying Botanical and Natural Science Illustration at the New York Botanical Garden, focusing on entomology artwork, and I took advantage of the Royal Entomological Society's magnificent research library. Again, I was so impressed when the nice lady at the reception desk would hunt me down in the library in the middle of the afternoon to serve me biscuits and tea. Oh my, how I love the Brits!
Back when I worked as a freelance editor for several large, New York City book publishers, one asked if I would like to Americanize a British book. Well, you can imagine my response! I gleefully accepted the challenge, and after I finished editing that book, that publisher--and the others, as well--routinely sent their British books my way. Loving, and indeed preferring, Britishisms, I was a bit loath to change one word and would try to keep as many as I could get away with. The assignments familiarized me with British English, and that, of course, only fueled my Anglophile tendencies!
A number of years ago, I joined Britain's Globetrotters Club. Later, I had lunch with Arthur Frommer, the famed travel writer, and his daughter, Pauline, and several other New Yorkers, and we formed the first Globetrotters chapter in the United States--here in New York City. Sadly, the chapter existed only a short while due to the amount of time it took to organize the meetings and many of us having busy schedules. I do hope this website fills the void and allows me to meet fellow travelers--whether actual travelers or "arm-chair" travelers. I love yakking about Britain! My hope is that you'll consider Anglophiles United a little piece of Britain right in your own home!
Contact info: EditorWatson@gmail.com
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