Friday, October 12, 2012

Beatles, Bond and Bean

The Brits have a fondness for their Bs which have become their exports to the world. Allow me to share.

I grew up understanding that beer is a nice drink because my grandfather and my father drank quite a bit, but not to the state of drunkedness. My grandfather's favorite was Guiness Stout, and I believe it was a Brit alcoholic malt drink. Anything that taste bitter must be healthy so I learned to enjoy Guiness Stout for its goodness. Maybe I'll drink it more regularly as a nightcap, which was how my grandfather enjoyed it, with a little soda biscuit crumbs sprinkled over the foam to settle it. My father gave up the stout for Carlsberg, a Danish beer, and introduced me to enjoying beer so I'm not a wallflower in the company of friends who love to lift up their glasses. But I learned to hold my limit and, in the family tradition, keep away from drunkedness.

I discovered biscuits in the sundry shop next door to where I grew up. They were square shaped and called soda biscuits. I wonder why, unless soda was used which would make it highly unhealthy. Biscuits are definitely British because we were also governed by their food culture, to which I must also add Butter. The Chinese thinks biscuits are heaty and over eating add on weight. I've taking cognizance of this from my sinseh (Chinese traditional doctor) and consume it occasionally. But eating biscuits is surely a memory trip I shan't forget. You can even say I grew up on Cow & Gate full cream milk and Jacob biscuit.

The mop heads, that's how the Chinese media described the Beatles, beat the light of the youths with their wild and loud songs and moppy hairdo in the 60s. Although they didn't made it to my idol list I love many of their songs. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were gifted composers and, like the Wesley brothers who gave the world hundreds of beautiful Christian hymns (in case you wonder, John and Charles Wesley were Brits too) they gave the world songs that are immortal and loved even today. My favorite Beatles compositions - Michelle, Here There and Everywhere, And I Love Her. You'd notice they are slow and romantic.

I was a Bond fan in the late 60s and I thank Ian Fleming, the creator of this very British secret agent, for helping me to love reading. My first Bond book was Moonraker and I still have it. James Bond made his entry into the big screen with Sean Connery the first debonair agent. Later several actors replaced him, among whom I rate Roger Moore the most worthy successor. I may even add that RM was a better Bond than SC.

And who can say he doesn't know Mr Bean? He may be making a fool of himself on screen but over many hundreds of TV episodes, movies and animated cartoon series, Rowan Atkinson the inimitable Mr Bean, has become a household name all over the world. And he is a Brit. And may one day be Sir Bean. My family enjoy Mr Bean although his antics may not be good examples for children to follow.

May I end with the ubiquitous British B&B. I first experience it during our holiday in the UK in 1985. Rather than staying in hotels we chose the simple British homes and tried the rich and grand British breakfast. Whenever possible I'd like to enjoy the same again. Like all the other Bs that are synonymous to Britain, each one of them brings back fond memory of the good old days. For once, Bs are better than As.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When I was younger (I am 45), I also liked Bond films. My dad was a great fan as well. I think Sean Connery is probably the best Bond for me. Roger Moore a close 2nd. RM's first few Bond movies were excellent, but he last one was quite bad. Nowadays, I guess I have grown out of Bond films - is it still relevent today? A new breed of heroes have appeared - like Jason Bourne ( a new Bond for the 21st century :)). Regards, Andrew.

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