Stranded at the Drive In

Saturday night we celebrated the Fourth of July in the Cotswolds. There’s a lot of flexibility with dates for celebrating American holidays in England, so nobody seemed to mind we were a week late in honouring the independence of the rebel former colony. Some of the Brits even made an effort to get into the spirit of things. S. from the wine bar dressed in red, white, and blue and arrived with American wines, an Oregonian red and a Californian orange muscat for dessert. R. put on his best imitation of an American male, sporting khakis, an Izod, a baseball hat and sneakers. The man purse sort of threw off the look, but I appreciated the effort. L. arrived with a bouquet of the first of the season’s sweet peas from her garden and half a dozen eggs from her chickens. It wasn’t particularly American, but it was one of the nicer hostess gifts I have received.

I also did my best to create an authentic American ambiance. There was American flag bunting and a leather bound copy of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, provided courtesy of my father and his recent retirement sport of volunteering with the Tea Party. I filled the birdbath with ice, bottles of Bud and cans of Jack and Coke, a display that caused much amusement but remained largely untouched. There was potato salad, coleslaw, homemade guacamole, and burned hamburgers. I looked for hot dogs in the supermarket but the closest I could find were the kind of sausages Americans consider a breakfast item. (Those taste great in a hot dog bun too.) Oscar Mayer may have let me down, but Betty Crocker and Ben and Jerry were on hand to make dessert easier.

Husband did his part, transforming the back garden into a drive-in theater. There was no room for real cars but I did manage some blown up pictures of 1950s classics. When the light started to fade we indulged in the ultimate Americana, a screening of Grease. Even the Brits sang along.

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