Notes on a Changing United Kingdom


Twenty years ago, I left the UK to move to California. I’m proud of my heritage and until last week, I believed I was still connected to my home country.

However, in this last trip I noticed several things have changed…


When I lived in Scotland, pies used to look like this. That’s a mince pie for those who aren’t familiar (and there’s nothing posh about it).

Now the London pubs offer a ‘pie sampler’, complete with matching craft ales.

Pie-Craft_Fotor-2 (1).jpg

Once upon a lifetime ago, my grandfather used to work for the company that made black London cabs. Back when they only came in one color. Now cabs are pretty in pink?


When I first moved to the States friends would ask me to stuff my suitcase full of Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Now there’s a whole American section in the supermarket, including Kraft Mac n’ Cheese and Twinkies.

Hard Milkshake sign

Hard Milkshake sign

From what I remember milkshakes used to be something you fed to kids. Now they come in hardshakes (alcoholic).

Baked beans in microwaveable container

Baked beans in microwaveable container

When I was a student, you needed a tin opener and a saucepan to heat your baked beans. Now they come in handy ready-to microwave containers.

The Wimpy of my childhood now serves something called a “Bender in a bun”? I’ll let you form your own thoughts on this one.

Bender in a bun

Bender in a bun

To me, most of these are improvements (especially the hard milkshake).

And luckily, not everything has changed...


Brits still have the best sense of humor, even after Brexit. This board was at a local farm shop where they are running a mock tracker for the upcoming election.

The scenery is just as luscious. This photo is Richmond, London.


Potatoes are still a national staple, especially baked with fillings for lunch (something I miss stateside).


I can still stuff my suitcase with good old fashioned Scottish Irn Bru. If you’re not familiar, besides its unique taste, Irn Bru is also the world’s best hangover cure.

And you can still find an excellent Sunday Roast dinner (with Yorkshire pudding) in most pubs!