Metamorphosis Diario

Monday, April 16, 2007 - Ooohhh, suits you sir!


My office is based in Pasadena, CA of the Beach Boys 'Little Old Lady from Pasadena fame.

I have been taking the same route to work for about a year now and had noticed a Union Jack at the front of a row of cottage style shops near old town Pasadena, it has never really been obvious to me what the store sells that displays the flag, I have been curious as signage does not make it immediately apparent.

Today the store was displaying a 60% off sign underneath the Union Jack, I wondered 60% off what exactly as I drove past for the umpteenth time. Having some free time I parked nearby and discovered a business called Rose Tree Cottage at the back;

The store was kind of a weird mixture of collectibles, water colors, tweed clothes, china, books  and a general array of stereotypical British faire, as if a set designer from Masterpiece theatre had arranged it.

Further inside the store was an area selling British food, I was met by an English gentleman called Edmund, who greeted me with an air of smug disdain which made me feel a little uncomfortable. He then went on to tell me the store was closed on a Monday(today), which confused me as the door was open and there were people walking around inside, he did later explain they were freinds. Edmund informed me I could peruse the items and pointed out Heinz Baked beans , which I don't really care for. He also informed me there was a tearoom and that the establishment made their own scones. Edmund had the obsequious appearance of a cross between a servant from the old Upstairs Downstairs TV show and also reminded me a lot of the tailors from The Fast Show as he called me Sir at what seemed to be the beginning and end of every sentence.I informed him that I could get scones at the English bakery a few blocks from my house whereupon Edmund informed me "they're not the same sir " in a curt scornful manner, yet offered no explaination why his scones were superior. At this point I felt like bursting into an impression of the tailors from the Fast Show, but better judgement steered me against it, but it was a close decision.

Whilst Edmund was talking with two Miss Marple types inside the store about hedgehogs, trips to Africa and various other English colonial subjects I noticed his accent slipped from an upper class Anthony Hopkins type bultler accent to cockney type London undertones, another issue I had to bite my lip to restrain the laughter within.

I'm not trying to knock the store, reading the website I'm sure that they've worked very hard over the years to build the business and I admire that.  I'm sure it would be of interest to many British/Anglophiles who might find themselves in Pasadena. The anachronistic snobbish persona of the 'proprietor'  as it says on his business card almost makes it worthwhile by itself.

 It was just one of those comedy moments I had by myself with no-one to take the micky or appreciate the humor with, perhaps it's just me ?!?!?!

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