1. Elizabeth heads off to London from Illinois after a fight with Jessica, who has apparently seduced Elizabeth's new boyfriend Sam, to whom Elizabeth had been planning to lose her virginity (!!! I know! And just think, after three years with Todd she was still getting freaked out when he unbuttoned the top button on her simple yet elegant aqua cotton blouse. Thank God he never tried going near her sensible, classy Chinos). Of course, it's not really as it seems - Jessica knew that Sam was a really lecherous sleaze, and was only snogging him in front of Elizabeth to prove how unfaithful he was, but understandably enough, Elizabeth is not impressed. Okay, so this part doesn't prove her to be particularly stupid. Don't worry, there's more than enough evidence to come.
2. Elizabeth heads to O'Hare in Chicago and spends what seems like half the book crying boringly in various parts of the airport. She suddenly remembers that she was accepted at the University of London for a year long programme, and on a whim decides to cross the Atlantic, despite the fact that there are three months to go until the start of what her acceptance letter from an English university apparently calls the "Fall semester". While in the airport she meets an English student and realises FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, that oh my God, English people don't speak exactly the same way as Americans ("She was fascinated by the way he spoke. What was a 'bloke' anyway?"). Lest we forget, Elizabeth is supposed to be a devotee of English literature and has, we are told repeatedly, been dreaming of visiting England all her life. Oh, and apparently we are meant to forget her time there during the SVH days, when she was working as an intern on a London paper and was pursued by a werewolf, in what is possibly the funniest SVH mini-series ever. Sadly there are no werewolves in University, Interrupted.
3. This isn't proof of Elizabeth's idocy, but it has to be mentioned. Nigel says things like "being a Brit, I'm a tea drinker of course" but since visiting America he has learned to love coffee (there is no coffee in England, apparently). He also talks about cucumber sandwiches. At length. Ooh-er.
4. Elizabeth doesn't know what a youth hostel is. Seriously. Someone tells her she's staying in a youth hostel and Elizabeth asks what it is. I've never heard the like.
5. When she arrives in London, she tries to pay for her tube ticket with dollars.
6. She meets a "punk" and asks him if he knows where she could find an internet café. He has never heard of the internet. Oh, those backward Europeans!
7. She is amazed that, because she never replied to her acceptance letter, there is actually no place for her at the University of London (which, I might add, apparently is situated in a castle bedecked with ivy covered gothic towers - just like most British buildings, of course).
8. She has no money, because she's maxed out her credit card on a last minute flight to London, and so, at the very end of the book, manages to get a job in a "stately home" situated in rolling parkland in Hampstead - as a scullery maid! And the big house contains a kitchen apparently out of the 19th or possibly 17th century, as for no discernable reason it features a large "roaring fire" (not a range, I might add. A roaring open fire. I'm surprised there wasn't a pig turning over it on a spit). Sadly, that is where the book ends. I will not rest until I get my paws on the following books in the series, and look forward to seeing Elizabeth Wakefield in the role of Ruby from Upstairs Downstairs.
Of course, there is more to life than Sweet Valley. There is also lurgy. I think I am coming down with something, as I feel very ropy. I just hope it's not the same lurgy that kept half of my office out of work last week. I can, however, cheer myself up by gazing at cuteness. Fittingly for someone who lists "being twee" (it's situated on the list in between "being self righteous" and "bertolt brecht", which kind of sums up my personality, unfortunately) as an interest in her LJ profile, this is my new favourite photo. Who can resist the pathetic charm of "orphaned badger triplets"? I think they are the cutest things I've ever seen (although some, like David "Badger's Bane" Archer, would disagree) and tweely sent the link to various chums this afternoon.
By the way, speaking of odd animals, one of the things I missed when I first moved out of my familial abode was not having people to whom one could automatically say "there's you" in a deadpan voice whenever something ridiculous came on the telly. It wouldn't quite work with my friends, whereas in the C**** family, every nature documentary was practically a competition to see who could get in first as soon as a collection of freaky animals came on screen. When my two younger sisters visited the zoo in DC a couple of years ago, they actually had to make a pact ensuring that they could each only say "there's you and your mates" once during the entire zoo visit, so they had to save it up until they encountered the perfect animal. Anyway, this is a long way of saying that Patsington and I have reached such a state of domestic bliss that we do it all the time. In fact, the pupil has become the master, as when Patsington saw this photo he simply said, without missing a beat, "wow, someone managed to depict the various facets of your personality in pictorial form" and strolled off. We are soul mates.