Saturday, April 21, 2007

Balmoral Castle

In a previous post I had a little fun with Her Majesty's birthdate. Today actually is her birthday, her 81st.
To commemorate this occasion I am featuring a pretty little thimble from Balmoral Castle's Royal Gift Shop, " a selection of gifts from Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House." The fine bone china thimble depicts Balmoral Castle and is presented in a gift box. The price is "£3.55 /$6.75 including VAT at 17.5%," though the the website states that "Orders outwith the European Union are exempt from VAT." Outwith?* So that means it's not $6.75, right? **

*My Irish ancestors will be happy to note that I have not completely learned Her Majesty's English. Outwith?
**Why did they put the price in U.S. dollars "including VAT," when orders shipped to the U.S. are exempt from VAT? Maybe they ship to American expats who still haven't gotten used to Euros or pounds or whatever? In that case they would have been better off to convert the metric dimensions ("Width 1.9cm and height 2.7cm") of the thimble into inches than to fuss with the money. Americans will eventually figure out the money, but never, ever, the Metric System.***
***In defense of my countrymen, I must say that the main problem with our learning the Metric System is the damnable way it's taught to us. Multiplying inches or whatever by some number to get centi-somethings. We just want to know "about" how big/long/heavy something is. Americans know about how much sodapop is in two liters. We know a 100-meter-dash is about the same as a 100-yard-dash. We want to know about how many kilometers-per-hour we can drive before we get a speeding ticket, but we're not going to doing a math calculation while we're out on the highway to figure it out .

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