“Half memoir, half travel, A Yank Back to England...is an absolutely wonderful book, not only about going home again but also about love and family and tradition and the passage of the years.”
—Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic (Washington
To see the entire quote, click here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Side dish, anyone? Please pass the gin.

In America, Thanksgiving focuses on family and turkey. In England, we didn’t have Thanksgiving; but in my family, all get-togethers focused on drinking. Just before emigrating to the States, I organized a farewell party. My mum and all her sisters, Vi, Flo, Mary, and May showed up armed with bottles of gin. Way past midnight, the five ladies were dead drunk—they sang and swayed their arms, laughed and cried, but they could not move. I made several phone calls and their sons, the cousins I had not seen in years, arrived, much later, to winkle their respective mothers out of my flat. Drinks parties in my extended family went on and on. Nobody ever left until the booze ran out. And, even then, one relative always had the bright idea of making tea and cheese sandwiches to ‘soak up’ the gin the old girls had consumed.


Dan said...

Having just completed five days with eleven family members, I am quite ready for a side dish of gin. Your blogs are a treat. Keep them coming.

atomicliving said...

What colorful characters. We, as american WASPS often imbibe a goodly amount, but we do it less colorfuly. Perhaps it's always being on ones guard to piss off the 'wrong' relative, like some great aunt sitting on a pile while u eat ur Ramen in tiny one room Boston flat. So, lots of alcohol we have, but not so much with the fun. I love your blog.