“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.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

At the beach

“Did you bring Kate’s bathing costume?”
“A bathing costume?” Frances looked at me as if I were an exhibit in a museum.
“Alright, alright, but did you?”
“No,” said Frances firmly. Then she smiled. “But I did bring her swimsuit.”
In addition to my arcane bathing terminology, Frances found my family’s English beach etiquette mildly amusing. She watched as we staked out a piece of beach with deckchairs. Within short order, Mum had taken off her hat and shoes and cardigan, and begun studying racing form. Meanwhile Lew had unbuttoned his shirt, taken off his shoes and socks, and rolled up his suit trousers to his knees. I was still ripping up my jeans, trying to create shorts, as Kate rushed towards the water’s edge.


Anonymous said...


Tash said...

Please don't tell me you went paddling in Broadstairs IN January - that's insane! I thought sandcastle building in November was cold enough! If you can, try to get yourself to Canterbury - it's only about half an hour away if you floor it - WELL worth a trip ( I would say that, I lived there for 3 years) and I know how much Americans (and possibly ex-Americans) love their history ;) if you can go in about May, that would be better because they have a punt that goes around the canals and the gardens will be in bloom :)

The Prodigal Tourist said...

This isn't happening now--these are cuts from my book about our travels... it was probably in May, as a matter of fact. And we did got to Canterbury, twice in fact, once before Kate was born and once recently.