“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.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tea on the beach

Then, with the sun beating down on us, Lew suggested tea. Frances was innurred to the fact that my family and I drank hot tea in the height of summer, but she was amazed to find this strange predeliction actively encouraged right on the beach.
“The beach tray!” I said, with jokey effusiveness. “It’s part of the English seaside tradition! Like donkey rides, Punch and Judy, and saucy postcards, the beach tea tray is a standard seaside accoutrement.”
”You’re so weird,” said Frances evenly, shaking her head, trying not to give my blatherings any encouragement. I shrugged and, undaunted. set off with Lew to buy a pot of tea with extra hot water, a jug of milk, dishes of sugar, and proper cups and saucers and spoons, all of which we majestically carted back across the sand to our little bit of beach and half-constructed castle.


Anonymous said...

You can only have tea on a beach in England, right? LOL. Can't wait for your book to come out, i'll tell all my friends to get one.

The Prodigal Tourist said...

Thank you so much!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

"Part of the English seaside tradition". Oh how well I know that !
For an entire Summer I was in charge of the donkeys at Lytham-St.Annes, Pontins Holiday Camp.
I have never laughed so much in my life, we had one donkey who used to love rolling in the sand, so anyone who had had a few more pints under their belt, than necessary, I put them on old Joe Brown.
They quickly sobbered up, when his knees hit the sand, and they realized he was going to roll ;)
Don't forget those "deck chairs" also.....by the time you had them figured out and sitiing on them (with a triangle-folded newspaper for a hat). it started to rain !
Oh how I miss those days.....

The Prodigal Tourist said...

I remember Pontins! And Butlins, and Warners! We went lower than that. My parents dropped me off one year at some ghastly horror hole called Corton-on-the-Sea, with missen huts leftover from the Second World War and gales blowing in from the North Sea. It was the middle of the summer, I was freezing. There was a small hut with a bar; I sat there every evening with a brandy reading Dr. Syn. i was 15 years old. I'm smiling now--thanks for the memory!