“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 Post) To see the entire quote, click here.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
A tree grows in Dagenham
“See that! First tree planted in our street! I did that,” I said. Through the gaps in houses I pointed out a rusty red, wooden telegraph pole. This was implanted in the early seventies, when I ordered a phone for my parents’ home, the first on our road. At the time, the arrival, the hoisting and planting of the pole had caused no little stir. Our neighbors and people from nearby streets stood on the sidewalks and watched. In total silence. Even when wires were cast from the pole to the outside wall of our house. Fascinated and disinterested in equal measure, nobody asked what was going on, and we did not tell them. They might have thought we were bragging. Now of course, there were wires leading to other houses. And somehow, I don’t think the purchase of a cell phone today would have the same impact we created back then. Even in Dagenham.
Standing, from L to R: Lew (Dad), Frances (Prodigal Wife), Denis (The Prodigal Tourist), and Jessie (Mum). Floating: Kate (Prodigal Daughter).
About this blog
You are reading random vignettes, deleted scenes, and other extras from and about my book, A Yank Back to England: The Prodigal Tourist Returns. Enjoy, let me know what you think, ask questions, and thanks for your support! Cheers, The Prodigal Tourist
Years ago I shed my Cockney accent and left London's blighted East End for America. Since then, I’ve only returned to see my increasingly cantankerous parents and assorted relatives. Until my American wife comes along. She wants to tour, see the sights. No thank you. It’s not for me. But she insists, and I become a reluctant tourist in my former homeland.