“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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Side dish? 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.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Anonymous said...


That sounds like my family (also from England) Must be some kind of English trait

Daffycat said...

ROFLOL I think I'll stick with a couple beers!

Happy Thanksgiving, Denis & Francis!

PurestGreen said...

Sounds like one of those memories that just makes you feel warm inside. Those are the best. Mmmmm...cheese toastie...

Emm said...

My family up north are like that. In a rare display of inner strength in my 20s, I walked out on a cheating boyfriend. The night before I flew back to South Africa, my step-mum put a bottle of whiskey down in front of me and we polished it off. Flying wasn't so bad at first... until I finally sobered up.

Nowadays I class myself as a non-drinker. I'm not teetotal (yet) but I don't drink enough to say 'once a month' even. Which is why tears are always shed at some point when I go back Up North to visit my dad and step-mum and they weave me back into their hard drinking ways.

Anonymous said...

Gracous, what a wild bunch you come from!!
Hahaha..I find you have to have a strong constitution to drink Gin...gives me horrendous heartburn every time...I'll stick to a good scotch!
I'll be sure to tune in to see you on the BBC tonight!!

kanishk said...

That sounds like my family

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