“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, December 2, 2009

My Aunt Vi

Vi was one of my favorite aunts. She was my mum’s younger sister but looked on first glance to be older. She had silvery gold hair spun as thin as cotton candy and set on a vivid pink skull. She had a wizened chin, rounded at the end like a small doughnut. And when she smiled, her jaws caved in thanks to ill-fitting dentures. But her eyes twinkled with the mischief of a sixteen year old. Vi quickly changed the subject back to things meteorological.
“I bet the weather’s all lovely where you are, Denis, ay? Ay? In America, isn’t it, Denis? Like in the pictures, innit? Hollywood. Lovely. Love it over there, don’t you, Denis?”
I had never lived in Hollywood, or in California for that matter, but when Vi thought of America, she thought of sunshine and glamour and excitement. I suppose anywhere in America was a kind of Hollywood back-lot, if you had not been there.


Maggie said...

She sounds like such a dear! I love aunties!

parTea lady said...

Wow, that's quite a description of your aunt. My Moms older sister Betty was my favorite.

It's funny the perception people have of different places. A lot of people think of Canada (where I was born) as being a land of snowbound Eskimos. :-)

Amy said...

It's funny what comes to peoples' minds when they think of certain places.

I'm from Texas - what do you think as soon as your hear 'Texas'?

Expat mum said...

I do remember thinking that all Americans lived in those Brady Bunch type houses with the sunken living rooms and the pool in the back. Which is hilarious given that I live in a Victorian row house in downtown Chicago!!!

The Prodigal Tourist said...

Maggie--yes, my aunts were quite the characters! Still make me smile.
parTea lady: I'm so pleased my memory of my aunt Vi reminded you of your favorite aunt! Canada hmmm... moose?
Amy--that's an easy one: steak, of course!
ExpatMum: my strongest memory of American TV was that people left the house without pullovers! I couldn't believe that.

Chiara said...

What a delightfully old fashioned view of America!

Duchess of Tea said...

Good morning Denis, your aunt Vi's description sounds like my aunt Lili's. Just stopped by to wish you a lovely week.


Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud when I read the section of Kate's car seat and your parents being squashed by it!!! It brought to mind the car seat my youngest grandson has in the back seat of his dad's sporty car. It reminded me of the Enterprise's control panel. The car has 2 bucket seats in front--Dad and Mum sat in front. The Little commander's seat sat smack in the middle of the back of the car. Plump granny (me :)) was crushed by the side window behind Mum but attempting to retrieve objects (baby bottles, sippy cups, stuffed animals) that the LC would forcefully throw on the floor.