“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, November 22, 2010

Launching Cy's car

With its huge fins and tail lights, Cy's baby blue Ford Galaxy convertible looked like a relic from either an alien planet junk yard or an unfinished Flash Gordon movie set. As always, it was parked halfway up the curb, more on the sidewalk than off it. A parking ticket fluttered from the windscreen. The car was like Cy in many ways; it was big, outlandish, almost exotic, completely out of place and out of time but still managing to look cool. And the car lumbered just as he did, attracting attention, lots of amused glances and lots of parking tickets. “Christ! I hate getting these!” Cy stuffed the ticket into his ping pong bat bag. “Maureen wants us back for lunch, it’s kinda good she likes you Denis under most other circumstances, she hates the people I drag around the house. But you, she likes you, my young friend. Go figure!”
Cy gently rocked the car back and forth until he had enough room to launch it into the road. He drove so slowly, he looked as if he was prowling, which was just as well because, when Cy was behind the wheel, he insisted on looking at the person he was speaking to, not at the road.
“Cy, look out!”

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Afternoon stroll in London

In the pale gold of the following afternoon we took a stroll in the neighborhood beyond the shopping hordes on the Brompton Road, towards Hans Place. In this the residential part of Knightsbridge, with its soft edged blocks of blood orange colored mansion flats and lovely town houses the area seemed to take on an almost village-like calm, broken only by the occasional soft purring tick of passing cabs. We discovered an elegant mews with cobble stones, a leafy square and Italianate side streets whitewashed and splashed with red carnations and geraniums. And no one seemed to be in sight until we came to Pont Street, filled with locals crisscrossing the road, milling, chatting, doing their bits of shopping, buying everything from baguettes to Beluga caviar. The array of boutique food emporia in Pont Street was truly astonishing. Bright eyed and bright scaled creatures almost flapped with freshness on the fishmongers marble counter, the aroma of fresh bread wafted from the bakery, and vegetables in the green grocers window seemed mounted and displayed like individual jewels in blue tissue paper.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bit of sweet, Mum?

"It's lovely," Lew was now fulsome with praise as he slurped down his tea.
"I like a bit of sweet," Mum went on, ignoring Lew's effusive praises.
She finished the cake and washed it down with another big swig of Benedictine. "I'm willing to try anything once, I am."
It was the closest she ever got to complimenting someone else’s cooking.