“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.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tea Time

Mum watched the end of her show and then we ate dinner, now mostly cold. Roast lamb, mint sauce, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, and Brussels sprouts. I complimented Mum, even though I knew Lew had done the cooking. Or most of it. He grunted in reply. This was normal. Evening meals in our house were always eaten in silence. The only sound above the clatter of cutlery was the radio broadcasting the six o’clock news. If anyone spoke during the news, all hell would break loose. Old habits die hard. Even now we ate as if we were mismatched Trappists. Frances, unaware of this mealtime vow of silence, thought someone was upset, so she tried to jolly us all up with cheery comments.


Expat mum said...

The exact opposite of meals in our house. My entire family (on my mother's side) cannot stand the sound of food in anyone else's mouth. You can't even slurp soup with everyone putting down their utensil and looking daggers at you. God forbid you should accidentally screech your knife on the plate. Family members gathered round the table would, as one, grab their jaws and cry "Oh my teeth".
So - we usually had to have a radio on and talk as much as possible.
As long as you didn't talk with food in your mouth!

The Prodigal Tourist said...

That's a very funny image, my dear. Growing up, Dad did listen to the radio during tea, if we said anything he went mad--by the time Frances came around, he had mellowed and we didn't listen to the radio anymore, but still silence prevailed.