My salad dressing days

A quintessentially English weekend
July 1, 2005, 1:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I shall be spending the weekend in one of our fine cathedral cities (even as a non-believer, I marvel at the wonder of these huge edifices). And I will be meeting a cyber-buddy for tea (our first IRL rendez-vous) in the Orchard near Grantchester Meadows. The same place which inspired the English poet Rupert Brooke to write: “yet stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?”

Ordinarily, we would punt there from Cambridge, but, with tiddlers in tow, I suspect we will be driving. Not nearly as romantic…

I wanted to post the whole of this poem (The Old Vicarage, Grantchester) but it’s very long, so instead I bring you another of his poems: The Soldier, which is always good for tugging at those patriotic heart-strings…

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You are making me so jealous!!! I want to frolic through the English countryside, sipping tea and eating crumpets, followed by a pint in the pub. And I go nuts when I hear kids speaking with British accents — beyond adorable. I want to come!!!!

Comment by Meegan

then come and the tea and crumpets are on me!! thing is, that orchard is truly idyllic and exactly as it looks in the photo…it’s the best place to loll around of a warm summer afternoon (they don’t tend to cut the grass, and i remember it coming up to my knees last time i was there!)

Comment by Urban Chick

wonderful poem. we don’t do near enough punting here in America. xoxoxo

Comment by mireille

Beautiful poem. Have a wonderful time. I’m jealous.

Comment by GodlessMom

I am green with envy.

Have a great time, and come back with some wonderful stories.

Comment by BarbaraFromCalifornia

Something else to make the hairs on the backs of your necks stand up! This extract from The Declaration of Arbroath which was sent by Scottish nobles to Pope Paul XX11 in 1320 in an effort to bring recognition to Scotland’s independence from the English, and to their own king, Robert the Bruce:

“… for, as long as 100 of us remain alive, we will never, on any conditions, be subjected to the lordship of the English. For we fight not for glory, nor riches, nor honours, but for freedom alone, which no good man gives up, except with his life”.

It is also said that the Constitution of the United States of America is based on this.

So you see, life wasn’t all tea and crumpets …….

Comment by motherhen

ah, motherhen – that is a great quote (scot i may be, but i still love the english tea’n’crumpets in a meadow thing and a bit of rose-tinted war poetry!)

Comment by Urban Chick

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: