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Sunday Trips in The Diaspora in London in the '60s

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Sunday Trips in The Diaspora in London in the '60s

Postby bill cobbett » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:24 am

Can just first say that as a born and bred sort of Englishman... don't really count as being in the Diaspora... :P .... but...

One thing always will have fond memories of here in London in the '60s, and that's our trips to the countryside and coast on Sundays in those long Summer Days of childhood.

Like almost all lived in central London, at a time when things such as home ownership in the plusher and greener suburbs and middle-class careers for a new immigrant community were aspirations that were a long way off.

...and those trips were soooo special and always looked forward to with anticipation and excitement... with their early starts to avoid the Sunday rush for the coast in a pre-motorway age, and the promise of a paddle in the cold, grey seas of England's south coast, perhaps with a stop at a Little Chef on the way down... and if we were lucky an ice cream and candy-floss and delight of delights, an hour or so on the penny slots in the amusement arcades on the piers and proms.

As was the custom, lunch on a shingle beach would be a cold assortment of bread, boiled eggs and potatoes, koftes, goubebia, grilled chicken or pork, various salad stuffs and we always remembered the salt shaker... and inevitably a late uncle or late grandfather would have found room for a batiha in the car.

Wherever we went and it would have been all over the English south coast, and some of you will have gone to the same places...to places like Brighton, Hastings, Eastbourne etc etc, there was always time to pick wild fruit and veg from the hedgerows and cliffs... things like mallow, cob-nuts, sea spinach (kale?) to bring home. Think sometimes there must be something in the CY genes that makes CYs natural foragers for nature's bounty.

Anyone else to share similar experiences???
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Re: Sunday Trips in The Diaspora in London in the '60s

Postby Filitsa » Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:16 pm

Enjoyed your recollection, Mr. Cobbett, and it brought back memories of similar such Sunday trips "across the pond" here in New England. The ocean was an hour's ride by car. We always managed to avoid the traffic but not because we got an early start (much to my chagrin): Pappou was a pappa. To make it more torturous to us kids, we'd hit the beach replete with a kotopoulo dinner and all the fixings (which, if Pappou had made it into Watertown that month, included haloumi; it was hard to come by in those days), so it took forever to pack the car. We begged the aunties to bag the dinner and let us run across the street for a pizza or burger like all the other kids on the beach, but it never happened. The process of laying out our meal was a spectacle to behold, or so it appeared by the looks on the faces of the surrounding beachgoers. To make matters worse, the aunties made us wait an hour after eating before we could go back into the water, so when Pappou could withstand our whining no longer, he'd send us off to the jetty to collect saliggaria in our pails. We knew that Pappou and the aunties would bicker all the way home about him cooking and eating snails unapproved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). He would remind them that there was no FDA in Cyprus and he survived. Anyway, we'd count on their bickering and use it as leverage to get one side or the other to agree to take us to the arcade. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.

Years later, while sitting on the beach in Protaras with my Cypriot cousin, listening to him recount his childhood visits to the same beach, I found it laughably amusing that, although our childhood beachgoing experiences were miles apart, they were still quite similar - right down to aunties waiving us out of the water shouting, "Ellate na fate!" (like we really wanted to stop the fun to eat) - so close and yet so far. The moral of the story is: You can take the Cypriot out of Cyprus, but you can't take Cyprus out of the Cypriot.
Last edited by Filitsa on Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sunday Trips in The Diaspora in London in the '60s

Postby bill cobbett » Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:58 pm

Nice and very similar story F... and yes it would have been so much easier to say take sandwiches or go and get a few bags of chips, but as you say, oh no, out would come the huge trabezomadillo, spread out on the beach... and the full CY banquet would follow, which would take up most of the afternoon.

... and yes, in some places we were able to gather shell-fish in the shape of winkles, which we would wash and boil back home and eat with a pin.
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Re: Sunday Trips in The Diaspora in London in the '60s

Postby CBBB » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:42 pm

So that is why you see all the Charlies on holiday in the summer at Fig Tree bay with their picnics.
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Re: Sunday Trips in The Diaspora in London in the '60s

Postby bill cobbett » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:01 pm

CBBB wrote:So that is why you see all the Charlies on holiday in the summer at Fig Tree bay with their picnics.


Of course... wouldn't do to go to a beach without a picnic box, thermos of tea and deck-chairs.
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