My Week in England


The title of this post is no reference to a recent trip but to the title I gave to my first visit to England in the 1970s.

When I was 11, my parents took me on a journey to England. We spent three days in London (I remember that the hotel was near Piccadilly Circus). Then my parents drove to York where my father had a business meeting and I spent a week in the Midlands with the Brown family: my mother’s pen friend, her husband and their two sons – Alan and Steven.

I was in the first year of middle school but Alan, who was a little younger than me, was in primary school. I went to school with him for a week and more generally shared their family life.

Mrs Brown was a French teacher and she made sure I learnt new things every day. At the end of my stay, she made me write a short diary of my time with them. I had only learnt the present tenses and she had to teach me the past so I could write the following lines.

I had enjoyed this trip so much that I kept this little booklet which I found again a few days ago at the bottom of a drawer. Apart from a short daily account of my week, there are also photos and postcards and a few lines about English meals. Can’t you just tell that even then I liked writing better than art?

It was a fantastic idea and I am glad I still have it after so many years.


Sunday: We went to Coombe Abbey. We played on the swings and slides. We went on the nature trail.

Monday: I went to school with Alan. I went swimming.

Tuesday: It was Alan’s barbecue. We put up his tent in the garden. For tea we had hot-dogs and beef-burgers. We made a trail to the woods and we played hide and seek.

Wednesday: I went to Kenilworth Castle and Coventry Cathedral in a coach. I had a picnic. After school I went swimming. I visited a big school.

Thursday: At school I drew a Kenilworth Castle. We talked about Coventry Cathedral. We did athletics. I ran and I did long jump and threw a cricket ball.

Friday: I went to school and won a badge for athletics.

Saturday: We went to the Battlefield of Bosworth. We saw the film Richard III.


9 thoughts on “My Week in England

  1. What a precious post. And, your treasured booklet, of course you saved it.

    I love your little writings, and the photos. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us.

    • In Britain, the word “tea” is often used to describe an early evening meal. “In many parts of the British Isles, tea is used to mean the main evening meal.” (Wikipedia)
      Thanks for your kind words. I have always enjoyed writing but in this particular case I am sure I got some help.

  2. I love this post. It makes me nostalgic for my own English 1970s – even though it was my home country! Can you remember whereabouts in the Midlands you stayed with the Browns (since that is the area of the country where I grew up!)?

    I agree – your master of English was excellent – dare I say it, better than some native English writers/speakers of the same age – and older!

  3. “It makes me nostalgic for my own English 1970s”
    Finding this booklet made me nostalgic too. I had forgotten about little boys in grey shorts and Marks and Spencer jumpers and lots of other things that were very exotic to my French eyes.
    I was in Burbage, next to Hinckley. I went there again almost every year before spending a whole school year in one of Hinckley’s upper sixths. Is that anywhere near where you grew up?

  4. Pingback: Review with White Columbine - Soup, Sushiana, Spring

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