'Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy went straightaway to have buns and ginger-beer at the station tea-room.
'Buck up with your bun, old thing!' said Julian.
'We've got to get across London and catch the train for Kirrin.'
It was good to be all together again1.'
I was reminded of this sort of scene when listening to a song by Divine Comedy
Do you remember
The way it used to be?
June to September
In a cottage by the sea.
Distant cousins, local kids,
We climbed every tree together
And it never ever rained
Till we climbed back on the train
That would take us so far away
From the village and the bay
And the summerhouse
Where we found new games to play.
Nice. As in 'how lovely!' not the place in France, which I shall refrain from discussing, since I am utterly biased against it.
So, the holiday season is upon us, you know, that time of year when 'normal' people with 'normal' jobs escape them for a little while and do something completely different. The Home of Today2 is quite adamant that:
'Holidays are essential for health, even if these be limited to the annual Bank holidays prescribed by Act of Parliament. Every individual, however, requires a longer period of holiday and the tendency to introduce at least a week's respite, with full pay, is on the increase today amongst employers.'
I should jolly well hope so! Some misguided souls have tried to combine the delights of a career with a lifestyle they fondly imagine may provide them with a free 'holiday in the sun'; however, as certain US marines at present sampling the delights of the 'New Improved Iraq' dicovered this week, departure and return dates cannot be guaranteed.
US forces not going home soon
Thousands of soldiers expecting to end their tour of duty soon are told they have to stay in Iraq indefinitely3.
Oh well, at least the sun's shining so they will undoubtedly return with a 'healthy' tan:
'And yet it is not always becoming. Tanning is primarily for the youthful, for the effect of the sun on the middle-aged is apt to be anything but decorative, and on those past middle life it is fatal to good looks, accentuating as it does, lines and wrinkles, and bestowing a leathery look to the skin4.'
Back to those US soldiers. One of their former numbers has recently arrived here in France for a nice romantic holiday. The happy couple met on the internet, which I can personally vouch for as being an excellent way to get to know someone. I am usually all in favour of saying 'Age doesn't matter' but, in this case, maybe these two might not appear in the h2g2 Romances statistics.
Marine 'thought schoolgirl was 19'
A former US marine who flew to France with a 12-year-old girl believed she was 19, his family says5.
Hmm, I think a little cooling off may be in order. Let's see what The Honourable Wm (Cocktail) Boothby suggests:
'Peel a lemon so that it will curl in the form of a cone, and after having pressed the oil out of part of the peel, just to spray the glass a little, you place the cone inverted in a long, thin glass and fill up with fine cracked ice. Some people put a little lemon juice in, but that detracts. Then you add a jigger of Old Tom gin. Let this lie for a minute. All you have to do now is to fill up the glass with imported ginger ale and smile.'
Mmmm! Ginger ale indeed, back to Enid I think!
Yes, folks, the moment you've all been panting for, puzzle time from Enid Blyton's Book of the Year. The standard of entrants to this little competition continues to improve and response times too are becoming less tardy, therefore I have taken the liberty of moderating this one a little, too clever by half these Hootoo Home of Today readers!
A seaside riddle-me -ree
'My first is in shingle, and also in sand,
My second's in pierrots, but not in band,
My third is in steamer, but not in its hull,
My fourth is in sea-bird, but isn't in gull,
My fifth is in catfish, but isn't in cod,
My sixth is in line, but isn't in rod,
My seventh's in schooner, and also in ship,
My last is in bathing, but never in dip,
My whole is a creature you'll find on the sand,
With plenty of ******* but never a ****!
- What is it?'
Answers below, or on a postcard!