Another day of rain and gloom for most of the country, though here in Hove it's relatively dry compared with some places, and the sea is wonderful; there are white-capped waves whipped up by the wind - very invigorating. My trusty radio this morning gave me the news that it has been the wettest early summer in this country since records were first kept in 1766! By golly, that's some record. And does that mean that the late summer will be good? Probably too much to hope for.
I have two foreign students staying here at the moment. One from the Czech Republic and one from Germany. I am their "host mother", they are 19 and 18 respectively, and they are both very good-looking, charming and well-mannered girls. Surprisingly, the German girl, who seems the more sophisticated and "together" of the two, has been homesick since her arrival last Sunday, and is constantly on the phone to her Mutti and her Vater.
I hesitate to focus on national characteristics so early in the day, but this morning over breakfast, her german-ness became apparent. I was waxing lyrical about Tchibo, the new shop in our local area which has interesting stuff, when she smiled in a very superior way and simply said "tCherman". Of course I know that Tchibo is a German chain, but I simply couldn't believe it. There, in a flash, was her innate sense of superiority over the English - she couldn't help it. I must try and mention the War over supper - and it may be necessary to watch a couple of episodes of Fawlty Towers and Dad's Army just to boost my sense of what it is to be English.
I had a bit of a triumph when I cooked them Toad in the Hole for supper on Tuesday. They both asked "What iss thiss "Toad"? So I answered "Like a frog, but bigger."
They still looked puzzled, so I helpfully added "Kribbit", in what I hoped was a reasonably frog-like impression.
At this point I took pity on them and explained about the sausages and the pudding, and the fact that it's a traditional English dish. It went down very well, and the
czech girl asked me for the recipe to take home. I do feel that I'm helping them with their understanding of all things English.
Just in case you are wondering (that is, if anyone is reading this), today's title is courtesy of Frank Sinatra, and reminds me of a time when I was desperately in love with a desperately unsuitable man who broke my heart (and nearly my mind) thirty-odd years ago. "Maybe I should have saved those left-over dreams." Ah well, life goes on...