oyster blessing

Weeping over Oysters in Whitstable

Growing up in New Zealand, my British grandparents would regale me with stories about the quirky traditions and village pastimes of English people, including how they’d roll cheese downhill in the Cotswold, pay homage to chalk men with enormous appendages in Dorset, and bless oysters with holy water in Kent. Of course I would giggle at their stories, never sure whether they were telling the truth – I mean why would anyone chase cheese?!  – but I always secretly harboured a desire to find out for myself; to visit the UK and see whether there really were naked chalk giants in the hills and priests in white robes uttering[…]