Friday, April 06, 2007

Meme 2 & 7 Part I

If I haven’t put finger to keyboard for a while it’s largely because I have been feeling very guilty about this. Lindy, of Toast who I respect and care for a lot, tagged me for a meme. The best way to explain it is thusly, as she says: “Two of my favorite lovely and clever foodbloggers, Ximena of Lobstersquad and Melissa of The Travelers' Lunchbox, tagged me for this meme, which seems to have come from, maybe France? (Or maybe, like the Coneheads of yore, not so much.) Anyhow, the deal is-starting with the first year of your existence which ends with a "7" or "2", the tagee is to report on what s/he was up to, at 5 year intervals.”

So I got tagged for this and I’m only now getting to grips with it. And I may lie, and leave things out, like entire decades…

I was around in 1952, but I don’t remember it very well. Not much happened. The King died, long live the Queen. (Now the next year, 1953, that was a year…coronation, big frocks, tiaras, tiny televisions in shaky black and white, lots of oohs and aaahs…) So let’s fast forward and have a look at 1957.

In 1957 we moved from the North of England, where my Dad had been part of the team that built the world’s first atomic power station, to the South of Scotland, where they built the second one. I arrived at the local school to find that during the holidays the children had learned a poem – pronounced poyum – and they stood up one by one and recited the following:

“The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht
Wi muckle focht and din.
O try and sleep ye waukrife bairns
Yer faither’s comin in.
They never heed a word Ah say
Ah try tae gie a froon,
But aye Ah hae them up and cree
“O bairnies, cuddle doon.”

I thought I had landed on Mars.

The small town was grim and sad. But it did have two cafés run by immigrant Italians who made the most brilliant ice cream, which came in a cone with a slick of raspberry syrup dribbling down it. In those days the local salmon fishers had not yet acquired deep freezes, and in the fishing months the wild salmon was cheaper than cod, when cod was pretty cheap. Summers were cold salmon and strawberries – until you were sick of it! The rest of the time we ate Aberdeen Angus beef which was raised on the very green fields that rose up from the Solway Firth. Years later I discovered that not all beef tasted like that and it was a real shock.

Saturdays were for shopping, or, in my case, for trudging around shops or sitting in the car waiting and annoying my brother. On Saturday evening there was a huge fry-up, everything in sight went into the pan, things I never see now, like potato bread. Things that make me feel a bit queasy, like fried bread. And baked beans cooked in the pan after the bacon so they acquired the flavour of the streaky.

On Sundays throughout my childhood we had a proper Sunday lunch, which was most often roast chicken, with potatoes and frozen peas. The chicken tasted – of chicken - and the frozen peas were the height of modernity. I think the potatoes were mashed and buttered and creamed. We listened to family comedy shows on the radio before lunch and had proper trifle after the chicken. Proper trifle does not have jelly in it. Ask anyone from the North.

And now that I have pulled out the pin and rolled the trifle grenade into the arena I think I will retire quietly and maybe do a Part II with food news from the boarding school front. Not sure I want to recall that in too much detail. (But oh golly, I’ve just remembered the fabulous rice pudding…)

1 comment:

lindy said...

I'm enjoying this, and thank you for the kind words.
Do you think there's some conditioning involved in getting/not getting heartburn eating heavy and fried food? Though I am not saintly on this account, I certainly eat a lot less of that sort of thing than I used to. And now, when I do, I sometimes pay for it.
I have an acquaintance who never, ever eats that sort of thing at home, and whenever she and her husband eat any sort of restaurant meal at all, they wind up ill! (This is my most recent self justification to keep in fighting form by sampling the fats and all that, so I can eat anything when necessary! I can see it is a bit feeble.)
Thanks for posting-always feel a bit guilty tagging someone for a meme. It's always optional, of couse!

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