Sunday 25 September 2011

Thought of The Day 34

How was your weekend?

Fine thanks, yours?

Brilliant – I ate fish, twice.

Does that make for a brilliant weekend?

It could do, it depends on how you eat the fish.

How many ways ARE there to eat fish? Chew, chew, swallow….? It has limited possibilities.

Well that just shows how ignorant you are – you can eat it freshly barbecued over a fire on a beach in Spain as the sunsets into the Mediterranean and you and a beautiful companion, Italian maybe, sit on the sand with your toes in the sea…

Or you can eat it as a starter in an Indian restaurant called the Taj Mahal, on a back street in St Leonard’s on a Saturday night.


Which was it?

St Leonard’s.

What were you doing in St Leonard’s?

It’s a long story.

Shorten it.

I drove to the airport, parked the car, got on a plane, flew over the sea, got off, went through customs, had an argument with the car hire person, took the car hire, drove to the centre of London, got stuck in traffic, parked near the Thames, walked along the Strand, got on a tube, took a photo, got off, walked along Piccadilly, met a friend outside the Royal academy, went to the toilet – I was bursting! – Washed my hands, found it quite funny that the air hand drier thing was so strong that it made my arms flap, entered the gallery with my friend, looked at paintings by Degas, left the gallery, noticed it was night, held hands, went on the tube, walked through the night club crowd, stopped for a glass of wine in a bar of special memories, caught up, remembered things, set off along the strand again, got back in the car, drove, sat in a kitchen I know very well, ate sizzled salmon at midnight, went to bed too late, took a picture, slept on a sofa, woke up early, said goodbye in the kitchen, drove down the road, went to the bank, parked by the bridge, walked to the Portuguese café, listened to Portuguese, drank coffee, took a picture, bought a book, sent a postcard, bought a CD, another book, took another picture, sent another postcard, visited a gallery that wouldn’t open, sent a text, got back in the car, drove past a ship in a big bottle, went past the guard getting ready to change, saw Big Ben, heard Big Ben, got stuck in traffic, saw the cat in Catford, almost took a picture, drove south, got lost, stopped in a village, bought flowers, water and deodorant, drove on, phoned my aunt – told her to eat, parked, kissed my aunt, said happy ninetieth birthday, helped her into the car, drove to the marshes, parked, ate in an old smuggler’s pub, got back in the car, drove to the sea front, looked at the sea, drove her home, had a cup of tea, ate cake my sister had made, said no to another piece, a scotch egg, a sausage roll and scones with cream and jam, said goodbye, drove along the coast, parked on a hill, met mike, had a hug, got in his car, and went to St Leonard’s, got out, walked into the Indian Restaurant.

Sounds brilliant!

Isn’t that what I said?

Yes, you did.

Trouble was I wasn’t hungry – my aunt had stuffed me.

So you couldn’t eat the fish?

Well, that’s the thing you see – I’ve never had fish in an Indian restaurant before, never even thought of it, but there it was, and it was good.


Now I was REALLY stuffed.

What happened next?

Went outside, read the notice about the Musical Chair competition the restaurant was organising for up to 25 children, bumped into a VERY drunk woman, got back into the car really quickly and then got dropped in The Old Town Hastings and got lead into a pub, sat down, and played Mike at his new game (from the Junk Shop) – Marble Arch.

Who won?

One victory each and then it was closing time.

Even stevens?

Well – even Mike and Chris, but yes – I see what you mean.

What then?

Walked up a LOT of steps to the cliff tops, a meadow, lights of ships on the horizon off in the night, in the darkness they seemed too high, might have been stars but Mike said no.

What did you say?

Pant, pant, pant – that was a lot of steps.


Walked back through the streets, into the kitchen, fizzy water, into bed, woken by a seagull, slipped outside whilst everyone slept, walked back up to the cliffs of lastnight to check the horizon, took a picture, returned, Mike opened the door, said - do you fancy a swim?

A swim?!

Yes – English Channel, September, 8.30 am.

What did you say?

Have you got a wet suit?

Had he?

He had.


We swam.


It was glorious, and then it was salty, then it was shingly and the sun broke through the morning and did that thing it does to cliffs, and we lay on our backs in the water….. then we went and bought a Buckling.

What’s a Buckling?

Well, I only know this NOW, it’s a fish, smoked and you buy it from this place (I’d like to say Plaice there because it’s the name of another fish and it would make a nice joke) that has only half opened its shutter thing and you have to stoop under and in and ask – are you open? – And they say yes, and you say have you got any Buckling?, and they say one, and Mike buys it, and you say Mike I really don’t fancy the idea of smoked fish for breakfast, I have never ever eaten fish for breakfast, I hate smoked haddock and if you gave me a choice of egg or fish I would choose egg.

What happened?

We had coffee, egg, toast, bacon, raspberry jam and Buckling.

How was it?



Anonymous said...

Call me pedantic and picky - but I count 3 fishy feasts, not 2. MM

popps said...

You pedantic picker!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for inviting me to part of this day I loved it...deciding on and discussing Degas, wonderful wine and sage sayings is this Mike's new game? x

popps said...

And i'm so glad i got to hold your hand!