Friday, 15 March 2013

Butty Day...

Steak and chips. I'd love steak and chips.

I like steak medium to well done. Can't have blood coming out of it. I'd feel like a vampire or cannibal. And proper chips. Not the frozen or oven ones that taste like soggy cardboard. No, proper, sliced from the spud, fried CHIPS.

Of course, if you're on a certain side of the Atlantic, that's crisps you're thinking of. Or thick fries. What do you call them? The weightier siblings or the French Fry? I remember, when I was younger and just being introduced to the fast food fury, that I thought it was kinda cool and sorta sad that our nation's favourite food was being called something else.

Hey! It's American! Fries! How cool!


Hey! It's American! No way can they change the name!

So I'd alternate by wanting to call them all fries, even when it came with batter coated haddock, to refusing to refer to them as anything other than CHIPS!

But, I'm from Grimsby. The home of fish'n'chips. It verged on heresy to a child who'd been weaned on deep fried everything.

Anywho-be-do. Steak and chips. Or bacon. A well done bacon and egg butty. Bread bun, sliced open, a better-bit-o'-butter, and some bacon and a fried egg.


Where I used to work, with a certain furnace I'm planning on becoming very intimate with, Friday was Butty Day. As it was situated in an industrial area, there was a mobile kitchen that would deliver for free if your order came to more than £10. As such, with various requests for my own delight or sausage and mushroom and more, they'd drop them off at the entry turnstile at 10am. Washed down with a nice cuppa, it was the perfect way to welcome in the weekend.

I miss that. They wouldn't, methinks, fancy delivering to an asylum. All those crazy people. Then there's the actual residents. If it had occurred to the orderlies, however, and if a similar franchise operated nearby, they'd take great pleasure in hungrily devouring such delicacies right in our faces. Taunting with moans and yums and dribbling chins.

I don't think I'll mention it.

Saying that, my stomach is threatening to tell them itself. It's started to grumble and groan. Like a distant thunder, its rumbling could well create a storm if anyone tried to force the reason for my stomach's verbosity.

I'll have to think of something else. Football. Like 'proper' chips, I mean 'proper' football. The sort played with, no less, the foot. Soccer, if you must. Again, like fish'n'chips, it was invented by this fair country of mine.

Thing is, we're pretty good at fish'n'chips.

At least we got one thing right...

Friday, 1 March 2013

What's Two Days Between Friends...?

Two days isn't a lot, is it? A flash in the pan of life, even for us mortals who exist for fairly short periods, two days isn't much. It's loose change in the pocket of a lifetime.

So how come February seems to be such a short month? How come, while only 48 hours exist between it and the likes of April and June, it feels as if we're cheated by the speed with which February comes and goes? Even more so when it's sandwiched between the mighty January and March, who clutch their extra days tightly lest an errant wind snatch them away.

Is February the runt of the litter? Last one out so the rest took all the meat? Does it have breathing problems and always get pushed to the back at feeding time?

Or, is it the black sheep? Getting into trouble and blaming its siblings? Small and sweet looking, so you'd never do that, would you Feb? Didn't think so.

We had our own February. Well, the month belongs to everyone, of course, but in here, in the depths of the asylum, February was alive, Johnny Five. And, most probably, holding out for a hero - much like all of us.

February. Small, red-headed, dimpled. Petite, you'd call her. She only came out of her shell during this particular four week month. Otherwise she barely spoke and remained huddled down within herself, as if her body had gone walkabout and her shadow was keeping her seat. I don't know why she was so different when January waved goodbye. Perhaps she was sympathetic to the month's plight. Maybe she identified with the baby of the year.

But, come the dawn of the second month, her body returned and February bore fruit.

She was a minx. It has to be said. A minx. Her double entendres had entendres and her normally dark eyes sparkled. She would have the other residents fighting over her affections, literally in some cases, as she flitted and flirted about the Recreation room. And she would smile at it all.

February was flanked, permanently when she had her brief bout of blossom, by two other residents. These were quiet and unassuming usually, but, again, changed when she awoke. The one to her left (they never mixed up their positions) took it upon himself to take a name that he thought would portray himself as a beast of a man. Someone you wouldn't want to mess with. Hulk was already taken, so he chose, being a Clash of the Titans fan, Gorgon.

His associate, right was always right, didn't quite get the gist of this. As such, he couldn't understand why we all laughed when he called himself 'Zola'.

They kept their little live-wire safe from the throng of admirers and held those who might have a grievance at arm’s length. Not that grievances were common in here. We were all as sad as each other, so there was little to cause animosity really. But, unfortunately, when you have nothing, even a little popularity is as valuable as a decent meal or warm fire. Or Rolex or winning lottery ticket, for that matter.

It all livened up a month lost after January’s New Year kick-off. As is the norm for this place we don’t call home, the fleeting burst of colour paled quickly. February faded, to be replaced by Anna, red-headed, dimpled, and small in every sense of the word.

Gorgon became Gerald. Gerald liked to play cards with an invisible deck, but never won a hand. Zola morphed into Brian. Brian liked to beat Gerald at cards.

Two days. It’s not much, is it? Why does it feel like a lifetime?