Sunday, December 30, 2007

past

One Christmas eve a long time ago when I was sharing a nice woody house in West Norwood with other lodgers, the live-in landlord decided to treat us all to a traditional Polish festive dinner and told us not to eat at all that day because it was going to be 25 courses (!). Earlier in the day, my sister had phoned to wish me season's greetings before she caught a train somewhere down south. It had just started snowing lightly and as the day went on, the snowfall grew heavier until several inches lay on the pavement.
We started eating around 8 and my main memory of the food was the texture rather than the colour or taste. There were things like herrings in jelly, a sort of sago pudding, a thin black sausage in lentil paste and jellied eels and such like. Hmmm. Happily the courses were small and they kept on coming, dish after dish. Luckily there was plenty of wine to wash it all down. At midnight we were finally finished, inebriated and attempting a few Polish phrases. Then the call came. My sister now 200 miles away had just remembered that - before she had left her flat in Tulse Hill that morning - she had put an apple pie in the oven fairly high and wanted me to go over right now and switch it off - because she was scared the house would burn down.
Furious, I slammed down the phone. Ten minutes later she rang again. But I was already out the house - muffled up to the eyeballs in hats and scarves, cursing her. I'd climbed on to an old bicycle and was pedalling through the blizzard straight down the middle of the empty main roads. I reached her basement flat and as I didn't have a key, I clambered first over the side gate and round the back. The windows were all steamed up and the kitchen was full of smoke. I broke a pane of glass in the window and climbed in, switched off the cooker, took out the pie which was just a black crust, wafted out the smoke for a few minutes, climbed back out, pulled the window shut, staggered back to the bike and cycled back home.

******

The template has changed because I tried to add falling snowflakes to my blog (didn't manage it) and then went back to my old one to find it had gone all back to front - so I had to get this new one and now I've lost my label cloud... grrrr


OK so next post - the future

2 comments:

potdoll said...

But did you get dessert before you had to go and save the world Far Away? Hope so!

Happy Happy New Year. Hope 2008 is fantastic for you.

x

far away said...

and you too Pot!!