Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Nostalgia

When I was first married we lived in Exeter, in a terrace on a hill overlooking the railway. We had a friend who was an avid trainspotter, so he liked to have coffee in the kitchen when he visited, and conversations would be interrupted by Chris leaping up and saying excitedly, "That's a 4030 Class II-type!" (trainspotters, I made that up; please don't email to tell me that it couldn't have been one of those in 1973 because they didn't run on that line after '70).

On my way home from Devon yesterday, the train stopped and sat for 5 minutes opposite our old kitchen window, while I indulged in nostalgia about long Sunday afternoons when we walked along the river and home past the Cathedral (I worked in the Close at that time). If you were lucky you might find a shop open to buy an ice-cream – Sundays, in those days existed in suspension from the rest of the week. You could buy an ice-cream or a Sunday paper, if you could find an open shop, but not a tin of cling peaches – and why, exactly, did they cling? And I'm afraid that we did eat such things. When I worked in a country pub we had something of a reputation for good, home-cooked lunches. We served a choice of two salads: lettuce, sliced tomato and cucumber, with your choice of roast ham or roast chicken. Alternatively, you could leave out the meat, replacing it with a hunk of french bread, a wodge of Cheddar and a pickled onion, in which case we called it a ploughman's. I can still pick a chicken carcase clean in record time, and we ate a lot of chicken soup. Somehow, I think we would have to make a lot more effort now, but I still cook a ham the same way, boiling it first then roasting it with a glaze: marmalade is my favourite, but OH does it by boiling first in ginger beer, then using crystallised ginger for the glaze, which is pretty good.

It was good to get back to my own dogs (my mother's Gordon Setter is very boisterous) and at 6 o'clock this morning I was presented with a cup of tea and The Bolter, who curled up beside me and kicked happily.

Below, for the sheer joy of it, and because I mentioned them in my last post, is a litter of Tamworth piglets.

9 comments:

mountainear said...

I remember working in a country pub too - which, from the sound of it served the same sort of (sensible) food. A favourite dessert was a can of warmed black cherries, a glug of kirsch and a scoop of vanilla ice cream The height of siphistication in 70's Oxfordshire.

Re cling peaches: the stone 'clings' to the flesh of the peach - as opposed to 'freestone' where it comes away easily.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Proper food!

I always thought cling was to do with the way the syrup clung on - but I bow to Mountainear's superior knowledge

Nan - said...

'The sheer joy of it' is so right. Thanks so much for the picture. They are so cute. I could happily be an Emsworth and stroll down to the pen with a stick to scratch the pig's back. :<) I don't think we will ever have a pig but I sure enjoy looking at them.

GeraniumCat said...

Thanks M'ear, I knew there was a proper explanation!

M&M, it does cling, though, doesn't it?

Nan, I'd like a pig too, but nowadays I couldn't be sensible and not make a pet of it. We'll have to make do with an extra 5 minutes scratching behind the dogs' ears - I'm sure they'll oblige and make happy pig noises.

Table Talk said...

Oh Lord! I do hope your friend Chris isn't my ex-partner Chris who once almost stopped a performance of the first Harry Potter film by declaring that the Hogwarts Express was a Great Western Hall which really didn't add to the magic. Where does your Chris now live?

GeraniumCat said...

"My" Chris was an Australian reading geography, I think, but should have been majoring in beer and brewing. Hope that doesn't sound familiar.

Table Talk said...

No, that sounds OK. My ex wouldn't have known what geography was, although he could have majored in steam trains and Bruckner. You would have thought that ill assorted combination would have flagged up warning signals in the first place, wouldn't you?

TheElementary said...

Oh, that picture is delightful. I like your blog; I wanted to say something somewhere so thought I would start with this one since the piglet picture is wonderful! Also, your talk of the ploughman's lunch made me hungry...
I'll be browsing around the blog regularly now!

GeraniumCat said...

Welcome! thinking about it made me hungry too, but I managed not to eat all of my picnic within the first 50 miles of the journey that day!