I’ve been grappling with a powerful calling dear reader, with a summons that hoots at me from all across the town – yes, the entreaty of the hot chip, in the winter, it does speak clearly to me.
苏州美甲美睫培训

And I’ve sometimes wondered about the idea of a favourite food, or even a last meal – you know, the death-row scenario: where down the darkened corridor walk the priest and grim warden-come-waiter with the cloche covered plate.

Then out from under that shining prison finery comes, not a twice-cooked [and most unfortunate] Canadian duck, but instead, a parcel of steaming hot chips and vinegar!

And I reckon that’d do me, reckon that would make me feel OK about the looming leap into abyss – reckon I could yell ‘“Geronimo” with vinegar on my lips and a memory in my heart – yep, that’ll do…

And my choice is not based entirely on the taste of those fine bounteous things: all crisp and golden, hot and lovely, but their other features too.

Their traditional encasement is important: swaddled in newspaper, like tiny newborns, kept cosy against the cold – until a hole is torn in the end before a searching hand is plunged into that dark, hot portal – and there, on the High Street, walking home with a friend, you savour the taste together, savour the town and your friendship with a chip.

And chips are communal meals too. They’re often the first and last meals in our homes – too exhausted from packing and cleaning, we sit on bare floors and at newly-placed tables together, we open the papery capsule and graze, we commune and remember, we lick our fingers and plan a new life.

And it’s not too long a bow to draw when I say that the potato itself, that honourable, earthy vegetable, is the reason I’m here at all. When my Irish ancestors, years ago, on lush, green fields like ours, where deprived their staple, when they suffered their famine – well, they left those shores and they came south, to here.

And here I am – here we are, delivered to now by the potato…

And I have always loved those things – seen them being picked from the rich soil by bent backs out on Flat Road, saw them traded down at Caines’ in Steam Street, saw them stacked in the kitchen in their heavy hessian bags, saw mum cut them up rough and fry them – smelt them there on the enamel plate for my tea – and I can see and smell them still.

I remember them resting, steaming, on the end of pin-ball machines at the town hall and Calooda Cafe – two bob’s worth and maybe a scallop as well – and greasy flippers and laughing and kids and noise – and all that.

I remember them at night when dad came home from the Royal or Exchange, a parcel there for us to share – sauce and buttered bread – and us all there together in that house, under that sky, all those years ago…

And they’ll do me for a last meal, they’ll do me…

So it goes. Goodnight.

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