Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tom Foolery

He always made me laugh.  A naughty, school-boyish, tomfoolery claimed his manner. An effortless charm poured off him and sealed and gilded all his relationships. He was equally as raffish with the boys, as with the girls: this ease and swagger kept his show rolling – and we all longed to be swept up in it.

Six-foot four, easy blonde Viking looks, strong wide thighs swathed in tan courdroy, hands wide, fingers thick – if he clutched your hand his great girth and warmth offered a security no others could at that stinging moment of palm-to-palm touch.

He loved like an adoring, loyal hound – a surfeit of constancy and devotion that drew you down and swallowed you whole – emerging together a powerhouse of victorious love.

His office was his van – this white van man – like no other – history, his cerebral mistress. Yorkie bar wrappers littered the floor, bedmates with empty, brown-stained coffee cups and red rizla cigarette papers.

Paul Weller was his hero and to hear him sing Wild Wood from that office window as it bound down the street was enough to make the girls quiver with appetite.

“High Tide – mid afternoon,
People fly by in the traffics boom,
Knowing – just where your blowing -
Getting to where you should be going…”

I thought I was blowing along with him – blowing into our future together, laughing and singing all the while.

But the shoes, the shoes changed our paths forever. Those shoes, I shall never forget, nor forgive. They live on in my memory, of my loss.

Red satin wedges with bows on the top, only a look pulled off by a woman on the hunt, a woman out to seduce, and, quite possibly, betray, would attempt to wear.

I saw his office parked on Bow Hill – right at the top – an awkward spot few parked in, it was so steep – I knew it was his because of the peculiar way the dust and dirt eclipsed his number plate – and left it TM1.

I was running late and not expected in that part of town, but I threw my responsibilities to the wind, in the joy of having an elicit moment with my wide-thighed love.

As I got to the office I noticed it was open but he wasn’t in – his shoes were on the floor…strange. And so were the red, satin wedges – abandoned, strewn amongst the male debris.

My heart paused, my stomach lurched, looking down through that dirty window at those shoes almost made me vomit. As my stomach churned, my head raced; I mentally begged my eyes to stop deceiving me. I stood back – took a deep breath – then looked in again – they were still there – unfettered from their mistress – strangling my heart with the lurid fate they offered.

I heard muted sounds of excitement and laughter emanate from the metal sides of the van.

I crept around to the back and gingerly held my pained ear to its door. Muffled yet certain I heard them – I held my breath – the anger, the hatred, came coursing through my veins as I stood paralysed, unsure whether to throw open the doors or to run as fast and as far away from that moment as I possibly could.

Instead I went back to the front, I opened the driver’s door as quietly and carefully as I could – I reached over to the handbrake, grabbed it, pulled it up and then let it go…


Monday, June 11, 2012

Barbie Rhu

She stands out red and well-girthed on the far side of town, her long cheeks rouged and ever so slightly green. All the bugs and slugs under her; a profusion of pests whose days are spent in the seclusion and safety of her wide hips and hairy green leaves - wide, elephantine amongst this small English garden.

The rhubarb plant is a sturdy gal and one I can neither kill; nor abate her growing fury, despite my weekly random leaf plucking, stalk slashing and general abuse of this well-established, stubborn English maid. 

In my natural joy of owning a healthy plant I decide I must, obviously, do something with the bounty. A ferret on google reveals this simple recipe, much praised and easily produced: Rhubarb and Vanilla Jam.

Equal your weight of barb to sugar - say 1kg of each. Throw it in the jam pan and let the sugar melt, when it has melted add a whole vanilla pod  - whip it about a bit and then leave the jam to boil and bubble and furiously become jam - a matter of ten minutes of so.   

I like the saucer test best, to check for jam jammage conclusion, stick a saucer in the freezer - after ten minutes of jamming - drop a few splots onto said frozen saucer and push the jam with your finger tip - if it forms wrinkles its ready to go - if not keep boiling for another few minutes and then try the saucer test again.   

Decant - enjoy.

Sweet, tart - this stuff is truly gorgeous on hot buttered toast, as a compote with fresh sliced English strawberries, or on just out the oven warm , steamy scones...

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