Monday 12th February 2007
I stayed in a hotel last night and so had a hotel breakfast this morning. I have so got into the habit of having porridge for breakfast every day (with berries from Marks and Spencers, costing up to three pounds a punnet) so it's nice to have the occasional blow-out with a good full English - though having a meal of this size so early in the morning does feel slightly wrong.
The breakfast came with fried bread, which I haven't eaten for ages. It's like a food from the past, from a time when people didn't realise that cooking a porous substance like bread in a load of lard might be slightly unhealthy. I have to tell you that it was a little fatty for my new healthy lifestyle.
It reminded me of the days that I used to regularly eat fried bread, back in the 1980s. And I wonder why I was a chubby child. In fact my signature dish in a limited culinary repertoire was a fried bread bacon sandwich, with two whole slices of fried white bread with several slices of fried bacon in between, coated in tomato ketchup. I believe I fried the bacon in actual, factual lard, which is something I haven't seen in the last couple of decades. How I am still alive is a question that must surely puzzle modern science.
Yet even as I thought of this heart-attack inducing snack and nibbled on a piece of disgusting oily fried bread, I got a hankering to try my childhood feast again. Even though it was obviously going to be too rich and generally horrible for my grown-up, Marks and Spencer's expensive berries spoiled palate. Like Proust's Madeleine biscuits it whisked me back to lost times. Times that I wished to research. Re-search, not research. Even I couldn't justify wasting time researching the bacon sandwiches of my youth.
I love the way our sense memories can send us hurtling back in time, never to important stuff so we can solve crimes and meet Jesus, but just the mundane stuff of frying pans full of grease and plates spotted with dirty oil splatters and ketchup.
Even though a part of me wanted to recreate the sandwich of doom, my stomach sensibly felt nauseous at the idea. I have been treating him so well recently and he doesn't want a return to the bad old days.
I like the bad old days though. They were good.
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