Friday, April 13, 2012

Mackerel, oak and tired.

1. "You had one of these before?" the fishmonger wonders as he wraps our whole smoked mackerel. "I reckon they're the best you can get. They went slowly at the start: people were put off by the thought of the bones. But they're good value."
It was only £3.25, this fish. I made half of it into a milky, salty chowder. The rest will go in sandwiches, with some horseradish. As I pick over the meat (there are indeed long pearly bones), I nibble a few morsels, think of lemons and lick my smoky fingers. The soft dark flesh down by the belly is my favourite.

2. "Look, Alec, the Turkey Oak has leaves." The limp lime green leaflets look rather ridiculous on the massy giant at the corner of the grove, but of course they are thrice welcome, and will soon grow into proportion.

3. I am so tired I can hardly press the words into sentences. When I call for a word, it doesn't come, or the wrong words come, and they jostle, giggling and whispering instead of helping me to say. I press on, until at last I have something that will do, and I can click publish.