Skip to main content

At Home with The Thoughts of Chairwoman Ffion, aged 8

The gap between my lukewarm lasagne going back to the kitchen at the Bagle Brook Beefeater, and a freshly prepared, hot one replacing it (with profuse apologies) is gratifyingly filled with the chatter of my great-niece, Ffion, each revelation prefaced by, ‘Lynne?’ ‘Ffion?’  ‘Can I tell you something?’:

Ffion and the £1 special: Chicken
Goujons, Chips and Garlic Bread

A woman on TV who was 101 remembered her little brother being born when she was three. This was her furthest [sic] memory.
When I was in school did other children pick me up? Hannah, her friend, keeps picking her up and she doesn’t like it.
She is four foot tall.
She didn’t really want to be eight but she didn’t really like being seven.
Mr Doyle, the headmaster, is retiring in July.
She has three money boxes: one Principality and two Hello Kitties.
She is upset with Mittens who scratched Tickles’ nose through the bars of his cage.
She scored the winning goal when Emma tripped.
Iwan doesn’t want to go to Bristol Zoo because of the peacocks.
A newt ran into Miss Trunchbull’s knickers.

All this and more for the bargain price of £1 – a Beefeater special for kids between 3pm and 5pm. And my lasagne was pretty good too.

Beefeater Beef Lasagne with rocket and cherry tomatoes
Now, in my childhood bedroom, I watch the mist push in from the sea, veiling the prom’s railings, the waste land in front of Tirmorfa Road, nudging the end of Mam and Dad’s garden. The cries of seagulls are muted, the sea is a soft rumble.

My ‘furthest’ memory? Either a yellow dress, bright sunlight and falling against the concrete step outside the back door and cutting open my chin, or sitting in a sandpit in the back garden, the sand damp against the back of my bare legs.

Hungry Writing Prompts
  • Write a list of ten things you are thinking about now.
  • Write about a bargain.
  • Write about mist or fog.
  • Write about what you find at the bottom of a garden.
  • Write about your ‘furthest’ memory.


Popular posts from this blog

Pie, pie glorious pie

So often when we talk about food we are talking about family. In fact that was how the hungry writer blog began, nearly six years ago: weekly memories or life stories linked by the theme of food. Food is nurture and love. It can be celebration and anxiety too. It can also be a battleground, as the parents of young children know so intimately! Which is rather a satisfying segue into the family featuring in this week's blogpost: The Radfords. Because if anyone understands the feeding of children, really, really understands, it has to be Sue Radford who, with her husband, Noel, has 19 children. You can read about the family on their website but don't rush off yet as what I really want to talk about is pie. And specifically Radford's pies.
Noel Radford has been a baker for 25 years and opened his own bakery in 1999 in Heysham, Lancashire and makes pies with locally sourced ingredients. That, along with his skill as a master baker, means that the pictures of the 'filled to t…

Eat, laugh, cry, remember: Baked Camembert

Once, on a holiday in Malta, I dressed Tony up in my gypsy skirt and stretchy white vest, used two satsumas for breasts and made up his eyes and lips with the brightest colours I had with me. Then I took a photograph. He didn’t seem to mind, in fact he seemed quite tickled by the fuss and attention to detail, but the quantity of rosé we’d shared at Snoopy’s restaurant on the seafront in Sliema earlier in the evening might have had something to do with that.

This was 1988. There were no digital cameras for instant viewing (and, praise be, instant deletion). The only instant photographs at the time came courtesy of Polaroid, with their packages of square film and box-like cameras, and slid out of the front of the machine on shiny thick card that everyone huddled over and watched develop. But they tended to be party cameras, appearing at Christmas, birthdays, engagements. You captured your holiday photos on a proper camera, one you had to load and feed film into, then unload and drop off…

The Mythic Biscuit: Oreos

My childhood biscuits were mainly plain but had lovely names: Marie, Nice, Rich Tea. Quiet biscuits. The kind of biscuits that would never interrupt a conversation. Polite, not pushy. At the other end of the spectrum, and only irregularly present, probably a result of practical economics, were cheeky Jammy Dodgers, irritable Garibaldis, and self-contented and reliable Bourbons. And even more irregularly, the flashy inhabitants of a Christmas Box of Biscuits: Pink Wafers. I ate them at the same time as not liking them very much, a bit like Miss World Contestants in sparkly dresses, too much eye make-up and a saccharine idea of world peace. 
I'm in the mood to think, and personify, 'biscuits' because the lovely team at Oreo sent me some samples of their new Oreo Thins. I hadn't heard of Oreos until the early 1990s when a friend asked if I would bring him back a packet from a Florida holiday. I forgot and pretended I couldn't find them. 'But they're everywher…