Must be something in the air, but I’ve had occasion to reflect on old times, old friends, dead friends.

Oh, don’t worry…I’m not going all maudlin.

I read in a press release from a London hospital that a woman named Lucy Vodden had died recently. If you’re very young the name may mean nothing to you. But oh boy! her death has re-ignited the old debate on a Beatles song. I really didn’t care, back then, if it was “code” for the most popular drug of the day and I certainly don’t give a damn now. image

Then, quite by chance, I heard the song yesterday. Made me smile.

Perhaps there was something crackling in the ether…I had an email from an old friend who’d dropped off my radar. Lovely to be back in touch.

I used to keep a diary. Well, more of a things-I-did and things-to-do scribble, really. Phone numbers, addresses, that sort of thing. And, this being a time when I and most of my friends were “on the road” a lot, the diary had a lot of crossings out. I didn’t see any need to hang on to that sort of rubbish and usually didn’t keep it much more than a year.

So I was surprised to find a notebook tucked away inside a box. Ye gods! People I’d not thought of in decades! Some, of course, whose memories stay close to the surface. Like Vincent Price.  vincent

We swapped recipes and truly horrible puns. He was a very  enthusiastic (and good) cook.

So was someone else, whose real name I never did know.

Stranded one night when a blizzard closed the rail line, I found myself, with half a dozen others, in a really grotty little cafe. Well, a sandwich bar, really. The man who slapped butter and ham onto bread for  daily commuters was about to close, but grudgingly let us in. Shivering and looking like snowmen, we huddled around the counter, sniffing. And …something wonderful was teasing our frozen noses. Sniff, sniff…

Sandwich Man disappeared through one of those plastic strip curtains and we could hear voices. Sniff, sniff… A woman of “ample proportions” appeared through the curtain, nodded at us, evidently counting heads, disappeared  again and we could hear pans and crockery rattling. Sniff, sniff…

And then these two wonderful people reappeared, bearing a big pot of Paprikash and enough bowls  and spoons for us all. God! That was a meal to remember. The man spoke little English, but his wife (?) managed to convey that they’d left a thriving cafe in a small town in Hungary in ’56. Lost all their possessions, some of their family and almost died before stumbling across the Austrian border.

I think of them often when I hear people who have never known such hardship say “we can’t take any more refugees.”

Oh, you’re salivating for  a taste, yes? You could probably find any number of receipts  on the web, but I’ll give you a link to a blogger who, only hours ago, posted her recipe.

Now, I must go and put on my thinking cap and decide how best to celebrate 3 years of blogging. Hmmm…it’s a tricky one. Got any ideas?

13 thoughts on “DOWN MEMORY LANE.

  1. As Chemistry students of the sixties – we used to boast about making ‘lucy’ in the labs. But we never did.
    For the celebration (congrats) get in the kitchen woman and start following that recipe.


  2. now I’m humming about a sky of diamonds


    great cooking is such a wonderful smell, eh

    what a beautiful piece of writing, dinah – made me think of so many things

    thank you!

    (and yes, despite the postal strike here, I did receive your kindly snail mail – thanks!! very interesting)(and also a lovely beach just along form you!)(and what a great alternative to a message in a bottle!!)(thanks again!!)


  3. ziggi…a lady never tells.(or, as Vinny might have said: never reveals her sauces!) so no, I’m not going to tell all. But I will say that one of my jobs sometimes brought me into contact with people who, while “famous” for various reasons, were just people. Most were lovely. Some were decidedly NOT so.

    kaz…you must be one of the few who didn’t 😉 (We had a science teacher in the fourth form who wrote a fireworks recipe on the blackboard! )

    ryan…yes. He was a sweetheart; nothing like his evil movies. He’d chuckle to think this made me “cool.”


  4. iltv…yes, I’ve been singing it,too. How can you not! (A boyfriend once said I had kaleidoscope eyes. I think he was pie-eyed at the time. Or maybe I was!)
    Glad the postie got to you.

    andrea…see what I told Ziggi.


  5. Congrats on the three year anniversary of writing this blog. I’ve certainly enjoyed your writing and you beautiful prints and drawings.

    To celebrate I think you should play a compilation of Beatles songs and make that stew for your dinner.

    And photograph it all and post it this weekend.



  6. zizzi (kim) thanks. The funny thing is that I was never really “into” the Beatles. And I might leave the paprikash for a colder day.;-)


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