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.
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 price.org
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?