Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Mastication and Jubilation

Eggs are the food of gods and monsters. So raw that they are not yet become. Paint them up like beetles, push them still warm into your other mouth, eat them with a tiny silver spoon. I have two hardboiled eggs in my pockets, and a pinch of salt twisted up in newspaper. I will eat them later with great pomp and circumstance and I will save the shells to make boats for witches. Later still when it gets dark I will eat a fish, served curled in a blue bowl with its tail in its mouth. I am very particular about what I eat. Food has magic and it can change you. If you eat enough rabbit you will be able to see behind yourself without moving your head. Honey is immortal and so to spread it on your toast is to eat the future. Bone soup is an aphrodisiac. You should never skimp on your ingredients. Authenticity is key. Use real toad in your toad-in-the-hole, real shepherds in your shepherd’s pie and never, ever serve upside-down cake unless your guests are hanging helpless from the ceiling by their manacled ankles.

Today is a momentous day. Not only have we had the vacuum cleaner fixed, but I have finished the first draft. I will celebrate the best way I know; wine, weed and the BBC’s Blue Planet. I want to see the vampiroteuthis infernalis, I want to see the herring deposit their curds of sperm at the water’s edge, the anchovies in their bait-ball, the slow-motion desecration of the whale carcass, the sea-sponges like sweetbreads and the umbilical eels. Most of all I want to see the lake at the bottom of the sea, the briny unreality of it, lapping at its crab-infested shores. Then I will have a bath with Mrs Gaskell and come out scrubbed and shiny and smelling of coal-tar soap.

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