Sunday, 2 March 2014

Ciggies for Breakfast (unedited) - South Shropshire Journal 28/2/14

And then it stopped raining. The first time since before Christmas. An orange orb hung in the air. At five o’ clock in the afternoon there was light. The Storm abated for a few minutes last week so I popped up to my veg patch, squelched it with the palm of my hand, hrrrumphed to myself and went back inside for a cup of tea. Don’t know about the rest of you veg-growers, but my patch is going to be unworkable until at least 2067.

Anyway, tea. I’m rubbish with tea, no taste at all. I do coffee, cheese, wine, truffles, foie gras, caviar and all that sort of stuff properly. But with tea I’m simple. In the afternoon I take a neat PG Tips with a dash of milk. I can’t be doing with supermarket own-brand teabags, they just don’t cut it. In the morning (and this is the important one) my preference is 50: 50 builders and Lapsang Souchong – two bags, one cup - with a Marlboro Light. *For me this is the perfect weekday breakfast, but it’s so terribly unfashionable to advocate a cigarette as part of a balanced breakfast that I expect this will be subbed-out.  *Subs: Please don’t remove this bit!

I really struggle with breakfast. Just can’t be doing with it, not on a normal working day. Toast and cereal just don’t flick my switch. The very thought of porridge makes me want to go straight back to bed. Midweek I’ll take a fag and a cup o’ tea. No better way to start your day, although I obviously don’t tell my baby girls that. I fill them up with weetabix and bran flakes and they’re happy.

Give me a Weekend Breakfast and I’m your man. Any time from 10.00am onwards. Full English, no beans, I’ll have that. If there’s fried bread, then so much the better. Beans make a fry-up too saucy, and bean sauce mingled with runny egg is intrinsically wrong.

Failing that I’ll have kedgeree please. With a glass of beer. On a Sunday, Desert Island Discs or the Archers omnibus on the radio. The bells of St Laurence’s Ludlow will be ringing.

Devilled kidneys and a cheeky bloody Mary, seed cake with a glass of Madeira; kippers with buttered brown bread and strong, stewed tea; eggs Benedict and the Sunday Times. A bit of leftover Chinese takeaway in the fridge poses a treat of higher distinction than almost anything else. For me, brunch is king, A meal to be revered. If like me, you’re a person of high and distinguished taste, you’ll take your breakfast late in the morning. If, however, you’re under eighteen then listen to your parents and ignore pretty much everything I’ve just written.

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