Shipham’s pilchard and tomato

Sunday March 16, 2008

For one tantalizing moment the sky looked as though it might clear yesterday, developing a distinctly bright hole in the cloud layer that almost turned blue and gold.

And then it changed its mind and went back to grizzling into its cloudy beard once more.

Today it looks a though we’re in for much of the same.

At least it’s calm. Damp, but calm.  Such melancholy as there is in it is a nice melancholy, like a quiet English afternoon tea with soft scones and limp fish paste sandwiches. 

I turned to my poetry books and pulled down Stevie Smith.  Stevie had a nicely accurate taste for English melancholy, shown beautifully in this extract from Thoughts about the Person from Porlock:

I long for the Person from Porlock
To bring my thoughts to an end,
I am becoming impatient to see him
I think of him as a friend,

Often I look out of the window
Often I run to the gate
I think, He will come this evening,
I think it is rather late.

I am hungry to be interrupted
For ever and ever amen
O Person from Porlock come quickly
And bring my thoughts to an end.

Do you know, I could really do with a fish paste sandwich just now.  I’m positive I have a small jar of Shipham’s pilchard and tomato in the fridge, unopened, waiting on a moment of English melancholy.

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9 responses to “Shipham’s pilchard and tomato

  1. Whoo-hoo! I get to make the first comment today!
    Of course, it’s 2 am here. 🙂

    Our skies here in Oregon are gray too. My husband, however, is a native Oregonian and he refers to cloudy skies as being “Oregon blue”.

    For me, winter ends when the daffodils start blooming no matter what color the skies are! 🙂

    Have a great day!

  2. Ooog. Fish paste? Now, that’s melancholy. 😉

  3. Fish paste, indeed? Any kinship with mashed tinned tiny sardines? That mixed with some mayo and spread on some nice fresh bread with a leaf of crisp lettuce is my idea of a heaven-made sammie!

    That’s the stuff, Mary Lee! Comes in nice stout little glass jars with pop-off lids. Loved it since I was a toddler.

  4. Sadly, it wasn’t pilchard & tomato. It wasn’t even Shippam’s. It was Sainsbury’s own [generic] sardine and tomato. Ok, that’s melancholy.

    The joy came when I realised it was a year past its eat by date and was able to chuck it in the bin without much guilt.

    I shall buy myself a new jar of Shipham’s P&T tomorrow.

  5. Ah, fish paste. I had forgotten all about fish paste. Never liked the stuff.
    Today’s paper contains an article about the return of afternoon tea to the Plaza Hotel in New York. The $60 per person tea includes bite-sized cucumber sandwiches (now with fresh mint), warm scones with clotted cream and jam and pink-frosted eclairs decorated with edible gold. And if you must have something fishy, there’s an alternate menu including black truffle, caviar and a chocolate pot de creme. That’s $100 per person. What would my dear old mum have said?

  6. This soul has not had fish paste. Today maybe the melancoly though. Best put something up, tomorrow morning off early for the injections.

  7. They say “April showers bring May flowers” but what is the point of all this March raub?

    Yeah, I know, I know… it’s what builds up the reservoir levels and keeps us from August drought. Ah well, today looks to be a break from the rainy days… a bright and sunny St. Patrick’s Day.

  8. “raub”? Duh… was suposed to be “March rain” not “March raub” — excuse me, I must go and drink several cups of coffee immediately.

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