A couple of self-indulgent ‘nostalgia’ poems. Ahhh, them’s were the days…
When Clive came home it was like the second coming.
It made Christmas official in a way
that paper chains and piled presents could not;
intrinsic as the queens speech,
Eric and Ern,
and me and Robert fighting in the hallway.
After dinner the smells of turkey, cinnamon and sage
displaced by heavier scents:
slim panatela, Sobranie cocktail and –
sweet as incense –
Clive’s Disque Bleu overriding them all.
Pull-my-finger jokes, the scramble for chairs,
glasses filled with pomagne and light ale.
And me and Robert fighting in the hallway.
We’d get sent to the shop for broken biscuits:
Custard creams, bourbon, ginger snaps and thins.
You never knew what you would get
But my favourites were thins.
They arrived at the shop in great big boxes
A liner inside the size of a bin bag,
Brimming with bits and mis-shapes.
Mr Wilson would load the scales with the two-pound weight
Scoop biscuits into the brass bowl at the other end.
‘Watch his fingers,’ mum would say,
‘I’m not paying for his bloody fingers!’
‘There’s no thins,’ I said,
‘It’s all nice and digestives and rich tea,
Where are the thins?’
‘There aren’t any,’ he said,
‘That’s the trouble with broken biscuits – it’s a lucky dip.’
‘Well can you break me some?’ I said,
And he laughed, even though it was a very old joke,
And gave me a Fruit Salad and a Black Jack for free,
Which was almost as good