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Friday, 24 April 2009

Fried Spam. Thank you Andy.

Mrs Griffiths lived in 36A a ground floor flat in Bryngwyn Road. I lived in the Bed-sit above – 36B Brynwyn Road. I didn’t know then that one day my future wife – Miss Griffiths - would one day occupy 36C the room above. Guardian Angels know when the stupid need a very strong hint.

Mrs Griffiths has since died though I kept the curtains she gave me. Miss Griffiths is still alive though under a different name.

I loved Bryngwyn Road, the roads surrounding it, solid red brick Edwardian villas, some run down, others turned into bed-sits and flats, the majority family homes. I loved red brick, and decided one day I would live there, not a bed-sit but a house of my own.

Until then it was 36B Bryngwyn road, a bed-sit adjoined on either side by two other rooms, lived in by Andy Lyon and Tom. We shared a kitchen, consisting of a small stove, sink and a blue Formica table. The curtains were yellow though they may once have been white. The bathroom we also shared though I cannot remember anyone ever cleaning it – which was ironic because Andy was a trainee Environmental Health Officer.

Tom, a genial bachelor, worked for Alcan and every weekend he’d spruce himself up until his face shone, comb brylcreemed hair across his scalp, and go out on the town in search of a date. He often ended up in the Lamb at the bottom of Bridge St.

I owe Andy a lot. He introduced me to Little Feat, never mind Steeleye Dan, or Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airman. He also introduced me to fried spam, which I find hard to forgive. Just writing about it brings back memories of teeth glistening in grease. Mind you, he did leave me a parting gift of two beer mugs which are still in good use. Thank you, Andy - almost makes up for the fried spam.

Spam is now making a comeback, and I think, is the world going mad? You can buy Spam Classic, Spam lite, Spam with Cheese, Spam Hot and Spicy. There are Television adverts for Spam – couples celebrating anniversaries with candle-lit tables and…Spam salad. My wife would kill me, which would at least spare me the spam.

There was only one thing worse than Spam – the Vesta (accelerated freeze dried) chicken curry. For long enough I convinced myself Vesta was a front for the CIA, I mean did people eat this stuff? Were they actually bought? How did they stay in business? I pondered these things as I chewed on something akin to predigested cardboard, but with less taste. I think I’ve eaten two – once out of curiosity, the second time because I was drunk and the alternative was spam.

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