Thursday 3 February - I was walking through town earlier today, Altered Images were playing the 12” version of ‘Love To Stay,’ when I noticed a sign on a new restaurant, which read, Authentic Spanish Tapas. Nothing unusual with that, it was a Spanish restaurant. So how come the sign next to it read, Pizza and Pasta? Now correct me if I’m wrong but surely the latter is Italian? I pass a Turkish food outlet further on, and they have a sign in their window, which states they sell, Southern Fried Chicken. Where’s it from south Bodrum? A few paces up the road and I come across an Indian restaurant and take away, here they sell the usual curries, but also Doner Kebabs, aren’t they Turkish? Finally I pass a Thai restaurant, and guess what they are advertising for sale? Sushi. I think we must have a severe case of food related mistaken identity in Stoke on Trent.
Friday 4 February – Now I know you shouldn’t laugh at other peoples misfortune, but sometimes it’s difficult not to. I’m walking around Longton; a small and mostly unappealing town. My iPod shuffles and Siouxsie and the Banshees begin to play ‘Red Over White,’ as I spot a scruffy youth coming towards me. He’s dressed in trackie bottoms, with the obligatory hoody, he is holding a tray of steaming chips with beans over the top in his right hand. His left hand is holding a mobile phone to the side of his head, and he’s speaking loudly as he strides up the street.Obviously he’s distracted by his conversation, and he doesn’t notice the bollard indicating the pedestrainised area. The bollard is at crotch height, and he walks straight into it. The mixture of shock and pain is evident on his face, as the tray of chips and beans falls from his hand, hitting the tarmac, and splashing his trackies and trainers. The music shuffles, and Luciano Pavarotti, laughs as he begins to sing, ‘Vesti La Guibba’ and I laugh as quietly as is possible and walk away.
Sunday 6 February – I woke up at 5.15 and no matter how much I persevered, couldn’t lie in. So as we’ve got our friends Rozz and Spike coming over for a late lunch, along with the ex-wife and her brood I get up and start prepping veg. As usual the iPod is in its dock, and halfway through peeling the parsnips, Gina G bursts through the speakers, with ‘Ooh Ah…Just A Little Bit.’ The parsnips and peeler are discarded and my kitchen at 06.14 has a 49 year old man dancing around like a teenager.
In keeping with the food identity crisis, we have an Anglo Italian lunch. We start with Antipasti, followed by Porchetta and a slow cooked beef in red wine, by Antonio Carluccio. (his recipe, he wasn’t here in person to cook it). This Italian fare is coupled with good old English roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings. For dessert we have Pannetone bread and butter pudding. And very nice it all was too.