for dVerse poets haibun Monday…

On a few school days we carried a sweaty threepence in our hot little hands to get the most wonderful meal we could ever have.  A big family and very little money meant that school lunches were normally jam sandwiches.  Nobody ever wanted to swap for jam sandwiches!  We reveled in the specialness of being able to order our fish and chips before school, and being allowed out at lunchtime to collect them from the local shop.

The excitement of watching the chip basket being lifted from the bubbling fat and banged against the side of the vat to get rid of any extra grease.  Then the shaking, the spreading out of newspaper before the fish and chips were tipped in, the tipping of the salt (as if we were ever asked).  The joy of clutching that hot parcel back to school.  The envy of other children as they hung around looking for a swap.  Hot steam rising from the torn end of the newsprint carrying the scent of fish.  Just for one day we were in heaven.

of salty fingers
crunch of chips

46 thoughts on “OUTSTANDING!

  1. I think it was about 10 cents by the time I was at primary school. Fish and chip Fridays. I think the caretaker took the orders and the oldest child in the each family got to collect them at lunchtime. The fish and chip shop was right next to my school, but it still felt so exciting to be allowed off school grounds. And then to return with those lovely parcels; my mouth is watering. And you’re so right; a huge treat after everyday sandwiches. Ours were cheese and vegemite or sometimes luncheon (even writing that word makes me feel queasy). Thanks for the lovely memory Maureen.

  2. Do you think fish and chips taste as good now? I have wonderful memories of fish and chips too. But try as I might I can’t find that taste anymore. The fish and chips in your photo look very good.

  3. Ooh, your haibun brought back memories, Maureen! Swimming on a Saturday, hot chocolate from the vending machine followed by the threepence worth of chips and crispy bits from Huttons Fish and Chip shop, which was run by the parents of one of our classmates! The smell of newspaper soaked in hot fat and vinegar used to make my tummy rumble!

  4. i miss that! My first fish and chips was in Auckland and you tell it like the way it was served to me!! Such fun school day memories and the anticipation so evident in your words.

  5. I haven’t seen fish and chips in newspaper for years! Brings back fond memories. We now live in Holland and, being Brits, we can’t find the real fish and chips (and mushy peas of course) that can still be found in the UK. Your image makes me feel very hungry!!!

  6. This yummy write brings back memories for me – of Good Fridays when our treat was fish and chips from the Chippie! How wonderful was that comforting warmth permeating through the newspaper wrapping and that wonderful aroma. Yum yum!
    Still nothing more wonderful than walking home on a icy cold night, fish and chips in hand, blowing on said yummy delight to stop your mouth burning as you nibble on the chips!
    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

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