23/07/2015

CHIPS - Flash fiction with a difference

You know how a train of thought develops out of the blue and you can't get your mind to leave that track? Well, that's what this week's photo prompt did to me. I didn't see the snow, though in the summer heat here some snow would be bliss - I zoomed right in on the little stalls, which reminded me of a poem I wrote a while ago for the Queen's Jubilee.
So please bear with me, enjoy my poem, and forgive the fact that I've outstripped the word count by A LOT!
In my defence, I am in the throes of packing up to relocate from Tenerife to England after fifteen years, and my head's up my ****!
Thanks as always to https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  for the photo prompt -

CHIP  STALL

My Dad has a chip stall right outside the Tower
– of London, you dolt, not Blackpool –
and now I can actually see over the counter
I help out sometimes after school.

The tourists will stop for two quids-worth of chips
 – “London prices,” Dad says if they moan –
and some of them want them wrapped up in The Times
instead of a grease-paper cone.

Mum’s batter is made with the very best beer
and is famous throughout London town –
a few TV chefs have offered a fortune
but Mum won’t write anything down.

Some weekends the queue to see the Crown Jewels
can stretch for a very long way –
Dad turns on a fan to waft out the smell
and we turn a good profit those days.

Last Sunday I wanted to watch the procession,
but Dad said the Queen’s Jubilee
would bring in the cash and he needed my help –
I could watch it that night on TV.

So there I was, serving the ketchup and salt,
when the whole queue went quiet and still,
and That Voice said, “Those chips smell delicious – We really
must have some - please send Us the bill.”

Mum curtsied and Dad took his cap off and bowed;
“On the house, Ma’am – I couldn’t charge You.”
So I salted Her Majesty’s chips - and took a quick
photo to prove it was true.
                                       ...............................................................


31 comments:

  1. AND for those of you who make it down to the comments - I have a friend whose family did actually own a fish and chip stall by the Tower of London.

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  2. A chip stall by royal appointment! What a lovely thought! One has to smile.

    Rosey Pinkerton's blog

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    1. Thanks Rosey. I wrote that poem in 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee and I still like it!

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  3. You reminded me of the greaseproof paper cones there. Which gave way to parcels and then to those obnoxious polystyrene boxes people leave everywhere. Good one.

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    1. Fish and chips haven't tasted the same since they stopped using newspaper. Bah humbug!

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  4. Is this for real? I could totally picture this

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    1. Thanks DD - all my imagination, I'm proud to say!

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  5. There must have been times when she's been tempted to grab a bag of chips instead of waiting for the formal dinner.

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    1. There speaks a true chip-o-phile, and yes, the allure of 'common' food must be very strong at times. After a week in a hotel I long for beans on toast.

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  6. Dear Liz,

    This made me so hungry. I enjoyed a slice of British life from my US Midwestern place. Continued best wishes on your move. I hated moving across town so I can't imagine...

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    1. Dear Rochelle - thanks for your good wishes. Nobody who hasn't lived in spanish territory can imagine the reams of paperwork in triplicate one needs, each piece from a different office.

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  7. Parasites. Why would anyone want to give them free chips?

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    1. Out of respect maybe, Mick? Some of us still have that. OR perhaps in recognition of the millions in tourist revenue that having a royal family and millennia of history brings into England.

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  8. Now I am craving chips!
    London kind ;)

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  9. she knew where to find the best chips. Neat slice of life story. I liked it a lot, and now I"m hungry

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    1. There'll be a lot of chips eaten tonight, judging from these comments!

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  10. Cute story. Craving chips now, obviously.

    Hope the packing is going well. It's raining heavily here today, though - are you sure you want to come home? ;-)

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    1. Annalisa - I keep telling people there's more to life than weather, but in fact we are suffering here from excessive heat. Even with a fan going in evey room it's difficult to sleep.

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  11. Quite an interesting image: royalty at a concession stand (of sorts). And why is it that those who can most afford to pay rarely do? ;)

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    1. She offered - Dad said no. His choice - and it was only chips.

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  12. A wonderful story, with excellent imagery. Could almost smell fish and chips all the way here in San Diego!

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    1. Thanks Susan - every person on here wants my Tower of London fish and chips!

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  13. What a wonderful poem! You should be proud!

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    1. Thanks Dale - I enjoyed writing this one.

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  14. This made me smile. And craving... it's been a very long time since I had fish and chips.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, GaH - another person who's going to go out this weekend for fish and chips!

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  15. Lovely poem Lizy! Loved the warmth and playful spirit.

    Having grown up in a republic, I always find deference to royalty a bit hard to understand. How are they superior to us? Aren't we all created equal? Isn't respect to be given freely to the person, not the position? Too many questions swim in my mind when I watch the bowing to royalty.

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    1. I learned to respect royalty from childhood. Sometimes the behaviour of individual members of the royal family left a lot to be desired, but the institution remains, in my view, preferable to others. In republics we see Presidents treated like royalty anyway!

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  16. Lovely, fun poem, Lizy - I enjoyed reading it very much.

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