Eels and custard.
A trip to London to see Jasper Johns, Graham and David. Jasper is, of course, the famous American painter. Graham and Dave were at college with me when Manchester was still black with soot and there existed Colleges of Art instead of Universities. We lived in Rusholme and that is exactly the opposite to what we did. We rarely rushed home as the flat was, as I described it to my father at the time ‘spartan’. Graham recalled that there was one plug that did not appear to be connected to the meter, under his bed. So almost every appliance we owned ( not that many in those days ) was then connected to the magic plug. Happy student days. One of our neighbours was Joe Wilson, whose room next door was no less spartan. He’s a well-known painter in Ireland now, take a look at what he does: Joe Wilson Lovely atmospheric paintings, with massive energy. See what I wrote about him before here: This will take your mind of it…
The rest of us? Well if you are reading this then there’s a clue to what I do in my domain name, David was one of the very top people in advertising creative circles, and spent his life in the business. Graham, who did sculpture at Manchester became a teacher, and is a keen fan of Gilbert and Sullivan musicals as well as having a background in sports. I remember him as a cultured inside right, but I have no memory of his singing. He was also basketball referee! He looked hardly any different to when I last saw him nearly 50 years ago. Whatever he’s been taking then let me have some.
We had a very pleasant lunch close to Picadilly in Central London at a place called “Brasserie Zedel”, it’s worth a trip to it and not expensive, especially if you stick to the set menu. Recommended. Where we ate.
After lunch, it was back to Hackney for me and as I walked down a nearby street there was this sign. Fortunately, they have labeled the pans. One does not want one’s eels floating in custard. Not the sort of dish they serve up at Zedel.It’s my ambition to try out the jellied eels at this place but this was just not the right time. For those not in the UK, jellied eels used to be a common dish especially in the East End of London. This place has been there for many years and is now surrounded by smart coffee shops and trendy bars. A bit of a fish out of water one might say, or even an eel out of jelly, or perhaps a pie out of custard. I’ll be sure to report when I’ve tried them. Perhaps I’ll get Betty to write a review Become Betty She’s an American who writes about food, and I have been known to comment on what odd things they eat in the USA. Here she can get her own back on me.
In Hackney on such a bright blue afternoon I could not resist this sign. The guy in the picture reflected how I felt after a near perfect day. Jasper Johns might have made a painting from it, if we’d invited him.