I’ve just finished a very simple, but satisfying, breakfast of marmite on toast. It’s was by no stretch of the imagination a culinary masterpiece; such as the opulent fare that would grace the recipe books of Jamie Oliver, James Martin or Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher. However, I found those two toasted pieces of bread smothered with vegemite a warming comfort food, meant my day started contentedly.

Liam Gallagher (below) – He’s not as accomplished at songwriting as brother Noel, but try his recipe for walnut cake – It’s exceptional……. Unless you have a nut allergy, of course!


Consequently, even if I get trampled by a herd of marauding wildebeest on Garforth Main Street later this afternoon, at least I can say today I’d been blessed with a fulfilling breakfast.

Despite being heavily bandaged from head to toe, I’d be able to lay in my hospital bed unperturbed by the hoof marks and broken bones. Content in the knowledge I’d not missed out on my morning marmite on toast.

I’d proffer that my spirits couldn’t even be dampened if, in my state of reverie, I overheard the hospital porter tell the attending nurse “That must be a good watch he’s wearing. It’s just survived a wildebeest stampede.…. I’m having that when he falls asleep!”

I am a big advocate of the theory the first meal of the day is key to sustaining energy and concentration levels throughout your day. There is another part to this theory, but I’m too tired and listless to remember what that is.

During childhood, my siblings and I had the importance of partaking in breakfast drummed into us by our parents. At least that’s the impression we got when every morning our mother would tell us “Breakfast is important….. Now get the bloody thing eaten!!”

When one of us asked why, she was never sure and would quickly feign a sneezing attack, or divert the subject by telling our dad “Malcolm, your flies are open!”….. Regardless of this, we trusted her advice and have generally adhered to it ever since.

One morning during breakfast in the late 1970’s, my dad inadvertently created an innovative way of giving our kitchen wall a decorative makeover.

At the time my brother Ian and sister Helen were sitting opposite pater and I at the kitchen table, where we were tucking into cereals.

Without warning, our pater violently sneezed a mouthful of All Bran cereal wall-ward. An action taken with such velocity that the contents of his mouth rendered the wall behind my siblings with a woodchip effect.

all bran

Luckily for Ian and Helen they took evasive action, otherwise their faces would have possibly required sandpapering prior to going to school. As my dad recomposed himself, mum shook her head in disapproval; promptly added Mally’s mishap to the Maggiesaurus as the act of “All Branning it.”

She then assisted in the clear up, during which she reminded dad that his flies were open as usual.

An artists impression (below) of Mally ‘All Branning it.’

all branning it

After the incident our Ian said he might not be able to make school, due to the stress of nearly having his face sandblasted. Mum was having none of it mind you, and in no uncertain terms promptly told our kid “Get your coat on, your going!”

It didn’t take long for our kid to put the incident out of his mind. Within minutes he was running down the street with a haversack on his back and a neighbour’s cat under his right arm.

When he got home that evening, Ian explained he wanted the cat for the school play, in which he playing Hamlet. Mum pointed out she didn’t think there was a cat in Hamlet, to which he responded “I know, but at least I stopped it messing in our front garden!”

As I look down during a brief break in penning this monologue, I notice my burgundy woollen sweater is covered in breadcrumbs from my recently eaten toast. I’ve made such a mess I resemble a giant fish finger…… A giant claret coloured fish finger that needs a gym session or two, a cup of tea and to stop writing so it gets its arse in gear to venture into Garforth.

Wildebeest stampede (below) – I’m hoping to avoid this in Garforth later!wildebeest


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