Commencing this second narrative of the day, its 6.30pm and GJ Strachan currently perches on a dining room chair ensconced within my West Yorkshire abode. Interspersed with jotting down notions, I gaze out into the darkness of the back garden with a rear door wide to the wall. An action taken to allow a cooling breeze to circulate the noshing chamber.

This requirement for introduction of a chill wind resultant from this afternoon’s poor home temperature management by Mrs Strachan senior. Her excessive utilisation of gas fire and central heating system making the home so oppressively warm even our pet camel Arthur has buggered off until it cools down a bit.

Thankfully, with this uber warmth occurring in a house, unless the water goes off, I won’t dehydrate to a level where, through heat haze, I’m confronted by mirages of fresh water oasis’s promising to quench a parched sand blasted palate.

Currently, resting my forearms on the dining table as I type up, sporadically lumps of mash potato stick to the skin covering my ulna bone between elbow and wrist. This edible collateral damage undertaken earlier, courtesy of my mum’s slapdash bomber command style of eating her tea.

Scraping the potato from my forearm with the backdoor key, I flick it across the table out of arms reach, with plans to move it to it’s final resting place (the kitchen bin) on concluding this prose. The latter an event that’ll be undertaken respectfully and with due deference to the mash.

This’ll incorporate a short service of remembrance for the potato, during which my mum and me will sing ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’, yours truly will perform a short eulogy, until it’s brought to it’s conclusion with a 21-gun salute by TV chef Heston Blumenthal. Following this pomp and circumstance the mushed tatty will be launched unceremoniously into the kitchen bin.

Finally cooled down, I’ve just shut the back door. Returning to my seat to be greeted with another inadvertently discarded piece of potato, this time on the end of my elbow…… An incident which begged the question “Just how much of her bloody tea did my mum miss her gob with?!”



Despite the dining room’s now cool ambience, in the lounge, where my mum resides in front of the gas fire watching Emmerdale on TV, it remains overbearingly hot. A fact I’m aware of as I’ve just walked in there to get the hoodie I’d earlier left on the sofa……. Ok, I admit it, I’d needed to retrieve the hoodie as I’m now too bloody cold after sitting with the back door ajar.

Some might query why I didn’t just stay in the lounge to warm back up. Well for a start, the sound of the Emmerdale cast jabbering through each fictional scene would distract me when endeavouring to write.

Mentioning the topic of mashed potatoes has evoked memories of the cult 1970’s advertisements for Cadbury’s Smash. A product marketed with the tagline ‘For mash get smash’……. In contemporary times copywriters could perhaps update the line as ‘For mash lean on the Strachan dining table’……. Or maybe not!!

Leave a Reply