Sunday, 12 February 2017

Waiting for Geoffrey

Dear Reader,





                                                                           Beautiful loaves just out of the oven



The Food Police have been on the march again, warning us against eating crispy roast potatoes and fluffy rice.  Both of these favourite foods could do us damage, they assert.  Perhaps even prove fatal!  I suspect that most people reading this absurd piece of information must think it is a joke, as I do. And, in addition, we have to be on our guard with bread too, all sorts of dangers lurking there, it seems.  I was wondering what the Food Police would think of bread as described by Tobias Smollett in his popular novel, "The Expedition of Humphry Clinker" (1771): "London bread is a poisonous compound of chalk, alum and bone ashes, insipid to taste, and destructive to the constitution." Apparently sacks of old bones were not infrequently used by some of the bakers.

Bread in the 19th century was enormously important; it wasn't just an accompaniment to a meal, bread was the meal.  For a poor family the daily diet was likely to consist of a few ounces of tea and sugar, some vegetables, a small amount of cheese, very little meat, and bread.  A parliamentary investigation of bakeries in 1862 found that many of them were filled "with masses of cobwebs, weighed down with flour dust that had accumulated upon them, and hanging in strips" ready to drop into any passing pot or tray.  Insects and vermin survived along walls and counter tops.  Gosh, what would our Food Police make of all that?  But here they would have something serious to contend with, instead of the nonsense they write about food and its preparation in the 21st century.


                                                                            *

Waiting for Geoffrey

Waiting frustrates us, angers us,
even small waits like
waiting for eggs to boil,
waiting for the bath to fill,
waiting for the postman,
for the broadband to work.

Or the long waits.

Waiting for something to happen,
waiting for someone,
waiting for spring,
       the first cuckoo call.

Waiting for a new beginning,
waiting for the good times promised,
waiting for the loss of pain,
and the longest wait of all,
waiting for eternity,
the last breath.

Or waiting for Geoffrey.

Waiting for him,
to start, to stop, to sing the song,
or a hundred other things.
Me, sitting on the stairs,
ever reading a book,
until he finally appears.

Waiting for Geoffrey,
not first, but last.
But waiting for Geoffrey
is different,
me, accepting him, loving him.

And what does Geoffrey say?
He says the mills of God grind slow
but grind exceeding fine.                                                                       
                                                                            
                                                                            *

With best wishes, Patricia

2 comments:

Jessica said...

Endearing poem about waiting for Geoffrey and you accepting him for making you wait. You are very patient and what they say about the fruit of patience: more patience ... and perhaps more peace? Jess xx

Diane Vermunicht-Ellis said...

Beautiful Trishpot, Rob xxx