Proust could have done it. He would have remembered every taste of boiled swedes, or cheap oatmeal he had from the days before he even would accept a cup of tea. All the awful healthy flavours which were not in the race with lemonade and marshmallows.
Sometimes when the leaden soldiers were not battling well my brother and I would have a go at peanut brittle, Bulgarian Rock or even marshmallows. Most of our efforts were not worth keeping, although peanut brittle & Bulgarian Rock were hard to dispose of. They had an indestructibility that even our scones lacked.
Mother was probably collecting the rents or playing bridge. She accepted our beginnings of haute-cuisine with a great deal of grace – so long as we consumed or gave away the delights and washed up after the mess.
We didn’t seem to be pushed around too much to household chores – maybe we kept to a minimal area – easy to clean.
Yet it was laid down that on Sunday morning, mother was taken tea and toast to her bed three floors up where she read the papers in luxurious ease. Occasionally she would borrow a “Truth” which would be hidden under a cushion later.
On the way back from Union Street the warmth of the meal tucked under my armpit released urges which the smell of chips rendered irresistible. I never knew how many chips I pilfered on the way home from the newspaper bundle. Doubtless the greasy paper contained the latest news of the attack on Passchendaele or Gallipoli for all I bloody well knew – or cared.