Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Pissy English rain, Prime Minister's questions, squash and the lure of the forbidden

It's slightly balmier weather today, although it's been drizzling all day, that kind of weak English pitter-pattering that continues throughout the day and which used to make me want to yell at the skies when I first moved here "If you want to rain, make up your mind and rain well- like a proper tropical storm and let us get on with it, and stop this pitter- pattering pissing about!!"........

There was an item on the radio today about what an accomplished performer Tony Blair is on Prime Minister's questions. I must say I was impressed to learn that he often has no idea what the leader of the Opposition is going to ask him - he certainly does manage to hold his own and give better than he's getting....the programme suggested that David Cameron will be no match for Blair when (as is widely expected) he wins the leadership of the Tory party in the next few weeks.......

For some strange reason, at lunch today, as I was grabbing a sandwich in a nearby cafe ......(Oh I must remember to blog about the English penchant for calling sandwiches lunch- I've been at meetings and other conferences with other Africans who certainly agreed that sandwiches do not qualify as lunch :-) .....Anyway, there I was eating my Coronation chicken sandwich and sipping my apple juice and I suddenly remembered TreeTop and Hi-Time fruit squashes. Growing up, they were a staple in every Nigerian middle-class home, and later in every schoolboy or school girl's cupboard at boarding school. They came mainly in orange, pineapple and blackcurrant flavours and were sold in funny-shaped slightly conical (at both ends) bottles, which once the squash was finished became receptacles for storing drinking water in the fridge. Tree top bottles were smooth, while Hi-Time bottles were ridged......For some obscure reason, my mother refused ever to buy Hi-Time- I think there had been some kind of scandal about it containing some unhealthy chemical- and so it naturally became the drink of choice for me and my siblings whenever we went out without our parents......an early lesson in the attraction of the forbidden..........Strange how these flashes of nostalgia come unbidden.....

2 comments:

Remi said...

I stopped watching PM Question time after William Hague resigned as the leader of the opposition party. It simply became boring. Of course Michael Howard reignited it briefly. Cameron, well bless him.

Anonymous said...

I live in Toronto and you just brought tears to my eyes with all that talk about tree-top and hi - time, the latter i never really liked because it frankly tasted like crap, however, just like you i drank it when i was away from home or when my sister bought her boarding school 'provisions' unsupervised. allow me to say ...damn you. :-)