Daily Archives: July 29, 2009

Let us acclaim the successful potato

BELIEVE IT or believe it not, there used to be a title published by Reed called the Successful Potato.

Of course the ultimate successful potato has got to be the King Edward – a royal potato in every way. I am sure that when Sir Walter Raleigh – executed later by Queen Elizabeth I James I* – brought back a potato and a tomato and tobacco and a chili from the Americas, it was not a King Edward.

What a versatile creature the potato is – you can mash it, fry it, boil it, chip it, french fry it, bake it and roast it.

OK, King Edward is related to the Lucrezia Borgia of the genus, Deadly Nightshade. But his Brittanic Majesty is also related to capsicums and nicotines. What a versatile family!

The edible starchy tuber has, of course, many varieties apart from the King.

There is of course his consort, the Charlotte. And his mistress, Desiree. There’s Nicola whoever she is, and there’s Jersey Royals – the princelings of potato-hood. The Saxon variety is related to the House of Hangover, based in Hannover, which at one time by default became the right royal owners of England.

We’d be interested to know if there was a Republican variety of potato, one that organised the Boston Potato Party, and threw Edward, the Saxons and the Princelings into the drink. But we guess we’ll never find out.

* oops. Fixed SNAFU

Don’t thrush me, I’m hungry

WHAT DO YOU do when you’re a hungry thrush and you find a snail that’s as big as your head?

You grab the snail any way you can and you hammer it and hammer it again on a concrete patio until the shell breaks and you can have your breakfast.

That’s what the little thrush did in the back yard of the Oxford Violin Shop just a few minutes ago. Sort of escargot to go.