Snow and Sandwiches

February 2, 2009

Snow coming down on London, all night and all day. On the grey warehouses and chrome-and-glass sky-scrapers and the narrow streets around Liverpool Street Station, on the curry houses of Brick Lane and the Turkish shops towards Stoke Newington with their exhaust infused racks of tired vegetables. Snow on the posh town houses with their white columns and steps, snow on the deer of Clissold Park. Snow on our lawn and six inches of snow on the patio table. Snow on the garden Buddha top-hat-tall.


Everything has ground to a halt. It’s so quiet out there too, only a few kids chucking snowballs. The cars are still in their tarpaulins of snow. No buses, no taxis. Apart from the Victoria Line, the Underground is shut. All London is at home, watching re-runs of Kojak and afternoon chat shows. We are in a calm bubble outside of normal time and life.

Today I did a lot of watching snow. And I ate something really good. OK, it was just a sandwich. You might say that was just like a rushed office lunch at your desk. But you would be wrong.

This sandwich was different. Not fancy, just very good, in a tangy, rich, creamy way, to be consumed meditatively and alone when nestled in your favourite armchair.

Crusty white bread. Butter. Mango chutney. Fat slices of succulent Brie.  And then the crowning glory. Completely wrong I suppose but very right. Crisps. Yes crisps, in the sandwich. Crunched up slightly as you slap on the top wedge of white. Thick-cut Cheshire Cheese and Chutney Kettle Chips to be exact.

Actually any old crisps would be good. But the Brie must be oozingly ripe.