Thursday 26th January 2012
He is lounging in front of the tele. His usual Saturday morning spot watching ‘Match of the day’.
“Zephy, answer me please?” I repeat beginning to lose patience.
He flashes me a glance & returns his focus to the screen. I have his attention.
“Would you like another piece of toast?” I ask picking up his empty plate beside him.
The question lingers in the air for a millisecond.
“Mmmmm, yes please,” He replies starring straight at me. “With condensed milk again.” He continues pushing out his bottom lip & placing his palm together.
Food rationing started in Britain in 1940. My Dad was a year old. He then spent the next 14 years living through the restriction that were placed on food like meat, sugar & pretty much everything except fish.
Understandably, milk was scarce at the time too & so condensed milk was a great alternative, as it didn’t go off as fast as fresh milk. But acquiring a tin of this liquid gold didn’t come cheap, it would set you back half of the 20 points, each person was issued a month.
I asked Dad if he ever ate it as a kid.
“We’d be playing footie in the street & run in the house for a doorstep, smeared with condensed milk.” He told me.
Fast forward 60 years & I suppose the modern day equivalent is a child sprawled out on a sofa watching the football highlights while his Dad serves him with warm, buttered toast smothered with condensed milk.
I guess some things haven’t change that much.