Monday, 23 March 2009

Meaty Big And Bouncy

(Lee at Crying All The Way To The Chip Shop was reminiscing today about our diets back in the 70s and how steak was a luxury and seen as posh or upmarket. This was in part my response over there, and also a tiny bit of response over here.)

Back in the 70s and early 80s my mum worked at Smithfield Meat Market, doing the books for a big Scottish beef firm. Part of her weekly wages was a certain percentage in 'meat' so to speak.

And no I don't mean she was sleeping with the boss.

Anyway, she regularly brought home a leg of lamb, 2 chickens, sausages, pork chops most weeks. But I can't recall any occasion when she came home with steaks. Given that she worked for a Scottish beef company it's a bit odd. Steak must have been their prime resource or something.

I can remember vividly when we were able to start buying anything but the crap food from shops though. It was spring 1982 in our part of London when Safeway opened up one of their big stores near the Barbican. Cartons of orange juice. Fruit and veg that wasn't simply potatoes carrots and apples. Starfruit and kiwi fruit! And avocadoes. And cook in the oven pizzas with deep crust!

But still we wanted fish fingers and fray bentos pies. Bad pop - "it's frothy man" anybody?

Is there a link between the country's diet and the music we listened to I wonder though? Lumpy bad food in the 70s and then the colourful more healthy option in the early 80s: Did all that early 80s pop sound that much brighter and bubblier because I wasn't so full of crap?

Here's some of the bubbliest and brightest from that summer when Safeway opened.

Madness - House Of Fun
The Associates - Party Fears Two
ABC - The Look Of Love Part 1
Duran Duran - Rio

1 comment:

dickvandyke said...

Kinell Simon, my little crispy pancake. Meaty metaphors for music indeed.

Cod balls (where's the rest of the fishy fucker?) chips and peas, followed by a vanilla slice (aka custard slice) were my idea of 70s heaven in a '3 day week' just before the power cut started.

Just like Burger King, 'Her name is Rio' was a million light years away.

Indeed, Vesta meals in a box were the most exotic mouthful I witnessed until I was 15. (Not including that time Mrs Patel lost control of her industrial cleavage when stocking the shelves one sunny day in '76).