Number 2 Sausage, Egg and Chips
There are few things better for joining the soul with the body than sausage, egg and chips in a beachfront cafÃ©.
The wilder the weather, the better.
First things first.
I'm smiling at the waiter, he's very young, I don't pick up a menu. I am a woman who knows what she wants.
"Do you know what you want? " he smiles.
"Yes I do. Sausage, egg and chips please and a mug of cappuccino, and can I have that with the meal please?"
Isn't it fabulous when people say 'of course.'
Then there is the waiting. Exquisite daydream of people and weather-watching. I love beachfront cafes. The huge windows separating the sensations of the wild weather yet missing none of it. The experience peaked, like turning off the sound on the television, so much more is visible. Watching wild weather from the warm cafÃ© capsule, heightens the experience. Snow becoming sea.
As the North wind meets his lover, the North Sea, they are in exuberant mood. Following their ecstasy, they create the slapping and smacking of wave upon wave, peaking repeatedly in a thick-laced 'Hurray!' of their spray. Joy of the North.
Back on the land, nothing can move quickly in snow. People walking like ducks, as if on burning coals, like they had no knee joints, the world inhabited by wooden tops. Legs straight and tight, full of fear and holding back. I want to open the door and shout, 'Just slide. Just go for it, glide, fly, embrace it. Fall on your arse. Have egg and chips. Find your inner child. Enjoy yourself!'
I don't though. Instead, I slide my hands over the oiled tablecloth. Cold, like today.
Then, ceremoniously, it is laid in front of you. Round white plate, knife and fork in a napkin blanket.
It's important to say thank you. To the waiter. Then a moment of grace, to the work of this chef, this chicken, this farmer, this cow, the potatoes, the earth, rain and sun, the pressed plants, the oil-makers, the potters, the steel forgers, the paper plant.
The world is brought to us in sausage, egg and chips.
Yet we think that we are alone.
That we have nothing supporting us.
Gratitude first, then burst the lava of the yoke, like a glass at a Jewish wedding.
Let the molten gold merge with the compulsory brown sauce. Yin and yang on a plate.
The crispier the chip, the better.
I never have chips at home, they are a treat, kept for special occasions. Wild weather down the beach being one of them. Sprinkled with the worst type of salt, to celebrate the steel grey brine thrashing in front of this cafe window. It is the elegant grey of a gay man's kitchen units.
Then the transformation. I am what I eat, and I eat this mindfully. Hot lunch on a cold day.
There is a perfect mathematics to having some egg yolk, piece of sausage and chip, per fork-load. The optimum taste experience. Multiple chipery is usually required, but you can never have too many deep fried carbs. Not down the beach. Not near the North Sea.
Swabbing the decks of the final salt-yolk-brown-sauce melange, a thrill in itself.
Then taking your time over the rest of the cappuccino, staring into the snow getting heavier, the sky a steel mauve, the sea wilder and wilder, the idea might come to you - to dance the chi with the North sea.
Just the idea will make you smile, pay up, stuff your book down your waterproof trousers and off you'll go, sideways down the snow-covered steps to the high Spring tide of the breaking waves. Nobody else about. Perhaps that adds to the exhilaration. If I was swept in like a snowflake, there's no-one to throw me a line. I know that it's not going to happen, I'm just a step away from the highest wave, still, I can smell the ions, feel their force and let out a squeal as the waves try to bless me. There is no chi like the North sea dancing with her love.
As I walk back up the stairs grinning like a new moon, I realise that all the people watching the sea from their cars could see me whoosh the chi. I feel sorry for them.
If you're just going to watch from behind glass, at least have sausage, egg and chips.