Spam, Ham, Thank you M’am!

Fortunately, I’ve just had lunch, which was a rather yummy ham and cheese toasted ciabatta. It could have been a Spam Sammy, if I a) had a tin of Spam in and b) could eat Spam straight from the tin without being violently and, oddly, rather colourfully ill. I do like tinned Spam, though only when it’s fried in batter to make Spam fritters.

Anyone for Spam?
Anyone for Spam?

I can still recall a Sixth Form Duke of Edinburgh’s trip to Wyevale Hall, a beautiful hostel retreat run by the Order of the Holy Paraclete back in the late 70’s, accompanied by our favourite nuns of the day, Sister Judith Ellen and Sister Janet Elizabeth, aka ‘Jelly’ and ‘J.E’ respectively. I have vivid memories of fellow 6th formers, Helen, Kate, Jojo-bambino, Nicki and several others chopping up a seemingly endless supply of Spam, coating them in thick, floury batter and frying them in a huge frying pan on the biggest Aga I’d ever seen. The cloying smell of hot oil coupled with the acrid aroma of increasingly charred fritters should have been repulsive, but, man, those fritters were good! I’m sure I had about a dozen of them. I do recall that certain nuns (see aforementioned shortlist) availed themselves of all that was on offer.

The venue for this outing is about ten minutes drive from where we now live and every time I drive past I am reminded of that fantastic weekend when life was simple, fun and good. I recall vividly trudging down the long hill to the village of Snainton and following everyone into The Peacock, my first visit to a pub for the purpose of having a bevvy. We were playing darts and supping happily on our half-pints of cider when Sister Jelly and another nun from hall’s resident staff, who was very well-known locally because of her eccentric appearance and behaviour, rocked up. We shouldn’t really have been there, being underage and being supposedly walking healthily on the local hillsides rather than filling our bellies and lungs with alcohol and nicotine.

A momentary silence befell the Peacock’s lounge, which was pretty much deserted apart from our small gaggle of teenage girls, a couple of other locals and these new arrivals, bedecked in nun’s habits.


And then the landlord boomed ‘ ‘Bout time you two turned up! I thought you’d not be able to pass up t’opportunity to win back yer losin’s from t’other night!’ Broad smiles all round and the rest of the evening passed in a blur of card games, barrels of cider and rollicking good humour. It was a valuable life lesson to not judge books by their covers.

But back to the spam.

I was going through my blog’s dashboard, as you do, checking for comments and messages received recently, when I came across an hitherto unnoticed aspect of my dashboard.

Thanks Aksimet, for your unsolicited assistance - I'm sure I appreciate it!
Thanks Aksimet, for your unsolicited assistance – I’m sure I appreciate it!

It says ‘Akismet has protected you from 11 spam incidents recently’.

Well then, thank you Akismet! I have to say, I am eternally grateful to the ethereal body for their diligence on my behalf, although I don’t recall asking for their assistance, but I am still happy to be a recipient of their kindness. Somewhat intrigued, I clicked on the link to see where it would take me and, bless my soul if it wasn’t a really, really pretty graph that they’d constructed for me! It was actually a bar chart (you can take the Maths teacher out of the classroom, but you can’t stop them appreciating data analysis tools!) which was immediately backed up with a lovely pie chart…

Spam, Ham and Pac-Man
Spam, Ham and Pac-Man

Is it just me, or does that ‘Yummy Pie’ look like ‘Pac Man’? Clearly, it’s time I made a doctor’s appointment for a Spamectomy. ‘Til  tomorrow, my friends!


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