Saturday, February 23, 2008

green rug, pizza, literary character

On a bench in Calverley Park, I see what looks like a rough, green blanket twisted over to reveal a brown lining. When I look closer, I see that it is a strip of turf that has been left there(presumably by exuberant young people on a spree). "Is that your turf?" I say to a park attendant in his electric tractor". "I'm just going to collect it," he says. He tells me that the turf is used to repair patches of worn grass," a task which he is currently engaged in, a remarkably pleasant one I think, fit for an angel.

Two empty pizza boxes are in a green waste box outside a gate. They bear the injunction "enjoy your pizza" above the pizza's measurement - 18 in. They puts me in mind of my first pizza, 50 years ago in Rome. I remember a dark, little hole of a restaurant, with a wood-fired oven, and, hot out of the oven, on the blade of one of those long flat shovels, these fantastic bread circles covered in tomato and cheese, olives and anchovies. Pizzas were unknown in England then. I had not even heard of them. The experience was, I suppose, an epiphany, if you can apply the word to an item of food.

Clare (Three Beautiful Things) Grant, whom I meet, this morning, on her way back from the farmers' market, while on my way to the farmers' market, introduces me to her boy friend Nick. "I've read about you," I say. "Yes, " he says, "I'm a literary character". And I think that in a sense he is, and that I have just met someone who has stepped out of the pages of a book.


Lucas said...

Pizza in Italy: my first pizza tasted so good that no pizza since has ever lived up to it - from a take away in Perugia.

Lucy said...

Sometime in the 1960s, my mother attempted to make somethin ncalled pizza for her son-in-law, who was a rather sophisticated young man.
It was a curious and, I thought at the time, horrible concoction...

Clare said...

My dad says that when he was at school in the late fifties or early sixties, one of his friends came home from a holiday in the US talking about these amazing things called 'pizza pies'.

My best ever pizza was eaten in Sorrento on a school trip. We ate it in the garden, and an orange fell on my plate.