25 years ago, I found in the attic of a small hotel
briefly used as headquarter by British troops after
the war, a tin of bully beef.
I opened the tin, the meat looked lovely and fat
cut a slice tasted as made yesterday.
Later in the evening, I made a stew of potatoes
onions and carrots, added the corned beef, for
refugees, a Polish family of five; yes, the Poles too
had once been refugees, not one would think so
closing their border for other asylum seekers.
As it was their first hot meal since they bedraggled
arrived, they ate well; the next day, over the cornflakes
I was glad to see they were well.
About corned beef, a friend of mine, Alex Skillen, had
been a cook in the army, now he worked at a plant
assembling cars in Ellesmere Port, he liked bully beef
we used to go to the British Lion, play darts and
drink beer, he loved my little books and told people
about it; he was a fan.
Once, he told me he had made the observation that
workers went to strike more under labour than
the Tories, I resisted saying there had been no labour
party since Clement Atlee’s government.