Speaking Personally: Jerzy Morkis

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SO the Olympic torch has been and gone, though Levenmouth never even had a chance to catch a glimpse of it glowing and bobbing away in the distance.

There are some who have taken this as a bit of slight – one of the bigger population areas of the Kingdom denied a peek at this symbol of sporting brother and sisterhood.

Not at all.

It is perfectly understandable – after all, if you were the organisers of one of the greatest, if not the greatest, sporting events on the planet, would you risk the world witnessing the torch being sullied by crowds lining the streets with skewered burgers having a lunge at the sacred flame?

Because that’s what I reckon would have happened.

I really don’t understand what it is about sunshine that drives so many of our good citizens to want to cook outside.

Barbec(q)ues, BBQs, barbies – they are a summer phenomenon beyond my comprehension. In fact, not just summer – I’ve a relative who would happily fire up his BBQ on Christmas day if he was allowed.

Oh, I’ve been to a few ‘barbies’, discarding my very pink piece of chicken behind the geraniums or biting into a carbonised burger, only to discover the interior would attract the interest of a vampire.

So you’re resigned to a plate of potato salad and a beer, struggling to find a seat, and whether it’s your drink or your food you put down, there’s always a welcoming bluebottle ready to land on it and regurgitate whatever it had been crawling on earlier.

I used to work with a bloke who was a ‘barbie’ devotee and you could count on him being off at least three times over the summer with food poisoning.

“It was the prawns,” he’d moan.

“Oh, we pre-cook our barbecue food,” a colleague told me last week, “so we just finish it off on the barbecue.”

And that makes sense? For that realistic charcoaled experience, pre-cook your food then head outside and burn it?

And that’s what really gets me.

A balmy summer’s night, after a hard day, when you should be able to relax in your garden and be enveloped in the comforting scent of your night stock, roses and carnations.

Except you can’t even see them, never mind smell them, as smoke comes billowing in from all directions and the air is filled with the new smell of the season – grill ‘n’ grease.

You have to grab any clothes off the washing line or folk next week at work are going to wonder why you are so attracted to that distinct brand of Summer Smokey Sausage fabric conditioner.

Given this penchant for deserting the kitchen and celebrating summertime by cooking outdoors, it would seem the time is right to launch a new range of spring flowers – snowdrops, daffodils, tulips, primrose, bluebells, etc., all scented with the finest ‘fry-able’ food.

Put a big bunch in a vase and impressed visitors will say: “Oh, what beautiful flowers and what a scent! What is that? Lorne sausage and kipper? Oh, it so reminds me of summer...”

Aye.