The old man stood by the fruit racks in the super store contemplating at what to buy today, 'just for a change'. As his eyes took in the plethora of fruit before him, his gaze fell upon an absolute mountain of yellow and green Bananas. His thoughts flew back over the years, when such a sight would have been absolutely unimaginable ...
He remembered a day during the war, when, as a young boy playing cricket in the streets with his two mates, he looked up at what had caught his attention. A sailor in a navy uniform had just rounded the corner and was walking down the street towards them.
He was carrying a small attaché case in one hand and something that looked like a kit back on his right shoulder. Puzzled, the boys gaze followed the sailors approaching footsteps, still looking at what the sailor was carrying.
Suddenly his eyes nearly popped out of his head; the sailor was carrying a huge stalk of bananas, and the boy thought, 'there must be hundreds of them.'
'What's them mister?' the boy said unable to believe his eyes.
Alexandra Street, Hull, 1944.
'Bananas, son' replied the sailor.
The boy just could not believe it; it had been years since anyone had seen a banana, never mind tasting one.
'Where did you get them from mister?'
'Can't say.' said the sailor, 'Im only home for a spot of leave and I have brought them home with me.'
With that the sailor placed his small case on the ground, reached behind him and pulled a banana off the stalk handing it to the boy saying,
'Here you are son, a present for you.'
'Thank you mister, thank you very much.' The boy turned for home, running as fast as he could. Hurrying into his house, he raced to the kitchen where his mam sat by the fire, knitting.
'Mam, mam, look what I've got.'
'Where on earth did you get that from?' she exclaimed.
'A sailor gave it to me mam.' he said excitedly. He gave the banana to his mother; she took it with a smile and said, 'well have that tonight for our tea.'
The boy thought, 'how on earth is me mam going to share one banana between six people? There's my dad, my mam, my brother and me and my two sisters.'
Came tea time, his mam did exactly that. She made custard, mashed the banana to a pulp, poured the pulp into the custard and gently stirred it together. Then she spooned it into six dishes. What a feast, there were not many in the land that day who could say they had had banana and custard for tea...
'Aye, thought the old man to himself as he gazed before the mountain of green and yellow before him, 'It certainly was a wonderful feeling to have been seated at that unforgettable, magical, wartime One Banana Banquet.
Brian's recollections are wholly based on real events. Brian has written them as an outsider looking in to make his memories more accessible to the reader, but he was indeed the little boy in the story and is now an old man (as he puts it), looking back.
Articles - Is This An Article Or A Letter, Or What? By Merle R. Stone.
It is with tremendous trepidation and maybe a tiny bit of panic that I begin this writing. You see, I once wrote with exceptional ease, and had no trouble at all putting my thoughts into print. As of late, though, it would seem that that particular talent has abandoned me. Has this ever happened to any of you (I presume, of course, that somebody is actually reading this)?
Not that I feel that I ever had any real talent for writing.
Articles - Philip Wincolmlee-Barnes By C.B. Tempest.
There are times when a friend's death can be such a surprise, as to justify it being shocking. With Phil Barnes, otherwise known as 'Acker' was just such a moment.
Though never the centre of the action but passing his fine arts degree all too easily, he always lay to the side, carefully rolling his 'baccy' to smoke, dressed in his 'ironic' suit and tie: he never
held down any obvious 'career' jobs, like being a lawyer or banker; rather he was an outsider,
Articles - Memories of Hull Part 4 By Terry Hood
Whilst living in Hull I worked for other companies. They were C.D.Holmes, Blackburn Aircraft and Ideal Standard which is in National Avenue.
We purchased our first house in National Avenue and we found out that when the washing was put out on the line, when it was brought in the items had smut marks on them and had to be washed again. This was due to the smoke from Ideal Standard's chimney.
Articles - All About Sex, the Government Minister, the Dead Boy in the Orphanage and the Cover Up By Tim Roux.
When I am not focusing on Hull (and I have recently completed another 'Hull' book, called Missio, about a boy whose father went down with the trawler The Gaul in 1974) I do sometimes engage with the wider world although, to be honest, it isn't up to much.
However, there is one excellent site I contribute to called Speak Without Interruption Read more...
Articles - Memories of Hull Part 3 By Terry Hood
On 26th January 1955 the nation was stunned by the news of the loss of the Lorella and Roderigo with all 40 crewmen during severe weather off Iceland. This was due to black ice forming on the trawlers. As quick as the crew were chipping it off, it was forming again.
My cousin was on another trawler standing by listening to the radio operators on each trawler talking to each other and then he heard one of them say, 'Give our love to our wives,
Articles - (Belated) End of 2009 By Cilla (Editor).
It's late. This was supposed to be an end of year piece and I guess it's typical of my life recently - there's just never enough time to do everything I want to do - time just passes too quickly.
So, it's 2010. Another year bites the dust. The first decade of the 21st century is over with - gone in a flash and here we all are, shivering with cold and sliding off pavements, sitting in queues of smoke billowing traffic.
When I was growing up, I took it for granted
Articles - Christmas With The Big D By Andrea Longstaff
Well, it's that time of the year again; a time of incongruity that spills over into the blurry edges of surrealism. At no other time but December will you see elves strolling down the street. I fondly recall one past Yuletide playing a game of pool with an elf.
Throughout the rest of the year we tell our children not to talk to strangers, then come December and they're all scared witless
Articles - The Political Show Trial the BBC Just Couldn't Resist By Steve Regan, the King of Hull
Shame on the BBC for giving a platform to people prepared to deny the dignity and worth of fellow human beings.
Yes, the bullying approach adopted by the Justice Secretary Jack Straw, Tory Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Liberal-Democrat MP Chris Huhne and the American writer Bonnie Greer on last night's Question Time was an affront to decency.
And the BBC top brass should not have allowed the show's usual format to be hijacked and used as a nasty and counter-productive show trial of BNP chairman Nick Griffin.
Articles - Memories of Hull Part 2 By Terry Hood
After being away from Hull for 40 years it was great to see my home town again and its friendly people. Some places I can remember and have now probably gone are Gainsborough fish and chip restaurant, the Cecil cinema where I went with my wife and my mum to see Emil Ford and the Checkmates, the Tower and Regent cinemas.
There was Sydney Scarborough's record shop were the trawler men used to go for the latest records when they came home from sea.
Articles - Memories of Hull By Terry Hood
I served my apprenticeship as a ships rigger with Lord Line in 1954. Tom Boyd was an absolute gentleman and the best boss I ever worked for.
I now live in Cheltenham but I visited Hull in April of this year and saw the true reality of St. Andrews Dock, Lord Line and surrounding area. It brought back such a lot of happy memories and sadness to see it as it is today.
Whilst I was in Hull I visited the museum
Articles - Don Wilson 1916 - 2009.
One of Nidderdale's most fascinating characters has died suddenly aged 93.
Donald Wilson moved from Edinburgh to Dacre Banks in February 1950, having been stationed at RAF Linton on Ouse during the war. Don was shot down over Germany early in the conflict and was eventually imprisoned in the infamous Stalag Luft III, setting for the film The Great Escape. He provided invaluable information and advice for the makers of the film, having kept a detailed wartime log during his incarceration.
Articles - Writing about a Hull singer-songwriter using the music of Joe Solo By Tim Roux.
I have just had a fantastic experience - writing a novel,(Just like) El Cid's Bloomers' about a fictional
Hull singer/songwriter around the songs of a real one, Joe Solo.
And it could be a global first - the first musical novel to be designed specifically for an e-book format.
It doesn't really matter whether it is or isn't, but it is always fun to be the first to do something.
For Joe, there were some serious potential downsides to the project.
Articles - Birth and Death in Ten Minutes: A Miracle in Room 11 By Ruth
'Doctor, they have an emergency in Room 11.'
'Ok, I'm coming.'
I put the phone down and exited the oppressive call room, where as the scheduled 'doc-in-the-box' on duty, I was busy frittering away 24 hours of my life.
My 11-year-old-son had state exams the next day, and I hoped my 17-year-old daughter would make sure he studied. I knew they would probably watch TV and eat microwave food on the sofa instead.
Articles - The Cosmic Mayfly By David Sloan
From deep under the oceans, far from any sunlight, to high up in spewing volcanoes, life forms have been found on our planet. Even deep in the arctic ice, life forms have been found to exist.
For life is tenacious, if it can exist it will exist, this is the way of nature. Soon, yes very soon, I'm sure we will find life forms on other planets in our solar system. Indeed I'd be very surprised if the whole universe were not teaming with some form of primeval life or another.
Articles - You Scare Me By Alex
'You scare me'
Having that said to you, just once, is one time too many. Why? Why was this person scared of me? Drunken rage? Membership in the BNP? A predilection for bumming puppies? Nope, none of those (admittedly scary) things.
I had done nothing but acquire a label; 'Psychotic'.
So what do people understand by that? Usually it's some media inspired portrayal of a reality avoiding, maniac
with a large blade. The reality is both fairer and fouler than the common perception.
No, psychotics are not automatically or overwhelmingly prone to violence or abuse.
Articles - Channel 4 Students and Friday Night Stars By Phil Prethero
2007, The One Stop 24 Hour Shop, High Street, Lincoln
It's Saturday, it's 7 in the morning, and I'm at work, hung over, stood here like a trampled on torn up tampon - of use to absolutely nobody.
Why the fuck I agreed to these shifts is beyond me, normal people at the age of 21 and in their last year of uni are in bed at this time, they'll get up at about 11,
Articles - Can You Help? Hull Clubs in the Sixties Keith Fairhurst
I wonder if you can help me. I am searching for the name of a 1965 Hull beat club.
The club was at the end of a passageway between two buildings off a one-way street in the centre of the city. It had a small opening/courtyard in front of the main entrance. The passageway was on the right hand side as you travelled down the street.
I believe it was called The Black Cat Club or Kontiki ClubRead more...
Articles - The Interview: The Four Ps - Plan, Prepare, Participate and Be Positive.By Mike Kemp, CV Satisfaction
As individuals who are looking to find employment the interview proves to be the
most daunting task.
But this doesn't have to be the case using the four P's system:
Plan, Prepare, Participate and Be Positive.
This is a system that was devised by CV Satisfaction which covers all areas
of the interview from the beginning to the end. Let's look at each one individually.
Articles - Apple iPod Touch; The iPhone Without the Phone Reviewed by Mo
Ok so first of all I'm over 50, with a pretty crap social life and like most of my generation, mobile phones reside in a blind spot of my brain. The fiddly keys, address books and ridiculous lose-ablity of the device help to keep it there.
Last time I called my (£15 pay as you go from Woolies) mobile in an attempt to find it, it was answered by a lovely police officer lady at the Reading Station's lost and found.
Articles - Jody McKenna and The Secret Millionaire (show to be aired Sunday 26th April 09 Channel 4) By Michelle Dee
Champagne Lifestyle on a Lemonade Budget was the title of singer/songwriters
and Dave Saxby latterly of The Peasants debut album
Jody could be forgiven for thinking those dreams of grandeur and prosperity had
finally been realised when Channel 4's Secret Millionaire presented him with
a cheque for twenty grand.
Articles - I Got Married By Ruth
I got married (my one and only time) in 1981. It was November and I was a college student in West Texas. My husband to be was five years older than I. He was very rugged/handsome, and a former football player in a land where football is king.
In fairness, this tale should be told with a Greek Chorus (you know, those people with white robes that say stuff like, 'Don't eat that, it's poison!' or
Articles - National Recognition for thisisUll.com - Fringe Report Awards 2009 By Cilla Photographs by Carl Schofield and Mo.
Monday 9th February 2009 was a landmark date for thisisUll.com and all
its contributors. On your behalf, I had the honour of accepting the
Fringe Report 2009 award for Best Publication.
Fringe Report, under the guidance and leadership of its editor
John Park is based in London. It reviews and supports fringe theatre,
arts, independent and arthouse film, dance, performance,