Fish and chips on a Friday. Always eaten straight from the paper, but with the paper set down on a plate, so you could balance it on your lap as you watched the tv in the corner. Too many chips, always too many chips, soaked in vinegar and too much salt. Small fingers picking between the sharp thin edges to grasp the softer thicker ones. Breaking off the tail of the cod first, with all its crunchy batter, then biting into the thicker part, realising too late it was still piping hot. Sucking in cold air, trying to cool the fish down. Holding your hand over your open mouth so nobody else could see as you moved it from side to side, hoping it wouldn't burn.
Fish and chips on a Friday. Forty years later and a different part of town. A five minute trip in the car, to bring back the Styrofoam packages and tip them out on a plate. We sit at the big wooden table, the tv screen high on the wall. I still eat the crunchy tail end of the cod first, but the brightly-coloured plate next to mine has a sausage neatly sliced and there's no salt or vinegar on the chips. Too many chips, always too many chips. Small fingers pick between the sharp thin edges to grasp at the softer thicker ones. Eddie looks up at me as we both blow gently to cool them down, “I like chips Nana.”