Like clockwork, the true zealots assembled at exactly 8.00 p.m. every evening, pushing staff towards the kettle with awesome telekinetic powers. Miraculously, those who were too tired to stand up at 6.30p.m. had now risen from their beds in refreshed Transylvanian fashion and were denuding the kitchen of its paltry remaining supplies. In the old days, full English ‘breakfasts’ were often served to patients who were going straight back to bed and I remember the fire alarms sometimes being set off by the thick cloud of steam, fat and cigarette smoke plunging down the corridor. Nowadays at supper time there was barely enough food to feed a dead parrot and it was fascinating to see the patients climbing around the kitchen like steeplejacks, uncovering long lost packets of crisps, deviously hidden packets of biscuits, and black bananas in Tupperware containers on high shelves. Still, this was one of the last acts in a tedious film noire, and I was comforted by the prospects of glorious release in just over an hour.
Tock tick.


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