I spent three years of my life in Leicester, between 1962 and 1966. In Part 1 I wrote briefly about my earliest impressions of this city, its university, and my tenuous connection to its football team.
Talking recently to another graduate of Leicester University I was reminded of an odd aspect of student life there in the sixties, just one mild absurdity, the use of haute cuisine names for mundane dishes served up in the refectory (academic-speak for canteen.) One ludicrous example has stayed with me – the term “Turbigo”, used as an adjectival noun in menus, for instance “Chicken Turbigo”.
For me there was something intrinsically laughable about the word itself, and I was amused by the pretentiousness of dressing up canteen food with posh names. Over time I noticed that Turbigo could be applied to just about any main course; the common factor was that the dish always included mushroom stalks. No heads, just the stalks. Continue reading →
I’m not into football, as they say, but I have found it impossible to ignore Leicester City’s astonishing turnaround from obscurity to giant-killing league winners this year. It’s not long since my grandson Luke (football mad) asked me which team I supported and in desperation I identified Leicester, simply on the tenuous grounds that I spent three years there in the sixties, as a less than distinguished student.
What’s more, for one of those years I lived in a redbrick back-to-back student house in Filbert Street itself, only a few doors away from City’s former home ground. If I have a soft spot for Leicester, forgive me – it’s probably largely due to that year, when I not only graduated but fell in love. How was I to know then that 50 years later the City, not content with having dug up an English king, was to become world-famous once again for winning the Premier League? Continue reading →