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The salmon is delicious








Apologies to the vegetarians! I used to be a vegetarian and I feel like I still should be, but I’ve succumbed to my children’s demands and the fact that they don’t seem to be as enthusiastic about chickpeas and tofu as I am.

But – I am fascinated by my local butcher’s shop. It’s like going back to the 70s, before my mother turned our family vegetarian and we’d pop in for our wiener schnitzels and casserole beef, and the butcher would always give me a saveloy. The butchers know the customers by name, chat away and do meat deliveries to the old people in the neighbourhood. I was listening to poet Vincent O’Sullivan on Kim Hill last year, and he talked of his own butcher romance:

“I used to be fascinated by how [butchers] could both chat up their customers at the same time as doing things with knives and half carcasses and sliced luncheon. The whole business of going to a butcher’s shop as a child and later was always a curious treat that was partly aesthetic and partly it was just a bit of theatre.”

Also, I was struck by this random encounter Gus had. The moment the other boy turned up in the shop, there was something very familiar about him. He was just as bouncing-off-the-walls, talking-too-loudly-in-public-places as Gus was. Recently, I read Steve Silberman’s Neurotribes, and he explained that the reason why there were so many families in Sillicon Valley with autistic kids was because their parents recognised latent autistic traits in each other. I think that Gus and this boy quickly recognised that their brains were both wired in an amped-up way.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. John Butt permalink
    09/05/2016 11:33 am

    Nice 🙂

    Looks like you live in Eastbourne too, hahaha


  2. Amanda permalink
    09/05/2016 2:38 pm

    This is brilliant. Love those boys. I miss our old Mt Eden butcher’s mural. It was a fab retro painted cow and pig(I think) with “pleased to meet you with meat to please you” between the animals. I always wanted to take a photo of the mural but was too shy.

  3. Ariane Craig-Smith permalink
    09/05/2016 11:49 pm

    I have one of those boys! Alas, not one of those butchers.

  4. Kirsten Slade permalink
    13/05/2016 5:41 am

    Oh, love this – and have to admit to reading back in your archives and stalking you a bit.

    I found your blog doing a web search for ‘ women, comics, New Zealand’. Our family is moving to Wellington (from the US) in mid-June. I’m an aspiring illustrator working on a graphic memoir and am hoping I’ll find a good artistic community there!

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      13/05/2016 6:01 am

      Please get in touch when you get there – I’ve written a graphic memoir and I live in Wellington!

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