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Breakfast on the move


Dining on poached eggs on toast
Brian Aldiss Writer
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There were things that I didn't like. I mean, we were marched about a lot, and we couldn't go far. But that was... gradually, things were relaxed. Some people had become ill on ship-board, and so they were taken away to somewhere, I don't know – hanged, drawn and quartered, for all I knew.

But we... those of us surviving... would go down into the village at night, and it was terribly exotic. Of course, there was no electricity – the British wouldn't have electricity, but chaps would have flares and lights of all kinds of little sparklers… goodness knows what. And it seemed a marvellous place. But, chaps would come and say, 'Sahib, you want something to eat?' Well, of course we wanted something to eat. And so… but there was one restaurant that used to do poached eggs on toast! So, instead of eating the local khana, we ate eggs on toast. Pathetic, when I think of it.

Brian Aldiss (1925-2017) was an English writer and anthologies editor, best known for his science fiction novels and short stories. He was educated at Framlingham College, Suffolk, and West Buckland School, Devon, and served in the Royal Signals between 1943-1947. After leaving the army, Aldiss worked as a bookseller in Oxford, an experience which provided the setting for his first book, 'The Brightfount Diaries' (1955). His first science fiction novel, 'Non-Stop', was published in 1958 while he was working as literary editor of the 'Oxford Mail'. His many prize-winning science fiction titles include 'Hothouse' (1962), which won the Hugo Award, 'The Saliva Tree' (1966), which was awarded the Nebula, and 'Helliconia Spring' (1982), which won both the British Science Fiction Association Award and the John W Campbell Memorial Award. Several of his books have been adapted for the cinema. His story, 'Supertoys Last All Summer Long', was adapted and released as the film 'AI' in 2001. His book 'Jocasta' (2005), is a reworking of Sophocles' classic Theban plays, 'Oedipus Rex' and 'Antigone'.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: army, marching, village, lights, food, poached eggs

Duration: 1 minute, 26 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2014

Date story went live: 17 August 2015