Wednesday 15 April 2009

Whitby-Oysters and Mussels

We spent a lovely long weekend in Whitby with Clare and Gary. The food was great! We ate lots of fish and seafood, including these oysters. Not me I hasten to add-Andy is the one who likes oysters-I had mussels though, which I love! Mmmm. The Walrus And The Carpenter
The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright --
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done --
'It's very rude of him.' she said,
'To come and spoil the fun!
'The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead --
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand:
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:'
If this were only cleared away,
'They said, 'it would be grand.

''If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,' the Walrus said,
'That they could get it clear?
''l doubt it,' said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

'O Oysters, come and walk with us!
The Walrus did beseech.
'A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.

'The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head --
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

Out four young Oysters hurried up.
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat --
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more --
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

'The time has come,' the Walrus said,
'To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot --
And whether pigs have wings.

''But wait a bit,' the Oysters cried,
'Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!
''No hurry!' said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

'A loaf of bread,' the Walrus said,
'Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed --
Now, if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.

''But not on us!' the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
'After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!
''The night is fine,' the Walrus said,
'Do you admire the view?

''It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!
'The Carpenter said nothing but
'Cut us another slice-
I wish you were not quite so deaf-
I've had to ask you twice!''

It seems a shame,' the Walrus said,
'To play them such a trick.
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!
'The Carpenter said nothing but
'The butter's spread too thick!

''I weep for you,'the Walrus said:
'I deeply sympathize.
'With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

'O Oysters,' said the Carpenter,
'You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none --
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

These are mussels at Sand's End near Whitby. Apparently, Whitby inspired Lewis Carroll to write this tragically hilarious tale.


Anairam said...

Oh, what would we have done without Lewis? Sad to say, I only discovered Alice in Wonderland when I was an adult!! Of course as I child we had condensed versions, but I only read the full (and annotated) version when I was in my twenties!

PS I'm with you on the oysters - I much prefer mussels ...

Anonymous said...

Oh Oysters. You brought back such fond memories of my grandfather oyster gigging, Grannie making oyster stew, and always wondering if we would find a pearl! Oysters & shrimp are the only seafood that I like. I am so glad that you had a good time.

Deirdra Doan said...

Oh Whitby is such a famous old celtic pilgrimage place! I went once. How interesting.Now Alice in Wonderland
scared me..and Oyster stew was my least favorite meal as a child...

But now...I like the idea of both.

Sarah said...

I only read it as an adult too-to do with an art class I was teaching-I loved it, it's just so weird.
I might be able to eat oyster stew-I have never eaten oysters at all-they are with a limited list of never eaten foods-kebab meat, black pudding, rabbit, veal-different reasons for each of them!
I would love to find a pearl though.
Whitby does have a mysterious feel-it is really isolated over the moors. I really enjoyed visiting.

frayed at the edge said...

I've had oysters (from Loch Fyne - among the best in the world) but I wouldn't rush to have them again - but I do like mussels!

Candace said...

Alas, I love both but cannot have either! I read Alice as a child and loved it, esp the illustrations. But reading it as an adult -- WOW! Even better.
So glad you are having a good time with your holidays.
Candace x