The Perfect Scene

Here’s one of my favourite passages in modern literature. In it, Sue Townsend describes Adrian Mole spending Sunday at his Grandma’s house. I suspect that many other people my age will recognise the scene from their own childhood. Nothing else I’ve read captures a sense of time and place so well.

Many writers have a temptation to throw unusual words or extravagant sentences at their ideas. This passage show that real genius is capable of simplicity:

Archers omnibus. Egg, bacon, fried bread, the People.

Roast beef, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, cabbage, carrots, peas, Yorkshire pudding, gravy.

Apple crumble, custard, cup of tea, extra strong mints, News of the World.

Tinned salmon sandwiches, mandarin oranges and jelly, sultana cake, cup of tea.

Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years by Sue Townsend