I’d mentally filed this away as a flan dish by Spode. I don’t know why, perhaps my subconscious associates the two, thus demonstrating the strange and fallible nature of one’s inner self. On reflection, I believe I was thinking about those lovely botanical dishes they do. This doesn’t have flowers, instead a charmingly handpainted sort of trefoil border, and just the hint of something drawn on the bottom. I suspect it may be export china.
But Spode still has a poignancy, and all the more so now. And by Spode I mean, of course, the more famous progeny: Sir Roderick Spode, 7th Earl of Sidcup, P. G. Wodehouse’s masterly satire on Mosely’s blackshirts, whose like we most troublingly see venting their bile again today. Spode had a motley crew of black shorts (all the shirt colours having been already taken), and just like the hateful bunch last week pustulating with their tiki torches, were punctured for them. The words of one Bertram Wilberforce Wooster need no further comment. “The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you’re someone. You hear them shouting ‘Heil, Spode!’ and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: ‘Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?’”