She loved Prince. A lot. She played his music. All the time. Which meant that I had to listen to it all the time. Which meant that I loved him too. Which was probably why I was the only 12 year old singing all the lyrics to 'Get Off' in the Youth Club disco without quite understanding the full meaning of what I was saying whilst wondering why the rampant 15 year old boy I had a crush on was suddenly so interested. Thanks Annie.
Drinking and smoking.
She was cool. Very cool. Her friends were in bands. She took me on magic mushroom picking outings (many hands make light work) before I even knew what magic mushrooms were. Our house became the house where her and all her trendy friends would hang out, eat pasta, drink wine and smoke Marlboro Lights when they were supposed to be in school. Which inevitably became what I wanted to do too and which sometimes, rarely but magically she let me join her and her gang. Cheers Annie.
Fried Egg sandwiches.
When I was 12 she went away with her friends (3 boys naturally) to Greece for a holiday. Instead of choosing a resort packed with drunken British teenagers vomiting all over the streets after drinking cocktails named after sex positions they chose a picturesque ancient village where they stayed in a whitewashed apartment, drank in authentic Greek bars and adopted a three legged dog. She came back beautiful and bronzed and talked me through the (censored) photographs. I was impressed by their apartment and wondered if they cooked there. It turned out the only thing they cooked in the apartment was Fried egg sandwiches. I had never eaten a fried egg sandwich and so to me, from that day on, Fried egg sandwiches became cool. In my twelve year old mind I didn't connect them to greasy spoons. I connected them with chic teenagers, drinking wine, smoking Marlboro Lights with an adopted three legged dog in a whitewashed Greek apartment in an ancient village. And I've loved them ever since. So look, it's not Michelin starred cookery here but I give you:
The perfect Fried egg sandwich
2 slices of handcut bakery bread buttered with real butter
Some grated vintage cheddar
Finely sliced red onion
Sweet chilli sauce
Thinly sliced tomato.
Butter the bread
Heat some vegetable oil and a small knob of butter in a frying pan and crack in the egg.
Fry until a little bit crispy underneath and then flip for 2 seconds so that no gloopy white remains.
Place fried egg on buttered bread and sprinkle the cheese on. (This is important, you want the cheese to slightly melt from the heat of the egg!)
Top with gherkin, sliced tomato and onion and pour a little drizzle of sweet chilli sauce over it.
So there you have it. The very best Fried egg sandwich in the world. Fact.
Don't thank me. Thank my sister.