Yesterday I treated myself to a lunch of cod and chips from an eat-in/takeaway fish and chip shop in Brighton. I ate in. Having taken my order, the guy serving asked me if I wanted anything else. Nervously I requested mushy peas—a delicacy that only those living north of the Irony Curtain* truly understand. Amazingly, when they arrived they weren’t bad, though they were spoiled somewhat by being served in a separate little white bowl with a spoon.

*The Irony Curtain was first identified (I think) by Jonathan Meades or someone like that in the course of a BBC documentary about the architecture of the Midlands. It is a line bisecting Birmingham horizontally. The English living north of this dividing line say what they mean and mean what they say. Also, they know what mooshy peas are.