It felt as though as soon as I was tall enough to reach the kitchen sink, I was handed a potato peeler that became my daily companion. I'd carry my single tape deck ghetto blaster (my sister got the twin-deck one with high-speed dubbing) from my bedroom to the kitchen.

I'd stick on my mixed tape of Tears for Fears, Strawberry Switchblade, Toni Basil and Bronski Beat. A particular favourite was the track Why? from Bronski Beat - which enabled me to get through the 5lbs (2.26kg) of potatoes in a flash.


I'd sing and dance along as the blur of peelings grew in front of me. We had potatoes with pretty much every dinner as they were a great, economical way feed many mouths. The endless potato repertoire on rotation were mashed, boiled, fried, baked, chipped, we'd also have stovies which is a traditional Scottish dish.

In the summer we ate local Ayrshire potatoes for the whole time they were in season. We used a machine that'd scraped the flaky skin off, but we'd then need to scrape out the eyes with a knife - so there was no escaping the burden of potato duties in our house.

I rarely peel potatoes nowadays, I leave the skins on - as I think I've already peeled my quota for life. As I came in from work today and turned on the radio as I always do, Jimmy Somerville's falsetto voice echoed around my kitchen and I had a little dance for old times' sake.

I'm not going to be mean about Jimmy and compare him to a potato as many other people have done. To me he will always be someone who helped me pass some mundane hours from my childhood quickly.