Remember that day, that marked the End of Days? The first day of the Isle of Wight Festival, when the heavens opened, the roads closed and the fields around Fairlee Road turned to welly-eating sludge? Of course you do! The county’s day-long gridlock monopolised the media, caused angry residents to take up their green ink-filled pens and even Sky News sent a helicopter to capture all the thrills of stationary traffic.
This clogging of the Island’s major vehicular arteries was caused by a perfect storm of several factors. Like the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone, the boggy conditions of the pop festival car park that morning soon caused major tailbacks to Fishbourne where cars, including Matt and Cat’s, languished. As they watched the lights at Fishbourne iridesce through their eternal cycle, they turned off the car’s engine and considered what to do. After half an hour of playing iSpy, they did a u-turn. Alas, the people on the ferries did not have the same freedom of choice and three boatloads of hapless music fans and commuters bobbed about on the briny waiting for conditions to improve. Meanwhile, further up the system near the neckbone, cars were backing up on the mainland, parking on Southsea Common and causing the authorities in both counties to scratch their heads – the final body-part in this tortured analogy.
Finally arriving in town, having taken the scenic route to Newport, M&C knew that their traffic-related troubles may not yet be at an end. They had to go home again. Or did they? With talk of the apocalypse abounding from those who’d clearly never driven on the mainland, Matt and Cat decided to do the prudent thing after work that evening and go to the pictures whilst the fuss and the traffic died down.
With a teatime showing of Alien prequel ‘Prometheus’ 3D in their sights, Matt and Cat wandered into Newport town centre for food. The critical mass of earlybird IW Festival-goers had not made it out of the campsite, presumably trapped and sobbing with ill-concealed hysteria as they erected their pretty Cath Kidston tents in what was effectively a swamp. Still, at least the soft ground offered little resistance to their tent pegs, although adding their tears to the already waterlogged ground wasn’t advisable.
Anyway, as Matt and Cat headed to Oggies, they were accosted by a fellow in a doorway. No, not someone flogging a festival ticket – although the market in wristbands was, like the car park, pretty flooded. He was touting chips – and what do you know, he was promoting chips from Oggies! It seemed contrived to tell him they were heading there anyway, but it was true enough. So in they went.
When in a hurry, Matt will sometimes deviate from his normal fish and chips in favour of whatever is ready in the hot cupboard. At Oggies there was an alluring pile of battered sausages which he was not going to ignore. It’s a trade-off that every chip-shop customer will recognise – does one choose something to be cooked freshly, and wait longer; or take the ready-cooked food and accept the risk that it has been waiting there for hours? Matt knows that Oggies usually does brisk business, and on this particular evening a host of staff were ready for the anticipated festival throng, so Matt simply chose the obvious. Within a few moments of entering the shop, he was in possession of a jumbo battered sausage and chips, wrapped to take away. Cat, who’d filled up on cakes at work, decided to abstain this time.
Matt and Cat set off towards the cinema, bearing the enticingly hot parcel of sausage and chips. Eventually they decided that there wasn’t going to be anywhere dry or convenient to eat it, so they just perched on a bench in the High Street, adjacent to stationary traffic. Commuters, already hours late for their dinners, were obliged to endure the spectacle of Matt chomping on the steaming sausage. This torment even provoked a couple of drivers to wave and do chip-begging mimes, at which Matt and Cat cruelly smiled and nodded.
Sausage and chips proved to be the perfect pick-me-up for hungry Matt, and he relished the hot, tasty snack. The chips were respectable, fresh, and not greasy. Oggies certainly did the job. The central location makes it Newport’s most prominent chip shop and it’s popular for a reason – the service was friendly and swift, and above all the food was decent.