I had a random memory yesterday. Quite often as a kid my dad would take me on long walks around central London on Sunday afternoons. Invariably my mum would stay at home and do the housework (partly because she preferred to and partly, she later told me, because she thought it was a good opportunity for father/son bonding). On one of these occasions my dad and I were at Waterloo station on the way home and popped into WH Smith, one of my favourite shops, as you could get both books and stationery there, and Kenny Everett‘s new memoir The Custard Stops at Hatfield was on display. Everyone loved Kenny back then, he was massively popular, and I thought it was a hilarious title, although I never actually read it and could only guess at why the “custard” ended at an unremarkable new town 20 miles north of London. Later we got home. “We saw The Custard Stops at Hatfield!” I chirruped to my mum in the way that children do, a) with no sense of priority (we might have spent the day at the Tower of London or the Science Museum BUT I SAW A FUNNY BOOK) and b) fully expecting the targeted grown-up to be completely familiar with the topic at hand. She knew of Everett of course but hadn’t heard of the book. Puzzled, she repeated the sentence back, thinking I’d said that my dad and I had been through Hatfield and saw “custard stops”. What could these have been? Squidgy yellow train stations? Surreal art installations? Some unique local phenomena of flora or fauna? Why, indeed, were we even in, or passing through, Hatfield? Where even WAS Hatfield? None of us was sure but it seemed rather a long way from East Molesey. Finally my dad laughed and explained “It’s a book.” Yet, the questions remain 35 years later. I suppose I’ll just have to finally go and read the thing to find out (dirty job etc), but in the meantime, for all I know Everett did mean “stops” as in the noun, and at very least the title is a kind of crash blossom. But every so often I think of this incident and my mum’s expression trying to fathom what I was talking about, and the kid in me still hopes there are things called custard stops, whatever they may be, in small towns outside London.